An Ancient War Machine Revisited April 3, 2018

The Trabuco, also known as the trebuchet, is an ancient siege weapon originally created as a way to eliminate infantry units in Ancient China. The Chinese first developed the weapon as a quick set up engine of war. Originally the device was little more than a wooden stand with a pole connected to it. A small crew of soldiers would load a leather sling attached to the top of the pole with a heavy stone and then use their own strength to build momentum through circular movements. Once the desired amount of torque was created the soldiers would abruptly stop and the stone would be released from the sling.

The weapon was effective at close and medium range and was capable of eliminating small groups of attacking enemies fairly quickly. This initial design would eventually be improved upon in later time periods to great effect.


During the Crusades and throughout the Middle Ages the trebuchet was used less as an anti-personal weapon and more as a siege engine according to The machine increased dramatically in size, capable of launching a large quantity of very large stones a considerable distance. Instead of a few soldiers, the machine required a large crew of trained operators in order to use properly. While this impressive siege engine caused massive destruction to enemy fortifications it also had the caveat of taking an extensively long period of time to construct on site. According to, the trebuchet was not able to move locations and so if a defending force decided to attack it then the siege engine was helpless.

These devices were used in warfare until the invention and utilization of gunpowder. The devastating power of cannons and explosives rendered the trebuchet obsolete and so they quickly vanished from military use. There are still engineers and historians who attempt to build reconstructions of these ancient weapons in order to reveal to the modern world how they once operated. If this sort of thing interests you there are many videos on media sites such as Youtube that showcase them for anyone who wants to have a visual representation of what warfare was.

Search more about Trabuco:

No Comments on An Ancient War Machine Revisited
Categories: Old Weapon