The Trabuco, also called the trebuchet, is a catapult like weapon that was used in the middle ages to wage war against enemies. It is very similar to a catapult except for the fact that it had a simpler design and possessed more power if handled and used in the right way.
It was about 50 feet tall, generally made of wood reinforced with rope, leather, and metal among other materials. At first it was immobile, and was constructed on site where it was to be used in a battle. It had a long beam that rotated in a large arc to launch the projectile.
The origin of the Trabuco can be traced back to China in 200 BC according to pt.bab.la and later in 600 AD in Europe where it was first called a Traction Trabuco. It could throw a 140 kilos-projectile for more than 800 meters. It could make four such shots per minute thus making it such an excellent weapon during those days. The Chinese Trabuco is said to have been better than the one used in Europe since it was smaller and easier to transport. Those used in Europe were large according to banco.bradesco. 15-45 able bodied people were required to pull its ropes depending on the weight of the projectile.
The projectiles were aimed at enemy camps or used to crash enemy walls or any other barrier during war on youtube.com. Sometimes the projectiles were of the bodies of infected people. These were thrown to the enemy army so as to infect them with the disease. This goes to prove that biological warfare is not solely a modern weapon. Other projectiles included rocks, debris, and incendiaries among other things.
Trabucos were easier to maintain and their destruction abilities were so high that they were commonly compared to demons, making them the scariest war weapon of the middle ages. Many armies preferred them since they were more practical and reliable. A developed design, called the balancing Trabuco, had wheels that made it easier to position near the walls. It was also capable of throwing larger and heavier objects.
However after the invention of gunpowder, the Trabuco was abandoned and used only when there was no gunpowder. Today, this weapon is used as a teaching material in the mechanics coursework. It is also used as a form of fun and placed in museums to explain history.
Learn more about Trabuco: http://tudo-sobre.estadao.com.br/trabuco