The Trabuco was one of highly used machines for warfare in 400 AD. It was easily manufactured out of wood, without complicated mechanisms, in short, a form of catapult, a massive siege machine used by armies. When you are speaking of the word Trabuco in Brazil it can refer to revolvers or shotguns.
Trabuco started out in history because of the Chinese idea of mechanics with a cross-bolt action, this lead to the invention of several types of the machine throughout history according to pt.wowhead.com. The idea behind the power of the Trabuco was the power of kinetic energy via transforming gravitational energy. The construction of the counterweight is what gave the machine its distance for a projectile to be launched and the size that could be launched from it.
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The Crusaders used this during wars with the Muslim’s to overcome many battles, it could fire some projectiles weighing in as much as 140 kilograms and being shot for 800 meters according to infoescola.com. The French during the 1400’s was known to use this weapon and were able to launch projectiles up to 1,000 kilograms. During excavations evidence of these massive weapons of war were found all through the Mediterranean area. In Portugal the invention was a honed skill and there during their time of conflict, a stone could be fired every 15 second from their Trabuco.
Trabuco was not only used to break down fortified walls but also was reported to be used to launch disease ridden corpses, victims of the black plague, over the walls into the cities. This was a start to biological warfare. There have been accounts of prisoners, livestock, bales of dried grasses set on fire, and barrels used for ammunition. The machine lasted for a very long time until ultimately a newer and more explosive weapon was available, which was gun powder. It was a giant in its time during warfare and there are still working ones around today. They are used in some throwing competitions and are preserved in museums.