Presently many would define a Trabuco as a toy, an educational instrument found in a classroom. Although the ancient weapon is an excellent example of a counterweight, the history behind it is less than kind. In the height of its popularity the Trabuco was a weapon of Mass Destruction, a biological agent, and a game changing device of war. It killed thousands, destroyed whole cities, and forever changed the history of many a people.
Developed as a siege weapon by the Chinese in 400 BC, the Trabuco was meant to tear down walls. Its effectiveness caused it to outshine the catapult, and as knowledge of it spread, armies across the Middle East and Europe would come to use it. The Arabs would add their own innovation, an extra weight, to increase the weapons distance, and the Europeans would give it a counterbalance, so that it could fling more weight. The European design, called a blunderbuss, would label trabuco as a Mass Destroyer by giving it the ability to hurl objects weighing around 2000 lbs. Eventually though it would occupy the scrap heap, cast aside by the development of firearms.
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The Trabuco debuted back in China around 400 BC. A Chinese General is said to have created it as a more effective way to tear down walls according to mercadolivre.com.br. Defensible walls of the time were thick, made of stone, and stretched across whole perimeters. Although they most always contained a weak spot at the point of entry, it was a highly defensible spot. The breecher was designed to make every part of the wall a future weak spot, by tearing said spot into the wall. The Chinese would stack dead bodies in the slings, hoping that by flinging them at the enemy it would spread disease. Trabuco weapons potential for destruction would only be increased as it toured through the Middle East, and eventually Europe. The latter’s use of a blunderbuss counterbalance turning the weapon into a mass destroyer. Its existence as a toy today, only goes to show the lengths weapons have come, as current ones are way more dangerous. The Trabuco will always be the first of a deadly kind.