The Trabuco was a war instrument that was used in the ancient times for breaking walls used as defenses by the opposing forces. It was also used to shoot projectiles into space over obstructions. It was used in a similar way that a catapult is used. The Trabuco machine is often variously referred to as the Balancing Trabuco, as a way of describing it distinctly from another type of weapon called the traction Trabuco. The Traction Trabuco was invented before the balancing Trabuco. The term has acquired a new meaning in Brazil where it is also colloquially used to refer to shotguns and revolvers.
Similar Weapons in the Middle Ages
The Trabuco was used to launch massive objects into space. The device is reported to have been used in the Middle East in both Muslim and Christian communities in the Mediterranean region. The device is said to have been a powerful tool that could throw massive weights of up to 140 kilos over enemy walls at high speed. The Blunderbuss is reported to have been used to propagate biological warfare by launching bodies that were infected into enemy territory to introduce infection. Trabucos are not unique to South America; the devices are also reported to have been in use in China. In fact, trabucos are said to have been invented in China in around the year 400 BC. The tools arrived in the European continent in around 600 AD it was said that they were in use through the period until the gun and gunpowder was invented.
How the Trabuco Worked
The Trabuco worked by changing potential energy form into a kinetic energy form. It is not unrelated to the way the catapult or sling is made. The physics of the device is such that the counterweight is equal to the projectile object weight. The logic dictated that if the counterweight was strong, the projectile would also be launched with a stronger force. See This Article for more information.
The Trabuco is said to have borrowed much from a sling which was invented way earlier. Several people were deployed to pull the strings for the purposes of launching. The Chinese are credited with inventing the traction bolt used. There were improvements in the course of time including the adding of a wooden piece to extend the lever.