When we think of siege warfare we often immediately think about catapults and castles. The need to invade and occupy an enemy town is a strategic necessity that many armies of ancient times and the Middle Ages aimed to reach as an objective. If certain cities were taken during a war than the war would be able to end quickly, and less life would be lost as a result. In order to try and speed up the siege process, multiple weapons of war were invented and constructed, one of those, and one of the most powerful was the Trebuchet, also known in Brazil as the Trabuco.
The Trabuco was invented as a larger and more powerful version of the classic sling. Slings were traditionally nothing more than a leather strap that was loaded with a stone. The wielder of this ancient weapon spun the sling over their head in order to generate momentum, then released the stone inside so that it would launch towards an enemy soldier. The sling was cheap but effective against unarmored enemies. The Trabuco uses the same concept as the sling to propel its payload across a battlefield. The idea that much larger stones thrown a distance can cause catastrophic damage was soon realized, especially when it was used against large fortified cities and castles during periods of war such as the Crusades.
The Trabuco requires a team of trained engineers to operate correctly. Most of the team loads the weapon while a commanding engineer is in charge of distance and pulling the right levers to fire. Once the stones inside the net are released than thousands of pounds of stone hurtle towards its target. This can topple entire sections of walls that before the trebuchet was unable to fall over during times of war. The only issues with the Trabuco were its long loading times and the fact that it was stationary and immobile due to its bulky size. This siege weapon was used throughout the known world until gunpowder in siege warfare led to its uselessness and subsequent retirement from the battlefield. Go Here for more information.