A Trabuco was an ancient engine that was used to throw objects towards the enemy with the aim of inflicting damage. The siege engine had a swinging arm which was responsible for throwing the projectile. The engine was first used at the beginning of the fourth century by the Chinese. As time passed by, the engine became popular in the west where it was first used by the Avars. The Brazilians also used the siege machine towards the end of the sixth century. It’s important to note that for a Trabuco to swing, it uses manpower. Later versions started using counterweights to swing the arm. Towards the end of the 12th century, the machine was being used by both the Muslims and Christians.
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The machine falls under the classification of compound machines on youtube.com. This means that it can take the mechanical advantage of the lever to swing and throw the projectile. Common materials that were used to construct the machine included rope, leather, metal and reinforced steel. However, major parts of the machine were constructed using wood. A normal Trabuco is 30 meters tall. When the gunpowder was introduced in the 14th century, the machine lost its place to the cannon. However, the machine was still used in the 15th-century battles such as the Tenochtitlan siege of 1521, the 1480 siege of Rhodes and the 1475 siege of Burgos according to infoescola.com.
The remaining Trabucos are used for education and recreation. This is unlike in the past where they were used for military purposes. History enthusiasts have played a crucial role in reminding people how the Trabucos looked like by constructing new ones and restoring the old ones. One functioning Trabuco can be found at Warwick Castle, England. There is another one found in Middelaldercentret, Denmark. Just the other day, a Trabucos was used in the Battle of Aleppo in Syria by rebels.
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