Weapons of Mass Destruction were not always nuclear. There was a time when they were more rudimentary. Simple in design but devastating in application. Such was the Trabuco, the counterweight siege weapon that changed the way we war. Developed in China around 400 BC, the Trabuco used a sling attached to a long pole to hurl massive objects long distances.
At the height of its power, around 1200 AD, the counterweight Trabuco could fling objects weighing 2000 lbs. 800 meters according to sinonimos.com.br . The damage from a falling object of that size wreaked havoc on fortified positions and the people holding them. The Chinese even innovated trabuco by loading dead corpses in the sling, flinging them at the enemy, and hoping such corpses would spread disease. Rudimentary at best, but effective as an ancient biological weapon. The Trabuco would hold court for centuries, until firearms loaded with gunpowder knocked it off its pedestal. Today it is still an example of ingenuity, innovation, and inhumanity.
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The Tensile Trabuco was the first version of the crude counterweight weapon. Operators had to pull string, right at the same time, with the same amount of heft, to fire the weapon. The string would cause the pole to swing down, launching the sling on the other end. The object would then be hurled towards whatever it was aiming at. Trabuco weapon was very accurate, something catapults lacked, and it could effectively bring down an entire wall. Defensible walls at that time were tall, broad, stretched across the perimeter, and made of stone. Catapults could do damage, but had trouble breeching them, so the Trabuco contained startling power. Years later armies would broaden the weapons use and aim it at other things rather than walls. It would reach the Middle East via trade, and the Arabs would add their own innovations to its design according to pt.wiktionary.org. As the Crusades went into full effect England and the rest of Europe would gain exposure to the weapon. Its usefulness would spurn them to develop their own versions. They would also add improvements. A counterweight, called a blunderbuss, would be attached to the machine, allowing it to hurl heavier objects.
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