Back in Time
Modern Day Artillery vs. the Trebuchet
Since the first projectile was launched at an enemy during warfare, artillery has proven a critical component to battlefield success. With many advanced weapons such as cannons, anti-aircraft defense systems, mortars, and rocket launchers, some might find it hard to believe that Trebuchets were once the most dominant weapon in warfare. You could break down an enemy’s defense, set fire to buildings, and even infect an entire city with disease.
History of the Trebuchet
In ancient times the trebuchet which was like a catapult, was a very efficient weapon of war. It worked on a system of weights and counterbalance weights. It was first invented as a traction trebuchet in China about 300 B.C. The traction trebuchet used a large group of men to pull down on ropes to propel the objects to be thrown. When the traction trebuchet came to Europe about 500 A.D they exchanged the large group of men that pulled the ropes with a large pivoting counterbalance weight. The trebuchet was a very important medieval attack weapon. It is thought to have been perfected in France. It is known that the French used this weapon extensively when trying to capture a castle.
The trebuchet was a very effective siege machine because it could fling large stones at the thick castle walls and do a lot of damage to them. The trebuchet was capable of launching stones, sharp wooden poles, darts, fire, burning tar, dung, and disease ridden bodies. A single shot could wipe out an entire city, either by fire or disease.