Trebuchet

Tools theme

For accurately flinging projectiles up to 140kg at ranges up to 400m. Stones were common, But burning masses & diseased bodies were also used.

2
games
2
platforms

The first video game about Trebuchet was released in 1981.

The traction trebuchet was the initial form of this weapon. It was really a large type of mechanical sling, and also called a staff sling. Typically 15 to 45 soldiers would pull on a rope using mechanical advantage to swing the arm and transfer speed to the projectile. This form of the weapon was commonly used foe defense and as early as the 5th century BC. A small variant of this called a hand-trebuchet or staff sling could be transported and operated by a single individual. These were superseded by the counterweight trebuchet.

The counterweight trebuchet is an extremely accurate siege weapon with a range of up to 400m (but most were 100m-300m). A competent crew can reliably place regular ammunition within an inch of their target. A floating arm trebuchet increases accuracy and can be built smaller while achieving the same range. These were primarily considered weapons for attacking with less use defensively. The trebuchet was used to breach keep walls but was not optimal for this purpose. The less acculturate onager, ballista, and especially the mangonel were a better choice against walls. The trebuchet was better at fling objects over walls. While single heavy masses were common, it could also deliver spear or dart type missiles.

Cannons were first used in the 12th century. Wide spread use of the trebuchet ceased in 1480 as the cannon had replaced it. It still found occasional use as late as 1779. These post-cannon uses of the trebuchet were usually improvised by inexperienced crews and thus had limited effectiveness. The trebuchet continues to have the advantages of being able to use a large variety of ammunition and forgo the manufacturing and transport of gunpowder. Irregular ammunition is a problem for accuracy. A competent crew can compensate for weight fairly well but differing wind resistance sacrifices the trebuchet's notable inch-for-inch accuracy. In the end, the skill required to use a trebuchet gave the overall advantage to the cannon.

Parent group

Siege weapons

Platforms

Odyssey2 1
Linux 1

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