Traction Trebuchet

Traction Trebuchet

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The medieval traction trebuchets were rotating-beam siege engines in which the motive force was a team of men pulling on ropes to hurl stone projectiles from a sling. Though the traction trebuchet, also known as a perrier, lacked the range and projectile capacity of the larger, wall-breaching counterweight trebuchet, it was light in weight, easily transportable, quick to reload and fire. This made them very effective light artillery weapons to use in defence and attack and against unfortified defences. They were in use in China in the fourth century BC and by the sixth century AD in the armies of Byzantium and the Arab world. Many variations in the size and design of these engines were produced. Of these, the hybrid trebuchet had the addition of a small counterweight to the short end of the trebuchet beam which improved the range and firepower.

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Keywords: arab weaponry, artillery, byzantium, china, counterweight, medieval, military history, projectiles, rotating-beam, siege, siege engine, traction trebuchet, trebuchet, warfare, weapons

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