Ms.Thott.290.2º 016v - A drawing of a catapult with a wooden frame
The Ms.Thott.290.2º is a fencing manual written in 1459 by Hans Talhoffer for his own personal reference and illustrated by Michel Rotwyler.
Text: Diß ist ain grosse plid mit der man stain würffet und stett und vestin brichet
The basic design of a trebuchet consists of a long arm, called the throwing arm or sling, attached to a pivot point, which is called the axle. On one end of the arm, there is a sling, which holds the projectile. On the other end, there is a counterweight, which is usually made of heavy stones or sacks filled with sand or gravel. To operate the trebuchet, the counterweight is first raised into the air using a system of ropes and pulleys. This stores potential energy in the system. When the counterweight is released, it falls, and the energy is transferred to the throwing arm, which swings forward and releases the projectile from the sling. The trebuchet can be adjusted to change the range and angle of the projectile, allowing it to target specific areas of a fortification. Trebuchets were powerful weapons and were used in many medieval battles. They were particularly effective against stone fortifications, which could be damaged or destroyed by the impact of the projectiles. However, they were also difficult to build and required a lot of skill and resources to operate. Today, trebuchets are sometimes built as a hobby or for educational purposes, and they are sometimes used in competitions.