An extract on #aynasz
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The Saracens called the crossbow qaws Ferengi, or "Frankish bow", as the Crusaders used the crossbow against the Arab and Turkic horsemen with remarkable success. The adapted crossbow was used by the Islamic armies in defence of their castles. Later, footstrapped versions became very popular among the Muslim armies in Iberia. During the Crusades, Europeans were exposed to Saracen composite bows, made from layers of different materialoften wood, horn and sinewglued together and bound with animal tendon. These composite bows could be much more powerful than wooden bows, and were adopted for crossbow prods across Europe. Crossbow prods could be more easily waterproofed than hand bows, which was essential in the humid European climate.
In Western Africa and Central Africa, crossbows served as a scouting weapon and for hunting, with enslaved Africans bringing this technology to natives in America. In the American South, the crossbow was used for hunting and warfare when firearms or gunpowder were unavailable because of economic hardships or isolation. In the North of Northern America, light hunting crossbows were traditionally used by the Inuit. These are technologically similar to the African derived crossbows, but have a different route of influence.
The native Montagnards of Vietnam's Central Highlands were also known to have used crossbows, as both a tool for hunting, and later, an effective weapon against the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Montagnard fighters armed with crossbows proved a highly valuable asset to the US Special Forces operating in Vietnam, and it was not uncommon for the Green Berets to integrate Montagnard crossbowmen into their strike teams.
The French, and the British used a Sauterelle (French for grasshopper) in World War I. It was lighter and more portable than the Leach Trench Catapult, but less powerful. It weighed 24 kg (53 lb) and could throw an F1 grenade or Mills bomb 110140 m (120150 yd). The Sauterelle replaced the Leach Catapult in British service and was in turn replaced in 1916 by the 2 inch Medium Trench Mortar and Stokes mortar.