First use of a crossbow
Battle of Ma-ling
China (Ma-Ling)

The earliest reliable record of the use of a crossbow was in 341 BC at the Battle of Ma-Ling, Linyi, China. Historians believe these weapons were single-shot, with no springs, which are held with a pistol-style grip. The crossbows were probably used before this date, but no reliable information proves this. The earliest (non-recorded) was probably by the Stoneage people in Africa and south east Asia. They have remained as a popular military weapon, although largely replaced by firearms in later centuries. Crossbows were introduced to England by the Normans in 1066.