Is this statement true?In the 5th century BC, a variant of the crossbow was independently invented in the Greek city-states. The shooter held this device, known in Greek as gastraphetes ("belly-bow"), against one's stomach and then retracted the drawstring with both hands. The user of a gastraphetes shot the weapon by releasing a lever, which set in motion a trigger mechanism. Because it took a long time to load and shoot, the gastraphetes was not an especially effective weapon, except during long sieges.
I think this is not true. In 5 century BC, both China and Persains have maturely developed "hyperbolic compound bow" (双曲复合弓). But the two kinds of bows are different. Chinese one is more flexible, that is, one can reach a long range with a smaller bow. A very strong evidence is in ancient Chinese books, like <考工记> (may be can be translated as "technology catalog"), all the materials to produce Chinese bows were recorded, and they just don't exist in central asia or europe. Crossbows are developed based on bows.On this tread, I mean to focus on ancient military history.
There were, for instance, Greek mercenaries in
The Chinese had crossbows for very long time, and so did the Greeks. Where they first developed independently from each other? Why the Greeks didn't use them as much as the Chinese had?
Is this statement true?
Crossbow is not the machine gun, it's a long range/sniper rifle. The fire speed of crossbow is far below a compound bow, just the crossbow can shoot can arrow with high energy anytime you want. But after the shooting, the reloading take much time. For a heavy crossbow, one has to lay down and use the strength of his legs to reload.I think it's the other way around. Western military had too small scale compared with the size of Chinese terrain, see the Alexander the Great in China thread.
Chinese influence to the west:
1. compound bow, its strength is equal to the British long bow, but much smaller to carry and fight on a horse, both Chinese and nomades contributed to its development
2. cross bow, Chinese original. With that Qin united the whole China and the following dynasty defeated Huns again and again. It's the machine gun before the real machine gun invented.
3. horse stirrup, Chinese original. This changes the whole concept of calvary warfare, since you have something to support your feet when on the horse back fighting. And Mogoles benefited greatest from this invention.
4. gun powder, needless to say about it.
The 3 and 4 made Mongol waring-machine more deadly than Huns.