Who invented the crossbow.
While it is debated as to who first invented the crossbow, evidence does favor with recent archaelogical discoveries that it was most likely the chinese.
First to add more powerful limbs or prod.
The Crusaders used the crossbow against the Arab and Turkoman horsemen with remarkable success. The adapted crossbow was used by the Islamic armies in defense of their castles. Later footstrapped versions became very popular among the Muslim armies in Spain.
During the Crusades, Europeans were exposed to Saracen composite bows, made from layers of different material—often wood, horn and sinew—glued together and bound with animal tendon. These composite bows were much more powerful than wooden bows, and were adopted then for crossbow prods across Europe.
Who brought the crossbow to America.
In Western Africa crossbows served as a scout weapon and for hunting, with enslaved Africans bringing the technology to America.
In the American south, the crossbow was used for hunting when firearms or gunpowder were unavailable because of economic hardships or isolation.
Light hunting crossbows were traditionally used by the Inuit Indians in Northern America.
Crossbow usage today.
In some countries crossbows are still used for hunting, such as in the ever growing list of states within the United States of America, parts of Asia, Australia and Africa.
The crossbow is still used in modern times by various militaries, tribal forces, and in China even by the police forces.
While their worldwide distribution isn't restricted by regulations on arms, they serve as silent killers and for their psychological effect.
Crossbows are used for ambush and anti-sniper operations or in conjunction with ropes to establish zip-lines in difficult terrain.
Crossbows are competing with suppressed handguns as silent killers, leading various militaries to choose one or the other.
Latest notable use of crossbows in military actions.
In Europe, British based Barnett International supplied crossbows to Serbian forces which were later used in ambush and anti-sniper operations against the Kosovo Liberation Army during the Kosovo War. (This war ended in 1999)