I talked about Richard the Lionheart’s recapture of Acre in the Third Crusade and the terrible massacre of captives that resulted. At that siege, we know from various histories that the Templars arrived with a massive catapult that hurled huge boulders at the walls.
The scale of this weapon clearly impressed chroniclers at the time and the devastation that it inflicted on the walls of the city.
This was most likely a large ‘trebuchet’ that would eventually be superseded by the use of gunpowder to attack fortifications. Though it’s often claimed that the Chinese had been using a weapon like this, operated with a counterweight, for over a thousand years before the Third Crusade – the Templars most likely picked up the technology from the Byzantine Empire.