Talk:Fortification

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German Wikipedia[edit]

Any German speakers looking to work on our fortification articles might like to look at some of the pretty good German Wikipedia articles on fortification linked from de:Fachbegriffe Festungsbau and category de:Kategorie:Befestigungsanlage. Securiger 13:45, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

October 2005[edit]

The following lines are confusing and since I'm not clear what they are trying to say I can't edit them. I'm flagging this as needing cleanup in the hopes that someone more knowledgable can take a look at it.

"Star forts of the cannon era did not fare well against the effects of high explosive, and the intricate arrangements of bastions, flanking batteries and the carefully constructed lines of fire for the defending cannon could be rapidly disrupted by explosive shells."

- Why were they disrupted any more easily by explosive shells than non-explosive shells?

  • Prior to the development of high explosives, the majority of damage was done by the momentum of solid cannon balls. The point of the star forts "bastion trace" layout was to prevent the enemy firing directly at the walls, by sinking them into ditches fronted by earth banks, which were swept by defensive cannon fire. Shooting up into the air and having the shot simply fall onto the fortifications was a lot less damaging, especially as the upper surface of the fortification was simply large piles of relativly loose earth specifically to absorb the energy of falling cannon balls. With the development of high explosives, the falling shells embed themselves into this earth and explode, delivering much much more damaging amounts of energy against the fortification.--Shoka 22:06, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


"Worse the large open ditches surrounding forts of this type were an integral part of the defensive scheme, as was the covered way at the edge of the counter scarp. The ditch was extremily vulnerable to bombardment with explosive shells."

- Did troops hide in the ditch? If the ditch is just an empty ditch why do the defenders care if it's being bombarded?

  • The ditch was very much a part of the defensive operations of the fort. Around the edge of the outer face of the ditch was a defensive walkway known as the "covered way", or "covert way". The attackers objective was to get their guns into a position where they could batter at the forts walls, mostely forming the inner face of the ditch, to break it down and leave it vulnerable to infantry assault. The prime means of achieving this in the face of the defending guns of the fort, was to cut trenches and mines in the glasis, the earth ramp that slopes away from the covered way. The objective of the troops manning the covered way was to create counter trenches and counter mines, to keep control of the glasis. Without the active defence of the covered way, the attackers would trench their way across the glasis, mount guns bearing directly on the walls and swiftly reduce the walls. While cannon balls falling into one's defensive trench are inconvenient, high explosive shells falling in the same way make the ditch and covered way a deathtrap.--Shoka 22:06, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

"Wide enough to be an impassable barrier for attacking troops, but narrow enough to be a difficult target for enemy shellfire, the ditch was swept by fire from defensive blockhouses set in the ditch, and firing positions cut into the outer face of the ditch itself."

- how do you cut firing positions into the outer face of a ditch? The outer face points one of two directions, back into the ditch, or out into solid ground. Neither of which is a logical place to put firing positions.

  • The fort is polygonal, with narrow ditches running in straight lines. The main part of the fort is underground. Tunnels are cut under the ditch, and firing points dug into the outer corners of the ditch, with firing loopholes looking down the length of the ditch. Yes the counterscarp batteries are outside the ditch, at the corners so that they can fire along the lenght of the ditch. The point of the firing positions is to make the ditch an impassible killing ground, to prevent mass infantry assault overwhelming the fort. See Fort Delimara for a picture looking down the ditch towards a counterscarp battery.--Shoka 22:06, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

"The entrypoint became a sunken gatehouse in the inner face of the ditch, reached by a curving ramp that gave access to the gate via a rolling bridge that could be withdrawn into the gatehouse."

  • The rolling bridge was standard equipment on British forts. Seen a reference to the patent somewhere. Seem to have been mostely replaced by solid bridges when vehicular traffic into the forts became common. See St Lucian Tower for a nice example of the style of gatehouse. See also the external webpages referenced on Fort Rinella for further confirmation. I have some nice views of the gatehouses and ditchs of Fort Madelana and Fort Tas-Silg on Malta, am preparing articles on them at present.


- can anyone give a source for this? I've never heard of it and although I don't doubt that it was used in some places, I doubt it was widespread enough for such a blanket statement. Jerdwyer

I've linked to the more extensive article on polygonal forts (with pictures), which may help reduce some confusion.--Shoka 22:49, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Article Improvement Drive[edit]

Architecture of Africa is currently nominated on Wikipedia:Article Improvement Drive. Come to this page and support it with your vote. Help us improve this article to featured status.--Fenice 08:46, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I hope that you like link about Petrovaradin fortress one of the greates and most preserved XVIII cenrury in Europe.

Excessive boldness[edit]

The excessive use of bold text in the opening is a bit distracting, and I personally think it detracts from the article. Anyone mind if I remove these and replace them with links where necessary? Montag 04:00, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

No objection, feel free--Shoka 22:06, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

What does a modern fort look like? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.13.76.176 (talk) 23:53, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

separate sections[edit]

How about separate sections for permanent fortifications and field fortifications, and examples of the later with some explanation of their use throught he ages, construction, and tactical context?--Mrg3105 (talk) 07:26, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

History[edit]

The history section currently begins in the 14th century. Anyone able to add anything from older times?--Kotniski (talk) 11:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

field fortifications:[edit]

George Ripley writing just before the American Civil War had several interesting points to make about field fortifications.

III. FIELD FORTIFICATION. The construction of field works is as old as the existence of armies. The ancients were even far more expert in this art than our modern armies; the Roman legions, before an enemy, intrenched their camp every night. During the 17th and 18th centuries we see also a very great use of field works, and in the wars of Frederic the Great pickets on outpost duty generally threw up slightly profiled redans. Yet even then, and it is still more the case now, the construction of field works was confined to the strengthening of a few positions selected beforehand with a view to certain eventualities during a campaign. Thus Frederic the Great's camp at Bunzelwitz, Wellington's lines at Torres Vedras, the French lines of Weissenburg, and the Austrian intrenchments in front of Verona in 1848.

Under such circumstances, field works may exercise an important influence upon the issue of a campaign by enabling an inferior army successfully to resist a superior one. Formerly the intrenched lines, as in Vauban's permanently intrenched camps, were continuous; but from the defect that if pierced and taken at one point the whole line was useless, they are now universally composed of one or more lines of detached redoubts, flanking each other by their fire, and allowing the army to fall upon the enemy through the intervals as soon as the fire of the redoubts has broken the energy of his assault. This is the principal use of field works; but they are also employed singly, as bridge heads to defend the access a bridge, or to close an important pass to small parties of the enemy. Omitting all the more fanciful shapes of works which are now out of date, such fortifications should consist of works either open or closed at the gorge. The former will either be redans (two parapets with a ditch in front forming an angle facing the enemy) or lunettes (redans with short flanks). The latter may be closed at the gorge by palisadings. The principal closed field work now in use is the square redoubt, either as a regular or an irregular quadrangle, closed by a ditch and parapet all round. The parapet is made as high as in permanent fortification (7 to 8 feet), but not so thick, having to resist field artillery only. As none of these works has a flanking fire in itself they have to be disposed so that they flank esch other within musket range. To do this effectively, and strengthen the whole line, the plan now most generally adopted is to form an intrenched camp by a line of square redoubts flanking each other, and also a line of simple redans, situated in front of the intervals of the redoubts. Such a camp was formed in front of Comorn, south of the Danube, in 1849, and was defended by the Hungarians for 2 days against a far superior army.

Source: George Ripley, Charles Anderson Dana, The New American Cyclopaedia: A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge,D. Appleton and Company, 1859, p. 622

I think his comment "The parapet is made as high as in permanent fortification (7 to 8 feet), but not so thick, having to resist field artillery only" is as pertinent now as it was in 1848, so I think that this article needs to be restructured into sections covering "permanent fortification" and "field fortification" and possible a section on "semipermanent fortification" as with the lines of Weissenburg and the Siegfried Line.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Philip Baird Shearer (talkcontribs) 9 September 2008

machine gun nest[edit]

Are machine gun nests considered fortifications?--Commander v99 (talk) 20:41, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Children's Forts.[edit]

Children's Forts.

I found the section that discussed building forts, particularly materials used. At an appropriate point, I inserted something along the lines of "Many children enjoy building forts out of pillows or boxes." However, someone reverted the change. (User Hello71 if I'm reading the change log correctly.)

If this is not the correct place for this, then where is?

Children building forts using pillows, blankets, boxes, drying racks and so on is a part of this world and deserves it's place on Wikipedia just like anything else.

Please discuss, elaborate, whatever. Where do children's forts go if not in the forts article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.218.64.86 (talk) 04:07, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

You seem to have entirely missed the point of the article, which is about the military science and engineering and history of defensive fortifications. That does not include "children's forts", as you call them. Piles of pillows, blankets or cardboard have never been used to defend any location against military siege craft. 12.233.146.130 (talk) 02:37, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Jangtae[edit]

[1]. Apparently during the Donghak Peasant Revolution, Korean traditional chicken coops were used as a moveable bullet-proof fortification tool. Komitsuki (talk) 15:05, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Goguryeo and Sassanid[edit]

Goguryeo-Persian Fortifications Similar <Presentation from the Ancient History Association>. There is a debated theory about Goguryeo fortifications (mostly in NE China) resembling Sassanid fortifications because of the co-incidentally similar construction methods. I also have some Korean blood in my background but I think we are very similar to Iranian nomads in the past. Komitsuki (talk) 16:40, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Alexsander the great of europe, records within india taken by his people[edit]

Seems he detailed the indian Fort of Kangra, not sure if that could maybe be placed into the Indian section as it is the oldest of its kind miltray wise within india. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangra_Fort92.236.96.38 (talk) 16:43, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Caplock