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Jagging across north-western Europe like an ugly scar, the Hindenburg Line was Germany's most formidable line of defence in World War I. Its fearsome reputation was matched only by its cunning design, with deep zigzagging trenches, concrete fieldworks, barbed wire and devilish booby traps forming an intimidating barrier for any attacking army. Through meticulous research, this volume explores each of the major portions of the Hindenburg Line, paying particular attention to three examples of Allied operations against it towards the end of the war: the critical flanking of the Drocourt-Qeant Switch; the daring but costly rupture of the line of the St Quentin Canal; and the bloody battles of the Meuse-Argonne. Specially commissioned artwork and historical photographs perfectly complement the analysis provided by the authors as they trace the life of the Hindenburg Line from its seemingly invulnerable early years through to the audacious tactics used by the Allies to achieve a bitter victory in 1918.
This book completes the story of one of the most formidable defensive lines in Europe in World War II, looking at the lesser known Mediterranean extension and describing how it was conceived of, built and used. After the alarming collapse of Italy in 1943, the Germans launched a crash building program and the 'Sudwall' (South Wall) sprang up quickly along the French Mediterranean coast and the neighbouring Italian coast around Genoa. The new defenses were bolstered by existing French fortifications of key port towns such as Marseilles and Toulon - many of them bristling with heavy artillery. Whilst describing the wall's physical design features, this book also recounts the defenses' role in the Allied invasion of Southern France; Operation Dragoon - 'The Second D-Day'. As the Germans' worst fears became a reality, the southern Atlantic Wall would face its ultimate test.
The spread of Buddism and Tibetan secular power throughout the Himalayas led to a distinctive style of fortifications not found anywhere else. This book looks at Himalayan fortifications, from their creation in the Middle Ages to their destruction and capture by the Chinese in the 20th century.
This book takes a detailed look at the fortifications of various types that were built from the times of the earliest British settlements in North America in the late 16th century until the end of the Seven Years' War, when France ceded New France to Britain. It begins with a study of the forts built by colonists on Roanoke Island between 1585 and 1590, and the famous settlements in Jamestown (Virginia) from 1607. It moves on to cover the British settlements that followed in New England, Nova Scotia and other points on the North American coast, as well as the Dutch fortified settlements in what are now the states of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, and the Swedish forts in Delaware between 1638 and 1655.
New France consisted of the area colonized and ruled by France in North America from the 16th to the 18th century. At its peak in the early 18th century its territory was huge, stretching from Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico. This title reviews the lengthy chain of forts built to guard the French frontier in the American northeast from the province of Quebec through New York State to Pennsylvania and Indiana. Among the sites examined are forts Chambly, St. Frederic (Crown Point), Carillon (Ticonderoga), Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA), Ouiatenon (Quebec) and Vincennes (IN). These forts, some of them well-preserved and popular tourist destinations, ranged from large and elaborate, stone-built structures with classic, Vauban-style elements, to little more than cabins surrounded by stockades. Some, such as Chambly, looked more like medieval castles in their earliest forms. Formerly Senior Curator with National Historic Sites of Canada, historian Rene Chartrand examines the different fort-types and the French military technology that went into their construction, and describes the strategic vision that led to their construction, their part in the conflicts with the British colonies in the east and the Indian nations of the interior, and their effect on trade.
Renowned expert Stephen Turnbull examines the castles built in Japan, from the first primitive fortifications in the Yayoi Period (300 BC-AD 250) through to the first proper castles which began to be developed with the rise to power of the Yamato Court, the first emperors of Japan in around AD 250. Examining the close ties that early Japanese dynasties had to both China and Korea, Turnbull assesses how Japanese defensive architecture betrays these influences. Also examined is the effect that the terrain in Japan had on fortifications - from the early reliance on earthworks and palisades and the development of wooden and earth castles, often sited on the top of the mountains, into more elaborate stone constructions in the 15th century. Finally, the emergence of the stone towers that are so characteristic of samurai is investigated, as is the gradual adaptation of Japanese castles to accommodate the introduction of firearms. With previously unpublished photographs from the author's private collection and full-color artwork, including detailed cutaways, this is an essential guide to the fascinating development of Japanese castles.
In the second half of the third millennium BC the Indo-European tribe known as the Hittites migrated and settled in Central Anatolia, at that time a land of small city-states whose rulers lived in fortresses. These fortifications enabled the Hittites to transform themselves into a Bronze Age super-power defeating the Egyptians at Kadesh in c.1274 BC. Konstantin Nossov examines the fortifications constructed by the Hittites in their efforts to sustain and then halt the decline of their once flourishing empire. Providing an in-depth anatomy of the fortresses, focusing on the major sites of the principal city Hattusha as well as sites at Alacah_y_k and Karatepe, with full-color reconstructions, this is an intriguing glimpse into the history of an empire which at its height rivalled the Egyptians and Assyrians. It concludes with an examination of these sites as they survive today, information that will appeal to both enthusiasts and tourists visiting the area.
A major period of westward expansion took place in the United States during the first half of the 19th century. The task of protecting the settlers from the Native American tribes that inhabited the Great Plains fell to the US Army, and to do this they constructed a network of permanent forts and temporary camps. By 1867, there were 116 forts and camps on the frontier, and 36 of these were on the northern and central plains. This title takes a close look at how and why these particular forts were built, their design and defensive features, and details the pivotal role they played in the settlement of the American West.
The Rhine River represented the last natural defensive barrier for the Third Reich in the autumn of 1944. Although Hitler had been reluctant to allow the construction of tactical defence lines in France, the final defense of the Reich was another matter. As a result, construction of a Rhine defence line began in September 1944. Steven J. Zaloga examines the multiple phases of construction undertaken to strengthen the Westwall (Siegfried Line), to fortify many of the border villages, and finally to prepare for the demolition of the Rhine bridges. Using detailed maps, colour artwork, and expert analysis, this book takes a detailed look at Germany's last line of defence.
The ring of fortifications protecting the city of Verdun on the Meuse River would become critical in the infamous battle of World War I. This book examines these fortifications, including the famous forts of Douaumont and Vaux that saw some of the fiercest fighting during the battle.
With the violent separation between the United States and Britain which began in 1776, the new 'Americans' set off to fulfill their manifest destiny and rule their new land from coast to coast. As they pushed westward, they came into conflict with both natives and other European settlers, and began to build fortresses to defend their newly claimed land. This book charts the development and variation of the fortresses of the American Frontier, covering both American defenses and those of the Spanish in the west. It also examines the little-known forts of early Russian settlers on the Pacific coast.
When war broke out between the United States and Great Britain in 1812, neither side was prepared for the conflict, as evidenced by their respective fortifications. The most sophisticated and modern fortifications were those built by the US Corps of Engineers to protect some of the main port cities. These included Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, Fort McHenry in Baltimore and Castle William in New York. The British also heavily fortified their main harbor at Halifax and their main center of power at Quebec. However, elsewhere, especially in the interior, fortifications were old, neglected or only hastily erected. The forts at Detroit and Mackinac were much as the British had left them in 1796. This book covers all of the main fortifications of the conflict, those that faced the crashing of guns and those whose intimidation played a part in the grand strategy of the war.
Starting in 1940, Germany was subjected to a growing threat of Allied bomber attack. The RAF night bombing offensive built up in a slow but unrelenting crescendo through the Ruhr campaign in the summer of 1944 and culminating in the attacks on Berlin in the autumn and early winter of 1943-44. They were joined by US daylight raids which first began to have a serious impact on German industry in the autumn of 1943. This book focuses on the land-based infrastructure of Germany's defense against the air onslaught. Besides active defense against air attack, Germany also invested heavily in passive defense such as air raid shelters. While much of this defense was conventional such as underground shelters and the dual use of subways and other structures, Germany faced some unique dilemmas in protecting cities against night fire bomb raids. As a result, German architects designed massive above-ground defense shelters which were amongst the most massive defensive structures built in World War II.
The East Wall was where the final battles for the stricken Third Reich were fought, amid scenes of utter carnage. Beginning life at the end of World War I, the wall became a pet project of Adolf Hitler's, whose ascent to power saw building work accelerated, with plans for a grand, 'Maginot-style' defence put in place. But with a characteristically erratic change of heart, Hitler began to systematically strip the wall of its best defensive assets to bolster the Atlantic Wall, never dreaming that he would face an attack on two fronts. Despite belated and somewhat bungled reinforcements later in the War, the East Wall would face a monstrous challenge as it became the Reich's last redoubt in the face of the mighty Soviet war machine. Neil Short brings his expert knowledge to bear with an analysis of different stages of the wall's construction, the years of neglect and decay and the hasty, drastic redevelopment in the face of the looming Soviet threat.
Though primarily fought in the field, the American Revolution saw fortifications play an important part in some of the key campaigns of the war. Field fortifications were developed around major towns including Boston, New York and Savannah, while the frontier forts at Stanwix, Niagara and Cumberland were to all be touched by the war. This book details all the types of fortification used throughout the conflict, the engineers on all sides who constructed and maintained them, and the actions fought around and over them.
Due to its location in the western North Atlantic some 600 miles off the Carolinas and halfway between Halifax in Canada and Jamaica in the West Indies, the island of Bermuda was a key naval haven for the Royal Navy over the centuries. It was vital for the Navy first in the development of its American colonies, then during its rivalry with the United States, and finally as allies with the United States. The need to defend its 64 miles of coastline and ports has resulted in the construction of about 50 forts from 1617 to 1945 even though its total land mass is only 20.6 square miles. This led to an incredible concentration of fortifications with 2.5 forts for every square mile. Today, the legacy of these defence efforts remain either as disused structures or parks scattered throughout Bermuda, many of them now popular tourist attractions. Using stunning commissioned artwork and meticulous research, this is the fascinating story of Britain's Gibraltar of the West .
The West Wall (or the Siegfried Line as the Allies called it), played a crucial role in the bitter fighting of 1944 and 1945 in North-West Europe. Constructed in the period immediately after the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936 the Wall stretched for 300 miles from Cleve in the north to the Swiss Border and consisted of some 14,000 pillboxes. The Wall initially blunted the US attack, and Hitler used it as a foundation to launch the Ardennes Offensive. This title takes a detailed look at the development and form of this key fortification, examining the principles of its defence in visual depth, and discussing its fate in the wake of the Allied onslaught.
The Island of Malta occupies a pivotal position in the Mediterranean, forming an outpost between North Africa and the soft underbelly of Europe. It has seen numerous sieges throughout the years. Following the successful defence of the Great Siege of 1565, new walls and fortifications were raised on the island. These came to naught when Napoleon occupied Malta in 1798. Retaken by the British in 1800 its defences were modernized throughout the 19th century. The final test for the island fortress was to come during World War II. This book examines all these different styles of fortification from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
In all the stories told by mankind and recorded through its history, the tale of the siege of Troy is perhaps the greatest secular story ever told. It has certainly captured the western imagination for some 3000 years. Archaeological work has revealed that the site around Hisarlik, where Troy is believed to have been, is considerably larger and more interesting than was previously thought, making it more likely that the Trojan Wars were on the scale implied by Homer. This book reveals the literary, historical and archaeological records which make up the background to the tale of Troy and describes in detail the fortifications of Troy VI (i.e. Homer's Troy) and their correlation to other Bronze Age defence works in the Near East. This book also introduces the reader to the literary, historical and archaeological records which make up the background to the tale of Troy.
Following their settlement in the north of France, the Normans sought to consolidate their territorial gains in what was to become known as Normandy. They did this by building a series of castles and fortifications. Duke William's desire to hold down his lords, and his efforts to crush opposition to his minority also led to a number of famous sieges at castles such as Brionne, Arques and Alencon. This book discusses the Norman castles in Normandy, as well as in the Mediterranean, where at Melfi and Ademo in Italy and Sicily, Sahyun and Bagras in the Principality of Antioch they also left their mark.
The original forced conversion of pagan Livonia, what is now the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, was carried about by a military order known as the Brethren of the Sword. In 1236 this order was incorporated into the Teutonic Knights following a catastrophic military defeat. The knights had always consolidated their conquests through networks of castles and fortified places, and the Livonian Chapter of the Teutonic Order built castles of stone. This title covers the developmental and operational history of these fortresses over the length of the Middle Ages. It details how the Baltic fortifications of the Teutonic Knights evolved to reflect the changing nature of siege warfare and the increasing dominance of gunpowder in warfare.
In the summer of 1940, the question Britain asked itself was not 'will Hitler invade?' but 'when?' Sealion, the German invasion plan, provoked the construction of pillboxes, anti-tank stop-lines and islands, coastal defences, heavy-gun emplacements and anti-aircraft batteries, as well as the formation of the Home Guard and covert groups. New threats replaced Sealion: radar detection systems were expanded during the Blitz years, as were intelligence-gathering systems and listening posts. In 1944 and 1945, Britain was once again faced with a new and deadly threat, Hitler's 'Vengeance' weapons. This title provides a concise assessment of Britain's defensive systems, and presents a vivid picture of war on the home front.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the military importance of the Hawaiian Islands became clear. Oahu in particular was a key bastion in projecting America's military power in the Pacific. This importance would lead the island to becoming a military fortress - and also the site of one of America's greatest defensive failures, the Japanese attack of December 7, 1941. By the end of World War II, the harbor itself was the most heavily defended in the world, earning the sobriquet Fortress Oahu . This title documents the development of these complex and integrated systems, and analyses the success of the infamous Japanese attack in the light of their knowledge of the island's defenses.
This is the first title in a series that takes a detailed look at fortifications and defensive systems throughout history. The prolonged and bloody fighting for control of the Japanese occupied Pacific islands in World War II is a key point in the history of 20th century warfare. No two islands were alike in the systems and nature of the defensive emplacements - this title examines specific islands, as well as taking a close look at a generic island defense model. Also covered are island reinforcement plans as well as air and naval support, which seldom materialized. Such aspects as communication and ventilation systems, external obstacles and defenses are also dealt with.
This book provides a concise and informative treatment of the Maginot Line, from North-East France down to the Alps. The Line was named after Andre Maginot, who advocated a series of fixed defences to counter the threat of German military resurgence, and to provide time for the French Army to mobilise in the event of any invasion. Construction of the Line began in 1929, and was largely complete by the outbreak of World War II. Packed with maps, plans and elevations, contemporary images and modern photographs, plus stunning artwork, it forms a detailed and informative visual treatment of this famous fortification system.
The 100th title in The Fortress Series , this book describes and examines the Fuhrerhauptquartiere - the 14 or so headquarters built for Hitler. Revealing their locations and how they were used to direct the Nazi war apparatus, this is a fascinating insight into a range of historical sites from Berghof to the Wolf's Lair. With a map showing the locations of all of Hitler's bunkers and fortifications on the eastern and western fronts and illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned artwork, this book is an essential introduction to Hitler's command structures and recreates numerous bunkers and buildings which were destroyed by Allied bombing raids or by fleeing German troops.
The Teutonic Knights were the most warlike of the religious orders, and this is reflected in the architecture they left behind. The Teutonic memorials are the magnificent castles they built as a result of their conquest of Prussia. They were all built of brick, and raised during a period of less than a century and a half between 1230 and 1380. Many of these dramatic fortresses still exist today in what is now Poland, and provide a unique example of an architectural style that is both well defined and very closely reflects the nature of the men who created it. This book details the history of these spectacular fortresses from their inception through to their eventual decline and fall.
The major fortresses of the Iberian peninsular controlled the most important routes in and out of the country. Although all these fortifications had existed prior to the French invasion, they were considerably renovated and updated according to the principles of French military engineering laid down by the great engineer Vauban. This renovation included the adding of ravelins, bastions, curtains, counterscarps and all the other defensive features of the period. This title examines these fortifications, their design, development and strategic importance. It also deals with the various attempts, both successful and otherwise, that were made to besiege and storm them, some of the bloodiest and most savage encounters of the Peninsular War.
The Normans were some of the most feared warriors of the High Medieval period, descended from the Vikings who had settled in Northern France under their leader Rollo in or around 911: throughout the following centuries they built on their warlike reputation. This culminated in their conquest of England under Duke William I. This conquest was by no means assured even after the climactic victory of the battle of Hastings. In order to consolidate his position, William built a series of fortifications around the country. This book covers all these developments from the early days of William I through to the fortifications of Henry II, Richard I and John.
The defence of the 9th-century kingdom of Wessex under King Alfred the Great against the 'Great Viking Army' is one of the major military achievements of early medieval history. While the guerrilla warfare in the Somerset marshes and the battle of Edington are characteristic of Alfred's military abilities, his definitive physical achievement was a series of some 30 well-structured fortifications across the kingdom. They continued to form a basis of West Saxon rule during the period of the emergence of an English kingdom in the 10th century under Alfred's son, King Edward 'the Elder'. This title traces the development, construction and impact of these fortifications from the 9th to the 11th centuries AD.
Hadrian's Wall is the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. It is the best known frontier in the entire Roman Empire and stands as a reminder of past glories of one of the world's greatest civilizations. Its origins lie in a visit by the Emperor Hadrian to Britain in AD 122 when he ordered the wall to be built to mark the northern boundary of his Empire and to separate the Romans from the Barbarians . This work details the design development and construction of the wall and covers the everyday lives of those who manned it as well as the assaults it withstood.
Of all the castles constructed by Western Europeans during the Middle Ages, none have caught the public imagination so much as Crusader castles. These structures, ranging from the very simple to the huge and elaborate, also encompass almost all aspects of Western European military architecture during the golden age of castle building from the 12th to the 13th centuries. This first volume in a series of three will focus on 12th century castles in the regions now known as Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and south-eastern Turkey. Later volumes will focus on 13th century castles in Greece, Cyprus and the Aegean.
From 1600 BC urban civilisation in Greece began to thrive and the power of a number of warlord states began to be felt around the Aegean. This period of Greek development and prosperity is called the Late Helladic or Mycenaean period, a time when Greek society was constantly geared for battle and invasion, and cities were fortress-like with extremely thick perimeter walls. Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, Krisa, the Athenian Acropolis and Gla are all representative of the fortified citadels that dominated the Greek countryside for over 2000 years. This title charts the histories of the fortresses inhabited by Homer's heroes, detailing their development, use in war and eventual decline.
The German Army of World War II was a highly mobile force. The experience of trench warfare in World War I had done much to shape Germany's blitzkrieg doctrine and concepts of field fortification, and the mobile warfare ethos of World War 2 was designed to avoid the previous war's stalemate. This title addresses field fortifications built from local materials by infantrymen, and includes rifle platoon positions, trenches, crew-served weapon positions, bunkers, dugouts, shelters, observation posts and more. It also covers anti-tank and anti-personnel obstacles incorporated into these field defences; field camouflage methods, and the construction tools available to infantrymen. The integration of field defences into permanent complexes and systems is also discussed.
Following the early battles of 1914 along the Marne and in the Ypres salient. World War I rapidly transformed from a war of movement into one of attrition, with the opposing sides entrenching themselves in a line of fortified positions from the Flanders coastline to the Swiss border. This title details the different styles of fortification used on the Western Front throughout the course of the war, from the early ditches of 1914 to the complicated systems of 1918. It explains the development of the 'defence in depth' German system and the British reaction to it, as well as illustrating the importance of the forts around Verdun and how they were defended.
The walls of Constantinople are the greatest surviving example of European medieval military architecture in the world. They withstood numerous sieges until being finally overcome by the artillery of Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453, and exist today as a time capsule of Byzantine and Medieval history. This book examines the main defensive system protecting the landward side of the city, which consisted of three parallel walls about 5 miles long. The walls defended the city against intruders, including Attila the Hun, before finally being breached by European knights during the fourth Crusade in 1204 and, ultimately, destroyed by Turkish artillery in 1453.
Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, the Mujahideen defenders of Afghanistan developed and reinforced many natural cave systems to use as supply bases and defensive positions. The Taliban and Al Qaeda further strengthened these positions in the 1990s. Following the events of September 11, 2001, these cave systems have once more come to prominence and sites such as Tora Bora and Zhawar Kili have featured in news headlines around the world. This title provides an analysis of these caves and underground systems, and discusses the U.S.-led Coalition's tactical approach to dislodging the enemy from these fortified positions.
This title provides a detailed examination of the defenses of the three largest fortified cities in Canada - Quebec, Montreal and Louisbourg - and also covers New Orleans in America. Quebec City is the best known and most impressive of the sites covered, and was the strongest of the fortresses of New France: besieged twice by the British (1690 and 1759) and once by the French (1760), it was captured in 1759 by General James Wolfe. Montreal was also strongly fortified and its strategic location ensured its prominence in the fur trade early on. Fortress Louisbourg was built as a large fortified naval station between 1720 and 1743 and saw significant combat action.
This work takes a look at the formidable U-boat bases and bunkers built on the French coast (Brest, Lorient, St Nazaire, La Pallice, Bourdeaux), in Norway (Bergen, Trondheim), and Germany (Keil, Hamburg, Helgoland), and also focuses on the huge Valentin factory complex at Bremen, which manufactured the new type XXI electro-boats. Bunker protective systems, such as camouflage, light and heavy flak installations and nearby air cover are also covered.
In the 40 years that followed the end of World War II, the Western democratic governments and the Eastern Bloc Communist powers were locked in the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union led the way in the development of missile systems designed to play both a defensive role and a potential offensive role, which was parlayed to the public as deterrent against attack by the rival bloc. This book provides a detailed overview of the fixed-launch-site strategic missile systems of the United States, documenting the importance of technological progress during this period for posterity.
The coastal defenses in Normandy along the D-Day beaches were less thorough than other Atlantic Wall defenses, such as the Pas de Calais, where the Germans expected the main attack. However, they still proved to be formidable obstacles for the Allied invasion force. Rommel stressed the need to defeat the invasion on the beach, and therefore the Normandy beach fortifications took on a significant role in German tactical thinking. This book covers the different levels of passive and active fortifications that were designed to stop the Allied assaults on the beaches of Normandy.
The American Civil War saw a massive development in the use of land and field fortifications. This book, the second in a sequence of four, studies the many forms of land and field fortifications used during the War Between the States. It considers some of the 70 land fortifications erected to defend Washington DC during the first few months of the war. It covers lunettes, advanced redoubts, rifle pits, redan lines, bomb-proof shelters, covered ways, and powder magazines among others. The daily experiences of the soldiers in the trenches are also covered in this detailed and authoritative volume.
In 1462, the throne of the principality of Moscow passed to the Great Prince Ivan III, who created the first Russian state. For the next 200 years, Russia struggled to maintain its borders against a series of assaults. This was achieved in part through the development of a network of fortified sites called kremlins and the creation of a series of defensive lines of enormous length. This book examines how these fortifications were developed to respond to ever-changing situations under the command of such charismatic rulers as Ivan the Terrible, through to the military reforms of Peter the Great. It also explores the development of the Kremlin, one of the most famous fortification types in the world.
The Philippines were declared an American Territory on January 4, 1899, and construction of seacoast fortifications began in the mouth of Manilla Bay - Fort Mills (Corregidor), Fort Frank, Fort Hughes, and Subic Bay's Fort Wint. Tiny El Fraile Island was levelled to create a unique structure, the complex and formidable concrete battleship of Fort Drum. During World War II, the Japanese invaded, and were determined to hold out to the bitter end. This work brings back to life these key sites.
The development of the city-state in the Classical period of Greek history ensured a shift in the nature of fortifications in the region. No longer were fortresses designed to defend a ruler and his entourage, rather the whole of the citizen body had to be protected against any outside threats. The enceintes of these Greek city-states did not have to be very high or strong as city-state conflict was still decided by spear and shield, though some thought was still given to the science of fortification. This book details the construction and ongoing development of the defences that protected some of the most illustrious sites in Greece during the most famous period of her history.
During World War II, the Germans occupied the undefended Channel Islands from the end of June 1940 until the end of the war, creating a series of defensive positions that was considered the strongest stretch of the Atlantic Wall. The Channel Islands fortifications can be seen as the pinnacle of German engineering during the war. This book describes the design, construction and manning of these defensive positions, as well as the occupation of the Channel Islands by the Germans. It also explores the living conditions on the islands, the only part of Great Britain to be occupied by the Nazis, through to the liberation of the Islands by the Allies.
Dunkirk, Toulon, Perpignan, Verdun and Brest stand out among the many historically significant sites created by Sebastien LePrestre de Vauban (1633-1707). Vauban was the foremost military engineer of France during the period of its centralisation and wars of expansion in the 17th and 18th centuries. His influence persisted long after Waterloo, and his name has become synonymous with the science of the construction, defence and attack of bastioned fortresses. This book examines the many achievements of this pivotal figure in fortification history, exploring the sites and their subsequent significance.
The concept of a legionary fortress as a permanent structure dates from the reign of Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). It is only from that time that we find a standing army distributed around the empire, and their permanent fortresses developed from the temporary field fortifications of the legions on campaign. This book describes the development, design and construction of these fortresses throughout the length and breadth of the Empire. It also deals extensively with the experience of life within a typical fortress and covers the operational history of these fortifications, including the famous siege of Vetera in AD 69.
A new round of fortification building began in the United States and its overseas territories in the late-19th century, which benefited from the latest technology and the increase in America's worldwide economic stature. This book provides a concise introduction to the design, development and purpose of American coastal defenses in the 'modern period' (1885-1950), a period defined by the use of concrete, steel, and powerful breech-loading rifles. Packed with period and modern-day images of the fortifications, and written by a leading expert, it covers the emplacements, weaponry, equipment, and people that defended their country in times of great change and uncertainty.
In 1943, Hitler ordered his forces to occupy the Italian mainland to protect the Third Reich's 'soft underbelly'. Although the Allied landings in Salerno in 1943 were successful, the Germans fought a series of hard, rearguard actions as the Allies slowly pushed north up the Apennines towards the Alps. These actions were based around the construction of a series of defensive lines: the Winter Line, the Gustav Line, the Hitler Line, the Caesar Line, the Gothic Line and the Voralpenstellung. This book explores the development and form of the six defensive lines constructed by the paramilitary Organisation Todt in Italy, examining the principles of defence of these key fortifications in visual depth, and discussing their fate in the wake of the Allied onslaught.
Scottish castles and Tower Houses evolved as fortified dwellings that were erected in an environment of weak royal authority and feuding between rival clans. They demonstrated a strong and highly successful design that formed the core of many larger structures. Many of them continued to be inhabited long after the threat of unwanted visitors had diminished and remain excellently preserved for visitors and historians. This book examines these castles and Tower Houses, focusing on their distinctive style that flourished in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries.
In 1525, the Incan empire was at its zenith, and it dominated much of the Andean area extending from Ecuador to Northern Chile. The layout of the majority of Peruvian towns and settlements, including the capital Cuzco, evolved form the ubiquitous fortified family compound called the cancha. These fortifications contributed to an important feature of Incan infrastructure: an extensive system of roads that allowed the quick transfer of information, merchandise, and armed forces from one point of the empire to the other. This book explores the development and practice of Incan fortifications and examines how they came to be overrun by Pizarro's conquistadores.
During the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong (VC) main forces and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) were forced to hide weapons and supplies underground and to dig protective shelters to counter massive US firepower. Their field works defended villages, hidden base camps, and fortified complexes, and took the form of trench systems, individual fighting positions, crew-served weapon positions, bunkers, caches, and extensive tunnel complexes. Camouflage and deceptive measures, and the employment of obstacles and booby traps, went hand-in-hand with such works. This title takes a detailed look at the VC/NVA tunnel systems, field fortifications, base camps and camouflage and concealment measures employed during the Vietnam conflict.
The Spanish possessions in the West Indies and the Central American and Mexican coast - was the envy of Englishmen, Frenchmen and Dutchmen from the 16th to the 19th centuries. To counter their assaults as well as those of pirates, the Spanish built an outstanding system of fortifications - much of which still stands today. This title will cover the three main periods of development including the first castles in Americas based on medieval styles built to protect against marauding adventurers including Sir Francis Drake. Later these forts were adapted to reflect the improved power of artillery. Following the fall of Havana to the British in 1762, the defences of the Spanish Main were revealed as outmoded and a complete reconstruction of them was ordered in the final stage of development as tremendous Vauban-style fortifications were created.
The most familiar characteristics of the traditional Japanese castle are the huge sloping stone walls and the graceful yet militarily sophisticated structures built on top of them. This title covers the entire period of Japanese castle development from the first introduction of stone walls and tower keeps in the mid-16th century, through the period of the great sieges of Japanese history - Nagashino (1575), Kitanosho (1583), Odawara (1590), Fushimi (1600), Osaka (1615) and Hara (1638), the last of the battles that brought an end to a period of intense internal strife known as the Sengoku Jidai (Age of Warring Battles).
Half a millennium before the Romans first arrived in Britain an even more ferocious people, the Celts, arrived in what is now south-eastern England. The Celts remained in Britain long after the Romans departed, and although driven into the remoter corners of the island by English invaders the people who remained clung onto their Celtic heritage, and defended their remaining lands against all-comers. In order to defend their lands from other tribes or outside invaders, these people established powerful fortified sites that served as places of refuge in wartime and as administrative and trading centres in times of peace. This book examines these fascinating forts, which varied considerably from the mysterious brochs and duns found in northern Britain, to the hill-top forts ranging in size, to the promontory forts that formed powerful coastal strongholds all around the island's shores.
This era is rightly considered to be the defining age of Indian castle and fortification design. The instability and feudal division of the country throughout the greater part of the period led to the intense fortification of many of the provinces, as each small lord sought to bolster his position by constructing castles. It is also the period during which Indian castles start to show their defining features, elements of which would be modified in later years as the technology of siege warfare changed. The combined influence of the Islamic and Hindu architectural tradition lends these fortifications a unique style. This title will cover all the major sites of the period - including the fabled seven medieval cities on the site of present-day Delhi, as well as covering the prominent sieges that occurred.
The military history of Gibraltar is complex and varied, lying as it does at the gateway to the Mediterranean and the meeting points of the continents of Europe and Africa. From the Islamic invasions of Spain in the 8th Century to the base for Mediterranean Task force H in World War II, 'the Rock' has played a significant part in the military history of Europe over hundreds of years. Yet, Gibraltar is not only a prime example of a fortress, but it also contains a unique record of the evolution of fortifications and associated defences spanning over six hundred years. This book covers the fascinating history of the fortifications on Gibraltar and the development of the sites into what they are today.
The United States has been developing space for many years, and satellites provide the US Military with an unparalleled advantage over its adversaries. Constellations of both military and civilian satellites provide protection and support for military operations; deliver ballistic missile early warning; supply reliable, secure and jam-proof communications; gather audio-visual intelligence; predict weather patterns; guide navigation; and deliver guided-weapons targeting, as well as a host of other missions. This book explores the design, development and usage of US military space systems, as well as, past and future threats to the systems. The current relevance of this topic to the international community as a whole is key, as space becomes the next, if only virtual, theater of warfare.
During the 1840s, the rarely visited Great American Desert of the Southern Plains and Southwest became part of the inexorable westward expansion, as European traders and settlers headed overland from the eastern seaboard. The traditional lands of the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indians were quickly absorbed, and the rapid advance of the frontier soon brought the white man into conflict with the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache and Navajo tribes. Numerous posts and forts were built to protect trading posts and settlers, and to police the Indian reservations. This title explores the design and development of these sites, the life of the garrisons that manned them, and the clashes with Native American warriors such as Geronimo, Manuelito and Quanah Parker.
In the early 12th century AD, a large part of what we now think of as France was not under the direct control of the French King who's authority stretched little further than Paris. One region of Southern France, the Languedoc, became the centre of Catharism - heresy in the eyes of the Pope - who ordered a crusade against the region. The crusading army of French knights seized the opportunity to gain land and riches and the crusade was a viciously waged. The inhabitants of the Languedoc had always relied for their safety upon as series of strongly fortified walled cities - Albi, Carcassonne, Beziers, Toulouse - as well as a large number of fortified hill-top villages and castles, 'castra', which dotted the countryside. This book will describe the so-called 'Cathar castles', why they were positioned where they were, how they were built, how well those they withstood the realities of the Albigensian Crusade.
The 'Saxon Shore' forts are among the most impressive surviving monuments of Roman Britain, although much about them remains a mystery. In an impressive outlay of money, manpower and materials the frontier system stretched across the Wash-Solent and included the heavy fortification of the major harbours and estuaries of the east and south-east coast. This book is concerned with the fundamental questions concerning the forts. Who built the military monuments, when, and why? How did they operate, who garrisoned them, and for how long? This book explores the history of this frontier system the ruins of which define the British landscape to this day.
The most extensive and famous example of fortification in the world, the Great Wall of China stretches for more than 4,000 miles across inhospitable terrain. Charting its development from construction in the 7th century BC through to the present day, this account reveals the true history of the wall, and explores the myths that surround it. Included are details of what it was like to live within the wall, the ideas behind the defensive systems, how it was garrisoned and patrolled, and a discussion of how effective it was against attack. Through extensive examination of both ancient and modern sources, color maps, artwork and photographs, this book illustrates why the wall is one of the great wonders of the world.
Impressive in terms of scale and structure, the Fire Support Base became a dominant element in ground maneuver during the Vietnam War. Initially a mobile base, it soon evolved into a semi-permanent and more sophisticated fortress as a result of enemy counterattacks and bombardments. Thus, the first and foremost function of the Fire Support Base was defensive. Troops, artillery, surveillance radars, and command centers all had to be dug into bunkers and fire trenches by nightfall of the first day. With the benefit of the on-site howitzers, the FSB could also deliver offensive fire, eliminating enemy firing sites or supporting friendly infantry operations. In fact, the fort offered such a degree of support and protection that ground maneuver was eventually hampered by the troop's reluctance to leave the comfort and safety of the FSB. With a description of the design, development and operational history of the Fire Support Base, this book provides the key to understanding one of the main assets of US battle strategy in the Vietnam War.
Crusader castles and other fortifications in Cyprus, the south-western coast of Turkey and Greece are amongst the best examples of late medieval military architecture to be seen in Europe. These important fortifications, erected by the Hospitallers during the 15th century to face the growing Ottoman Turkish threat, vary considerably from those in the Middle East. Despite there being many visible remains of fortifications in Cyprus, Greece and the Aegean, few studies exist of these areas compared to the fortifications of the Holy Land. Providing numerous architectural plans, maps and colour illustrations, this book seeks to redress this imbalance and complement the previous bestselling treatments of Crusader fortifications in the Fortress series.
At the start of the American Civil War (1861), some of the most powerful torts in the country were located in the secessionist states, and many of these fell into Confederate hands. Although a handful of key sites remained in the Union, the remainder had to be won back through bombardment or assault. Forts such as Fort Sumter, Fort Morgan and Fort Pulaski formed the centerpiece in the struggle for control of the Confederate coastline. This book examines the stone forts that played a crucial part in the course of the Civil War, covering their design, construction, and the way they were armed and manned.
On 29 October 1891, the new forts built around the cities of Liege and Namur, known as the 'Forts of the Meuse,' were turned over to the Belgian Army. This huge project, the brainchild of General Henri Brialmont, produced 21 modern concrete and steel forts, which could defend the strategic rail, river and road arteries in the Oise and Condroz gaps. In August 1914, the German Army attempted a quick crossing of this area in order to reach France, but it took them 12 crucial days to destroy the fortresses, with the 30,000 Belgian troops putting up a valiant fight. Containing maps, diagrams and photographs taken from private collections, this book explores the design, development and influence of the 'Forts of the Meuse,' and highlights the importance of their role during the opening battle of World War I.
According to Russian legend, in the year AD 862, the Slav tribes of what is now European Russia invited a number of Scandinavian princes to rule over them. However, on the death of these princes, Prince Oleg seized Kiev and united the Northern and Southern Russian territories, building extensive fortifications to protect its borders. The rise of feudalism in the 11th century lead to the development of individual fortified sites and the extended border defenses fell into disrepair. Consequently, Mongol hordes poured over the border introducing the siege warfare techniques of the East, heavily influencing the fortification styles thereafter. Using a wealth of archeological evidence and first-hand sources, Konstantin Nossov charts the history of the medieval Russian fortress from its early beginnings until the 14th century, paying special attention to the development of one of the most iconic fortifications in the world: the Kremlin.
From June 1941, the Soviets were forced to undertake large-scale defensive operations in the face of the overwhelming German blitzkrieg assault, operations which ran counter to their preference for highly mobile, offensive warfare. Lessons were quickly learned across a wide variety of terrain and climates, including the open steppes, dense forests, wooded swamps, cities, and in snow and ice, where the availability of construction materials differed greatly. The first to cover this topic in the English language and containing detailed information about the trenches, bunkers, observation posts and weapon positions, this book examines field fortifications built from local materials by infantrymen, as well as their use of mines, field camouflage techniques, and construction tools. It provides a first fascinating insight into Russian defensive attempts against the overwhelming might of the German Army.
In 1277, Edward I gathered a huge army and marched into Wales to subdue the rebel Welsh princes. A key part of his strategy was to erect a castle wherever his army rested. This title takes a detailed look at the design, development and principles of defence of these Welsh castles, documenting daily life within their walls and the historical events that took place around them. Focusing on key sites, it highlights the varied castle designs ranging from fortifications based on French models to the defences inspired by Constantinople, and is illustrated with eight pages of full-colour illustrations and cutaway artwork.
In the last years of his reign, Henry VIII needed a radically modern system of defence to protect England and its new Church. Anticipating a foreign onslaught from Catholic Europe after his split from Rome, Henry energetically began construction of more than 20 stone forts to protect England's major ports and estuaries. Aided by excellent illustrations, Peter Harrington explores the departure from artillery-vulnerable medieval castle designs, to the low, sturdy stone fortresses inspired by European ideas. He explains the scientific care taken to select sites for these castles, and the transition from medieval to modern in this last surge of English castle construction.
The Japanese invasion and occupation of Korea, which lasted from 1592 to 1598, was the only occasion in Japanese history when samurai aggression was turned against a foreign country. During the occupation of Korea the Japanese built 25 wajo or castles. Unlike the castles built in Japan, these fortifications were never developed or modernized after the Japanese departure. The details of late 16th-century castle construction are therefore better preserved than at many other sites. Written by Stephen Turnbull, an expert in the subject, this book examines the castles built by the Japanese in Korea, as well as the use made of existing Korean fortifications, particularly city walls. This resulted in curious hybrid fortifications that dominated the landscape until the Japanese were pushed out of the peninsula by a furious onslaught from huge Chinese armies.
The Mississippi River, the second longest in the US, played a decisive role in the American Civil War. The Confederate fortifications were put to the test in the lengthy Federal campaign of 1862-63, aimed at cutting off the Rebel states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas and creating a blockade of this trade route. Vicksburg was a fortress city, known as the Gibraltar of the Confederacy ; the initial Federal attack on May 19, 1863 failed to take the city, and a state of siege ensued, which saw the creation of a complex system of trenches, tunnels, mines, and batteries to invest the place. This book examines these and other sites, and the role they played in the war.
The Berlin Wall and the Inner-German Border (IGB) were built to halt the flow of refugees from East Germany to the West. From August 13, 1961, over 96 miles of crude fences and more sophisticated walls were erected around West Berlin. Border defenses ran 858 miles from the Baltic to the Czechoslovakian border, cutting villages in two, running through buildings, and intersecting roads and railways. Gordon L Rottman, who became familiar with both sides of the border while posted to Germany, examines the international situations that led to the creation of the Berlin Wall, discussing how the barrier systems functioned and their significance in the Cold War. Covering the erection of the barriers, how they evolved, defensive devices and the role of the checkpoints, this book also describes how ordinary people attempted to overcome these physical and political obstacles in their quest for freedom. Gordon Rottman writes, In 1980 I found myself in a long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) company. After 2 years of training we were assigned as the V Corps LRRP company: our mission in the event of a Soviet invasion of West Germany was to insert our 21 five-man reconnaissance teams inside East Germany, establish hides overlooking autobahns and other highways, and report the movements of the second operational echelon, the follow-on forces behind the initial assault forces. This required us to know a great deal about what it was like inside East Germany. We began an intense study of the IGB, and in the process I was able to visit the border, learn its ways, and find out how to penetrate it.
Following the battle of Bussaco on 27 September 1810 Wellington's heavily outnumbered troops began to withdraw towards Lisbon. By the evening of 9 October the British and Portuguese began to withdraw behind a line of defensive works that had been built to the north of Lisbon. These were not the rudimentary field works that the French anticipated, but an enormous network of forts, batteries and redoubts whose construction had been started the previous November - the Lines of Torres Vedras. This 30-mile-wide line utilised the area's natural defences, damming rivers, scarping hillsides, blocking roads and establishing forts upon almost all of the hills. This title describes its design, creation and effectiveness in the face of French attacks.
In the year 1296, Edward I of England launched a series of vicious raids across the Anglo-Scottish Border in his attempt to annexe Scotland. The Scots retaliated and the two countries were plunged into 300 years of war in which the Borderland became the frontline and raiding, or reiving, encouraged by both sides, became a way of life. Keith Durham examines the Border fortresses, ranging from small, well-defended castles to imposing tower houses, or peles, and a variety of fortified farmhouses known as bastles. He also investigates the many churches that were strengthened against attack and in times of trouble served as sanctuaries for their congregations.
Designed to change the course of the war, the V weapons required ambitious plans to defend their expensive and complicated launch sites. Steven J Zaloga describes the configuration and planned deployment of heavy missile sites, as well as the unique Allied tactics developed to counter this threat, including a remote-control version of the B-17 bomber. From the V-1 ski sites to the mobile basing employed by the V-2 units and the other secret weapons bases like the 'V-3' high-pressure gun at Mimoyeques, this book examines the impact of these weapon systems and defences not only on the war but on modern weaponry. With many of the sites described still surviving today, this is a perfect companion for a tour of the V weapon sites built during World War II.
The Islamic world drew upon a myriad of pre-existing styles of fortification, taking Romano-Byzantine, Indian and Chinese ideas to create a highly effective and sophisticated hybrid fortification that was both new and distinctive.
Following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the absorption of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine into the newly formed German Empire, the German Army decided to construct a fortress line from Strasbourg to Luxembourg to protect their new territory and counter the great fortress system that was being built from Switzerland to Belgium, the centerpiece of which was the great Moselstellung (Moselle Position) of Metz/Thionville. The fortress consisted of concrete batteries that fired 10 and 15cm guns from steel turrets, concrete barracks, infantry strong points with ditches defended by casemates, and concrete trenches with shelters and steel observation cupolas. The entire position was surrounded by a wide belt of barbed wire entanglements that were defended by machine gun and rifle positions, and hidden from the view of the attacker. Illustrated with photographs and full color cutaway artwork, this book examines the design and development of the fortress and analyzes its use in combat, focusing particularly on the part it played in holding up General Patton's Third Army's advance across France in 1944
The Bar Lev Line along the Suez Canal was born out of the overwhelming victory of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the Six Day War of 1967. Devastated by their defeat, the Egyptian army bombarded Israeli positions, causing many casualties. Accordingly, the IDF Chief of Staff, General Haim Bar-Lev, ordered the construction of a series of fortified positions named the Bar Lev Line. Each position was surrounded by barbed wire and minefields and virtually immune to strikes by artillery shells and even 500kg bombs. On 6 October 1973, Yom Kippur, the positions were manned by just 436 reservists when the Egyptian Second and Third Armies launched a massive offensive along the Suez Canal. The positions were quickly cut off from the supporting elements, and the Israeli defenders paid a high price with a casualty rate of almost 50 per cent. Despite these losses, it was not the Bar Lev Line that failed but Israel's military and political establishment, which realised Arab intentions too late.
When the Romans left Britain around AD 410, the unconquered native peoples of modern Scotland, Ireland and Wales were presented with the opportunity to pillage what remained of Roman Britain. The Post-Roman Britons did their best to defend themselves by using fortifications. While some Roman forts were maintained, the Post-Roman Britons also created new strongholds, or re-occupied some of the hill-forts first built by their ancestors. The most famous warlord of the 'Dark Ages' was the legendary Arthur. His attempt to unite the Britons in the face of Saxon invaders was doomed, and in a little over two centuries the country had become Saxon England. However, for a few brief decades, 'Arthur of the Britons' did what he could to safeguard the culture and civilisation of Post-Roman Celtic Britain.
The Maori people of New Zealand were experienced field engineers and it was common practice to protect villages with surrounding entrenchments and wooden palisades, known as pas. However, it was not until 1845, with the first fighting between the Maori and the British, that it became clear just how strong and sophisticated the Maori fortifications were. For the best part of 20 years, the Maori held off the dominant and technologically superior British forces, by adapting and developing their defences in response to new British assaults. This book explores the evolution and design of Maori fortifications, and charts the course of a conflict that would ultimately see the British break the Maori pas, leading to a bitter guerrilla bush war.
Devastated by the civil wars of the 17th century or by the neglect of their owners, the majority of Scottish baronial castles built between 1250 and 1450 survive as little more than skeletal ruins. These reminders of Scotland's past have captured the imaginations of romantics, artists, writers and tourists since the late 18th century. Often set in spectacular surroundings, on cliff-tops, islands, and gorges, their ruined grandeur evokes a medieval world of sieges, banquets and murders, and provides a rare physical link with the Anglo-Scottish wars of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.
With the vast expansion of the Roman Empire came a need for more and more fortifications to defend it. The borders of the Empire stretched through wildly different terrains which demanded a huge variety of different fortifications, depending on the local conditions and the threats faced by the different areas. The adoption of local troops (auxiliaries) and local building techniques at key strategic points on the outskirts of the empire led to an intriguing mix of strong Roman structure with unique culturally diverse elements. Describing the development of these hugely varied defensive systems, Duncan Campbell delves into the operation and social history behind the fortifications.With detailed colour artwork and maps, he traces their history through the Batavian Revolt of the 1st century AD, which saw auxiliary units scattered far from their native regions, until the decline of the late 3rd and 4th centuries placed their fortifications in an increasingly pressurized and eventually untenable position.
It has been said in China that a city without a wall would be as inconceivable as a house without a roof. Even the smallest village invariably had some form of defensive wall, while the Great Wall of China was an attempt to build a barrier along the most vulnerable border of the entire country. Yet the finest examples of walled communities were China's walled cities, whose defensive architecture surpassed anything along the Great Wall. This book traces the evolution of the walled city from the 3,000 year old remains of the beaten earth walls of the Shang dynasty to the huge stone fortifications of the Ming dynasty. Stephen Turnbull, expert military historian, reveals the defensive structures from all the major ancient Chinese cities, and discusses how they protected entire communities, and not just castle dwellers, with colour artwork reconstructions, maps and archive photographs.
A strategically important natural harbor in the Orkney Islands, Scapa Flow served as Britain's main fleet anchorage during World Wars I and II. In 1914 and again in 1939, the British began building a comprehensive defensive network by fortifying the entrances to Scapa Flow, and then extended these defenses to cover most of Orkney. By 1940, it had become an island fortress, the largest integrated defensive network of its kind in Europe, manned by as many as 50,000 Commonwealth troops.
The simple castles raised after the Norman conquest had been developed throughout 11th and 12th centuries, whilst the introduction of Islamic and Byzantine fortification techniques from the late 12th century led to further developments in castle architecture. These fortifications were to be well tested throughout the course of the 13th century as England was riven by the conflict, characterized by prolonged sieges, between the monarchy and powerful magnates. As well as providing the focus for warfare, castles increasingly became the centres of their communities, providing a more permanent base for the lord, his family and retainers, as well as acting as centres for justice and administration.
By the time of the Crusades, the Islamic world had already developed its own sophisticated styles of fortification. Distinctive and highly effective, the region's unique military architecture continued to evolve in response to the Crusader and Mongol threats, and also drew upon the traditions of their foes and neighbours. The resulting Islamic concepts of military architecture had an influence upon fortifications in Western Europe, including Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. However, Islamic fortifications continued to focus upon the defence of cities and frontiers rather than providing security for feudal aristocracies, as was increasingly the case in Europe. Covering fortifications as far apart as North Africa, Afghanistan and northern India, this volume focuses on the Islamic side of the conflict, highlighting the fortifications in use when the Crusaders sought to reconquer the Holy Land, as well as the eventual absorption of the territories of Byzantium into the Islamic world.
In the wake of the bloody civil war that followed Finland's independence from Russia in 1917, the border between the two countries was established across the Karelian Isthmus, an area long fought over by Russia, Finland and Sweden in their attempts to dominate the northern tip of Europe. Neither the Soviets nor the Finnish were comfortable with such a divide which was only 32km from the military and industrial city of Petrograd. As such, both sides began an intensive period of fortification and defensive planning. As the Winter War broke out in November 1939, the complex and heavily defended Mannerheim Line suffered intense bombardment. The armistice of 1940 saw Finland cede control of the entire Karelian Isthmus to the USSR, and a propaganda war ensued. Through an analysis of the background, and operational history of the Mannerheim Line, Bair Irincheev attempts to dispel such myths and provide an accurate assessment of its huge historical importance.
Germany's Atlantic Wall was the most ambitious military fortification program of World War II. Following its conquest of Western Europe, Germany had to defend some 5,000km of Atlantic coastline from the Spanish border to the Arctic Circle. The United States' entry into the war and the inevitability of an Anglo-American landing in Western Europe resulted in the fortification of this coastline along its entire length. Focusing on the northern Atlantic Wall in the Low Countries and Scandinavia, this title addresses the special defensive features and unique aspects of fortification in these countries, such as the early focus on fortifying Norway, due to early British commando raids; the greater use of turreted naval guns; and, the establishment of first-line Flak defences in the Low Countries to counter the Allied strategic bombing campaign.
The techniques of warfare were transformed during the 15th and 16th centuries by the use of gunpowder and by substantial progress in the effectiveness and destructive power of artillery. Consequently new methods of fortification were introduced, and following the outbreak of the English Civil War most towns and castles had to be re-fortified. The main communication routes followed the lines of the old Roman roads so control of these, and of the major cities, was important. However, the sites that saw most fortification were the two capitals, London for the Parliamentarians and Oxford for the Royalists.
This concise guide actually covers not just Pictish fortifications, but all those in use in early medieval Scotland, including those of Strathclyde and Rheged and of the Dal Riata. Konstam introduces the reader to the principal types of fort, including the re-use of earlier defences, before offering more in-depth surveys of Dundurn and Dunadd. As well as architecture and construction he looks at the use of the forts in war and peace, to control the landscape and act as royal strong points.
New France consisted of the area colonized and ruled by France in North America from the 16th to the 18th centuries. This title, which follows on from Fortress 27: French Fortresses in North America 1534-1763: Quebec, Montreal, Louisbourg and New Orleans and Fortress 75: The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600-1763 , takes a look at the forts guarding the frontier defenses of New France from the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Among the sites examined are forts Crevecoeur (Ilinois), Biloxi (on the Mississippi), St Jean-Baptiste (Louisiana), Natchitoches (Louisiana), de Chartres (on the Mississippi), Conde (Alabama), and Toulouse (Alabama).
To maintain its imperial power in America, Spain built fortifications across the width of the continent. These outposts were established along Spanish borders from the late sixteenth century onwards to defend its interests against rival European powers and to suppress uprisings of the Native Americans and local population. By the eighteenth century, Spain's defenses spread from the northern area of the Gulf of Mexico through to California. Some of these imperial fortifications, such as the Alamo, played key roles in conflicts including the American Revolution and the Texan War of Independence. This book provides a cogent analysis of Spain's defensive network at the height of the country's imperial strength on the American continent.
First besieged in 305 BC, the island of Rhodes became part of the Roman Empire and was later fortified in the Byzantine style. Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean, Rhodes was also attacked and besieged for over a century by Islamic forces. This title details the development of these fascinating fortifications, as well as the sieges that sought to reduce them.
Immortalized in film and literature, the 15th century castle of Colditz is remembered not for tales of medieval chivalry or withstanding withering sieges but for its darker past, when it was converted by the Nazis into a prisoner-of-war camp called Oflag IV-C. A natural choice for a prison, Colditz had been used successfully during the First World War and had gained a reputation for being impossible to escape from. But this reputation was dramatically shattered by the ingenuity of the prisoners interned there. This book examines the history of Colditz, the methods used to keep prisoners inside her formidable walls, and the techniques by which her prisoners attempted to escape.
During the Old and Middle Kingdoms, Ancient Egypt led the world in the construction of fortifications. The oldest was discovered on Elephantine Island and dates to c.2900 BC. This book investigates over 2,000 years of Egyptian fortification, including both fortified cities and military installations. It covers the most famous sites including the fortified town of Ayn Asil and the fortress of Buhen. The text also examines the specific defensive structures within the fortifications, including gates, walls, and towers, and looks at both the operation and social history of these ancient military strongholds.
In 1945, with her fleet destroyed and her armies beaten, the only thing that stood between Japan and an Allied invasion was the numerous coastal defence positions that surrounded the islands. This is the first book to take a detailed look at the Japanese home island fortifications that were constructed during 1941-45. Utilizing diagrams, specially commissioned artwork, and sources previously unavailable in English, Steven Zaloga examines these defences in the context of a possible Allied invasion, constructing various arguments for one of the greatest 'what if' scenarios of World War II, and helping to explain why the Americans decided to go ahead with a nuclear option.
Admiral Lord Nelson's decisive victory over the combined fleets of France and Spain on 21 October 1805 remains one of the greatest naval triumphs in history. Off Cape Trafalgar, 27 British ships met a larger Franco-Spanish force. The 'Nelson Touch' prevented the front third of the Franco-Spanish fleet from engaging and brought on a battle with the remainder. The five-hour battle resulted in a glorious victory for Nelson but at the cost of his own life. This book examines the tactics used by both sides in this history of the battle that secured British Naval dominance for the next century.
The US Army and Marine Corps in World War II considered themselves highly mobile, offensive forces. Their mobile-warfare doctrine envisioned field fortifications and obstacles as temporary in nature. As a result, their design was simple and made use of local materials, and they could be constructed comparatively quickly, whilst still providing adequate protection. By the time of the Korean War, only minor changes had been made to field fortification construction and layout, and to small-unit organization, weapons, and tactics. This title addresses field fortifications built by US infantrymen during World War II and in Korea, and covers rifle-platoon positions, trenches, crew-served weapon positions, bunkers, dugouts, shelters, observation posts and anti-tank obstacles.
The defences of Belgium that had proved easy prey to the German siege artillery of World War I were augmented in the post-war years by a massive fortress, constructed between 1932 and 1935, along the western bank of the Albert Canal - Fort Eben Emael. The fortress was considered to be the strongest in the world on completion yet its conquest took less than 48 hours to complete after a glorious coup de main by German glider-borne assault troops. This title considers the design, development and construction of this formidable bastion as well as covering the assault and the failure of the fort to offer any meaningful obstacle to the German invaders.
The Roman excursions north of the Tyne-Solway line, the route of Hadrian's Wall, can be roughly divided into three main periods. Firstly, Agricola advanced against the Caledonii for six campaigning seasons culminating in the decisive battle of Mons Graupius in AD 83. Secondly, the Antonine Wall was built 70 miles to the north of Hadrian's Wall along the Forth-Clyde isthmus, though it marked the northern frontier of the empire for little more than 20 years. Finally, at the beginning of the 3rd century AD L. Septimius Severus arrived to restore order along the northern frontier, briefly reoccupying and repairing sections of the Antonine Wall. This title describes the fortifications left behind by each of these three attempts to subdue Rome's northernmost frontier.
After the Second Crusade in 1148 the Crusader States embarked on a period of caution and consolidation and, in an increasingly hostile environment, began strengthening existing fortifications and building new castles. Following on from Fortress 21 in the series, which looked at Crusader castles in the Holy Land from 1097 to 1192, this book takes the history of these military structures through to the early 14th century. David Nicolle examines the design and development of castles, the defensive strategies and construction methods used, the influence of Arabic and Islamic traditions in military architecture, as well as siege weaponry and everyday social and religious life. All this is placed within a historical context. Plans, maps, a timeline, photograhs and reconstruction drawings (by Adam Hook) are presented throughout. A tour of five examples (Margat, Crac des Chevaliers, Atlit, Caesarea Maritima and Arsuf), is also included.
In 1961 US special forces units began etering remote areas of Vietnam dominated by the Viet Cong. Their task was to organise local defence and strike forces aimed at stopping the enemy from gaining further control of such areas. The Green Berets set up fortified camps akin to forts of the old American Frontier, but adapted to modern warfare, from which indigenous troops defended local villages and attacked and harassed the enemy. How these camps were constructed, developed and defended is documented here for the first time. This book also covers the weapons, barriers and obstacles used in these camps, providing spesific examples of camp design and details how they withstood the test of battle against a determined and resourceful enemy.
From the 10th century onwards the great monastic foundations of Nara and Mount Hiei maintained large armies of warlike monks, a practice that was later followed by other institutions. The tempestuous political rivalries that developed between the different orders of monks, and even factions within the same orders, ensured that these Buddhist temples and monasteries had to be securely sited and robustly defended. This title recreates these enormous fortified monasteries and shrines as they would have appeared at the time, tracing their development from the 10th century through to the Sengoku Jidai and the rise of the power of the shogunate under Tokugawa leyasu.
Throughout the Anglo-Zulu wars, the British fortified almost every position they occupied in Zululand, from permanent column depots to temporary halts on the lines of communication. This book explores the extensive fortifications constructed around posts such as Eshowe, Fort Pearson and Fort Chelmsford, as well as the lives of the garrisons who manned these sites. These forts were built to defend against infantry attacks of overwhelming numbers, as opposed to artillery bombardment or mining, and the text, illustrations and photographs describe their distinctive style and construction. Field and temporary fortifications are also covered, making this a packed and informative reference work, and bringing new life to this popular subject.
Germany's Atlantic Wall was the most ambitious military fortification program of World War II. With Germany's gradual loss of the strategic initiative to the Allies, in 1942 Hitler was forced to construct an impenetrable wall of fortifications along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast. This book deals solely with the structures on the French coast, starting with the Pas-de-Calais and extending down to Spain. It features detailed illustrations and diagrams of the various sections of the Atlantic Wall and the role that they played, giving a thoughtful analysis of some of the most accessible fortifications of World War II.