Forgot your password?  
Related Topics

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 413 pages of information about Elements of Military Art and Science.

If Berlin had been fortified in 1806, the army routed at Jena would have rallied there and been joined by the Russians.  If Madrid had been strongly fortified in 1808, the French army, after the victories of Espinosa, Tudela, Burgos, and Sommo-Sierra, would not have marched towards that capital, leaving in rear of Salamanca and Valladolid, both the English army of General Moore and the Spanish army of Romana.  If Moscow had been fortified in 1812, its conflagration would have been avoided, for, with strong defensive works, and the army of Kutusoff encamped on its ramparts, its capture would have been impossible.

Had not Constantinople been well fortified, the empire of Constantine must have terminated in the year 700, whereas the standard of the Prophet was not planted there until 1440.  This capital was therefore indebted to its walls for eight hundred years of existence.  During this period it was besieged fifty-three times, but only one of these sieges was successful.  The French and Venetians took it, but not without a very severe contest.

Paris has often owed its safety to its walls.  In 885 the Normans besieged it for two years without effect.  In 1358 the Dauphin besieged it in vain.  In 1359 Edward, king of England, encamped at Montrouge, devastated the country to its walls, but recoiled from before it, and retired to Chartres.  In 1429 it repulsed the attack of Charles VII.  In 1464 the Count of Charlerois surrounded the city, but was unsuccessful in his attacks.  In 1472 it repulsed the army of the Duke of Bourgone, who had already ravaged its precincts.  In 1536, when attacked by Charles V., it again owed its safety to its walls.  In 1588 and 1589 it repulsed the armies of Henry III. and Henry IV.  In 1636 and several succeeding years the inhabitants of Paris owed their safety to its walls.  If this capital had been strongly fortified in 1814 and 1815, the allied armies would not have dared to attempt its investment.

But it is deemed unnecessary to further specify examples; the whole history of modern warfare is one continued proof of the importance of fortifications as a means of national defence, and as an auxiliary in offensive military operations.  Our illustrations have been mostly drawn from European wars, but our own brief history, as will be shown hereafter, is not without its proofs.

The use and importance of field-fortifications, intrenched camps, &c., as well as the class of military works called coast-defences, will be discussed hereafter.[6]

[Footnote 6:  The use of fortifications in the defence of states is discussed by Ternay, Vauban, Cormontaigne, Napoleon, the Archduke Charles, Jomini, Fallot, and, incidentally, by most of the military historians of the wars of the French Revolution.  The names of such standard works as give the detailed arrangements of fortifications will be mentioned hereafter.]

CHAPTER IV.

Follow Us on Facebook