Fortification is the science of artificial obstacles and closures, which increase the location of regiments in the period of combat. The theory of this discipline was developed by Albrecht Durer.

Subject of study

In his capacity are properties, rules of location, ways of erecting buildings for defense and attack. Obstacles and closures are often created by the terrain itself. Fortification examines the improvement of natural local formations and their reinforcement by artificial structures. Buildings for the party using them create favorable conditions for combat. The fortification structure contributes to inflicting the greatest harm to the enemy with minimal own losses.

The fortification is

The deadly force of obstacles and closures in a certain way replaces the living resources - the soldier, releasing some of them to move to other points. Thus, the buildings provide the concentration of forces in decisive moments on the most important points of the battlefield.

Fortification structure: general concept

As it is a building that is intended for private placement and the most effective use of weapons, control posts, military equipment, as well as to ensure the protection of soldiers, rear and population from enemy attacks. To implement these tasks, a permanent or temporary fortification structure can be erected. Within the framework of science, its design, the way of creation and use is studied.

Field Buildings

A fortification structure can be created for units that rarely stay long in one locality. Such constructions are erected just before the battle and retain their value only for its period. The time during which the field fortification works serves is measured usually in hours and rarely exceeds by duration one day. The construction of the buildings is carried out by the soldiers themselves using the instrument that enters the hiking equipment. Field fortification is a construction from the ground with the addition in some cases of simple forest or other materials that can be found in the given territory.


Field buildings can be divided into the following categories:

  1. Fortifications, which are presented in the form of a combination of item for action, closure and obstacles to attack.
  2. Trenches. They give a position for firing and closing.
  3. Screens. They provide only closure.
  4. Artificial obstacles only protect from assault.

In addition, in the field, local objects can be adapted to create the building. This method also achieves the same results as the construction of the above constructions, but with the least expenditure of time and materials.

The most important points

In any area where it is supposed to keep the defense, you can find several items of special importance. Holding them makes it difficult for the enemy to act and facilitates the movement of their own soldiers. As a rule, commanders of heights act as field fortifications. They are fired on adjacent to the location of sites, as well as access to the flanks and fronts of the position. Provision of defense of these points is carried out throughout the battle. For this, 1-4 companies are allocated. These parts are unable to move in space, are less susceptible to shelling. However, their losses can be very significant, since the importance of these items attracts them to the intensified firing of the enemy.

To prevent attacks and storms around each such point, a fortification structure is being built. This provides a better closure, a serious obstacle and a good position for the shelling. With a short fight (up to 12 hours), such fortifications are built hastily. With longer battles, the structures are strengthened, improved, increasing the level of their resistance. Such structures are called already strengthened.

Prolonged defense

Depending on the nature of the battle, a permanent or temporary fortification underground structure may be erected. Construction can also be created on the surface. Constant structures are barriers and closures designed to strengthen the protection of critical strategic points in the country. The importance of such territories, as a rule, is found out long before the beginning of hostilities and remains on all their extent. That's why any such fortification works for several tens, if not hundreds of years, although months are defending.

Civilians are employed to create the structure. During construction, various tools and materials are used (earth, iron, concrete, brick, stone). Such structures are erected to provide long-term defense with the use of the least amount of forces. To do this, you need a fortified building, protected from assault. This is ensured by the construction of a defensive closed fence with an obstacle, which will allow firing from structures that are invulnerable from afar. As such strengthening, a fortification structure of a triangular shape can act. In the fortresses in front of the moat, such a construction ensured maximum defense. The bombardment was carried out by cardinal longitudinal fire.

This building is a fortification structure of a triangular shape. It is located between the bastions and serves for crossfire. With the help of it, the approaches to the fortress contour are protected and neighboring fortifications are maintained. The walls from which the embankment consisted in the fortification structure had a height of 1-1.5 m lower than in the central building. When ravelin is captured, it is thus easier to fire.

Features of constructions

The stronger the fortification will be, the weaker the garrison can be. Strengthening the design depends on the time and monetary security. Constant buildings force the enemy to bring siege weapons to destroy them. This all takes a long time. This, in turn, allows continuing active resistance and defense. The purpose of such structures is always unchanged. Meanwhile, the ways of its implementation are constantly being improved with the development of military equipment. With any increase in the means of destruction, corrections are immediately made to the structure of the fortifications.

Stages of development of buildings

The most important stages are due to a rather sharp increase in the size of the Armed Forces and the improvement of artillery. In this regard, long-term fortification passed the following periods:

  1. Use of propelling machines. This period lasted from ancient times to the 14th century.
  2. The smooth artillery stage lasted until the mid-19th century.
  3. The stage of rifled artillery lasted until 1885.
  4. Use of explosive bombs. This period takes place now.

Temporary Fortifications

By their design they represent intermediate structures between long-term and field structures. In peacetime, they are erected at secondary strategic points. In some cases, for example, with insufficient funding, temporary buildings are replaced by permanent fortifications. During the period of military operations, they are erected in the most important areas of the upcoming battles, as well as at points located in already occupied territories, the significance of which is revealed directly during the battle.

Features of construction

The time that can be spent on erection is from several days to months. For the construction of different materials, tools and tools. In this regard, the structures themselves have different intensities. If the building is a few months, then hired workers are employed. As a material in such cases, concrete and other raw materials used in the construction of permanent fortifications are used.

A significant difference is noted in the design of fences. In temporary fortifications, the number of casemates is very limited, horizontal barriers, the defense of ditches is carried out in an open way. These buildings provide protection against large siege weapons. But, since they are weaker than long-term, more troops are required for them.

The general nature of fortifications

Temporary points can be presented in the form of fences, forts and so on. Their general character is similar to long-term buildings. Most often, forts are built. They are built during the construction of not only strengthened camps, but also weaker fortifications. In some cases, barriers and closures of different types are used to protect one point. So, fortresses surround forts or arrange intermediate points at large distances between permanent structures. In addition, they are building advanced points to increase spare cellars with ammunition. Large garrisons provide active defense, but in these cases, losses can be significant. Thus, for example, in the defense of Sevastopol in 1854-55, More than 100 thousand people left the system.

Development of discipline in Russia

The origin of fortification coincided with the beginning of the settled way of life. The development of science passed through the same stages as in Western European territory, but much later. This was due to unfavorable historical events. Defensive earthen fences were the first shelters from the enemy's attacks. Such constructions were used until the ninth century. In Western Europe by that time they had already been replaced by stone buildings. Since the IV century in Russia began to build wooden structures, and at the end of the XI century there were parapets. They were first boarded, and then logged. Fire led over the parapet. The wooden fences were reinforced with crowned towers. They were built mainly hexagonal. In their walls were made loopholes - special windows for guns and rifles.

Defense of Ancient Russia was carried out with numerous separately located fortified settlements and guard lines. The first was called towns or cities, depending on their size. Any locality necessarily strengthened to protect from robbers, the attackers both during external and internecine wars. Residential areas, are not assigned to cities, enclosed harpoons. These fortifications were also placed on border States, which had a poorly developed military art.

In this century, military engineering literature appeared and spread widely in Russia. The native fortification school at that time enjoyed undoubted respect in the west. Outstanding engineering ideas were realized in reality at the beginning of the century. So, every fortification of the times of the Patriotic War of 1812 illustrated the talent and originality of the thought of designers. However, in the battles the fortifications were practically not involved. It depended on the intensity of the battles. Rapid retreats followed by the same sudden attacks and incompleteness of the main lines of fortifications did not allow either side to conduct a thoughtful and consistent siege. Nevertheless, every existing fortification structure of the times of the Patriotic War fulfilled its task.

An example is the Battle of the Dinaburg Walls. Marshal Udino, unable to capture the bridgehead, tried to arrange something like a siege. However, he met the resistance of an actively and skillfully defended garrison. After this, deprived of engineering detachments and artillery, the marshal was forced to retreat. Such results were given by each fortification structure during the Patriotic War of 1812. If there were more such buildings, the course of the struggle would be completely different.