Fortification is the science of artificial barriers and closures that enhance the location of the regiments during the battle. The theory of this discipline was developed by Albrecht Durer.
Subject of study
As it are properties, location rules, methods of erecting buildings for defense and attack. Barriers and closings are often created by the locality itself. Fortification explores the improvement of natural local formations and their reinforcement with artificial structures. Buildings for the party using them create favorable conditions for fighting. The fortification facility contributes to the greatest damage to the enemy with minimal personal losses.
The dead force of barriers and closures in a certain way replaces living resources - the soldier, freeing them up to move to other points. In this way, the structures ensure that forces are concentrated at crucial points in the crucial points of the battlefield.
Fortification: a general concept
It is the construction, which is intended for the private placement and the most efficient use of weapons, command and control stations, military equipment, as well as to ensure the protection of soldiers, rear facilities and the population from enemy attack. For the implementation of these tasks, a permanent or temporary fortification can be erected. Within the framework of science, its construction, method of creation and use is studied.
Fortifications can be created for units that rarely stay long on the same terrain. Such constructions are erected immediately before the battle and retain their value only for its period. The time during which the field fortification serves is usually measured in hours and rarely exceeds the duration of one day. The construction of buildings carried out by the soldiers themselves using the tool included in the camping equipment. A field fortification is a structure made of land with the addition in some cases of the simplest forest or other materials that can be found in a given territory.
Field buildings can be divided into the following categories:
- Fortifications, which are presented in the form of a combination of item for action, closure and obstacles to attack.
- Trenches. They give a position for fire actions and closure.
- Barriers. They only provide closure.
- Artificial obstacles only protect from the assault.
In addition, in the field, local objects can be adapted to create a building. This method also allows to achieve the same results as from the construction of the above structures, 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 particular importance. Holding them makes it harder for the enemy to take action and eases the movement of his own soldiers. As a rule, commanding heights act as field fortifications. They are shelling neighboring areas to the location, as well as visible access to the flanks and the front position. The defense of these points is ensured throughout the entire battlefield. For this, 1-4 companies are allocated. These parts are unable to move in space, less susceptible to fire. However, their losses can be very significant, since the importance of these points brings on them enhanced enemy firing actions.
For the prevention of attacks and assaults, a fortification is being built around each such point. This provides a better closure, a serious obstacle and a good position for firing. For a short battle (up to 12 hours) such fortifications are being built hastily. With longer battles, structures strengthen and improve, increasing their level of resistance. Such structures are already called reinforced.
Depending on the nature of the battle, a permanent or temporary fortification underground structure may be erected. The building can also be created on the surface. Permanent structures are barriers and closures designed to enhance the protection of critical strategic points in a country. The value of such territories, as a rule, is found out long before the outbreak of hostilities and persists throughout their length. That is why any such fortification has been serving for several dozen or even hundreds of years, although it has defended months.
To create the construction civilian workers are involved. During construction, different tools and materials are used (earth, iron, concrete, brick, stone). Such structures are erected to ensure long-lasting defense using the least amount of forces. This requires the presence of a fortress building, protected from assault. This is ensured by the construction of a closed defensive fence with an obstacle that will allow firing from structures invulnerable from afar. The fortification structure of a triangular shape can act as such a fortification. In the fortresses in front of the moat, such a building provided maximum defense. The shelling was carried out by longitudinal firing.
This building is a triangular fortification. It is located between the bastions and serves for cross-firing. With it, the approaches to the serf line are protected and neighboring fortifications are maintained. The walls, of which the embankment consisted in the fortification, had a height of 1-1.5 m lower than in the central building. With the capture of ravelin, thus, it is easier to fire.
The stronger the fortification, the weaker the garrison may be. Strengthening the design depends on the time and cash security. Permanent structures force the enemy to bring siege weapons to destroy them. It all takes a lot of time. This, in turn, allows you to continue active resistance and defense. The purpose of such structures is always the same. Meanwhile, the methods of its implementation are constantly being improved with the development of military equipment. In case of any reinforcement of the means of destruction, corrections are immediately made in the construction of fortifications.
Stages of development of buildings
The most important stages are due to a rather sharp increase in the number of aircraft and the improvement of artillery. In this regard, the long-term fortification has passed the following periods:
- Use throwing machines. This period lasted from ancient times to the 14th century.
- Stage smooth artillery lasted until the middle of the XIX century.
- Stage rifled artillery lasted until 1885.
- The use of high-explosive bombs. This period takes place now.
According to their design, they are intermediate structures between long-term and field structures. In peacetime, they are built on secondary strategic points. In some cases, for example, with insufficient funding, temporary structures are replaced by permanent fortifications. During the period of hostilities, they are erected in the most important sectors 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 construction is from several days to months. For the construction used different materials, tools and equipment. In this regard, the structures themselves have different reinforcement. If there are several months to build, civilian workers are involved. Concrete and other raw materials used in the construction of permanent fortifications are used as material in such cases.
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 the moats is carried out in an open way. These buildings provide protection against large siege weapons. But since they are weaker than long-term ones, they need more troops.
The general nature of the fortifications
Temporary points can be represented as fences, forts, and so on. Their general character is similar to long-term constructions. Most often built forts. They are constructed during the construction of not only reinforced camps, but also weaker fortifications. In some cases, barriers and different types of closures are used to protect a single item. Thus, the fortress is surrounded by forts or arrange intermediate points at large distances between permanent structures. In addition, advanced points are being built to increase spare ammunition cellars. Large garrisons provide active defense, but in these cases losses can be substantial. So, for example, in the defense of Sevastopol in 1854-55. More than 100 thousand people were out of action.
Development of discipline in Russia
The origin of the fortification coincided with the onset of residency. The development of science went through the same stages as in Western European territory, but much later. This was due to adverse historical events. The first shelters from the attacks of the enemy were defensive earth fences. Such structures were used until the IX century. In Western Europe, by then, they had already been replaced by stone buildings. Since the 4th century, wooden constructions began to be built in Russia, and at the end of the 11th century, parapees appeared. They were at first boardwalk, and then timbered. The fire was on top of the parapet. The wooden fences were reinforced with crown towers. They were constructed mainly hexagonal. In their walls they made loopholes - special windows for firing guns and rifle shooting.
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 widely spread in Russia. The national fortification school at that time enjoyed undoubted respect in the west. Outstanding engineering designs were realized at the beginning of the century. Thus, each fortification of the times of the Patriotic War of 1812 illustrated the talent and originality of the designers' thoughts. However, in the battles fortifications were practically not involved. It depended on the intensity of the battles. The rapid retreats, following the same sudden attacks and the incompleteness of the main lines of fortifications, did not allow either side to conduct a thoughtful and consistent siege. Nevertheless, each existing fortification during World War II fulfilled its task.
An example is the battle of the Dinaburg walls. Marshal Oudinot, unable to capture the bridge fortification, tried to arrange something like a siege. However, he met resistance actively and skillfully defended the garrison. After that, devoid of engineering units and artillery, the marshal was forced to retreat. Such results were given by each fortification of the times of the Patriotic War of 1812. If there were more such structures, the course of the struggle would be completely different.