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A fortification is a
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or para ...

military
construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Pre ...
or
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a w ...
designed for the defense of territories in
war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...

war
fare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ("to make"). From very early history to modern times,
defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. The walls can range from simple palisades or earthworks to extensive military fortifications with towers, bastions and gate ...
s have often been necessary for cities to survive in an ever-changing world of invasion and conquest. Some settlements in the
Indus Valley Civilization , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta figurines indicate the yoking of zebu oxen for pulling a cart and the presence of the chicken, a domesticated jungle fowl. The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze ...

Indus Valley Civilization
were the first small cities to be fortified. In
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
, large stone walls had been built in
Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland Gr ...
, such as the ancient site of
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehisto ...

Mycenae
(famous for the huge stone blocks of its '
cyclopean Cyclopean masonry is a type of stonework found in Mycenaean architecture, built with massive limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, wh ...
' walls). A Greek '' phrourion'' was a fortified collection of buildings used as a military
garrison Garrison (various spellings) (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it. The term now often applies to ...

garrison
, and is the equivalent of the
Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in ...
castellum A ''castellum'' in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
or
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
fortress. These constructions mainly served the purpose of a watch tower, to guard certain roads, passes, and borders. Though smaller than a real fortress, they acted as a border guard rather than a real strongpoint to watch and maintain the border. The art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called "
castra In the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning ...
metation" since the time of the
Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army, composed of 4,200 infantry and 300 equites (cavalry) in the period of the Roman Republic (509 BC–27 BC); and was composed of 5,200 infantry and 120 auxilia in t ...

Roman legion
s. Fortification is usually divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. There is also an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification.
Castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern na ...

Castle
s are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that they are a residence of a
monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority a ...

monarch
or noble and command a specific defensive territory.
Roman forts In the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Lati ...
and
hill fort A hillfort is a type of earthwork used as a fortified A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically o ...
s were the main antecedents of castles in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
, which emerged in the 9th century in the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of ...
. The
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start ...
saw the creation of some towns built around castles. Medieval-style fortifications were largely made obsolete by the arrival of
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In guns, particularly firearm A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carrie ...
s in the 14th century. Fortifications in the age of
black powder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur, carbon (in the form of charcoal) and potassium nitrate (saltpeter). The ...
evolved into much lower structures with greater use of
ditches 150px, Waterplants growing in a ditch in the Netherlands, showing '' Sagittaria sagittifolia'' to the right. A ditch is a small to moderate divot created to channel water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and tran ...
and
earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wit ...
ramparts that would absorb and disperse the energy of cannon fire. Walls exposed to direct cannon fire were very vulnerable, so the walls were sunk into ditches fronted by earth slopes to improve protection. The arrival of
explosive shell File:W48 155-millimeter nuclear shell.jpg, US scientists with a full-scale cut-away model of the W48 155 millimeter nuclear artillery shell, a very small tactical nuclear weapon with an explosive yield equivalent to 72 tons of trinitrotoluene, TN ...
s in the 19th century led to yet another stage in the evolution of fortification.
Star fort A star is an astronomical object In astronomy, an astronomical object or celestial object is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe. In astronomy, the terms ''object'' a ...
s did not fare well against the effects of high explosive, and the intricate arrangements of bastions, flanking batteries and the carefully constructed lines of fire for the defending cannon could be rapidly disrupted by explosive shells.
Steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appea ...

Steel
-and-
concrete File:Pantheon cupola.jpg, Interior of the Pantheon dome, seen from beneath. The concrete for the coffered dome was laid on moulds, mounted on temporary scaffolding. Concrete is a composite material composed of fine and coarse construction agg ...
fortifications were common during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The advances in modern warfare since
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...

World War I
have made large-scale fortifications
obsolete Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained, required, or degraded even though it may still be in good working order. The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management - A ...

obsolete
in most situations.


Nomenclature

Many United States Army installations are known as ''forts'', although they are not always fortified. Indeed, during the pioneering era of North America, many outposts on the frontiers, even non-military outposts, were referred to generically as ''forts''. Larger military installations may be called ''fortresses''; smaller ones were once known as ''fortalices''. The word ''fortification'' can also refer to the practice of improving an area's defense with defensive works. City walls are fortifications but are not necessarily called ''fortresses''. The art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called ''
castra In the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning ...
metation'' since the time of the
Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army, composed of 4,200 infantry and 300 equites (cavalry) in the period of the Roman Republic (509 BC–27 BC); and was composed of 5,200 infantry and 120 auxilia in t ...

Roman legion
s. The art/science of laying
siege A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from la, sedere, lit=to sit. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characteri ...

siege
to a fortification and of destroying it is commonly called ''
siegecraft A siege is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its me ...
'' or ''siege warfare'' and is formally known as '' poliorcetics''. In some texts this latter term also applies to the art of building a fortification. Fortification is usually divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. Permanent fortifications are erected at leisure, with all the resources that a state can supply of constructive and
mechanical Mechanical may refer to: Machine * Mechanical system, a system that manages the power of forces and movements to accomplish a task * Machine (mechanical), a system of mechanisms that shape the actuator input to achieve a specific application of ou ...

mechanical
skill, and are built of enduring materials. Field fortifications—for example breastworks—and often known as ''fieldworks'' or ''earthworks'', are extemporized by troops in the field, perhaps assisted by such local labour and tools as may be procurable and with materials that do not require much preparation, such as
earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wit ...

earth
, brushwood and light
timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood that has been processed into Beam (structure), beams and plank (wood), planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes but has many other uses as well. Lum ...

timber
, or sandbags (see sangar). An example of field fortification was the construction of
Fort Necessity Fort Necessity National Battlefield is a National Battlefield Site in Fayette County, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( ) ( pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United State ...

Fort Necessity
by George Washington in 1754. There is also an intermediate branch known as ''semi-permanent fortification''. This is employed when in the course of a campaign it becomes desirable to protect some locality with the best imitation of permanent defences that can be made in a short time, ample resources and skilled civilian labour being available. An example of this is the construction of Roman forts in England and in other Roman territories where camps were set up with the intention of staying for some time, but not permanently.
Castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern na ...

Castle
s are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that it describes a residence of a
monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority a ...

monarch
or noble and commands a specific defensive territory. An example of this is the massive medieval castle of
Carcassonne Carcassonne (, also , , ; ; la, Carcaso) is a French fortified city in the department of Aude Aude (; ) is a department in Southern France Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French language, French as ...
.


History


Neolithic Europe

From very early history to modern times, walls have been a necessity for many cities. In
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It occupies the whole eastern part of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia ...
, near the town of Provadia a walled fortified settlement today called
Solnitsata
Solnitsata
starting from 4700 BC had a diameter of about 300 feet (100 meters), was home to 350 people living in two-storey houses, and was encircled by a fortified wall. The huge walls around the settlement, which were built very tall and with stone blocks which are 6 feet (2 meters) high and 4.5 feet (1.5 meters) thick, make it one of the earliest walled settlements in Europe but it is younger than the walled town of
Sesklo Sesklo ( el, Σέσκλο) is a village A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), ...
in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is a continent A contin ...

Greece
from 6800 BC.
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of Sumer (and later of Babylonia) situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern Samawah, Muthanna Governorate, Al-Muthannā, ...
in ancient
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). ...

Sumer
(
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
) is one of the world's oldest known
walled cities A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from La ...
. The Ancient Egyptians also built fortresses on the frontiers of the
Nile Valley The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In som ...

Nile Valley
to protect against invaders from neighbouring territories, as well as circle-shaped mud brick walls around their cities. Many of the fortifications of the ancient world were built with mud brick, often leaving them no more than mounds of dirt for today's archaeologists. A massive prehistoric stone wall surrounded the ancient temple of
Ness of Brodgar The Ness of Brodgar is an archaeological site covering between the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an int ...

Ness of Brodgar
3200 BC in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) Anglo-Scottish bo ...

Scotland
. Named the "Great Wall of Brodgar" it was four metres thick and four metres tall. The wall had some symbolic or ritualistic function. The
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
deployed large labour forces to build new
palaces , the official residence of Emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head o ...
, temples and
defensive walls A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from La ...
.


Neolithic Indus Valley

Some settlements in the
Indus Valley Civilization , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta figurines indicate the yoking of zebu oxen for pulling a cart and the presence of the chicken, a domesticated jungle fowl. The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze ...

Indus Valley Civilization
were also fortified. By about 3500 BC, hundreds of small farming villages dotted the
Indus#REDIRECT Indus River
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from miscapitalisation {{R unprintworthy ...

Indus
floodplain. Many of these settlements had fortifications and planned streets. The stone and mud brick houses of
Kot Diji The ancient site at Kot Diji ( sd, ڪوٽ ڏیجي; ur, کوٹ ڈیجی) was the forerunner of the Indus Civilization oxen for pulling a cart and the presence of the chicken The chicken (''Gallus gallus domesticus''), a subspecies ...

Kot Diji
were clustered behind massive stone flood dykes and defensive walls, for neighbouring communities bickered constantly about the control of prime agricultural land.
Mundigak Mundigak ( ps, منډیګک) is an archaeology, archaeological site in Kandahar province in Afghanistan. During the Bronze Age, it was a center of the Helmand culture. It is situated approximately northwest of Kandahar near Shāh Maqsūd, on the u ...
(c. 2500 BC) in present-day south-east
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the eas ...
has defensive walls and square
bastion A bastion or bulwark is a structure projecting outward from the Curtain wall (fortification), curtain wall of a fortification, most commonly angular in shape and positioned at the corners of the fort. The fully developed bastion consists of two f ...
s of sun dried bricks. The entire city of
Kerma Kerma was the capital city of the Kerma culture, which was located in present-day Sudan at least 5500 years ago. Kerma is one of the largest archaeological sites in ancient Nubia. It has produced decades of extensive excavations and research, incl ...

Kerma
in
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin language, Nobiin: Nobīn, ) is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the Cataracts of the Nile, first cataract of the Nile (just south of Aswan in southern Egypt) and the confluence of the Blue Nile, Blue and ...

Nubia
was encompassed by fortified walls surrounded by a ditch. Archaeology has revealed various Bronze Age bastions and foundations constructed of stone together with either baked or unfired brick.


Bronze Age Europe

In
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisia ...

Malta
, some settlements also began to be fortified. The most notable surviving example is
Borġ in-Nadur Borġ in-Nadur is an archaeological site located in open fields overlooking St George's Bay, near Birżebbuġa, Malta. It is occupied by a Tarxien phase Megalithic Temples of Malta, megalithic temple as well as the remains of a Bronze Age village ...

Borġ in-Nadur
, where a bastion built in around 1500 BC was found.
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' * Kassite: ''Karanduniash'' ...
was one of the most famous cities of the ancient world, especially as a result of the building program of
Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar II (), also Nebuchadrezzar II ( Babylonian cuneiform: ''Nabû-kudurri-uṣur''; Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew ...

Nebuchadnezzar
, who expanded the walls and built the
Ishtar Gate The Ishtar Gate ( ar, بوابة عشتار) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon (in the area of present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq). It was constructed in about 575 BCE by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north ...

Ishtar Gate
. Exceptions were few—notably, ancient
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...

Sparta
and ancient
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
did not have walls for a long time, choosing to rely on their militaries for defence instead. Initially, these fortifications were simple constructions of wood and earth, which were later replaced by mixed constructions of stones piled on top of each other without
mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
. In
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
, large stone walls had been built in
Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland Gr ...
, such as the ancient site of
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehisto ...

Mycenae
(famous for the huge stone blocks of its '
cyclopean Cyclopean masonry is a type of stonework found in Mycenaean architecture, built with massive limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, wh ...
' walls). In classical era
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is a continent A contin ...

Greece
, the city of
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List of oldest ...
built two parallel stone walls, called the
Long Walls Although long walls were built at several locations in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries ...
, that reached their fortified seaport at
Piraeus Piraeus (; el, Πειραιάς ''Pireás'' ; grc, Πειραιεύς, ''Peiraieús'', ) is a Port#Ancient Greece, port city within the Athens urban area (“greater Athens”), in the Attica (region), Attica region of Greece. It is located in t ...

Piraeus
a few miles away. In
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural identity. The Thirty Years' War between Catholic Church, Catholicism and Protestantism was a signifi ...
, the
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples. "The Celts, an ancient Indo-Europe ...

Celts
built large fortified settlements known as
oppida An ''oppidum'' (plural ''oppida'') is a large fortified Iron Age settlement. Oppida are associated with the Celtic late La Tène culture The La Tène culture (; ) was a European Iron Age culture. It developed and flourished during the late ...

oppida
, whose walls seem partially influenced by those built in the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands aroun ...

Mediterranean
. The fortifications were continuously being expanded and improved. Around 600 BC, in
Heuneburg The Heuneburg is a prehistoric hillfort by the river Danube The Danube ( ; ) is Europe's List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest river after the Volga River, Volga, flowing through much of Central Europe, Central and Southeas ...

Heuneburg
, Germany, forts were constructed with a limestone foundation supported by a
mudbrick A mudbrick or mud-brick is an air-dried brick A brick is a type of block used to build walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Properly, the term ''brick'' denotes a block composed of dried clay, but is now also use ...
wall approximately 4 metres tall, probably topped by a roofed walkway, thus reaching a total height of 6 metres. The wall was clad with lime plaster, regularly renewed. Towers protruded outwards from it. The
Oppidum of Manching The Oppidum of Manching (german: Oppidum von Manching) was a large Celtic proto-urban or city-like settlement at modern-day Manching Manching is a Municipalities of Germany, municipality in the Pfaffenhofen (district), district of Pfaffenhofen, i ...
(German: Oppidum von Manching) was a large Celtic proto-urban or city-like settlement at modern-day Manching (near Ingolstadt), Bavaria (Germany). The settlement was founded in the 3rd century BC and existed until c. 50–30 BC. It reached its largest extent during the late La Tène period (late 2nd century BC), when it had a size of 380 hectares. At that time, 5,000 to 10,000 people lived within its 7.2 km long walls. The oppidum of
Bibracte Bibracte, a Gallic ''oppidum An ''oppidum'' (plural ''oppida'') is a large fortified Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was pr ...
is another example of a Gaulish fortified settlement.


Ancient Rome

The Mura aureliane are a line of
city wall A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from La ...
s built between 271 AD and 275 AD in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
, during the reign of the
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it ...
s
Aurelian Aurelian ( la, Lucius Domitius Aurelianus; 9 September 214c. October 275) was Roman emperor from 270 to 275. As emperor, he won an unprecedented series of military victories which reunited the Roman Empire after it had practically disintegrated ...

Aurelian
and Probus. The walls enclosed all the
seven hills of Rome The seven hills of Rome ( la, Septem colles/montes Romae, it, Sette colli di Roma ) east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the Servian Wall, walls of the city. Hills The seven hills are: * Aventine Hill (Latin: ''C ...

seven hills of Rome
plus the
Campus Martius The Campus Martius (Latin for the "Field of Mars", Italian language, Italian ''Campo Marzio'') was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome. The IV Rioni of Rome, rione of R ...

Campus Martius
and, on the right bank of the
Tiber File:Rome flood marker.jpg, Rome Historical marker, flood marker, 1598, set into a pillar of the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia, Santo Spirito Hospital near Basilica di San Pietro The Tiber (; la, Tiberis; it, Tevere ) is the third-long ...

Tiber
, the
Trastevere Trastevere () is the 13th ''Rioni of Rome, rione'' of Rome: it is identified by the initials R. XIII and it is located within the Municipio I. Its name comes from the Latin ''trans Tiberim'', meaning literally "beyond the Tiber". Its coat of arms ...

Trastevere
district. The river banks within the city limits appear to have been left unfortified, although they were fortified along the Campus Martius. The full circuit ran for surrounding an area of . The walls were constructed in brick-faced concrete, thick and high, with a square tower every 100 Roman feet (). In the 5th century, remodelling doubled the height of the walls to . By 500 AD, the circuit possessed 383 towers, 7,020
crenellation A battlement in defensive architecture, such as that of city wall A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to ...
s, 18 main gates, 5
postern gates
postern gates
, 116
latrine Public Latrine at Athens' Roman Forum site. A latrine is a toilet or an even simpler facility that is used as a toilet within a sanitation system. For example, it can be a communal trench in the earth in a camp to be used as emergency sanitation ...

latrine
s, and 2,066 large external windows.Claridge, Amanda (1998). ''Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide'', First, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 59, 332–335. The
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
fortified their cities with massive, mortar-bound stone walls. The most famous of these are the largely extant
Aurelian Walls The Aurelian Walls ( it, Mura aureliane) are a line of city walls built between 271 AD and 275 AD in Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of ...
of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
and the
Theodosian Walls The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklag ...
of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsargrad (Slavs, Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopol ...
, together with partial remains elsewhere. These are mostly city gates, like the
Porta Nigra The Porta Nigra (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roma ...

Porta Nigra
in
Trier Trier ( , ; lb, Tréier ), formerly known in English as Trèves ( ;) and Triers (see also Names of Trier in different languages, names in other languages), is a city on the banks of the Moselle (river), Moselle in Germany. It lies in a valley be ...

Trier
or
Newport Arch Newport Arch is a 3rd-century Roman gate in the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire Lincoln () is a cathedral city and county town of Lincolnshire in the East Midlands of England. The non-metropolitan district of Lincoln had a 2012 population of 94,6 ...

Newport Arch
in Lincoln.
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
was built by the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity it included large territorial holdings aro ...

Roman Empire
across the width of what is now
northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply the North, is the second most northern area of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an ar ...

northern England
following a visit by
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it ...
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. His ...

Hadrian
(AD 76–138) in AD 122.


India

A number of forts dating from the
Later Stone Age The Later Stone Age (LSA) is a period in African prehistory that follows the Middle Stone Age. The Later Stone Age is associated with the advent of modern human behavior in Africa, although definitions of this concept and means of studying it ar ...
to the
British Raj The British Raj (; from Hindi language, Hindi ''rāj'': kingdom, realm, state, or empire.) was the rule of the The Crown, British Crown on the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947.''Oxford English Dictionary'', 3rd edition (June 2008), on- ...
may be found in India. "Fort" is the word used in India for all old fortifications. Numerous
Indus Valley Civilization , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta figurines indicate the yoking of zebu oxen for pulling a cart and the presence of the chicken, a domesticated jungle fowl. The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze ...
sites exhibit evidences of fortifications. While
Dholavira Dholavira ( gu, ધોળાવીરા) is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric or recorded history, historic or contempora ...

Dholavira
has stone-built fortification walls,
Harrapa
Harrapa
is fortified using baked bricks; sites such as
Kalibangan Kalibangān is a town located at on the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar (Ghaggar-Hakra River) in Tehsil Pilibangān, between Suratgarh and Hanumangarh in Hanumangarh District, Rajasthan, India 205 km. from Bikaner. It is also identifie ...

Kalibangan
exhibit
mudbrick A mudbrick or mud-brick is an air-dried brick A brick is a type of block used to build walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Properly, the term ''brick'' denotes a block composed of dried clay, but is now also use ...
fortifications with bastions and
Lothal Lothal () was one of the southernmost cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization oxen for pulling a cart and the presence of the chicken The chicken (''Gallus gallus domesticus''), a subspecies of the red junglefowl, is a t ...

Lothal
has a quadrangular fortified layout. Evidence also suggested of fortifications in
Mohenjo-daro Mohenjo-daro (; sd, موئن جو دڙو'', ''meaning 'Mound of the Dead Men';
. Even a small town – for instance, Kotada Bhadli, exhibiting sophisticated fortification-like bastions – shows that nearly all major and minor towns of the Indus Valley Civilization were fortified. Forts also appeared in urban cities of the Gangetic valley during the second urbanisation period between 600 and 200 BC, and as many as 15 fortification sites have been identified by archaeologists throughout the Gangetic valley, such as Kaushambi,
Mahasthangarh 250px, right Mahasthangarh ( bn, মহাস্থানগড় ''Môhasthangôṛ'') is one of the most earliest urban archaeological sites so far discovered in Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, :bn:বাংলাদেশ, বাং ...

Mahasthangarh
,
Pataliputra Pataliputra (IAST: ), adjacent to modern-day Patna, was a city in ancient India, originally built by Magadha ruler Ajatashatru in 490 BCE as a small fort () near the Ganges river.. Udayin laid the foundation of the city of Pataliputra at the conf ...
,
Mathura Mathura () is a city and the administrative headquarters of Mathura district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately north of Agra Agra (, ) is a city on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian state of Utta ...

Mathura
,
Ahichchhatra Ahichchhatra (or Ahichatra, ''Ahi-Kshetra''), near the modern Ramnagar village in Aonla tehsil, Bareilly district The Bareilly district belongs to the state Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh (; 'Northern Province') is a state in northern Ind ...
,
Rajgir Rajgir (historically known as Girivraj) is an ancient city and a municipal council in Nalanda district Nalanda district is one of the thirty-eight districts of the state of Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of Indi ...
, and
Lauria Nandangarh Lauria Nandangarh, also Lauriya Navandgarh, is a city or town about 14 km from Narkatiaganj (or Shikarpur) and 28 km from Bettiah Bettiah is a city and administrative headquarters of West Champaran district ( Tirhut Division) - ...
. The earliest vedic brick fortification occurs in one of the stupa mounds of Lauria Nandangarh, which is 1.6 km in perimeter and oval in plan and encloses a habitation area. India currently has over 180 forts, with the state of
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a states and union territories of India, state in the western and central peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Maharashtra is the List of states and union territo ...

Maharashtra
alone having over 70 forts, which are also known as ''durg'', many of them built by
Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; c. 1627/February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Mar ...
, founder of the
Maratha state
Maratha state
. A large majority of forts in India are in North India. The most notable forts are the
Red Fort The Red Fort is a historic fort in the city of Delhi (in Old Delhi) in India that served as the main residence of the Mughal Emperors. Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned construction of the Red Fort on 12 May 1638, when he decided to shift his ...

Red Fort
at
Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. * * * Straddling the Yamuna river, but primarily ...
, the
Red Fort The Red Fort is a historic fort in the city of Delhi (in Old Delhi) in India that served as the main residence of the Mughal Emperors. Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned construction of the Red Fort on 12 May 1638, when he decided to shift his ...
at
Agra Agra (, ) is a city on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, about 210 km south of the national capital New Delhi. With a population of roughly 1.6 million, Agra is the fourth-most populous city in Uttar Prades ...
, the
Chittor Fort The Chittor Fort or Chittorgarh is the largest fort in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was the capital of Mewar and is located in the present-day town of Chittor. It sprawls over a hill in height spread over an area of abov ...
and
Mehrangarh Fort Mehrangarh, located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India. Built around 1459 by Rao Jodha, the fort is situated above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known f ...

Mehrangarh Fort
in
Rajasthan Rajasthan ( ; literally, "Land of Kings") is a States and union territories of India, state in northern India. The state covers an area of or 10.4 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the List of states and union territories ...

Rajasthan
, the
Ranthambhor Fort
Ranthambhor Fort
,
Amer Fort Amer Fort or Amber Fort is a fort located in Amer, Rajasthan Rajasthan ( ; literally, "Land of Kings") is a States and union territories of India, state in northern India. The state covers an area of or 10.4 percent of the total geographi ...
and
Jaisalmer Fort Jaisalmer Fort is situated in the city of Jaisalmer, in the India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous co ...

Jaisalmer Fort
also in Rajasthan and
Gwalior Fort The Gwalior Fort (''Gwāliiyar Qila'') is a hill fort near Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, ...

Gwalior Fort
in
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most ...

Madhya Pradesh
.


China

Large tempered earth (i.e.
rammed earth Rammed earth, also known as ''taipa'' in Portuguese, ''tapial'' or ''tapia'' in Spanish, ''tàpia'' in Catalan, ''pisé (de terre)'' in French, ''bijenica'' in Serbian, and ''hāngtǔ'' (夯土) in Mandarin Chinese, is a technique for constructing ...

rammed earth
) walls were built in
ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient his ...
since the
Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the middle and lower Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, succeeding the Xia dynasty and followed by the Zhou dynasty. ...

Shang dynasty
(c. 1600–1050 BC); the capital at ancient Ao had enormous walls built in this fashion (see
siege A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from la, sedere, lit=to sit. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characteri ...

siege
for more info). Although stone walls were built in China during the
Warring States The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period and concluded with the Qin wars of conquest ...
(481–221 BC), mass conversion to stone architecture did not begin in earnest until the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. H ...
(618–907 AD). The
Great Wall of China The Great Wall of China () is a series of fortifications that were built across the historical northern borders of ancient Chinese states and Imperial China as protection against various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe. Several wa ...

Great Wall of China
had been built since the Qin dynasty (221–207 BC), although its present form was mostly an engineering feat and remodelling of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; ) are an East Asian ethnic group nativ ...

Ming dynasty
(1368–1644 AD). In addition to the Great Wall, a number of Chinese cities also employed the use of
defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. The walls can range from simple palisades or earthworks to extensive military fortifications with towers, bastions and gate ...
s to defend their cities. Notable
Chinese city wall wall of Pingyao Chinese city walls () refer to defensive systems used to protect towns and cities in China in pre-modern times. In addition to walls, city defenses often included wall tower, towers and city gate, gates. Meaning of the word ''Che ...
s include the city walls of
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franc ...
,
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, a sub-provincial city, a megacity and the List ...
, the
Old City of Shanghai The Old City of Shanghai (; Shanghainese: ''Zånhae Loh Senshian''), also formerly known as the Chinese city, is the traditional urban core of Shanghai. Its boundary was formerly defined by a defensive wall. The Old City was the county seat for t ...
,
Suzhou Suzhou (; , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca am ...
,
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipalities, sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong, Guanzhong Plain in Northwest ...
and the
walled villages of Hong Kong . Most of the walled villages of Hong Kong are located in the New Territories The New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's ...
. The famous walls of the
Forbidden City The Forbidden City () is a palace , the official residence of Emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#F ...

Forbidden City
in
Beijing Beijing ( ; ; ), Chinese postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the Capital city, capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the world's List of national capitals by population, most populous national capital ci ...
were established in the early 15th century by the
Yongle Emperor The Yongle Emperor (pronounced , ; 2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424) — personal name Zhu Di (WG: Chu Ti) — was the third List of emperors of the Ming dynasty, Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1402 to 1424. Zhu Di was the fourth son ...

Yongle Emperor
. The Forbidden City made up the inner portion of the
Beijing city fortifications The Beijing city fortifications were constructed from the early 1400s to the year 1553. The inner city's wall was long and high, with a thickness of at ground level and at the top, and had nine gates. The wall stood for nearly 530 years, but in ...
.


Philippines


Spanish colonial fortifications

During the
Spanish Era The Spanish era ( la, Æra Hispanica), sometimes called the era of Caesar, was a calendar era (year numbering system) commonly used in the states of the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iber ...
several forts and outposts were built throughout the archipelago. Most notable is
Intramuros Intramuros (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

Intramuros
, the old walled city of Manila located along the southern bank of the
Pasig River The Pasig River ( fil, Ilog Pasig; es, Río Pásig) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at ...

Pasig River
. The historic city was home to centuries-old churches, schools, convents, government buildings and residences, the best collection of Spanish colonial architecture before much of it was destroyed by the bombs of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
. Of all the buildings within the 67-acre city, only one building, the San Agustin Church, survived the war. Partial listing of Spanish forts: #
Intramuros Intramuros (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

Intramuros
,
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila ), is the capital city, capital of the Philippines, and its second most populous city. It is Cities of the Philippines#Independent cities, highly urbanized ...

Manila
#
Cuartel de Santo Domingo
Cuartel de Santo Domingo
,
Santa Rosa, Laguna , officially the ( tl, Lungsod ng ), is a in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and ad ...
# Fuerza de Cuyo,
Cuyo, Palawan , officially the ( cyo, Banwa 'ang Cuyo, tgl, Bayan ng ), is a in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the maj ...
# Fuerza de Cagayancillo,
Cagayancillo , officially the ( tgl, Bayan ng ), is a in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and admi ...
,
Palawan Palawan (pronounced ), officially the Province of Palawan ( cyo, Probinsya i'ang Palawan; tl, Lalawigan ng Palawan; hil, Kapuoran sang Palawan; ceb, Lalawigan sa Palawan), is an archipelagic Provinces of the Philippines, province of the Phili ...

Palawan
# Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza,
Zamboanga City Zamboanga may refer to: * Zamboanga City, an independent highly urbanized city located in Mindanao, Philippines * Zamboanga Peninsula, a political administrative region in the Philippines * Zamboanga (province), a former province of the Philippines ...
# Fuerza de San Felipe,
Cavite City , officially the ( tl, Lungsod ng Kabite, cbk, Ciudad de Cavite), is a Cities of the Philippines#Legal classification, in the Philippines. According to the , it has a population of people. The city was the capital of Cavite province from the ...
#
Fuerza de San Pedro
Fuerza de San Pedro
,
Cebu Cebu (; ceb, Sugbo), officially the Province of Cebu ( ceb, Lalawigan sa Sugbo; tl, Lalawigan ng Cebu), is a Provinces of the Philippines, province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas Regions of the Philippines, region, and con ...

Cebu
#
Fuerte dela Concepcion y del Triunfo Fuerte dela Concepcion y del Triunfo also known as Fort of Misamis is a citadel A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of ...
,
Ozamiz , officially the ( ceb, Dakbayan sa ; tl, Lungsod ng ), is a in the province of , . According to the , it has a population of people. Although occasionally spelled as Ozamis in official sources, City Resolution 251-05 officially spelled O ...
,
Misamis Occidental Misamis Occidental ( ceb, Kasadpang Misamis; Subanen: ''Sindepan Mis'samis''; fil, Kanlurang Misamis) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' ...
# Fuerza de San Antonio Abad,
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila ), is the capital city, capital of the Philippines, and its second most populous city. It is Cities of the Philippines#Independent cities, highly urbanized ...

Manila
# Fuerza de Pikit,
Pikit, Cotabato , officially the ( Maguindanaon: ''Ingud nu Pikit''; Iranun The Iranun are a Moro ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
# Fuerza de Santiago,
Romblon, Romblon , officially the , is a and capital of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrati ...
# Fuerza de Jolo,
Jolo, Sulu , officially the (; tsg, Dāira sin Tiyanggi; tl, Bayan ng Jolo), is a and capital of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia' ...
# Fuerza de Masbate,
Masbate Masbate, officially the Province of Masbate ( Masbateño: ''Probinsya san Masbate''; war, Probinsya han Masbate; hil, Kapuoran sang Masbate; bcl, Probinsya kan Masbate; ceb, Lalawigan sa Masbate; tl, Lalawigan ng Masbate), is an island provin ...
# Fuerza de Bongabong, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro # Cotta de Dapitan,
Dapitan , officially the ( ceb, Dakbayan sa ; Subanon: ''Gembagel G'benwa /Bagbenwa ''), is a in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia ...
,
Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga del Norte ( Chavacano: ''Zamboanga del Norte''; Cebuano: ''Amihanang Zamboanga''; Subanon: ''Utara Sembwangan''; tl, Hilagang Zamboanga), officially the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, is a province A province is almost always an ...
# Fuerte de Alfonso XII, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur # Fuerza de Bacolod, Bacolod, Lanao del Norte # Guinsiliban Watchtower, Guinsiliban, Camiguin # Laguindingan Watchtower,
Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental , officially the ( ceb, Lungsod sa Laguindingan; tl, Bayan ng Laguindingan), is a in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', w ...
# Kutang San Diego,
Gumaca, Quezon , officially the ( tgl, Bayan ng ), is a of the Philippines, in the Philippine Province, province of , . According to the , it has a population of people. Located at the mouth of what is now known as Pipisik River and nestling at the foot o ...
#
Baluarte Luna
Baluarte Luna
,
Luna, La Union
Luna, La Union


Local fortifications

The Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes built their so-called ''
idjang Ijangs are the terraced and defended settlements on hill tops and ridges in the Batanes Islands in the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipin ...
'' on hills and elevated areas to protect themselves during times of war. These fortifications were likened to European castles because of their purpose. Usually, the only entrance to the castles would be via a rope ladder that would only be lowered for the villagers and could be kept away when invaders arrived. The Igorots built forts made of stone walls that averaged several meters in width and about two to three times the width in height around 2000 BC.Ancient and Pre-Spanish Era of the Philippines
. Accessed September 04, 2008.
The Muslim Filipinos of the south built strong
fortresses A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, w ...
called ''kota'' or ''moong'' to protect their communities. Usually, many of the occupants of these kotas are entire families rather than just warriors. Lords often had their own kotas to assert their right to rule, it served not only as a military installation but as a palace for the local Lord. It is said that at the height of the Maguindanao Sultanate's power, they blanketed the areas around Western
Mindanao Mindanao () is the List of islands of the Philippines, second-largest island in the Philippines, after Luzon and List of islands by population, seventh-most populous island in the world. Located in the southern region of the archipelago, the i ...
with Kotas and other fortifications to block the Spanish advance into the region. These kotas were usually made of stone and bamboo or other light materials and surrounded by trench networks. As a result, some of these kotas were burned easily of destroyed. With further Spanish campaigns in the region, the Sultanate was subdued and majority of Kotas dismantled or destroyed. Kotas were not only used by the Muslims as defense against Spaniards and other foreigners, renegades and rebels also built fortifications in defiance of other chiefs in the area. During the American occupation, rebels built strongholds and the Datus, Rajahs or Sultans often built and reinforced their kotas in a desperate bid to maintain rule over their subjects and their land. Many of these forts were also destroyed by American expeditions, as a result, very very few kotas still stand to this day. Notable Kotas: * Kota Selurong: an outpost of the
Bruneian Empire The Bruneian Empire or Empire of Brunei ( ), also known as Sultanate of Brunei, was a Ethnic Malay, Malay sultanate, centred in Brunei on the northern coast of Borneo island in Southeast Asia. Bruneian rulers converted to Islam around the 15th ...
in Luzon, later became the City of
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila ), is the capital city, capital of the Philippines, and its second most populous city. It is Cities of the Philippines#Independent cities, highly urbanized ...

Manila
. * Kuta Wato/Kota Bato: Literally translates to "stone fort" the first known stone fortification in the country, its ruins exist as the "Kutawato Cave Complex" * Kota Sug/Jolo: The capital and seat of the
Sultanate of Sulu The Sultanate of Sulu ( ar, سلطنة سولك, Tausūg: كاسولتانن سين سوڬ, ) was a Muslim state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. De ...
. When it was occupied by the Spaniards in the 1870s they converted the kota into the world's smallest walled city.


Pre-Islamic Arabia


During Muhammad's lifetime

During Muhammad's era in Arabia, many tribes made use of fortifications. In the Battle of the Trench, the largely outnumbered defenders of Medina, mainly
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, ...

Muslim
s led by
Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals in Islam who are believed to spread God in Islam, God's message on Earth and to serve as models of ideal human behaviour. Som ...
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
, dug a trench, which together with Medina's natural fortifications, rendered the confederate
cavalry Cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldiers or warriors who Horses in warfare, fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms, operating as li ...
(consisting of horses and
camels A camel is an even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulates—hoofed animals—which bear weight equally on two (an even number) of their five toes: the third and fourth. The other three toes are either present, ...
) useless, locking the two sides in a stalemate. Hoping to make several attacks at once, the confederates persuaded the Medina-allied
Banu QurayzaImage:Banu Qurayza.png, upright=1.8, Detail from miniature painting ''The Prophet, Ali, and the Companions at the Massacre of the Prisoners of the Jewish Tribe of Beni Qurayzah'', illustration of a 19th-century text by Muhammad Rafi Bazil. Manuscript ...

Banu Qurayza
to attack the city from the south. However, Muhammad's diplomacy derailed the negotiations, and broke up the confederacy against him. The well-organized defenders, the sinking of confederate morale, and poor weather conditions caused the siege to end in a fiasco.* During the Siege of Ta'if in January 630, Note: Shawwal 8AH is January 630AD Muhammad ordered his followers to attack enemies who fled from the Battle of Hunayn and sought refuge in the fortress of Taif.William Muir, The life of Mahomet and history of Islam to the era of the Hegira, Volume 4, p. 142.


Islamic world


Africa

The walls of Benin are described as the world's second longest man-made structure, as well as the most extensive earthwork in the world, by the Guinness Book of Records, 1974. The walls may have been constructed between the thirteenth and mid-fifteenth century CE or, during the first millennium CE. Strong citadels were also built other in areas of Africa. History of the Yoruba people, Yorubaland for example had several sites surrounded by the full range of earthworks and ramparts seen elsewhere, and sited on ground. This improved defensive potential- such as hills and ridges. Yoruba fortifications were often protected with a double wall of trenches and ramparts, and in the Congo forests concealed ditches and paths, along with the main works, often bristled with rows of sharpened stakes. Inner defenses were laid out to blunt an enemy penetration with a maze of defensive walls allowing for entrapment and crossfire on opposing forces.July, pp. 11–39 A military tactic of the Ashanti Empire, Ashanti was to create powerful log stockades at key points. This was employed in later wars against the British Empire, British to block British advances. Some of these fortifications were over a hundred yard long, with heavy parallel tree trunks. They were impervious to destruction by artillery fire. Behind these stockades numerous Ashanti soldiers were mobilized to check enemy movement. While formidable in construction, many of these strongpoints failed because Ashanti guns, gunpowder and bullets were poor, and provided little sustained killing power in defense. Time and time again British troops overcame or bypassed the stockades by mounting old-fashioned bayonet charges, after laying down some covering fire. Defensive works were of importance in the tropical African Kingdoms. In the Kingdom of Kongo field fortifications were characterized by trenches and low earthen embankments. Such strongpoints ironically, sometimes held up much better against European cannon than taller, more imposing structures.Thornton, pp. 22–39


Medieval Europe

Roman forts In the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Lati ...
and
hill fort A hillfort is a type of earthwork used as a fortified A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically o ...
s were the main antecedents of castles in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
, which emerged in the 9th century in the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of ...
. The
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start ...
saw the creation of some towns built around castles. These cities were only rarely protected by simple stone walls and more usually by a combination of both walls and
ditches 150px, Waterplants growing in a ditch in the Netherlands, showing '' Sagittaria sagittifolia'' to the right. A ditch is a small to moderate divot created to channel water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and tran ...
. From the 12th century hundreds of settlements of all sizes were founded all across Europe, which very often obtained the right of fortification soon afterwards. The founding of urban centres was an important means of territorial expansion and many cities, especially in eastern Europe, were founded precisely for this purpose during the period of Ostsiedlung, Eastern Colonisation. These cities are easy to recognise due to their regular layout and large market spaces. The fortifications of these settlements were continuously improved to reflect the current level of military development. During the Renaissance era, the Republic of Venice, Venetian Republic raised great walls around cities, and the finest examples, among others, are in Nicosia (Cyprus), Rocca di Manerba del Garda (Lombardy) and Palmanova (Italy), or Dubrovnik (Croatia), which proved to be futile against attacks but still stand to this day. Unlike Venetians the Ottoman architecture, Ottomans used to built smaller fortifications but in greater numbers, and only rarely fortified entire settlements such as Počitelj, Walled city of Vratnik, Vratnik and Walled city of Jajce, Jajce in Ottoman Bosnia, Bosnia.


Development after introduction of firearms

Medieval-style fortifications were largely made obsolete by the arrival of
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In guns, particularly firearm A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carrie ...
s on the 14th century battlefield. Fortifications in the age of
black powder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur, carbon (in the form of charcoal) and potassium nitrate (saltpeter). The ...
evolved into much lower structures with greater use of
ditches 150px, Waterplants growing in a ditch in the Netherlands, showing '' Sagittaria sagittifolia'' to the right. A ditch is a small to moderate divot created to channel water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and tran ...
and earthworks (engineering), earth ramparts that would absorb and disperse the energy of cannon fire. Walls exposed to direct cannon fire were very vulnerable, so were sunk into ditches fronted by earth slopes. This placed a heavy emphasis on the geometry of the fortification to allow defensive cannonry interlocking fields of fire to cover all approaches to the lower and thus more vulnerable walls. The evolution of this new style of fortification can be seen in transitional forts such as Sarzanello in North West Italy which was built between 1492 and 1502. Sarzanello consists of both crenellated walls with towers typical of the medieval period but also has a ravelin like angular gun platform screening one of the curtain walls which is protected from flanking fire from the towers of the main part of the fort. Another example are the fortifications of Rhodes which were ''frozen'' at 1522 so that Rhodes is the only European walled town that still shows the transition between the classical medieval fortification and the modern ones. Fortifications also extended in depth, with protected batteries for defensive cannonry, to allow them to engage attacking cannon to keep them at a distance and prevent them bearing directly on the vulnerable walls. The result was Star fort, star shaped fortifications with tier upon tier of hornworks and
bastion A bastion or bulwark is a structure projecting outward from the Curtain wall (fortification), curtain wall of a fortification, most commonly angular in shape and positioned at the corners of the fort. The fully developed bastion consists of two f ...
s, of which Fort Bourtange is an excellent example. There are also extensive fortifications from this era in the Northern Europe, Nordic states and in Great Britain, Britain, the fortifications of Berwick-upon-Tweed and the harbour archipelago of Suomenlinna at Helsinki being fine examples.


19th century

The arrival of
explosive shell File:W48 155-millimeter nuclear shell.jpg, US scientists with a full-scale cut-away model of the W48 155 millimeter nuclear artillery shell, a very small tactical nuclear weapon with an explosive yield equivalent to 72 tons of trinitrotoluene, TN ...
s in the 19th century led to yet another stage in the evolution of fortification.
Star fort A star is an astronomical object In astronomy, an astronomical object or celestial object is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe. In astronomy, the terms ''object'' a ...
s did not fare well against the effects of high explosive and the intricate arrangements of bastions, flanking batteries and the carefully constructed lines of fire for the defending cannon could be rapidly disrupted by explosive shells. Worse, the large open ditches surrounding forts of this type were an integral part of the defensive scheme, as was the covered way at the edge of the counter scarp. The ditch was extremely vulnerable to bombardment with explosive shells. In response, military engineers evolved the Polygonal fort, polygonal style of fortification. The ditch became deep and vertically sided, cut directly into the native rock or soil, laid out as a series of straight lines creating the central fortified area that gives this style of fortification its name. Wide enough to be an impassable barrier for attacking troops, but narrow enough to be a difficult target for enemy shellfire, the ditch was swept by fire from defensive blockhouses set in the ditch as well as firing positions cut into the outer face of the ditch itself. The profile of the fort became very low indeed, surrounded outside the ditch covered by caponiers by a gently sloping open area so as to eliminate possible cover for enemy forces, while the fort itself provided a minimal target for enemy fire. The entrypoint became a sunken gatehouse in the inner face of the ditch, reached by a curving ramp that gave access to the gate via a rolling bridge that could be withdrawn into the gatehouse. Much of the fort moved underground. Deep passages and tunnels now connected the blockhouses and firing points in the ditch to the fort proper, with magazine (artillery), magazines and machine rooms deep under the surface. The guns, however, were often mounted in open emplacements and protected only by a parapet; both in order to keep a lower profile and also because experience with guns in closed casemates had seen them put out of action by rubble as their own casemates were collapsed around them. Gone were citadels surrounding towns: forts were to be moved to the outside of the cities some 12 km to keep the enemy at a distance so their artillery could not bombard the city center. From now on a ring of forts were to be built at a spacing that would allow them to effectively cover the intervals between them. The new forts abandoned the principle of the bastion, which had also been made obsolete by advances in arms. The outline was a much simplified polygon, surrounded by a ditch. These forts, built in masonry and shaped stone, were designed to shelter their garrison against bombardment. One organizing feature of the new system involved the construction of two defensive curtains: an outer line of forts, backed by an inner ring or line at critical points of terrain or junctions (see, for example, Séré de Rivières system in France). Traditional fortification however continued to be applied by European armies engaged in warfare in colonies established in Africa against lightly armed attackers from amongst the indigenous population. A relatively small number of defenders in a fort impervious to primitive weaponry could hold out against high odds, the only constraint being the supply of ammunition.


20th and 21st centuries

Steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appea ...

Steel
-and-
concrete File:Pantheon cupola.jpg, Interior of the Pantheon dome, seen from beneath. The concrete for the coffered dome was laid on moulds, mounted on temporary scaffolding. Concrete is a composite material composed of fine and coarse construction agg ...
fortifications were common during the 19th and early 20th centuries. However the advances in modern warfare since
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...

World War I
have made large-scale fortifications
obsolete Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained, required, or degraded even though it may still be in good working order. The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management - A ...

obsolete
in most situations. In the 1930s and 1940s, some fortifications were built with designs taking into consideration the new threat of aerial warfare, for example Fort Campbell (Malta), Fort Campbell in Malta. Despite this, only underground bunkers are still able to provide some protection in modern wars. Many historical fortifications were demolished during the modern age, but a considerable number survive as popular tourist destinations and prominent local landmarks today. The downfall of permanent fortifications had two causes: * The ever-escalating power, speed, and reach of artillery and air power meant that almost any target that could be located could be destroyed, if sufficient force were massed against it. As such, the more resources a defender devoted to reinforcing a fortification, the more combat power that fortification justified being devoted to destroying it, if the fortification's destruction was demanded by an attacker's strategy. From
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
, bunker busters were used against fortifications. By 1950, nuclear weapons were capable of destroying entire cities, and produced dangerous radiation. This led to the creation of civilian nuclear air raid shelters. * The second weakness of permanent fortification was its very permanency. Because of this it was often easier to go around a fortification and, with the rise of mobile warfare in the beginning of World War II, this became a viable offensive choice. When a defensive line was too extensive to be entirely bypassed, massive offensive might could be massed against one part of the line allowing a breakthrough, after which the rest of the line could be bypassed. Such was the fate of the many defensive lines built before and during World War II, such as the Siegfried Line, the Stalin Line and the Atlantic Wall. This was not the case with the Maginot Line; it was designed to force the Germans to invade other countries (Belgium or Switzerland) to go around it, and was successful in that sense.[Halter, Marc; History of the Maginot Line, Moselle River, 2011. ] Instead field fortification rose to dominate defensive action. Unlike the trench warfare which dominated
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...

World War I
, these defences were more temporary in nature. This was an advantage because since it was less extensive it formed a less obvious target for enemy force to be directed against. If sufficient power were massed against one point to penetrate it, the forces based there could be withdrawn and the line could be re-established relatively quickly. Instead of a supposedly impenetrable defensive line, such fortifications emphasized defence in depth, so that as defenders were forced to pull back or were overrun, the lines of defenders behind them could take over the defence. Because the mobile offensives practised by both sides usually focused on avoiding the strongest points of a defensive line, these defences were usually relatively thin and spread along the length of a line. The defence was usually not equally strong throughout however. The strength of the defensive line in an area varied according to how rapidly an attacking force could progress in the terrain that was being defended—both the terrain the defensive line was built on and the ground behind it that an attacker might hope to break out into. This was both for reasons of the strategic value of the ground, and its defensive value. This was possible because while offensive tactics were focused on mobility, so were defensive tactics. The dug in defences consisted primarily of infantry and antitank guns. Defending tanks and tank destroyers would be concentrated in mobile brigades behind the defensive line. If a major offensive was launched against a point in the line, mobile reinforcements would be sent to reinforce that part of the line that was in danger of failing. Thus the defensive line could be relatively thin because the bulk of the fighting power of the defenders was not concentrated in the line itself but rather in the mobile reserves. A notable exception to this rule was seen in the defensive lines at the Battle of Kursk during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
, where Germany, German forces deliberately attacked into the strongest part of the Soviet Union, Soviet defences seeking to crush them utterly. The terrain that was being defended was of primary importance because open terrain that tanks could move over quickly made possible rapid advances into the defenders' rear areas that were very dangerous to the defenders. Thus such terrain had to be defended at all cost. In addition, since in theory the defensive line only had to hold out long enough for mobile reserves to reinforce it, terrain that did not permit rapid advance could be held more weakly because the enemy's advance into it would be slower, giving the defenders more time to reinforce that point in the line. For example, the battle of the Hurtgen Forest in Germany during the closing stages of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
is an excellent example of how difficult terrain could be used to the defenders' advantage. After World War II, ICBMs capable of reaching much of the way around the world were developed, and so speed became an essential characteristic of the strongest militaries and defenses. Missile silos were developed, so missiles could be fired from the middle of a country and hit cities and targets in another country, and airplanes (and air carriers) became major defenses and offensive weapons (leading to an expansion of the use of airports and airstrips as fortifications). Mobile defenses could be had underwater, too, in the form of nuclear submarines capable of firing missiles. Some bunkers in the mid to late 20th century came to be buried deep inside mountains and prominent rocks, such as Gibraltar and the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. On the ground itself, minefields have been used as hidden defences in modern warfare, often remaining long after the wars that produced them have ended. Demilitarized zones along borders are arguably another type of fortification, although a passive kind, providing a buffer between potentially hostile militaries.


Military airfields

Military airfields offer a fixed "target rich" environment for even relatively small enemy forces, using hit-and-run tactics by ground forces, stand-off attacks (mortars and rockets), air attacks, or ballistic missiles. Key targets – aircraft, munitions, fuel, and vital technical personnel – can be protected by fortifications. Aircraft can be protected by revetments, Hesco barriers, or hardened aircraft shelters which will protect from many types of attack. Larger aircraft types tend to be based outside the operational theatre. Munition storage follows safety rules which use fortifications (bunkers and bunds) to provide protection against accident and chain reactions (sympathetic detonations). Weapons for rearming aircraft can be stored in small fortified ''expense'' stores closer to the aircraft. At Bien Hoa South Vietnam on the morning of 16 May 1965, as aircraft were being re-fuelled and armed, a chain reaction explosion destroyed 13 aircraft, killed 34 personnel, and injured over 100; this, along with damage and losses of aircraft to enemy attack (by both Infiltration tactics, infiltration and stand off attacks), led to the construction of revetments and shelters to protect aircraft throughout South Vietnam. Aircrew and ground personnel will need protection during enemy attacks and fortifications range from culvert section "duck and cover" shelters to permanent air-raid shelters. Soft locations with high personnel densities such as accommodation and messing facilities can have limited protection by placing prefabricated concrete walls or barriers around them, examples of barriers are Jersey Barriers, T Barriers or Splinter Protection Units (SPUs). Older fortification may prove useful such as the old 'Yugo' pyramid shelters built in the 1980s which were used by US personnel on 8 Jan 2020 when Iran fired 11 ballistic missiles at Ayn al-Asad Airbase in Iraq. Fuel is volatile and has to comply with rules for storage which provide protection against accident. Fuel in underground bulk fuel installations is well protected though valves and controls are vulnerable to enemy action. Above ground tanks can be susceptible to attack. Ground support equipment will need to be protected by fortifications to be usable after an enemy attack. Permanent (concrete) guard fortifications are safer, stronger, last longer and are more cost effective than sandbag fortifications. Prefabricated positions can be made from concrete culvert sections. The British Yarnold Bunker is made from sections of a concrete pipe. Guard Towers provide increased field of view but a lower level of protection. Dispersal and camouflage of assets can supplement fortifications against some forms of airfield attack.


Counter-insurgency

Just as in colonial periods, comparatively obsolete fortifications are still used for low-intensity conflicts. Such fortifications range in size from small patrol bases or forward operating bases up to huge airbases such as Camp Bastion/Camp Leatherneck, Leatherneck in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the eas ...
. Much like in the 18th and 19th century, because the enemy is not a powerful military force with the heavy weaponry required to destroy fortifications, walls of gabion, sandbag or even simple mud can provide protection against small arms and anti-tank weapons – although such fortifications are still vulnerable to mortar and artillery fire.


Forts

Forts in modern American usage often refer to space set aside by governments for a permanent military facility; these often do not have any actual fortifications, and can have specializations (military barracks, administration, medical facilities, or intelligence). However, there are some modern fortifications that are referred to as forts. These are typically small semi permanent fortifications. In urban combat they are built by upgrading existing structures such as houses or public buildings. In field warfare they are often log, sandbag or gabion type construction. Such forts are typically only used in low level conflict, such as counterinsurgency conflicts or very low level conventional conflicts, such as the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, which saw the use of log forts for use by forward platoons and Company (military unit), companies. The reason for this is that static above ground forts can not survive modern direct or indirect fire weapons larger than mortars, RPGs and small arms.


Prisons and others

Fortifications designed to keep the inhabitants of a facility in rather than attacker out can also be found, in prisons, concentration camps, and other such facilities, with supermaxes having some of the strongest of those. Those are covered in other articles, as most prisons and concentration camps are not primarily military forts (although forts, camps, and garrison towns have been used as prisons and/or concentration camps; such as Theresienstadt, Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the Tower of London for example).


See also

* Border fence * Castra * Cavin * Citadel * Coastal fortification * Defense line * Defensive wall * Hesco bastion * Imperial fortress * Kuruwa, walls of a Japanese castle * List of fortifications * List of forts * Military camp * Slighting Fort components * Abatis * Banquette * Barbed wire, razor wire, wire entanglement, and wire obstacle * Bartizan * Bastion * Berm * Capital (fortification), Capital * Caponier * Casemate * Castle walls * Czech hedgehog * Defensive fighting position * Ditch (fortification), Ditch * Embrasure * Glacis * Gun turret * Keep * Lunette (fortification), Lunette * Machicolation * Outwork * Palisade * Parapet#Parapets in fortification, Parapet * Pillbox (military), Pillbox * Postern * Ravelin * Rampart (fortification), Rampart * Revetment * Sandbag * Sangar (fortification), Sangar * Counterscarp, Scarp and Counterscarp * Turret * ''Zwinger'' Types of forts and fortification * Blockhouse * Bunker *
Castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern na ...

Castle
*
Chinese city wall wall of Pingyao Chinese city walls () refer to defensive systems used to protect towns and cities in China in pre-modern times. In addition to walls, city defenses often included wall tower, towers and city gate, gates. Meaning of the word ''Che ...
* Compound (fortification), Compound * Defensive wall * Kaiping Diaolou, Diaolou * Fire support base * Flak tower * Fortress church or fortified church * Gord (archaeology), Grad, a Slavic wooden fortified settlement * Gusuku, fortifications in the Ryukyu Islands * Korean fortress * Hill fort * Land battery * Laneh Muri * Martello tower * Medieval fortification * Missile launch facility * Pā, a 19th-century Māori fortification * Peel tower * Polygonal fort * Promontory fort * Redoubt * Stockade *
Star fort A star is an astronomical object In astronomy, an astronomical object or celestial object is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe. In astronomy, the terms ''object'' a ...
Fortification and siege warfare * Medieval warfare * Military engineering * Military history * Siege * Siege engine Notable experts * Henri Alexis Brialmont * César Cui * Bernard de Gomme * Francesco Laparelli * Mozi * Diades of Pella * James of Saint George * Fritz Todt * Menno van Coehoorn * Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban * Maximilian von Welsch


Notes


References

*


Bibliography

*Osadolor, Osarhieme Benson, "The Military System of Benin Kingdom 1440–1897]," (UD), Hamburg University: 200
copy
*July, Robert ''Pre-Colonial Africa'', Charles Scribner, 1975 *Thornton, John Kelly ''Warfare in Atlantic Africa'', 1500–1800, Routledge: 1999


External links


Fortress Study Group
*
ICOFORT
{{Authority control Fortifications, Military strategy Military installations Forts