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Page 473.Vol.I.

Regular FORTIFICATION Bescioed.

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trine of fortification or defence. We do not easily be finished in the usual manner and time. hesitate to avail ourselves of that suggested by The barbet batteries in the salia nts of the demicolonel Douglas, and which he insists will over- lunes would soon be destroyed and the guns come all the obstacles opposed as well by the dismounted, if not removed upon the completion

. ordinary modes of fortification, as by the new of the batteries 2 and 3, by which the inward method of M. Carnot.

faces of the demi-lunes are ricoched. The faces The ordnance required for the attack shown of the two collateral bastions and their counterin plate VII. is as follows:

guards would also be ravaged and swept by the batteries 1 and 4; and, if necessary, batteries

might also be placed in the first parallel, to ricoNo. of

Guns. Mortars. Howitzers. Pierriers. cher the faces of the bastion attacked, and its Battery.

counterguard ; but the importance of throwing a

more powerful fire upon these works should in7 2

duce us to reserve this battery for position in the 4

second parallel, satisfied that it may be con4

structed without establishing more ricochet bat7

teries in the first place of arms. The battery 5 10

marked in dotted lines in the plan, may, how6 10

ever, be constructed, and should be armed with 7


heavy mortars and howitzers, to fire, at low ele8


vations, to ruin the circular portion of the es9



carpe-wall opposite to the casemated battery of 7


the gorge; and to injure or break in the case11 4

mates. If eight-inch mortars are placed in this 12

battery, they should use, occasionally, sixty13 5

eight pound shot, or shells filled with Icad; but 14 5

heavy iron howitzers, or carronades, will do 15 8


better : there can be no doubt that with such

means the escarpe-wall and casemates would 60 24



sustain very considerable injury.

As soon as the second parallel is completed, 16 5)


the batteries 5 and 6 are established to ricocher 17 5


the faces, chemins-des-rondes, ditch, and counter18 5

2 Brought forward from guard of the bastion attacked; and the outward 19 5

2 the other batteries.

faces of the adjoining demi-lunes with their 20


ditches. The ends of the parallel are secured by 21 5


redoubts, armed with field artillery. 22 5 J

When batteries 5 and 6 are in activity, the

demi-places-d'armes are commenced : they are 35

run out from the flank branches of batteries 5 and 6, until the prolongations of the inward

faces of the demi-lunes are intercepted, and there This proportion of ordnance is about the same the howitzer-batteries 7 and 8 are constructed. as that usually estimated for the attack of a front The batteries made in the second parallel, to of Vauban's first system, calculated at the lowest ricocher the faces of the bastion attacked will be rate.

so effectual in ruining their defences, that it does The attack (plate VII.) is made upon a bastion not appear necessary to construct half-parallels and its collateral demi-lunes.

and howitzer-batteries against them, as has been The first parallel is traced, as usual, about done against the faces of the demi-lunes. 300 toises from the most advanced points of de- The zig-zags upon the capital of the bastion fence, and extended sufficiently to embrace the are pushed forward, from the second parallel, prolongations of all the works which have in- simultaneously with the construction of the half fluence on the attack.

parallels; and, as soon as the batteries 7 and 8 The inward faces of the adjoining bastions, are in activity, the third parallel is commenced, and their counterguards, are ricoched by the traced, in a right line nearly, joining the three batteries 1 and 4 at the extremities of the saliants of the glacis en contrepente. parallel; and the batteries 2 and 3 are estab- The half-parallels are now extended outwards lished to ricocher the inward faces of the two from batteries 7 and 8 to embrace the prolongademi-lunes and their ditches.

tions of the flanks of the adjoining bastions, and At the same time that these batteries are con- the batteries 11 and 12 there constructed. The structing, approaches are pushed forward on the extremities of the half parallels are connected with three capitals; and the second parallel com- the second parallel by trenches or places of arms, menced as soon as the ricochet batteries, 1, 2, 3, which are thus flanked by the adjoining faces of and 4, are in activity, which should be in thirty- the redoubts, and cover the batteries in the halfsix hours after their commencement.

parallels from being turned by sorties. At the . M. Carnot despises so completely all the same time that this is doing, the howitzer-batteries early operations of attack, that we may presume 9 and 10 are established in the third parallel, to upon being very little opposed in constructing ricocher the faces of the bastion attacked, its these works; and consequently that they may ditch and counterguard, if no half-parallel and

howitzer-batteries have been constructed for these on the line of this prolongation, that the cavalier purposes.

may be seen at the point marked by the right of The objects of the mortar-howitzer-battery, battery number 13; and terms taken from No. 15, are to endeavour to ruin as much as the respective commands and distances of the possible the escarpe-wall of the bastion, and retrenchment and other works on the line of the casemated batteries; also to ricocher, and its prolongation show that it may be seen at shell, the communications, chemins-des-rondes, the places marked for batteries 13 and 14 and retranchement générale.

and consequently that it may be ricoched in An attentive inspection of the plate will both directions. The prolongations of the reshow, that the besieged must suffer greatly from trenchment are obtained, as the plate will show, this battery, particularly at that advanced period clear of the cavaliers; for the command of these of the siege which will oblige them to keep their works is such as to cover batteries 13 and defences manned: for the entrances to the 14 from all the intercepted portions of the chemins-des-rondes of the bastion being in its retrenchment. It is only therefore from the parts gorge at the base of the interior slope, the troops most remote to the bastion attacked, that these entering and returning will be continually pass- batteries can be seen, and that very obliquely :ing, close to the back-wall of the detached case- they cannot be counterbattered. Thus the pormates which flank the ditch, in directions pa- tion of the retrenchment from which battery rallel to the capital of the work, ard consequently 13 may be seen, would be ravaged by the exposed to ricochet fire from battery No. 15; alternate ricochet battery 14; and part and the ramp leading to the interior of the bas- affecting it, be ricoched by battery 13. The tion, being constructed exactly upon its capital, apparent exposure of batteries 13 and 14 to will be much ravaged by the continual ricochets several stages of fire, renders it necessary to fired in that direction. The seven casemates à notice these circumstances, in order to meet pierriers being open at the ends, all well directed here any observation that might occur as to difshot or shells which do not pass more than fif- ficulty in constructing and using these batteries. teen feet over the top of the escarpe-wall, will The nature of the polygon affects some of these either enter a casemate, or, striking the piers, or circumstances, and would require some modifithe ends of the arches, knock off splinters of cation in the plan of attack; but we must constones that cannot fail to commit great destruc- fine our reasoning to the case before us. The tion among the troops lining the wall immedi- batteries 13 and 14 are connected, by trenches, ately in front.

with the couronnement of the glacis, and armed Nor will the battery itself remain in a perfect with five twenty-four pounders each. state to this period of the siege. It is not too The trenches, saps, and parallels, should be much to expect that eight heavy mortars, or

defiladed from the fire of the place, by making howitzers, in action since the opening of the bat- their terrepleins parallel to the plane in which teries, will have done very material damage to the crests of the enemy's works, and the bethe escarpe-wall by which the ends of the case- sieger's trenches lie, so that the lines of direct mates are covered; and it is evident that, where- fire, passing close over the parapets of the ever a breach or fracture is made in it, the inte- trenches, parallel to the plane of their interior rior of the adjoining casemate will be completely spaces, do not command them any more than if exposed to direct fire, whenever a lodgment on both were in the same horizontal plane. This the saliant of the bastion is established: and it only requires the additional labor of taking out should be remarked that the escarpe-wall is only the prism of earth necessary to slope the bottom four feet six inches thick, in the recesses made of the trench in a plane parallel to that of the for receiving troops.

command (which, in the present case, is very As soon as the third parallel is finished, trifling), and to make the parapets of the battelodgments should be made on the crest of the ries a little higher than usual. If this be careglacis, by saps branching outwards from the three fully executed, it will effectually cancel the adcapitals, in circular directions round the saliants, vantages which M. Carnot dwells so much upon, and thence parallel to the edge of the glacis; as arising from this effect of command. constructing traverses and parades wherever it We are now come to that part of the operamay be necessary to defilade the interior of the tion at which M. Carnot says the besiegers will trenches from any of the works of the place. find themselves exposed to the full effect of

Double-saps are pushed forward at the same sorties. time from the third parallel, and an advanced Before parallels were introduced, sorties, it parallel worked right and left to join the lodg- appears, were very generally successful. This ments, or couronnement, of the glacis.

has furnished M. Carnot with many facts calAt the same time that these works are culated to show the good effect of these entercommenced, trenches are worked from the prises of valor before the science of attack rehalf-parallels near batteries 11 and 12, to ceived its vast improvement from the experience obtain prolongations upon which to construct of its great master, Vauban; and there is no the baiteries 13 and 14, which have very want of examples to show that sorties may always important objects to accomplish, viz. to ri- be made with success from places attacked with cocher the faces of the cavaliers, and the re- insufficient force. But if approaches and battetranchement général. It appears by measure- ries be well protected by parallels, and these ment and calculation obtained from the difference intrenched positions be properly occupied, vigiof command of the cavalier and demi-lune, lantly guarded, and gallantly defended, sorties together with the distance between their sections will be so severely punished, whatever degree of


temporary, transient success may attend them, plain, unbroken capacity, as to suffer dreadfully that, perhaps, a siege cannot commence with a from the very nature of fire which M. Carnot circumstance more auspicious to the besiegers, had intended only to infict. than that of meeting an attack of this nature with When a garrison is so numerous, or when the proper means and prudent dispositions. The besieging force is so inadequate to the enterprise, experience gained during the wars of Louis as to justify the measure of making sorties in XIV., in which the science of attack was force, there is no difficulty in filing out troops perfected to its present state; and the opinion for this purpose through the numerous debouches of all the great military authorities, of which that provided in an ordinary covered-way. If a age was so prolific, are condensed in the maxims sortie is to be made against the second parallel, and instruction given in the eighth volume of the the troops and workmien composing the mainMilitary History of that period, by the marquis body, move out in eight columns (immediately de Quincy, who observes, Sorties are dangerous afterwards formed into four), from eight different enterprises when the attacks are supported by outlets in the four re-entering places of arms, parallels; and generally produce little advan- each passage admitting easily four men abrease, tage, and always sustain great loss. We are and consequently of the transit of 320 men per often tempted to estimate the character of a de- minute, if moving at the rate of eighty paces of fence by the sorties d'éclat made during the thirty inches each in that time. Two flanking parsiege; but these contribute more to the reputa- ties to cover the operation move out, each in two tion of the governor for gallantry, than to the columns, from the passages in the more remote advantage of the prince ; since it is certain that places of arms of the adjoining fronts. These any retardation they may occasion to the enemy, debouches altogether admit of filing out, and bears no comparison to the loss which the be- forming in line at the foot of the glacis, a body sieged always sustain on such occasions. Similar of 2560 men, exclusive of the flanking parties, opinions inay be traced in every work of charac- in about seven minutes; and the time required ter that has been written upon this subject, from for this operation may be shortened by placing a the date of the authorities just mentioned, to the number of step-ladders to mount over the paliadmirable record of our practice, which, together sades in the three saliant places of arms of the with corrective observations for future guidance, front attacked. If a sortie is to be made against lieutenant colonel Jones has given in his Journal the third parallel, eight or ten step-ladders should of Sieges. If the example set by the publica- be placed in each of the three saliant places of tion of that work be followed by officers who arms, and the eight communications from the may be charged with similar duties hereafter, we four re-entering places of arms used besides. may reasonably hope that the British service will It does not appear then that there is any such not always remain dependent on foreign works difficulty in filing out troops for sorties from exor systems for its guidance

isting places, as should induce us on this account Now if it appear that the attack marked upon to abandon obstacles which are absolutely nethe plan, be as well supported and covered by cessary to prevent the besiegers from easily getplaces of arms; as little exposed to be taken in ting in. The new system of glacis coupés may Hank; in short, as capable of opposing and de- be calculated to admit some brilliant, though feating sorties as that disposition of parallels, generally rash exploits, from a place provided trenches, &c., upon which the opinions and max- with a numerous garrison, or attacked with inims just mentioned have been formed, then it only sufficient means; but it will prove most alarmingly remains for us to consider, whether the facilities defective when the places to which such works which M. Carnot has contrived for bringing out may be added come to fulfill the true purpose his troops should overturn what has been so for which fortifications are erected—to enable a generally experienced, and taught, as to the or- small force to oppose seven or eight times their dinary failure, and disadvantageous results of number. When this occurs, the very facilities such enterprises—a question which resolves itself of egress, which under such circumstances the into this : Whether the expediency of making the besieged cannot use, will give facility of insorties depends upon the mere convenience, or gress which the besiegers will not fail to avail facility, in bringing out the troops; or, with themselves of; and it appears to me that the whatever ease they may get out, upon the de- purely defensive qualities of these works are so fensive measures and force opposed to them; the defective, that a small garrison, capable enough prospects of success; the consequences of fai- of defending for a time ordinary works of equal lure ;-the loss likely to be sustained ;—and the development, would be insecure in this; and circumstances of the garrison as to being strong that a weak garrison would be utterly incapable enough in force, to afford that loss, and good of defending such a place at all : and perhaps enough in quality, to resist the moral effects of these works are more defective in partial applia defeat, which M. Vauban justly observes is so cation to old systems, than in a full adoption of hurtful to the spirit of the garrison. If these be the whole scheme of defence. the governing considerations which should deter- M. Carnot is so well aware of the impossibility mine the propriety of undertaking sorties, then of defending his glacis coupés de pied-ferme, the accessibility of all M. Carnot's outworks, and and of using vertical fire at the same time, that consequently their exposure to be assaulted when he says these works should not be occupied weakly garrisoned, is a sacrifice made to that on lest the enemy should take them by assault, and, which the issue does not essentially depend, and getting mixed with the troops posted in them, one that would oblige the besieged to keep bodies take prisoners in the mêlée, and thus prevent of troops continually posted in works of such the besieged from firing upon the assailants.'

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