« ZurückWeiter »
since a line of frontiers is chiefly intended to shut buildings should be fortified. Morasses too, up the country which it covers.
and even marshes, are a very good barrier, as 3. When you are to construct a line of fron- the enemy cannot attempt to pass them without tiers, you should avail yourself of all the obsta- danger, and particularly with his cannon; therecles which the ground that it traverses may offer. fore, when the disposition and direction of the
4. That the line may have points of support, line allow some parts of it to be protected by the
open towns and villages enclosed by it should such obstacles, you ought to avail yourself of be fortified ; this is particularly requisite when they them. occupy important points, and when, by their situ- 10. A few redoubts placed near the most acation, they can see in reverse some other parts of cessible points of a ravine, and on those whence the line.
a reverse fire can be most easily obtained, will 5. As all the points of a line of frontiers are suffice to defend such passages. not equally accessible to the enemy, the obstacles 11. The woods which are in the direction of which forin it do not all require the same degree the line, may also procure advantages by means of resistance; for instance, should some parts of of abatis made within them, and supported by a the line traverse an open country, through which few detached works. The ground in front of the the enemy might easily penetrate, whilst others abatis should be cleared to a certain distauce, in pass over a marshy or woody ground, &c., which order that the enemy may not conceal his movescarcely allows him to approach, the former would ments and approach unperceived. undoubtedly require stronger defeuces than the 12. Should a mountain be in the direction of latter.
the line, its passages must be guarded by posts 6. Since a line of frontiers is chiefly intended sufficiently strong to secure them. to secure the country behind it from the enemy's 13. Wherever the country is open, and unparties, the works which it contains do not re- protected by natural obstacles, works ought to be quire a greater relief than that which field-works thrown up, whose requisite strength depends on commonly have; not even in its most accessible the importance of the points which they cover, points; and, according to circumstances, from the facility which the enemy may have of apthree to eight feet at most will suffice for the proaching them, and on the advantages which the thickness of their parapets. It is scarcely ne- ground affords for his manæuvres. cessary to observe, that the former dimension is
ii. Of Posts of Frontiers and other Posts.applicable to such works as are only to be secured Posts of frontiers are intended to secure, with a from the fire of musketry; and the latter to limited number of troops, the principal points o: those which may be attacked with cannon. a frontier which is not defended by an army, nor
7. Great advantages may be derived from by fortresses, the number, situation, and extent streams, and particularly when they are broad of which, are properly adapted to localities : for, and deep and have steep banks, or when the should it be protected by such fortresses, their ground on their banks is marshy; should they garrisons would suffice to guard it. It happens contain islands, those on the side of the army frequently that a frontier is actually defended by must be occupied, in order to prevent the enemy fortresses, but that they are not properly adapted from throwing up defences within them, under to localities : in which case, intermediate points the protection of which he could more easily must be occupied by posts, so as to rectify the pass the stream; with regard to those on the defects in the defence. the other side, they ought to be observed by posts In a mountainous country, the valleys are which are ordered to retreat when the enemy ap- chiefly inhabited, as they are more fertile and pears with a superior force; all thickets, brushi- better supplied with water, communications and wood, &c., which might favor and conceal bis accommodations of all sorts, than the elevated movements, should be cut down. It is less im- parts; wherefore the towns, or villages situated portant to occupy those islands than the others; within them, or near their openings, and in the besides, should they be attacked, you could not plains contiguous to them, are particularly suitakeep them on account of the impossibility of ble to the establishment of posts: those which conveying a sufficient force to defend them. defend the principal gorges, and serve as places
8. All fords must be guarded by strong posts, of rendezvous and depots, should be strongly and no bridges suffered to remain, except those fortified, and preceded by smaller posts, in order which are indispensably necessary to penetrate to watch the enemy's movements; with regard into the enemy's country, should circumstances to the other gorges, they should be guarded by require it; when they are not situated within a posts whose requisite strength depends on the fafortress, or protected by it, the place where they cility which they may give to the enemy to penestand should be more or less strongly fortified, trate into the country. according to the importance of the passage, and Flat and open countries are more difficult to to the greater or less facility which the enemy guard than the preceding; in such countries, the may have of approaching tnem.
chief towns should be occupied, and those 9. A small stream may also be rendered ser- placed on the communications be more or less viceable, by means of dams thrown across its strongly fortified, according to the importance of bed; so as to form small inundations wnicn ren- the points where they are situated ; intrenched der the access to the low parts of the ground camps, of which we shall speak hereafter, may more fficult to the enemy. The sluices of the also be formed, where their position enables them water mils, manufactories, &c., which are com- to be of service for the general defence of the fronmonly found on the banks of such streams, may tier. It is particularly requisite that those towns be vived likewise to that purpose, and those should be capable of a strong resistance, which are situated in fertile plains, as armies attempt and destitute of fortresses, posts strongly fortified generally to advance through the most fruitful must be established near the principal communiparts of a country.
cations, and in the points most advantageously No particular rule can be given, with regard to situated to defend it, and secure the army's rethe method of fortifying posts of frontiers, since treat, if necessary; indeed, less precautions are it depends on the configuration of the ground, requisite, when the army which invades such a the time which you can command, &c. But, country intends only to make a temporary stand, as those posts are intended to serve instead of either to levy contributions, or to draw in the fortresses, particular attention must be paid to eneiny and make a diversion; however, it should the dispositions for their defence; and that you occupy, as it advances, the principal communicashould avail yourself of every advantage which tions, and the positions which will secure its flanks localities may offer; a stream which allows an and rear; as, otherwise, its subsistencies would inundation to be formed, or whose passage may be continually exposed to be burnt or taken away be rendered difficult to the enemy by other con- by the parties of the enemy; besides the rear of venient means, an impassible morass which se- the army would be annoyed, and the army, percures part of the post, or a marshy ground which haps, be cut off. obstructs the approach to it; a wood where an The winter quarters of an army, and particuabatis, properly supported, can he made; orlarly in a hostile country, should also be covered which must be entirely cut down, as it would by posts so placed as to defend the principal conceal the enemy's movements, and expose the communications; for without it the quarters post to be surprised; buildings, which, being will not be secure, nor will the troops enjoy any placed between two works, form a sort of cur- repose, as they may be attacked at every motain connecting their defences, and whose walls ment: nay, should the enemy take the field early, may be pierced with loop-holes; or which pro- and attack the quarters before they have time ject in front of the post, and will flank part of it, to assemble, he might crush them, and thus deafter being secured by works, or by other practi- stroy part of the army in the beginning of the cable dispositions: some other buildings which campaign. must be pulled down, either because they would As all posts should be fortified according to the mask the fire of the post and render it less effec- same general principles, we refer the reader to tive, or because they would favor the enemy's ap- the hints which we have given, when speaking of proach, and enable him to see into the post; a posts of frontiers. street, which should be barricaded, or cut across iii. Of intrenched Camps of Frontiers. Some by trenches : some particular points, where works of the positioris to be occupied along a frontier, must be thrown up, as, on account of their situ- for its defence, may not be inhabited, or the ations, their fire will fank other works, or defend number of habitations which they contain may them in reverse : a ravine, a ditch, a steep be too small for the troops, which in those two ground, &c., which may strengthen the defence, cases must be encàmped; and then the positions or which would weaken it, should not proper take the name of intrenched camps of frontiers. precautions be taken : these, and other consi- There are two sorts of intrenched camps of derations, which circumstances may require, frontiers; namely, those which have a small exshould fix the attention of an engineer, in form- tent, and are only intended to guard the points ing his plan for the defence of a post, and, if he where they are placed; they differ from posts of cannot depend upon sufficient time to complete frontiers, of which we have been speaking in the all the dispositions which are requisite, he must preceding section, merely because they are situattend, first, to the most essential; next, to those ated in an uninhabited place; and what we have which are less important; and ultimately to the explained, with regard to the former, is also apformation of such works and obstacles as will plicable to the latter, with some modifications improve the defence of the post, although it may which the difference in their situation may renot indispensably require them. The first step to quire. The other intrenched camps of frontiers be taken, in such a case, is to secure the post from contain a considerable body of troops, and are a coup de main. It is scarcely necessary to ob- intended not only to guard the points where they serve, that the defences thrown up for that pur- are established, but to cover the country; these pose must be so disposed as not to prevent the camps, which are formed for the same purpose addition of others, should circumstances permitas flying camps, and only differ from them as it.
they are fortified, afford great advantages, when Let us suppose that an army intends to invade properly disposed; they keep the enemy in the territory of the enemy, and to remain there- check, and prevent him from penetrating through in; in this case, the march of the army requires some weak points of the frontier, in order to adparticular precautions suitable to the nature of vance in the country; for then his flanks and the frontier through which it proposes to pene- rear would be exposed to be attacked by the en trate: for instance, should the frontier be pro- camped troops, as they can march in all direo tected by fortresses well calculated in all respects tions; his lines of communication would not b? for its defence, they must be taken as the army safe, and his retreat might be cut off. It is eviadvances, and then be repaired, garrisoned, and dent that camps of this sort require to be so forsupplied with stores and provisions, in order to tified as to afford a resistance proportionate to keep in awe the invaded country, an afford th
the importance of the points points of support which may secure the army's which they occupy; and that their situations retreat, should it be compelled to fall back, and must be such as not to expose them to be rapidly supply all its wants; but if the country is open, and unexpectedly surrounded; for the troops
could not march to the torcatened points, nor if these are wanting, by making a ditch round it. make good their retreat when their safety required and using the earth to strengthen the wall. The it; and therefore they would be exposed to no doors and windows are fortified with boards, and purpose.
barricadoed. Loop-holes are every where made, The proper situation for an inerenched camp but in such a direction that the enemy cannot of frontiers requires, likewise, that it cannot be reach them with his firelocks, so as to fire into taken in reverse, nor the tro:); prevented from the inside of the house. If there is no ditch retreating or communicating with other parts of round it, other impediments are to be made use the frontier, according to circ imstances; and that of, to hinder the enemy from approaching close the enemy may not, by crushing some posts, to the wall. The roof' is broken down, and all oblige thé encamped troops "o withdraw from combustible matter covered with earth and rubtheir intrenched position, for roar of their retreat bish, to defend the house from an attack from being cut off. Lastly, it should be examined, above, which might otherwise be executed by whether the situation of the camp affords easy ladders. In a stone house, the walls will genemeans to penetrate into thr: encmy's country, rally be strong enough, or, if not, they are to be should such offensive movement le requisite, and prepared as above. The same is also to be obwhether it can be placed in a spot protected by served respecting the windows and the roof; some natural obstacles, as ther it will require less and, if possible, it is to be made shell proof from time and labor in fortifying.
above. The doors are either barricadoed, or de| iv, Of grand tétes de pont.—When part of a fended by a tambour constructed before them, to frontier is covered by a river, it is necessary to have a flanking fire. secure the principal communications across it, so A church-yard, a farm, or an estate, is fortified that an army may march to the enemy's country, in a similar manner; but, if surrounded by a or retreat from it, according to circumstances: wall, either loop-holes are made through it, or, grand têtes de pont are constructed for that pur- if too high, a kind of scaffolds, called echafaupose.
dages, are to be erected, serving for the soldiers It is evident that grand tetes de pont ought to to stand upon while firing. The church, or the be capable of a great resistance; for, as their building on an estate, are then generally used as object is very important, the enemy has a ma- à corps de garde, and made shell proof, by terial interest in destroying them; they require breaking down the roof and the uppermost story, also a rather considerable extent, in order to and using it to cover the building. The doors, contain a sufficient number of troops to check and particularly the corners of the walls round him, when the army is advancing or retreating such a place, are generally covered by tambours; through them. Lastly, they must be so disposed but, if time permits, caponniers, and other impeas to prevent him from perceiving the bridges diments to the advancing of the enemy, are made which they encompass; otherwise he would at- use of. The street and roads, leading towards tempt to destroy them from a distance, with his them, are generally made impracticable by old
or broken carts, harrows, boards with nails, When the communication to be secured is wheels, &c. All the houses in the neighboursituated in a town, and not seen from witbout, hood, which may be advantageous for the enemy, the part of the town beyond the river must be or which may favor or cover his approach, are fortified, and then it serves as a tête de pont. levelled, and the rubbish of them used to
But should the opening of the communication strengthen the walls. The trees near such a be outside of the town, and seen from the coun- place, if large, are hewed down or sawed off, try, not only the town must be fortified, but the that even not a single rifleman may approach opening requires to be covered by works suffici- covered by any of these parts. ently extensive to hide the bridges; or the points A small, or country town, if surrounded by a from which the enemy can see and batter them wall, is fortified in a similar manner; but echamust be fortified.
faudages are generally used behind its walls, and, Lastly, if the communication is at a certain if possible, two rows of soldiers are employed, distance from the town, its opening towards the one firing through loop-holes, and the other over enemy should be fortified, and the requisite pre- the walls. Guns are placed wherever their fire cautions taken to secure the bridges from being is of the best effect. The gates are barricadoed, battered.
and covered by impediments which hinder the It happens frequently that these grand commu- enemy from advancing ; besides this, they are nications across rivers are only established in covered by traverses, and a flanking fire is estabıtime of war; wherefore, the bridges which form lished before them, if possible. Only such parts them have no great solidity: in this case, stoc- of the gates as are essentially necessary to be cados should be constructed in the upper part open for the communication are not barricadoed, of the river, so as to stop every thing which the but strongly defended, while every thing is to be enemy may let go with the current, to break done that may render the interior communicaopen or destroy the bridges. When there are tion better and more easy, by means of sufficien islands near a tête de pont, those whence the passages. enemy could take it in reverse or batter the
PART III. bridges should be fortified. A single house, when it has no stone walls,
ON THE ATTACK OF FORTIFIED PLACES. may be fortified in the following manner: the It has been suggested that our treatise on the walls may he strengthened by boards in the in- above art requires some detailed mode of attack, side, or by rafters applied as in blockhouses, or, as one of the best exemplifications of the doce