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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 pa ...

military
construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Press 2009 and comes from ''constructio'' (from ''com-' ...

construction
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 ...

building
designed for the defense of territories in
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

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 ...

Latin
''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ("to make"). From very early history to modern times,
defensive 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 Lat ...

defensive wall
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 The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is ...

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 wa ...
, 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 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
, such as the ancient site of
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site near Mykines, Greece, Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about south-west of Athens; north of Argos, Peloponne ...

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 (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon lev ...

garrison
, and is the equivalent of the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...
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 th ...

castellum
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 ...

castra
metation" since the time of the
Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army The Roman army (: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of , from the (to c. 500 BC) to the (500–31 BC) and the (31 BC– ...

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 A castle is a type of fortification, fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by Military order (monastic society), military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but u ...

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 state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

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 ...

Roman forts
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 ...
s were the main antecedents of castles in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
, which emerged in the 9th century in the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient nort ...
. The
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the 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 of the Middle Ages ...
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 gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
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 Finnish smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces less smoke and less fouling when fir ...
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 (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tastel ...
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 wi ...
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 appe ...

Steel
-and-
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...

concrete
fortifications were common during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The advances in modern warfare since
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

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 Walls may refer to: *The plural of wall A wall is a structure and a surface that defines an area; carries a load; provides security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unr ...

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 ...

castra
metation'' since the time of the
Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army The Roman army (: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of , from the (to c. 500 BC) to the (500–31 BC) and the (31 BC– ...

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 machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine A molecular machine, nan ...

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 wi ...

earth
, brushwood and light
timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...

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 A castle is a type of fortification, fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by Military order (monastic society), military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but u ...

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 state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

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 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 ...

Carcassonne
.


History


Neolithic Europe

From very early history to modern times,
walls Walls may refer to: *The plural of wall A wall is a structure and a surface that defines an area; carries a load; provides security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unr ...

walls
have been a necessity for many cities. In
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
, 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 subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
from 6800 BC.
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
in ancient
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

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 th ...

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, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

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 Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

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 The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is ...

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 Valley Civilization, Indus Civilization. The occupation of this site is attested already at 3300 BCE. The remains consist of two parts; the ...

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 archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance ...
(c. 2500 BC) in present-day south-east
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
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 ...

bastion
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 Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

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 sys ...
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 Tunisi ...

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 The Kassites ...

Babylon
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 ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Bāḇel'' * syc, ܒܒܠ ''Bāḇel'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, ב ...

Ishtar Gate
. Exceptions were few—notably, ancient
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

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 wa ...
, 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 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
, such as the ancient site of
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site near Mykines, Greece, Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about south-west of Athens; north of Argos, Peloponne ...

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 subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, the city of
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
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 centuri ...
, that reached their fortified seaport at
Piraeus Piraeus ( ; el, Πειραιάς ; grc, Πειραιεύς ) is a port city The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Trieste.html"_;"title="Barcola_near_Trieste">Barcola_near_Trieste,_a_small_local_port A_port_is_a_ Barcola_near_Tr ...

Piraeus
a few miles away. In
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
, 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 Indo-European languages ar ...

Celts
built large fortified settlements known as
oppida 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 preceded by the Stone Age (Pal ...

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 and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
. The fortifications were continuously being expanded and improved. Around 600 BC, in
Heuneburg The Heuneburg is a prehistoric hillfort 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 prima ...

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 The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS locatio ...
(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 A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorize ...

city wall
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 peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
, during the reign of the
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
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 File:Rome flood marker.jpg, Rome Historical marker, flood marker, 1598, set into a pillar of the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia, ...

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 ...

Campus Martius
and, on the right bank of the
Tiber The Tiber (; la, Tiberis; it, Tevere ) is the third-longest and the longest in Central Italy, rising in the in and flowing through , , and , where it is joined by the River , to the , between and . It estimated at . The river has achi ...

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 A latrine is a toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toilets use water, while dry toilet, dry or non-flush toilets do no ...

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 Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
, 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 b ...

Trier
or
Newport Arch Newport Arch is a 3rd-century Roman gate in the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire. It is a Scheduled monument and Grade I listed building and is reputedly the oldest arch in the United Kingdom still used by traffic. History The arch was remodelled a ...

Newport Arch
in Lincoln.
Hadrian's Wall Hadrian's Wall ( la, Vallum Aelium), also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or ''Vallum Hadriani'' in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provincia ...

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-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

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 most northern area of England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England ...

northern England
following a visit by
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
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. Hi ...

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 ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
may be found in India. "Fort" is the word used in India for all old fortifications. Numerous
Indus Valley Civilization The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is ...
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 identifi ...

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 , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), ...

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 (: ), adjacent to modern-day , was a city in , originally built by Magadha ruler in 490 BCE as a small fort () near the river.. Udayin laid the foundation of the city of Pataliputra at the confluence of two rivers, the and the . H ...
,
Mathura Mathura () is a city and the administrative headquarters of Mathura district Mathura district situated along the banks of the river Yamuna The Yamuna (Hindustani Hindustani may refer to: * something of, from, or related to Hindus ...

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 Rājagṛiha), meaning "the City of Kings", is an ancient city and a municipal council A municipal council is the legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a ...
, 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 state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
alone having over 70 forts, which are also known as ''durg'', many of them built by
Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; 19 February 1630 – 3 April 1680), also referred to as Chhatrapati Shivaji, was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur ...
, 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 or Lal Qila () is a historic fort in Old Delhi, 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 hi ...

Red Fort
at
Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a of containing , the capital of India. * * * Straddling the river, but primarily its western or right bank, Delhi ...

Delhi
, the
Red Fort The Red Fort or Lal Qila () is a historic fort in Old Delhi, 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 hi ...

Red Fort
at
Agra Agra (, ) is a city on the banks of the Yamuna The Yamuna (Hindustani Hindustani may refer to: * something of, from, or related to Hindustan (another name of India) * Hindustani language, an Indo-Aryan language, whose two official norms ...

Agra
, the
Chittor Fort The Chittorgarh Fort also known as Chittorgarh or Chittor Fort is one of the largest forts 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 Chittorgarh. It sprawls over a ...

Chittor Fort
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 (; ; lit. 'Land of Kings') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspa ...

Rajasthan
, the
Ranthambhor Fort
Ranthambhor Fort
,
Amer Fort Amer Fort or Amber Fort is a fort located in Amer, Rajasthan Rajasthan (; ; lit. 'Land of Kings') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. D ...

Amer Fort
and
Jaisalmer Fort Jaisalmer Fort is situated in the city of Jaisalmer, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is believed to be one of the very few "living forts" in the world (such as Carcassonne, France), as nearly one fourth of the old city's population still re ...

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. Its capital city, capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Jabalpur, Ujjain, Gwalior, Satna being the other major cities. Madhya Pradesh is the List o ...

Madhya Pradesh
.


China

Large tempered earth (i.e.
rammed earth Rammed earth is a technique for construction, constructing foundations, floors, and walls using natural raw materials such as soil, earth, chalk, Lime (material), lime, or gravel. It is an ancient method that has been revived recently as a sustainab ...

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 The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...
since the
Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary monarchical regimes that ruled over China during much of its history. From ...

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#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spri ...
(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 An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
(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 Eurasian nomads, various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Step ...

Great Wall of China
had been built since the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...

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 Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

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 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 Lat ...

defensive wall
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 dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...
,
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 ...

Nanjing
, 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 (; ; , Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and c ...
,
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...
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 Chinese palace, palace complex in Dongcheng District, Beijing, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, at the center of the Imperial City, Beijing, Imperial City of Beijing. It is surrounded by numerous opulent imperial g ...

Forbidden City
in
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
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) is a in the that connects to . Stretching for , it bisects the Philippine capital of and into northern and southern halves. Its major are the and . The total of Pasig River, including the basin of , cove ...

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 global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. 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 Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are ...

Manila
# 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 Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...
# 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 of the Philippines, in the Philippine Province, province of , . According to the , it has a population of people. Located between the islands of Palawan and Negros (island), Negros in the Sulu Sea, ...
,
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 Phil ...

Palawan
# Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza,
Zamboanga City , officially the (Chavacano Chavacano or Chabacano is a group of varieties spoken in the . The variety spoken in , located in the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao, has the highest concentration of speakers. Other currently exis ...
# 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 ...

Cavite City
#
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 province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...

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 A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region ...
,
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 Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are ...

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 identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes t ...
# 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, Kawman sin Tiyanggi; tl, Bayan ng Jolo), is a and capital of the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivi ...
# 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 cbk, Ciudad de ''), is a in the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
,
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 ...
# Luna, La Union, Baluarte Luna, Luna, La Union


Local fortifications

The Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes built their so-called ''idjang'' 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 Igorot people, 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 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 Sultanate of Maguindanao, Maguindanao Sultanate's power, they blanketed the areas around Western Mindanao 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: * Kingdom of Maynila, Kota Selurong: an outpost of the Bruneian Empire in Luzon, later became the City of
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila, ), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are ...

Manila
. * Cotabato City, 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" * Jolo, Sulu, Kota Sug/Jolo: The capital and seat of the Sultanate of Sulu. 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 Muslims led by Prophets of Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad, dug a trench, which together with Medina's natural fortifications, rendered the confederate cavalry (consisting of horses and Camel cavalry, camels) useless, locking the two sides in a stalemate. Hoping to make several attacks at once, the confederates persuaded the Medina-allied Banu Qurayza to attack the city from the south. However, Muhammad as a diplomat, 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 ...

Roman forts
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 ...
s were the main antecedents of castles in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
, which emerged in the 9th century in the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient nort ...
. The
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the 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 of the Middle Ages ...
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 (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tastel ...
. 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 gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
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 Finnish smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces less smoke and less fouling when fir ...
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 (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tastel ...
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 ...

bastion
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 appe ...

Steel
-and-
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...

concrete
fortifications were common during the 19th and early 20th centuries. However the advances in modern warfare since
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

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 global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, 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, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

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 global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, 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 global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
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 Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
. 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 A castle is a type of fortification, fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by Military order (monastic society), military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but u ...

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