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Fortifications
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Author:  pud [ Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Fortifications

What is the meaning of "Fortification"? Quite simply it is the art of constructing a military work for either a Defensive or an Offensive purpose.

There are only two categories of fortifications: (i) Permanent and (ii) Field Fortifications.

Permanent fortifications are constructed using permanent characteristics. They are usually built to protect a large area such as a city. Most of these are so advantageous in their manner of construction that they're termed to be “garrisons”. Garrisons are built to withstand the attacks of superior numbers.

Field fortifications are much smaller but they're still created to protect villages, houses, river passages, camps, and generally they exist to assist the operations of military troops. Because of this they tend to last only for the duration of a particular campaign.

In Canada perhaps the most famous Garrison Fortifications exist in the cities of Kingston, Québec, Halifax and Louisburg. So what of the fortifications found in towns and villages in Canada? Well, an interesting thing has occurred in Canada and it starts with the word "Fort".

A Fort is generally a small version of a fortification. Forts are surrounded on all sides by a deep ditch, by parapets and ramparts but they are constructed as a line of defence and they usually secure some high-ground which has an advantageous position or façade about it. Forts are basic and simple. They are star-shaped or triangular or square or they incorporate the shape of a pentagon. Large fortifications, such as garrisons, tend to be much more complicated. They're polygonal and very geometrical. In Canada we've taken the idea of a Garrison even farther and developed the term "Citadel". Citadels are meant to be command posts for an entire city and should the city fall it represents an area where the citizens of the city will make their last stand. Citadels are extremely complex. In fact, in older British times, what we know as a Citadel in Canada today would have been called a "Keep" back then.

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