Definitions: Ditch
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Author:  pud [ Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Definitions: Ditch

Ah yes, the Ditch. As youngsters we all grew up thinking that this area was called the moat but in fact it is the Ditch. Simply, it is large and it is deep and it is a trench that is made around the entire body of works. Generally it is between 15 and 20 feet deep and between 50 and 100 feet wide. The earth that is actually excavated from this trench serves to raise and elevate the ramparts and the parapets. When it contains water, it is properly known as a 'Wet Ditch'. Most engineers of the period preferred 'dry ditches' because of the maintenance problems associated with wet ditches (stagnant water, the action and strength of frost and ice, etc.). Ideally ditches were meant to be inundated by the enemy temporarily during a siege and if they were constructed correctly then the slopes of the ditch were supported by stone or brick works. This was called 'Lining the Ditch'. The enemy would now find themselves trapped in a ditch of death.

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