Belidor's Ravelin fortification methods

Belidor's Ravelin fortification methods

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Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Plate from 18th century encyclopedia showing an illustration of different methods of ravelin type fortification designed by Bernard Forest de Belidor. A ravelin is a triangular fortification or detached outwork, located in front of the innerworks of a fortress (the curtain walls and bastions). A ravelin is placed outside a castle and opposite a fortification curtain. The outer edges of the ravelin are so configured that it divides an assault force and from the ravelin guns can fire upon the attacking troops as they approach the curtain. It also impedes besiegers from using their artillery to batter a breech in the curtain wall. The side of the ravelin facing the inner fortifications has at best a low wall, if any, so that the ravelin would not shelter attacking forces should they have overwhelmed the ravelin, or the defenders have abandoned it. .

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Keywords: bastion, belidor, castle, defence, encyclopedia, fortification, fortress, gun, illustration, ravelin, wall, war

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