Strong walls that are designed to protect against attacks represent one of the most fundamental aspects of military architecture throughout history. These walls may serve a variety of purposes ranging from fortifications to protection against severe weather conditions such as tornadoes and hurricanes. The term fortifications generally refers to both the walls themselves and any additional strategic defenses or structures that may be present. Here are some of the most common types of fortifications used throughout history:
Walls – Typically made of stone, brick, or other durable materials, walls are the main defense of a fortification. They are often built with a sloping profile and may feature towers, bastions, or other protrusions to allow defenders to fire on attackers from multiple angles.
Moats – A moat is a deep, wide ditch often filled with water. Some moats were designed to impede enemy progress while others were intended to be filled with spikes or other deadly obstacles.
Ramparts – A rampart is a raised embankment or wall that is built along the top of a defensive wall. They provide additional height and protection for defenders to fire on attackers below.
Bastions – A bastion is a large, protruding structure that is built into the main wall. It may feature arrow slits or other openings for defenders to fire from, and offers a commanding view of the surrounding area.
Barbicans – An additional, external fortification that is built in front of the main entrance to a fortification. It provides an additional layer of defense and forces attackers to slow down and suffer additional casualties before reaching the main gates.
When it comes to fortifications, each structure is designed to counteract specific weaknesses in a defensive wall or structure. Strong walls combined with smart engineering and strategic planning form a formidable defense capable of withstanding almost any attack.