Embrasure Earthen Fortifications

bastion A flanking structure that projected out from a scarp. It usually had two angled faces, and two flanking walls. caponnier A flanking structure that projected out from the scarp, but of a lower profile than a full-sized bastion. It was usually protected by a stone and earthen roof, although some were topped by open parapets. It was usually pierced with loopholes to permit flanking fire to either side. It also sometimes served as a fortified passageway or gateway structure.

casemate An enclosed gallery-like structure that served to protect a gun battery. Casemate guns fired out of embrasures in the outer wall of the casemate.

chemin de ronde A passage between the detached scarp and an earthen rampart.

citadel An inner fort within the fortification that often served as a barrack room or headquarters building. cordon The top course of brick masonry on a scarp. countermine Tunnels dug by the defenders to destroy mines or tunnels dug by attackers during a siege. counterscarp The opposite side of the ditch from the scarp.

counterscarp gallery A flanking structure built into the counterscarp to permit defensive fire into the ditch or against the scarp if the latter was taken.

covered way The area that surrounded the fort, between the ditch and the glacis.

curtain The section of the scarp that lay between two bastions.

curtain angle The angle between the flank of the bastion and the curtain.

demi-bastion A half bastion with only a single face and a flanking wall. In effect it formed a fortified angle in the curtain.

detached scarp A scarp set some distance away from the rampart. It was also known as Carnot's wall. ditch The moat around a fort. It was usually a dry moat, although some were designed to be wet (water-filled) moats. embrasure An opening in the scarp that permitted the deployment and firing of artillery.

en barbette The mounting of artillery pieces so they could be fired over the top of a parapet.

enceinte The main area of fort structure that surrounded a central parade.

exterior slope The earthen slope of a rampart that faced the outside of the fort.

flanking fire Fire directed along or into a moat or curtain that prevented attackers from climbing (escalading) onto the scarp. glacis The sloped earthen bank outside the covered way. It rose as a shield to protect the body of the fort behind it. gorge The rear section of the main fortified works.

magazine A well-protected powder and shot storage area. These were usually located underground, or within fortified shelters. Smaller magazines were also used for the storage of arms and ammunition parade A flat central area within the fort, used as a parade ground, and for drill.

parapet A protective wall on the top of the rampart, capable of being used by sharpshooters. postern A passage and gate that led into the moat. rampart A bank of earth designed to protect defenders from enemy fire, and to provide a breastwork to fire from. ravelin A triangular-shaped defensive work lying outside the main fortification, used to shield the curtain. redoubt An enclosed fortification that lacked bastions or other structures projecting from the curtain.The term was also used to refer to the barrack block of certain forts, where the buildings formed a single face of the fort without casemate artillery.

revetment The brick facing on the sides of the moat, rampart or covered way.

salient The place where two waits or curtains met at an angle, pointing outwards from the main line of the fortification.

sally port A fortified passageway and gate that served as the main entrance to the fortification.

scarp The outer wall of the fort.

superior slope The top of an earth parapet that sloped downwards terreplein The area between the parapet and the parade. This could form the top of the main structure of the fortification.

towering bastion A Bastion that was higher than the level of the scarp outside it traverse A parapet placed across the width of the terreplein or a covered way to provide protection against flanking fire, traversing circle (or circle of traverse) The arc prescribed by the rear of a gun carriage when it is moved while aiming at a target.

traversing platform A circular or semicircular platform on which an artillery piece was mounted en barbette on the top of a fortification. Guns of this type were designed to traverse (pivot) around a central point.

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