Thcentury fortification theory

It was in 16th-century Europe that the science of artillery fortification matured fully to counter the dramatic increase in firepower afforded by the development of gunpowder. The devastating effect of artillery against tall medieval walls and towers had convinced military practitioners that new forms of defence were needed to offset this offensive power. The resulting forms developed in Italy in the 1490s consisted of much lower walls with gun-ports and platforms, and with four-sided angular projections at the corners at an acute angle to the curtain.

Dutch Armies 16th Century

A typical siege scene of the late-16th century showing the operations of the Spanish against the Dutch city of Grave in 1586. In the centre is a large eight-gun battery firing from behind gabions. Storm poles protrude from the embankment of the battery.

Cannon mounted on these enabled flanking fire from each bastion to cover all approaches leaving no 'dead ground', which inevitably occurred with round projections.

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