What is Konigstein Fortress?

Introduction Königstein Fortress (German: Festung Königstein), the “Saxon Bastille”, is a hilltop fortress near Dresden, in Saxon Switzerland, Germany, above the town of Königstein on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe and sits atop the table hill of the same name. The 9.5 hectare… Read More

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What is Sapping?

Introduction Sapping is a term used in siege operations to describe the digging of a covered trench (a “sap”) to approach a besieged place without danger from the enemy’s fire. The purpose of the sap is usually to advance a besieging army’s position towards an attacked fortification. It is excavated by specialised military units, whose… Read More

What is Sapping?

Introduction Sapping is a term used in siege operations to describe the digging of a covered trench (a “sap”) to approach a besieged place without danger from the enemy’s fire. The purpose of the sap is usually to advance a besieging army’s position towards an attacked fortification. It is excavated by specialised military units, whose… Read More

What is the Underground City (Beijing)?

Introduction The Underground City (Chinese: 地下城; pinyin: Dìxià Chéng) is a Cold War era bomb shelter consisting of a network of tunnels located beneath Beijing, China. It has also been referred to as the Underground Great Wall since it was built for the purpose of military defence. The complex was constructed from 1969 to 1979… Read More

What is a Bunker?

Introduction A bunker is a defensive military fortification designed to protect people and valued materials from falling bombs or other attacks. Bunkers are mostly underground, in contrast to blockhouses which are mostly above ground. They were used extensively in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War for weapons facilities, command and control… Read More

What is a Kaserne?

Introduction Kaserne is a loanword taken from the German word Kaserne (plural: Kasernen), which means “barracks“. It is the typical term used when naming the garrison location for American and Canadian forces stationed in Germany. American forces were also sometimes housed in installations simply referred to as “barracks”, such as Ray Barracks in Friedberg. American… Read More

What is an Enceinte?

Introduction Enceinte (from Latin incinctus: girdled, surrounded) is a French term denoting the “main defensive enclosure of a fortification”. For a castle this is the main defensive line of wall towers and curtain walls enclosing the position. For a settlement it would be the main town wall with its associated gatehouses and towers and walls.… Read More