Fort Pike Construction bicentennial video

A. Roy

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A great presentation and well-illustrated -- I learned a lot from this. Besides the U.S. coastal defenses, I'm assuming Bernard's designs were used in Europe and perhaps other places? It would be interesting to see some accounts about how this type of design held up under attack.

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Should I post some more on this site? I'm happy to post them; I just don't want to dominate the thread.

I think more posts would be welcome -- people here love this kind of thing. If you use a combination of still images and video in the initial post, that would make for some nice variety in a thread -- and I think still images can help us get these threads highlighted as featured posts on the site (it's complicated...)

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Bernard designed the defenses of Antwerp, Belgium, but as far as I know they were never attacked.

I'm woefully ignorant about fortifications, but I've gotten interested because I'm studying the earthworks that were constructed here in Raleigh NC to defend the city in 1863. I recently read David Mahan's text "A Treatise on Field Fortification," which has taught me a lot. From initial studies, I've begun to see how important an influence French engineers were on American constructions. From your Pike video, I can see one important principle that jibes with what Mahan says about the value of the lunette design, in that it allow defenders to sweep along their own outer walls, directing enfilading fire on attackers. I think your video does a good job illustrating that.

Roy B.
 

NFB22

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Location
Louisville, KY
I'm woefully ignorant about fortifications, but I've gotten interested because I'm studying the earthworks that were constructed here in Raleigh NC to defend the city in 1863. I recently read David Mahan's text "A Treatise on Field Fortification," which has taught me a lot. From initial studies, I've begun to see how important an influence French engineers were on American constructions. From your Pike video, I can see one important principle that jibes with what Mahan says about the value of the lunette design, in that it allow defenders to sweep along their own outer walls, directing enfilading fire on attackers. I think your video does a good job illustrating that.

Roy B.
You can trace European engineering regarding fortifications much further back in North American history. Prior to the evolution of heavy artillery, they really did design and construct some marvelous fortifications.
 

Irishtom29

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Kent, Washington
You can trace European engineering regarding fortifications much further back in North American history. Prior to the evolution of heavy artillery, they really did design and construct some marvelous fortifications.

Artillery fortifications (those designed to both resist and mount artillery) date back to the 15th Century with a transitional period of adapted and modified medieval designs and then full blown Italian trace in the 16th Century.

Salses in southern France, a late 15th Century Spanish built transitional fort; medieval in basic plan but built with both resisting and mounting artillery in mind. Note the deep ditch that protects the walls from direct fire, the thick walls capable of mounting cannon, the thick embrasured parapets and outworks.

5C13FC58-F4CE-4676-A453-AE2BA62693BD.jpeg
 

jrweaver

Corporal
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Dec 9, 2020
I like the sally port opening to the ravelin, then to the country, the same as the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, FL. That must be a Spanish thing, although Fort Erie has a "light" version of that.
 

Irishtom29

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Kent, Washington
I like the sally port opening to the ravelin, then to the country, the same as the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, FL. That must be a Spanish thing, although Fort Erie has a "light" version of that.

I think the ravelin is to some extent a development of the medieval barbican as many sit in front of gatehouses and access to the fort is via the ravelin. Below is a photo I took of the ravelin at the castillo in St. Augustine.

E9A7006A-A64F-40C9-8411-54729BB319FA.jpeg


A link to an article I wrote about the Castillo de San Marcos

http://www.fortified-places.com/staugustine/default.htm
 

jrweaver

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Fort Erie had a very strange design. The fact that the fort was never finished also contributes to the mysteries of its original design. The sally port, complete with drawbridge and gates, led to an area of the ditch where a ravelin with lake-coast guns was on one side and a simple gate into the fort on the other side.
The first picture shows the main gate of the fort with the sally port in the distance. The second picture shows the ravelin, which is to the right of the first picture. The third picture is a closer view of the sally port.

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Lubliner

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
Artillery fortifications (those designed to both resist and mount artillery) date back to the 15th Century with a transitional period of adapted and modified medieval designs and then full blown Italian trace in the 16th Century.

Salses in southern France, a late 15th Century Spanish built transitional fort; medieval in basic plan but built with both resisting and mounting artillery in mind. Note the deep ditch that protects the walls from direct fire, the thick walls capable of mounting cannon, the thick embrasured parapets and outworks.

View attachment 384695
This made me think of the Mexican War when General Scott marched his American Army into Mexico City. I have read some on the storming of causeways that led into the city defenses, but I have never seen a drawing of them. I was hoping you might know something about those fortifications, and be able to comment upon them. It is much appreciated.
Lubliner.
 

jrweaver

Corporal
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Dec 9, 2020
Unfortunately, I have never looked deeply into those defenses. I know that the only access was across long, narrow causeways, but that's about the extent of my knowledge. Sorry.
 
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