A star fort or trace italienne is a fortification in the style that evolved during the age of black powder, when cannon came to dominate the battlefield, and was first seen mid-15th century in Italy. Bourtange ( is a Star fort and village in the Westerwolde region of the Dutch province of Groningen. Groningen is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands Fortifications are Military Constructions and Buildings designed for defense in Warfare Humans have constructed defensive works for Gunpowder is a an explosive mixture of Sulfur, Charcoal and Potassium nitrate (also known as saltpetre/saltpeter that burns rapidly producing volumes | NOTE Throughout this article "cannon" is used as BOTH the || singular and plural Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Passive ring-shaped (enceinte) fortifications of the medieval era proved vulnerable to damage or destruction by cannon-fire, when it could be directed from outside against a perpendicular masonry wall. Medieval fortification is the military aspect of Medieval technology that covers the development of Fortification construction and use in Europe In contrast, the star fortress was a very flat structure composed of many triangular bastions, specifically designed to cover each other, and a ditch. A bastion is a structure projecting outward from the main enclosure of a Fortification, situated in both corners of a straight wall (termed curtain with the shape Further structures such as ravelins, hornworks or crownworks, and detached forts could be added to create a complex symmetrical structure. A ravelin is a triangular Fortification or detached Outwork in front of the Bastions of a fortress Fortifications are Military Constructions and Buildings designed for defense in Warfare Humans have constructed defensive works for
Star fortifications were further developed in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century in response, primarily, to the French invasion of the Italian peninsula. The French army was equipped with new cannons and bombards that were able to easily destroy traditional fortifications built in the Middle Ages. | NOTE Throughout this article "cannon" is used as BOTH the || singular and plural A bombard is a type of Medieval Cannon or mortar, used chiefly in Sieges for throwing heavy stone balls In order to counteract the power of the new weapons, defensive walls were made lower and thicker. They were built of many materials, usually earth and brick, as brick does not shatter on impact from a cannonball like stone does. A brick is a block of Ceramic material used in Masonry construction laid using mortar. In Geology, rock is a naturally occurring aggregate of Minerals and/or Mineraloids The Earth's outer solid layer the ‘ Lithosphere Another important design modification was the bastions that characterized the new fortresses. A bastion is a structure projecting outward from the main enclosure of a Fortification, situated in both corners of a straight wall (termed curtain with the shape In order to improve the defense of the fortress, covering fire had to be provided, often from multiple angles. The result was the development of "star"-shaped fortresses.
They were employed by Michelangelo in the defensive earthworks of Florence, refined in the sixteenth century by Baldassare Peruzzi and Scamozzi. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime One of them by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all Florence ( Italian: Firenze Florentia and Fiorenza) is the Capital City of the Italian region of Tuscany Baldassare Tommaso Peruzzi ( 7 March, 1481 &mdash 6 January, 1537) was an Italian Architect and painter, born in a small Vincenzo Scamozzi ( September 2, 1548 - August 7, 1616) was an Italian Architect and a writer on architecture active mainly
The design spread out of Italy in the 1530s and 1540s. It was employed heavily throughout Europe for the following three centuries. Italian engineers were heavily in demand throughout Europe to help build the new fortifications.
The late-seventeenth-century architect Menno van Coehoorn and Vauban, Louis XIV's military engineer, are considered to have taken the form to its logical extreme. Menno baron van Coehoorn (1641 &ndash March 17, 1704) was a Dutch soldier and Military engineer of Swedish extraction Sébastien Le Prestre Seigneur de Vauban and later Marquis de Vauban ( May 15, 1633 – March 30, 1707) commonly referred to Early years Birth and ancestry Louis XIV was born in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye on September 5 1638 and bore the Heir apparent "Fortresses. . . acquired ravelins and redoubts, bonnettes and lunettes, tenailles and tenaillons, counterguards and crownworks and hornworks and curvettes and fausse brayes and scarps and cordons and banquettes and counterscarps. A ravelin is a triangular Fortification or detached Outwork in front of the Bastions of a fortress A redoubt is a Fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort usually relying on earthworks though others In Fortification a lunette was originally an Outwork of half-moon shape later it became a Redan with short flanks in trace somewhat resembling a A scarp and a counterscarp are the inner and outer sides of a ditch used in fortifications In Fortification, a banquette is a little foot path or elevated step along the inside of a Rampart or Parapet, by which the musketeers get up to view the A scarp and a counterscarp are the inner and outer sides of a ditch used in fortifications . . that baroque profusion. "
In the nineteenth century, the development of the exploding shell changed the nature of defensive fortifications.
The star-shaped fortification had a formative influence on the patterning of the Renaissance ideal city: "The Renaissance was hypnotized by one city type which for a century and a half—from Filarete to Scamozzi—was impressed upon all utopian schemes: this is the star-shaped city. "
The predecessors of star fortifications were medieval fortresses, usually placed on high hills. Coevorden ( is a Municipality and a City in the northeastern Netherlands. Maurice of Nassau (Maurits van Nassau ( 14 November 1567 &ndash 23 April 1625) Prince of Orange (1618&ndash1625 Medieval fortification is the military aspect of Medieval technology that covers the development of Fortification construction and use in Europe From there arrows were shot at the enemies, and the higher the fortress was, the farther the arrows flew. An arrow is a pointed Projectile that is shot with a bow. It predates recorded history and is common to most Cultures. The enemies' hope was to either ram the gate or climb over the wall with ladders. A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of rungs or steps. There are two types rigid ladders that can be leaned against a vertical surface such as a Wall, and Invading fortresses were quite understandably hard tasks for the invading force. Therefore, fortresses were in a key position in warfare.
When the newly effective maneuverable siege cannon came into military strategy in the fifteenth century, the response from military engineers was to arrange for the walls to be embedded into ditches fronted by earth slopes so that they could not be attacked by direct fire, which is by far the most destructive, and to have the walls topped by earth banks that absorbed and largely dissipated the energy of plunging fire. A military engineer is primarily responsible for the design and construction of offensive defensive and logistical structures for Warfare Other duties include the In the context of warfare direct fire means aiming through a Sight directly at the target Plunging fire is gunfire directed upon an enemy from an elevated position or gunfire aimed so as to fall on an enemy from above Where conditions allow, as in Fort Manoel in Malta, the "ditches" are cut into the native rock, and the "wall" at the inside of the ditch is simply unquarried native rock. Fort Manoel is a Fortification on the island of Malta. It stands on Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour to the north west of Valletta Malta, officially the Republic of Malta (Repubblika ta' Malta is a European Microstate, comprising an Archipelago of three islands As the walls became lower, they also became more vulnerable to assault.
Worse yet, the rounded shape that had previously been dominant for the design of turrets created "dead space" which was relatively sheltered from defending fire, because direct fire from other parts of the walls could not be shot around the curved wall. To prevent this what had previously been round or square turrets were extended into diamond-shaped points which would give storming infantry no shelter. The ditches and walls channeled attacking troops into carefully constructed killing grounds where defensive cannon could wreak havoc on troops attempting to storm the walls, with emplacements set so that the attacking troops had no place to shelter from the defensive fire.
A further and more subtle change was to move from a passive model of defence to an active one. The lower walls were more vulnerable to being stormed, and the protection that the earth banking provided against direct fire failed if the attackers could occupy the slope on the outside of the ditch, and mount attacking cannon there. Therefore, the shape was designed to make maximum use of enfilade (or "flanking") fire against any attackers who should reach the base of any of the walls. Enfilade and defilade are concepts in Military tactics used to describe a military formation's exposure to enemy fire The indentations in the base of each point on the star sheltered cannon located there. Those cannon would have a clear line of fire directly down the edge of the neighboring points, while their point of the star was protected by fire from the base of those points.
Thus forts evolved complex shapes that allowed defensive batteries of cannon to command interlocking fields of fire. Palmanova ( Friulian: Palme) is a town in northeastern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia. Venice ( Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venesia or Venexia) is a city in Northern Italy, the capital of the The field of fire of a Weapon (or group of weapons is the area around it that it can easily and effectively reached by gunfire Forward batteries commanded the slopes which defended walls deeper in the complex from direct fire. In Military organizations an artillery battery is a unit of Guns mortars or Rockets so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield The defending cannon were not simply intended to deal with attempts to storm the walls, but to actively challenge attacking cannon, and deny them approach close enough to the fort to engage in direct fire against the vulnerable walls.
The key to the fort's defense moved to the outer edge of the ditch surrounding the fort, known as the covered way, or covert way. Defenders could move relatively safely in the cover of the ditch, and could engage in active counter measures to keep control of the glacis, the open slope that lay outside the ditch, by creating defensive earthworks to deny the enemy access to the glacis and thus to firing points that could bear directly on to the walls, and by digging counter mines to intercept and disrupt attempts to mine the fort walls. A glacis ( or) in Military Engineering is an artificial slope of earth used in late European fortresses so constructed as to keep any potential assailant Mining, undermining, or sapping was a Siege method used since antiquity against a Walled city, Fortress or Castle
Compared to medieval fortifications, forts became both lower and larger in area, providing defence in depth, with tiers of defences that an attacker needed to overcome in order to bring cannon to bear on the inner layers of defences. Medieval fortification is the military aspect of Medieval technology that covers the development of Fortification construction and use in Europe Defence in depth is a Military strategy sometimes referred to as elastic defence or deep defence.
Firing emplacements for defending cannon were heavily defended from bombardment by external fire, but open towards the inside of the fort, both to diminish their usefulness to the attacker should they be overcome, but also to allow the large volumes of smoke that the defending cannon would generate to dissipate.
Fortifications of this type continued to be effective while the attackers were armed only with cannon, where the majority of the damage inflicted was caused by momentum from the impact of solid shot. Round shot is an obsolete solid Projectile without explosive charge fired from Small arms or Cannons As the name implies round shot is spherical While only low explosives such as black powder were available, explosive shells were largely ineffective against such fortifications.
The development of mortars, high explosives, and the consequent large increase in the destructive power of explosive shells and thus plunging fire rendered the intricate geometry of such fortifications irrelevant. A mortar is a muzzle-loading Indirect fire weapon that fires shells at low velocities short ranges and high-arcing ballistic trajectories An explosive material is a material that either is chemically or otherwise Energetically unstable or produces a sudden expansion of the material usually accompanied A shell is a payload-carrying Projectile, which as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling though modern usage includes large solid projectiles Warfare was to become more mobile. It took, however, many years to abandon the old fortress-thinking.
Due to the massive expense of constructing these new fortifications, they were often improvised from earlier defences. Cyclopaedia or A Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences ( folio, 2 vols Medieval curtain walls were torn down and a ditch was dug in front of them. The earth used from the excavation was piled behind the walls to create a solid structure. While purpose-built fortifications would often have a brick fascia because of the material's ability to absorb the shock of artillery fire, many improvised defences cut costs by missing this stage out and instead opted for more earth. Improvisation could also consist of lowering medieval round towers and infilling them with earth to strengthen the structures.
It was also often necessary to widen and deepen the ditch outside the walls to create a more effective barrier to frontal assault and mining. Mining, undermining, or sapping was a Siege method used since antiquity against a Walled city, Fortress or Castle Engineers from the 1520s were also building massive, gently sloping banks of earth called glacis in front of ditches so that the walls were almost totally hidden from horizontal artillery fire. A glacis ( or) in Military Engineering is an artificial slope of earth used in late European fortresses so constructed as to keep any potential assailant The main benefit of the glacis was to deny enemy artillery the ability to fire point blank. The higher the angle of elevation, the lower the stopping power.
An example of the great expense of updating fortifications is the city of Siena, which went bankrupt in 1544 attempting to update its city walls. Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Siena.
The first key instance of trace italienne was at the Papal port of Civitavecchia, where the original walls were lowered and thickened because the stone tended to shatter under bombardment. The Papal States, State(s of the Church or Pontifical States (in Italian Stato Ecclesiastico, Stato della Chiesa, Stati della Chiesa Civitavecchia is a town and Comune of the Province of Rome in the central Italian region of Latium.
The first major battle which truly showed the effectiveness of trace italienne was the defence of Pisa in 1500 against a combined Florentine and French army. Pisa is a city in Tuscany, central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the Arno River on the Ligurian Sea. Florence ( Italian: Firenze Florentia and Fiorenza) is the Capital City of the Italian region of Tuscany This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. The original medieval fortifications beginning to crumble to French cannon fire, the Pisans constructed an earthen rampart behind the threatened sector. It was discovered that the sloping earthen rampart could be defended against escalade and was also much more resistant to cannon fire than the curtain wall it had replaced. See also List of cities with defensive walls A defensive wall is a Fortification used to defend a city or settlement from potential aggressors Escalade is the act of scaling Defensive walls or ramparts with the aid of Ladders and was a prominent feature of Siege warfare in medieval Curtain wall is a term used to describe a building Façade which does not carry any dead load from the building other than its own dead load
The second siege was that of Padua in 1509. Padua ( Padova 'padova Latin: Patavium, Padoa) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy. A monk engineer named Fra Giocondo, trusted with the defence of the Venetian city, cut down the city's medieval wall and surrounded the city in a broad ditch that could be swept by flanking fire from gunports set low in projections extending into the ditch. Fra Giovanni Giocondo (c 1433 &ndash 1515 was an Italian Architect, Antiquary, Archaeologist, and Classical scholar. The Most Serene Republic of Venice ((Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta or Repùblica de Venesia Serenissima Repubblica A ditch is usually defined as a small to moderate depression created to channel Water. Finding that their cannon fire made little impression on these low ramparts, the French and allied besiegers made several bloody and fruitless assaults and then withdrew.
According to Geoffrey Parker in his article "The military revolution 1560–1660: a myth?", the appearance of the trace italienne in early modern Europe, and the difficulty of taking such fortifications, resulted in a profound change in military strategy. Noel Geoffrey Parker (born 1943 in Nottingham, England is a leading expert on Military history. "Wars became a series of protracted sieges", Parker suggests, and open-pitch battles became "irrelevant" in regions where the trace italienne existed. Ultimately, Parker argues, "military geography", in other words the existence or absence of the trace italienne in a given area, shaped military strategy in the early modern period. This is a profound alteration of the military revolution thesis originally proposed by Michael Roberts in his inaugural lecture delivered at the Queens University, Belfast, in 1955.
However, despite the advantages of these fortresses over earlier designs, Machiavelli said: "Most first-class fortresses could be taken in roughly six to eight weeks. " In his writing The Art of War he states that "there is no wall, whatever its thickness that artillery will not destroy in only a few days". The Art of War ( Dell'arte della guerra) is one of the lesser-read works of Florentine Statesman and Political philosopher