As centers for defense and bases for attack since ancient times, fortifications are a crucial aspect of military history. Indeed, as Jeremy Black shows, the history of fortifications is a global history of humanity itself. Moreover, their remains offer a still potent, often dramatic testimony to the past, notably through the strength of the sites, the power of the works, and the vast resources they required. This compelling book explores not only the history of fortifications themselves, but also the real and potential threat to them posed by siegecraft.
Tracing the interaction of attack and defense over time, Black situates the evolution of fortifications within the wider development of governments, societies, and cultures. Moreover, his examination of the future of these installations, as well as of potential methods of destroying them, only reaffirms their omnipresence in human history-and their continued importance. Fortifications are not simply relics of the past, but rather elements fundamental to military and social interaction across the world today. 3 Maps; 8 Halftones, black and white