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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/623

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SOME PRINCIPLES OF WARFARE.

tion to all kinds of defensive works, whether of a few men beleaguered in an improvised fortification, a considerable number in a scientifically constructed work—permanent or field fortification—a fortress with an

PSM V57 D623 Scientific principles of warfare 5 and 6.png

entire army behind its ramparts, or a cordon of forts surrounding a great city.

The ground plan of the work having been decided upon and staked out the men start in with pick and shovel, digging, if possible, a ditch, and throwing the material into the shape of the shaded portion of Diagram 7. The ditch, outside the fort, indicated by the figure 'FGHJ', serves the twofold purpose of getting material for the parapet 'ABCDEF', and for embarrassing an enemy in any attempt at assault. To further

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embarrass him every sort of obstacle that may be at hand should be put to use—trees, butts turned our way, boughs interlacing; stakes driven deep into the soil close together; barbed wires wound in and out; in short, every expedient that may delay his advance and keep him as long as possible exposed to our most effective fire.

The drawing (7) was made with no attempt at exactness of proportion, and simply to show the essentials; the slope 'EF' is made as steep as the nature of the soil will permit; 'DE' slopes enough to enable a soldier standing upon 'RC to fire upon an enemy entangled among the obstacles at 'J', but never enough to weaken the mass of earth at and near 'D'.

Observe how common-sensible all these arrangements are; not one too many or too few; just the things that a practical man, if he could think as he felt, would do if suddenly called to command with an enemy advancing upon him. Unfortunately, perhaps, for the purposes of a