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Novodobe fortifikace Vol. 6 (2001)

Fortress Verdun, Part 2
Marcus Massing (Germany)

In the next part of the article about the Verdun fortress you can find the completion of the chapter about the armour elements of the fortress. A brief description of the main types of the rotary retractable turrets, constructed by captain Galopin is also included. These turrets had proved their resistance just on this fortress and so they were also used in a slightly upgraded form on the Maginot Line thirty years later. After this more technical part of the article a brief description of the history of the struggles for the fortress during W.W.I. is presented. The description is set in wider context of events on the western front and it includes a short evaluation of the importance of the Verdun fortifications in battle. The article is illustrated by photographs and plans of some objects and it contains detailed map, in which there are over 60 important fortification objects (including an overview of their main artillery armament) marked on a current map background. We hope that you find this map useful during your visit of the fortress.

fort Chana, turret T75
Half uploaded rotary turret for two 75cm guns, fort Chana.
Photo by Rainer Reiter 1999.
Downloaded with author's permission
from site  http://members.surfeu.at/RReiter/

 

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Polygonal Fortress Torun
Wojciech Szymanski, Mariusz Wojciechowski (Poland)

The city of Torun, today on the Polish territory, was always a strategically important place, especially during the new ages. It is not surprising that at dependence on the frequent military conflicts in this area the city was continually fortified and finally a continuous line of artillery forts surrounded it. The article does not describe the whole fortress, after an opening dealing with the bastion fortifications of the city it mainly concentrates on the process of fortifying the core of the fortress in the 19th century when Torun used to be part of the Prussian kingdom. The article describes lucidly all the elements of the core and its detached parts - how they were built, modernised and finally knocked down.
The second part of the article will serve you as a practical guide over the preserved remains of the bastion and forts in case you decide to visit this city (placed on the Visla river), which is worth attention not only because of its fortifications. The article is well illustrated by perfect plans by Mariusz Wojciechowski.

barracks of St. James
Entrance into the St. James caserne.
Photo by Mariusz Wojciechowski 2000.

 

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Fortress Port Arthur During The Russian-Japanese War, Part 1
Martin Dubanek (Czech)

Today, the fortifications of the Port Arthur harbour in the eastern part of Asia are only remains of the superpower position of the tsarist Russia. Its seizing by Japanese during the Russian-Japanese war was a sign of Russia's crisis and on the contrary of the rising power of Japan, which was to become a new Asian superpower. In addition to this the battle, waged in the mountainous terrain fortified by more or less finished fortification objects, revealed the importance of fortifications in the defence of isolated naval bases and it gave valuable experience to the fortification engineering on the eve of the first world war. Regardless of the failure of the defenders it was an example of an excellent and long-lasting defence of fortification. The first part of the article describes the history of the fortress until the commencing of the conflict and the state of its fortifications mainly. The eastern front of the fortress as the place of the most severe fights is described in particular detail. The article is illustrated by archive photographs and pictures of the current state of the fortifications and it contains a number of lucid maps.

artillery battery for guns 15cm
Open posts of artillery battery for guns caliber 15cm on the top wall of Fort IV.
Photo by Masahiro Yamana 1999.

 

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The Filter-ventilation of The Czechoslovakian Infantry Casemates, Part 2
Jan Pavel (Czech)

The second part of the article describes thoroughly the distribution of air in the inner rooms of the objects and the exhaust of air from the object using exhaustion ventilators or natural overpressure. The author concentrates mainly on the development of this system, which had undergone great changes during almost three years of the heavy fortifications' construction. He describes the oldest and the newest varieties and also various temporary types. Apart from ventilation in the infantry blocks he mentions its specific solution in independent artillery observation blocks and in blocks of "Arabian" resistance class (means smaller casemates or blocks built especially in the forests and usually equiped only with machine-guns). In the end the author briefly evaluates the state of completion of the independent heavy objects' filter-ventilation systems and their following fortunes. The article is supplied by plans and photographs.

the oldest type of ventilation
The oldest type of ventilation system - pipes for exhausted air are placed up to the main loopholes. Casemate MO-S 11.
Photo by Jan Pavel 1993.

 

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