I get really excited about Vauban fortresses! Crazy, I know – it’s one of the nerdiest subjects on earth – but I am constantly fascinated by the engineering skills and intelligence required to anticipate what an attacker will try to do, and then counter it not with weapons, but with engineering.
This requires a huge workforce and the shifting of hundreds of thousands – in some cases perhaps millions – of tons of earth and stone over many years. But out of this colossal effort emerges something which is not only functional, but beautiful as well.
We shall be seeing aerial views of many of Vauban’s fortresses, but here is a cross-section through a typical (though hypothetical) Vauban fortress created by Henry Hyde, Editor of Miniature Wargames with Battlegames, with whose kind permission this diagram is reproduced here. You can also visit Henry’s own blog here. Click on the image to get a much, much bigger view or right-click and “Save Linked File As…” to download.