Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Instant fortresses modified for instant demolition

The manufacturer of a quick-assemble system for constructing military fortifications in the field has found a simple solution to the problem of how to deny these fortifications to the enemy once friendly forces have withdrawn. By making a simple modification to the systems design, the dismantling of the fortresses becomes literally as simple as pulling out a pin. Read More


eon said...

Nice article, David. You do good work.

Way back when (about the time of the Crimea and the American Civil War), armies used things called "gabions". They were cylindrical baskets, usually woven of willow branches, about 3 feet high and 2 feet across. They were used the same way; you put them where you wanted them, filled them with dirt, and there was your bunker wall.

They could also be "stacked", and for really serious bunkering, a "pyramid" cross-section was used (five in the first layer, four in the next, then three, then two, up to about 12 feet), and then the whole thing was covered with dirt and packed hard. The siege of Petersburg in the ACW involved Union bombproofs and gun emplacements made by this method.

Of course, gabions had to be filed by soldiers with shovels, so it took longer. It's good to see a good "old" idea being brought up to date in a useful way.

And I love the idea of the "zipper".

(Source; Coggins, Jack. Arms And Equipment Of The Civil War. New York; Fairfax Press, 1962.)



Fruitbat44 said...

Nice article David.

As eon said the Hesco bastion is an updated gabion. IIRC the reason given for the gabion falling out of fashion was that it require a killed basket maker to manufacture it. Anyone who can sew can make a sandbag.

The obituary for the chap who founded the Hesco company is, IMHO, well worth a read:

Fruitbat44 said...

NB for "killed basket maker" read "skilled basket maker."


Though that would certainly explain why the gabion fell into disuse . . .