Happy Factual Friday! Today’s topic: forts! Thanks to reader Ben’s comments about designs of forts, I thought this was a great question! Above is Fort Bourtange of the Netherlands.
Forts have been around for over thousands of years and the main goal is obviously to keep the enemy out. This can be done with a variety of set ups.
Most common set up appears to be trenches and moats before even coming to the large stone walls. The theory behind this being that if you can entrap your enemy below you, then you can eliminate them easier. This is also explains the towers both on the wall and within the fortification itself.
Much to the French’s disgust, fortifications can obviously be overrun by the enemy (think WWI) and once they have made it into the fort itself, it becomes rather difficult to extract them as they use the tunnels and other features to hide. The best example of this is what Germany did to the French forts in WWI during the Battle of Verdun. Once the German soldiers cleared a path through the base of the forts, the French were quickly overrun and reinforcements spent many months and lives trying to get them out again.
The largest fort in the world is Ranikot Fort in Pakistan:
You can read more about this massive fort here. Nobody knows why or when this fort was built exactly and to this day, apparently no one has explored it in its entirety.
Apparently, trying to discern the world’s smallest fort is going to take considerably more research, given that kids build forts of snow and according to a Google search, is what you get when you start looking.
You can find a list of forts throughout the world here.
Next Friday’s installment will be published on Saturday. Any suggestions for topics is always welcome!!