Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tower and Gate of St. Paul (Post of France), Fortress of Rhodes.

The construction of the complex of fortifications near the Grand Master's Palace was begun under Jean de Lastic (1437 - 1454), who also built the Cannon and St. Anthony Gates, as well as the Battery of the Olives.  Pierre d' Aubusson (1476 - 1503) had it strengthened with a thick earthen outwork, which was cut through with a gate (d'Amboise Gate) under Emery d'Amboise 1n 1512.  In 1514 Grand MasterFabrizo del Carretto had a caponier built in the ditch on the extreme north-west cornerof the fortress, beyond d'Amboise Gate.  The Gate of St. Paul as protected from the outside with a polygonal barbican.  Although the walls of the barbican were adjusted to accomodate artillery, they were fairly thin and crowned with a merloned parapet.

outwork -- Any defensive structure in front of the main enciente;

caponier -- A covered defensive passagemade in a dry ditch projecting away from the main enciente in the direction of te enemy.  It is sometimes connected to the main enciente with outworks.  It was chiefly designed for laying flanking fire along the ditch;

barbican --An outwork designed for the defence of agate or a bridge leading to a gate;

merlon --The upstanding sections of a parapet between embrasures, behind which defenders can shelter;

parapet -- A bank, of earth, or a wall over which a soldier may fire; also known as a breastwork;

enciente -- Th outline of the main line of defences, excluding minor outworks;

embrasures -- An opening in a parapet allowing artillery to fire through.


-Konstantin Nossov, "The Fortress of Rhodes 1309-1522," (Osprey, 2010);
-Ian Hogg, "The History of Fortification," (St. Martin's Press, 1981).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Battle of Arsuf, Sept. 1191

The Battle of Arsuf was fought along the coastline of the eastern Mediteranean in the land territory of Syria.  Richard-The Lion Heart commanded the crusader army that was moving down the coast after their capture of Acre.  Saladin commanded the Muslim army which attempted to stop them.  The Muslim mounted archers harrased the army in the days march (six miles) from the morning camp to the outskirts of the ruined city of Arsuf.  It was there that the Muslim Forces attacked the crusaders in strength and Richard sent three cavalry assaults (he commanding one of them), aganst the Muslims which scattered the Muslim army and gave him a victory.


DeVeries, Kelley, "Battles of the Medieval World," Barnes and Noble, 2006

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fort St. Nicholas

Fort St. Nicholas was constructed away from the city on an isolated location, and one which serves as the protection for the Mandraki Harbour entrance North of the city of Rhodes.  The area was known to the defenders of Rhodes as the "Northern Approaches" to the city.  The tower was very badly damaged during the Turkish attack and siege in 1480 and in the following earthquake of 1481.  The tower was rebuilt by Grand Master d' Aubusson, who also constructed a strong fortification around the tower itself.  This had the result of making the previous tower into an extremely strong fort.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012