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Forts: An Illustrated History Of Building For Defence

Forts: An Illustrated History Of Building For Defence Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2018 Title Forts: An Illustrated History Of Building For Defence
Author Jeremy Black Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2018 ISBN 9781472827630
Format 224 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $50.00

Review

Seeking a beautifully illustrated gift for military history buffs on your list?

Look no further than Forts: An Illustrated History Of Building For Defence from Osprey Publishing.

"Fortifications are a key element of human history," author Jeremy Black avers, "one that has left a lasting presence." And Black's large, picture-packed production colorfully surveys the saga across seven chunky chapters and 224 pages:

  • Origins
  • The medieval castle
  • The sixteenth century
  • The seventeenth century
  • The eighteenth century
  • The nineteenth century
  • The twentieth century

Ancient and modern. Natural barriers. Walls. Castles. Forts. Field emplacements. Fixed and mobile, permanent and temporary. Designs. Weapons. Materials. Logistics. Locations. Circumstances. Strategy. Tactics. Even politics. And more.

Forts appeared on every continent except Antarctica. They not only defined existing borders, but "anchored" expansionist efforts, as well.

Longevity characterizes some citadels. My Syrian wife's family, for instance, hails from al-Husn, Homs – site of the famous, 11th-century Krak des Chevaliers. Nearly a millennium later, Black notes, rebels in Syria's current factional fighting still use the medieval Crusader bastion.

Dozens of archival illustrations augment Black's big, beautiful book. Expanded, explanatory captions further supplement text. And a suggested reading list and index wrap things up.

From Greek and Roman bulwarks through WWII's Maginot and Siegfried "lines", Black charts global strife and siege through the prism of his central subject. I loved it.

Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!