Instructions for the warres. Amply, learnedly, and politiquely, discoursing the method of militarie discipline. Originally written in French by that rare and worthy generall, Monsieur William de Bellay, Lord of Langey, Knight of the order of Fraunce, and the Kings lieutenant in Thurin. Translated by Paule Iue, Gent.
Fourquevaux, Raimond de Beccarie de Pavie, baron de, 1509-1574., Ive, Paul., Du Bellay, Guillaume, 1491-1543,

The manner of fortifying in all sorts of grounds, and the commodities and discommodities a Fort may haue of it scituation

The 2. Chapter.

WHo so shall fortifie in playne ground, may make the Fort he pretendeth of what forme or figure he will, and therefore he may with lesse compasse of wall enclose a more superficies of ground, then where that scope may not be had. Also it may be the perfecter, because the angles that do happen in it, may be made the flatter or sharper. Moreouer the ground in plaines is good to make ramperts of, and easie for cariage, but where water water wanteth, the building is costly and chargeable, for that a Fort scituated in a dry playne, must haue déepe ditches, high walles, great bulwarks, large ramparts, and caualieros: besides, it must be great to lodge fiue or sixe thou∣sand men, and haue great place in it for them to fight, ranked in battaile. It must also haue countermines, priuie ditches, secret issuings out to defende the ditch, casmats in the ditch, Page  3 couered wayes round about it, and an argine or banke to em∣peache the approach, will require great garrison, much artille∣rie, powder, victuals, and other things necessarie for the kée∣ping and mainteining of it, is subiect to mynes and to caualie∣ros, may be surprised, skaled, battered, and assaulted on euery side, and may be kept besieged with forts, men, horsse, and ar∣tillerie.

Where water may be found, the fort may be the lesse, and needeth not the ditches so déepe as in dry ground, for it will be frée from surprise, skale, and myning, and being battered the assault will be troublesome, for that one man standing vppon firme ground, may resist fiue vpon a bridge, boat, floate, or such like. Moreouer, the fort standing neere vnto any riuer, may re∣ceiue great commodities of it for the bringing of things neces∣sarie vnto it, both for making and mainteining of it, and it may haue the riuer turned into the ditch to skowre the ditch of any thing that may be cast into it, and the same may also be kept vp with stuses within the fort to drowne the ground about it, and in those lowe places which abound with water, an enemy can hardly couer himselfe from the fort.

Betwixt these two scituations, there are diuers opinions helde, some commending dry ditches, alleadging that by a dry ditch a fort may receiue reliefe, the ruine that a batterie maketh may be taken away, and any thing that an enemy may cast into ye ditch to fill it, may be burnt, & by the sallies that may be made out of a dry ditch, an enemy may be charged in his trenches on euery part, (which may serue the turne for a while) but these consider not the counterscarpe being wonne, the benefit and vse of the ditch will be taken away by the artillerie and harquebus∣serie of the enemy: nor that of those three meanes wherewith a wall may be breached, to wit, the Cannon, myne, and mens hands, water hindereth the putting in practise of two of them. The discommodities that proceede of water, are these, in hoate Countreys standing water engendreth infectiue ayres, and in colde Countreys it freeseth that men, horsse, and artillerie may passe ouer.

Page  4In fortifying amongst hilles, make choise of those that are like piramides, or that haue no ground of equall height, with the superficies of their tops, more then the fort and the ditch will occupy, to the intent that from the Fort an enemy may be impeached the assent of the hill. For which consideration, the fortifier shall be oftentimes constrained to make the Fort grea∣ter then it were néedfull it should be, and ofttimes with great circuit of wall shall enclose but a small superficies of ground; but being so placed, it néedeth no great place in it, nor royall defences, as great Bullwarks, Flanks, or Ramparts, be∣cause it will not be subiect vnto batterie, but will be assured through the valley and hanging of the hill, which will giue an enemy trouble in lodging, trenching, taking away the defen∣ces, batterie, and assault, and being myned, the effect might happen to little proffit, for the inequalitie of the ground. Be∣sides, if the defenders should charge their besiegers, the one quarter of the Campe could not succour, or be succoured of the other. Or if the defenders should be enforced to retire, they might do it with aduantage ynough, hauing most commonly a higher ground to repaire vnto, but when that choise may not be had, but that the superficies of the hill top be more then the Fort may occupy, then must he choose the higher part of the hill, placing the Fort, that so great part of it may enioy the benefit of the hanging of the hill as possible may, and towarde the other part of the same, build as in a dry playne, for as part in respecte of the valley vnder it may enioy the benefite of the hilly scituation, so part in respect af the equalitie of the ground without it, vppon which an enemy may lodge, trenche, myne, batter, and assault (especially if the grounde may be broken with Spade, Pickaxe, and such like) is subiect to all those dis∣commodities that a Fort scituated in a dry plaine.

A Fort scituated among Mountaines, can hardly be kept be∣sieged with fortes, men, horsse, and artillerie: but those fortes that are scituated vpon hills and mountaines are troublesome to make for the difficultie of bringing of stuffe to the place, are subiect to surprize, suffer oft times great penurie of water, and oft times are troubled with great raynes, which séeking Page  5 issue, do cause ruyne of their walles.

A Fort scituated in a lake, néedeth no great defences: as great bulwarks, ramparts, caualieros, nor large flanks, be∣cause it is frée from batterie and assault, but through the euill aire of the lake, it will oft times be besieged of it selfe. Besides, an enemy may easily besiege it, in placing Forts where it hath recourse to the land, and procéede on hys voyage, assuring himselfe that the Fort must come into his hands, for as it is hard to be aborded; so it is to receiue succour, and able to do an enemy but little hurt.

Of Forts placed vppon small riuers, is sufficiently spoken before, and those that stand vpon great riuers, may partly be compared with those in lakes, but where they may be appro∣ched, their defences must be great, are free of the infectiue aire which the lake oft times yéeldeth, may better receiue succour, and giue an enemy great trauell in the assiege.

A Fort scituated in the Sea, is not only free from batterie and assault, because the batterie that may be made at Sea is feeble, weake, and vncertayne, by reason of the Seas conti∣nuall motion; but also is free from besieging, not only for that those enemyes are fewe that can put any great armye to Sea: but also because the Winde and Seas alteration is such, that an Assige at Sea cannot be continued. Moreouer, it may be mainteined with Merchant trade, and with it Shipping oc∣cupye thyngs apperteyning to other men. But a Fort that standeth in the Sea cannot serue the land it standeth neere vn∣to for frontier, but at Sea only, because it may not put men and horsse a shoare, and serue them for retreate.

A Fort that must serue for frontier vppon the Sea coast at hauens, roades, and such like landing places, must be set part within the Sea, or at least so neere vnto the Sea, that an enemy may make no Fort, Trench, or other couerture, how little so euer it be, to saue himselfe from the violence of the Fort betwixt the Sea and it, nor may vse any artillerie within one or two hundred paces on neither side of the porte, or hauen, to impeache ye free entring and going out of Ships, and being so placed for the benefit it hath of the Sea, it may Page  6 be the greater, and both in time of warre and peace be kepte and defended with lesse number of men and prouision: be∣cause it may be succoured at all times, and may serue it selfe with the commodities both of Sea and Land, and may serue for frontier vnto both, for that it may kéepe shipping, men, and horsse. And to besiege a Fort so placed, an enemy that dwelleth vppon the same mayne the Fort standeth, shall be enforced to haue two armyes, the one by Sea, and the o∣ther by Lande, and comming from any other part, shall be constrayned to bring in so great an armye by Sea, as that may carry men, horsse, artillerie, and other things, for the main∣teyning of the armye, to put ashore, and yet must kéepe the Seas also, but how hard a matter it is to lande an armye, and troublesome to continue an assiege at Sea, and of what va∣lewe those Townes are that haue this scituation, Flushing, Rochell, and Ostende, do, and will beare witnesse, but the dis∣commoditie that those Forts haue that stand by the Sea side where great ebbes do runne, is, they are subiect vnto surprize at lowe water.