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,
Page  19

The wall, counterforts, rampier, priuie dores, parapet or vammure, wayes by which the artillery must be brought into the first place, or casmate in the flanke, casmate in the ditch, couered wayes, and argine.

THE foundation layde out, lay out vpon it the thicknes of the wall, and length of the counterforts that shall be raysed vppon it, for which thicknes obserue this order, that the déeper the ditch, and higher the wall is raised, the broader it must be at the ground, that it may the better beare the waight of the rampier that shall be layde against it: where∣fore at fifty foote déepe make the wall 5. or 6. foote broade at the ground, at forty 4. at thirty 3. foote, and at twenty, two and a halfe, or lesse, and the reason of this thinnesse vpwards, is both to auoyde superfluous charges, and to the intent the wall may both the longer resist a batterie, and that being battered, the ruine may occupy the lesse place in the ditch. And as for the counterforts, they néede not to be set neerer together then twelue foote, where the wall is not aboue 25. or 30. foote déepe, nor would be set further asunder then 10. foote, where the wall will be 40. or vpward, and they may be made of diuers formes: as of equedistant sides, thinne in the middest, and thicke at both ends, thinne at the wall, and thicke in the rampier, trian∣gular, or broade at the wall, and thinne behinde, as in the Figure is séene, which with those of equedistant sides are the best. The breadth of which counterforts at the wall may be four foote or lesse, with consideration of the deapth of the wall, and at the thinner end two foote more or lesse as the stuffe will giue it, those in the bulwarke would be eightene foote long, and those in the curtine fouretene foote. The benefit that a Fort hath of them, is, they keepe the rampier firme against a batterie from falling, giue an enemy trauell to breake them, and helpe the wall to beare the waight of the earth wherewith it is charged, and the reason why those in the bulwarke should be longer then those in the curtin, is, because the bulwarke is more sub∣iect to a batterie then a curtine, and not so well defended, for a curtine is defended from two flanks, and the front of a bul∣warke but from one, of all which, is demonstration made in the Figure following.

Page  20

[illustration] [fortification diagram]

Page  21The wall and it esperons or counterforts being laid out, begin to raise vp the same, giuing vnto it in euery eight, nine, or tenne foote in heigth, one foote of scarpe, hattering, or comming in, the inside equedistant vnto the outside, and the inner ends and sides of the conterforts plumbe working them vp together with the wall, and filling them with good earth well beaten and rammed together as the worke riseth, and likewise the side of the cullion next the flanke must be plumbe, and when the exterior angle of the bulwarke falleth out sharp, then make the vpper part of it, that is subiect to batterie flat, or round, leauing the vnder part sharpe, to the intent an enemy may not stand, couered behinde, that flatnesse, or roundnesse from the artillerie in the flanke. But héere maruell not that I speake of so little scarpe, as of one in eight, nine, or tenne foote, other before hauing put in practise, one in foure, and one in fiue foote, holding opinion that by that scarpe a wall should the longer stand against a batterie, but their reasons to proue it are not great, and the effect is lesse, but the discommoditie a wall receiueth of that so greate scarpe, is, that oft times through the great waight of the top, it looseth it foote and shooteth (besides the weather hath the more power of it, which also in fewe yeares causeth it ruyne) and héereof in the Lowe Countrey are sufficient proofes in the frontiers, made by the late Emperour Charles the fifth, diuers of their walles hauing giuen way two or thrée hundred foote at once, but one foote in eight, nine, or tenne, the inside of the wall raised equidistant vnto the outside, is giuen to the intent that the wall leaning inwards, should the better resist the waight of the rampire layd against it. In raising of this wall and it conterforts, must the priuie dore, and the way vnto it, by which the ditch and argin should be defended, be thought vpon, which must be made descendent from the first place in the flanke into the ditche, as in the Figure following is séene. The fittest stuffe to make the face of a Fort, is bricke, and such other like soft stones, but the next to hand and best cheape must alwayes be taken.

Page  22

[illustration] [fortification diagram]

Page  23Hauing raysed the wall vntill the first place in the flanke, cordone, or full heigth (and filled it with good earth well beaten and rammed) which heigth may be fiue or sixe foote aboue the argine, and tenne or eleuen foote aboue the conterscarpe or leuell it standeth vpon, make the Fort defenceable, raysing a para∣pet or vammure vppon the front of the bulwarke and curtine, of good earth of tenne foote thicke, the inside foure foote and a halfe, or fiue foote high, and the outside thrée foote and a halfe, or more, because it will settle, which outside and inside must be of turfe, and the superficies must be beaten and layde hanging towarde the ditch in such sort, that the couerd way and counterscarp may be open vnto the defenders from the inner edge of the parapet: but the parapet in the flanke would be 25. or 30. foote thicke, & that vpon the cullion 20. foot at the least: the reason thereof is héereafter sufficiently shewed. Afterward draw a lyne 50. foote equidistant vnto the parapet in the flanke for the requoyle of the artillery, and another lyne 15. foot equidistant vnto the parapet vpon the curtine, for the defendors to passe betwéen the parapet and the rampier that is intended to be raysed vpon the curtine at this said line, and from a pricke 20. foote distant from the pa∣rapet vpon the shoulder of the bulwarke, extend a line towarde the exteriour angle of the same, but not equidistant vnto the parapet, but in such sort, that the rampier which shall be raised at that line, may be defended from the artillery in the second place of the flanke, as the front of the bulwarke was from the first. And vppon this flowre also, or two or thrée foote vnder it, (to the intent they may lie the lower) would the flowres and wayes for the passage of the artillerie into the casemate and front of the bulwarke, and likewise that out of the one flanke into the other, be laide, which must be so broade, that any péece may passe with ease: but that for the passage from flanke to flanke may be broader then the other, and layde out in forme like the front of a bulwarke: as in the Figure following is séene: the reason thereof is héereafter sufficiently shewed.

Page  24

[illustration] [fortification diagram]

Page  25The parapet being raised vpon the Bulwarke and Curtin-to proceede to the full finishing of the Fort in this worke pre∣tended, at the lines signified by the prickes in the figure before going, raise the rampart vnto the full height, which were neces∣sarie to be 12. foote at the least higher then the wall, or first place for the Artillerie, and raise the wall in the inside of the Cullion, with the Esperons or Counterforts in it, (to beare the earth in the angle next the flancke) so high as it is intended the rampier shall be, but plumbe as the vnderworke is, but outward toward the Cullion let the same wall scarpe endwaies as the rampier doth: and raise also the walles of the waies for the passage of the Artillerie into the flankes, and front of the Bulwarkes, which must be vaulted ouer, but must be layd as lowe as they may that they be not seene vnto the enemie. And as for the passage from one flanke vnto another, that may bee left vnuaulted, and the walles of it raised as high as the superficies of the rampier, and couered ouer with timber. At which may a retrenchment bée made when need requireth, and the same well flanked, as by the manner of the lining of it in the figure before going is to bee seene. The rampier must be raised scarping, battering, or com∣ming in, for euery one foot of height one foot of scarpe: but that part toward the Cullion must be raised flatter then the rest, and that within the flanke or casemate need not to bee raised altoge∣ther so flat, and it must be of earth only without any faggot, that it may the better close and settle together. And the reason why this rampier is so high and farre distant from the edge of the wall, is, that the whole fortresse might from euery part of it the better offend an enemie, and as a caualier commaund, and do∣mayne ouer any thing an enemie might put in practise before it. And that also the wall being battered, this yet might stand de∣fenceable for a retreate. (but note, that to ease the charge that the carrying of this great masse of earth would cost, the ram∣pier vpon the Curtins need not to be raised so high as that vp∣pon the Bulwarkes: neither if the Fort do stand well watered need the face of the Curtin to be raised with brick or stone higher then three or foure foote aboue the water: but from thence vp∣ward Page  26 ye rampier must be raised to his full heighth. These things may be done for sparing of charges, but perfection were better) Vpon which rampier must a parapet bée raysed of 20. foot thicke vpon the Bulwarke, and ten foote vppon the Curtin: for this order would be obserued in the parapet. Where Artillerie is to be vsed of necessitie in a permanent place, as in a flanke, vpon a caualier, platforme, or Bulwarke; there almost no thicknes of parapet is to be thought sufficient, so that ye place will permit it. But vpon a Curtin which is extended wide and broad, and may offend an enemie sometime from one place, & sometime from an other, there needeth no such thicknes. And being enforced at any part to reenforce the parapet, it may there with lesse labour and anoyance be done, then vpon a Bulwarke. The superficies of the rampier must bee so broad, that any peece may be vsed vpon it, and haue scope enough to recoyle. And the ascent vnto it must lye so flat that the defenders may runne vp vpon it with ease, or plucke vp a peece of Artillerie by hand at any place of it, and therefore it must be free of incombraunces. Also the streetes of the Fort must runne all direct from the Bulwarkes vnto the market place, and likewise from the middest of the Curtins. Which market place must bee large 300. foote square, or little lesse. The gate of the Fort must be placed in the middest of the Curtin, that from the Bulwarks on both sides of it, it may be e∣qually defended, and must be set so lowe, that the defenders may go out and in to the couered waies, to defend the argin, or sallie out, as little seene as may be. But the chiefest defence of the ar∣gin must be through the priuie dores in the Cullion, passing the secrete ditch with a portable bridge, which may bee lightly layed and taken away, ascending the Counterscarpe: which Counter∣scarpe may be left somewhat flat, and pared steeper as need re∣quireth. The casemate in the ditch (for not onely the first place in the flanke is called casemate, but also any other edifice that may be made in the ditch to defend the ditch by) must be placed oppo∣site to the exteriour angle of the Bulwarke, betwixt it and the secrete ditch, and must bee made full of holes of vse Harquebuze and Musket out at. And the walles of it must be so thinne, that Page  27 being ruined, the ruine may make no great bodie in the ditch: and the way to man it, must be vnder ground, through the coun∣termine, or by some other vault made for the purpose. The co∣uered way round about the Fort must be ten foote broad, and the argin or banke so high that a man be not seene behind it: which may be sixe or seauen foote, and against it there must be steppes made for the defenders to stand vpon to vse their armes ouer it; and to mount vpon it, when it shall be needfull. The superficies of the argin must be layd scarping, but in such sort that it may be scoured from the Fort, as in the figure following is seene. Here note, that as in a drie ground where an enemie may trench & co∣uer himself from the fort, an argin & couered way, were thought necessarie, to giue him the more impeachment to approach the Counterscarpe: so in a lowe waterie ground where an enemie cannot couer himselfe, it were not good to make any argin at all: least you giue him the meane to do the mischiefe which, you would hinder him from doing.