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Chapter Forty-three. Coastal Defenses

Dale E. Floyd

Subject History » Military History
Study of History » Historiography

Place Northern America » United States of America

Key-Topics war

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161497.2010.00045.x


Early civilizations often established settlements on oceans and seas where the same waters that facilitated trade and travel by the residents also made them vulnerable to enemy raids and attacks. To protect themselves, the residents erected fortifications. Thus coastal defense has existed throughout recorded history. Despite this fact, there exists no general history of coastal defense, although exemplary studies cover the history of several allied topics, for example, Merrill Bartlett (1983) traces the development of amphibious warfare from ancient times to the war in the Falklands and Theodore Gatchel (1996) discusses defending against such amphibious attacks. James Hughes (1991) surveys the history of fortifications, including coastal fortifications, Joseph Jobe's (1971) history of artillery contains coverage of the coastal artillery mounted in those fortifications, and James George (1998) chronicles the development of warships which were often employed to attack the fortifications. Other valuable publications that cover specific time periods are Roger Sarty (1988) on the development of coast artillery, 1815–1914; Christopher Duffy (1996 [1965]) on the science of fortress warfare, 1660–1860; and Alex Roland (1978) on underwater warfare in the Age of Sail. Chris Ware (1994) describes the design of warships designed specifically to bombard coastal fortifications. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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