from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A fortification built around a sieged target by the besiegers.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A trench guarded with a parapet, constructed by besiegers, to secure themselves and check sallies of the besieged.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In fortification, a chain of redoubts and breastworks, either unconnected or united by a parapet, raised by the besiegers about the place invested, to guard against sorties of the garrison.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In a few Ehn, as we were making our way through a corner of the camp, we would presumably encounter some contravallation, some outer lines or ditches, setup to protect the besiegers against possible attack by an outside, relieving force.
I found this detail, however, the absence of external contravallation, like may others in the past weeks, disturbing.
"There is no contravallation here, " I said, -no defending, outer ditches, nothing to protect the camp against outside attack.
The old system of intrenched camps and lines of contravallation is unsuited to the spirit of modern warfare.
Elements of Military Art and Science Or, Course Of Instruction In Strategy, Fortification, Tactics Of Battles, &C.; Embracing The Duties Of Staff, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, And Engineers; Adapted To The Use Of Volunteers And Militia; Third Edition; With Critical Notes On The Mexican And Crimean Wars.
Besides the lines of circumvallation and contravallation referred to above, there is another kind, which is more extended than they are, and is in a measure allied to permanent fortifications, because it is intended to protect a part of the frontiers.
Formerly the false system prevailed of encircling a city by a whole army, which buried itself in lines of circumvallation and contravallation.
They therefore turned the siege into a blockade; raised a strong line of contravallation round the town; and, dispersing their army in every part of the neighbourhood, resolved to effect by time, what they found themselves absolutely unable to perform any other way.
The lines of contravallation, with the forts built by the besiegers, and which surrounded the whole town, remain very visible in many places; but the chief of them are demolished.
Henry's engineers, it appears, drew their lines of contravallation and circumvallation, approached by entrenchments, ran their secret mine through the bowels of the earth, battered the walls with rams as well as artillery, showered darts, stones and bullets over the ramparts and their defenders.
The firil parallel of this attack, with itscommu* nicattons, proceeding from the right and left flank of the right wing of the line of contravallation, were fo far completed during the night, that before day-break th? men were tolerably covered.