Author Topic: Star Forts making a comeback in Africa  (Read 405 times)

bayonetbrant

  • Arrogance Mitigator, Pilkunnussija
  • Administrator
  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 9304
  • Onward and upward
    • Six Degrees of Radio
on: January 07, 2021, 10:21:31 PM
https://interestingengineering.com/french-army-revives-medieval-star-fort-patterns-in-north-africa

pics + more of the article at the link

Quote
The French army has been dealing with an Islamist insurgency in Mali ever since the North African country requested military assistance in 2013.

Now, new images from Mali show that the French military has resorted to medieval tactics as part of its operations in the country, Defensionem reports.

The French have built bases in an approximation of the Vauban style, which had fortifications and their outlying moats built in a start shape so as to reduce the amount of cover attackers could provide breaches.

Employing the Vauban style in Mali

France's Operation Barkhane in Mali involves approximately 4,000 French troops deployed to fight the insurgency involving Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram, Ansar Dine, and Ansaru.

The French have built several bases, from which they patrol and operate, including some in the Vauban style.

The Vauban style was developed by medieval French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. The concept utilized a star-shaped design that made it more difficult for attackers to lead a unified assault against the fortifications.

The photos, published by Defensionem, show two French Army forts in Mali designed in the Vauban style. The small base (below) is at Meneka and the larger one is located at Labbezanga.

As per Popular Mechanics, the five-point pentagon forts with arrow-shaped fighting positions known as redan were built by France's 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment.

Modernizing a medieval military style

As Defensionem points out, Vauban style fortifications essentially became obsolete and were replaced by linear forts with the advent of modern artillery at the turn of the 19th century.

However, as the French military is showing, the shape is still useful for defending against insurgents attacking on foot. As can be seen in the images, each bastion of the French bases has a wide field of view.

What's more, thanks to modern automatic weapons, two bastions can easily lend each other support fire. While certainly more of an advanced employment of a medieval military method, this does remind us of the tactics used by civilians in 2019's Hong Kong protests.


Random acts of genius and other inspirations of applied violence.


Sir Slash

  • Corporal
  • **
  • Posts: 3336
  • Head of the Honorable Order of Knights Hotwings
Reply #1 on: January 07, 2021, 11:36:45 PM
Very interesting article.  :applause:

Any Day is a Good Day That Doesn't Involve Too Much Work or Too Little Gaming


besilarius

  • Jr Lancer
  • ***
  • Posts: 943
Reply #2 on: January 08, 2021, 09:57:02 AM
Covering fire between the bastions of a star fort were an important feature.
In Nam the early riverine monitors were very concerned with getting boarded.
The Viet Minh sappers had a great reputation from their exploits against the French.  Their self sacrifice was well known and feared.  The idea of a sappers carrying a satchel charge in a speedboat was very worrying.
One commander was at a meeting in MACV and happened to be with an officer from 2nd Cavalry.  When asked how they handled being swarmed by charlie, he smirked.
Each tank was in a pair that worked as a team.  They had a code word for this.
The other M48 would just smother their partner with 50cal.  Even at close range the  tank was armored enough to shrug off the machine gun fire.
"The f**ckers never get to try that twice."
This tactic had to be used judiciously on the shallow rivers.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


Staggerwing

  • Corporal
  • **
  • Posts: 3313
Reply #3 on: January 08, 2021, 10:09:16 PM
I imagine it'd also be tricky when you're riding in deuce-and-a-halfs...

Vituð ér enn - eða hvat?  -Voluspa


besilarius

  • Jr Lancer
  • ***
  • Posts: 943
Reply #4 on: January 09, 2021, 09:07:20 AM
What no one ever mentions is that the 50cal has to be fired in bursts.  The barrels heat up otherwise.
Every time a new guy was in a firefight, he'd melt the barrels.
This must have been pretty normal because the pork chop never had a problem getting replacements.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


Sir Slash

  • Corporal
  • **
  • Posts: 3336
  • Head of the Honorable Order of Knights Hotwings
Reply #5 on: January 09, 2021, 11:15:03 AM
At first I thought this thread was talking about De Niro and Pacino building forts in Africa.  :2funny:  "Say 'Hello' to my lee-tle Sally Port".

Any Day is a Good Day That Doesn't Involve Too Much Work or Too Little Gaming


Doctor Quest

  • Trooper
  • **
  • Posts: 278
  • I'm not a real doctor.
Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021, 04:06:52 PM
They had a question about these type of forts in a recent "Jeopardy". They had an overhead view of one and then asked the contestants what astronomical body they resembled.

No one got it.  :Loser: :doh:

I mean it looked more like a Chinese throwing star than a Christmas star or a Star of David but really........................


"Everything you read on the internet is true." - Benjamin Franklin