The eternal dispute in the history of offensive and defensive weapons in the sixteenth century. in Europe and the Russian state was resolved in favor of the means of attack. The wide distribution of firearms led to a “military revolution” that radically changed the face of European armies. Significant changes have also affected fortifications.
Knight castles, a symbol of a whole epoch, as fortifications became completely useless - in the face of siege artillery they were nothing more than a pile of stones. Increasing the wall thickness did not solve the problem (and it was not always possible). However, military engineers found a way out: they invented the bastion system. Around the fortresses and castles, earthworks forged in the field appeared - bastei, rondeli, and then bastions. Now, in order to reach the main walls, the besieger had to first overcome the ring of bastions, from where artillery fire was fired at him. Compared to the stone walls, earthworks strengthened more effectively against the shelling and were more easily restored. As a result, in the sixteenth century. Bastions have become an integral element of any significant fortress. But when the bastion system appears in Russia?
Reinforced Baste type. The architecture of the most famous castles.
The bastion system of the fortresses evolved from the systems of the bastions (rondels) - invented in the early 16th century. German engineer Albrecht Durer the cheapest and easiest way to further protect the fortress. This method was later used by the famous military engineer Sebastien de Vauban: “in some cases, especially in the coastal defense around La Rochelle and Rochefort, he simply surrounded the protruding medieval tower with a low-lying semicircular cannon battery. Thus, the bastion fence was probably very practical and effective. ”1 Rondels were built in many fortresses throughout Europe: in Verona (Della Bokara), Siena, Magdeburg, Augsburg, Krakow, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Salz-le-Chateau, Moskovsky The Kremlin and many others.
The idea of earthen fortresses with a bastion system close to the Italian one penetrated into Russia through Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where the Italian bastion system was often used. Many forms of the Polish tree-earthen fortification have analogies in Russia. In a similar way, for example, they strengthened the towers of the fortresses erected by order of Ivan IV. the third quarter of the XVI century., during the Livonian War, in the region of the Polotsk fortresses - in Turovlya, Susha, Krasny, Koz'yane, Sitna, Sokol. On the engravings of Giovanni Battista Cavalleri (1580), made from drawings by Stanislaw Paholovich, secretary of the hiking office of the king Stephen Batory, “many of the towers of the Polotsk fortresses are depicted standing on some semicircular embankments with cannon embrasures. Obviously, these are the lower floors of the towers, covered outside with dressed earthen powders. "2 But this fortification form had significant drawbacks - the impossibility of concentrating fire and the weak flanking of the curtain - the area between the bastions. Therefore, by the end of the XV - the second quarter of the XVI century. They turned into a pentagonal tree-earthen structure - a bastion. There were several systems of bastion fortification - the Dutch Kegorna system, the French system of Marshal Marquis de Vauban, the German school of Georg Rimpler, Italian.
Usually, the introduction of European military innovations in our country is associated with the era of Peter I. But on the north-western borders of Russia, the bastion system began to spread long before the beginning of the 18th century. The first tree-earthen fortresses with bastion structure appear there, apparently, in the second half of the XVI century. - first quarter of the seventeenth century. This is the small earthen city of Veliky Novgorod, Ladoga, Korela, Ivangorod.
In the 1580s In the north-west of Russia, a new type of fortification is being created - the wood-earthen fortresses of the bastion lay-out with forward bastion-type defense units. Unlike later analogs, they were small, the regular bastion form in them was often not respected, the bastions themselves were marked by "tightness", and the curtains were "considerable length". 3 Bastion-type fortifications were used and rondels were used - types of bastions that often simply encircled the already existing stone walls. In addition, a feature of this period was the erection of fortifications with special wall breaks - with corners carried forward, like bastions (yet it was not quite like them). To, the bastion structure of the Small Earthen Town in Novgorod Velikiy, judging by the famous Swedish plan of 1611, was represented just by similar small bastions of irregular shape, marked in the 17th century inventories as “conclusions.” They were intended to flank curtains and the space in front of them. This reinforcement of the walls with an earthen embankment was done because in the 16th - first half of the 17th century, during the storming, the main efforts were concentrated on the defense centers carried forward. In addition, the flanks of the early bastions were perpendicular to the curtain, and not the defensive lines.