|Vesting (Fortress) Museum
Position: 52°17'34.53"N 5° 9'36.07"O
Naarden is one of the best conserved
fortified towns in the Netherlands.
As you can see it has a double ring of earth work walls an moats.
The earth work walls of the inner ring have a brick upstanding face of about 4m high and are equipped with 6 large Bastions. Furthermore, there are 6 defense islands in the moat.
The Bastions are made according the so called New Dutch System.
In comparison with the Old Dutch
System, these Bastions are larger and are situated on less distance of
each other. They have a slender throat,
equipped with flanking gun positions, that are covered by the broader front
site of the Bastions.
Here you see the gun embankment for the
flanking guns on one of the Bastions.
The stone wall is the face of the main earth work wall.
The door is a gate in the main wall, for bringing guns to the flank of the Bastion.
The stone wall is the back side of the head
of the Bastion on the other end of the flanking guns embankment.
This protected the flanking guns from taking direct enemy fire.
At the left upper corner of this picture
you see a neighboring Bastion.
As you can see from our Bastion, we have a clear shooting field on an enemy force attacking the neighboring Bastion.
On the upper right of the picture, you see one of the defense islands.
This is a view from the top of our Bastion
giving a good impression of the main wall in-between the Bastions.
As you can see, the flanking gun embankments are slightly inwards curved, giving excellent fire coverage along the main wall, as well as on the neighboring Bastion and along its faces.
Here you see part of the gun positions at
the face on top of the Bastion.
In between the each gun position is a
Here you see a gun on a center swivel
The platform has also a recoil sledge.
The gun is a smooth-bore Canon. This type of gun was in use to the end of the 19th century.
This Canon type gun could already fire an explosive shell, however usually Canon did fire massive iron balls.
Shorter and larger caliber guns, called Howitzers and the very short and big caliber guns, called Mortars, were usually used, to fire explosive shells.
Further back on the bastion was a deep
ditch, with a face of ground covered thick brick buildings.
This were protected gun positions for Mortars.
On this picture you see a typical Mortar.
The Mortar was usually shooting at 45 degrees and was used, to shoot very large explosive shells over the defense works to enemy trenches or at an enemy assault.
Each Bastion had also thick brick ground
This buildings contained also a gunpowder storage room and a so called Laboratory.
Here the gunpowder was put from a barrel into flannel and later in serge fabric cartridges.
The cartridge served as propellant for the massive round shot, canister, or an explosive shell.
The gun was first loaded with a
cartridge of the appropriate amount of gunpowder an than the shot was
loaded against it.
The gunpowder storage and laboratory were
usually deep under ground on a cellar floor level.
Here you see an ammunition elevator, that was used, to bring the cartridges to the ground floor.
The cartridges, or shells were then carried by hand or transported by wheelbarrow to the guns.
Later on in the 20th century rifled guns
were common, using complete shells instead of loose cartridges and shot.
This is the ground floor end of the
Because the explosive shell contained
just black gunpowder at the time and had a primitive fuse, accuracy and
destructive force was limited.
The thick brick ground covered buildings and walls at the time were called "bomb free" because they could withstand these "bombs".
However, with the invention of the high explosive shell, they all became drastically obsolete.
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