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Ditch with submerged fortification

Fossato con difesa sommersa

Leonardo probably conceived this drawing during the period spent in Romagna working for Cesare Borgia. It is a study on the possibility to use a ravelin not only as a defensive structure, but also as an outpost from where to attack the enemy with shots at ground level. In the middle of the ditch there is a low tower with a large diameter and a conical superstructure. It has an underground access and a fire line at the level of the water surface. The external walls are covered with hay in order to buffer the artillery blows. This is a new idea of offensive structure, hardly attackable by those firearms already in use at the end of the XV century.

Codex Atlanticus, sheet 116 recto


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