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Martello Towers

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Jason
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Martello Towers

Post by Jason on Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:44 pm

I was just wondering if anyone had built or was building these?

In general terms, has anyone any thoughts on how to use these? Would they be used as a coastal defence chain (like their historical namesakes)? As forward defences for fortresses?
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Re: Martello Towers

Post by Kingmaker on Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:26 pm

hmm sounds interesting you would need a good engineer though I suspect


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Jason
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Re: Martello Towers

Post by Jason on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:05 pm

I think they are an interesting development in-game but am a bit surprised Richard has introduced them as my understanding was historically the British only built their own after experience of an example in Corsica early in the Revolutionary Wars-going from memory, the British captured one (which was built as a coastal defence) after a very long struggle for such a small building, handed its defence over the local pro-British/anti-revolutionary Corsican forces...who then lost it and the British had to capture it again. Being impressed by the design of the Corsican tower, the British modified it and then built them to defend against Nappy and his mates popping across Wink

I think anyone in game can build them but I really struggle with how I would use them. Yes, as a massive line of coastal defences like Britain did might be an option but I'm trying to work out if they could be used in other ways

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Re: Martello Towers

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:15 pm

My theory is that in game Martello style Towers and Stone Forts really pre date the period but are still of use to colonial powers worried about fairly small scale pirate style raids and/or naval bombardment of their harbours and islands.

Many positions such has Spain, Portugal, Venice, UDP have lots of ports and islands which need protection but may lack the men or cash to build full scale Verban fortifications with 100 FC per port etc.

It may be a poor (in cash or recruits) mans option but 100 FC & 5 towers gives limited protection to 5 locations.

Very little use if a full English or French combined force shows up equiped for a full siege in form but if Blackbeard & say 10 Sloops shows up looking to cut out ships, loot warehouses, rape and pillage a Tower and heavy guns dominating the harbour can really spoil his day! Esp if the fort has orders to fire heated shot.

Ok, so our hero can always land down the coast and attack from the land side but its such a pain getting loot back on board ship. Plus at least one evil minded player is known to use elite dragoons to patrol his colonies. Lugging loot back to a ship while being chased by big and nasty locals on even bigger and nastier horses it not good for ones health.

Other use for such coastal defence works is guarding important anchorages and waterways. Such as the Downs, the Solent, passage into the Baltic or the Black Sea. These probably rate full scale fortifications at some stage but sometimes for players who are not running France, England or Russia its a case of making do with the old style stuff because the very best is just too expensive.

For anyone thinking about a holiday in East Africa can I recommend taking a look at Fort George which guards the harbour at Malindi as a good example of this type of coastal defence work. No fancy angled bastions and mid works etc just a dry ditch were they cut the soft limestone type rock for walls from and a simple very thick rampart ........which is pink!

A European force would probably laugh at the fort until they realized the fort included the only fresh water supply for miles and getting suitable timber for siege works probably involves Lions.
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Jason
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Re: Martello Towers

Post by Jason on Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:29 pm

Thats a good point Stuart! Thinking about it, when playing Denmark such towers would have been very useful for defending its colonies. I wonder if a nation like Scotland might find them useful for defending its islands and highlands. As you say, not able to stop a large invading English (for example) army but could be a good way of stopping raiding parties looking for the back door way into the lowlands.

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Re: Martello Towers

Post by J Flower on Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:44 pm

Could they be used to form a sort of Atlantic wall along French coast? would you have to build indivdually or would it be better to commisson an Engineer mission to plan such a major project.

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Re: Martello Towers

Post by count-de-monet on Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:46 pm

Game 7 players will soon be reading of such a fortress Very Happy
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Jason
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Re: Martello Towers

Post by Jason on Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:51 pm

Jason-good question! I'd have thought they could be as that's what they were in England really. Not sure on the need for an engineer mission, might be advisable I guess!

Count-do let us know how it goes!

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Re: Martello Towers

Post by count-de-monet on Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:59 pm

Its all gone really well.

I needed an engineer mission. Ladle Dredgers had to prepare the location for a year to support the preparation of foundations, and then it took another year for the fortress to be constructed.

I also researched a military engineer of the time who specialised in naval matters (dry docks, sluices, hydraulics etc). I dont know if this helped me get the idea progressed.

Fortress St Andrew is armed and operational......its just a little underwraps at the moment.

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Re: Martello Towers

Post by count-de-monet on Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:02 pm

I believe (hope!) the advantage of these fortresses is that it gives cannan a solid platform from which to fire. Warships have a skilled crew who try to fire on the upward or downard roll of the wave - either way accuracy, even for skilled gunners is not easy. Ships would get close to each other to maximise accuracy. Any enemy warships attacking a location protected by these forts face the disadvantage of 1) wooden hulls vs stone walls and 2) more accurate gunfire.

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