previous next
[72] that these defences were simple temporary fortifications of rather greater dimensions than usual, and that not a single new principle of engineering was there developed. It is true that there were several novel minor details, such as the rope mantelets, the use of the iron tanks, &c.; but the whole merit consisted in the admirable adaptation of well-known principles to the peculiar locality and circumstances of the case. Neither can it be asserted that the plans of the various works were perfect. On the contrary, there is no impropriety in believing that, if Todtleben were called upon to do the same work over again, he would probably introduce better close-flanking arrangements.

These remarks are not intended to, nor can they, detract from the reputation of the Russian engineer. His labors and their results will be handed down in history as the most triumphant and enduring monument of the value of fortifications, and his name must ever be placed in the first rank of military engineers. But, in our admiration of the talent and energy of the engineer, it must not be forgotten that the inert masses which he raised would have been useless without the skilful artillery and heroic infantry who defended them. Much stronger places than Sebastopol have often fallen under far less obstinate and well-combined attacks than that to which it was subjected. There can be no danger in expressing the conviction that the siege of Sebastopol called forth the most magnificent defence of fortifications that has ever yet occurred.

The next is a description of the final assault:--

A few minutes later than the assault upon the Malakoff, the English attacked the Redan. The Russians being now upon the alert, they did not pass over the open space before them without loss; but the mass succeeded in crossing the ditch and gaining the salient of the work.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Chersonesus (Ukraine) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: