A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, is used to solidify rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from the Latin fortis and facere. From early history to modern times, walls have been necessary for cities to survive in an ever-changing world of invasion and conquest; some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were the first small cities to be fortified. In ancient Greece, large stone walls had been built in Mycenaean Greece, such as the ancient site of Mycenae. A Greek phrourion was a fortified collection of buildings used as a military garrison, is the equivalent of the Roman castellum or English fortress; these constructions served the purpose of a watch tower, to guard certain roads and lands that might threaten the kingdom. Though smaller than a real fortress, they acted as a border guard rather than a real strongpoint to watch and maintain the border; the art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called "castrametation" since the time of the Roman legions.
Fortification is divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. There is an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification. Castles are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that they are a residence of a monarch or noble and command a specific defensive territory. Roman forts and hill forts were the main antecedents of castles in Europe, which emerged in the 9th century in the Carolingian Empire; the Early Middle Ages saw the creation of some towns built around castles. Medieval-style fortifications were made obsolete by the arrival of cannons in the 14th century. Fortifications in the age of black powder evolved into much lower structures with greater use of ditches and earth ramparts that would absorb and disperse the energy of cannon fire. Walls exposed to direct cannon fire were vulnerable, so the walls were sunk into ditches fronted by earth slopes to improve protection; the arrival of explosive shells in the 19th century led to yet another stage in the evolution of fortification.
Star forts did not fare well against the effects of high explosive, the intricate arrangements of bastions, flanking batteries and the constructed lines of fire for the defending cannon could be disrupted by explosive shells. Steel-and-concrete fortifications were common during the early 20th centuries; however the advances in modern warfare since World War I have made large-scale fortifications obsolete in most situations. Demilitarized zones along borders are arguably another type of fortification, although a passive kind, providing a buffer between hostile militaries. Many US military installations are known as forts. Indeed, during the pioneering era of North America, many outposts on the frontiers non-military outposts, were referred to generically as forts. Larger military installations may be called fortresses; the word fortification can refer to the practice of improving an area's defence with defensive works. City walls are fortifications but are not called fortresses; the art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called castrametation since the time of the Roman legions.
The art/science of laying siege to a fortification and of destroying it is called siegecraft or siege warfare and is formally known as poliorcetics. In some texts this latter term applies to the art of building a fortification. Fortification is divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. Permanent fortifications are erected at leisure, with all the resources that a state can supply of constructive and mechanical skill, are built of enduring materials. Field fortifications—for example breastworks—and known as fieldworks or earthworks, are extemporized by troops in the field assisted by such local labour and tools as may be procurable and with materials that do not require much preparation, such as earth and light timber, or sandbags. An example of field fortification was the construction of Fort Necessity by George Washington in 1754. There is an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification; this is employed when in the course of a campaign it becomes desirable to protect some locality with the best imitation of permanent defences that can be made in a short time, ample resources and skilled civilian labour being available.
An example of this is the construction of Roman forts in England and in other Roman territories where camps were set up with the intention of staying for some time, but not permanently. Castles are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that it describes a residence of a monarch or noble and commands a specific defensive territory. An example of this is the massive medieval castle of Carcassonne. From early history to modern times, walls have been a necessity for many cities. In Bulgaria, near the town of Provadia a walled fortified settlement today called Solnitsata starting from 4700 BC had a diameter of about 300 feet, was home to 350 people living in two-storey houses, was encircled by a fortified wall; the huge walls around the settlement, which were built tall and with stone blocks which are 6 feet high and 4.5 feet thick, make it one of the earliest walled settlements in Europe but it is younger than the walled town of Sesklo in Greece from 6800 BC.
Uruk in ancient Su
Times of Malta
The Times of Malta is an English-language daily newspaper in Malta. Founded in 1935, by Lord and Lady Strickland and Lord Strickland's daughter Mabel, it is the oldest daily newspaper still in circulation in Malta, it has the widest circulation and is seen as the daily newspaper of "reference" of the Maltese press. The newspaper is published by Allied Newspapers Limited, owned by the Strickland Foundation, a charitable trust established by Mabel Strickland in 1979 to control the majority of the company. According to Alexa Internet the Times of Malta website is the most accessed website in Malta; the history of The Times of Malta is linked with that of its publishing house, Allied Newspapers Limited. This institution has a history going back to the 1920s, when it pioneered journalism and the printing industry in Malta, it all started with the publication, by Gerald Strickland, of Malta's first evening newspaper in Maltese, Il-Progress. This was a four-page daily with its own printing offices in what was 10A, Strada Reale, Valletta.
The name "Progress" is retained to this day by the commercial sister of Allied Newspapers Limited, Progress Press Company Limited, formed in 1946. Bilingual journalism and English, was introduced in Malta with the publication, on 3 February 1922, of an English supplement to Il-Progress; the Times of Malta and Il-Progress lasted till 1 March 1929. The English supplement became The Times of Malta Weekly; the Maltese side was named Ix-Xemx changed to Id-Dehen and still to Il-Berqa, first published on 29 January 1932. Il-Berqa ceased publication on 30 November 1968. In February 1931, Progress Press moved from Strada Reale to 341, St Paul Street, the present site of Allied Newspapers Limited known as Strickland House; as readership of the English supplement to Il-Progress soared, Lord Strickland was quick to see that there was room for an English daily. This would happen so long as the new publication achieved and maintained a high standard of public service in information; the first issue of The Times of Malta was published in full co-operation with the British MI5 on 7 August 1935 under menacing war clouds as Italy planned the invasion of Abyssinia, which began in October of that year.
On 2 September 1935, Mabel Strickland, a founder member of Allied Malta Newspapers Limited and formed part of the first Board of Directors, became the first editor of The Times of Malta. She edited The Sunday Times of Malta from 1935 to 1950 when she was succeeded by the late George Sammut who retired in 1966. Anthony Montanaro was the next editor, he succeeded by Laurence Grech. On 6 August 1960, the 25th anniversary of The Times of Malta, Strickland wrote that The Times of Malta, whilst a party paper, had become a national newspaper; the paper won for itself a reputation for objective reporting whilst upholding its own held editorial opinion. Strickland's editorship covered the difficult years of World War II. None of the newspapers forming part of the Group missed an issue in spite of continuous bombing and all kinds of shortages in the siege years between 1940 and 1943; the building was bombed twice, receiving a direct hit on 7 April 1942, when sixteen rooms were demolished but sparing the printing machines.
Thomas Hedley took over as editor from Strickland in 1950. He edited the paper through the traumatic years of political and industrial change culminating in Malta's Independence in 1964. Under the editorship of Charles Grech Orr, The Times kept up the tradition of never missing an issue when twice hit by industrial action in 1973 and when political arsonists burned the building down on 15 October 1979; that date came to be known as "Black Monday". In the face of serious danger, the editor and his staff had to abandon the building. Printing of the following day's paper continued at Independence Press; the paper was out on the street as usual the following morning, reduced in size but a triumph for freedom of expression. During the last 10 years, its website timesofmalta.com has become the primary news source in Malta and one of the main news websites in the Mediterranean. Ray Bugeja is editor of Times of Malta, Herman Grech is editor of timesofmalta.com and Mark Wood is editor of The Sunday Times of Malta.
The Times Official website
RML 64-pounder 64 cwt gun
The RML 64-pounder 64 cwt gun was a Rifled, Muzzle Loading naval, field or fortification artillery gun manufactured in England in the 19th century, which fired a projectile weighing 64 pounds. "64 cwt" refers to the gun's weight rounded up to differentiate it from other "64-pounder" guns. The calibre of 6.3 inches was chosen to enable it to fire remaining stocks of spherical shells made for the obsolete 32 pounder guns if necessary. Mark I and Mark II guns, Mark III guns made from 1867 – April 1871 had wrought-iron inner "A" tubes surrounded by wrought-iron coils. Mark III guns made after April 1871 were built with toughened mild steel "A" tubes, earlier Mark III guns were re-tubed with steel and were classified as a siege gun in land service. Remaining guns with iron tubes were used for sea service. Rifling of all guns consisted with a uniform twist of 1 turn in 40 calibres; the gun's standard shell was "common shell", for firing on troops in cover and buildings, weighed 57.4 pounds when empty with a bursting charge of 7.1 pounds.
Shrapnel shells could be fired. Mk I, Mk II no 164 and Mk III guns at Fort George, near Inverness, Scotland, UK Mark III gun at Nothe Fort, Weymouth, UK Mark III gun at Fort Brockhurst, Gosport, UK Mark III Gun number 17 on board HMS Gannet, Chatham Dockyard, UK Two Mark III guns, including no. 318 dated 1867 at Pendennis Castle, Cornwall, UK Two Mark III guns number 462 and 463 at Fort Glanville, South Australia Mk III gun no. 739 of 1878 at Townsville, Australia Mark III gun number 742 dated 1878 - ex HMQS Otter example displayed in Queens Park Toowoomba, Australia Two Mk III guns at Fort Lytton Historic Military Precinct, Australia Lei Yue Mun Fort's Central Battery, Hong Kong 6 guns at Fort Siloso, Singapore including Mark III gun No. 767 of 1874 RML 64-pr 64 cwt Mk 3 at Albert Park, Auckland, New Zealand RML 64pdr shell, fired, RML 64 fuse at Fort Lytton Historic Military Precinct, Australia RML 64-pounder 71 cwt gun: conversion of SBML 8-inch 65 cwt gun Treatise on the Construction and Manufacture of Ordnance in the British Service.
War Office, UK, 1879 Text Book of Gunnery, 1902. LONDON: PRINTED FOR HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE, BY HARRISON AND SONS, ST. MARTIN'S LANE YouTube video showing re-enactment of loading and firing with blank cartridge at Fort Lytton, Queensland Handbook for the 64 – pr. R. M. L. Gun of 64 cwt. marks I-III land service 1888, 1893, 1900, 1902 at State Library of Victoria Diagram of gun on 6-foot parapet platform mounting at Victorian Forts website
Fort Binġemma is a polygonal fort in the limits of Rabat, Malta. It was built between 1878 by the British as part of the Victoria Lines; the fort has been illegally occupied by the Buttigieg family since 2009, who use it as a restaurant. It is set on a hill of around 590 feet above sea level. Previous to the building of the fort there used to be village. Fort Binġemma was built by the British as part of the Victoria Lines, a line of fortifications along the northern part of Malta, dividing it from the more populated south, it is one of three forts built along the other two being Fort Madalena and Fort Mosta. Fort Binġemma is located at the western extremity of the line, it was first of the forts to be built, with construction taking place between 1875 and 1878, it has an irregular shape, is protected by a cliff face to the north and a ditch to the south. It was armed with two 6-inch and one 9.2-inch breech-loading guns which had an arc of fire of 210 degrees, commanding the sea to the northwest and the ridges to the northeast.
Although the Victoria Lines were abandoned in 1907, Fort Binġemma, along with Fort Madalena, remained in use for coastal defence. From 1949 to about 1952, the fort was used to train Albanian insurgents fighting the communist regime in the Albanian Subversion, it became a communications centre for the 235 Signal Squadron. In 1981, the Government of Malta leased the fort to Gaetano Buttigieg for use as a pig farm; the lease expired in 1997, but it continued to be renewed annually until 2009. After the expiry of the lease and his family continued to occupy the fort illegally, despite the government having the right to evict them. In 2011, he refused to let government officials enter the fort, guarded by an iron gate and dogs. Illegal development took place within the fort in 2013. In 2015, it was revealed that the fort was being used as a restaurant, illegal, it is used for cows and animal farming
Cospicua known by its titles Città Cospicua or Civitas Cottonera, is a double-fortified harbour city in the South Eastern Region of Malta. Along with Birgu and Senglea, it is one of the Three Cities, located within the Grand Harbour to the east of the capital city Valletta. With a population of 5,395 as of March 2014, it is the most dense city of the Three Cities; the Maltese name "Bormla" or Burmula derives from Bir Mula. Cospicua has been inhabited since Neolithic times, its maritime facilities started during ancient times around the Phoenician era c. 600 BC. Prior to the 18th century it was known as Bormla, a name, still in use, its fortification walls, constructed to protect the town and its neighbours Birgu and Isla, were built by the Order of Saint John. Construction was not completed for another 70 years. In 1722, Grand Master Marc'Antonio Zondadari declared Bormla a city and in view of its strong bastions named it Città Cospicua. In 1776, the Order of St. John started to construct a dockyard, to play a vital role in the development of this city.
During British rule in Malta, the Royal Navy made extensive use of the dockyard during the Crimean War, the First World War and during the years preceding the Second World War. Cospicua, along with the rest of the area around the Grand Harbour, was bombed during this last war as Malta was under siege by the Axis powers; as Malta became an independent country, the city's dockyard became a bone of contention between the General Workers Union, to which most of its employees belonged, successive governments. In the early 21st century the dockyard was downsized under the governance of the Nationalist Party after it was found that the cost of operating the site was responsible for around 25% of Malta's national debt. Plans are now underway for the transformation of an area of the dockyard into a commercial and tourist centre. Cospicua is known as Belt l-Immakulata or the City of the Immaculate, referring to the Immaculate Conception or the Virgin Mary, the patron of the city; every year a feast is being held on 8 December.
Cospicua celebrates its feast, held annually on 8 December in honour of the Immaculate Conception. Cospicua is known for its celebration of Good Friday, which began in the 18th century and is a popular tourist attraction. A statue of the Resurrection of Jesus is traditionally carried across the city's streets to symbolize Jesus' triumph over death. Smaller statues are exhibited in the city; the people of Cospicua started the famous and artistic first'Mejda tal-Appostli', which means, the table of the Apostles. It consists of a display showing the food, eaten during the Last Supper of Jesus and the 12 Apostles, it consists of different stories of the Bible, made with coloured rice and salt, on plates. Cospicua's football team is the St. George's F. C. thought to be the oldest on the island. Documentation shows that by 1885 there were three football teams at Cospicua, which merged to form the current club in 1890. Cospicua is famous for its Regatta team, one of the first; this team has won 17 shields second only to Senglea.
The 1st Cospicua Scout Group as formed in 1917. The St. George's Band Club was founded in 1862, its first name was'La Banda dei Cospicuani' but when Giorgio Crispo Barbaro, Marquis of St. George became first president of the Band, the name was changed to the present one; the city's fortifications, namely the Santa Margherita Lines and the Cottonera Lines, are intact although they are in need of restoration. Saint Helen's Gate known as Vilhena Gate, is a gateway which forms part of the Santa Margherita Lines, a tourist attraction itself; the Dock area has some Georgian architecture. The Parish church of the Immaculate Conception, the church of St. Theresa, the chapels of St. Paul and St. Margaret are attractions; the celebrations and feasts on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the village feast on 8 December attract tourists, as well as the statues of the Resurrection and the Immaculate Conception. Cospicua has an ethnography, social history, anthropology museum and cultural venue known as Bir Mula Heritage.
A 16th century lodge built by the Order of St John known as The Lodge, is used for exhibitions and other events. Adjacent to the lodge is another 16th-century building which houses a community radio station Kottoner 98FM; the first recorded census of the Maltese islands took place in 1901. Cospicua is recorded as having a population of 12,148 people; this figure remained stable until 1931, but by 1948 had reduced to 4,822. After rising to 9,095 by 1957 and 9,123 in 1967, the city's population fell in the following three censuses. A March 2011 estimate gave the population of Cospicua as 5,658, its population stood 5,479 as of March 2013, 5,395 in March 2014. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici. Cospicua's local council was established by the Local Councils Act of 1993; the first election was held on 16 April 1994 and Joseph Carbonaro was elected as mayor. After the 2000 elections, Paul Muscat became mayor and after the 2003 elections he was succeeded by Joseph Scerri. Scerri remained mayor for 10 years before being succeeded by Alison Zerafa after the 2013 elections.
The present local council is made up of the following members: Alison Zerafa Ivan Agius
Fort Pembroke is a polygonal fort in Pembroke, Malta. It was built between 1878 by the British to defend part of the Victoria Lines; the fort now houses the Verdala International School. Fort Pembroke was built by the British to defend the Grand Harbour as well as part of the Victoria Lines; the building of the fort was proposed in a defence committee recommendation in 1873, construction started on 24 January 1875 and was finished in December 1878. The fort has an elongated hexagonal shape, surrounded by glacis, it casemated garrison quarters. It was armed with three RML 11 inch 25 ton guns and one 64-pounder gun, which were mounted en barbette. By the mid-1890s, the fort's armament became obsolete, instead of upgrading the armaments, the nearby Pembroke Battery was built; the fort became an ammunition storage area for small arms ammunition. Its gate was widened and a fixed metal bridge replaced the original rolling bridge. In World War II, the fort was used as housing German prisoners; the British military establishments in Pembroke were closed in 1978 and the fort remained unused for nine years until 1987.
Verdala International School moved into the fort in 1987. Since the school has grown from 110 to 400 students. Due to this increase, the school has expanded to include some barrack blocks close to the fort; the campus is leased by the government to the school until the year 2072. The fort was scheduled by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority as a Grade 1 national monument in 1996; the protection status was revised to include the surviving glacis of the fort in 2009
Fort Madalena known as Fort Madliena, is a polygonal fort in Madliena, limits of Swieqi, Malta. It was built between 1880 by the British as part of the Victoria Lines; the fort now falls under the responsibility of the Armed Forces of Malta and is used by the St John Rescue Corps. Fort Madalena was built by the British as part of the Victoria Lines, a line of fortifications along the northern part of Malta, dividing it from the more populated south, it is one of three forts built along the other two being Fort Binġemma and Fort Mosta. Fort Madalena, located at the eastern extremity of the line, was second of the forts to be built, it was built on the site of a fifteenth century chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene, which gave the fort its name. Construction of the pentagonal fort began in 1878 and was completed in 1880, at a total cost of £9400; the fort itself is quite small, with the short sides of the pentagon being about 30 metres long. The entire fort is surrounded by a 6-metre 4-metre wide ditch.
It was armed with two field guns. On, an artillery battery was built around the pentagonal fort, facing the sea for coastal defence; the battery was armed with two BL 9.2-inch guns. In 1906, the RML 11-inch guns were replaced by BL 9.2-inch Mk X guns which had an effective range of about 8000 yards. Although the Victoria Lines were abandoned in 1907, Fort Madalena, along with Fort Binġemma, remained in use for coastal defence, its guns were removed during the interwar period, it was used by the Royal Air Force as a communications post, as a radar station during World War II. The radar station remained in use by NATO until British forces left Malta in 1979 and the fort was handed to the Armed Forces of Malta. Fort Madalena is still owned by the government and it falls under the responsibility of the 4th Regiment of the Armed Forces of Malta. A VTMIS radar was installed in 2006; the fort is leased to the St John Rescue Corps, a volunteer civil defence organization, is used as their headquarters and training school.
The fort is in good condition. It is open to the public on Saturday afternoons, or by appointment throughout the week