The Limes Germanicus was a line of frontier fortifications that bounded the ancient Roman provinces of Germania Inferior, Germania Superior and Raetia, dividing the Roman Empire and the unsubdued Germanic tribes from the years 83 to about 260 AD. At its height, the limes stretched from the North Sea outlet of the Rhine to near Regensburg on the Danube; those two major rivers afforded natural protection from mass incursions into imperial territory, with the exception of a gap stretching from Mogontiacum on the Rhine to Castra Regina. The Limes Germanicus was divided into: The Lower Germanic Limes, which extended from the North Sea at Katwijk in the Netherlands along the main Lower Rhine branches The Upper Germanic Limes started from the Rhine at Rheinbrohl across the Taunus mountains to the river Main along the Main to Miltenberg, from Osterburken south to Lorch in a nearly perfect straight line of more than 70 km; the total length was 568 km. It included 900 watchtowers; the weakest, hence most guarded, part of the Limes was the aforementioned gap between the westward bend of the Rhine at modern-day Mainz and the main flow of the Danube at Regensburg.
This 300-km wide land corridor between the two great rivers permitted movement of large groups of people without the need for water transport, hence the heavy concentration of forts and towers there, arranged in depth and in multiple layers along waterways, fords and hilltops. Roman border defences have become much better known through systematic excavations financed by Germany and through other research connected to them. In 2005, the remnants of the Upper Germanic & Rhaetian Limes were inscribed on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as Frontiers of the Roman Empire, with lower Limes being placed on the tentative list in 2011, aiming to extend the world heritage site to the whole limes; the Saalburg is a reconstructed museum of the Limes near Frankfurt. The first emperor who began to build fortifications along the border was Augustus, shortly after the devastating Roman defeat at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. There were numerous Limes walls, which were connected to form the Upper Germanic Limes along the Rhine and the Rhaetian Limes along the Danube.
These two walls were linked to form a common borderline. From the death of Augustus until after 70 AD, Rome accepted as her Germanic frontier the water-boundary of the Rhine and upper Danube. Beyond these rivers she held only the fertile plain of Frankfurt, opposite the Roman border fortress of Moguntiacum, the southernmost slopes of the Black Forest and a few scattered bridge-heads; the northern section of this frontier, where the Rhine is deep and broad, remained the Roman boundary until the empire fell. The southern part was different; the upper Rhine and upper Danube are crossed. The frontier which they form is inconveniently long, enclosing an acute-angled wedge of foreign territory between the modern Baden and Württemberg; the Germanic populations of these lands seem in Roman times to have been scanty, Roman subjects from the modern Alsace-Lorraine had drifted across the river eastwards. The motives alike of geographical convenience and of the advantages to be gained by recognising these movements of Roman subjects combined to urge a forward policy at Rome, when the vigorous Vespasian had succeeded Nero, a series of advances began which closed up the acute angle, or at least rendered it obtuse.
The first advance came about 74 AD, when what is now Baden was invaded and annexed and a road carried from the Roman base on the upper Rhine, Straßburg, to the Danube just above Ulm. The point of the angle was broken off; the second advance was made by Domitian about 83 AD. He pushed out from Moguntiacum, extended the Roman territory east of it and enclosed the whole within a systematically delimited and defended frontier with numerous blockhouses along it and larger forts in the rear. Among the blockhouses was one which by various enlargements and refoundations grew into the well-known Saalburg fort on the Taunus near Bad Homburg; this advance necessitated a third movement, the construction of a frontier connecting the annexations of AD 74 and AD 83. We know the line of this frontier which ran from the Main across the upland Odenwald to the upper waters of the Neckar and was defended by a chain of forts. We do not, know its date, save that, if not Domitian's work, it was carried out soon after his death, the whole frontier thus constituted was reorganised by Hadrian, with a continuous wooden palisade reaching from Rhine to Danube.
The angle between the rivers was now full. But there remained further fortification. Either Hadrian or, more his successor Antoninus Pius pushed out from the Odenwald and the Danube, marked out a new frontier parallel to, but in advance of these two lines, though sometimes, as on the Taunus, coinciding with the older line; this is the frontier, now visible and visited by the curious. It consists, as we see it today, of two distinct frontier works, known as the Pfahlgraben, is a palisade of stakes with a ditch and earthen mound behind it, best seen in the neighbourhood of the Saalburg but once extending from the Rhine southwards into southern Germany; the other, which begins where the earthwork stops, is a wall, though not a formidable wall, of stone, the Teufelsmauer.
Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and includes his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage in 146 BC. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed constitution or the separation of powers in government, influential on Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and the framers of the United States Constitution. Polybius was born around 200 BC in Megalopolis, when it was an active member of the Achaean League, his father, was a prominent, land-owning politician and member of the governing class who became strategos of the Achaean League. Polybius was able to observe first hand the political and military affairs of Megalopolis, he developed an interest in horse riding and hunting, diversions that commended him to his Roman captors. In 182 BC, he was given quite an honor when he was chosen to carry the funeral urn of Philopoemen, one of the most eminent Achaean politicians of his generation.
In either 169 BC or 170 BC, Polybius was elected hipparchus, an event which presaged election to the annual strategia. His early political career was devoted towards maintaining the independence of Megalopolis. Polybius’ father, was a prominent advocate of neutrality during the Roman war against Perseus of Macedon. Lycortas attracted the suspicion of the Romans, Polybius subsequently was one of the 1,000 Achaean nobles who were transported to Rome as hostages in 167 BC, was detained there for 17 years. In Rome, by virtue of his high culture, Polybius was admitted to the most distinguished houses, in particular to that of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, the conqueror in the Third Macedonian War, who entrusted Polybius with the education of his sons and Scipio Aemilianus. Polybius remained on cordial terms with his former pupil Scipio Aemilianus and was among the members of the Scipionic Circle; when Scipio defeated the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War, Polybius remained his counsellor.
The Achaean hostages were released in 150 BC, Polybius was granted leave to return home, but the next year he went on campaign with Scipio Aemilianus to Africa, was present at the Sack of Carthage in 146, which he described. Following the destruction of Carthage, Polybius journeyed along the Atlantic coast of Africa, as well as Spain. After the destruction of Corinth in the same year, Polybius returned to Greece, making use of his Roman connections to lighten the conditions there. Polybius was charged with the difficult task of organizing the new form of government in the Greek cities, in this office he gained great recognition. In the succeeding years, Polybius resided in Rome, completing his historical work while undertaking long journeys through the Mediterranean countries in the furtherance of his history, in particular with the aim of obtaining firsthand knowledge of historical sites, he interviewed veterans to clarify details of the events he was recording and was given access to archival material.
Little is known of Polybius' life. He wrote about this war in a lost monograph. Polybius returned to Greece in his life, as evidenced by the many existent inscriptions and statues of him there; the last event mentioned in his Histories seems to be the construction of the Via Domitia in southern France in 118 BC, which suggests the writings of Pseudo-Lucian may have some grounding in fact when they state, " fell from his horse while riding up from the country, fell ill as a result and died at the age of eighty-two". Polybius’ Histories cover the period from 264 BC to 146 BC, its main focus is the period from 220 BC to 167 BC, describing Rome's efforts in subduing its arch-enemy and thereby becoming the dominant Mediterranean force. Books I through V of The Histories are the introduction for the years during his lifetime, describing the politics in leading Mediterranean states, including ancient Greece and Egypt, culminating in their ultimate συμπλοκή or interconnectedness. In Book VI, Polybius describes the political and moral institutions that allowed the Romans to succeed.
He describes the Second Punic Wars. Polybius concludes the Romans are the pre-eminent power because they have customs and institutions which promote a deep desire for noble acts, a love of virtue, piety towards parents and elders, a fear of the gods, he chronicled the conflicts between Hannibal and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus such as the Battle of Ticinus, the Battle of the Trebia, the Siege of Saguntum, the Battle of Lilybaeum, the Battle of Rhone Crossing. In Book XII, Polybius discusses the worth of Timaeus’ account of the same period of history, he asserts Timaeus' point of view is inaccurate and biased in favor of Rome. Therefore, Polybius's Histories is useful in analyzing the different Hellenistic versions of history and of use as a credible illustration of actual events during the Hellenistic period. In the seventh volume of his Histories, Polybius defines the historian's job as the analysis of documentation, the review of relevant geographical information, political experience.
Polybius held that historians should only chronicle events whose participants the historian was able to interview, was among the first to champion the notion of factual integrity in historical wri
The Saxon Shore was a military command of the late Roman Empire, consisting of a series of fortifications on both sides of the English Channel. It was established in the late 3rd century and was led by the "Count of the Saxon Shore". In the late 4th century, his functions were limited to Britain, while the fortifications in Gaul were established as separate commands. Several Saxon Shore forts survive in south-east England. During the latter half of the 3rd century, the Roman Empire faced a grave crisis. Internally, it was weakened by civil wars, the violent succession of brief emperors, secession in the provinces, while externally it faced a new wave of attacks by "barbarian" tribes. Most of Britain had been part of the empire since the mid-1st century, it was protected from raids in the north by the Hadrianic and Antonine Walls, while a fleet of some size was available. However, as the frontiers came under increasing external pressure, fortifications were built throughout the Empire in order to protect cities and guard strategically important locations.
It is in this context. In the 230s, under Severus Alexander, several units had been withdrawn from the northern frontier and garrisoned at locations in the south, had built new forts at Brancaster and Caister-on-Sea in Norfolk and Reculver in Kent. Dover was fortified in the early 2nd century, the other forts in this group were constructed in the period between the 270s and 290s; the only contemporary reference we possess that mentions the name "Saxon Shore" comes in the late 4th century Notitia Dignitatum, which lists its commander, the Comes Litoris Saxonici per Britanniam, gives the names of the sites under his command and their respective complements of military personnel. However, due to the absence of further evidence, theories have varied between scholars as to the exact meaning of the name, the nature and purpose of the chain of forts it refers to. Two interpretations were put forward as to the meaning of the adjective "Saxon": either a shore attacked by Saxons, or a shore settled by Saxons.
Some argue that the latter hypothesis, less valid, is supported by Eutropius, who states that during the 280s the sea along the coasts of Belgica and Armorica was "infested with Franks and Saxons", that this was why Carausius was first put in charge of the fleet there. However, Eutropius refers to Saxons as seaborne invaders, it receives at least partial support from archaeological finds, as artefacts of a Germanic style have been found in burials, while there is evidence of the presence of Saxons in some numbers in SE England and the northern coasts of Gaul around Boulogne-sur-Mer and Bayeux from the middle of the 5th century onwards. This, in turn, mirrors a well documented practice of deliberately settling Germanic tribes to strengthen Roman defences; the other interpretation, supported by Stephen Johnson, holds that the forts fulfilled a coastal defence role against seaborne invaders Saxons and Franks, acted as bases for the naval units operating against them. This view is reinforced by the parallel chain of fortifications across the Channel on the northern coasts of Gaul, which complemented the British forts, suggesting a unified defensive system.
Other scholars like John Cotterill however consider the threat posed by Germanic raiders, at least in the 3rd and early 4th centuries, to be exaggerated. They interpret the construction of the forts at Brancaster, Caister-on-Sea and Reculver in the early 3rd century and their location at the estuaries of navigable rivers as pointing to a different role: fortified points for transport and supply between Britain and Gaul, without any relation to countering seaborne piracy; this view is supported by contemporary references to the supplying of the army of Julian by Caesar with grain from Britain during his campaign in Gaul in 359, their use as secure landing places by Count Theodosius during the suppression of the Great Conspiracy a few years later. Another theory, proposed by D. A. White, was that the extended system of large stone forts was disproportionate to any threat by seaborne Germanic raiders, that it was conceived and constructed during the secession of Carausius and Allectus in 289-296, with an different enemy in mind: they were to guard against an attempt at reconquest by the Empire.
This view, although disputed, has found recent support from archaeological evidence at Pevensey, which dates the fort's construction to the early 290s. Whatever their original purpose, it is certain that in the late 4th century the forts and their garrisons were employed in operations against Frankish and Saxon pirates. Britain was abandoned by Rome with Armorica following soon after; the forts on both sides continued to be inhabited in the following centuries, in Britain in particular several continued in use well into the Anglo-Saxon period. The nine forts mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum for Britain are listed here, from north to south, with their garrisons. Branodunum. One of the earliest forts, dated to the 230s, it is of a typical rectangular castrum layout. It was garrisoned by the Equites Dalmatae Brandodunenses, although evidence exists suggesting that its original garrison was the cohors I Aquitanorum. Gariannonum. Established between 260 and the mid-270s to guard the River Yare, it was garrisoned by the Equites Stablesiani Gariannoneses.
Although there is some discussion as to whet
Roman military frontiers and fortifications
Roman military borders and fortifications were part of a grand strategy of territorial defense in the Roman Empire, although this is a matter of debate. By the early 2nd century, the Roman Empire had reached the peak of its territorial expansion and rather than expanding their borders as earlier in the Empire and Republic, the Romans solidified their position by fortifying their strategic position with a series of fortifications and established lines of defense. Historian Adrian Goldsworthy argues that the Romans had reached the natural limits which their military traditions afforded them conquest over and that beyond the borders of the early-to-mid Empire lay peoples whose military traditions made them militarily unconquerable, despite many Roman battle victories. In particular, Goldsworthy argues that the cavalry-based warfare of the Parthians and Persians presented a major challenge to the expansion of Rome's infantry-based armies; the borders of the Roman Empire, which fluctuated throughout the empire's history, were a combination of natural frontiers and man-made fortifications which separated the lands of the empire from the "barbarian" lands beyond.
Individual fortifications had been constructed by the Roman military from as early as the building of Rome's first city walls in the 6th or 7th century BC. However, systematic construction of fortifications around the periphery of the empire on a strategic scale began around 40 AD under Emperor Caligula. However, it was under Hadrian's rule, which began in 117, that the Roman frontier was systematically fortified, he spent half of his 21-year reign touring the empire and advocating for the construction of forts and walls all across the edges of the empire. The coherent construction of these fortifications on a strategic scale are known as the limes, continued until around 270; the limes consisted of fortresses for legions or vexillations as well as a system of roads for the rapid transit of troops and, in some places, extensive walls. The most famous example of these is Hadrian's Wall in Great Britain, built across the entire width of the island to protect from attack from tribes located in modern-day Scotland.
The so-called Limes Britannicus is the best example of the ultimate limes - like the Great Wall of China, it was an attempt to construct a continuous man-made fortification along the length of an entire border, a massive undertaking. However, it is not correct to interpret other limes in the same way or to view the limes as an impenetrable barrier. Other limes would not have had a continuous man-made fortification for the entirety of their length. In places, a river, desert or natural outcropping of rock could provide the same effect for zero outlay. Fortifications as impressive as Hadrian's Wall were not unbreachable: with milecastles some distance apart and patrols infrequent, small enemy forces would have been able to penetrate the defenses for small-scale raiding. However, a raiding party would be forced to fight its way through one of the well-defended gates, abandon its loot, such as cattle, thus negating the whole purpose of the raid or be trapped against the wall by the responding legions.
Additionally, a large army would have been able to force a crossing of the limes using siege equipment. The value of the limes lay not in its absolute impenetrability but, as S. Thomas Parker argues, in its hindrance to the enemy: granting a delay or warning that could be used to summon concentrated Roman forces to the site; the limes are therefore better seen as an instrument allowing a greater economy of force in defense of a border than otherwise would be necessary to provide the same level of defense. After 270, the maintenance of an impenetrable solid frontier was abandoned by Constantine I in favor of a policy, whether deliberate or forced by circumstance, of "defense in depth"; this called for the maintenance of a softer, deeper perimeter area of defense, with concentrated hard points throughout its depth. The idea was that any invading force of a sufficient size could penetrate the initial perimeter but in doing so with any element of surprise or rapid movement would be forced to leave several defended hard points to its rear, hampering its lines of supply and communications, threatening surrounding of the force.
In the late Empire the frontiers became more elastic, with little effort expended in maintaining frontier defense. Instead, armies were concentrated near the heart of the empire, enemies allowed to penetrate in cases as far inwards as the Italian peninsula before being met in battle. After conquering much of the modern landmass of Great Britain, the Romans halted their northern expansion at the southern fringe of Caledonia, what is now central Scotland; this left them with a border shared with a people who made repeated raids and insurrections against them. Unlike other borders throughout the empire, there was no natural border to fall back on such as desert or wide river that crossed the whole peninsula, so instead a series of defenses were built in southern to mid-Scotland in order to protect the province of Britannia from the Caledonians and the Picts. Although the border was not a continuous wall, a series of fortifications known as Gask Ridge in mid-Scotland may well be Rome's earliest fortified land frontier.
Constructed in the 70CE or 80CE, it was superseded by the Hadrian's Wall forty years and the final Antonine Wall twenty years after that. Rather than representing a series of consecutive advancements, the border should be seen as fluctuating - the Antonine Wall for exam
Technological history of the Roman military
The technology history of the Roman military covers the development of and application of technologies for use in the armies and navies of Rome from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The rise of Hellenism and the Roman Republic are seen as signalling the end of the Iron Age in the Mediterranean. Roman iron-working was enhanced by a process known as carburization; the Romans used the better properties in their armaments, the 1,300 years of Roman military technology saw radical changes. The Roman armies of the early empire were much better equipped than early republican armies. Metals used for arms and armor included iron and brass. For construction, the army used wood and stone; the use of concrete in architecture was mirrored in Roman military technology in the application of a military workforce to civilian construction projects. Much of what is described as Roman technology, as opposed to that of the Greeks, comes directly from the Etruscan civilization, thriving to the North when Rome was just a small kingdom.
The Etruscans had invented the stone arch, used it in bridges as well as buildings. Some Roman technologies were taken directly from Greek civilization. After the absorption of the ancient Greek city states into the Roman Republic in 146 BC, the advanced Greek technology began to spread across many areas of Roman influence and supplement the Empire; this included the military advances that the Greeks had made, as well as all the scientific, mathematical and artistic developments. However, the Romans made many significant technological advances, such as the invention of hydraulic cement and concrete, they used such new materials to great advantage in their structures, many of which survive to this day, like their masonry aqueducts, such as the Pont du Gard, buildings, such as the Pantheon and Baths of Diocletian in Rome. Their methods were recorded by such luminaries as Vitruvius and Frontinus for example, who wrote handbooks to advise fellow engineers and architects. Romans knew enough history to be aware that widespread technological change had occurred in the past and brought benefits, as shown for example by Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia.
That tradition continued as the empire absorbed new ideas. Romans thought of themselves as practical, so small-scale innovation was common; the traditional view is that their reliance on a plentiful slave labour force and a lack of a patent or copyright system have both been cited as reasons that there was little social or financial pressure to automate or reduce manual tasks. However, this view is being challenged by new research that shows they did indeed innovate, on a wide scale, thus the watermill had been known to the Greeks, but it was the Romans who developed their efficient utilisation. The set of mills at Barbegal in southern France were worked by a single aqueduct, which drove no fewer than 16 overshot mills built into the side of a hill, they were built by the army and supplied flour to a wide region. Floating mills were used to exploit fast flowing rivers; the Romans used water power in an unexpected way during mining operations. It's known from the writings of Pliny the Elder that they exploited the alluvial gold deposits of north-west Spain soon after the conquest of the region in 25 BC using large-scale hydraulic mining methods.
The spectacular gold mine at Las Medulas was worked by no fewer than seven long aqueducts cut into the surrounding mountains, the water being played directly onto the soft auriferous ore. The outflow was channelled into sluice boxes, the heavier gold collected on rough pavements, they developed many deep mines, such as those for copper at Rio Tinto, where Victorian mining developments exposed the much earlier workings. Dewatering machines, such as Archimedean screws and reverse overshot water wheels, were found in situ, one of, on show at the British Museum. Another fragmentary example was recovered from the Roman gold mine at Dolaucothi in west Wales, is preserved at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff; the army were at the forefront of development of gold mines, since the metal was imperial property, developed the Dolaucothi mines from the outset by establishing a fort there, known as Luentinum. They had the expertise to build the infrastructure of aqueducts and reservoirs, as well as control production.
The period in which technological progress was fastest and greatest was during the 2nd century and 1st century BC, the period in which Roman political and economic power increased. By the 2nd century, Roman technology appears to have peaked; the Romans advanced military technology and implemented it on a massive scale. From a few early models of ballista from Greek city-states the Romans adopted and improved the design issuing one to every century in the legions. To facilitate this organization, an engineering corps was developed. An officer of engineers, or praefectus fabrum, is referenced in armies of the Late Republic, but this post is not verifiable in all accounts and may have been a military advisor on the personal staff of a commanding officer. There were legion architects. Ensuring that constructions were level was the job of the libratores, who would launch missiles and other projectiles during battle; the engineering corps was in charge of massive production prefabricating artillery and siege equipment to facilitate its transportation Roman military engineering Roman aqueducts Roman technology Sanitation in ancient R
A branch or tree branch is a woody structural member connected to but not part of the central trunk of a tree. Large branches are known as boughs and small branches are known as twigs. Due to a broad range of species of trees and twigs can be found in many different shapes and sizes. While branches can be nearly horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, the majority of trees have upwardly diagonal branches; the term "twig" refers to a terminus, while "bough" refers only to branches coming directly from the trunk. Because of the enormous quantity of branches in the world, there are a variety of names in English alone for them. In general however, unspecific words for a branch have been replaced by the word branch itself. A bough can be called a limb or arm, though these are arguably metaphors, both are accepted synonyms for bough. A crotch or fork is an area. A twig is referred to as a sprig as well when it has been plucked. Other words for twig include branchlet and surcle, as well as the technical terms surculus and ramulus.
Branches found under larger branches can be called underbranches. Some branches from specific trees have their own names, such as osiers and withes or withies, which come from willows. Trees have certain words which, in English, are collocated, such as holly and mistletoe, which employ the phrase "sprig of"; the branch of a cherry tree is referred to as a "cherry branch", while other such formations carry no such alliance. A good example of this versatility is oak, which could be referred to as variously an "oak branch", an "oaken branch", a "branch of oak", or the "branch of an oak ". Once a branch has been cut or in any other way removed from its source, it is most referred to as a stick, a stick employed for some purpose is called a rod. Thin, flexible sticks are called switches, shrags, or vimina. In Old English, there are numerous words for branch, including seten, telgor, hrīs. There are numerous descriptive words, such as blēd, bōgincel, ōwæstm, tūdornes. Numerous other words for twigs and boughs abound, including tān, which still survives as the "-toe" in mistletoe.
Latin words for branch are cladus. The second term is an affix found in other modern words such as cladodonts or cladogram. Basal shoot Plant stem Root Shoot Stolon Switch Trunk Turion Twig Wand
A caltrop is an antipersonnel weapon made up of two or more sharp nails or spines arranged in such a manner that one of them always points upward from a stable base. Caltrops were part of defences that served to slow the advance of troops on foot, war elephants, were effective against the soft feet of camels. In modern times, caltrops are effective when used against wheeled vehicles with pneumatic tires; the modern name "caltrop" is derived from the Latin calcitrapa, such as in the French usage chausse-trape. The synonymous Latin word tribulus provides part of the modern Latin name of a plant called the caltrop, Tribulus terrestris, whose spiked seed case can injure feet and puncture tires; this plant can be compared to Centaurea calcitrapa, sometimes referred to as the "caltrop". A water plant with similarly-shaped spiked seeds is called the "water caltrop", Trapa natans. Caltrops were known to the Romans as tribulus or sometimes as murex ferreus, the latter meaning'jagged iron'. In Ancient Greek the word tribalos meant three spikes.
They were used in the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. The late Roman writer Vegetius, referring in his work De Re Militari to scythed chariots, wrote: The armed chariots used in war by Antiochus and Mithridates at first terrified the Romans, but they afterwards made a jest of them; as a chariot of this sort does not always meet with plain and level ground, the least obstruction stops it. And if one of the horses be either killed or wounded, it falls into the enemy's hands; the Roman soldiers rendered them useless chiefly by the following contrivance: at the instant the engagement began, they strewed the field of battle with caltrops, the horses that drew the chariots, running full speed on them, were infallibly destroyed. A caltrop is a device composed of four spikes or points arranged so that in whatever manner it is thrown on the ground, it rests on three and presents the fourth upright. Another example of the use of caltrops was found in Jamestown, Virginia, in the United States: Undoubtedly the most unusual weapon or military device surviving from seventeenth-century Virginia is known as a caltrop, a single example of, found at Jamestown.
It amounts to a spread iron tripod about three inches long with another leg sticking vertically upward, so that however you throw it down, one spike always sticks up.... There is no doubt that the most inscrutable Indian treading on a caltrop would be shocked into noisy comment.... The fact that only one has been found would seem to suggest that they were used little, if at all; as with all military equipment designed for European wars, the caltrop's presence in Virginia must be considered in the light of possible attacks by the Spaniards as well as assaults from the Indians. The Japanese version of the caltrop is called makibishi. Makibishi were sharp spiked objects that were used in feudal Japan to slow pursuers and were used in the defence of samurai fortifications. Iron makibishi were called tetsubishi, while the makibishi made from the dried seed pod of the'water caltrop' or'water chestnut', formed a natural type of makibashi called tennenbishi. Both types of makibishi could penetrate the thin soles of shoes, such as the waraji sandals, that were worn in feudal Japan.
Punji sticks perform a similar role to caltrops. These are sharpened sticks placed vertically in the ground, their use in modern times targets the body and limbs of a falling victim by means of a pit or tripwire. During the Second World War, large caltrop-shaped objects made from reinforced concrete were used as anti-tank devices, although it seems that these were rare. Much more common were concrete devices called dragon's teeth, which were designed to wedge into tank treads. Large ones weighing over 1 tonne are still used defensively by the army to deny access to wheeled vehicles in camp areas; as dragon's teeth are immobile, the analogy with the caltrop is inexact. Another caltrop-like defence during World War II was the massive steel, freestanding Czech hedgehog; these were used by the Germans to defend beaches at Normandy and other coastal areas. Tetrapods are concrete blocks shaped like caltrops, which interlock when piled up, they are used in the construction of breakwaters and other sea defences, as they have been found to let the water pass through them and interrupt natural processes less than some other defenses.
Researchers have tried to develop a caltrop-like device to deflate vehicle tires in a manner useful to law enforcement agencies or the military. During service in World War I, Australian Light Horse troops collected caltrops as keepsakes; these caltrops were either made by welding two pieces of wire together to form a four-pointed star or pouring molten steel into a mould to form a solid, seven-pointed star. The purpose of these devices was to disable horses, they were exchanged with French troops for bullets. The Australian Light Horse troops referred to them as "Horse Chestnuts". Caltrops were used extensively and during World War II; the modifications and variants produced by the Special Operations Executive and the Office of Strategic Services of the United States are still in use today within special forces and law enforcement bodies. The Germans dropped crowsfeet; these were made from two segments of sheet metal welded together into a tetrapod with four barbed points and painted in camouflage colours.
They came in two sizes with a side length of either 3