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Further reading




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The city and warfare



Cities always had an important strategic role in warfare, either as sanctuary, operating base or as a stake in the conflict. The defense of cities therefore evolved alongside technological advances in warfare. These advances made old defenses obsolete and changed the way cities (and their defenses) were designed more then once. These diagrams describe 6 different periods in the defense of cities and are presented in chronological order. However they remain theoretical, as the real life situation was a much more gradual changing enviroment.

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      Walled City Fortress city City with a ring of fortresses National border defenses International power blocks Terrorized cities?  
          In the earliest examples walls provided enough defenses to attacks from the outside. Developments in weaponry flattened the walls and made them into a series of ditches and moates. Bigger weapon ranges necessitated that the defense of the city is no longer on the city edge but further out. A series of strongholds (forts) provide the necessary defense. Finally this results in the strenghtening of national borders into fixed lines of defense. After the second world war threats came from the sky. Aerial raides or nuclear bombs could destroy the city completely. Only defense was the ability to retaliate; Mutual Assured Destruction. Since nuclear devices need a lot of technology states started to bunch up in power blocks. Currently the threat to our cities comes from inside. Attacks are sudden and extremely localized. This will result in more surveillance of the civilian population.