Dictionary of Fortifications: an illustrated glossary

Review by David Flintham

From Iron Age hillforts to Second World War pillboxes, fortifications are all around us. Yet there are probably more terms relating to fortifications than anything else in military history.

Author Jean-Denis Lepage has challenged himself to explain terms from more than 3,000 years of defensive architecture, with over 1,200 entries. There is more to the book than just the glossary, however. There is a section giving an overview of the historical development of fortifications, while a further chapter outlines the development of siege warfare, detailing the evolution of siege engines and siege tactics.

All in all, this is an attractive and accessible reference book for anyone with an interest in defensive architecture including castles, forts, and walled towns. So, if you don’t know your dungeon from your donjon, then this fascinating book is certainly for you. And even if you are more familiar with such terms, it is still worth having on your shelf.

Dictionary of Fortifications: an illustrated glossary
Jean-Denis Lepage
Pen and Sword Books, £25
ISBN 978-1399072243