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Efficiency And The Perfect Siege

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Chapter Summary

Ath was a fitting tribute to chronicle the epitome of Vaubanian siegecraft in all its glory, but it was more than just that. This siege offered engineers the opportunity to illustrate a fundamental tenet of military engineering, the desire to constantly improve the efficiency of siegecraft. Beyond capturing a place, the engineers’ goal was to conduct the attack “by the shortest, most reasonable and least bloody route possible.” Vauban identified the engineers’ three most important measures of a siege’s efficiency: its length, its financial costs, and its cost in human lives. With a lingering sense of unfulfilled potential, decades of additional experience, time for reflection, and with his life drawing to a close, Vauban felt the need to codify his techniques and insist on closer siege management by the engineers. Vauban’s ideas were not completely original, but he improved their application in order to maximize the efficiency of siegecraft.

Keywords: military engineering; siege management; Vauban; Vaubanian siegecraft



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