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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57

Conditions Regulating The Employment Of Fortifications For Strategical Purposes

Conditions Regulating The Employment Of Fortifications For Strategical Purposes.

Again, as to the conditions imposed by the nature of the ground on the employment of fortifications for strategical purposes.

The first in order are posts confined to the important roads passable to all arms, for the blocking of defiles, to close their mouths, and to furnish information. And, in main support, fortified magazines and depôts, defended by a field army and having within the sphere of their actions entrenched positions suited to the numbers of the field army and prepared as battle-fields, i.e., positions both naturally fit, suited to defensive-offensive tactics, and such as shall require a force that may have passed through the zone defended by irregular troops to attack them. Such positions for depots and magazines depend on the permanent nature of the geography of the country and on cultivation.

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The great centres of habitation and commerce have already determined these. They are Kábal, Ghazni, Kandahár, Farah, Herát.

These points are essential to hold for the organization of field armies, their administration and maintenance.

In conjunction with them it is necessary to hold those points on the lines, (1) Pesháwar, Kábal, Bamian, (2) Kábal, Ghazni, Kandahár, (8) Ghazni on Banú and Dera Ismail Khán, (4) Quetta, Kandahár, Farah, Herát, the occupation of which would influence their use for considerable distances, i.e., the defiles on them or giving access to them, and points necessary to hold in case of a retreat.

On the map such depôts are represented by double circles and the mainlines of communications by double lines.