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The Military Technological Revolution and the development of Tilbury Fort

Submitted by Jay Curtis on 26 January 2021
Tilbury Fort

In a cooperative venture between Victor Smith of Kent’s Historic Defences Committee and Paul Pattison, Senior Historian of English Heritage, the report of a study of the later phases of Tilbury Fort is well advanced. 

Defensive systems do not respect county boundaries.  This is especially true of the forts and batteries of the lower Thames which were built on both the Kent and Essex shores, ready to catch enemy warships in a deadly crossfire.  Tilbury Fort (Essex) and New Tavern Fort (Kent) are examples of this.

Entitled The Military Technological Revolution and the development of Tilbury Fort, 1860-1907,  their report on Tilbury Fort considers how, in its surviving and vanished structures, this fort work expressed an accelerating sequence of scientific advances in the instruments of war.  These transformed its defensive abilities through the emplacement of dramatically more powerful and longer-range guns, directed with the benefit of new techniques of range-finding and fire control, as well as through the use of innovative defensive architecture and construction, incorporating changed methods of ammunition storage and supply.  Much new ground has been broken.  It is hoped that publication will take place in ‘FORT’, the journal of the international Fortress Study Group.

Image from English Heritage.

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