PARALLELS , in siegecraft, a
See also:term used to
See also:express the trenches
See also:drawn by besiegers in a generally parallel direction to the front of a fortress chosen for attack . Parallels are employed along with " zigzag approaches " in the " formal attack " or
See also:siege proper . They are traced in
See also:short zigzag lengths (the prolongation of each length falling clear of the hostile
See also:works), in
See also:order to avoid enfilade; but their obliquity is of course made as slight as is consistent with due
See also:protection in order to save
See also:time and labour . The " first parallel " is opened at a convenient distance from the fortress, by numerous working parties, who dig (under cover of
See also:night) a continuous
See also:line of entrenchments facing the point or points of attack . Zigzags are next dug to the
See also:rear (when necessary) to give sheltered
See also:access to the parallel, and from this new zigzags are pushed out towards the defenders, to be connected by a " second parallel," and so on until finally a parallel is made sufficiently close to the fortress to permit of an assault- over the open, the parallels becoming stronger and more solid as they approach to closer range . This
See also:system of parallels provides, within range of the defenders' weapons, shelter in which the besieger can safely mass men and material for the
See also:prosecution of the attack . Parallels and approaches are constructed either by ordinary "
See also:work," executed simultaneously by a large number of men strung out along the intended line, or by " sapping " in which one trained " sapper," as it were, burrows a trench in the required direction, others following him to widen and improve the work .
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