Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas


It prevents ships that are attacking pulling up along with and throwing grapnels or ladders and climbing the wall surface. Many thanks! Are you able to website a source for that before we down vote this? They ...



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  • It stops attacking ships from pulling up along side and throwing grapnels or ladders and climbing the wall.
  • Thank you!
  • Can you site a source for that before I down vote this? They are too close to the fort itself to have any effect on a ship throwing grapples. A ship at them would have spars overhanging/touching the forts walls. Also having been there the water is too shallow to allow a ship of any size to pull up that close to the fort except over at the ferry dock and the old coaling site. You can see the difference in the deep dark blue water by those as opposed to the greenish shallow water at the breakwaters. It makes much more sense that they are for stopping undermining by waves since that is a common problem at forts of this era exposed to wave action. Saw this at Ft Pike and Ft. Macomb a few months ago. Edited to add the links from my photos to the forts.
  • No source, but they wouldn't be sailing a Ship of the Line right up to the fort, they'd be launching small boats, which could get right up to the wall and try to climb it.
  • Those breakwaters are only a few feet above the water, if you can get that close without the forts defenders stopping you there is nothing to stop an attacker from porting the small boat right over the breakwater. Frankly the breakwater is close enough that standing on it an attacker could put a grapple over the wall, or stand a ladder on it. Unless you have source for this I'm just going to have to say you are wrong and they are simply breakwaters. I've visited almost every 3rd system fortification on the east coast and none of them defenses like you describe to stop assaults on the water faces. Several other forts sit out in the water like this, Ft. Sumter, and Ft. Georges, Ft. Carrol and they don't have anything like this. None of them sit out in the ocean either, they sit in semi-protected harbors. None of the forts that sit on the water with a single face (see my photos of Ft. Pike and Ft. Macomb above) have a period structure like this on the water face either. I'll review my sources (A Legacy in Brick and Stone: American Coastal Defense Forts of the Third System, 1816-1867 and similar books) but I'm sure they call these breakwaters too.
  • Where do they get fresh water?
  • i think they store rain water in cisterns
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