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Rare first French edition of the greatest fortification manual of the second Dutch school

COEHOORN, Menno van.
Nouvelle fortification, tant pour un terrain bas et humide, ...
The Hague, Henri van Bulderen, 1706. 8vo. With 14 folding engraved plates. Contemporary tanned sheepskin, gold-tooled spine. [38], 261, [1] pp.
€ 1,800
Rare first edition in French of one of the greatest classics of the art of fortification, by the Inspector General of Dutch fortifications and Master General of the artillery, Menno van Coehoorn, first published in 1685. While the Dutch had established themselves as the greatest masters of fortification during the Eighty Years' War for Dutch independence from Spain, the art did not stand still after peace came temporarily in 1648. Although a few Dutch engineers spoke out for reform, the Frenchman Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707) was to dominate the field with his fortifications, defensive and especially offensive strategies, and publications on the subjects from the 1670s. The Frisian artillery officer and military engineer Menno van Coehoorn (1641-1704), his only major rival, took a very different approach, more practical than theoretical, with his great fortification manual in 1685. He deployed troops more actively in the defence of fortifications and tailored his designs and strategies to the particular features of the site. This made them especially important for fortifications and siege warfare in the marshy flat lands of the Low Countries, circumstances less familiar to Vauban.
With bookplate of Graf Andreas von Renard (1723-ca. 1770/80), Lieutenant General in the Austrian army, drawn and engraved by Carl Friedrich Holtzmann (1740-1811). With small tears in 3 folding plates and occasional minor marginal stains, but otherwise in very good condition. The binding is scuffed and has some small holes in the hinges, but is structurally sound. Jähns, p. 1385; Jordan 743 (4 copies); Sloos, Warfare 8075; STCN (2 copies).
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Military history  >  Fortification & Military Architecture | Military History 18th Century