Tag: gabion

Wikipedia says: A gabion (from Italian gabbione meaning “big cage”; from Italian gabbia and Latin cavea meaning “cage”) is a cage, cylinder or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications and landscaping.

For erosion control, caged riprap is used. For dams or in foundation construction, cylindrical metal structures are used. In a military context, earth- or sand-filled gabions are used to protect sappers, infantry, and artillerymen from enemy fire.

Leonardo da Vinci designed a type of gabion called a Corbeille Leonard (“Leonard[o] basket”) for the foundations of the San Marco Castle in Milan.

Military use

Early gabions were round cages with open tops and bottoms, made from wickerwork and filled with earth for use as military fortifications.  These early military gabions were most often used to protect sappers and siege artillery gunners.  The wickerwork cylinders were light and could be carried relatively conveniently in the ammunition train, particularly if they were made in several diameters to fit one inside another. At the site of use in the field, they could be stood on end, staked in position, and filled with soil to form an effective wall around the gun, or rapidly construct a bulletproof parapet along a sap. During the Crimean War, local shortages of brushwood led to use of scrap hoop-iron from hay bales in its stead; this in turn led to purpose-built sheet-iron gabions.

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