Chapter 3

The defence town


The previous chapter has considered the effects of the long history of urban fortification on the form and functioning of towns: this chapter will survey a number of towns in which the defence function is so significant that they can be collectively labelled ‘defence towns’. The two categories overlap, in that some of the fortified towns already described were also ‘fortresses’ in that they formed part of defensive strategies far wider than the protection of the town itself, and it is clear from many of the examples that some towns possessed defensive systems far more elaborate, as well as costly, than could be justified by their defence alone. Equally, some of the ‘defence towns’ described in this chapter were themselves fortified, but many others were not. The distinction is that while defence, in one form or another, is a factor in almost all towns, there are some in which it assumes such an importance—either relative to other local urban functions or in relation to wider regional, national and international considerations—as to justify their consideration as a distinct category. Lotchin (1984) coined the term ‘martial metropolis’ for a town so ‘moulded by its alliance with the military’, in its origin, character or functioning, as to need separate treatment.


The discovery of the existence of the military-industrial complex was soon followed by the definition of its urban component, the metropolitan-military complex. Both were initially traced as responses to the growth of defence-equipment-procurement spending in the United States—between 1941 and 1945 (‘the arsenal of the democracies’) and from 1950 (Korean War rearmament) through until the 1980s (the arms race with the Soviet Union). Studies of the distribution of military spending at the national scale have been produced for, among others: the United States (Stein 1985); the United Kingdom (Short 1981); and West Germany (Kunzmann 1985). The role that such spending plays in regional economies—and (consciously or not) in


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
War and the City


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?