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(1) A ditch slope, close to the enemy, of a permanent or temporary fortification, used as a barrier against assaults.

(2) A steep cut in a terrain slope (hill or bank of a river) facing the defender. Counterscarps were made during the building of forts and were used extensively in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 as an antitank (antitransport) obstacle within the system of obstacles. The counterscarp was to tip tanks over as they descended from the top (precipice). The faces of the counterscarp were covered by artillery and rifle and machine-gun fire.


The face of the ditch of a fortress sloping toward the defender.
References in periodicals archive ?
Others did fortify and rampire their walls, set up little fortresses, bastions, squared ravelins, digged trenches, cleansed countermines, fenced themselves with gabions, contrived platforms, emptied casemates, barricaded the false brays, erected the cavaliers, repaired the counterscarps, plastered the curtains, lengthened ravelins, stopped parapets, morticed barbacans, assured the portcullises, fastened the hemes, sarasinesques, and cataracts, placed their sentries, and doubled their patrol.