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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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 Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The face of the ditch of a fortress sloping toward the defender.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Along the better part of the south wall, between it and the clearly delineated counterscarp of the modernized dry ditch, runs what can only be interpreted as a barreira (fausse-braye).
While the latter captures adequately the keep and the general layout of the inner castle, it includes a glaring misinterpretation of the dry ditch, equipping it with cubelo towers at the outer corners of the south counterscarp, and giving the Castelo a counterscarp curtain wall that apparently never existed.
By 1669, if Hollar is to be trusted, additions to the land-front consisted mainly of a complex counterscarp with tenaille heads, covered-way, and a lozenge-shaped redoubt toward the shore, closely emulating the works proposed in PRO [NAL] MPH 1 fol.
The Grand Socco occupies the open space extra muros, outside the old Fez Gate/Porta do campo, structured in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by the counterscarp of the town ditch and by the outer defences blocking approach to the gate.
(71) Thus in front of Peterborough Tower the plan includes the same but narrower crownwork counterscarp proposed in NMM P43 fol.
Boytac unfortunately set the tone by grumbling from the very beginning about the ashlar and flagstones in the counterscarp, and by asserting that the stonework in the ditch was of poor quality and not well seated in mortar, although how he knew this begs a question, given that when the survey began, on 12 June 1514, the ditch was full of water.
(40) He expressed few reservations about the stonework around the Porta de Ceuta drawbridge, its supports, the adjacent scarp and counterscarp, and the jambs of the gateway.
Rising about 8 to 10 French pieds above the bottom of a dry ditch, or 3 to 4 pieds above the water level of a wet one, with a parapet at the level of the surrounding open terrain, a fausse-braye shielded the lower part of the main fortress wall, and arguably constituted a superior firing position against attackers seeking lodgment on the ditch counterscarp or down in a dry ditch.
(91) In any case, the traves in question was attached to one of the cubetos just east of the Porta de Fez, for the entirely methodical sequence of measurements in the 1514 auto, proceeding from east to west in this area, covers the troves' ditch salient before proceeding to give the specifications for the scarp and counterscarp in front of the Porta de Fez.