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I feel that it is due to readers to explain that this paper was originally given as the Chairman's Address at a meeting of the Midland Counties Branch of the Institution, and that it was not intended to be a strictly technical paper, nor, indeed, much beyond a discoursive story of the development of the practice of engineering as applied to military works principally of a defensive nature. When I acceded at short notice to a request that I should give this paper I had no idea that I should find myself, as a Civil Engineer, attempting to talk on any aspect whatever of military engineering before certain distinguished exponents of the whole art and science thereof.