Sunday, 27 October 2013

Poliorcetics and Kulgrinda


            As a change of pace from the recent discussions on pole weapons, today’s blog is instead about a couple of rare but useful terms.

            The first is Poliorcetics, which means pertaining to the science and art of siegecraft, both its application and resistance. From the Ancient Greek πολιορκητικα (poliorkētika, “things related to sieges”).



            The second term is “Kūlgrinda”, a Lithuanian word meaning an underwater road or artificial ford. “Kul” means “stone” so similar structures of wood or earth were known as Medgrindas and Žemgrinda. Underwater bridges were used during the Second, Korean and Vietnam wars, some of them capable of supporting tanks and trucks. I seem to recall in at least one instance the Russians constructed a crossing by driving damaged and obsolete vehicles into a river until they were piled high enough for the troops and tanks to cross safely.