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Translated Jeff Matthews

During fighting in North Africa at Tobruk, Axis forces buried their emplacements in the sand so as not to reveal gun turrets to the enemy. Since that time, the term Tobruk has been used to refer to these reenforced field fortifications (commonly know in German as Ringstände). These small units had model designations of Vf + number. The Vf stands for the German Verteidigungsanlage feldmässig verstärkt [that is, defensive structure reenforced for use in the field]. (Adapted from Chazette A., Paich B., Destouches A., Boulard E., Tobrouks Typologie. Atlantikwall – Südwall, Éditions Histoire & Fortifications, Paris 2004, p. 1).


Padovan Gianluca (ed. ), Archaeology of the Subsoil. Lectures and studies of artificial cavities. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 1416, Oxford 2005.

Basilico Roberto et alii, Italian Cadastre of Artificial Cavities. Part 1. (Including introductory comments and a classification), B.A.R. International Series 1599, Oxford 2007.

Gianluca Padovan (Associazione S.C.A.M. – Federazione Nazionale Cavità Artificiali)

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