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Location of the glacis in a set of fortifications

Photograph Source: Public Domain

A glacis is an artificial slope outside of a fortress which forces attacking troops to remain under fire until reaching a ditch or moat near the walls. The glacis allows the defenders to have a direct line of fire with minimal changes in angle. Also, the glacis serves an additional defensive purpose by preventing direct artillery fire against a fortress' walls.

In modern usage, the term glacis is used to refer to the sloped, front section of a tank or armored vehicle's hull.

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