A reduit in the German fortress of Mainz

A reduit is a fortified structure such as a citadel or a keep into which the defending troops can retreat when the outer defences are breached.[1] The term is also used to describe an area of a country, which, through a ring of heavy fortifications or through enhancing through fortification the defences offered by natural features such as mountains, will be defended even when the rest of the country is occupied by a hostile power.[2]

National Reduit

The Antwerp forts, Belgium's National Reduit

See also: National redoubt

In English the term National redoubt is fairly commonly used. A redoubt is an outlying fortification, so its use to describe the Nazis' National Redoubt in the German and Austrian Alps is an accurate description.[2] However another term that is sometimes used in English and more frequently used in French is "national reduit" (réduit national) to describe the holding of the centre of a country while abandoning outlying territory.

Examples of this usage are:


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, reduit "2. A keep or stronghold into which a garrison may retreat if the outworks are taken, thereby prolonging the defence of the place".
  2. ^ a b "reduit, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (Third ed.). Oxford University Press. November 2010 [September 2009]. Retrieved 3 March 2011.. An entry for this word was first included in New English Dictionary, 1904.
    • 1948 Times 31 Dec. 3/3 "The obsolete conception of a national reduit has been abandoned in favour of an extra-territorial base established in the Belgian Congo".
    • 2003 Macpherson Amer. Intelligence War-time London vi. 177 "As for the Reduit (or Redoubt), this was the rumoured area for 'a last-ditch stand' in the Bavarian, Austrian and Italian Alps".
  3. ^ http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/05/07/109-the-schweizer-reduit-hard-core-switzerland/ Strange Maps