The great seaport of New York, one of the largest and busiest natural harbors in the world, was defended for nearly four centuries by a series of more than sixty coastal fortifications. These fortifications were occupied by the Dutch, then the British, and finally, the Americans, who after winning their independence, needed to protect the country they had established. New York City's Harbor Defenses, with more than two hundred vintage photographs, reveals the unusual history of these coastal and island forts and tells of the men and women who served at them during peacetime and while the country was at war. Most of these fortifications are no longer active, but they can still be visited. Gone are the mighty guns, some of which could fire a twenty-four-hundred-pound shell a distance of twenty-six miles. Many of the buildings constructed during national emergencies have been leveled, and the millions of soldiers who lived, trained, and served their country there are absent. This visual history shows what once were the extensive fortifications that defended New York City's harbor.