July 1, 2015 at 2:19 am #42207
Okay, 74 requested something on this subject and asked me to step up, so here it is…
First thing is that some of the stuff I’m going to cover here should be undertaken only at the utmost end of need! Employing some of this stuff can get you arrested in “normal” times and thus should not be employed unless we’re talking a complete SHTF scenario and the Rule of Law has evaporated…
The lawyer stuff out of the way, lets get to the meat of this post. In no particular order…
I’m not going to get windy or try to turn you all into soldiers. And trying to write down in one post that which would take a book is an exercise in futility – but I hope I can give you all some ideas and point you in the right direction… That said, these things should be practiced, at least in small scale and if you’re in an urban environment, without weapons. Don’t want to scare anyone or draw undue attention.
I think a thread on pre-staged withdrawal routes, set firing positions and decoys would be helpful.
Pre-staged withdrawal routes implies that you have someplace to withdraw to… So, I guess that should be established first – that if things are so dire that you need to perform a fighting withdrawal, then wherever you’re falling back to needs to be a strong point. Not impregnable. Nothing is impregnable – all the Other Guy needs is time and imagination, and you’re done. But a strong point. Someplace to hole up, rally and then either bug out or make The Other Guy fall back.
It should not be bullet transparent – that means “stick and drywall construction”. Brick would be better. Stone even better. Reinforced poured concrete about the best you can hope for. But, not everyone has that laying around, so – and I think this sounds cutthroat and manipulative as hell – but if someone has a pretty stout house, you might want to think about recruiting them for the specific and sole purpose of using their home as a hard point. If that is distasteful or there is no structure fitting that description, then Plan B.
“Plan B” being taking the best building your tribe has and reinforcing it. Doors, windows, etc. Depending on how the building is built, you’re going to have to take into account the weight of all this stuff if you put it all on the inside so it’s not obvious. I’m talking steel and sandbags. Wire protecting the windows and adhesive mylar sheeting covering them. Even acetate will do. What this does is prevent glass shards from flying around if the windows are broken. A bullet will make a hole, the glass might spiderweb crack, but it won’t collapse and you’ll get much less spalling.
A point about firing positions – what I’m going to call a fighting position. The whole point of them is to make them look like something they aren’t. They need to be hardened and have interlocking fields of fire. Firing positions should be for two individuals, have comms with the other fighting positions and also wherever your C&C is located. But they shouldn’t look like what they are… use your imagination and camouflage them as anything you can think of. They also need what’s called “Range Cards” – these are little mini-maps of what you see from each fighting position and how they relate to other firing positions. They show cover and concealment, dead spaces where you cannot see, obstacles, etc, and are usually posted on the wall inside each fighting position.
As far as where to position them? I would obtain imagery from Google, maps of your area, even the sewers – you can probably find these down at the library. The better maps you can either download and print out, or buy offline. Use these maps to your best advantage when placing your FP’s.
A word about obstacles – people move like water flows. They will follow the path of least resistance most of the time. Meaning, you can use obstacles to funnel aggressors. If you can funnel aggressors, then they are reacting to you. You own the engagement so long as they are reacting to you. But, you have to consider them going “Off menu”… the old saying is that professionals are predictable. It’s the amateurs you have to worry about. They are literally able to come up with anything and everything… Which means you have to put yourself in the mindset of a Bad Guy – literally, “If I were trying to break in or aggress this area, how would I do it?”.
One thing you have to cultivate is how to think sideways. Unconventional.
The best way I can describe a fighting withdrawal is reaching inside a paper bag and slowly pulling it inside-out. One falls back while the others provide cover and suppressive fire. Each falls back to pre-determined positions, then provides cover and suppressive fire for the others as they fall back. Etc, etc, until you reach your goal.
Loopholes – which are holes you use to fire out of – should not be windows and doors. Those are murder holes. If you’re going to make a loophole, do something like say, take several roof tiles out, then reinforce behind one of the empty spaces. Stay well back from the loophole – in other words, don’t stick the muzzle of your rifle out the damn hole and start blazing away. It will give away your position. If there are multiple windows, then open 3/4 of them and then go somewhere else nearby – don’t use the open windows. Give them a carrot. Misdirection is what I’m talking about. If you give them several obvious targets, they’ll likely go for it – at least temporarily – which means they won’t be shooting at you. Captain H. McBride – in his classic “A Rifleman Went to War” – related the tale of how he and his spotter set up a hide several hundred yards from the German lines in WWI. It was one hundred yards in front of a shelled-out farmhouse. They would deck a German or two, and then the Germans would respond by shelling the crap out of the house. Deck a few more Germans, more shelling. Nothing came anywhere near them, and they sat in perfect safety in their “hide” while the Germans reduced the farmhouse to rubble behind them…
Or, think of it this way – the Allies painted the shadows of aircraft on the ground, and the bad guys ended up bombing empty, flat ground – they were moving so fast, they had to release their bombs pretty far away to hit their targets, and they could not tell the difference between an actual plane and the painted “shadows” on the ground…
Misdirection. Think of the old Monty Python skit “How Not To Be Seen”… and then don’t do that.
Anyone else is free to chime in… I’m not a walking encyclopedia and I know I’ve overlooked stuff…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1July 1, 2015 at 2:33 am #42208
“One thing you have to cultivate is how to think sideways. Unconventional.”
Ain’t that the truth!
In Mogadishu (1995) the Marines were having a hard time keeping civilians
off the Bradleys and other rolling equipment. Some put Constantine wire on
their vehicles and others wired a spare battery to the outer skin. Point is if
you are presented with a problem come up with an unsuspected answer. This
will save you a lot of wear and tear.
RobinJuly 1, 2015 at 3:42 am #42211
Exactly. Unconventional thinking – meaning, your mind – is your greatest asset. Cultivating creativity and playing to your strengths will pay dividends…
For instance, Selco once said you can be the biggest badass around, and then get cut down – shot in the back – by some grandpa with a 75 year old rifle. Plenty of old timers out there with some serious hard-won skills with a rifle. Use that. Have them pull overwatch and be able to project that force deep into the enemy’s battlespace. If some old duffer can hit reliably out past 800 yards, take your map, a shoestring and a pencil and draw a circle around his position with an 800 yard radius… that’s a lot of area.
Derelict cars can make decent obstacles, if you use enough of ‘em. Drag them into positions that are to your advantage, take the wheels off and drop them. They won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. But have a care to not give any Bad Guys any cover or concealment. Anyone having welding skills will be an asset – you’d be surprised at how effective scrap steel, a gas rig and a long weekend can be… Or find someone with a tow truck and “borrow” those concrete divider things from the Highway Department. I’m sure they won’t begrudge the use. Those things have all sorts of uses…
Or put some “obstacles” out there that offer the Bad Guys cover and concealment, then pre-rig some “warm welcomes” for them when they occupy the position…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1July 1, 2015 at 5:28 am #42226
Thanks for starting the thread. Under a complete failure of civility with no rule of law acting in self defense. I’ll bet LE doesn’t ‘t care if we preface things that way. The rules are the rules and always will be the rules, even when there is no one t enforce them.
Your point about any fort can be defeated is important. Many people do not have a BOL and intend to stay where they currently reside. I include myself in that group. It’s not hard to envision being overrun and I think having planed escape routes will be vital.July 3, 2015 at 1:44 am #42264
Excellent article Malgus, very helpful. I was also wondering on these issues, especially when applied to urban scenarios, and I’m glad to learn from people who know more.July 3, 2015 at 3:43 pm #42270
I was thinking about this… You all remember the movie “The 13th Warrior“?
There was this one scene. Antonio Banderas (Ibn Fadlan) rides up to a watchtower with some food for Dan Southern (Edgtho the Silent). He’s sitting there, looking around, calling for him… it went something like this:
“Here.” (up in a nearby tree)
“I brought food… I thought you’d be in the watchtower..”
“Yeah, I know. That’s why I’m not in it…”
Very telling. Go though the trouble of building an elaborate watchtower, then not use it – choosing instead to climb a nearby tree with good concealment…
Don’t devote resources to building elaborate constructions using materials that could be better used elsewhere – but making a couple simple phony OP/LP’s might pay dividends… at first. Once The Other Guy realizes they’re phony, the jig’s up. And anything can burn, given the right circumstances…
One thing we did (that has been given little attention) was buy several fire extinguishers. Two big ABC tanks and several smaller vehicular hand held extinguishers. These are squirreled around the house and garage – even one in the barn. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure that certain liquids burn and that might be a good way to either cause a distraction or use them offensively… fill a bottle full of gasoline and old motor oil, stuff a rag in it, light it and chuck it… bad news for anyone on the other end. Having little vehicular fire extinguishers would be a good idea. They’re cheap enough – the Big Box stores usually have cases of these things laying around. The big ones that you can get the fire department to refill for you can be pricey, but if someone heaves a Molotov or three through your window, it will be worth it’s weight in solid platinum…
EDIT: God bless OSHA – when the local CreatureMart has been raided and looted to the walls, go in the back. I’ve seen warehouses with fire extinguishers banded to every other support post, thanks to OSHA regs. Most times, these are overlooked. I can remember being on an old US military base in Central America that had been “abandoned”. Once the Americans left, all the locals would sojourn regularly on to that old base, looking for anything they could steal to sell for cash. Anything. The one thing that everyone seemed to overlook was the humble fire extinguisher – there were literally hundreds of these still there, strapped to support posts and walls in the motor pools and other storage areas. I’m thinking a rampaging horde might overlook these – can’t eat ‘em, nobody is buying them, they’re big and heavy – which means you can stroll in and snag as many as you can fit in your vehicle (providing you have a vehicle, of course)…. take a look at these places next time you’re there, buying groceries… there are literally fire extinguishers everywhere… Just make a mental note of it.
Of course, if you run into someone who knows even basic chemistry, you might be facing genuine Thermite or Magnesium… in that case, there’s nothing you can do except stay clear of it until it burns out and minimize collateral damage. Hosing a magnesium fire with water only makes it worse – the heat actually breaks down the water into hydrogen and oxygen… which is Bad News. And coming up with magnesium isn’t an issue – lots of stuff is made from magnesium. All you need is a file and time and you’ve got a big old heap of magnesium shavings…
Come to think of it, having a genuine, bonafied Chemist on your team will pay big dividends… they know how to make the stuff that makes the stuff that makes the stuff you want…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1July 3, 2015 at 7:51 pm #42278
Thermite……will not burn through sand. We kept certain crypto equipment and file cabinets mounted in sand. EOP (Emergency Operating Procedure) was to lay thermite gernades on the equipment and pull the pins as we went out the doors!
RobinJuly 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm #42282
Thank you. I had forgotten about that. Thermite is fairly easy to make and I was thinking of some yay-hoo filling up a pop can full of the stuff and using a kid’s sparkler – or something similar – to ignite it. Then chucking it through your window. That would have Bad News written all over it…
Or some idiot with magnesium ribbon or a bag of shavings and lots of free time…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1
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