In a post collapse situation defense is going to be extremely important. I could list a hundred reasons why, but it comes down to this. If you have something someone wants, you need to be prepared to defend it. Be it guns, ammo, water, food, or even women and children. You need to be able to defend them. This isn’t as simple as owning a firearm and being able to use it, defense can be complicated.
You need to arrange what is known as a Defense in Depth. Defense needs to have layers, both active and passive, physical and psychological. A big aspect of these defenses can best be utilized with a group of people. Many can be done without a group, but a group can aid in a lot of different ways and has history has proven that man always works best in groups, from the early tribes, to the advanced civilizations we have now. People in groups works, and they work well.
Building the Fort
The first step is building your fort. You want to start your defense around the most critical area, which could be your home, bug out location, wherever the primary supply and personnel point is so you start here and you build outward. The most important thing about a defense is that it’s never done. It should be improved over and over.
The first steps can be done pre collapse and can be a slow building investment in your home. The first step is to evaluate your doors. Throughout my time in the Marine Corps I learned there is no door that I can’t break down, break into, or blow away. That being said a strong door can give you the time you need to establish a counter attack
A solid wooden door with strike plates installed can be quite tough to knock down. Even an experienced breach team with a hooligan tool and sledgehammer will be delayed and exposed for a large amount of time. Another option is to include a metal security door, these run anywhere from a few thousand to a couple hundred dollars. Again these doors should not be thought of as an impenetrable barrier, but a device to give you time to establish a counter attack or a stronger in place defense.
If the door is protected, but the windows are vulnerable you aren’t doing much. Of course you can install bars on the windows, or metal storm shutters. These will add security against projectiles like rocks or molotov cocktails, but are not bulletproof. Another option that will not add an unsightly addition to the home is security film. 3M makes a security film that acts as a smash proof barrier. This barrier holds the class together when struck by objects. It acts like duct tape on windows during a hurricane. It prevents the window from shattering and collapsing. This can block thrown projectiles and certain tools from breaching windows.
Let’s not forget you can always board the windows up during a post collapse situation, but once the grid is down you cannot utilize the sun as light with boarded windows.
In post collapse near your primary location it’s important to establish alleys of fire. They alleys of fire act as an easy route for an enemy. The first step is to clear the potential cover and concealment an enemy could use. This could involve the deconstruction of fences, the clearing of brush and debris, or pushing dead vehicles out of the way. Essentially this is a lot of work, but will allow you to hold ground. Open ground is suicide. You may also find ways to syphon an enemy into this lanes with obstacles like fences, pits, and traps.
If you have the personnel you should also focus on setting up a post rotation. Post is in essence the fort guard. They are armed and in locations capable of communicating with the main position. These posts should be positioned so they have overlapping fields of fire, and can form a 360 degree field of view around the fort. This can be a one post positioned at a high vantage point to see everything, or multiple post scattered around the fort. These posts need a method of communication with each other, whether it’s shouting distance or radios, just a solid method of communication.
Another method of communication is a Sergeant of the Guard. Someone who constantly goes from post to post and provides the necessities. This person can take over the post so the post stander can use the bathroom, or bring lunches, water, etc. as well as gather any information the posts have.
Controlling the Area
Depending on your fort gives you only slim pickens in terms of depth of defense. You need to be able to control the area. In my time in the Marine Corps we didn’t just depend on the posts and fighting positions near our main positions. We patrolled the area to gather intelligence and keep an eye on territory beyond our main position’s reach.
A small team works best for patrols just due to extra eyes and security, but a single person can conduct short patrols to insure they own the area. You should however always have someone left behind to defend your fort. These patrols are important since it allows you to look for signs of people near your fort, or even get eyes on actual new people in your area. These patrols can of course gather supplies, hunt and fish, as well as scavenge.
Another method is to control the roads. This could in the form of checkpoints if you have the people to man them. This can also be ways to slow traffic. Forming a serpentine of obstacles on the roads leading to your fort can slow down any fast moving approaching people.
These obstacles need to placed in a pattern on the road, one on the right, than 30 feet later another on the left, and keep going with the pattern to slow approaching vehicles. This causes vehicles to bob and weave, and slows them down considerably. These obstacles can range from simple dirt piles high enough to be difficult to ram and long enough to force the driver to turn to avoid. You can boards with nails, barb or C wire, sandbags, or even trash cans full of water, the more carpentry centered folks can build wooden czech hedgehogs. You just need something to make a vehicle slowdown, and turn left, right left etc.
Attacking and Success
The truth is that attacks that carry momentum are more likely to be successful. However if you are defending and can effectively slow the momentum you have a very distinct advantage. A successful defense acts as a method to slow the momentum down, isolate the enemy, and destroy them. The goal or your defense should be to detect, slow, and destroy the enemy.