Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Archived article- Retreat defense against vehicles

Archived article from my main site-

Retreat Defense against Vehicles copyright 2005 Robert Henry

Watching movies like "Mad Max" and "Warlords of the 21st Century" years ago got me to thinking how you would protect your retreat against attacks using vehicles.

A "hardened" vehicle getting into your retreat area would be a difficult thing to overcome with weapons accessible to civilians. Therefore, stopping access before the vehicle could get into the general retreat area ought to be the main concern.

If you have good size timber all around your retreat and a way to block your gate, you probably won't need this information. Large rocks can also be used as vehicular barriers, but could easily be used as cover for attackers as well.

If you have an open area outside your retreat perimeter, you'll need to install some type of obstacle to hold off vehicles. I've never been a fan of using material that would block your view of the area or that would give someone else cover, such as big boulders.

Looking around at a state park back in the early 90's, I noticed short lengths of telephone poles sunk in the ground at trail heads. I figured this was to stop someone from driving a truck down the trail.

Referencing some military manuals on fortifications, anti-tank defense, etc. I notice that one of the blocking materials mentioned was timbers.

I figured I could use cut pieces of telephone poles, sunk 4 feet in the ground and 2 1/2 to 3 feet out of the ground. I did some more research and put a few in the ground.

Not content with just "researching" an important subject, I tested them. I had no APC to use (my Bradley was in the shop that week) so I opted to use a 1984 Chevy truck, not an S10 mind you, but a big Chevy truck.

I used two "test" poles. One was part of an actual telephone pole 12-13" in size and the other was a "corner post" pole as sold by Farm/Feed stores for fencing, probably only 6-8" in size.

I warmed up the Chevy and went full bore on till I hit the telephone pole piece. Thankfully this old model Chevy did not have an airbag. The seatbelt hurt enough as it was. I was able to get up to 35MPH when I hit it. The truck came to a complete stop and the pole appeared completely undamaged. The truck however wasn't...

Not content with this, I tried using a backhoe and running both test poles with the bucket down, blade edge towards the pole. Again the telephone pole piece held. The "corner post" was cut off with the blade edge of the bucket. I did not get a chance to test the "corner post" with the truck, I can only assume it would not have passed the test.

Placed every six feet at least 10 feet in front of your fencing, these poles should protect you against vehicles ramming your fence.

The environazi's have mandated the removal of most of the older creosote treated telephone poles from many areas. Your local power or phone company should have a good supply of used poles they have pulled out of the ground. Often times a 30' used creosote pole will run $20.00 or less. Sometimes they are free for the taking.

You could even make a decorative wood fence out of these poles. A little better to look at every day than "dragon's teeth" type emplacements huh?

I would advise you to put these in now and not wait till TSHTF. However, there should be a ready inventory of utility poles available after TSHTF. Once you realize the emergency is going to be permanent (and your power has been off for an extended period of time), one of the best things you could do if you have a house or retreat that is somewhat secluded or hidden, would be to start cutting down the power poles leading to you. If I was a looter or scavenger, I'd be looking for power poles to figure where backwoods homes are located at.

Putting poles in the ground is definitely a little more realistic way to stop vehicles than putting dozens of wrecked cars around your perimeter, or digging a moat. Both of which would provide cover and concealment for intruders as well.

One thing I do not advise is to start dropping trees as roadblocks. On YOUR property it's one thing. Do it on a "public" road and expect outcry from any locals in the area. It works mainly as a delaying tactic anyways.

Another thing we do not want to do is to give some advantage when we are trying to keep people out. You always hear people talk about planting blackberry vines on your fencing to keep out people. 1. That ain't much of a barrier. Anyone who walks around in the woods regularly is used to getting stuck in brambles, having their hands cut on them, etc. 2. It also cuts down on what YOU can observe. A thick bramble bush provides some concealment. Intruders could conceal themselves on the other side of a thickly grown blackberry fence and you might not see them.

I prefer to have the area of the outter perimeter wire kept completely clear for no less than 10' inside the wire and 20' outside the wire. More where possible.

Does this mean that it will be easier to see IN as well? Of course. But I'm assuming you are smart enough to conceal your fighting positions and keep your exposed outside movement to a minimum during the day. Animals can be tended at night. You can even garden at night during full and nearly full moon phases. You don't want to expose yourself more than you have to during the day.

Much more to come on Retreat Defense. Stay tuned.

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