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Review: Holding Your Ground - Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart

The best stocked home or retreat won't do you any good if a band of thugs can take it from you on day #2 of TEOTWAWKI. Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart aims to help you keep your refuge, preps and your loved ones safe.

Holding Your Ground takes a broad approach to looking at retreat defense - it's a high level view of a multitude of topics--things like concealment, visibility, exterior and interior firing positions, perimeter security, early warning systems and so on.Unfortunately, Holding's broad approach is also its main shortcoming.

Instead of focusing solely on defending a retreat, it reaches into other areas--a bug out bag packing list, a chapter on firearm recommendations, and so on--and doesn't provide the depth of coverage on the issue at hand, defending a retreat. A lot of this information comes across as little more than filler--generally sub-par and not really on topic. A newer prepper would probably find much of this information useful, but a seasoned prepper will skim over it or pick out flaws or points of disagreement (you will have a few).

The actual content focused on retreat defense is hit-or-miss. For example, Holding does a great job of explaining how to reduce visibility and establish angles/overlapping fields of fire. In general, the maps/diagrams are excellent and do a great job of visually explaining the author's point.

On the other hand, there is no discussion of securing your actual home/retreat--nothing on doors, windows, home construction, security systems, etc. The big revelation for setting up fighting positions? Sandbags. The book also entirely skips over observation posts, which I found odd. A definite omission.

Holding Your Ground incorporates an Excel spreadsheet to help you assess your group's "defense rating"; the spreadsheet is a little confusing to fill out and the copy that I downloaded wasn't 100% functional (one of the cells that was supposed to auto-calculate didn't work). Really, you'd have to be pretty out of it to need a spreadsheet to tell you if you have a defensible position--I'd hope we'd be able to assess our strengths and weaknesses without Microsoft's help. It is an amusing exercise, though.

Would I recommend Holding Your Ground? It's around a 3 out of 5--some good stuff, but missed opportunities, too. I would really have liked to see a more thorough, in-depth discussion of the topic. Cut down on the filler and add in content on securing a home against intrusion (doors, windows, alarm systems), fighting fires, observation posts, building fighting positions, hides and caches, post-TEOTWAWKI fortifications and so on.

If you're starting out, looking for something to read and have the cash to spare, you'll get more out of Holding. If you're a more seasoned prepper, I'd read through the various military field manuals on the subject that are available for free on the Web first, do some other background research/reading and then, if you're interested, pick up the Kindle version of Holding.

Prepper Press, publishers of Holding Your Ground, provided TEOTWAWKI Blog with a copy of the book for review.

Pick up Holding Your Ground on Amazon >

6 comments :

  1. Given this a lot of thought over the last couple years and decided that long term survival in a worst case scenario, break down of civilization will be almost impossible if you stay in a fixed position and try to defend it, no matter how many your numbers or how well armed. It may be possible in a very rural, small, close knit community...but not in bigger cities or major population centers. I'be been a street cop for the last thirteen years and seen what humanity has to offer....it ain't good my friends. Take hurricane Katrina for am example, only a very tiny slice of the country and look how our fellow man reacted in New Orleans. I was listening to the state police radios at the command center during the rescue operations and you could hear the firefighter and officers screaming for more ammo and backup....hell, LA wildlife and fisheries had a boat that came back riddled with bullets. I believe the only way to survive long term in a SURF scenario, is to get as far away, isolated and insulated from humanity as possible. Wether that be by vehicle, horse back or on foot, staying mobile, always being ready to escape and evade and avoiding contact will be the only way to make it long term...at least till most of the bad guys and desperate have died off. Sorry, don't mean to sound gloom and doom....just a realist.

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  2. Sorry, supposed to be SHTF scenario..not surf, don't think I have room in my gear for the longboard...hahahaha

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  3. The army FM "survivability" has a LOT of good information on shoring up defenses against mounted and dismounted aggressors... many concepts can be directly applied. The Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) also have good information on hardening a residential, commercial, or industrial building as well as general principles about these environments - threats, situational awareness, movement, communication, etc.

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  4. I think reading up on techniques and studying different methods is fine....but training needs to be a big part of your prepping. Training and mental preparation...its a whole lot different when the targets shoot back, people are screaming and bleeding. The sound of an AK inside a building is deafening, will absolutely rattle you...most people have absolutely no clue what is in store when it comes to MOUT operations or barricades defense. You don't have the luxury of distance as with other types of warfare, nor time, urban fighting is fast and brutal, up close and personal. I suggest finding a friend or competent instructor, who has done some urban operations, military or police and get some good insight and instruction. Hell, play some urban paintball or softair to get a feel for movement and the type of fighting you,ll be up against...just realize that the real thing will be louder, more brutal, closer and more terrifying than anything you can read in a book or watch on tv.

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  5. Holding does a good job of explaining the difference between what the author calls a passive and active stance. The passive stance is basically hiding out and avoiding contact, where an active stance would be projecting power/capability, and would only be taken if you had a large and capable group.

    I'll do a write up on the differences and when I think either approach would be applicable.

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  6. I am about 3 months to moving permanently to my land where I have built my homestead. It is totally off the grid, My brother will be joining me in about a year. My sister will be there occasionally. for the most part, I will be out there alone in the next year. It is very remote, mountainous, old growth wooded terrain. One vehicle road into the main building, On foot "escape" trail/roads out the back door. What I am looking for is a way that is simple to make an alarm system, that will notify me of someone coming up the trail. this is in the short term, as I will be able to improve upon a system once there. Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated. I would like the first alarm to be at a point that is about 150yds from the main building. What I don't know is if using a small battery, and electrical wire, if the distance is too great to carry the signal I need. I am not an electrician and don't understand much of how it all works. Thanks, and I love this site. Great info. -feralgun

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