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 >