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New Year Catch Up – Security Arrangements Pt 2

The second area I had my eyes opened on was Internal Security. Defending yourself against home invasion. TimeLord’s presentation and demonstration of medieval weaponry was a bit of a surprise. You could tell he was an expert in this area and his advice well worth listening too.

He demonstrated the use of various old style stabbing and bludgeoning tools as well as various items of protective gear, in particular a small shield. He described their use in an urban situation and how best to utilise them in a home invasion. Contrary to my perception that these tools were of limited use I see them now as a valued addon to my existing security and coupled with some minor additions they will be the ultimate long term solution.

TimeLord suggested that as well as a shield and a hammer or axe we also prepare the battleground by;

  • Limiting access.
  • We use chocks to limit how far doors can open and seal off windows and doors.

  • We make passage difficult.
  • We place boards with spikes in just inside the door and around other entrances. We also put spikes on stairs.

  • We maximise our attack.
  • We have one person at the front with a shield and a weapon to engage the intruder. We have one or two people behind with long, 8ft ish, spears to stab at them without crowding the shield holder. This would work particularly well on the stairs.
    We would also use powerful lights to disorientate them at night.

Of course that doesn’t stop them setting fire to the place and waiting for us to come out or just for spite. For that we need to have perimeter defences, such as covers, on the entry points. Metal covers, preferably, but at least wooden ones that will keep them or their projectiles out. It isn’t 100% but nothing ever is and it should stop or at least slow attacks from all but a determined group. Place some fire fighting kit there for when it is safe to use, buckets of water or sand are handy.

Remember that if a large group decides to target you then it is unlikely you will make it.

My original plans were using a shotgun, limiting access by covering the doors and windows and using bright lights in faces, obviously for night attacks. To this end I have wood for the doors and windows as well as some wedges and limiters for the doors and a couple of high intensity lamps with strobes.

I’ve also looked at sandbags as a flood defence but now I have revisited them under a security heading. I’m going to buy plenty of empty sandbags and a ton of sand which will be placed up my drive. This should slow down intruders and I can also use the sandbags for flood or intruder defence. A few sandbags behind doors will ensure they won’t open properly.

I already have several cutting and penetration weapons I could use but no real bludgeoning weapons and no spears. So I need to add those to my prepping list.

The biggest issue I believe will be the shield. There were several models shown ranging from a simple disk as per Captain America to a modified version with curves and points designed to trap and deflect anyone trying to stab you onto sharp edges and points. I am after one of them and am looking at what is needed to make one. A shield, or at least the materials, also need to be added to my list.

This coupled with the blackout curtains, the window covers, door strengthening and blocking aids like sandbags or even a simple wedge should reduce the areas for attack down to something that we can manage with our simple weapons.

Remember the point is to survive an attack. Depending on what goes on we may have to relocate after this attack especially if there are survivors that are likely to try again, after a failed attempt you plan a little bit more and that could be a problem for us.

An area you really want to avoid if you can by any means possible but must plan for anyway. Just in case.

Edited to correct spear length after comments – SD

12 comments to New Year Catch Up – Security Arrangements Pt 2

  • Hi, having just participated in the flood defence of my village I can tell you that a ton of sand fills between 40 and 50 sandbags depending on how much you out in. Not a lot really, and 40 sandbags doesn’t go as far as you think. I’d suggest 2 to 300 bags and four x 1 tonne bags of sand to have a useful amount to play with and give sone flexibility .

    Br

    Steve

  • Skean Dhude

    Steve,

    thank you for that. I’ll revisit my estimates. I based my number on the facts I would have to seal the front and rear doors on the house only. The outbuildings would be left to flood.

  • Timelord

    10foot spears is too long for ease of use (especially in an urban environment). 6foot6inch to 8foot max is good, depending on the strength of the wielder. The longer the weapon, the greater the leverage force needed to wield it, the slower it can be brought to bear at a new angle and the easier it is to knock aside.. Spears are only any good inside a building if being used as part of a layered defence or “defence in depth”. They are greatly disadvantaged if a spear holder is facing an adversary independently. Should be used in conjunction with shorter range hand held support by a team member to the front (or from cover) – which preferably combines with blocking abilities like “shields”, so that the spears can be used to their full range(length) and so by keeping the wielder out of the assailants weapon range. The team member to the front can if wished – concentrate more on defence and only taking good open opportunities to strike the enemy. This makes it easier to hold a good defence/blocking tactic while still maintaining a credible threat. The spear person in this scenario is actually capable of doing the most lethal and quick damage to the enemy while protected by the team member in front. This tactic is employed at choke points to stop any flanking action and to concentrate the enemy in the choke point of the weapon “kill zone”. The enemy will be severely distracted by the defence/attack in depth and will not be able to concentrate 100% on the immediately frontal target. This makes it easier for the spear person or the blocking team member to achieve a good strike. The enemy may not even register the spear at all, especially if in a restricted space/avenue of attack and if in a press of bodies and fuelled with adrenaline. Thus the frontal blocking member concentrates more on defence and a holding action while the spear holder rapidly incapacitates the enemy.
    If and when the enemy breaks, then the melee weapon team member or members to the front can clear out the routing enemy and keep the pressure on until the strategic area is cleared or the enemy incapacitated. Beware not to advance from the choke point unless the enemy genuinely routs. Also beware of other enemy positioned to the flanks of any ground the initial routing enemy retreat through. To press home a victory against a seemingly fleeing force must be done with predetermined calculations and mental safeguards depending on the situation as it unfolds. Do not find yourself running out of your front door pursuing badly bloodied enemies, only to find yourself careering into a larger mob waiting avidly outside. This is easy to do if it has not been mentally factored in beforehand. Stay cool but aggressive as needs be at the time.
    Prior basic training to learn the mental and muscle memory necessary would help a great deal and will help to avoid hesitation or unwanted natural instinct reactions that can spell disaster. Remember, a historical phrase that “one trained man is worth ten pressed men”. In a PSHTF scenario you will be unlikely to come up against anyone “trained” in these skills, so even only some rudimentary basic training can give you a definitive edge and the ability to come through where otherwise you would not. This also instils well founded confidence that is a great help mentally in Survival situations. Safe travels, TL.

    Also the info/talk is not limited to medieval hand held weaponry. It spans a greater historical range as we select useful items for the modern preppers arsenal. Many expedient weapons to be found NOW in our everyday environment are not historical purpose made examples but they will do the job perfectly well in a modern SHTF world. These are most likely the hand held weapons likely to be carried against you and are therefore the items that would be best suited to assess and to train with & against.

  • Me_Again

    TL, funny how people independently get the same/similar ideas.
    I’ve just taken delivery of the head and butt piece of my new weapon. It is going to be a beauty I can feel it. The preferred weapon of a dismounted English knight a few centuries ago was the Poleaxe. At about 6 feet long mounted on a 1 and a half inch ash shaft, wicked. With an 8 inch square based and tapered, high carbon pointed tip at the top, a flat top hammer on one side with an axe on the opposite -and a couple of smaller spikes at 90 degrees to the others, it’s wickedly deadly. At the bottom end is a sharp butt piece about 6 inches long and nearly an inch at its widest.

    I’m in the process of cutting out the receivers for the langets to mount the head piece. After which I’ll soak the shaft in teak oil before mounting. I’m thinking I’ll use aluminium bolts with the heads cut off and a bit longer than the diameter I need, to hammer in to the countersunk holes in the steel.

    I’ve already started exercises using the quarterstaff ‘kata’. I rather suspect that knights started on quarterstaffs graduated to the poleaxe then used the staffs for practices when fully up to speed. After that I’ll use my imagination to add to the quarterstaff ‘kata’. I rather think that this is the match for anything that isn’t a firearm, if used properly.

    I’d run a mile if I came up against someone in apparent control of one of these. Burglars had better be fast in reverse.

  • Timelord

    Yes a very deadly weapon. Used by armoured men on foot, knights or soldiers. To gain the weapons powerful advantages over most other hand held types, you will need to wear body armour in some guise as this weapon is designed for “mixing it” close quarters mayhem with the ability to fight at the different ranges the weapon enables. This body armour can be historical based or modern/expedient. Hand protection is also a must for this weapon. Preferable to use mild steel rivets for the head. Aluminium is a bit soft and can easily be sheared at the rivet head. Also leave enough protrusion to create a shallow dome as a rivet head and not just hammered into a countersunk recess. There is a lot of physical force imparted through the head and the correct historically provenance materials should be used. Not ideal for use inside buildings. Also is very noticeable outdoors in daylight. Can not easily be carried covertly. Good in most other scenarios. Good for crowd control or Zombies. lol.
    one more point – the Poleaxe design with its specific type and arrangement of head was a response to and intended to be used against armoured opponents – where many of the traditional cutting weapons would not suffice. The 2 handed grip/length gave immense power to the use of these stabby, hacky, crushy appendages. For anything other than riot control armoured opponents, then it might not realise its full potential. There is much that can be learnt from that train of thought. Regards, TL.

  • Me_Again

    Yes, the armour is something I’ve been looking into. As you say they were really the ultimate weapon of armoured foot knights who had no need of a shield, and couldn’t have carried one anyway because it’s a two handed killer. With both ends weaponised and a relatively short length it is a dreadful close quarter battle weapon, but not good in confined spaces, although these guys would fight shoulder to shoulder for a start, mainly a stabbing and hammering type attack, the axe for any exposed areas or the helmet, until the ranks had thinned a little then the full range of movements would be employed. Back to a wall, you could hold off quite a few opponents until hopefully your own cavalry arrived. Or you could simply attack. It is a shock and awe weapon. We are talking about mostly untrained opponents, opportunists, if they meet lethal resistance and a bit of shock and awe, they’ll run, those you don’t kill. I’d still be inclined to give chase though and make sure no one can come back and try again.

    I have looked at leather armour but it is expensive, £300 or more and doesn’t give the kind of protection that light plate does. It is actually cheaper to get a metal breast plate which could be worn under a bulky jacket or some such. Same with the finger protection, I’m probably going for scaled metal gauntlets. To show off would be a 15th cent German jawbone sallet helmet or a lorica segmenta even though that’s mixing eras.

  • Timelord

    Cheaper & easier is something like :- Ex police riot leg & arm guards. An ex mil “XLarge” Kevlar vest with plates fastened inside or attached to a stout undergarment. Ex mil or riot helmet or other suitable helmet. Ebay American football shoulder guards or MotoCross armour or home made multiplated shoulder coverings. Old butchers alloy lamellar vests are ideal for flexible lightweight armour conversions. Hand protection is always an issue and historical gauntlets are far superior to modern stuff & so is the cost. lol.
    Multiplated armours are much less cumbersome than solid “plate” – more comfortable – don’t need the correct supporting undergarments and can be put on & off like a jacket – as in a coat of plates or a brigandine. They are far far less susceptible to extremes of weather, can be significantly quieter to move around in etc etc. Even more usefully, they require a much lower tech level to put together and can readily be constructed at home with limited DIY skills. Light padding with many smaller plates over the top can absorb weapon impacts, including projectile weapons better than solid plate. This is why at the very end of the 15th century and with the rise in effectiveness of firearms, the main bulk of European armies are shown in historical pictures as wearing brigandines. This type of armour has had a resurgence on the modern battlefield. These aspects of multiplated armour can be utilized today in an expedient and achievable way by the humble civilian – if he is aware of the opportunity in the first place :-) TL.

  • Timelord

    Overlapping plates that is!!!

  • Kenneth Eames

    Thanks very much for all this valuable information. After seeing Timelords demonstration and reading about poleaxes, etc., I have come to the conclusion that this is the way I am going in my preperations for defence. Thank you Gentlemen for such excellent advice. Kenneth Eames.

  • Stevo

    This is what I have lying in wait for anyone foolish enough to push their luck

    http://www.battleorders.co.uk/axes/medieval-war-hammer-s5730.html

  • Me_Again

    Excellent Stevo I may well get one myself for short range combat practice. The poleaxe is complete now, all varnished up, looks a treat. I probably made a mistake by getting a 1.5 inch ash pole for it, 1.25 would have been enough but hey ho. It is damned solid, I’d quite forgotten that ash was the preferred hardwood for quarterstaffs as well, damned hard and quite heavy. I’m very pleased with it.

    Having had a play around I think technique-wise it is similar in many aspects to the quarterstaff and many of the standard 12 blocks and attacks would work too. Perhaps knights trained with the quarterstaff before moving on to the deady upgrade, or maybe they practiced with the quarterstaff? The spike on the end is the killer, like a spear, 8″ of square steel tapered to a point. Clouting someone on the head or arms with the hammer edge would likely have stunned someone long enough to finish it with a thrust from the spike or the axe on the reverse side. Having a blunt cap at the bottom works too, I originally ordered a spear tip but they didn’t make one with a large enough diameter, it would have been too weak so I plumped for a tapered but blunt one. Punch someone in the gut with that and they would never get up in time to dodge when it was reversed and the spear tip used.

    Can we upload a photograph on here?

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