Monday, April 15, 2013

roadblocks and roadkill


ROADBLOCKS AND ROADKILL

Setting up roadblocks is an accepted military strategy for every budding two bit post-apocalypse dictator and warlord out there.  Mostly because “our glorious boys in blue/tan/camo” do it and somewhat because that’s what they do in genre novels.  As you should all know by now, I’m usually opposed to whatever strategy the military prefers because their entire leadership is structured after centralized businessman models, their battle plan is comprised solely of outlasting others cannon fodder with our own and every swinging dingus is looked on as replaceable.  Not to mention that the model requires mass industrialization, centralized banking and carbon fuels.  Taking your playbook from the military is asking to get killed.  That said, sometimes you’ll have no choice.  Especially if you are living back East or the southeast.  There the population density is so great that five miles between townships is considered excessive ( whereas here in the western desert five miles between dwellings is normal ).  Roadblocks are considered necessary due to the need to keep out unworthies but allow trade.  Eventually, you will need roadblocks ( depending on your location ).  But I’ll argue that it is a bad idea during the collapse.  Afterwards, a necessary expense for trade.  But during, a good way to get killed.  And once again, you are going to need to pull your head out of your ass in regards to energy and the excesses of the Petrol Age.  I’m sorry, but food is life and energy is food and you can’t ignore the issue.

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Americans are completely and totally blind to the issue of transportation.  We read about how it took a good chunk of a year to wagon train it to California, with folks dying of thirst and Indians scalping you and if you made it to the mountains, cannibalism.  And then we ignore that this is the historical norm and plan a friggin 900 mile roadtrip to go eat at the nearest Taco Hell when they get in the new ranch style taco shells ( referring back to my article on the silly ass commercials where the characters did just that.  At the same time, there was the commercials with the character scrounging for spare change top go buy a 99 cent burrito twice in one day which burned up more than $1.98 in gasoline.  Taco Hell, once great food but now rabid red assed baboon slop, is indeed the poster child for using every drop of oil left globally in order to profit corporations as they force feed us genetically modified corn ).  In the near future transportation might be so dear in treasure and resources that we revert to the medieval norm of near zero trade and transportation ( which is why those days sucked-besides the Black Plague liquefying your organs into a bloody vomited mess.  With no trade everyone suffered from shortages ).  Static defense might become the norm.  But today and in the near future, static defense is retarded.  Until the modern weapons run out of munitions, you simply DON’T want to be standing around waiting to have your castle shelled ( or your manned roadblock mortared ).

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When the Brits decided that the colonists would have to share in the bounty of the New World, we rebelled.  But even then a majority of our “leaders” ( read, rich humps assuming they were much smarter and deserved to rule over your life ) were all for merely taking over from the far away despotic government ( that twat Hamilton for one ) with their own local dictatorship.  Their idea of a rebellion was to line up the soldiers into neat rows for the British/Hessians to mow down with their assault carbines.  Needless to say, smarter folks looking after their own hide liked the Indian method of skulking about in the woods and sniping at the enemy, then retreating without any bullet holes.   Our military today would make Hamilton McTwat proud.  Into the breech, unworthy poor conscripts ( “voluntary” military means little when the corporation crushes the Union and sends the factory overseas and the only job left in West Podunk Georgia is going to join the Imperial Forces as a mercenary ).  Every service member is treated like the worse Soviet era soldier, from being Guinea pigs with nuclear radiation or anthrax “vaccinations” to being sacrificed to secure a worthless strategic goal which looked good on some humps West Point paper ( warriors don’t mind sacrifice to protect the tribe.  Military servicemen aren’t protectors but rather, during Imperial periods, aggressors.  Not that there was ever a problem with stealing resources, 99% of a warriors job, but there is a problem when a mere few benefit rather than the tribe itself.  We could argue that the American Empire initially enriched all the citizens, but that certainly isn’t the case now.  Plus, all the old benefactors are now being screwed ). 

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If you are agreeing to be part of a defense force in a static positions, you are eventual cannon fodder.  You will not prevail over modern ( to include black powder ) weapons.  Your much better option is to deny access to all by destroying the roads and bridges thoroughly.  Not blocking, but destroying.  All the roads.  Then employ mobile forces to detect foot intrusion ( the one thing that should quickly disappear is air power, so we won’t treat that here ) and combat them.  You can defeat foot soldiers, but not armor or artillery ( horse soldiers are another subject ) .  Any roadblocks will suck away personnel that are needed on patrol.  Even better than that would be offensive operations to eliminate the threat ( think Russia historically.  You need to draw them in and defeat them before attack or take the fight out and have buffer zones ).  But the main thing is to seal off the outside world.  Trade must wait for the collapse to complete itself ( otherwise trade becomes a Trojan Horse ).  Screw the roads.  They can be rebuilt if the need is great enough.  Now, they merely invite your defeat.

END
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4 comments:

  1. I remember reading a book called total resistance years ago, by some Swiss general dude. If I remember correctly it suggested blocking or destroying routes and not roadblocks. Dropping trees and other debris every hundred yards so that the enemy has to keep stopping to clear it. Each obstruction can be trapped or watched, much tougher to get through than a single strong point.

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  2. The problem with destroying roads, especially bridges, during a collapse is that the industry that built them is unlikely to return. And any replacements you manage to cobble together are likely to be inferior.
    Better to block the road, with UNMANNED warning signs and booby traps, and keep it under random patroled observations. In your case jim a biggle ol' pile of mixed tumble weeds and fencing dragged out over a couple hundered yards of key roadway would do- hang a couple of UNSHOT corpses up on part of it, preferably with signs of plague or chemical damage, and I gaurantee you that short of a nation state (such as the USA or reborn confederacy) no-one in their right mind will challenge it. Other options are the tore (not cut) downed trees, downed powerlines, redirected waters to flood over a road (without washing it away) etc.
    No manning of the roadblock - you are right there Jim, manning a roadblock may be profitable a few times, and usefull against worthless eaters few more, but against an armed determined opponent it is suicide- dont do it.
    Far better to use natural seeming roadblocks and alarms, or false roadblocks to draw out and evaluate enemy response.
    Even beter is if you use obvious - but false - roadblocks to protect that which doesnt need protecting - wear the opponents down and lead them to think that roadblocks arent a necessary sign of good stuff on the other side.
    Best of all is to be hidden in a hole far enough from the roads to not be seen while the collapse occurs but close enough that you can watch it- all without ever bringing attention to the area of your hidey hole with a roadblock or banditry.

    -Grey

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  3. Lord Bison of the Great Basin;

    Thank You again for stating, in simple terms, the energy angle to the conundrum that is societal collapse. That's why I mentioned mobility (not necessarily mechanized/motorized) as a key factor to a Snap TCP, because after three to four weeks into complete chaos, motorized/mechanized transport will be much more rare than common, which is why foot/equine/riverine patrols would be able to set up Snap TCP's along avenues of approach to detect, confront and defeat small groups of refugees/brigands/cannibals. This needn't be done with exclusive of use semi-automatic poodle shooters, the Philippine Hukbalahap under Castro Alejandrino were quite adept with using small caliber bolt action rifles combined with archery weapons and more archaic weapons, such as bolos, machetes, knives and other edged weapons, once the ambush against the Japanese Army was close enough to touch. Their trick was to send ambushers, with just enough ammunition to take down five or ten Japanese each, then fade back into the jungle to fight another day. This is where your endorsement of .30 caliber military surplus rifles come to the fore and ascendant. The only difficulty I foresee with your description is the physical destruction of the road surfaces. The actual complete destruction of the road surfaces is going to take a absolute Herculean level of energy expenditure, which under the severe limitations of food rations will prove very unlikely to accomplish in a timely manner. However not to fret, since modern road surfaces take huge amounts of periodic maintenance to keep the road surface capable of motorized movement without the risk of major environmentally caused mechanical breakdown. Or in other words, the road will eventually destroy itself, but your certainly correct with the importance of the physical destruction of choke points, such as bridges, tunnels, and passes. This task will have to be accomplished within days of the surety of the societal level of the collapse, lest the motorized/mechanized refugees overtake any small community, like Biblical Locusts. Thanks You James, for the refreshing perspective on a timeless subject. Keeping it real James!

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  4. I can't seem to focus this morning for any pithy remarks. Too many days in a row on only six hours sleep. But I do appreciate the well thought out lengthy comments from everyone.

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