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Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad The Green Machine War Well I thought it was funny!

A key fact when that NJP comes your way!

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The Green Machine Well I thought it was funny!

Worst Trophy ever in my humble opinion

Image result for fantasy football last place trophy

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The Green Machine Well I thought it was funny!

When GI's have too much time on their hands

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Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad The Green Machine War

What a Stud!

West Point admits Parkland student Peter Wang who died saving classmates

In life, he dreamed of becoming a soldier. In death, he was honored with an invitation to join their ranks.
Fifteen-year-old Peter Wang, who was killed while trying to help classmates escape from a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was posthumously accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday “for his heroic actions on Feb. 14, 2018” and then buried in his Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) uniform.

 15-year-old Peter Wang is a Monumental American 1:00

Wang, the U.S. Military Academy said in a statement, “had a lifetime goal to attend USMA.”
Related: These are the 17 victims of the Parkland school shooting
“It was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man,” it read. “West Point has given posthumous offers of admission in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidate’s (sic) whose actions exemplified the tenets of Duty, Honor and Country.”
Wang would have been in the Class of 2025, a West Point spokesman said.

Image: Peter Wang
Peter Wang. Courtesy Wang family

The letter was hand-delivered to Wang’s parents by a uniformed Army officer at the funeral home in Coral Springs, Florida, where a gut-wrenching funeral was held as grieving relatives wept beside the slain teenager’s open casket.
When the shooting started at the high school in Parkland, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born cadet yanked open a door that allowed dozens of classmates, teachers and staffers to escape, officials said.
But as he stood at his post in his JROTC uniform and held the door open, Wang was shot and killed — one of the 17 students and staffers who died in the school that day.
“For as long as we remember him, he is a hero,” classmate Jared Burns told NBC Miami.
“He was like a brother to me and possibly one of the kindest people I ever met,” longtime friend Xi Chen added.

Image: Peter Wang's mother cries following her son's funeral
Peter Wang’s mother, Hui, cries as she is helped into a waiting car with her family after the memorial service for her 15-year-old son at Kraeer Funeral Home in Coral Springs, Florida, on Feb. 20, 2018. Taimy Alvarez / South Florida Sun-Sentinel viaAP

 
Gov. Rick Scott has directed the Florida National Guard to honor Wang, who was a freshman, and two other JROTC members who were killed — Alaina Petty, 14, and Martin Duque, 14.
Also, a petition calling on Congress to give Wang a full military funeral had collected nearly 70,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, some 30,000 short of the 100,000 needed to get a response from the White House.
“Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial,” the petition states.

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All About Guns Gun Info for Rookies Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad The Green Machine War

Tommy Atkins Guns & WWII

MilSurp: British Infantry Weapons of World War II: The Tools Tommies Used to Beat Back the Bosche

On the night of June 5th, 1944, a force of 181 men commanded by Major John Howard lifted off from RAF Tarant Rushton aboard six Horsa gliders. Their force consisted of a reinforced company from the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry along with twenty sappers drawn from the Royal Engineers. Their objective was to seize the bridge over the Caen Canal and subsequently secure the eastern flank of the Allied landings at Sword beach. Theirs was arguably the most critical piece in the entire D-Day invasion.

The Webley revolver was a break-open double action design that fired a relatively anemic .38/200 rimmed cartridge.

Any amphibious operation is tenuous until a lodgment is established. At first the advantage always goes to the defender. No matter the intensity of the pre-operation bombardment, the outcome ultimately turns on the fortitude of the attackers pitted against the fortitude of the defenders. This bridge was the choke point for German armor that might have attempted to reinforce the defenders on the beach.
The invasion, code named Operation Overlord, was indeed an iffy thing. Had the Allies hit the beaches and found them populated with the fully armed tanks of the German 21st Panzer Division then they very likely could have been pushed back into the sea. General Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, had actually prepared a letter assuming full responsibility for the failure of this operation had this been the case. Thanks to Major Howard and his 181 British Glider-borne soldiers this letter went unused.
Five of the British gliders landed as close as 47 meters to the objective at 16 minutes past midnight. Considering these glider pilots made a silent unpowered approach in utter darkness this represents some of the most remarkable pilotage of the war. These brave British soldiers poured out of their wrecked gliders and took the bridge in short order.

The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE) was a superb bolt-action design that served the British well during the First World War.

Lance Corporal Fred Greenhalgh was thrown clear of his glider on impact and knocked unconscious. He landed face first in a shallow pond no more than six inches deep but subsequently drowned. Lieutenant Den Brotheridge stormed the bridge firing his Sten gun and throwing grenades until he was mortally wounded by German machinegun fire. Greenhalgh and Brotheridge were the first Allied soldiers killed on D-Day.

The SMLE also saw extensive service, particularly early on, during the Second.

At around 0200 the lead armored vehicle of German 21st Panzer rounded a corner and drove between two buildings that defined the approach to the bridge. Alerted by the sound of tracks in the darkness, Major Howard had dispatched Sergeant Charles “Wagger” Thornton with the unit’s last operational PIAT launcher and two hollow-charge projectiles. Thornton covered himself in garbage and had been in place around three minutes when the first tank arrived.
There is a dispute as to the type of vehicle involved. It has been reported to be either a Panzerkampfwagen Mark IV or a Marder open-topped self-propelled gun. Regardless, no doubt thoroughly terrified, Sergeant Thornton loosed his PIAT bomb at a range of 27 meters and center-punched the vehicle, igniting its onboard ammunition. The destroyed vehicle subsequently effectively sealed off the approaches to the landing areas from reinforcing German armor. As a result, Sergeant Thornton’s single desperate PIAT shot very probably saved the entire invasion.

The Lewis gun was an American design that was used extensively during WW1. Obsolete by 1940, the Lewis nonetheless soldiered on in second-line applications throughout the war. The most distinguishing characteristics of the Lewis were its bulbous barrel shroud and top-mounted pan magazine.

Weapons

That the British Army survived the evacuation at Dunkirk is a legitimate modern-day miracle. While more than 300,000 troops survived, they arrived in Britain exhausted, demoralized, and bereft of their weapons. Desperate to refit and re-equip in the face of an expected German invasion, the English military leadership initiated a crash program to produce small arms in breathtaking quantities.
It is easy to disparage the quality of British small arms from the comfort of our living rooms. However, the British people rightfully feared imminent invasion. Had Hitler not foolishly launched Operation Barbarossa in an attempt to conquer Russia they would have undoubtedly seen German troops on British soil. As a result, the British endured some shortcuts in both the quality and design of their small arms. That they still fared so well is a testimony to the grit and tenacity of the British fighting man and his leadership.

Handguns

At a time when the entire world was issuing autoloading handguns, the British persisted in issuing revolvers that were state of the art during the previous world war. Given the desperate pressures under which they operated British industry simply continued producing the handguns they were already tooled up to produce. Webley and Enfield revolvers were morphologically similar. Both were break-open designs that incorporated an automatic ejector to remove empty shell casings. While some earlier versions were chambered for a powerful .455 round, most WW2-era versions were .38’s.
Early WW1-era Webley Mk I’s fired the rimmed .455 round. However, many were subsequently converted to fire rimless .45ACP ammunition by having the faces of their cylinders shaved down appropriately. Rimless .45ACP rounds were subsequently managed via moon clips. This conversion allowed the continued issue of .455 Webleys after the supply of .455 rimmed ammunition was exhausted.

The star-shaped ejector on the Webley and Enfield revolvers automatically expelled the empty cases when the gun was broken open for reloading.

The most common WW2-era Webley was the Mk IV chambered for the .38/200 round. This round is 9x20mm and is interchangeable with the .38 S&W cartridge. By comparison the ubiquitous .38 Special is 9×29.5mm and much more powerful. The No2 Mk 1 Enfield fired the same round. However, the hammer was bobbed on the Enfield to affect double action only. This weapon was intended for use in tanks, aircraft, and vehicles for applications that might require that a sidearm be used one-handed.

The 4-1-1 on Handguns During Combat

Handguns of any sort seldom affect the big picture in combat. They serve as badges of rank or security talismans, but the pistol does not win wars. As such, though their revolvers were dated when compared to other autoloading designs, this made little difference in the grand scheme.

The PIAT was a monstrosity of a weapon that used a spring-driven piston to fire shaped-charge antitank warheads.

Rifles

The British began World War 2 with the SMLE (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield). This superb bolt-action design armed British Tommies in the fetid trenches of World War 1. As the SMLE cocked on closing it provided a greater rate of fire than other designs that cocked when the bolt was opened. As the scope of the war and its commensurate logistics demands grew, however, the British Army needed something cheaper and easier to produce.

The British Sten gun was simple, inexpensive, and effective. Sporting a left-sided magazine and remarkably sedate rate of fire, the Sten was found throughout all combat theaters of World War 2.

The No 4 Mk 1 Lee-Enfield was a product-improved version of the SMLE. This rifle retained the 10-round magazine and .303 chambering of the SMLE. And it deleted the SMLE’s magazine cutoff and, ultimately, its complicated adjustable sight. The No 4 was heavier and slightly more robust than the SMLE, but it was much easier and faster to produce.
The rimmed .303 cartridge was obsolete by World War 2. However, like the Lee-Enfield rifle, this was what British industry was tooled up to produce. As a result, both the No 4 Lee-Enfield and its tired round soldiered on through WW2 and well beyond. Once again, the English were forced to make do with what they had.

Submachine Guns

The British had no general-issue submachine gun at the beginning of the war. They made do with expensive, heavy, and obsolete Thompson guns purchased from the United States. In desperate need of something inexpensive and easy to build, English gun designers Major Reginald Shepherd and Harold Turpin set out to contrive the ultimate mass-produced pistol caliber submachine gun. The name Sten is drawn from the first letters of the designers’ names along with Enfield.

The Bren Light Machinegun was arguably the finest LMG of the war. Portable and reliable, the Bren offered dismounted Infantry a mobile base of fire that could accompany troops in the assault.

Sten

The British produced the Sten gun using components produced in tiny shops across the island. There were seven marks and around four million copies rolled off the lines. Unit cost in WW2 was around $10 or $156 today. Most Stens used a simple drawn steel tube as a receiver and fed from the left side via a double column, single feed 32-round magazine. All Stens were selective fire. Most incorporated a rotating magazine housing that could be positioned to seal the ejection port from battlefield grunge.

Mk IIS

The Mk IIS included an integral sound suppressor, a revolutionary feature for the day, as well as a bronze bolt. The Mk III was the simplest of the lot and incorporated a simple welded on magazine housing and a pressed steel receiver. The Sten was not the most reliable gun on the battlefield but it was widely distributed through both British combat formations as well as underground partisans operating in occupied territories.

The sole safety on the Sten was a notch to hold the bolt to the rear.

Machinegun

The Brits used Vickers and Lewis guns at the beginning of the war, some of which served until the armistice. The Vickers was an English adaptation of the same Hiram Stevens Maxim design that drove the German Maxim MG08 guns during WW1. Heavy, water-cooled, and imminently reliable, the Vickers was a superb sustained fire weapon when employed from vehicles or static mountings. It was useless in a mobile ground assault, however.

The Vickers machinegun.

The BREN gun was arguably the finest light machinegun used by any major combatant. A license-produced copy of the Czech ZGB-33, the Bren fired from the open bolt and fed from top-mounted 30-round box magazines. It had a rate of fire of around 500 rounds per minute. The BREN gave the dismounted Infantry squad a portable base of automatic fire that could maneuver with dismounted ground forces. Though heavy by today’s standards, the BREN was rugged and dependable.

The PIAT

The weapon Wagger Thornton used to save D-Day was the Projector, infantry, Anti-Tank. This monstrosity of an anti-tank weapon was actually a handheld spigot mortar. The PIAT incorporated a spring-driven piston that extended into the base of its hollow-charge projectile. It would then ignite a propellant charge. The prodigious recoil of the shot should theoretically recock the heavy spring action. The PIAT weighed 32 pounds and had a maximum effective range of 115 yards. Sergeant Thornton later described the PIAT as “Rubbish, really” in a post-war interview.

The Vickers machinegun was a water-cooled belt-fed behemoth intended to be fired from fixed positions.

The PIAT was a monstrosity of a weapon that used a spring-driven piston to fire shaped-charge antitank warheads.

Gestalt

The British fought and won WW 2 with a hodgepodge of obsolete weapons mass-produced via a disseminated industrial base with their backs literally against the sea. While they lacked a semiautomatic handgun or an autoloading Infantry rifle, their Bren gun was enormously effective. And the PIAT did indeed save D-Day. In the final analysis, it was the men behind the weapons, and not the weapons themselves, that wrested control of mainland Europe from the grip of Nazi tyranny.

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The Green Machine Well I thought it was funny!

Facial hair

Image result for combat moustache In the spirit of so called transparency. My Mustache does not think this is funny either!

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The Green Machine

Basic I think is going to get a lot harder now for some reason!

Low Recruit Discipline Prompts Army to Redesign Basic Training

Drill Sergeant (Staff Sgt.) Jonathan Christal, B Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery, marches Basic Combat Training Soldiers in for classroom training. (U.S. Army Photo/Mr. James Brabenec)
Drill Sergeant (Staff Sgt.) Jonathan Christal, B Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery, marches Basic Combat Training Soldiers in for classroom training. (U.S. Army Photo/Mr. James Brabenec)
The U.S. Army will soon launch a redesign of Basic Combat Training intended to build more discipline after many commanders complained that new soldiers often show up to their first units with a sloppy appearance and undisciplined attitudes.
By early summer, new recruits will go through Army BCT that’s designed to instill strict discipline and esprit de corps by placing a new emphasis in drill and ceremony, inspections, pride in military history while increasing the focus on critical training such as physical fitness, marksmanship, communications and battlefield first aid skills.

The program will also feature three new field training exercises that place a greater emphasis on forcing recruits to demonstrate Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, the list of key skills all soldiers are taught to survive in combat.
The new program of instruction is the result of surveys taken from thousands of leaders who have observed a trend of new soldiers fresh out of training displaying a lack of obedience and poor work ethic as well as being careless with equipment, uniform and appearance, Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, commanding general of the U.S. Army Center of Initial Military Training, told defense reporters on Friday.

‘A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT’

“What leaders have observed in general is they believe that there is too much of a sense of entitlement, questioning of lawful orders, not listening to instruction, too much of a buddy mentality with NCOs and officers and a lot of tardiness being late to formation and duties,” Frost said. “These are trends that they see as increasing that they think are part of the discipline aspect that is missing and that they would like to see in the trainees that become soldiers that come to them as their first unit of assignment.”
As commanding general of IET, Frost was tasked with increasing the quality of training and reducing new soldier attrition.
After compiling the data from surveys of about 27,000 commissioned officers, warrant officers and non-commissioned officers, the message was very clear, Frost said.
“The number-one thing that was asked for five-fold or five times as much as any of the other categories was discipline,” Frost said.
“First-unit-of-assignment leaders want Initial Entry Training to deliver disciplined, physically-fit new soldiers who are willing to learn, they are mentally tough, professional and are proud to serve in the United States Army.”
In addition to discipline and physical fitness, leaders also wanted technical and tactical proficiency in warrior tasks and battle drills.

BE A SOLDIER

After working out the details in a pilot at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the Army has approved a new POI that Frost hopes will better instill into recruits exactly what it means to be a soldier.
“We really tried to attack it by getting after more discipline and esprit de corps,” Frost said.
One new aspect features a series of history vignettes of major battles that the Army has fought in, from Valley Forge in the Revolutionary War all the way to Iraq in Baghdad, Frost said.
“We highlighted those battles; we tied them to Army Values and the Soldier’s Creed and highlighted an individual who received the Medal of Honor or other valor award for actions during each battle,” Frost said.
“So soldiers will learn across all of Basic Combat Training at all the Army training centers what it means to be a soldier, the history of the United States Army through the battles and the campaign streamers and the wars that we have fought and they will be able to look to and emulate a soldier who executed a valorous act during that war.”
The new standardized booklet will be given to each recruit along with their Blue Book at the beginning of training.
Recruits will also learn discipline by doing more practice at a skill that may be as old as soldiering itself — drill and ceremony.

DRILL AND CEREMONY

When the war began after the attacks of 9/11, the Army decreased its focus on D&C, inspections and other skills that stress attention to detail to make more time for combat skill training.
“There are a lot of folks that say ‘we need to go back to the drill and ceremony because we have lost a lot of the discipline aspect of what it means to be a United States Army soldier,'” Frost said.
“It’s not like they are going to be sitting out there just doing D&C all the time. The drill and ceremony is going to be interwoven into when they move to and from places … so the movements won’t just be lollygagging, non-tactical movements, they will be actually executing some team drill and ceremony as they move to and from the chow hall and move to and from the barracks.”
But the new BCT isn’t all about spit and polish, Frost said.

HAMMER, ANVIL, FORGE

“The other big piece we are doing in Basic Combat Training that helps with the esprit de corps and the discipline aspect and also lends a measure of grit and resilience to [BCT] is we have three major field training exercises that we are going to do now. We are calling them the Hammer, the Anvil and the Forge,” Frost said, describing how the final Forge FTX is an homage to the Army’s historic ties to Valley Forge.
“That is going to be a culminating FTX which is a graduation requirement. It will be an 81-hour field training exercise with about 40 miles of tactical road marching that is conducted through a series of tactical events and mini field training exercises.”
The Forge will include a night infiltration course and a medical evacuation mass casualty exercise. There will be ethical dilemmas soldiers have to negotiate as well as a battle march and shoot, a resupply mission which involves moving supplies, ammo, water to a link-up point, patrol base activities, combat patrols as well as an obstacle course, Frost said.
“If you succeed in making it through the 81-hour FTX … then what will happen is you will earn the right to become a soldier,” Frost said. “You will earn your beret, you will earn a ‘soldier for life’ certificate, you will get your National Defense Service Medal and your uniform will look exactly like a United States Army soldier.”

‘GET AFTER THE BASICS’

The new BCT POI weeded out “lot of redundant areas and areas that have crept in that did not get after the basics” — shoot, move, communicate and protect or survive, Frost said.
For weapons qualification, recruits will be required to qualify with backup iron sights instead of just on close-combat optic sights.
Physical fitness standards will also be increased, requiring each soldier to score at least 60 points on all three events of the Army Physical Fitness Test instead of 50 points on each as a graduation standard.
Each recruit will also receive 33 hours of combatives training instead of 22 hours, Frost said.
Recruits will receive an increased amount of tactical combat casualty care training such as basic combat lifesaver.
The course will also teach “some of the basics that we had kind of lost with respect to communications such as basic hand and arm signals, and we have doubled the amount of basic reporting on the radio communications” such as MEDEVAC and similar requests, Frost said.

SOME QUALIFICATIONS NIXED

The new BCT does, however, do away with hand grenade qualification and land navigation course qualification as graduation requirements.
“What we have found is it is taking far, far too much time. It’s taking three to four times as much time … just to qualify folks on the hand grenade course than we had designated so what is happening is it is taking away from other aspects of training,” Frost said.
“We are finding that there are a large number of trainees that come in that quite frankly just physically don’t have the capacity to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters. In 10 weeks, we are on a 48-hour period; you are just not going to be able to teach someone how to throw if they haven’t thrown growing up.”
Recruits will still receive the same amount of training in these areas, Frost said.
“Just because we took it off as a graduation requirement does not mean they won’t be conducting hand grenade or land navigation training,” Frost said. “They are going to learn all the technical aspects of the hand grenade, and they are going to learn tactical employment and they will throw a live hand grenade.
“With land navigation, it’s the same thing they are still going to conduct land navigation training; they are still going to conduct the day course they are still going to conduct the night course.”
The new changes to BCT, Frost said, will hopefully make new soldiers better prepared for their advanced individual training, first unit of assignment and result in a lower, new-soldier attrition rate
“If we can get a more physically fit, better prepared, more-disciplined soldier in Basic Combat Training, AIT and [One-Station Unit Training] then we believe we will have less attrition in first unit of assignment,” Frost said.
— Matthew Cox can be reached at [email protected].

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The Green Machine War

WTF !?!

US Army Ditches Grenade Throwing Requirement Because Too Many Recruits Can’t Throw Far Enough


The blast radius of a grenade, on average, is 15 meters, with a 25-meter throw being considered a necessary distance.
Some have questioned whether the removal of the grenade requirement was an accommodation for female recruits, though the Army has denied those allegations, stating that it is an “incorrect premise” as Army BCT has had the hand grenade requirement for both genders “for several years,” adding in a statement, “This new approach allows the Army to recover valuable time and resources to focus on training on other critical skills.”
_________________________________
Translated into English, Female Recruits can’t throw is my humble opinion. Sadly this is going to come back and bite us in the ass down the road! Grumpy

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Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad The Green Machine War

The Brutal Truth About Violence When The SHTF by Tyler Durden

Are you prepared for the extreme violence that is likely to come your way if the SHTF? No matter what your plan is, it’s entirely probable that at some point, you’ll be the victim of violence or have to perpetrate violence to survive. As always, Selco is our go-to guy on SHTF reality checks and this thought-provoking interview will shake you to your core.


If you don’t know Selco, he’s from Bosnia and he lived through a year in a city that was blockaded with no utilities, no deliveries of supplies, and no services. In his interviews, he shares what the scenarios the rest of us theorize about were REALLY like.  He mentioned to me recently that most folks aren’t prepared for the violence that is part and parcel of a collapse, which brings us to today’s interview.

How prevalent was violence when the SHTF in Bosnia?

It was wartime and chaos, from all conflicts in those years in the Balkan region Bosnian conflict was most brutal because of multiple reasons, historical, political and other.
To simplify the explanation why violence was common and very brutal, you need to picture a situation where you are “bombarded” with huge amount of information (propaganda) which instills in you very strong feelings of fear and hate.
Out of fear and hate, violence grows easy and fast, and over the very short period of time you see how people around you (including you) do things that you could not imagine before.
I can say that violence was almost an everyday thing in the whole spectrum of different activities because it was a fight for survival.
Again, whenever (and wherever) you put people in a region without enough resources, you can expect violence.
We were living a normal life, and then suddenly we were thrown in a way of living where if you could not “negotiate” something with someone, you solve the problem by launching a rocket from an RPG through the window of his living room.
Hate stripped down the layers of humanity and suddenly it was “normal” to level an apartment building with people inside with shells from a tank or form private prisons with imprisoned civilians for slave work or sex slaves.
Nothing that I saw or read before could have prepared me for the level of violence and blindness to it, for the lives of kids, elders, civilians, and the innocent.
Again, the thing that is important for readers is that we were a modern society one day, and then in few weeks it turned into carnage.
Do not make the mistake of saying “it cannot happen here” because I made that mistake too.
Do not underestimate power of propaganda, fear, hate, and the lowest human instincts, no matter how modern and good your society is right now and how deeply you believe that “it can not happen here”.

You’ve mentioned warlords and gangs in several of your articles. Were they responsible for the majority of the violence or was it hungry families?

Fighting of the armies through the whole period of war brings violence in terms of constant shelling from a distance from different kind of weapons.
For example a few multiple rocket launchers (VBR) could bring in 30 seconds the destruction in an area of 3-4 apartment buildings, and being there in that moment and surviving it gives you a completely new view on life.
Snipers were a constant threat and over time you simply grow a way of living that you constant scan area in front of you where your next steps gonna be. Are you gonna be visible and from where? Etc.
Most brutal violence was actually lawlessness and complete lack of order between different factions and militias, so in some periods there were militias or gangs who simply ruled the cities or part of the city where they were absolutely masters of everything in terms of deciding of taking someone’s life.
In lawlessness, you as one person could be really small and not interesting, or join some bigger group of people to be stronger, some family or militia or gang.
An example of a gang would be group of people of some 300 or 500 people who “officially” were a unit or militia and operate for some faction, but in reality they operate mostly for themselves.
That included owning part of the black market, having prison (for forced labor or ransom), attacking people and houses for resources, smuggling people from dangerous areas.
Violence from those kinds of group was the most immediate violence, the most visible in terms of SHTF talking.
If those people came on your door you could obey, fight, or negotiate, but mostly you could not not ask for help from any kind of authority, because there was no real authority.
In any society, no matter where you are living, there are a great number of people who are waiting for the SHTF to go out and do violent things. Small time criminals or simply violent persons who are not openly violent because system is there to punish them for that. It is like that.
Some gang leaders that I knew were actually completely sick people with a strange type of charisma that makes people follow them, weird situations that can happen only in a real collapse.
They are people who just waited for their time to rise.
Those kinds of people together with criminal organization that are already there in any city in the world will be the backbone of SHTF gangs.

Who were the most likely victims?

A very simple answer would be that the most likely victims were people who had interesting things without enough defense.
But it was not always that simple.
For example one of the first houses that got raided in my neighborhood, right at the beginning of collapse while there was still some kind of order, was a rich family’s home.
They had a nice house with bars on the windows, a pretty good setup for defense, and they had enough people inside so they could give pretty good resistance to the mob.
But they got raided simply because they were known that they are rich, so they were attacked with enough force to be overwhelmed.
It was not only about how much manpower you had and how well-organized defense of your home was, it was also about how juicy a target you were.
If you are faced with 150 angry people attacking your home because they are sure you have good stuff inside your chances are low, no matter how good and tough you are.
People who were alone were a pretty easy target and old people without support of family or friends.
It was not always about killing someone or violence. For example, if you were alone and without resources but you had something else valuable like some kind of skill or knowledge you could easily be “recruited” for some faction or group, not by your will of course.

What were some ways to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of violence? How do you recommend that people prepare themselves for the possibility of violence?

It can be done in steps, or in layers.
Do not be interesting (or attract attention) when the SHTF.
This means a lot of things, for this article I can give a few examples with shortened explanations because it is a huge topic:

  • Do not look like a prepper (before or after SHTF). There is no sense in announcing that you are prepping for EMP, civil collapse, apocalypse, or whatever. With that you are risking the probability that when the SHTF, people will remember that you have interesting things in your home
  • Your home should look ordinary. For example, if you are living in the city on a street where all houses look similar, there is not  much sense in making your home look like a fortress. You’ll just attract attention.
  • Your defense should be based on more subtle means. Some examples are having means to reinforce doors and windows quickly when you need it, or to reinforce them from inside. Make changes in your yard to funnel possible attackers where you want them to be (trees, fence, bush…). You can make your home look abandoned or already looted.

Think about what survival is!
Survival is about staying alive, it is not about being comfortable at the expense of losing your life.
I have seen many times people lose their lives simply because they were too attached to their belongings (house, car, land, goods…) so they simply did not want to leave something and run in a particular moment.
Everything can be earned and bought again except life.
Forget about statements like “I will defend it with my life” or “over my dead body” or similar because the real SHTF is usually not heroic or noble. It is hard and brutal. When you are gone you are gone and there might be nobody to take care of your family just because you have been stubborn or trusted in movies when it came to violence.
To rephrase it: Be ready to leave your home in a split second if that means you and your family will survive, no matter how many good things you have stored there.
Be mentally ready for violence
In a way, it is impossible to be ready for violence, especially widespread violence when the SHTF, but you can minimize shock when that happens with some things.
If you are not familiar with what violence is, you can try to get yourself close” to it today (in normal times). It can be done, for example, by doing some voluntary work for example in a local hospital, ER or similar… or simply by working with homeless people.
Sounds maybe strange but activities like this can get you a bit of a feeling of what it is all about, not to mention that you can learn some practical and useful skills for SHTF.
Have means and skills  (physically) to defend – or to do violence
No matter how old or young you are, your gender or religion I assure you that you are capable of doing violence. It is only a matter of the situation and how far you are going to be pushed.
It is not just “some people are capable of violence.” Everybody is capable. Not everybody enjoys doing it or is willing to do it so easily.
In today (normal times) you can learn some violence skills and you should do it, again no matter if you are a woman or old or young.
You should own a weapon and know how to use it. You should practice with it, or have at least some basic knowledge about hand-to-hand combat.
The worst case scenario is to have a weapon that you try for the first time when SHTF.
Be familiar with your means for defense, let your family members know what they need to do in case of attack ofyour home, have plan, and go through it.
Only through practice will you minimize chances for mistakes.
Use common sense
I know lot of survivalists almost dream about how they are going to use weapons against bad guys when SHTF, and that they will be something like super heroes from movies, saving innocents and killing villains.
Truth is that in a real collapse, a lot of things are kind of blurred and you are not sure who the bad guys are. Good guys turn out to be lunatic gang members who want to bring food to their kids.
There are no super heroes when SHTF, and if some of them show up they end up dead quickly.
There is only you and your skills and mindset and what you prepared.
Use  violence as a last resort because of the simple fact that by using violence you are risking of getting killed or hurt. Remember when SHTF there is maybe no doctor or hospital to take care of your wound.
It is a time when even a small cut can eventually kill you through infection and lack of proper care.

I’m a single mom with a household full of girls. In an SHTF situation, what would our best strategies be to remain safe?

Just like I have mentioned before, strategy is always same for any part of survival, and shooting from the rifle is pretty similar no matter are you man or woman.
Being single mom with household full of girls on first look make you as a ideal target in some situations, but we are talking here in prepper terms so there is no reason not to be perfectly well prepared as a single mom with girls.
But yes I admit it is not perfect situation, even if you are prepared well, some things are sure, you need to connect with other people even more.
House with couple of girls will always look like easy prey for some people.
It is like that.

Were people in the city safer than people in the country? Can you tell us more about rural living during this time?

In my case definitely no.
In the essence it always come to the resources and people.
City meant more people less resources, country (rural) meant less people more resources, and because that level of violence simply was lower. That was most important reason.
There are few more reasons why it was much better in the country.
People in the country (rural settings) were much more “connected to ground”  they were more tough if you like, they grew their own food, had cattle, lived more simple life prior SHTF and when everything collapsed they had less problems getting use to it.
Yes they also did not have electricity and phones, running water or connection to other places but they adapted easier to the new life because they had more useful skills then people in the city.
Life was harder for them too than prior to the collapse, but they had means to get resources: land, woods, river…
Another thing is that people in small rural communities “in the country” were more connected to each other, people knew their neighborhood and some things were easier to organize, like community security watch, help in case of diseases and similar.

What types of weapons did people have for self-defense?

It was different political system prior the collapse where it was not so usual to own a weapon legally. And to own one illegally could mean a lot of troubles.
Right prior to SHTF, it became possible to buy different weapons on the black market but still, a majority of people did not own weapons.
When it all collapsed, it was possible to get a weapon through trade.
Because of the military doctrine here prior to the collapse, we used “East Bloc” weapons. A favorite was AK-47 in all different kind of editions, or older weapons like M-48 rifle, SKS rifle, 22 and similar.
People used what they had, so in one period you would be lucky if you had any kind of pistol and knife.
Later through the different channels weapon become more available so people had them more. A lot of that was actually junk that some warlords somehow “imported”.
Weapons 50-60 years old without proper ammunition, or not in operating condition. A lot of people simply did not have a clue how to use any kind of weapon so a lot of accidental deaths happened.
I remember people storming abandoned army barracks that was mostly looted, but they found in one building a lot of RPGs while other part of the same building was burning.
Two guys were trying to figure out a single-use RPG, and while they were messing with it clearly not knowing how that thing worked, they accidentally armed it and launched a rocket that flew through the crowd, not hurting anyone and exploding in wall 100 meters from where they stood.
They were smiling, clearly happy because they thought they figured out how that thing worked.

What weapons do you suggest to have for SHTF?

It is a never-ending discussion and a favorite prepper topic, and I must say that whole discussion is overrated.
I have used them in a real situation, and tried and tested lot of different kind of weapons and what works for me may simply not work for you.
For example, here for me good choice is AK-47 rifle, maybe for you wherever you are it is very bad choice.
Good advice is : you need to have a weapon that most people have around you because of multiple reasons: spare parts, repairing, ammunition availability, possibility that you can pick that rifle from other people and you know how to use it.
What caliber and similar is a matter of discussion again. I am talking from the point of owning a rifle.
Another thing is that you need to know how that weapon works. Luckily, most of my readers live in an area where gun laws are great comparing to region where I am.
You have much more choices when it comes to owning a weapon and practicing with it. Use that.
And do not forget that using weapon in a real life situation is not like shooting at beer bottles with your friends after a barbecue.
In real life you might be in a situation to use a weapon while you are tired, dirty, and hungry and while someone is screaming next to you.
It is going to be maybe when you are not ready to do that, maybe in pitch dark, maybe after you have been awake for 48 hours.
At least think about that.

When should you use violence?

Contrary to some popular beliefs in the prepper community, the point is to use violence only as a last solution.
The reason is as I mentioned already, the risk that you can be hurt or killed too, but also once you do violence you change your own rules, or push it more forward, and it is easy to get lost in violence.
There are consequences to that, and you are not going to be the same person ever again.
Violence is a tool, not a toy. You need to know how to use it as best as possible, but also to avoid using it when it is not necessary.
It is a good idea to set up a clear set of rules (mentally too) when you are gonna use violence and to try to stick to it.
For example you will use weapon if someone tries to break your home and attack you, and you need to be ready to do that without hesitation.

What else should we know about post-collapse violence?

Think with your head and research.
One thing that is absolutely important when it comes to understanding how violent it is going to be and what can you expect in your own case of SHTF, is to understand how much media can influence people in making their decisions about violence.
In my case, the media built up situation where people feared so much from other people that they actually hated them. They hated them so much that they actually strip them down from humanity.
In a real-life example, it works in a way that people killed other people, including kids and women, because they hated them so much because media told them.
It may look ridiculous and not possible to you, and you might again think “that can not happen here” but please trust your own resources, look for independent information, not mainstream media, in order to get the right information about what is really happening in the beginning of collapse.
Do not be pulled into “popular opinion” just because the “man from TV” (whoever he might be) told you so.
It is easier today. Because of the internet, you have much more choices for correct information than in my time. But still be careful, you might find yourself rioting together with 500 people just because you trusted some media.
*  *  *

More from Selco 

More information about Selco

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.
In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.
He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.
Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.
Read more of Selco’s articles here: https://shtfschool.com/blog/
And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here: https://shtfschool.com/survival-boot-camp/

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