Zombie Survival Guide: Preparing Defensive Fighting Positions (Part 1)

So you’ve got a regular zombie infiltration taking place at your stronghold eh?  Time to set up some static defenses, commonly referred to as “defensive fighting positions” or even “foxholes” for the old school folks.  Before you go digging holes all willy-nilly across your property, why not take a moment and ask yourself an important question.  “How do I know if these are the right defensive positions?”

Here are a few wild and crazy suggestions for your defensive planning, straight from the Army field manual.  Consider:

Protection.  Are you going to be able to properly reinforce this position?  Is there enough room for top cover, sandbags, rocks, etc?  If you can’t improve the position because of space constraints, it’s probably not a very good position.

Dispersion.  Also known as “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”  This is the idea that your defensive positions should occupy as many buildings and as much space as you can reasonably manage given your personnel constraints so that your defense force can’t be outflanked, bypassed, or easily isolated.  Think “how can I extend my defensive line.”

Concealment.  Having properly concealed positions, if nothing else, makes enemy recon of your stronghold much, much more difficult.  In the best case scenario, it can even shift some of the element of surprise to the defender, which is rare because the initiative usually belongs to the assault force.  Also, concealing positions properly has a way of keeping shooters alive longer, which is always a positive factor if you are a shooter.  :-)

Fields of fire.  I’m not going to go crazy by way of explanation on fields of fire because I’ve already covered it in this article on the principles of defense.  Let’s just say that your positions should be able to reinforce one another by fire without allowing gaps in coverage through which enemy assault forces can move.  A perfect defensive position would have enough clear real estate in front to engage at the maximum effective range of the weapons  in the DFP, but in a pinch a bare minimum of clear space would be beneficial.

Covered routes.  Having a properly concealed and protected DFP is great, but what happens when that position needs critical resupply of ammunition?  Now you have to expose a runner to enemy observation and fire, unless you have covered routes.  Covered routes are nice cover and concealment that allow friendlies to approach DFPs without being observed and threatened by enemy fire.  Think trenches.  Doesn’t have to be a trench, of course, but it should serve the same purpose.  Cover.  Concealment.  Quick ingress and egress.  You get the idea.

Observation.  I used to think that nobody in their right mind would ever place a defensive fighting position in such a way as to be useless for observing enemy approach and movement, and then I began training Security Forces and learned very quickly that novice defensive planners will frequently do exactly that.  Right behind a huge tree that blocks your vision is not a great place for a DFP.  I wouldn’t say it if it hadn’t happened.

OK.  That’s enough for now.  In part 2 I’ll talk about the bare minimum of personnel and positions needed to defend a building.  Should be fun.

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About Juan Verde

Juan Verde is former military, although the nature and thrust of his missions are highly classified. Suffice it to say if the world ends tomorrow, Verde will be the one low crawling through your front yard to steal your pork and beans from the garage shelf where you keep canned goods. Selah.

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