Sunday, April 06, 2014

Book Review: Barbed Wire, Barricades, and Bunkers

(I'm trying something new here in an effort to have some more to write about.  Since I've tired of ranting about our government, keeping track of what page of Atlas Shrugged we're living on and so on, there has been a general dearth of things to post about.  Sure, there's guns, but given the price and availability of ammo plus my lack of spare time, I haven't been doing much in that area.  So I'm going to try and bring you some reviews of books, magazine and maybe products.  Let me know what you think.)

Barbed Wire, Barricades, and Bunkers, by F.J. Bohan, published by Paladin Press  119 pages

At first, I was a bit put off that I had actually spent money on this book.  Most of the contents are things that one could Google up for oneself.  However, as I read along, it struck me:  "Sure, you could Google for this stuff--if you knew what to Google for."

That's where Bohan earns his keep.  There are literally dozens if not hundreds of ways to fortify a building or a given location.  He narrows it down to 8 items.  They are:

  • Barbed wire
  • Bollards
  • Gabions
  • Revetments
  • Fascine
  • Deliberate Defensive Fighting Positions
  • Trenches and Tunnels
  • Bunkers
That's it.  No tank traps, road blocks (well, not a lot) or booby traps (to speak of).  He has narrowed it down to the basics that he believes will be useful to someone who is facing a Mad Max survival scenario.

For each topic, he explores in some depth.  For example, barbed wire gets an in-depth treatment, covering various types of protective wire in addition to traditional barbed wire and how to employ each type properly.  Bollards also come in for a similarly deep treatment, while trenches and tunnels get a lighter treatment, in part because he refers back to previous sections such as revetments, using that knowledge as a building block.  Fascine gets a single page treatment; almost making me wonder why it was included at all.

I felt that Deliberate Defensive Fighting Positions could have been much better done, and could probably be a book-length subject of its own.  However, he does cover the basics of constructing the basic types, even if he is a bit short on siting, how to tie them together and the more in-depth areas of the subject.

At the end of the book, I felt that, given the $10.50 Amazon price tag, I had gotten my money's worth after all.  Face it, if Mad Max does start riding around, you won't have the Intertubz to Google about on, and any knowledge you have will be in your head or on your book shelf.  Better to have this little book on the shelf than not.