Letter Re: Thinking Like an Infantrymen or Thinking Like a Frontiersmen

I read a post about this a while back and it sort of stuck in my head. It did make a lot of sense. What exactly does it mean to plan like a frontiersmen mean versus plan like an infantrymen? The biggest areas that stuck out were resupply, weapons, numbers, static defense, and caches. Infantrymen can almost universally depend on getting resupplied within 12-to-48 hours if they run low on ammo or anything else. Survivalists or frontiersmen do not have this luxury. Which means two things, first stock up on as much ammo as you can afford and use it sparingly. Modern infantry tactics are heavy on suppression. Generally speaking suppress and flank sums up our current strategy and it is a very effective one. However you will need to be much more sparing when it comes to ammo. The support element will need to fire at a slow rate, possibly one person firing per second down the line (aimed shots of course) being managed by the support element leader.

For weapons soldiers have very little if any say in what they carry, you have much more but also a budget. If things are tight think in terms of dual use weapons. Any frontiersmen or soldier who has the option will carry a handgun as a backup to their rifle. Have these guns with you all the time after TSHTF! “A .22 snubby on your body is much more useful then a .45 in the car” comes to mind. If a chore means that you can’t have a long gun on you then it becomes a two person chore with a friend with a long gun [to provide security.] This is a good “rest” position to give short breaks from physical labor, alternating to avoid excessive fatigue.

This brings us logically to the next area which is numbers. There is a reason that men often partnered up on the frontier and it was not so the tough main character could have a funny sidekick! There is strength in numbers. Families doubling up and traveling in groups was necessary then and could possibly also be in the future. Comparing soldiers to frontiersmen, the number of people on your side is likely to be much smaller then in a military element. A squad is 8-to-12 depending [on TO&E] and they do not operate alone for long periods. A platoon is 40 plus and it is generally the smallest element to operate independently for prolonged periods. A group of survivalists which can field a full squad without getting help from friends and neighbors is probably on the large side.

The biggest single difference between the planning frontiersmen made (and you need to make) and that of infantrymen is a static defense. The military no longer fights this way because it eliminates your movement and lets the enemy bring overwhelming force to bear on you. Also they have the luxury (in a broad sense) of a more flexible supply train which will continue to supply them if they drop back a few kilometers. You do not have this since your supply train is in the pantry, barn and garden of your homestead. Falling back from the house leaves you with [only] what you can carry in a rucksack. You can and should use maneuver to your advantage against the enemy, but the ability to do so without losing the battle (you wanting to keep your stuff and them wanting to take it) is minimal. This brings me to the next area which is caches.

Keeping a significant amount of your supplies off-site in a hidden [cache] location is important. This way if your homestead/retreat gets overwhelmed by a large organized group then you will not be living out your rucksacks. – RS