Two Letters Re: How to Defend a Retreat Against Wheeled Vehicle Threats

Mr. Rawles,
Thank you for all you do in educating those of use who have been slow to see.
After I read B.W.’s How to Defend a Retreat Against Wheeled Vehicle Threats I had to tell about an idea I have been playing with.
Taking the anthill and flower trough concepts and combining them. To build this in imagination we will go in reverse order to what you would do in real life. First build the ant hill. They should surround your building spaced less than a cars width apart. Build another ring outside of that but put the anthills in the gaps of the first ring, much like a circular checkered board. Now on at least every third anthill in the ring cut away 1/3 to ½ of the mound closest to the building. Continue to dig until at least 2 feet below grade. Line the hole and the cut away side of the hill with landscaping stone or timber. If you place a planter in the hole you now have a decorative flower / herb / vegetable garden viewable from the house. Once bad things happen, take the pots out of the hole and you have a ring of fighting positions. The advantage this has over the flower pot / trough on top of the ground is there is nothing for an attacking force to hide behind without exposing themselves to direct fire and the only way you will move it is with a dozer. These can be improved with grenade sumps, drainage, com wires or whatever you could imagine. The disadvantages would be exposure to fire from the flanks and while moving to the position, and mowing them would be a bear. Of course to actually build these you would start by digging the hole, building the mound then lining the hole. – D.M.

Dear Mr. Rawles,
After reading the entry this morning about using fishing line as an anti-personnel method (and specifically a reference to decapitating snowmobile riders) I looked around the Internet for this topic.  I found no credible evidence that this ever occurred.

There is an undocumented reference in the Wikipedia link mentioning decapitation with snowmobiles but without a reference. 

There is a lively discussion on the Mythbusters site.

The closest I came was a reference to sentencing for decapitation of a man hit by a snowmobile while the driver was going in excess of 100 mph and his friend was climbing from a partially frozen lake.  However that citation, as you can see is from a web site that also features “male enhancement” and so the credibility of that suffers as well.

So from my research so far I would say this part of the post is “Busted.”  Nevertheless, it still raises the potential utility of using heavy-gauge fishing line as part of a tangle foot defense, especially if done in concert with cans filled with stones as a non-powered sonic alarm (as you described in your first novel).

JWR Replies: You are correct: It isn’t decapitation.  It is usually chest, neck and head trauma, to varying degree. And it isn’t “monofilament fishing line”–it is usually horizontal wire that is the source of injuries to snowmobilers. Wire or cable typically has a much higher breaking strength than monofilament.

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