I first read Chuck Taylor’s writings in “Soldier of Fortune” and “SWAT” magazines as a teenager. I Purchased his book, The “Fighting Rifle” while still in High School. His opinion of what a real “Fighting Rifle” consisted of formed many of the opinions I still have to this day, simply because they have proven to be true in my own experiences.
I first considered the FAL as a “Go To” rifle because of his opinion of that very gun. That opinion has also proven to be, “Spot On”. Although I moved away from it for a time, I am back to using that rifle in it’s present 11″ and 16″ configurations, and they sit on my “Ready Rack” as my “Go to War” rifles. Here’s two of my favorite quotes from him,
“If you are the greatest or the fastest guy in the world, what difference does it make if you shoot the wrong guy?”
“You can’t miss fast enough to matter.”
I watched him go from adamantly opposed to optics on a combat rifle, due to their fragility, to endorsing them in the many, durable configurations available today. In a world of the many “Fly by Night” firearms/tactical trainers out there, Chuck was one who had, “Been there, done that.”, and I heeded his words. To this day, I still use some of his rifle drills in my own practice. Below is an except from the Foreward of his book “The Fighting Rifle”. It tells you many things you need to know about the Man who was Chuck Taylor.
“Whether on the range or at the typewriter, Chuck is no armchair commando, glorifying war to satisfy the Walter Mitty instincts of those who have always gone to sleep at night in a warm bed and with a full stomach. Chuck knows there is nothing glorious about war for he has been there. He has smelled the mixed smells of death and gunsmoke, and felt the slam of enemy bullets into his body as he himself went down firing. He knows what it’s like to sit down to a hurried lunch in a jungle clearing and wonder if he will still be alive to eat supper that night. He knows what the professional soldier’s two main objectives are – to defeat the enemy and stay alive to go home himself. For without life, how hollow is the name of victory.
Chuck Taylor’s training is based on actual firsthand knowledge of what happens in combat (18 months in Vietnam won him the Bronze Star with ‘V’ device, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, among other decorations) not on the theories advanced by ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ whose advice is well intended, but based on ‘book learning’ gained while relaxing at the Officer’s Club rather than upon service in the field.”
David McFarland, February 1983
Here is a link with a eulogy from a personal friend of Chuck’s, giving his impressions of a man who will be sorely missed.
A friend asked me to do this review and give my impressions of the book’s fictional scenario and whether I thought the playing out of the events was realistic. I’ve never really done a book review before, so be kind, and I say that with all the sarcasm I can muster LOL. Flame on, this is just my semi educated opinion.
Hillary Rot-Damn Clinton wins the 2020 election and immediately starts to do what every one of us figured she would. This book begins in 2022 with the adventures of an Army Special Forces Captain named Kelly Turnbull. In 2022 he is running ops in Iraq, but then, mysteriously gets pulled from Army Command by a guy named “Clay” who works for what he calls an “Other Government Agency”.
U.S. Forces are being withdrawn from Iraq and Europe by Clinton and “Clay” wants Turnbull to help him finish up an operation in Iraq, then follow on by workin’ for him in the Continental US (Conus). “Clay” makes it clear that operations in Conus will be oriented towards protecting the U.S. Constitution and the Red’s (U.S.A.).
Fast forward to 2027. Elizabeth “I’m an Indian for College” Warren is President. The Nation is split into two countries. Blue (People’s Republic) and Red (USA). The primary story in this book takes place in Southern Indiana. The Northern Blue States are full of all the Commie laden crap you’d figure they would be. From the climate change requirements, to the PC BS, to the racial and “gender devoids” revenge being doled out by your typical “Disgruntled but now Empowered” minorities who now work in the government power structure.
Turnbull is given a mission to do what Special Forces does best, Unconventional Warfare. His job is to buy time and organize the locals to prove the Southern Indiana Area of Operation (AO) is not worth what it would cost the “Blues” to keep it. Thus begins the adventure in Jasper, Indiana where a Special Forces Officer has to organize, mentor and initially lead the seed of a resistance that grows into a force to be reckoned with.
I thought the book was well written and a story that not only is a realistic depiction of what unconventional warfare consists of and requires, from an organizational standpoint, but also gives people, who believe this will happen one day, a very basic understanding of the requirements necessary to make a resistance work.
I am a “Technical Details Nazi” when it comes to firearms and military facts in movies and books. To Kurt’s credit, there were only two minor thing I read that were wrong concerning firearms. I’m not sayin’ what they are, you can find them for yourself when you read it.
If you want a good read with a good, realistic story line, get a copy of this book. Hell, it’s only $4.99 on Kindle. There is a lot of “Apocalypse Porn” out there that is poorly organized, poorly researched and poorly written. This is not one of those books.
It is hard for me to put myself “In the event” of a book if the above requirements are not met. A good test for a book is when I am into the story enough to not only place myself there, but to come up with alternative courses of action (COA) to what takes place, and “war game” how it might have turned out differently in the book (and in the future) if only……………
By now we all know about the Hawaii false “Inbound Missile” alert that took place a week ago. I keep hearing the BS from the talking heads about “One guy pushed the wrong button.”, and “It was a complete accident.”, and none of us, that know better, believe anything they are saying. Brushbeater spoke about it briefly in this post. Here’s the thing to ponder, what if it was real? I’m not getting wrapped up in the political, misdirection BS being espoused, but what would you do if it was real? Where would you go?
Do you have the slightest clue how you would react, and is your situational awareness and training enough that you would immediately know where relative safety is (it honestly depends how close you are to the blast). Keep in mind that this post is about protecting yourself from the initial blast, not the fallout. Fallout/Radiation protective measures have been talked about here.
Here are three “area dependent” scenarios you might want to consider planning for.
You are at home.
You are driving through or at work in town.
You are driving on the Interstate or in a remote area.
Before we discuss where you are, let’s discuss where the primary targets in your area might be. Two primary targets for a nuke would be a military base, or a large city. Once you’ve figured out where the target for the nuke might be in your area, you can then make an assessment of where you might want to position yourself in the area you have selected as an improvised blast shelter. This assessment would dictate that if you are in a building, you’d want to be on the side furthest from the blast, preferably in a basement. It also dictates that if you are in something like an end to end open drainage, the drainage needs to be perpendicular, rather than parallel to the most likely direction of the blast’s path.
1. You are at home. OK, do you have a basement, if so, are all sides covered by dirt (less chance of blast damage)? Protection in this situation is somewhat simple. Get in your basement, go to the side furthest from the likely target, and if possible, get under something like a table to help protect from falling debris. Another thought would be to grab that spare mattress that everyone seams to have in their storage area and place it on the side of the table closest to the direction the blast would be coming from. In the below video, Cresson Kearny discusses a basement shelter.
If you don’t have a basement, do you have a crawl space? If so, apply the directions for the basement, in the smaller area of the crawl space. If you have neither of these, apply whatever is more applicable from what is mentioned in either #2 or #3 below.
2. You are driving through or working in town. Once again, where is the likelysource of the blast wave coming from. Find a solid (concrete or brick) building and try to get into the basement as quickly as possible. Parking garages are another type of building in a city that would be good cover, and if it has a basement level, all the better.
Manholes are one of the better sources of protection, but usually, the biggest hurdle to them is gaining access (getting the manhole cover up). I first learned of a nifty improvised method from Bruce Clayton’s book, Life After Doomsday. In it he describes a “Key” to get a manhole cover open in an emergency. As he mentions, crowbars work too, but how many people carry crowbars in their car these days?
Manhole “Key” improvised from three items found in the tool box in my vehicle. An allen wrench, a piece of wire coat hanger, and two screws.
I used screws because if the loop is tight, they won’t fall out when tilted sideways to put in the manhole access hole.
Once they are all the way in, the screws act as a toggle by tilting sideways to lift the cover.
Two screws are still small enough to fit in the access hole, but strong enough to lift the cover.
Another source of some immediate blast protection is small drainage ditches. The drain itself doesn’t have to be big enough to get into, because you can drive over the ditch up where the drain comes out of the ground, and get underneath your vehicle.
In this situation, I’d drive my vehicle off of the street which is perpendicular to the main road (yes, I’d drive over the black and yellow “Caution” sign), and I’d straddle my vehicle’s tires over the ditch until only my rear bumper was over the blacktop. Then just get under your vehicle. You are protected from falling debris from above by your vehicle, and most of the blast effects (except for overpressure) from the sides are covered by the bank of the ditch.
3. You are on the Interstate/ in a remote area. Let’s say you were driving down the highway in Hawaii last Saturday at 8:05AM when you got that alert, and there are no buildings anywhere close, what do you do? My first reaction would be find a drainage ditch. As mentioned earlier, don’t get into a drainage ditch that appears to be parallel to what you think would be the path of the blast wave. If you do, you could be shot out of the end of that ditch like a bullet from the blast force that could be concentrated in that pipe. It is still better than being in the open, but I believe it’s more dangerous than the earlier mentioned “Car over drainage ditch” method.
If I was to use this pipe, I’d drive my vehicle over the grassy portion above the pipe (in the pic) down over the entrance to the pipe. Access to the entrance could be gained from the left side in the pic.
Although an overpass would do if you have nothing else, it would be my last choice of the things that have been mentioned. There isn’t a whole lot of cover under an over pass from something like a blast wave, and my concern would be of a possible collapse. It is still better than being in the open though, especially since you have the added protection of the vehicle you are in.
Getting behind the concrete wall at the base of the pillars on the left side is probably your best bet. Better yet would be if you could drive your vehicle up under either side off the roadway (less open area, less blast wave).
Stuff like this is why I’m not a fan of the “Overpass technique”.
If you are situationally aware, you know that most areas of roadway in the US have a number of drainage ditches, pipes, overpasses, and manhole covers (i.e…….cover) that could be used in a situation like what those in Hawaii faced last Saturday morning. The mantra “Stay Alert, Stay Alive” isn’t just a hokey military axiom, it is something that should be applied by everyone who calls themselves a Survivalist EVERYDAY!
How many areas in this pic do you think would make good, improvise blast protective shelters? Your vehicle can do nothing but aid in the blast protection if done right.
Although one of my MOS’s in the Mil was in NBC (nuclear, bio, chemical), you do not have to have that background to be able to use common sense to figure out a solution to your protection from things like a nuke blast. There is a lot of good info out there for free, so take advantage of it. Start with Cresson Kearny’s book “Nuclear War Survival Skills“, then read Clayton’s “Life After Doomsday“.