I am a student of conflict and history and in my continual striving for further education, I once in a while find some great nuggets inside a whole bunch of chaff. The following was dug up by a friend and I felt it was worth sharing – Ian
During the Rhodesian Bush War and the beginnings of the Mugabe struggles, Rhodesian (err Zimbabwe) farmers fought to protect themselves and their way of life. Something to be said for learning from their efforts.
1) Most farmers fitted hand-grenade grills to the outside of all windows and Doors leading outside were likewise security grilled.
2) Many farmers built thick sand bag walls in front and under bedroom windows to stop bullets passing through walls and providing secured firing arc’s. Beds were never placed against the outside walls of a farmhouse.
3) It was usual to have a designated safe room within the farmhouse that could be defended until support arrived. Sometimes this was a central corridor that allowed the farmer to move into other rooms to attack those outside through the windows. In the loft or ceiling over the safe room, some farmers laid sand bags to deal with possible mortar attack.
4) Every farmhouse in a given area was linked by a radio system called “Agric Alert”. This allowed radio contact with other farmers who formed their own defense units, usually under the umbrella of PATU (Police Anti-Terrorist Unit), which would react to a call from one of their neighbours for assistance. Another means of alarm raising was the use of a signal rocket – The Agric-Alert system was not done away with after the war, such was the lack of trust in Mugabe`s promises. It performed admirably as well when dealing with criminal activity such as stock theft. The alert system arranged for all farmers to check in with each other at a given time in the morning and evening as a means of monitoring their status. South Africa also had such a system Called MARNET.
5) Around all farmhouse gardens were erected security fences with barbed wire (or razor wire) and which often had simple alarm systems built into them.
There were usually 2 fences were placed about 50 m apart with a ditch dig close to the inner one – the inner fence was usually very high 10 feet with barb wire and close to the main house, about 4 meters away, the outer fence was lower and alarmed with simple soda cans with stones inside that would rattle and wake the dogs if there were disturbed.
the reason for the 2 fences and ditch was much like todays BAR Armour on Hummers that you guys use .. the inner fence would catch grenades and they would then roll into the ditch and explode there causing little damage. and an RPG fired at the house would also be caught by the fence and do little damage to the mail house
Within the inner fence boundary, every farmer usually had a couple of large dogs. The dogs were fed their largest meal in the morning instead of the evening, in order to help keep them awake at night. Other farmers had geese or ducks, which made excellent guard “dogs.” Gardens were kept deliberately trim so as to keep clear fields of view and fire etc. The farm houses also had outside flood lighting erected in such a way as to blind those outside the fence, but not to interfere with the vision of those within the farmhouse.
the flood lighting often included hardened lighting, usually behind sand bags , reflectors were used to provide light from lights shining vertically upwards because lights are the first targets and if the reflectors were shot they still worked … albeit with a few holes
6) All farmers and their wives were armed with an assortment of weapons, and most farmers were trained military men. They had at least one assault rifle, usually an FAL 7.62, assorted shot guns, .303 hunting rifles and so forth. It was also not unusual for wives to carry Uzi`s around with them, or other equivalents such as the Rhodesian Cobra. All members of the family were trained on the various weaponry available to them, including the kids. In one famous incident a child successfully fought off the attacking terrorists after both of his parents were wounded. The main defensive weapons were at all times within immediate reach of the adult farmhouse occupants, and were placed next to the bed at night.
7) Some farmers used mine protected vehicles, as a favourite of terrorists was to landmine the driveway outside the fence. A great deal of time was spent looking at the dirt roads for freshly dug earth points and so forth when driving around the farm.
8) Some farm gardens and particular points external to the fence were wired with home-made claymore like devices strategically placed in areas where attackers were likely to take cover. In a few instances farmers deliberately erected “cover positions” for the terrorists to use outside the fence, which were then blown up upon attack. A particular favourite was a section of plastic piping filled with nails, nuts, bolts, screws and so forth. I witnessed tests with these and the tubes cleared large areas of their intended aiming point of all bush cover and leaves from trees etc for about 30 meters into the bush. By placing a number of figure 8`s in front of these tests, it was apparent from the strike patterns that not one of them would have walked again had they been terrorists.
9)Out buildings were often fitted which screens of thin steel or wood the provide false cover to intruders who would have to stand behind the sheets to fire around the corners of buildings but could easily be picked off if they did, by firing through there cover.”
Also highly recommended for further/followup reading on the subject:
The Farmer at War (in pdf file format at archive.org) http://ia600409.us.archive.org/7/ite…rAtWar/FAW.pdf