Three Practical, Highly-Effective Defensive Maneuvers

chess board
Your Move!

Let us hope that none of us ever comes under armed attack. However, given our knowledge of human history and the images we regularly see televised from other parts of the world, it is prudent to contemplate the use of force of arms to defend oneself, one’s family and one’s community.

In studying this topic while authoring “When There is No FEMA” I became aware that many tactics seemed suspiciously academic and perhaps only workable by those with a combination of great physical fitness and a military background. There were three tactics, however, that stood out as either being proven in the real world or available to those of us who have never gotten closer to “Rambo” than the movie theater. Those tactics are ‘Ambush’, ‘The Reverse Slope Defense’ and ‘The Fatal Funnel’

Virtually everyone is familiar with the ambush tactic, in which the defender waits in a carefully selected, concealed location for the enemy to present themselves. One thing I will add to this strategy, however, is how it can be made much more effective by positioning multiple defenders so as to be able the catch the enemy in a crossfire, where it becomes very difficult for them to take cover.

The reverse slope defense was employed by the Duke of Wellington repeatedly, and with very good results, when fighting Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. This tactic is very simple and involves fleeing the enemy over a relatively gentle slope and, on the reverse side when not visible to the pursuing adversary, laying on the ground ready to fire when they appear silhouetted at the crest of the hill. The advantages to this tactic include the fact that the defender has some time to catch their breath and prepare to fire, the fact that they present a smaller target to the enemy from their prone position and the advantage of surprise. (NOTE: This tactic is much less effective in cases where the enemy has air power.)

The fatal funnel involves employing terrain features and other techniques to control and anticipate the enemy’s ‘avenue of approach’, and then to have a favorable location along that route pre-selected and prepared as the battlefield. The fatal funnel defense can also be employed in home defense by steering an attacker to a location in the home that has been hardened and prepared to defend.

Our book, When There is No FEMA – Survival for Normal People in (Very) Abnormal Times, in addition to providing details on all aspects of disaster preparedness, provides in-depth coverage of the use of firearms and other weapons for home and community defense. It can be previewed and ordered from our web site at