Apr 24

Stand and Fight or Live to Fight Another Day?

Soldiers are given tactical tasks and directed to carry them out, often realizing that casualties will be a result of whatever that task might be.  KIA’s and WIA’s are unfortunate but the price of admission when describing warfare.  In order to seize or hold the objective the truth is that some live, some get wounded and some pay the ultimate price.  Mission FIRST, Soldiers always was motto I remember hearing years ago.  Although we were invaluable to the collective effort, individually we were replaceable (and expendable).  Just the nature of the beast.

If you’ve followed my blog for some time you’ll know that my post SHTF philosophy is this: The best gunfight is the one that you NEVER have to get into.  People get shot in a gunfight, people die in gunfights, people need serious medical attention after gunfights.  That said I often ponder how I’ll react to a situation where my family and I are in dire straights and we have to choose between fighting for our home or land (against overwhelming odds) and living to regroup and fight another day.

We could “what if” this to death with all sorts of scenarios so I’ll just come right out with it.  If my family is with me, there will be no glory in our deaths if we can relocate (read: retreat) and figure out a better plan to survive.  My name isn’t Davy Crockett and I don’t live in the Alamo…and it sure is easy to talk a big game before the S really has HTF and lives are at stake.  Seriously, isn’t the goal in a post SHTF world to make it to the next day, week or month?  The meek (and cunning) will inherit the earth so to speak.  He who charges into every situation with M4 raised and finger on the trigger will probably have a shorter life expectancy than a door gunner in Vietnam.

I should probably clarify a few things at this point.  I admit my plan is avoidance but if my family is in danger I plan on a reaction which includes a swift use of force in order to neutralize a threat.  I’m completely comfortable placing myself in harm’s way to protect my loved ones and it doesn’t have to be SHTF for that to be relevant.  Yet there is the side of me that knows every battle isn’t worth fighting and sometimes the numbers just aren’t don’t add up.  If my family and I are ever in a situation where we know that there are overwhelming forces headed our way, I most definitely believe the best course of action would be to evacuate ASAP and look for an alternate plan to survive.  What good would it do anyone to stand, fight and die?  They would still get our stuff, possibly lose a few men and I plus my family would have paid for….things?  It’s not worth it.  Thoughts?


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    • Echo5Charlie on April 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM
    • Reply

    Your absolutely right on here. Much better to avoid the fight if possible. My concern is that I don’t fight, the family is rounded up and there is not another time to regroup and take a stand. Having your finger on the pulse of the situation is critical.

    Another thing my 1st Sergeant used to teach us was when to stop fighting. He called it the will the kill and the thrill. Don’t get caught up in the excitement and keep fighting when it’s not needed anymore ie the threat has been eliminated but you don’t stop or it doesn’t make tactical sense to press the fight or it is morally or legally wrong to press the fight, if laws apply to the situation.

    He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.

      • PJ on April 25, 2014 at 10:02 PM
      • Reply

      Definitely agree that having a finger on the pulse, otherwise known as assessing the situation, is critical. Fight if need be but don’t put the family in unnecessary danger.

  1. I agree with you, PJ. We have strong emotional connections to our houses and our belongings. With those strong connections, it’s easy to not think logically, and to want to protect our houses and belongings, at all cost. Almost all of our belongings can be replaced. It’s only logical, when faced with overwhelming force, to retreat.

    I also agree with you, Echo5. You really have to understand what the situation is, because, for example, if you surrendered and were imprisoned and had horrible things done to you and your family, you no longer have the choice of fighting or not fighting, as you said.

    The problem is that we often have very limited and very inaccurate information when in chaotic situations. That’s the really scary part– trying to make decisions that can be life or death for you and your family, on really dodgy, incomplete info.

      • PJ on April 25, 2014 at 10:03 PM
      • Reply

      The best plans will go to S when the SHTF. Incomplete information and chaos will complicate things for sure. Sometimes there is no “right” decision, only the best decision.

    • J on April 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM
    • Reply

    One thing I like about this group is that we appears to have, as a whole, a goodly dose of common sense. 🙂

    I believe that stand and fight, in virtually all cases, is a last resort. Not only do I have to look out for myself, but others that depend on me. In a situation described above, it might not be me that gets hurt, it might be my wife or kid. Even if it was me, being injured would require time and resources to take care of me until I healed that might not be able to be spared.

    Avoidance, in this case, to me would be the most intelligent course of action.

      • PJ on April 25, 2014 at 10:07 PM
      • Reply

      Avoidance is key, but definitely not sexy. 🙂

        • Muleskinner on April 27, 2014 at 1:18 AM
        • Reply

        There is nothing sexy about holding someone you love while they die either. Even when you posses a superior force it may require retreating. It is far better to retreat then review your situation (if you can) before committing you and yours to a life threatening event. Far too often key board warriors forget that even if you win the fight you are bound to lose someone. As anyone who has lost close friends knows when the fight is over, that is when the heart ache and tears begin

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