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Discussion Starter #1
My thought is that normal windows provide a limited arc of observation and fire, while bay windows provide a much larger arc. If you built a fighting position to the inside of the window (so that the window and position form a hexagon) you could have more shooters at a single point, and could provide a sump to catch and contain explosive and incendiary devices.

I understand that the rest of the house would have to be suitably hardened to make such an effort worthwhile, but that's a separate challenge in itself. Assuming I'm able to build such a suitable house, would defensive bay windows make sense?
 

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Absolutely,

Look at a diagram of castle, or 19th century star fort. There is a reason the towers project past the walls, so that you can see and fire back along them.

Now, the problem you are likely to have is that normal bay windows are not larger enough for multiple defenders and just one guy in one ends up very vulnerable to flanking fire. You would need to fully sandbag, armor, etc the 'bay' so that there where only narrow firing slits or else you are essentially just in a pod projecting out in the open, vulnerable to fire from 180º

So it would be less bay windows, and more turrets, but you have the right idea.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's some extremely basic representations of what I'm talking about. The one-man position is exposed and vulnerable, like you said. I'm thinking more of the three-man position. These positions would obviously be erected AFTER the fecal matter impacts the rotary air circulator.
 

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IF YOU cannot armor the windows to prevent rifle rounds from penetrating you are just making yourself a bigger target since you are now stuck out away from the wall of the house.

This is not the times of castles where in order to get to the person in the turret the archer had to be able to slide that arrow into that slit from a distance.
Now if your shooting hole is big enough for a rifle barrel to protrude and your scope to have a sight picture... someone 200yds away can send a bullet back into that window if their rifle will hold an inch at 100yds and they know how to shoot.

High/tall turrets.. might work if everything will stop rifle fire from chewing through.
ground level turrets.. might impress some folks..but basically a bad idea.
 

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High/tall turrets.. might work if everything will stop rifle fire from chewing through.
ground level turrets.. might impress some folks..but basically a bad idea.
Such silliness didn't impress the Germans in 1940.
 

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Such silliness didn't impress the Germans in 1940.
IF YOU are building a concrete pill box, fine.
But a couple of 2x4s and a few sandbags are not gonna cut it. Unless you control the field of fire for hundreds of yards around.. you are susceptible to incoming.

BTW, How did all that work out for the Germans?
and
How many losses can you sustain to keep the battle going?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I said that the exterior of the house would be hardened against gunfire. Otherwise I know this wouldn't work. I'm considering earthbag or gabion wall construction, which can certainly be made bulletproof. The idea is that post-shtf a fighting position can be built inside the bay window that gives defenders a great field of view and fire than a regular window. I'm aware that leaves them more vulnerable to attacking fire, but that's the point of the internal fighting position.
 

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IF YOU are building a concrete pill box, fine.
But a couple of 2x4s and a few sandbags are not gonna cut it. Unless you control the field of fire for hundreds of yards around.. you are susceptible to incoming.
Ever hear of or read about the Maginot Line? That will tell you all you need to know about fixed fortifications.

BTW, How did all that work out for the Germans?
and
How many losses can you sustain to keep the battle going?
Intentionally conflating a different discussion with that which the OP is proposing.
 
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I said that the exterior of the house would be hardened against gunfire. Otherwise I know this wouldn't work. I'm considering earthbag or gabion wall construction, which can certainly be made bulletproof. The idea is that post-shtf a fighting position can be built inside the bay window that gives defenders a great field of view and fire than a regular window. I'm aware that leaves them more vulnerable to attacking fire, but that's the point of the internal fighting position.
That might work out fine against a few meth heads. However, against a determined and organized force you may not fair so well. Especially if they have the freedom of maneuver.
 

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Ever hear of or read about the Maginot Line? That will tell you all you need to know about fixed fortifications.
I worked great for the defenders inside it.

The problem was the germans just went around it.

Everyone always seems to learn the wrong lesson of the Maginot line. The lesson is not that defense positions fail, the lesson is that when attacking an area, don't attack the defense positions!

If the point of the line was to defend the people inside the bunkers then it was a fantastic success. It was so strong and well made that the attackers mostly didn't even attack it!

From a prepping point of view, this is a fantastic success. You want your place to display itself as a hard point so that the meth heads go around it. The Navy seals with an A-10 backup won't care either way.

That might work out fine against a few meth heads. However, against a determined and organized force you may not fair so well. Especially if they have the freedom of maneuver.
Knock off that bunk right there. Someone always says this in an bug in discussion and its moronic. Nobody holds up well against a determined organized force unless they are themselves a determined organized force. Nothing is going to allow a suburban family to take on a platoon of special forces. Nor is a regular household going to come under that kind of determined attack either.

If you are being attacked by a determined organized force you are screwed unless you are also a determined organized force. As has been, always will be the case.

Now, with that nonsense out of the way, back to the subject.

Structured defenses are about force multiplication. Making it so that your three (or whatever) people that live in your house can fight off a greater number of attackers, or an equal number of better equipped or trained attackers.

From the attackers point of view the name of the game is concentration of forces...that is, concentrating their superior forces against one part of your defenses and overwhelming your force multipliers in that spot.

The problem with your three person bay window defense is manpower and coverage. Unless you have a bay window on all sides of your place and enough people to fully man each bay, your likely to end up with the attackers going around that side of your building and breaking in somewhere else.

You've concentrated your forces but for defenders thats usually a trap. If you only have three defenders, the last thing you want to do is stick them all in the same place.

You want to place each of them in defilade, a protection position that limits the angles they can take fire from while maximizing the angles they can send fire out.

Especially if they have the freedom of maneuver.
And this is a valid point which is why your home defense system, and yes, it has to be a system, not just one hard point, needs to include area denial measures to control enemy movement.

Remember, your not stopping them with a hard barrier, those are virtually impossible to make, you control movement. ie, barbed wire which an enemy can certainly get through if allowed to work on it, but which will slow or stop rapid movement during combat, allowing your defenders in in defilade to, attack your enemy at places of your choosing.

Just as an example floor plan/landscaping system, this would be a much better three man defense than a bay window with three people in it.

Area denial can be anything from low shrubbery to concertina wire. Anything that limits movement of attackers while not providing them cover.

Many ways to do this, this diagram is just intended as an idea of how to think about defensive structures for something that could look like a normal house.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, exactly what Aerindel is saying. The bay window is a (proposed) part of an overall system. Area denial plans will definitely depend on the terrain the house gets built on. The road leading in will definitely be blocked. I'm not going to just throw some sandbags in a closet and call the defense plan good because the most likely approaches are covered by bay windows.

The plan if we're getting attacked by is to escape.
 

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Everyone always seems to learn the wrong lesson of the Maginot line....

Knock off that bunk right there. Someone always says this in an bug in discussion and its moronic. Nobody holds up well against a determined organized force unless they are themselves a determined organized force....
What a great post. Same garbage as "you shouldn't grow a garden unless you can protect it from 1000yd snipers." It's for basement dwellers.

Here's a similar post I made years ago.

Can we please stop pretending like there's ONE best answer for everything? Like there's ONE best plan and all the others are stupid?

Like the bug-in/bug-out argument. Nobody knows what SHTF or TEOTWAWKI will look like, and some situations will making bugging in better than bugging out, and vice versa. It's absolutely stupid to say that either one of those is ALWAYS absolutely stupid.

Or the urban/rural argument. Every single individual in a city is not going to die just b/c some random SHTF happens. Every single individual in the country will not survive just b/c they're in the country. The key is understanding the pros and cons of each, and adjusting your plan to fit the real world.

Or knives. Big knives are good for some things; little knives are good for some things. There's not one "best" knife that everyone should own.

Or the gun debate. One reason we have so many options is because each does something well that the others do not...by definition, there's no "best" caliber or firearm. (There may we be a "worst" one, though... :D: )

The important lesson from all of this is to be flexible. Learn what you can about each situation so you can adjust your plan as situations progress. A bunker would be great during a tornado or even a nuclear attack...and then maybe not so great if civil unrest follows. So instead of saying bunkers are useless because someone can pour gas down the vents, just use it to survive the first couple weeks and then adjust the plan. Or realize that some folks can take steps that you may not be aware of to make their plan more survivable.

It's really disheartening to read folks within the community bashing each others' good ideas when the bashing is based on their own lack of effort in examining all the possibilities.

So please - let's recognize that no one has an absolute answer to what SHTF would look like, and that there isn't one BEST prep that will address them all, and start treating each other with respect and helpfulness rather than bashing each other based on made-up internet scenarios.

JMHO.
 

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Don’t have windows on the ground floor, and narrow all avenues of approach. Reduce window size on second floor and fit steel mesh and adhesive glass shield. Corner wall doors so attackers can’t swing battering gear or stomp on doors.
Heavy duty security doors with cross bolts in heavy steel frame bolted into concrete structure.
I also made a steel reenforced concrete block which is on a pallet jack which can be rolled in behind the door and slotted in place. If they break the doors they have to break through the concrete block which has an inch thick abrasion resistant steel face.

There are a few other things in place to make it hell for attackers as they try to break in.

Most houses today are a security joke with 360 degree points of compromise. Whilst you are defending the front, hordes could be pouring in the side and back of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
1) I enjoy married life, and married life requires ground floor windows.

2) I hate stairs, so we will probably never have a second story.

3) A giant steel reinforced concrete block that reinforces a door is awesome, but is incompatible with married life. Which I enjoy.

4) If we're attacked by hordes, we're screwed regardless. If we're attacked by a well trained force, we're screwed regardless. The goal is to defend against a smaller, less coordinated group of attackers.

Everything you've said is excellent for a purpose built fortification, and we truly wouldn't mind having one of those as an option. But it's just not feasible for a house that's going to be lived in by a family.
 

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1) I enjoy married life, and married life requires ground floor windows.

2) I hate stairs, so we will probably never have a second story.

3) A giant steel reinforced concrete block that reinforces a door is awesome, but is incompatible with married life. Which I enjoy.

4) If we're attacked by hordes, we're screwed regardless. If we're attacked by a well trained force, we're screwed regardless. The goal is to defend against a smaller, less coordinated group of attackers.

Everything you've said is excellent for a purpose built fortification, and we truly wouldn't mind having one of those as an option. But it's just not feasible for a house that's going to be lived in by a family.
Don't generalize. That is your wife. Not all wives are the same.

My kid loves crawling up into my second story shooting ports. 8"x48" vertical windows set into wedge shaped openings in a 24" thick wall, her room is the third floor with 360 degree windows looking down on everything which she loves. So far she hasn't figured out that her skylight is actually an opening hatch for the rooftop fighting position....which I'm glad of.

And my wife likes the lack of windows on the ground floor because that is where our bedroom is. We actually used to have some slit windows on the ground floor too but when we moved our bedroom down there she convinced me to block those off.

Perhaps in order to have a purpose built prepper house you also need a purpose built prepper wife and kid;)
 
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