The Prepper Journal

Simple Sabotage as a Tool for Dire Circumstances

Simple Sabotage

The topic of prepping or survivalist is mixed into a lot of different schools of thought, hypothetical scenarios and debate. At its core, prepping and survival are concepts we try to employ to live. We prepare for bad things happening so that we aren’t as impacted. We learn the concepts of survival so that even if something bad does happen, we will know what to do in order to preserve our lives. These are excellent practices I think everyone should weave into their lives in responsible ways.

But the inevitable question that follows is something along the lines of “What are you prepping for?” and this again can be for a wide array of reasons. Some people could be prepping for an economic collapse, others for tornadoes. You might be learning survival skills because you want to live a more self-sufficient life or plan to be able to survive if you are lost on a hiking trip deep into the Pacific Northwest. On the other hand there are those who believe our entire society will collapse in an End of the World as You know it event so their survival skills will keep them from death’s doorstep whenever the days of working a job and going to the store are over.

Yet another group sees sinister, tyrannical forces at play so they prepare for a fall of government or worse, an overly oppressive government or occupation by forces hostile to the America we grew up in, whose fading memory is still held dear in the hearts of disillusioned millions. For this group, preparing and survival take on a slightly different theme. For this group, survival usually means armed resistance or flight to a remote location with the threat of armed resistance at some point.

The story might not end the way you think it will

If we do see some horrific collapse in our lifetimes, are we losing sight of the larger picture in some respects? There is a discussion about arming yourselves to defend against looters or to defend (to the death) your 2nd Amendment rights and I think those are valid reasons and ways to prepare for those who are so inclined, but do you really think the only options are going out in a big battle or winning some war like Washington back in 1783?

Crude but effective sabotage methods on train tracks during WWII.
Crude but effective sabotage methods on train tracks during WWII.

Is there only one ending to this hypothetical doomsday scenario we have playing over and over again in our minds? What if your plans to take down the forces that drive down your street don’t work out the way you had envisioned? What if nobody ever shows up to take your guns? What if something else happens that you never thought of that still puts you under the boot of an oppressive regime? What if for some reason you are forced into a system that you don’t like but is necessary for survival in some way? Is all lost because you didn’t go out in a hail of bullets when the time came? Are there no other choices for you than dying in a shootout or running through the woods and eating roots for the rest of your days?

There is more than one way to resist

I came across this old document while out searching one day called “Simple Sabotage” which was printed back in WWII by the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was the precursor to the modern CIA and it was their job to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the various branches of service. Like their modern counterparts, the OSS used propaganda, subversion and in some cases, sabotage.

This manual was printed up for the express intent of being sent behind enemy lines and to be distributed to citizens of our enemies via pamphlets and targeted radio broadcasts. The booklet lists many ways that ordinary people in their ordinary jobs could sabotage the workings of our enemies. I thought this was a brilliant concept and while a lot of the information is dated and may not be applicable in today’s world, there were great ideas contained in the pages. The best part of this for me was the message of resistance. A way to help defeat the forces over you by less confrontational or provocative means. It was yet another way that barring a shootout, someone could potentially wreak havoc on oppressive forces if needed.

Disrupting shipments of supplies would be an effective form of sabotage.

You can download the entire manual here, but I pulled just a couple of relevant sections out for ideas:

  1. A second type of simple sabotage requires no destructive tools whatsoever and produces physical damage, if any, by highly indirect means. It is based on universal opportunities to make faulty decisions, to adopt a non-cooperative attitude and to induce others to follow suit. Making a faulty decision may be simply a matter of placing tools in one spot instead of another. A non-cooperative attitude may involve nothing more than creating unpleasant situations among one’s fellow workers, engaging in bickerings, or displaying surliness and stupidity.
Simple Sabotage Field Manual

You can imagine the people working in machine factories in WWII for the German manufacturing arm of the military industrial complex. Small actions could disrupt lines and cause major defects left unseen. This is just a simple example, but in today’s context you can see how simple acts of sabotage could be effective against an overpowering force. You don’t have to riot and burn buildings to cause destruction. There are more effective ways of causing damage if you think about it.

(2). Try to commit acts for which large numbers of people could be responsible. For instance, if you blow out the wiring in a factory at a central fire-box, almost anyone could have done it. On-the-street sabotage after dark, such as you might be able to carry out against a military car or truck, is another example of an act for which it would be impossible to blame you.

So maybe you don’t have the ability to defeat an army but you could still have an impact on their operations if you have some creativity.

(d) The saboteur should try to damage only objects and materials known to be in use by the enemy or to be destined for early use by the enemy. It will be safe for him to assume that almost any product of heavy industry is destined for enemy uses, and that the most efficient fuels and lubricants also are destined for enemy use.

(1) Buildings

Warehouses, barracks, offices, hotels and factory buildings are outstanding targets for simple sabotage. They are extremely susceptible to damage, especially by fire; they offer opportunities to such untrained people as janitors, charwomen and casual visitors; and when damaged, they present a relatively large handicap to the enemy.

Now what am I trying to say? I am not saying to go out and destroy anything. I am not advocating any of the actions described in this declassified military manual in our present day, but they are instructive. Could they be valuable ideas to keep in the back of your mind in one type of potential future? Maybe. That will be for you to decide. The manual is fascinating nevertheless and worth the read.

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