When Nighttime Falls. Lessons from “Savage Continent”

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By the author of The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications and The Cartoon Ham Exam Handbook: A Complete Ham Radio Technician License Study Guide

I’ve been working my way through Savage Continent by Keith Lowe lately, and it’s one of the most heart-rending books I’ve ever read. It’s up there with We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families for me. Extremely powerful, important works, that leave you feeling more angry than relaxed, but after you’re finished reading them, you understand that you’ve learned about a time you needed to know about. If you’ve been to the Holocaust Museum, Pearl Harbor Memorial, or Ground Zero in NYC, you know the feeling.

I highly recommend reading them both. (You can get both for like $4 on Amazon, so why not?)

While the only lessons from these books aren’t “prepper” lessons by far, I do think that there are things that a man can glean from these books that will help him to better understand how anarchy will play out in his hometown when it comes. These stories don’t just teach us about the depravity of man, they help to teach us how to prevent the same acts of depravity from happening again in the future.

If you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it, right? 

From studying the Rwandan Genocide of the 1990s (from that book above), I learned that a lot of the massacres and other acts of evil took place at night. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Bad people like doing bad things at night because there’s less chance of being caught.

This is actually a part of how a criminal determines if he’s going to engage in a crime or not. He weighs the cost. What’s the reward? What’s the risk of getting caught? Those two variables combined play a huge part in the outcome.

In Savage Continent – a look at post-World War 2 Europe – we see the extent of the lawlessness in The Old World after VE Day had passed. The author is a Brit, so you can see inklings of his being a socialist/globalist throughout the book, but if you look past his opinions into the actual stories, he’s got a lot of good information there.

In many ways, things got worse for people after VE Day brought peace throughout The Continent. And much like Rwanda decades later, terrible things took place under the cover of darkness.

(Need more info on how to keep your family safe? Then check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to emergency evacuations.)

Fast forward to modern day. 

Imagine you live in a world where a large segment of the population has been dehumanized in every form of media possible, via the entire education system, through corporate policies, and through government action. Add to that some type of catastrophe. In Rwanda’s case, that catastrophe was Rwanda shooting their own president out of the sky with a missile and then lying about it, blaming “the cockroaches.” The catastrophe of Savage Continent was war leading to anarchy.

Now add in highly trained, equipped, and organized people who have zero moral scruples about committing atrocities.

Post-World War 2, these people were often Russian troops, starving refugees, or the remaining Nazis. (I was pretty surprised at what the French did to people post-war too. Getting your eyeballs ripped out and having bugs sewn into your empty sockets was a fun Savage Continent bit of info I’d never heard about before.) There were a lot of small race wars post-WW2 as well, particularly in Eastern Europe.

People were furious, hungry, and looking for scapegoats. Post-WW2 ended up being the “perfect” opportunity for atrocities as a result.

In Rwanda, these people without moral scruples were the Hutu people and the (Hutu) Rwandan military. The Hutu civilians may not have been highly trained overall, but they had formally been equipped with plenty of machetes by their military. They were equipped.

If you live anywhere near the Rio Grande, have you seen the pictures of the weapon platforms that our Border Control guys are finding people with? Have you seen how the cartel is arming itself? They just took on the Mexican military about four weeks ago and held their own, in case you didn’t know. Not the first time, either. You already remember the events of the summer of 2020. We talked about the “Night of Rage” just the other day. Substations across the US keep on getting attacked, and we can mysteriously never figure out who it was. We found a Chinese-installed kill switch on a large electrical grid component a few years ago. Russia has amazing cyber attack potential, let alone nukes. North Korean satellites were flying over the US (at least as of a few years ago. There doesn’t seem to be much discussion about them since). Are they armed with EMP weapons? Who knows?

The point is that there are a number of things set up for tremendous catastrophes, and there are a lot of evil people out there who are geared up for war.

And then there’s you. 

Small-town Mr. American, just trying to pay the bills, take care of his family, and give your family a life filled with the good things that you missed out on as a kid.

How does this guy stand a chance in that type of Savage Continent catastrophic environment when evil people roam the dark?

You already have your rifle, ammunition, and pistol, and that’s all great and necessary. Why did you pick a rifle? Because you know that you can only do so much with a Glock 17. A Glock has its purpose, but it’s not an AR-10. You picked an AR-10 because you knew it was a piece of gear that would give you an edge.

But what about if doo doo starts to fly in the middle of the winter when it’s dark most of the time? And it doesn’t even have to be winter. This could be the middle of the summer when things happen. In either case, you are going to need to be able to protect your family not only during the day but during the night as well. Why is it that there are some areas of town that you don’t go to after dark?

This is why I think you really need to start considering night vision.

You picked an AR-10 because you know that the bad guys out there could very well have the same. You may have even picked up some ceramic plates for the very same reason. But the bad guys are wearing night vision too. How will you fare against an enemy that can see you that you can’t see back?

I like listening to scanners because there’s a lot of information that you can pick up that was around you the whole time that you would have never known about otherwise until it was too late. The other day I was listening to the scanner and discovered that there was a manhunt for a drug dealer not too far from my location. I would have never known that otherwise and was able to drive a different direction to where I needed to go.

In the same vein, night vision helps you to know what is going on around you that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Or at least that you wouldn’t have known about until it was too late.

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So here are my recommendations:

  • Go to your library and pick up Savage Continent.
  • Find and read anything you can find on the Rwandan Genocide. Both of these collections of stories will help you to better understand how anarchy plays out.
  • Then, I do recommend that you begin to think about picking up some night vision while you still can. The difference that it makes is truly staggering (one might even say it’s…night and day). You’ll now be able to better protect yourself and your family during a time of anarchy, both from those who don’t have night vision and from those who have.

One of our advertisers, Ready Made Resources, has it in stock, offers financing, and ships fast. If you’re looking for tips on night vision, this video is worth watching (the first two minutes are my favorite).

Check it out.

My intent here isn’t to sow fear. I intentionally set about to avoid that when I sit behind a keyboard. But there are inherent risks and dangers that people need to know about. It’s why you’re reading a prepping website, is it not? The chance of a violent interaction at nighttime is one of these risks. You stock food because you’re concerned about starvation. You stock guns and ammo because you’re concerned about defense. And the medical supplies are there for when accidents happen. Why not prep in the same manner for surviving the night?

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Aden Tate

Aden Tate

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  • Through my work I’ve read primary accounts of every war the States has been involved in, and it’s a long way from pretty! Every human has a dark side to our nature and that side of us is quite capable of doing very inhuman things to the Other. I recommend de Becker’s The Gift of Fear to aid in psychological preparation for such times. The human heart has come a long way but we still have plenty of growing to do. Oy.

    • Curious to know if the book talked about post Civil War in the US? While perhaps not on the scale of post WWII, it was not one of the US prouder moments.

      • I’ve worked on entire series of books. The primary accounts books were el-hi, meaning for kids grades K-12. So no, other than saying that people were starving and penniless, no great detail.

      • The wild west and their territories had lawlessness in many areas. Civil war veterans migrated after the war, and anger continued against the north by confederate men and vice versa. Home invasions during and after that war when whole families killed and homes raided and looted, women raped. There are enough western and civil movies and TV series some decades old, showing much of what happened.

  • I think you’re giving 40-50% of criminals far too much credit. A lot of crime takes place not only during the day, but in areas where cameras are prevalent.

  • I have a number of books about WWII, not just warfare, but of the resistance against the Nazis.
    Interesting part is how much infighting over power and control of different groups. From unions, to communists, to the exiled French government to the Nazi controlled Vichy government. Some groups would even rat out opposing groups to the Nazis.
    Mind blowing.
    How much could we see of the kind of roving gangs looking to extract revenge against those whom they think are responsible for their misfortunes?
    I think some of that will come down to how far a given group is willing to travel. Grid down, no fuel, might be only within walking distance, and not far from ones home or home base of operations.
    I have been looking for reports of the Ukraine/Russo war about things like infighting, stealing, and the like. Early on in the war, I did read about atrocities committed by the Russians. Again that was early on, and before millions of arms were passed out to dang near every Ukrainian who wanted one, and some who did not.
    Compare that to WWII, how few of their citizens of various EU countries had firearms or were even allowed to own firearms.
    Then compare that to today’s US, where there are some 700million firearms in no small number of American homes.

  • “This is actually a part of how a criminal determines if he’s going to engage in a crime or not. He weighs the cost. What’s the reward? What’s the risk of getting caught? Those two variables combined play a huge part in the outcome”

    Exactly. Crime follows more or less the same rationale of business: what´s being invested VS. the risks VS. the profits. Excellent article and recommendations.

  • When nighttime falls… My grandfather used to answer when asked his secret to a long life “Be at home before 10PM. Nothing good happens in the city after that”. Even truer when SHTF I guess?

  • Hello! Very good information, however, night vision (monocular and binocular) and/or thermal vision equipment is SUPER expensive… much much more than the average Joe Blow that’s supporting a family can afford. So, military types and well heeled criminals are the only ones that can afford it. Your typical homeowner is left out in the cold, with no way to overcome this defensive deficit. Anyone have any ideas??

  • Take the looters bodies and impale them on stakes a hundred yards from the location you need to defend…anyone coming past that makes it a no brainer. It may seem barbaric but hard times call for hard men when it’s dog eat dog.

  • Here is a thought! What if hundreds of thousands refuges of military age men are injected communities across the United states men who will blame citizens for them being refugees! Then in a twist of fate the Government arms them! Our lives are in the middle of chess game where our enemy will take major losses to get what they want!

    • Of course, among those thousands of military aged men are hundreds of Russian FSB operatives with satellite tracking data and lists of high ranking US officials requiring action. All the campaign donations in the world won’t help them when go time comes around…

  • If EMPs are used, or if a large CME his Earth that $5,000.00 night vision scope along with your satellite phone will become useless hunks of metal and plastic.

  • I always thought night time they will try to steal from you and what not and thought how we had to sleep in shifts to guard the “farm”. Hopefully, you have lots of friends or a big family.

    I never gave much thought to what happens after a war and looks like it’s just as worse as before a war. My dad use to always tell me be glad the war didn’t take place in your country.

    But the other article stated here how the enemy can see your infrared on nighttime vision just as much as you can seen theirs. So this doesn’t make any sense.

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