Wednesday, October 11, 2006

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

We've seen statistics, maps, and archived news footage, but in this anthology of first-person accounts of soldiers and civilians from around the world, you relive the nightmare of the Zombie War.

The accounts are ordered chronologically, starting with remembrances of the first infections in China, then the spreading into Brazil and France, then the slow realization by the nations of the world of the emminent extinction of the human race unless drastic measures were taken. Read about the people responsible for Israel's early, self-imposed quarantine. Or the few Japanese to disobeyed the mandatory evacuation of the Home Islands to Kamchatka and lived to tell about it.

Here is a selection from the interview of US Army non-com Todd Wainio, who was present at the disasterous Battle of Yonkers, when the highest-tech weapons available were useless and the infantry division present simply ran out of ammunition:

I know "professional" historians like to talk about how Yonkers represented a "catastrophic failure of the modern military apparatus," how it proved the old adage that armies perfect the art of fighting the last war just in time for the next one. Personally, I think that's a big 'ole sack of it. Sure, we were unprepared, our tools, our training, everything I just talked about, all one class-A, gold-standard cluster[deleted], but the weapon that really failed wasn't something that rolled off an assembly line. It's as old as...I don't know, I guess as old as war. It's fear, dude, just fear and you don't have to be Sun freakin Tzu to know that real fighting isn't about killing or even hurting the other guy, it's about scaring him enough to call it a day. Break their spirit, that's what every successful army goes for, from tribal face paint to the "blitzkrieg" to...what did we call the first round of Gulf War Two, "Shock and Awe"? Perfect name, "Shock and Awe"! But what if the enemy can't be shocked and awed? Not just won't but biologically can't! That's what happened that day outside of New York City, that's the failure that almost lost us the whole damn war. The fact that we couldn't shock and are Zack boomeranged right back in our faces and actually allowed Zack to shock and awe us! They're not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid.

Yonkers was supposed to be the day we restored confidence to the American people, instead we practically told them to kiss their
[deleted] goodbyye. If it wasn't for the Sou'frican Plan, I have no doubt, we'd all be slouching and moaning right now.

Although I did not serve in uniform during the Zombie War (a fact that the yarn-spinning Joel Thomas never ceases to point out), I saw perilous personal combat in the streets of Raccoon City:

1 comment:

Joel Thomas said...

The only reason I point out that you didn't serve in the Zombie War is because it demonstrates that you couldn't make up your mind as to whether to fight with the Zombies or against them. On some days, Zombies would be your natural ally. On other days you're actually "with it" and aware of what you are doing. It is hard to fight when you have divided (confused?) loyalties.