Alternate History

The Undead World in 1943

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Undead stalingrad

Soviet soldiers in Stalingrad retreating from an undead horde, on the 15th of December. This was a few days before everyone in the city was dead.

Part 1: The Beginning.

It was the dead of winter. The Battle of Stalingrad was in full swing. Several corpses were in the medical tent at a Soviet camp about two miles outside the city. Three hours later, they were not there. Soon, German scouting parties were seen roaming the streets, covered in blood and scratch marks. Then, entire German camps were found with half-eaten corpses littering the snow-covered ground. Subsequent scouting parties to the same areas found no corpses at all. Soon Soviet camps were overrun, and by the twentieth of December, Stalingrad was a dead zone, although no one knew it. Then German bases in the Soviet Union began disappearing. Whole companies, whole battalions. When 1943 came, the dead numbered well over 250,000. Still, the war continued. It only ended, at least unofficially, when frantic radio broadcasts came in from somewhere near Kursk from a Soviet radio operator. The transmission consisted of panicked shouting in both Russian and German, moaning and screaming, and shooting. After 14 minutes, the transmission was transformed from this cacophony of mayhem into hundreds of thousands of moans. From then on, unofficial truces continued across the Russian front, although official hostilities continued. As the undead spread across the Russian front, the battle became more and more desperate. However, the Germans and Soviets had one, massive advantage: the ability to deliver supplies via airdrops. As the undead had no anti-aircraft capabilities, the militaries were able to carry out fire missions on the undead with absolutely no danger whatsoever. However, on the ground, the undead had the advantage. The army had the ranged capability, but it was no use when over three-quarters of the soldiers were not properly briefed on how to stop the undead human.

The month of January 1943 was marked by major defeat by major defeat: Moscow, Voronezh, Kursk. On the 11th of January, millions of undead approached Leningrad. It was 2.5 million Soviet and German defenders versus millions of undead. The result was a horrific massacre, with just 120,000 people managing to escape, the rest transformed into ravenous, flesh-eating monsters. After this, the truce became official, with the remainder of the now unified Soviet and German armies retreating west. As February began, the undead then started to follow the army west.

Then, the now shattered and broken army army made one last stand against the undead along the Polish border. The undead were expected to arrive around March. This gave the army time to prepare for what would surely decide the Eastern European war against the undead. By now, the Soviet partisans and other Axis countries had heard of this truce, and were considering sending troops to the Polish border to help the Soviets and Germans to fend off the enormous horde that was surely headed their way. By the time they had actually decided to send troops, the horde was less than three days away, and it would take at least a week for the troops to arrive. Even so, they were sent to the front. When the horde hit, the casualty rate was high. Tens of thousands died within the first hours of the battle. However, now the army was more prepared for undead warfare. The soldiers, for the most part, had been briefed on how to dispatch the undead. But disaster was about to strike, and, sure enough, the army group at the north part of the border collapsed, with over 70% of the men in the group dead or undead, the remainder ran west, to the Fatherland. However, some of the retreating men were already bitten, unleashing the infection onto Poland...

Part 2: One przybwaja!

19th April, 1943. Cracow.

Cracow was in a mess, as German troops who had been defeated in earlier battles with the living dead were now reorganizing for the trip back home. Others were already infected, and overrunning parts of the city. The German forces had completely lost the war against the undead, and were just retreating to the border in order to defend the homeland. The Soviet portion of the army that was defending Poland broke away from the German portion gradually after word reached the generals in Germany, and had been fighting, albeit very ineffectively, the undead, even without German assistance.

The undead plague had now spread all across Poland. The army that had consolidated itself along the Polish border was destroyed. Out of 620,000 that the battle had started with, now it was just about 135,000, and they were thinly spread across Poland. The good thing was that now Axis forces in all of Europe were now fully aware of the outbreak, and was now sending troops to the German border to defend the rest of Europe from the shambling hordes. But the majority of Axis troops were not experienced in undead combat, although they had been somewhat briefed on what they were facing. The Germans now felt safer, and and they were now briefed on combating the living dead, even if not completely so. Even with the complete overhaul of the tactics and fighting style of the militaries that would soon see the undead in all their terrifying might, the situation was still dire. No-one was heard from in Russia for weeks. Poland was all but overrun. Germany was suffering major riots and disturbances. Many civilians in Germany and Italy were greatly sympathized with the plight of Germany's soldiers, and there were several organizations set up for donations to be sent to surviving troops from Poland and even Russia, many of which had spent their entire journey running from their homes to become homeless after fighting a horrendous war for their country.

Within a week, almost 30,000 Reichmarks had been raised by charities in donations for the troops. This would be a large help to the troops who suffered particularly harsh defeats, and were coming home in a disorganized fashion. Early scouting reports by airships had reported great swarms of undead that were often millions strong. This was a significant morale drop to the army, but it was mostly made up for with the propaganda shown by the governments to the public and the soldiers, but the facts were often exaggerated or even totally fabricated by the governments. The battle began on the 30th of April, 1943...

Part 3: Kampf fur Europa.

30th April, 1943.

The swarm was on the horizon, less than an hour away. There were tens of millions, and the troops were forced to wear earplugs just to stifle the deafening collective moan of almost 100 million shambling undead. The moan could be heard almost 25 miles away. At 7:48 AM, the troops started firing. Thousands of undead were felled within seconds. The horrible sounds could now be heard well over 35 miles away with the gunfire and shouting now. At 9:32 AM the first undead broke the line and the troops began retreating as one line. By 10:05 AM, almost a million undead had been dispatched. The balance had seemingly been tipped in the military's favour from the start, and was only set to tip further into it as the undead came through the great minefields set by the military. Although a large majority of undead were only crippled by the mines, it slowed down the swarm significantly as the undead that were not crippled stumbled over the ones that were. Now that the undead were slowed down, German Stuka dive-bombers came in at 10:37 AM. Even though the psychological aspect was totally ineffective on the undead, the machine guns and bombs tore the undead to shreds, but only around 12,000 undead were killed. Then the heavy artillery came in; it did the same job as the Stuka's, but it did it for longer. Whereas the Stuka's were limited to a few runs at a time, the artillery could keep going indefinitely, as long as the supply of ammunition held out, and that was only the heavy artillery. At 11:00 AM, the mortars opened up. It did not do the same as the heavy artillery, but it did it for just as long.

Then at 11:22 AM the rocket launchers, based on the Soviet Katyusha rocket launcher design that had been scavenged by the Germans when they had pulled out of Russia, opened fire. The whooshes of the rockets could easily be heard even through the earplugs of the troops. At 11:42 AM, the undead swarm exited the minefield. Now the undead were reaching the soldiers in the southern reaches of the border, though only in limited numbers. Now the soldiers in the south were deserting. It was just a few at first, as the psychological strain of hearing the moans of the largest undead horde seen since the beginning of the war began to take its toll. Then more began to desert, three dozen at a time. Then, as the undead began to truly overrun the southern reaches, then it began to seem less and less hopeful. The battle was no longer a guaranteed human victory, the human forces were now being overrun by the millions upon millions of living dead.

Even though over six million undead were killed, the troops then began to desert all over the front. They then ran through the second minefield, and though there were clear zones the troops were supposed to go through, many did not bother to go through them, and as a result thousands had limbs blown off by the mines. The undead had now fully caught up with the main force, and were tearing into them with ferocity not seen on any human battlefield. Many soldiers were eaten alive, their screams being added to the sounds of moans, explosions and gunshots. By 12:00 PM, the undead now had the upper hand, and it was getting worse, with the true size of the horde growing as the soldiers went to the top of hills. There were now tens of millions in sight. Their moans were truly deafening. At 12:18 PM, the Stuka's went in for a second run. The machine guns tore through the swarm a second time, their bombs scattering groups of the undead. A section of the army deserted, all together, under the command of a charismatic Lieutenant, in an attempt to defend Dresden against the hordes that would surely attack. Another section deserted to defend Cottbus. These two sections made up almost half of the army. This prompted the entire army to run, many small squads simply hoping to defend their own interests. At 12:40 PM, the generals deployed large bombers to drop bombs on the swarm, hoping to thin the numbers out, or at least slow them down. This was a disaster; the strong western winds blew the bombs towards the deserting army, killing and maiming thousands. The battle was well and truly lost at 1:15 PM, when, in desperation, the leadership deployed mustard gas to stop them. This was the biggest mistake, possibly, in the entire war. Instead of killing the dead, it killed tens of thousands of soldiers. This was the beginning of the end for Western Europe...

Part 4: De Abwarts Spirale.

30th May, 1943.

A month after the battle that would decide the fate of Western Europe, Germany was under siege. Eastern Germany was a dead zone. In the first ten days of June, five cities were lost, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Oranienburg, and Chemnitz. With defenders and citizens included, 15 million people died in that timespace, mainly due to undead attack, but the sheer chaos of the hurried and poorly prepared evacuation of East Germany, which was not poorly co-ordinated between the civil or military authorities; it was not co-ordinated between them at all, and often there would be hold ups on roads where both civilian and military convoys had plans to go on the road at close times. Sometimes, bridges that were designated by civilian authorities as part of an evacuation route were bombed by the Luftwaffe. Some speculated that the lack of coordination was intentional on the part of the military to try to stop the spread of the virus. 

The German government had begun withdrawing west. They had set up defensive lines along the western bank of the river Rhine, letting the dead occupy Germany east of the Rhine. The army was slowly retreating west, back towards the Rhine. By the 15th of June, they had formed defensive positions along the western bank. It all looked like the dead would be stopped at the Rhine ... until they waded into the river and resurfaced on the west bank, attacking the defenses. The defenses were being overrun, and then the dead advanced towards France and Aachen. They reached Aachen on the eleventh, and the city was besieged for nine days before finally falling, leaving only isolated pockets of the Siegfried Line to fend off against the undead. Almost everyone in the city was killed, including the entire German government. This was the last battle in which the Waffen SS fought as a unified force, as the undead force was overwhelming and their forces were nearly half composed of poorly trained and equipped conscripts who were used as a distraction while the more experienced troops shored up their defences in other parts of the city. Even with the extra time they spent preparing, they were no match for the masses of undead. The battle was over quickly, and the German government had no time to escape. At first, many Germans refused to believe that such important figures like Himmler and Hitler were protected so poorly by the SS. The SS now faced scrutiny as they retreated to hidden hideouts scattered throughout Germany.

This was celebrated by the Jews in Europe when the news reached them, many of whom had escaped from concentration camps when most of the guards were sent off to Russia to fight the undead. Most now resided in safe compounds in Poland and Russia, and were not kind to any German who crossed their path. Numerous reports of many battles between German soldiers and Jewish partisans surfaced via radio during the war and word of mouth in post-war Europe. Judaism made a comeback in Eastern Europe following the war's end due to the presence of these partisans.

Meanwhile, in Western Europe, the horde that had overrun Aachen was now attacking Liege in Belgium. They had it overrun by the 23rd. The undead then spread through the rest of Belgium, slowly but surely. The Belgian partisans, after helping as many of the remaining civilian population as they could escape to France. They also destroyed some railways to prevent German soldiers from escaping, as vengeance for invading their country. 

The Netherlands suffered terribly as Europe fell to the undead. Shortly after Germany diverted many of their troops in the Low Countries to fight the undead in Russia, the Dutch resistance, began an open revolt to liberate their country after receiving a large shipment of weapons and ammunition from Britain on the 21st. While their initial victories in Breda and Dordecht caught the German forces off guard, on the 22nd a German counter-attack to take back Dordrecht forced many of the partisans to scatter, and this allowed the Germans to establish a firm presence in the city, though the battle continued for nearly a day and many German soldiers were killed in the battle, and the distraction also allowed many other partisan units to launch their own attacks in other parts of the country. The Dutch Rebellion was succeeding, and the Germans decided to temporarily retreat out of the Netherlands while they recouped their strength. The Dutch success would be shortlived however, as when the undead reached the Netherlands, the Dutch were completely unprepared for fighting them and all they could do was try to get as many people to Britain as they could. While the people on the coast were evacuated uneventfully, those further inland were less fortunate.

The French resistance took the opportunity of the Germans occupying the dead temporarily to take control of several key positions in Eastern France. After losing their country to the Germans in 1940, they weren't about to let it happen a second time at the hands of the undead. The operation was almost done when the German forces who were on the French-German border came under attack. They could hold for weeks on their own according to the most optimistic estimate, and that was without the supplies that came from the rest of France. The German forces in Eastern France kept the undead in West Germany and Eastern France busy, and they did so for long enough for the supply routes to be established and for reinforcements to arrive. The Axis forces in France and the French resistance seemed the best bet to thin the ranks of the undead.

Meanwhile, in Southern Germany, Munich was under attack. It was not expected that the defenders would last long, as they were merely an impromptu guard to defend the city while the citizens evacuated to Switzerland, Austria or Italy, none of which were under any serious attack by the undead, but Austria's north-western defenses were on the brink of collapse due to lack of supplies. On the 27th, the militia abandoned the city, sick of being treated as expendable by the citizens, and deserted to Italy, hoping to warn them of the threat the undead can pose. The citizens, unaware the guards had deserted, continued at their slow pace and were eventually butchered by the hordes of undead. Then, the dead arrived at Ravensburg, but the city was abandoned. It had been since the twentieth, when the citizens evacuated to Italy.

In France, a particularly large swarm of undead has killed many men along the Maginot Line, and although they were easily replaced, morale in the army had been dropping steadily since the large hordes started to attack the Line. As the dead closed in on France, the pressure mounted and the stakes became higher as the Line began to have mechanical problems. The heavy rain that was plaguing Belgium and western Germany had now moved across the north-west and eastern France. The guns had become rusty, and the men could not leave their stations because of the constant presence of the undead. The rust had by now started to affect inside the barrels of the guns. On the thirtieth of June, reports of extremely heavy casualties along the Austrian border. The German swarms were now crossing into the three countries that were supposed to be safe, and where hundreds of thousands of German refugees had evacuated. Now the undead were in these three countries, overrunning the defenses in Austria in less than four hours. Soon, the Siebenstadterstrafe in Salzburg was choked with army vehicles and the undead. Within a day, the dead had overrun Salzburg. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, St. Gallen was being besieged by the dead. On the 2nd of July, St. Gallen was devoid of human activity. Hundreds of million of people were dead; most of these were undead. Russia, Poland and all of Eastern Europe, Germany, Belgium, and possibly Scandinavia were overrun. There were reports of chaos in China and the Middle East. There seemed to be no way of stopping the undead hordes.

It was the end of the world.

Part 5: Nostro Stand Finale.

18th July, 1943.

Switzerland, most of Austria, and northern Italy were overrun. The Maginot Line's defenses were in severe disrepair. No-one knew what would happen when the dead reached France's undefended south-eastern border. Italy and the other Axis countries had not been heard from in weeks. It was assumed that they had abandoned their allies, condemning it to being overrun by the shambling hordes. Reports from China and the Middle East indicated the undead had reached further than first thought. In Italy, the undead had reached Modena, and were already overrunning the Parco Enzo Ferrari. It took until the twentieth for the dead to overrun the entire city, and they were at Bologna by the 21st. It took longer for them to overrun this city. It was the 27th before the Italian Army retreated. On the 1st of August, they were besieging Ravenna. The Italian Army had defensive positions set up along the Viale Europa, and they were prepared for the attack, but there were just too many. They were all killed. On the second of August, Ravenna was overrun. On the fifth, the dead attacked the port town of Ancona. The town was easily overrun. By the seventh, they were in the town of Perugia. It was overrun the next day. On the ninth, they were attacking the city of Terni. This city was only overrun on the 15th, but while it was under siege, the city of Viterbo was being overrun. On the 17th of August, the small town of Braccino was under attack. It was overrun in less than a day. By now the undead were getting closer and closer to Rome by the day. It was predicted, with the current rate of advance, the dead would reach Rome by the 22nd. On the eighteenth, the town of Formello was overrun. On the nineteenth, you could see the horde from Rome. On the 21st, the Cimitero Flaminio was swarming with the undead. And, just as predicted, the outskirts of Rome were being attacked by the undead on the 21st. It was estimated that if the battle was going to be lost, it was going to take at least three weeks to a month for the undead to totally overrun the city. The battle that was going to either save Italy or make it go the way of Germany, the Soviet Union, Poland, Switzerland and all the countries conquered by the living dead was about to begin...

Part 6: We Will Fight Them in The Streets ...

18th September, 1943.

The Maginot Line fell on the 26th of August. The Germans enacted an evacuation plan after Paris was overrun on the fourteenth. They would evacuate to Ireland and Britain from the port towns of Le Havre and Cherbourg, disguised as civilians. It went off without a hitch ... until it turned out some evacuees had been bitten. Ireland and Britain were now under attack from the living dead. The first place in Britain to be infected was Portsmouth, after a dozen infected German refugees died and reanimated while sleeping. They had infected almost a hundred homeless people within six hours, and they had all reanimated within six hours as well. Soon, Portsmouth was a town under siege. By the twentieth, two special divisions of the British Army, well equipped to deal with the undead, were sent in to deal with the living dead. The operation was mostly a success: out of about 2500 undead spotted, over 2450 were confirmed to be dispatched. The majority of the men were sent home, while a regiment would stay to get rid of any undead they found. Meanwhile, in Limerick, Ireland where the German refugees had been sent, the undead were swarming, beyond hope of quarantine. The British and Irish worked together to rid the city of the undead menace. The result: 20,000 undead killed, 300 human casualties. The operations effectively wiped out the undead in the two countries. However, there was the ever present threat of the undead crossing the Channel and attacking from there. Because of this, the British built fortifications along the south coast, as did Ireland. These would prove useful when, if, they were finished, as reports of small groups of undead surfacing along the coasts of both countries were soon reported. The people in London soon began demanding the defenses being finished faster, and the government responded by sending thousands more to work on them. The citizens of Dublin did the same, as did the Irish government. The defenses in both countries were not expected to be done until March 1944, though that was with the current workforce, and they could speed up the construction time by a couple of months if they hired more workers. They hired anyone who wanted to work, and the construction was now due to be finished by late December. The dead were arriving on the coasts in increasing numbers, though, and they were starting to become a serious problem for the temporary defenders stationed there. By the 25th, the dead were on the brink of overrunning the defenders, and the fortifications were still almost two months away. To ease the burden somewhat, the two governments formed a military pact, and while they would still be governed separately, there would be laws and acts that would apply to both countries. They had equal power in this union though, as many harsh lessons had been learned in the War of Independence of 1919-1921 in which the Irish rose up against the British, successfully seceding from Britain and becoming it's own nation. The true test of their new alliance was up ahead though, as on the 3rd of October, a large horde of the undead overran the defenses near Southampton, and the British were asking the Irish to send troops to assist. Taioseach Micheal Collins had a tough decision to make. He could send troops, and make this alliance permanent, or he could ignore the British plight as payback for the many centuries of suffering the British caused Ireland. In the end, it was decided that troops would be sent, although none of them were under any obligation to stay if the situation became too desperate. Luckily, it did not become that desperate and the undead were repelled on the tenth, although there were some desertions. These men were treated fairly, and were given a four month prison sentence, the same as any British soldier. The situation became worse in the second week of October for the British though, as on the fourteenth of October a swarm from Europe completely overran the defenses along most of the British South-East. In a decision that would shock the rest of the country, the British government declared the entire South-East a dead zone, even though it was only the coast that was overrun. Barricades were immediately erected as far west as Maidstone. Anyone who approached barricade was shot, human or undead. The area east of the barricade fell into chaos quickly.

Numerous new organizations popped up as the barricades came up. Murder, rape, and many other horrific crimes became far more commonplace. Some tried to keep the peace, but they were unable to do anything major to pacify the situation. Most of the other new organizations were nothing more than organized bandits, and the only thing they ever co-operated with each other on was the eradicating of undead, and much of the time not even that. The "New Iceni" used low-tech weaponry, such as spears and bows and arrows. Firearms were reserved for the higher-ups. They fought the undead mainly in Canterbury, but their losses were heavy. By the 18th, any contact with the remaining government facillities was lost. It was assumed that they were overrun by the undead, the many guerrilla groups of the south-east. Soon border guards were found dead, but there were never any sightings of scouts past the barricade. By the twentieth, British and Irish blimps were flying over the Maidstone "dead" zone. They reported that the dead were now well past the coast. Gradually, the new organizations fell. There was no contact between Britain and the Maidstone area. On the 23rd, for the first time, 12 undead were seen outside of Swanley. When a group of British soldiers engaged the undead, they were killed in minutes. They were reanimated guerrilla troops, and they had armor and helmets on, which made it much more difficult for the British to penetrate the skull. The dead then came into Swanley, and several civilians were murdered. 20 more soldiers were sent in. They were armed with Sten submachine guns. They were highly trained, but it wasn't enough. Eight soldiers were killed, and the rest retreated back to their base, but not before luring the dead into a small courtyard and burning them to ashes. The dead were, in fact, released by people east of the Maidstone area. As the general feeling was in the Maidstone area, the British had abandoned them. Now it was time to fight back. It would take a little while, but the Maidstonians (as they were called) would gradually become more and more liberal with their releasing of undead, and eventually they would begin actively taking down sections of the wall. But for now they would stick to releasing small groups of undead over the walls as opposed to actually destroying the wall.

The British sent 80 SAS troops into Maidstonian territory, near the town of Sittingbourne on the 25th. They set up along Staplehurst Road, and waited for the undead. After three hours, 200 undead ambushed them from all sides. The battle was over in 17 minutes. 64 undead were killed, while all 80 SAS soldiers were eliminated. When no-one returned on the dawn of the 26th, the British government knew that the guerrilla organizations were the least of their worries when they had over 1.5 million undead in the Maidstonain territory that were getting slowly released into the British territory, near the dangerously close London. If the Maidstonians decided to stage a full-scale attack against London, Britain would fall apart, as the British knew they would not be able to fend off the armies of the undead. On the 27th, a British soldier scouting the areas surrounding Rochester heard gunfire coming from the city. When he investigated, an awful sight greeted his eyes: hundreds of undead shambling down the A2, with burning buildings and corpses all around them. Rochester was the site of a major Maidstonian undead release. Over 5000 people were killed in the massacre. The British responded to this by sending over 20,000 soldiers across the border on the 29th. The battle between the Maidstonian and the British was now a full-scale war. The main area around which the war was fought was Maidstone, as many predicted. The war was horrific, with hundreds dying in the first big push when the two sides were looking to get the advantage over the other. Large-scale undead releasing took place in and around the A229 and Mote Park. On the third of November, the British Army were pushed out of Maidstone entirely. Now the war started, it wouldn't stop. Within four days, the undead and Maidstonian guerrillas had advanced ten miles, which was surprising, considering the two sides were often fighting one another every time they had come into contact. They had taken over Croyden and now were advancing on London. On the eighth of November, the undead had infested over Wandsworth. The British Army had retreated to Lambeth to regroup. However, all the Army did by retreating was allow time for the numerous rebel groups to meet up with their reinforcements and become much stronger. On the 10th of November the dead attacked Lambert. The battle was over the next morning. Now the infected were shambling across Westminster Bridge, crossing it without facing any resistance. It was then that the British retreated north, made Manchester their capital and fortified the border south of Sheffield. They had all of this done by the 21st of November, but the rebels were already busy securing the rest of Britain, and recruiting or enslaving members of the public.

In Italy, the undead had been defeated in the Battle of Rome, but at an extremely heavy cost, as over 1,700,000 people had died in the battle, soldier and civilian. but the danger was not over. The German swarms were crossing into Italy, and the Italian Army was severely depleted. They could barely fend off the living dead in Rome, and they had no way of holding off the massive swarms that were coming their way, and they did not have the resources to evacuate. It seemed that the people of Italy, like hundreds of millions of others, were doomed to be engulfed by the shambling hordes.

Part 7: The Fightback.

2nd January, 1944.

When 1944 dawned, the world was at a standstill. In Europe alone, almost 580 million were dead. In Asia, around 500 million were dead. Many countries, including the once mighty Soviet Union and Germany were now desolate, lifeless wastelands, devoid of anything but dying plants, gray skies due to the heavy pollution caused by the massively increased war production and a few species of animals that had somehow escaped the grasp of the living dead. normal society all over the world had disappeared, being replaced by a civilization that was forever on guard, waiting for the next city to be overrun, for another army to be defeated, for another nation to be wiped out. Most nations remaining on the planet were in a state of emergency. In the countries that were aware of the pandemic, there were riots and protests in the streets almost everyday. These prevented the governments from taking decisive action in how to deal with the undead threat. China in particular suffered many riots, and some were thought to be the beginning of a civil war. China also suffered the heavy burden of having a large border to defend, and more often than not groups of undead would wander into a small town, or in some cases a city, and overrun it. one rather infamous case of this "infiltration", for lack of a better label, was in late January where eight undead shambled into the city of Urumqi near the Mongolian border, infected a local doctor, and by the time the doctor had reanimated, over 30 people were infected. Within four days, the city was totally overrun, with less than 1000 people making it out of the city. This prompted the Chinese government to initiate an infection screening policy, one using trained doctors, many of whom were Russian refugees who managed to journey across Siberia, find their way to China and become doctors again. Most of the time dogs were also used, as they could detect infected humans much better than human screeners. The program helped immensely, but even with that help, thousands of undead and infected refugees streamed into China through the course of the war, and they often remained undetected by hunters and travelers until it was too late.

It would take years to totally eradicate the undead actually within China's borders, as all the pollution in the atmosphere had greatly lengthened the planet's winters, up to another 2.5-3 months in some parts of the globe. The long winters would make clearing the undead harder in many areas, and it would be over ten years before the vast majority of the remaining undead were cleared out from Earth's drastically changed landscape. In Europe, several tribes had emerged and cleared out small areas in which they lived and farmed. Most notable of these tribes was a German tribe that had settled on the island of Spiekeroog near Wilhelmshaven. They were around 2000 strong, and were surviving rather comfortably. The dead did not bother them very much, in spite of the fact that the island was near a city. The only undead they saw were the ones that wandered onto or washed up on their shores and the ones they spotted shambling along the coast. The remaining guerrilla factions were doing well in Britain, though they were suffering heavy attacks often. The British were being attacked by undead hordes and the border patrols were struggling to keep them from breaching the barricade. In the US, there were plans to send 75,000 soldiers to Northern Britain to help the British to fight back against the undead. Ireland too sent soldiers over, and all the troops had arrived by the 14th of January. The dead were already advancing on the border as the troops were arriving, and just as the troops arrived in Liverpool the dead attacked the border in force. The survivors in the isolated compounds also did their part to bring down the crippled British Empire, but their mistake was pulling away many compounds guards in order to strengthen their forces for the attack. A swarm from France shambled onto the beaches near Eastbourne and began shambling inward. As the attack dragged on, the undead advanced further into Britain. By the end of the day, the attack had been driven back 1100 compound troops were dead, and the French horde were now infesting a compound in Eastbourne. It was another week before the news reached the British commanders, and by then the dead had attacked compounds in Crawley, Hastings, and were nearing a compound in Maidstone. It took another three days for the British to get substantial numbers of supplies to the area, and by then they had overrun all three cities and were now approaching the outskirts of London. The situation was too far gone for the compound soldiers to handle it by themselves. British recon planes had photographed the undead hordes, and this was enough for the British to initiate a carpet bombing of Southern Britain. over half of London was bombed to the ground, and Eastbourne was totally destroyed. These bombings had an adverse effect on the rebels, but did not have much of an effect on the undead. by the 26th of January, the living dead had overrun the entire city of London. This was when the fragile alliance between the many factions collapsed as a government. Millions of people attempted to reach the north, only to be stopped at the border. The dead were following the refugees, and their numbers were increasing as they went north. by the time they had reached Sheffield on the 7th of February, the entire swarm numbered almost 26 million, over 85% of the population of Britain south of Sheffield and around 75% of the total population of Britain. The border collapsed in hours, and the dead were soon free to infest Britain as the next day the government declared a plan to retreat to the mountains and inhabit them while the dead rotted away. The initial evacuation was a disaster:

Undead Bristol

A photo of Bristol taken by a survivor in December 1943. It is unknown what became of the person who took the photo.

most people did not have radios through which the instructions on where to go and what to bring were broadcast. Thousands died in riots or when bridges were destroyed by the army in order to stall the living dead's advance. More were abandoned or trapped when they were surrounded by the living dead, safe but unable to escape. As the ports became overrun, tens of thousands of infected refugees escaped to boats, but luckily they reanimated before they got to ports in other countries. These dead ships would remain on the seas for months, sometimes years, before either being beached on coasts or sinking due to rough seas. A few that crashed onto coasts still had undead in them, and this is thought to be how the Brazilian and Australian infections happened. As the army began to collapse, all of Britain became a zone of total chaos. There was hope for some, however. outside Leeds was a small town named Skipton with a population of around 3000. The citizens were building a wall, and they had farms, they had enough food to last for months, and to top it off, a battalion of soldiers had deserted to the town. The wall was not finished, and the dead were starting to show up, but they had gotten the wall finished and up around the entire town by the 17th of February. The citizens survived for years until they felt it was safe for them to come out. similar cases of this popped up all over the world. The overall state of humanity, however, was steadily declining. The approximate death toll for an average day in late 1943-early 1944 was over 15,000. The death toll occasionally spiked if a large battle occurred where the human army lost. In Britain, the US had started to withdraw their soldiers, as over 8000 had already died. by the 21st of February, 40,000 of the 75,000 had gotten out, although the rest were trapped in besieged zones. Many of these soldiers would stay safe with the survivors inside these besieged zones, and they would even stay in the country after most of the undead rotted away. These safe zones, havens for survivors all over the world, would become the basis of rebuilding civilization in the nations that had been overrun by the undead. Meanwhile, in the US, German scientist Robert Oppenheimer had come up with a new invention to combat the undead: incendiary bullets. They would combust on impact, and if fired into any part of the head, it would eventually burn the head up. While it was generally believed that an ordinary bullet would do the same job as dispatching the undead and do it faster, the invention of the incendiary bullet would give automatic weapons a place on the battlefield again. The Browning M1919 was soon modified to be able to accept incendiary rounds and fire at a significantly slower rate in order to save ammunition, as incendiary ammunition was difficult and expensive to manufacture. Its place was in swarm attacks, when rapid fire was needed to dispatch as many living dead as possible. It took on average 11 minutes for an undead shot in the head without the bullet piercing the brain to burn to a point when it could no longer move, and around twice to three times that much if it was shot elsewhere. However, they almost always killed the undead, unless the living dead were shot in the foot or lower leg, in which case the undead would be immobilized due to the leg being almost totally destroyed. These designs were sent to China, which was under heavy attack by the undead. They were an immediate success, and the dead were beaten back in many areas across China, particularly Beijing, where only 82,000 people remained. soon, other weapons were being modified to accept incendiary bullets, such as the Japanese Type 99 and Type 100. There were many of these in China, as Eastern China had been occupied by the Japanese in 1934 and they were beginning to advance west when the undead pandemic reached north-eastern China. When Japanese troops and the living dead first clashed near Hohhot, the Japanese were routed, and over 80% of their forces involved in the battle died that day. from then on, the Japanese forces in China allowed the undead to conquer unabated, the only resistance they faced from the Chinese army. The Chinese population dropped from 500,000,000 to 250 million in less than eight months. The only thing that saved China was the evacuation to the numerous safe zones across the country. When the time came to fight back against the undead, the incendiary weapons proved invaluable when swarms attacked. soon, people were beginning to actually advance into infested territory to clear it out. While many of these were successful endeavours, there were some that ended in disaster. When the army and bands of civilians attempted to retake the city of Chengdu on the 26th, they underestimated the undead's numbers, and were wiped out by the enormous hordes. It would take months for the Chinese military to retake the city after the debacle they suffered that day. There was at least a 3:1 ratio in victories to defeats, though. by March 20th, there were over 20 million undead killed throughout China. There were still over 300 million undead in the country and throughout Asia, but there were significant advances made in rebuilding the world.

Until cases were reported in the US.

Part 8: Europa in Ruinen.

18th April, 1944.

It is not known how the undead epidemic began in the United States. The most accepted theory is that the French refugees that arrived in Mexico had infected people among them, and that some of the French towns were overrun and that the undead wandered into the US. They were mainly reported in Texas, on the outskirts of Dallas. There were only a few dozen, they moved throughout the neighbourhoods, and infected many. The government's response was very quick, it sent three bio-hazard battalions to Dallas and ordered them to stay there until there no sightings of an undead for at least a week. They dispatched 21 undead throughout the city, but more and more were infected as the hours passed. soon, a group of undead wandered into the Southern Methodist University. 30 people were devoured, many more were bitten. The situation became much worse when riots broke as the army attempted to dispatch the people who were bitten, and their families attacked the soldiers, and others joined them. some of the bitten people died and reanimated during the riot, wounding and killing more people. Then, as others began to reanimated across the city, two more bio-hazard battalions were sent into the city to deal with the threat. by now, almost 180 people were reanimated. The army's main problem was the rioting, as it prevented them from doing what needed to be done. 19 soldiers were killed in the riot, and all the while the undead were spreading across the city, and outside it. At 8:11 AM, on the 19th, eight battalions of the regular military arrived in the city, with the objective of wiping out the undead presence at any cost, whereas the bio-hazard divisions were designed for either wiping out a small to moderate attack, to cleaning up after a major one. They were not designed for wiping out an outbreak in such a sprawling urban area. The first major engagement in Dallas began at 12:34 PM, in Frisco. A battalion of 450 soldiers began to clean up the suburb. There were at least 40 undead in the area, but their location was not known. Within half an hour, 20 soldiers were ambushed in various locations in the suburb, killed, and reanimated, making the remaining soldiers' job more difficult. Then, as the undead began to become drawn out, more and more civilians were killed. by the 20th, there were 30 undead confirmed dead throughout the city, but there were many more across the city, and they were spreading faster than the army could kill them. The US took a page out of the British Army's book, and commissioned a fleet of blimps to scout the city. What the blimps saw was not encouraging. They saw hundreds of undead across the city, all spreading, and all making their way out of the city. The army surrounded the city with 5000 soldiers, and waited. Eventually, they began to advance inwards, cleansing the city as they went. on the 22nd of April, there was a large confrontation between the undead and the army around Grapevine Lake. The soldiers were confident the undead could not overrun them, but they were mistaken. The dead killed over 200 of the soldiers, and if not for the arrival of another battalion of troops, the entire area would have been overrun. The undead were defeated, but at a cost of 250 soldiers. The dead were being cleansed from the city, thanks to the blimps for spotting them all, but there were a few undead that had eluded the army. These were hunted down, though, by a single person, in the space of a week. this man was named Harold Marshall and he was part of an emerging group of people known as "undead hunters". These men and women were devoted to hunting the undead. Marshall, Canadian, had moved to Europe and fought in Germany as the dead overran the country. He had at least 150 undead kills under his belt, and though he was largely inactive since he had moved back to Canada, his role in the cleanup operation in Dallas had caught the attention of the US Government. They hired him as an official undead hunter, and sent him to places where the dead had been overrun, but where compounds remained, such as Zadonsk, in the Soviet Union, where the dead had totally overrun, where a prison was now occupied by refugees who had fled from the nearby Tambov. Marshall was airdropped into the area to find it already cleared. He saw many corpses, all with bullet wound to the head, but he saw no-one who could have done this. He almost got a bullet in the head himself when the sniper inside the tower spotted him and thought he was an undead. Marshall identified himself as human, though, by waving his rifle above his head. He was allowed entrance into the prison and was introduced to the commander of the prison, Vasily Zaytsev. Zaytsev was also an undead hunter, as he had fought in several major battles in the beginning of the war, including the siege of Leningrad, the battle along the Soviet/Polish border, and the battle for Moscow. He had killed well over 1200 undead, and was getting more everyday as he either sniped the ones who came too near to the prison, or when he went on his undead hunting sprees, as well as the numerous undead he had killed in the battles he had fought in. He was one of the five undead hunters across the Soviet Union. The other four were Ivan Sidorenko, Roza Shanina, Fyodor Okhlopkov, and Tanya Baramzina. All had fought in major battles early in the war, and all had undead kill counts over 1000. These undead hunters were also in Germany: Sepp Allerberger and Erwin Konig were prominent German undead hunters. They were both still alive, and were both in major survivor compounds. Allerberger was in a compound in the Leipzig area, in a place named Lossen. Konig was in a compound at an area named Locknitz, near the Polish border. The two compounds were very secure and safe, and populous. something the hunters noticed were that there were not as many undead in the area that there should have been. decomposition had taken their toll on the dead, and many were now immobilized, or dead, due to the decomposition affecting their brains. Marshall, in the compound, reported that there were only 20% of the living dead throughout the area that the military had said there were. What was more of a problem, reported by many survivor compounds, was the total lack of supplies. In the chaos of the social collapse when the Battle of the German/Polish border was lost, many looters had loaded up with as much provisions as their group or vehicles could carry, and then they went through them much more quickly than they should have, and then were either killed by the living dead or died of starvation. so the only way for the survivor compounds scattered across Europe was to farm, and to be far, far away from any major population centers, most of which were now total dead zones, and where almost every room in every building had an undead lying in wait. In addition to the living dead, those who remained in Europe faced the problem of human bandits. Even though Europe's population had dropped, by some people's estimates, 90%, there were still some renegade elements who had managed to survive. They were particularly common in Russia, where the extremely cold weather froze the undead, and all the renegades had to worry about was other renegades. In Western Europe, though they were less common, as the winters were, most of the time, not cold to actually freeze the living dead, only make them slower and less of a threat than they were in the spring and summer. The undead war's horrific effects were not limited to the living dead and humans; in addition to wiping out many European species, as with many African species, the war forced the remaining species to become far deadlier and far less friendly to humans. feral dogs in Southern Europe, for example, often traveled in very large packs to survived, and there are dozens, even hundreds, of these packs chasing down and killing humans. There were also reports of huge packs, some with over 500 dogs in them. While the 500-strong packs were incredibly rare, they definitely existed, as there are photos and footage of them. Cats also survived in Europe, though they lived alone, and moved from place to place often. Cows were totally extinct in both Europe and Africa, though they continued to survive in parts of Asia and most of the Americas. The undead hunters noted many differences between the pre-war Europe and the post-war Europe. The air was much dirtier than before the plague, as the many industrial accidents in the cities across Europe had released many toxic chemicals into the air, and it was the dirty air that caused the respiratory illnesses plaguing the remaining survivors in Europe. According to post-plague Europe death statistics, over 11,000 people died as a result of their respiratory disorders, and at least 7000 died of poisoning from industrial toxins that they came into contact with as they cleaned up the cities. Another thing the hunters noticed was that there hundreds and hundreds of rats. Cats, rats' main predator, were too scarce to keep the rat population in check, and so the rats had a population explosion throughout Europe. Rats also became more dangerous, as the long times they spent into filthy areas such as corpse-filled streets, polluted swamps, and destroyed industrial sites, their bites became more deadly, as the rats were much more dirty than they usually were. There are 832 confirmed fatalities from rat bites in The Undead War, and 2891 confirmed hospitalizations. Another prevalent problem was the state of much of post-war Europe. After the deaths of over 575 million people, and the vicious fighting that preceded this mass extinction, many once-famous European cities were now abandoned ruins. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower, had collapsed. Much of Vienna had fallen into disrepair, and now Vienna's waterways were clogged with debris and half-destroyed gondolas. Berlin's Brandenburg Gate was now an abandoned ruin in a


The ruins of the Berlin outskirts in January 1944.

dead city. London's Big Ben was half-collapsed now, heavily damaged in the British's carpet bombing of the city. Many buildings in the cities were destroyed, too. It would take decades after Europe was cleared of the living dead to rebuild the cities, and even then the landmarks could never be replaced. There was also the problem of water pollution. Most rivers no longer supported any fish, and they were lifeless, stagnant waterways, and they were also, in some cases, home to immobile undead. Another major problem was with the newly changed seasons. Summers were significantly shorter, winters were longer, and all seasons were colder. The average temperature in 1944 in Europe was 3.7 Celsius in spring and summer, and -7.4 in autumn and winter. The wind often made the temperature colder, an
Undead london

a picture of the ruins of London, taken by a woman who lived in the Eastbourne shantytown for a month, before returning to her home.

d it also snowed heavily throughout most of Eastern and Western Europe, with the exception of southern Spain. The weather also allowed the re-population of Europe to be easier in a way. While the weather did make life difficult, it also froze or slowed down the dead, allowing easier clean-up operations. but it would be years before Europe was even remotely safe to re-inhabit, if it was not cleared out by the remaining human armies. but it was about to be cleared out. It was just a matter of time...

Part 9: Fonctionnement Sans Terre.

18th June, 1944.

Ever since the living dead had destroyed Europe, the human race was in a constant state of fear. but no longer, as over 1,000,000 American, Canadian, Irish, and African armies were readying themselves to retake Europe. The African infestation was largely under control, and they had begun to prepare their militaries to deal a huge blow to the undead. The plan was that the US and Canadian militaries were landing at several points along the French west coast, and they would advance inward, and then the Canadian 3rd Field Army would advance north to clear out Normandy and the surrounding areas. Then, when France was reclaimed, the US 1st Field Army would head south, into Italy and clear out Italy with the help of the advancing African armies. Then, the two militaries would head north to link up with the Canadian and other American armies and clear out Germany and Switzerland. While the other militaries were doing this, the Irish army would clear Scotland with the assistance of the remaining British armed forces, and then head south and clear out Britain. They would then travel to Normandy and advance west to help the other armies reclaim Eastern Europe and finally, Russia. Then, if it was possible to travel across Asia, they would help China reclaim their country. that was the plan, and it was, in theory, fairly sound, but in practice, it was very costly in its later stages, and at one point, the human commanders considered withdrawing from Europe entirely, though they did return later. on the 22nd of June, Operation Free Earth began, and it was, at first, a resounding success. The casualty rate was low, and there were many living dead dispatched in the initial landings. The soldiers also advanced at a rate that surprised the commanders. but soon they were bogged down in heavy fighting. Saint Nazaire, in particular, was rather difficult to reclaim, as the dead were often trapped under rubble which the troops stepped over, which led to the soldiers being bitten and infected. There were also instances where there were just too many undead, like at the Rue Jules Guesde, where there were hundreds of living dead which overran the troops guarding the road. soon, the American soldiers tasked with clearing the city were swamped, devoured by hordes of the living dead. Saint Nazaire, after five days of fighting, was once again a dead zone. on the 28th, the American/Canadian leadership tried to establish four beachheads, La Rochelle, Brest, Bordeaux, and Lorient. 20,000 US and Canadian troops landed in each, with the hope of giving the human forces a foothold in Europe. on the 2nd of July, La Rochelle was declared a safe zone. There were 1800 human soldiers dead. on the 5th of July, Bordeaux was for the most part clear. 1200 soldiers were killed, a small number compared to the commander's estimate of 3500. Then, on the 10th of July, Lorient was reclaimed, with 800 soldiers dead. finally, on the 14th of July, Brest was declared safe, with 2100 human soldiers killed. The human militaries had a foothold in undead-infested Europe, but at a cost that preceded General Eisenhower's, the leader of the US and Canadian soldiers, estimate. He thought that 5000 troops would be killed, but 5900 soldiers were killed. However, the undead dispatched versus human dead ratio was 7:1, which meant that 41,300 living dead were confirmed to have been killed. The African forces then made landfall in Sicily on the 16th, which had been largely unaffected by the undead hordes that had ravaged the rest of Italy, and established a base in Mesina, and prepared to land in mainland Italy. on the 25th, 100,000 Libyan, Egyptian, and Algerian troops landed in Villa San Giovanni. Immediately, thousands of living dead attacked their landing craft. though the casualty rate was low, the situation worsened as they entered the city. More undead awaited them, and hundreds of soldiers were killed in the scramble to secure the area. As more and more dead closed in on them, some troops attempted to desert and escape via the ships which deployed their landing craft. It was a disaster, as the numerous undead in the ocean killed anyone who tried to swim to the ships. though there were many casualties, the dead were eventually repulsed and, by the 27th, 3700 troops were dead, but the Villa was secure. Then, the soldiers moved to secure the rest of Reggio Calabria. The fighter was less intense in the rest of the area, as the majority of the living dead in Reggio Calabria were dispatched the fighting for the Villa Giovanni. by the 1st of August, all of Reggio was secure, and the soldiers then began to look for any survivors. They found 12. The survivors were sent to Sicily, and the soldiers advanced to reclaim the rest of the area. Then, one of the Captains, had an excellent idea. He thought that if they built defenses around Reggio Calabria, and then made as much noise as possible, and waited for the living dead to come. The commanders decided to take up the strategy, and it was a great success. thousands of living dead were dispatched, and incredibly, not a single human soldier was killed in the battle. As soon as the dead had stopped showing up, the troops began to run to secure more ground. by the 10th of August, the whole west coast of the tip of the "boot" of Italy was secure. 80,000 undead were killed, and only 4000 troops were killed. Then, as the armor arrived, the African forces began to initiate Phase 2 of their part in Operation Free Earth. As this was happening, the Irish forces were landing in the Isle of Lewis, using Belfast as their set-off point. There were around 55,000 troops. The Irish Army had launched a recruitment drive to increase their numbers. on the 15th of August, 8000 of the Irish troops linked up with the remnants of the British Army at Ullapool. They first encountered the dead at the Inverbroom Lodge, where a horde had followed some survivors up to the Scottish mountains. The engagement was relatively easy, and there were over 500 dead killed. However, to the south, much of Britain was still badly infested with the living dead. but, something that would take some of the load off was that the US and Canadians, when Normandy was totally secure, would land in Southern Britain and begin to advance north, to compensate for the relatively small size of the Irish Army. Then, on the 16th, the soldiers encountered a survivor compound, over 150 strong, at Loch Droma. They had lost some people from the horde that passed by them, the same horde that the Irish Army had eliminated at Inverbroom Lodge. though they would not accompany the soldiers on their advance to Muir of Ord, to the south, they did pass out some ammunition and food. Then, on the 18th, another detachment of 10,000 Irish troops landed in a town named Oban, on the west coast of Scotland. They were besieged by hundreds of living dead as they advanced into the Barr Cruinn forest. though they were repulsed, the Irish lost 200 troops to the dead. They had actually dispatched almost all of the undead in the town, and then all the troops had to do was clear out any stragglers that had reanimated in their homes. There were around 13 of these, and they were killed with ease. Oban was clear, and the Irish had two footholds in the dead zone of Great Britain. Then, on the 21st of August, the main Irish force, of 20,000 men, was landing in the town of Irvine, also on the west coast of Scotland, but it was near to the major city of Glasgow. The first wave landed on a beach near a road named Beach Drive, and began to advance into the town. When they reached the Irvine Harbour, they were confronted with British and Scottish soldiers holding off a huge swarm of the living dead. The troops, after a very long battle, eliminated the undead. The soldiers then began their clean-up of the town. over 900 Irish soldiers were killed, and half of the 200 British and Scottish soldiers were killed, but on the 26th of August, the town was entirely cleared. 41 survivors were found, in basements and other hiding places. Then, the following morning, the troops started their push towards Glasgow, reclaiming towns and villages as they went. to assist the Irish in the reclamation of Britain, 200,000 US and Canadian troops, who had cleared out most of Normandy, were sailing to clear the south coast of Britain. 30,000 of them launched from Le Havre, and set off for the ruins of Eastbourne on the 29th of August. At 3:56 PM, they made landfall. There were surprisingly few mobile living dead in the city's ruins. Many undead were immobile, due to shrapnel from the many bombs that were dropped on the city or due to the fact that when the hundreds of civilian militia evacuated the city, many were caught by living dead, and wounded them before they were overwhelmed. so, the troops that landed in Eastbourne did not have much of job to do compared to the troops that had to land in the other cities. All they really had to do was clear the city of the remaining undead and search for survivors. There were 512 survivors, all in the same area, Eastbourne Downs, where there was a large shantytown. They had all come from other areas of Britain, many had lost friends or family members in the journey to the famed "sanctuary", only to find a poorly built, poorly defended, and often attacked, starvation-stricken hell. When the shantytown was at its height, there were over 4000 people in it. 87.5% of the people who had come to the town had died in it. Many were also on the brink of death, and were only saved when the soldiers gave them some of their supplies. The people were evacuated to Ireland, and Eastbourne Downs' shantytown was disassembled, to be used to make barricades to hold off some of the larger hordes of the living dead, and a memorial, one of hundreds, was to be built to commemorate those who died in the shantytown's terrible conditions. 80,000 of the troops then advanced west, to East Blatchington, to secure another beachhead, where another 120,000 soldiers were due to land on the 30th then, 40,000 advanced east, to Bexhill, whilst the rest advanced north, to Hailsham. tTe troops that were landing in East Blatchington landed four hours late, but it gave the troops who had already landed to clear the beach head more. by the time they had landed, the job was already mostly done for them. on the 2nd of September, after East Blatchington was totally clear, the troops all began to advance to other targets. by the 20th of September, everything south of Crawley, and north of Newcastle Upon-Tyne was clear. but the toughest part of reclaiming England was yet to come, as the area in between had become extremely snarled with undead, human renegades, cities full of perilously damaged buildings, and natural and man-made barriers, such as debris-clogged rivers and destroyed bridges, and feral animals. While Britain was being cleared, the African forces had cleared Italy up to Foggia. France was cleared as far west as Limoge, and some Canadian troops had broken off to clear out Spain and Portugal. The operation had had some excellent success, as over 11,000 survivors had been found in all the areas that had been cleared, much higher than General Eisenhower's estimate of 3000. on the 23rd of September, the African forces advanced into San Severo, to find a massive survivor stronghold, over 20,000 strong. While the rest of Italy was a dead zone, the citizens of San Severo, after over two months of fighting, in August 1944, reclaimed their city. They had lost over three-quarters of their people, the city was theirs. They had many farms, good defenses, well armed defenders. They offered some of their soldiers to help reclaim the rest of their country, and the African soldiers respectfully accepted. They would send 5000 soldiers, and in return, the troops would send supplies regularly to help the survivors. San Severo would later become the new capital of Italy, as Rome had been terribly devastated in the Battle for Rome, and it would take years before Rome was truly rebuilt. These factors, and the fact that San Severo was practically undamaged, made San Severo an ideal choice for capital. The soldiers then moved on to clear out the rest of Italy. A week later, on the 30th, Canadian undead hunter Harold Marshall, arriving after traveling all the way from Russia, was then, after a well-deserved rest, was sent into the ruins of undead-infested Paris. The first thing he noted was the masses of civilian cars making the roads impassable. Millions had attempted to flee when the living dead attacked the city, but as the infected refugees who had made their way past Paris reanimated and surrounded the city, most everyone who made it to the outskirts of the city were killed. Then, as the dead began to infest the inner parts of the city, everyone abandoned their cars in an effort to find a safe place to hide. some did survive the initial stages of the carnage that followed, hiding in basements or attics. However, many people that the undead didn't kill, starvation did. Within a month of the city being overrun, nearly every single person in the city was dead or undead. The area around the Seine bridges were the largest kill-zones, as in the dash to escape, thousands were killed, and just as many died when they jumped into the rivers, unaware that there were undead in the river. over 10,000 people died as the living dead in the Seine killed them. some, in the less clogged up lanes, were killed in car crashes. Marshall was landed near the now collapsed Eiffel Tower and began his mission to partially clear out the city. though it was easy for him at first, soon he was trapped in a building on the Rue de Varenne by hundreds of undead. He did eventually escape however, using his parkour skills acquired in his journey back from Russia, but the dead were chasing him throughout the city. Eventually, after a long pursuit, Marshall was again trapped, this time in the Notre Dame. over 1000 undead were clawing at the doors, which Marshall had closed and barricaded. Marshall had no way out. When they finally broke through, Marshall used his personal submachine gun, a PPSH-41, using incendiary rounds, and began to fire wildly at the horde. He killed many with headshots, and more with the fire. He used his grenades, which killed some and knocked most down for a while. Marshall used this opportunity to escape, running outside of the doors. Marshall was beginning to run low on food and water, however, and he was miles away from any human territory. He decided to run west, and never look back. The closest human base was in Evreux, 15 miles away. It took him seven hours to run with all his gear, and by the time he arrived in Evreux, he was on the brink of collapsing. He gained the help he needed however, and the commanders decided to send him in with a team in the future. on the 2nd of October, the US and Canadian soldiers in Le Havre made a push to reclaim Paris. Another million soldiers were moving in from the US and Canada and the other countries. over 300,000 soldiers had just arrived in Le Havre, and General Eisenhower thought it was the time. The troops mobilized themselves on the 3rd, and began to exterminate the living dead all over their planned route. The troops arrived on the 4th, and were immediately put under enormous strain to retake the city. The Battle of Paris had begun. The first major blow to the dead was struck at 17:32 in Cergy, where 50,000 dead were killed in 28 minutes. The USAF played a major part in this, as they had developed simple cruise missiles, built using the German V-1 schematics, re-drawn by Robert Lusser, who made it to the US. They were filled with petroleum and explosives, which meant a huge explosion when the missile made contact. These missiles were launched by B-52s, though they could only carry four, as the V-1's were very heavy. They also were quite dangerous for those in the immediate vicinity, and there are quite a few reports of human soldiers almost being killed by the massive explosion. The second decisive victory was in Maisons-Laffitte, where a company of courageous Canadian soldiers held off thousands of undead to save some of their soldiers, who had been wounded by a shell during a barrage. They were all awarded the Purple Heart for their actions. The third was in Nanterre, where US and Canadian troops wiped out the largest horde in Paris, over 200,000 strong, after an 18-hour battle, which took the lives of 400 soldiers. These three blows ensured the north-western suburbs of Paris were under human control. Then, on the 6th, US soldiers entered Boulogne-Billancourt, where one of the last human holdouts in Paris was located. Eight people were under siege by five dozen living dead. However, the area was also where the French Army made their stand, and were slaughtered, creating a maelstrom where there were over 120,000 undead in the same suburb. several V-1s were launched prior to the attack. These killed many dead, but not as many that was needed. The first wave of US soldiers went into the suburb at 7:19 PM. The casualty rate was high, and the first wave was forced to evacuate after 30% of the troops were killed in the first three hours. The next wave came at dawn, at 9:38 PM. The casualty rate was much lower, at 5% this time around. The survivors were located at a house on Rue de Verdun. The dead were finally made scarce enough for the soldiers to extract the survivors. Many questioned the tactical value of rescuing eight survivors in an undead-infested area of the city, but it was decided that it was worth it, as the civilians possessed great knowledge of the city's layout. this knowledge would prove useful as the human forces advanced into Courbevoie, where the last remnants of the French Army were finally being overrun after months of fending off the living dead. just as the dead were smashing down the doors of the buildings in which the humans hid, the US and Canadian forces arrived. It was a quick fight, only an hour to clear the horde. They were saving infected individuals however, as in the last attack, many were infected by the living dead. There were a few who were spared the fate of execution though, like the snipers who killed the dead who managed to infect any people. These people would later help in horde attacks, where fronts were nearly overrun by the undead. some would go on to become official army snipers, while others would head west, back to help rebuild their destroyed nation. Meanwhile, to the south, Canadian soldiers were fighting a swarm of the living dead near the ruins of the Eiffel Tower. The swarm was, after five hours, dispatched. Then, on the 7th, Harold Marshall and his team were parachuted into Bobigny, a neighbourhood in the city, to clear the area. It was difficult at first for them, as there were many dead assaulting their positions, but as the hunters thinned their numbers, the task became far easier, and on the 11th the suburb was totally clear. They began to clear others, and on the 25th, Pantin and Drancy were cleared as well. this lifted a large burden from the other human soldiers. The battle was almost lost on the 27th, when a massive swarm of living dead attacked the human headquarters in Maisons-Laffitte. A high-ranking Major was killed in the attack, and General Eisenhower considered pulling out of Paris entirely. He decided against it though, as the city was three-quarters clear. The push to reclaim the rest of the city began on the 29th, as US soldiers advanced into Montreuil. The fighting there was moderate, and was over by the 30th. Then, Canadian troops began to clear out Nogent-Sur-Marne. There was almost no fighting in this area, as much of the undead in the area had moved into other neighbourhoods. The area was found to have several survivors, who would later be transferred west, to help the rebuilding efforts. Then, on the 31st, Harold Marshall and his team, went into Champigny-Sur-Marne to clear it out. There was a huge presence of living dead in this area, tens of thousands. one of Marshall's team was killed, and the rest were cut off from the main human forces in Hopital Prive Paul d'Egine. Hundreds of living dead besieged the team, and though they held many off, inevitably the dead broke through. Three of Marshall's team were killed by the undead, and the remaining two and Marshall made their last stand. They were going to be overrun and infected, but they took out almost the entire horde before the remaining dead infected them. They killed them and then killed themselves, to avoid becoming living dead. Marshall's sacrifice opened a window to allow human soldiers to clear a large part of the city. US soldiers quickly advanced into the suburb, taking full advantage of the window Marshall had given them. They swiftly cleared the dead in the area, and began to search for survivors. There were only a few, but they had directions to major survivor compounds to the east. on the 1st of November, Champigny-sur-Marne was declared clear and Canadian and newly arrived Irish soldiers from the now-totally cleared England moved into Saint-Maur-des-Fosses, a largely ruined suburb, as it was one of the areas where the French Army had made a stand against the living dead. The undead presence was one of the heaviest in Paris, but the soldiers who went into the area were experienced in combat when it came to the living dead, whereas many of the soldiers who fought in the initial fighting were considered "green" by the veterans. The fighting was fierce, but the human soldiers triumphed after two weeks of fighting. Then, on the 17th, US and African troops rolled into Chelles through Montreuil, which had been cleared. There was very little in way of fighting the living dead, rather the main combat was between the soldiers and marauders, over 400 of them, living in a little kingdom, where they ruled. It was an easy fight, and the marauders were either killed or forced to retreat east. Much progress had been made since the first landings, as all of Italy, all of Switzerland, much of Austria, Czechoslovakia and part of Southern Germany had been retaken (though not actually rebuilt yet). but some of the hardest fights had yet to come,as Germany was totally disorganized, and almost entirely ruled by the dead. Germany had the lowest number of survivors during the Undead War, and it was one of the last countries to be re-established (Russia was never completely re-established, the survivor compounds simply made their own smaller nations) and it was also one of the most heavily infested countries in Europe, as it was the major battleground for the human armies early in the war. this is where Free Earth became very slow and casualty-heavy. It was also the place where Free Earth almost fell apart ...

Part 10: Die toten Stadte.

27th December 1944.

Operation: Free Earth was now in its middle-stages. Most of France was now clear, and Canadian soldiers were moving into Spain to clear it out. Irish, US and British troops were now moving into Belgium and the Netherlands. The first major engagement between the living and the dead in Germany occurred in Breisach am Rhein, between US and Canadian soldiers and 11,000 undead. The fighting was quite intense, and out of the 150 human troops that went into the town, only 40 came out, though the horde had been wiped out totally. This made the human command quite cautious about entering German territory blind, and there was no advances into the ruined country until three days after the New Year. Then, on the 4th of January, British troops, 50 of them, landed via paratrooping at Jechtinger Wald, along the French/German border, with rafts and Stens using incendiary ammunition, and then crossed the river to make contact with German survivors in a house further inland. They advanced to find that one of the survivors was, in fact, a German general from the German/Soviet war. He deserted during The Battle of Leningrad, and came back to his residence, to hide with his family. The dead largely missed his home, and he was able to take in other refugees and farm food using his large garden. The British decided to take him back to France, so that he could possibly give insight as to how the undead pandemic became a pandemic. He went back to the human command, and then began the task of contacting German Army remnants across Europe, and attempting to get them back to human territory. This mission would be rather problematic, as the soldiers would rarely ever be even found, and almost never made it back to the human lines. On the 6th of January, Irish and French soldiers advanced into the town of Burkheim. Though there was no information on the town's layout, the Irish and French used the tactic of aggressive defense, first used by African forces when they first landed on mainland Italy. It was a minor success, as some soldiers were killed. Then, the advance into the town began. The troops faced no resistance throughout the town. Nothing unremarkable for post-war Europe. The town had been reclaimed the next day. On the 7th, in a daring and, some would say, suicidal move, SAS and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers would be dropped in the city of Emmendingen, as the prologue of Operation Market Garden. 3000 of them jumped from planes into the city. They would not be going in blind, however; blimps had mapped all planned drop zones extensively. At 11:32, 120 82nd Division paratroopers jumped out of their planes. They landed just outside of the town, in Untere Hofe. The soldiers searched the houses first. There was 11 relatively fresh corpses. They had only died a few days prior. While they were searching the houses, a few dozen undead arrived. A firefight ensued, and 14 paratroopers were killed. The second wave of 82nd Division paratroopers then arrived in Emmendingen itself. They were met with human marauders. The paras were pinned down on the Gartenstrasse. Nine soldiers were wounded until the first wave of SAS soldiers arrived, at which point the bandits retreated. Whilst the Emmendingen operation was taking place, 25,000 soldiers of the US 63rd, 75th, 78th and 84th Infantry Divisions were preparing for the reclamation of Luxembourg. The staging point for the entire assault would be Hayange, over the border in France. The attack began on the 9th of January. The 63rd Division would first go through Esch-sur-Alzette, but this would prove to be a very poor decision, as they would become entrenched, and unable to move, surrounded by the living dead, and unable to be rescued until British forces arrived to assist the taking of Luxembourg. On the 10th, the 75th and 78th Divisions passed through Esch-sur-Alzette and entered the town of Differdange, which was the battleground of hundreds of undead and dozens of bandits. The bandits were almost certainly fighting a losing battle, as their fortifications were falling apart, and the dead had already killed over half of the bandits when the American forces arrived. There was soon a large fight for control of the area. 74 US soldiers were killed, several of which were not found until they reanimated, which lowered the morale of the squads they were once in. Nevertheless, 15 hours after the battle for Differdange was over, with a victory for the US forces. On the 11th, Irish and US troops went to secure the two towns of Petange and Bascharage, in order to gain control of the major roads that went straight into Luxembourg. The dead were swarming inside, and it was a very tough fight to take the roads into Luxembourg. 123 soldiers were killed, out of the 15,000 that advanced into the towns, but now the human forces could go directly into Luxembourg without having to fight in the undead-infested suburbs, suffering hundreds of casualties. The first troops to enter Luxembourg entered at 1:49AM, traveling on the Collectrice du Sud. There were tens of thousands of undead, and heavy fighting began in Hollerech. Survivors who were holed up in Uewerstad soon arrived to help them, but their presence was minimal. By the time the sun rose over the rotting city, Hollerech was mostly clear. At 11:01AM, American soldiers began marching through Parc de Trois Glands, when groups of undead attacked them. The battle, in which 29 soldiers were killed, was over by 11:35. Free Earth was going well; Casualties were, for the most part, lower than expected, progress was going well; however, the entire operation was about to almost completely go to hell...

Part 11: The Struggle for Africa.

15th February, 1943.

Not long after Russia collapsed, dozens of planes attempted to leave the dying nation for other, safer countries. Some went to Europe; however, most were shot down, as the Europeans were aware of what was happening in Russia and were not about to let the infection in their borders. The rest either went to Africa or Asia, where they were not shot down. This is how the infections in both continents were able to spread more quickly. The first of the planes to arrive in Africa arrived in Cairo. It had run out of fuel, and crashed in Ad Duqqi. Eight people were killed, and over 40 were injured. Even worse, however, was the fact that there were 44 infected refugees in the plane, and 30 survived the crash, as undead. When rescuers came, they were killed by the infected. The dead then began to spread throughout the city, slowly but surely. On the dawn of the 17th, there were over 300 undead in Cairo. The army were deployed throughout the city, to halt the spread of the infection and to keep the peace. They were far too wide-spread to be caught by the inefficient tactics of the Egyptian Army, which had no way of dealing with the undead at all. Several soldiers were killed in scuffles with the dead, and houses were broken into, their inhabitants slaughtered. By the 20th, there were over 5000 living dead in Cairo. Ad Duqqi was overrun, 450 soldiers were killed, and the situation was out of control. The numerous bridges on the River Nile that separated West Cairo from East Cairo were destroyed in an effort to stop the spread of the undead infestation, leaving West Cairo to be overrun, and the western half of the city descended into chaos quickly when they realised they had been condemned. Hundreds of people tried to jump into the river, but were cut down quickly as the Egyptian soldiers did their part to maintain the quarantine. Others tried to leave West Cairo entirely, but were either killed by the undead or by other civilians, among numerous other causes.

The situation was much more hopeful in the area of AZ Zamalik. The civilians quickly organized into a militia to combat the living dead which festered in their borders. Since all bridges into their island were destroyed, and any humans/undead that tried to go through the Nile were killed by the militia or the small compartment of Egyptian military. A bigger problem was the lack of food supplies. Numerous riots across the island killed over 80 people, and it made it very difficult for the militia to get organized, though the riots had ended by the 26th. By this time, however, over 10% of the population were dead and the Egyptian forces in Eastern Cairo had been pushed back to Nasr City, and were heavily depleted, which meant that the survivors in AZ Zamalik were on their own in terms of survival.

On the 28th, the remaining Egyptian soldiers in Nasr City made plans to evacuate the civilians to Suez, as it had just been reinforced with 5000 freshly trained soldiers and was easily defended. The journey was long though, and their supplies were practically non-existent. They decided to gamble and follow through with the journey. It began on the 1st, and they set off very quickly. They met no resistance on the way out, though they saw and heard many clashes to the north with the undead and the civilian militia. It was estimated that they would arrive in Suez on the 9th, but that their supplies would run out on the 7th. When they arrived at Sweis Road on the 3rd, the last human hold-outs in Cairo fell. Most of the military generals for the Egyptian army were killed in it's defense.

With their leadership almost entirely destroyed, some soldiers took the chance to desert and become their own independent groups. While the groups were mostly willing to co-operate with the main army, the Egyptian military had a strict policy on desertion: there could be none, even in cases of national emergency. 1500 soldiers were armed to fight a group of 'deserters' at Ash Shatt. When they arrived, the deserters, led by Ahmed Bash-ad, the group refused to rejoin the army. Then the army forces advanced on the deserters, firing on them as well. The deserters immediately fired back, but the army forces outnumbered them three to one. Out of the 450 deserters that were initially in the group, only 119 survived the confrontation. They retreated north, but were met with shelling from within Suez, which killed another 34 men. Their loyalties were now set, they were no friend of the army's. This also made the other independent groups become hostile towards the Egyptian army if they were going to be treated the same way as Bash-ad's men. Through this rash and aggressive move, the Egyptian government (or what was left of it) inadvertently began a civil war, at the worst possible time for the country. They also caused more desertion, which was exactly the opposite of what they had wanted to do. In Kharga, the entire Egyptian Army garrison made it clear via radio that they were no longer part of the army, with the support of the town population.

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