An identical pattern is discernible in the early chapters of World War Z, as the infection in rural China quickly reaches critical proportions before spreading to India and the Middle East; infected human organs smuggled out of the region produce zombies in locations without any direct migration of the infected.
The Great Panic is the name given by Brooks to the time of mass hysteria and breakdown of society surrounding humanity's realization of the reality facing them Zombies. The Panic began earlier in nations with first contact to the Zombies such as China, and the nations of its smuggling trade routes. Refugees escaping from the blight in China helped to speed up the rate of infection in other nations.
At the same time, the Zombies were beginning to outnumber the Living in Africa and India. The Great Panic would eventually sweep the globe. Because of the level of denial that the USA was in over the nature of the zombie threat through the first winter, the American public was more or less just as unprepared despite having more time and intel than most nations, and one of the world's most powerful military.
No large-scale warning was made, and due to the media-as-big-business culture in the United States at the time, many news outlets had treated warnings of the zombie plague as simply another disease outbreak like Ebola or SARS outbreaks of previous years. After the initial "buzz" wore off due to Phalanx , causing most to believe it was under control , the media simply stopped reporting about it and moved on to the next big celebrity news, etc.
As a result, the first that many typical middle-class suburban Americans knew of the undead threat was when zombies came crashing through their living room windows. Soon, the number of zombies was increasing exponentially. In May, a female reporter finally broke the news that the zombie epidemic was real, and that Phalanx was just a placebo and not a real vaccine against the zombie plague. Genuine mass panic and widespread anarchy set in, with "wannabe Rambos" shooting anything that moved, and doing as much, if not more, damage as the actual zombies.
By August, New York City had been overrun, and zombie outbreaks were happening in towns all across the U. Desperate to crush the zombies and restore the public's faith in the government's ability to control the situation, half of the U. Far from the planned "morale boosting victory", the Battle of Yonkers was a cataclysmic disaster. A river of undead utterly overwhelmed the U.
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Organized response to the zombies collapsed, mass chaos and retreat set in, and within three weeks the surviving elements of the U. The Redeker Plan was developed by an ex-Apartheid government official, Paul Redeker , and copied by other nations with varying names and details. It was determined that an entire population could not be saved, due to a lack of resources and the dangers of infection. However, some of these safe zones were actually false safe zones, designed to relieve pressure from the actual safe zones.
They would be set up and supplied in other sanctuaries, to draw zombies away from the safe zones and allow the people there time to regroup and reorient. In many cases false safe zones were developed in unsustainable positions. Hundreds of thousands were lied to and sacrificed in this manner, although reports of millions were present.
During this time immediately following the Great Panic, the focus was on the restructuring of the United States government, military, and civilian population. Many military tactics were changed in light of the new foe, and new tools of war and industry were invented and implemented by the U.
The seat of the government was moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. Once the Western United States is declared adequately fortified from the mega-hordes of zombies, it is determined that humanity need only wait out the zombies, as they will eventually all decay over many years, sustained by the incomprehensibly resilient properties of Solanum , lose locomotion, and be more easily disposed of.
However, a growing movement argued that the reclamation of land and the extermination of zombies was vital to the common spirit of all humanity. From Honolulu, The United States began to plan its counter-offensive against the global zombie horde; both to reclaim territory and to rekindle morale. The challenge was admittedly daunting.
However, zombies devote every second of every day to hunting down and consuming humans.
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They never sleep and require no logistical support. Their lack of any sort of organization made impossible the use of tactics dating to the Bronze Age, such as the disruption of the chain of command or the killing of the enemy general. Each zombie is a self-contained fighting unit that can function for years without resupply, relief, or reinforcement.
The use of a new rifle, called the Standard Infantry Rifle or SIR which sacrificed ease and rate of fire for accuracy, ease of manufacture and reliabillity Todd Wainio said that it never jammed on him , along with a new type of incendiary ammunition PIE; Pyrotechnically Initiated Explosive allowed for armies to cut down zombies methodically and effectively. Pre-modern warfare infantry squares became a predominant tactic against the living dead.
Battles consisted of the unit forming rank and file and luring the zombies into their prepared killzones. They fired on the horde as they cross a series of range markers, eventually forming a wall of dead zombies that the others have to climb over. Once zombies started to appear from multiple directions as they almost always did , the troops would form a square shape around their vehicles, as to protect the center.
This method was copied from General Raj-Singh , who attempted to use a square to face off thousands of zombies in India, a successful tactic until his troops ran out of ammunition and were overrun. These new tactics were first employed on a large scale in the United States at the Battle of Hope. Eventually the United States managed to recapture its entire territory by forming two lines of infantry that stretched across the United States and marching across the country.
After this is done, the U.
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Europeans manage to retake their countries. Russia reconquers its territory, with the exception of parts of Siberia, but suffers a vastly higher casualty rate than the U. North America is cleared of zombies ten years after the beginning of the war. Post-War is the part of the book used to describe the age after the end of the global counter-offensive. All major cities were retaken, and the vast majority of areas were cleared of the infestation.
Most of the areas still infected are in the north such as Finland or Iceland , or in the mountains, where the undead are frozen solid during the winter months; cleanup must be done during the brief thaw each year. Another major area of infestation is in bodies of water, where millions of undead still exist and occasionally make it to land. These heavily infested areas are known as "White Zones". The most heavily infected area other than the ocean floors is Iceland, due to a pre-war lack of military resources and an abundance of refugees, infected among them.
The entire nation was eradicated. World War Z significantly altered the geopolitical and economic landscape.
In particular, many national governments collapsed, and the political ties between certain nations grew stronger. The environmental effects of the war also held great portent for the countries emerging from the depths of Total War. In the closing interviews of World War Z, it is revealed that Earth's ecosystem is badly damaged. The atmosphere was contaminated from the pollutants and ash released by a historically unprecedented amount of fires during the war - from the neglect of nuclear and chemical factories and warehouses, to the burning cities and refugee camps.
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It was estimated that the amount of particulates in the atmosphere would be comparable to the aftermath of a nuclear exchange by the United States and Russia, this without the exchange between Iran and Pakistan factored in. Parts of Earth were drastically cooled over the course of the war, with the most likely cause being the ash in the air and other pollutants, blocking out the heat of the sun. Many water sources are polluted and the ocean is still a haven for zombies, with an estimated 25 million zombies walking the ocean floor.
Because of the large number of refugees who fled to islands, boats, etc. All of the sub-arctic baleen species were extinct soon after the war ended. The Canadian Subarctic, a refuge for many people fleeing the violence in the U. Post-war, the Earth remains devastated and resource problems are common. High tech sailing ships have appeared on the scene and it appears that oil and other fossil fuels are rather scarce. Oil from the Middle East is no longer possible, since the lands that weren't irradiated from Iran and Pakistan's nuclear exchange were set fire to, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
Attempts have been made to restart oceanic production but the presence of so many zombies remains a major problem for oil rig crews as the creatures can survive underwater.
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Nuclear weapons do not appear to have been used on the zombies themselves, but Iran and Pakistan are probably still highly radioactive and there would be an additional radiation hazard from the multi-megaton detonation that ended the Chinese Civil War. As noted above contamination from neglected nuclear facilities may remain a problem. The political map of the world changed over the course of the war. The superiority enjoyed by "Western civilization" was completely up ended, and Cuba and Tibet emerge as the two powerhouse nations of post-war Earth.
China went from being the world's most dynamic and rapidly growing economic power pre-war, to being one of the nations most severely damaged by the undead. Brooks' vision of this new world order is dark, with casualties in the billions, but as the world rebuilds, there remains hope. Except for a number of isolated safe zones such as Omaha, Nebraska and Tallahassee, Florida , almost all of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains was overwhelmed by zombies during the war.
Became home to most of the nation's remaining human population, serving as a launching pad for the national reclamation effort. The United States also had a higher percentage of isolated pockets of survivors than any other country, attributed to the independent nature of American culture and the high rate of gun ownership in contrast with countries such as Japan.
Mexico was so weakened by the war that its army was incapable of liberating the country without assistance from the United States. Due to the thousands of zombies pushing up by land from South America, Mexico had to focus on securing its northern border while the US cleared its land area of zombies. Several groups of survivors had made a stand in old Spanish mission-forts and Aztec, Toltec, and Mayan pyramids.
To the north, Canada suffered much environmental damage during the Great Panic and the early years of the war as waves of refugees fled to the country's northern territories in order to escape the zombies. Cannibalism occurred after famine set in. Due to its vast land area, Canada could not hope to clear its own territory, so when the drive to reclaim the continent from the undead occurred, the remaining Canadian Armed Forces focused on securing the Canadian Rockies with help from the U. After the US was cleared volunteer forces joined the effort to clear out Canada and Mexico. Still, vast swaths of the Canadian sub-arctic still remain uncleared, with frozen zombies thawing out and threatening to start the infection once again.
Cuba was notable in how well it fared during the great plague, due to several factors. First, Cuba had a state-funded wide-scale medical system, answered only to the Cuban government, so it recognized the true nature of the zombie threat occurred very early on contrasting with the Phalanx debacle with the FDA in the USA. Cuba quickly implemented a strict quarantine and screening process to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
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Also, Cuba had a disproportionately large weapons arsenal due to the Cuban military downsizing from , men to 50, men strong in the past ten years prior to the outbreak , and this was vital to their success at eliminating early outbreaks. Further, Cuba had limited incoming and outgoing travel due to its political isolation, resulting from the long standing trade embargo over forty years earlier.
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