greetings from germany.
i know the following text is not from the walking dead, but i think its very interesting and fun to read and its an explanation what happened in the maintime and why there is no army left ;).
enjoy as i did.
on of the first heavy outbrakes was in new york city. to prevent the usa to be overrun by zombies, they tried to stop the zombies from getting out of new york. so they build their defences in yonkers, a suburb of new york.
Several elements of the United States Armed Forces were deployed along the Saw Mill River Parkway in North Yonkers. While the parkway served as a natural choke point (the only intelligent tactic that military leadership employed, as described by a surviving veteran), it made no difference in the final result. Utilizing antiquated tactics dating back to the Cold War, positions were prepared in such ways as digging tank emplacements, building barriers out of sandbags, and in foxholes. The zombie hordes from the city were lured into the choke point by the handful of refugees still fleeing towards the army's position, and due to the chain swarm effect, gradually the entire New York City infestation, numbering in the millions, was headed towards Yonkers.
When zombies first began to trickle down the freeway, the opening salvos were fired - two MLRS rocket barrages which destroyed a significant percentage of the first wave but ultimately made few kills zombies with limbs and torsos blown off could still advance so long as they had an intact brain and some means to drag themselves forward. As the undead became more tightly packed, the MLRS lost effectiveness, with the thick swarms of zombies reducing the possibility of a head wound significantly. The second barrage came from M109 Paladin artillery stationed on a hill to the rear of the infantry. They fired fragmentation shells which had even less of an effect than the MLRS barrages. The artillery strikes depended on the "balloon effect," which by proximity to an explosion would cause the liquid in the victim's body to burst. This did not occur, however, because of the zombie's coagulated blood. Therefore, SNT (Sudden Nerve Trauma), which "just shuts down vital organs like God flickin' a light switch," did not happen either.
After this, the infantry, armor and air support opened fire on the "river of undead humans". Firing on the zombies were the full military might of the United States Army: M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradleys, Humvees, mortars and several RAH-66 Comanche helicopters. All of these held sustained fire for a time in what was likened to "a meatgrinder, or a wood chipper..." until the anti-personnel ammunition ran out. In fact, little of it had even been provided for the tanks. The armor and helicopters then switched over to Anti-Tank rounds like HEAT or Sabot shells which had little to no effect on the swelling tide of undead.
The infantry were left fighting the undead in close proximity, and there were even zombies locked in the houses behind the front line of infantry that had been freed by the explosions, ambushing and devouring unsuspecting troops. Other soldiers could see everything, through the weapon mounted cameras of the front-line soldiers (thanks to the Land Warrior system); the hordes closing in, their fellow soldiers falling and being eaten alive and even reports of zombies not dying when being shot in the head (this happened because the rounds grazed their heads, something panicking soldiers failed to notice). F-35 fighter jets launched AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon, dropping hundreds of thousands of explosive devices.
The bombing run decimated the oncoming wave and resulted in a few moments of eerie silence as the dazed and confused soldiers recovered from the shock of the nearby explosions. However, even more zombies shuffled up the road to take their place. At that point the battle turned into utter chaos, as the soldiers on the ground saw an oncoming wave of millions more zombies emerging from the smoke clouds from the bombs that had taken out the first several thousand. Satellite images from the Land Warrior system still showed a horde of millions of zombies stretching back into Times Square on Manhattan island. In a notable act of desperation one helicopter gunship bravely tried to buy time for infantry on the ground to retreat by flying low towards the zombie horde with its rotary blades tipped forward; this sliced through many zombies and slowed their advance, but then one of the helicopter's blades hit a wrecked car, causing it to crash and explode.
News crews clambered over one another to get away from the coming onslaught and military personnel sought refuge anywhere they could from the zombies. There was crazy, random shooting from soldiers and armed newsmen in a blind panic. The Air Force dropped several thermobaric weapons on the zombies and their own troops hoping to neutralize the undead at Yonkers in one sweep (which had the gruesome side-effect of ripping lungs out of individuals not destroyed by the initial blast, leaving numerous ghouls wandering around with their lungs hanging out of their mouths). It accomplished its purpose of destroying the majority of zombies from that battle but many more still poured in from Manhattan, overpowering the American forces and proving, to devastating effect, and on national television no less, that the war with the undead could not be won with conventional tactics. Within 3 weeks after Yonkers, the eastern United States was abandoned by the United States military in a mass retreat to a new defensive line at the Rocky Mountains.
What went wrongEdit
The Battle of Yonkers was an unmitigated disaster for the military. Public confidence in them and the United States Government was shattered, and this contributed heavily to the Great Panic and claimed the lives of many more Americans.
The tactics used by the army dated back to plans against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. After years of fighting brushfire wars, the "Fulda Fucktards" (sic) who had come of age during the Cold War were overjoyed to have an opportunity to fight a conventional battle and completely ignored the new, untested nature of the undead enemy. Instead of placing infantry in positions of overwatch and in elevated areas with excellent lines of fire, the soldiers were forced to fight on the ground and were quickly overrun. The higher-ups failed to prepare for what was essentially a human wave attack, and should have had fewer men on the ground and more indirect fire units. The soldiers were also outfitted with "Land Warrior" gear which, amongst other things, provided each soldier with a radar readout of the surrounding area for miles around. This included the hordes of zombies that started coming soon after the battle began. Seeing the thousands of zombies, many soldiers lost their composure and would use the Land Warrior communication up link (this allowed each soldier to share communications) to share frantic shouts and hurried claims once they started being overrun, which in turn significantly decreased morale. The soldiers used foxholes, of all things, as part of what the commanders said was a "concealment" technique (designed only for enemies that fired weapons, not for ones that sniffed you out), but popular consensus is that all the fancy equipment, foxholes and everything else was to put on to show the American people the high-tech prowess of the US military over the zombies.
Another problem was that the military instruction that these soldiers had been undergoing for years had trained them to shoot at a target's center of mass (torso, because it is the most difficult to miss), and although the soldiers at Yonkers had been informed that the only way to kill a zombie was with a head shot, they had little experience with doing so and could not easily switch to aiming at a new smaller target.
The soldiers were ordered to wear protective MOPP (MOPP Level 4) gear, (used in case of chemical or biological warfare) which greatly impairs one's ability to fight by restricting eyesight, range of motion and respiration. The MOPP4 gear was unnecessary and done as part of the gigantic propaganda tool that Yonkers was supposed to be; re-instilling morale and confidence in the government's control of the situation by showcasing all of the military's newest and most high-tech technologies (i.e. deploying several technological cutting-edge anti-vehicle tanks and weapons, even though these would be next to useless against zombies). Bulky MOPP4 gear made it incredibly difficult simply to reload infantry rifles, and ammunition was also in short supply as they had not accurately gauged how much shooting would be required (few of the standard infantry were expected to even actually shoot, just during mopping-up work after the artillery barrage finished off most of the zombies, but instead they all found themselves fighting for their lives).
In addition, the soldiers had been made to spend an entire hot August day (one of the warmest on record, due to all of the smoke from fires caused by the chaos of the zombie epidemic) digging fox holes and entrenchments while wearing the MOPP4 gear, pushing them near to exhaustion. The entrenchments and foxholes were meant to provide "Cover and Concealment", when the whole point was to draw the enemy toward the firing line (negating the need for Concealment), and an enemy that didn't even use weapons (negating the need for cover). The most convincing point about the MOPP4 gear being unnecessary and "for show" is that military officers and civilian reporters walking around along the defensive line were in no way required to wear protective gear of any kind, and had the military seriously thought the zombie virus might be airborne (which it is not) they would have required command officers and news crews to wear them as well.
A good deal of the equipment was there for no other reason than to just "look pretty". The Land Warrior system, as of this writing in 2011, is still in an experimental stage and has yet to be consistently used by deployed troops. There were radar and comm jamming equipment (zombies do not use radar or any form of communication other than guttural moans and screams); a pontoon-bridge layer system "perfect for the 3-in. deep creek running along the parkway"; a tank line when zombies do not use tanks; foxholes and tank fortifications were built to repel a shooting army when zombie hordes use no firearms whatsoever; even a whole F.O.L. (Family of Latrines) module was placed right in the center of the forward command center despite the fact that all the plumbing in all the surrounding buildings and houses was still running. All this useless equipment just wound up clogging traffic, making it more difficult to move around. Machine guns were available on most vehicles, but proved ineffective. Zombies fired upon by machine guns simply broke in half and crawled at ankle-level, making them slower but more dangerous as they became a much lower target to hit.
The Land Warrior system, which effectively connected each soldier to every other by use of video cameras, proved perhaps the most fatal mistake: morale disintegrated soon after soldiers watched their brothers-in-arms panicking, retreating, and being eaten alive, all on a monitor built into their helmets. It also showed soldiers live satellite camera feeds showing the entire miles-long horde of several million zombies pouring out of New York City towards them, making it difficult to focus on fighting the ones immediately facing them when faced with the full magnitude of the zombie horde.
The conventional anti-tank ordnance was also useless against an army of zombies, as many of the depleted uranium rounds had no effect but to fly straight through the undead and pass harmlessly to the rear of the advancing mass. Once all anti-personnel rounds were fired from the tanks, the tank crews switched to anti-tank rounds; Wainio noted how demoralizing it is to witness a tank fire its' main cannon into a zombie crowd with little effect. The men in charge of the battle failed to properly equip their forces for anti-infantry operations; from the outset, anti-tank weaponry should have been discarded, and AFVs loaded with HEI-T (High Explosive Incendiary, Tracer) rounds. The old guard of the US military command had relied too much on their own technological superiority, not adapting to the zombie threat. There were also noted to be HMMWV's with anti-air systems, which would be even less effective on the undead than anti-tank ordnance.
One of the greatest ironies of the battle is that even if the military commanders had thought that M1 Abrams tanks firing anti-vehicle weapons were useful against the infantry-based undead, they simply did not supply enough ammunition for them to shoot. Even if the anti-tank rounds the forces at Yonkers were supplied with were effective against zombies, they quickly ran out. The counter-argument for this is that due to the poor state of the US economy it was difficult to produce that much ammunition. Nonetheless, the US military command grossly underestimated how much ammunition they needed, and it was short-sighted to put soldiers into harms way with "the army you have" rather than waiting to be fully supplied. Even if the military commanders sent soldiers into the battle without enough ammunition, recognizing that they were under-supplied but simply had no choice because the zombies were taking over, in no way should they have walked into the battle hyping it to the media as a "decisive victory" that would wipe out the zombies.
Essentially, rather than giving good sniping positions, they gave them tanks, helicopters, machine guns, and restrictive suits, none of which had any real effect on the horde. If the military had placed a group of any size on a rooftop with a properly sighted M16, or other similar weapon and the ammunition to supply them, the battle would have been drastically more successful.