Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.
Part 7, Total War; Chapter 6, Andre Renard.
It sounds like the ex-French national had a fun time trying to survive in Paris. Those catacombs are ancient, dark and dangerous even without the zombie plague making things more difficult. I don’t think the tunnels underneath Paris have been mapped out properly and the conditions of the tunnels are uneven, atrocious and libel to collapse or cave in. Although the macabre section decorated in bones is probably safe, but that’s just a small percentage of tunnels.
Fighting zombies in these cramped tunnels sounds like a bloody nightmare of epic proportions. There wouldn’t be much room to swing a cat about, let alone try hand-to-hand combat with a few zombies. I know the French Resistance used those tunnels during World War II but I think they were used as a primary base, and to allude the Nazi’s, but I don’t recall many battles fought down there. At least not deep inside the underground network, maybe they had a few skirmishes around the perimeter but I reckon (or hope) that the Resistance knew the tunnels well enough to elude the German soldiers.
Zombies on the other hand, as they can only be destroyed in only one way, are not so easy to evade. It’s hardly surprising that new weapons, designed for close and cramped combat, were eventually being created. Necessity again. As with the “marsh covers” that somehow made it direct from America.
He describes battle situations in high water, how the new marsh covers were particularly useful against being bitten while wading through those waters. The stink, the gas masks and the inherent problems associated with them.
The whole idea of Cousteaus, the scuba divers who would fight against any deep water threat were probably the most unlucky of all those in the tunnels. When it comes to ratios of life or death, the Cousteaus had a 1 in 20 chance. Pretty piss poor odds, makes me wonder why.
Andre knows though, and the answer is chilling.
These poor people were sent to fight in that vast underground maze purely to fight and die so that France could have new heroes.
He points out how England cleaned out the zombies slowly and carefully. Meaning low casualties and even less subjected to the virus, fewer cases of people becoming infected.
It is the Hospital that his brother Emil became a war hero. The whole idea of this hero crap leaves me feeling more than a little sick.
Emil Renard, legendary war hero indeed.
I’ve never heard of this “Hospital”, and I know I’ll end up doing a little research on this one.
The Nazis had built it to house mental patients, so the legend goes, letting them starve to death behind the concrete walls.
Is it a legend, the idea is intriguing in a most morbid & curious sense. But the Nazi/SS type of soldier have a reputation for a particular style of cruelty.
Emil had to battle at this hospital, a place where the recently bitten and other poor unfortunate souls have been left behind high, secure walls. Some infirmary.
Andre says that later on, the recently infected were simply thrown over the walls to meet their end.
…they began throwing the infected, and who knows who else, into that undead vault.
Who knows who else.
That is simply creepy. Hiding within that sentence is an act of hideous contemplation, possibly even pre-meditated.
All these dumped zombies (and who else knows), just waiting, patiently, with singular intent.
Then Emil’s single squadron breaches the walls not realising that death is waiting on the other side. Did they blow the tunnel and escape that death? No.
That’s the most surprising thing about it, Emil led his squad into battle against undefeatable odds, three hundred zombies. It defies any common sense & all logic, what for?!
His voice was the last thing we heard before their radio went silent. His last words: “On ne passé pas!”
On ne passé pas. Translation – They shall not pass.
France got it’s hero.