My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 7

World War Z

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 7, Todd Wainio.

It’s been a while since I had time to read for the fun of it, this is the last chapter of Total War and it makes sense that it’s Todd Wainio who closes the 7th part of the book.
The man who survived Yonkers & all the shit during the outright & total war against the ghouls has had some tales to tell.

This chapter focuses on the closing stages of the Z war, the meticulous search for any remaining enemies in America. How they used a staggered line approach as they would search for plane wreckage in our time frame, or a crime scene.
Weather was a major obstacle, as was night-time.
They were reluctant to move during the night, it doesn’t surprise me as there would be less light pollution and so night would truly be pitch-black. Fog was another problem as the world climate would’ve changed rather dramatically. As evidence suggests, the nuclear winter has drastically changed the global temperature and winter’s are now especially long & harsh.
Todd was one of many soldiers during this time, slowly pushing from the Rockies to the Atlantic coast, reclaiming their country literally inch by inch. It apparently took three years to clear the way and I would imagine the mountains would have proved the most difficult. The three main army groups (North, Centre, and South) had to move as one long line, covering every inch of America, sounds like an extraordinary effort and I can only hope they had enough radios (or similar lines of communication) to make sure nothing slipped through their net. Which is where the idea of the Force Appropriate Response came into effect, destroying the minor zombie threats and allowing the units to leapfrog their way across the country while keeping the line unbroken.
Effective but it must have been extremely difficult in practice.

He is more than aware of the similar predicaments of other countries, he states that a BBC film showing Britain’s clean-up operation creeped him out enough without the extra “mood music”. He seems especially grateful that he was discharged from the army prior to the clean-up operations in Canada & Mexico, who obviously didn’t have the same access to manpower & resources as their neighbours. Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 6

World War Z

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. Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 5

World War Z

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 5, Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Choi.

I was beginning to wonder if the resources were available to hunt down all those underwater ghouls. Seems that’s the job for Michael Choi and others like him.
I don’t like the idea of donning a mesh suit or other such combat gear. Not underwater. Where there are still millions of them. They to calculate that there are somewhere between twenty and thirty million ghouls. Some washing up on shore or being caught in fishing nets, the majority still remaining in the oceans. Unfortunately they don’t rot, what fish in their right mind would want to try eating a zombie.
Like animals, they know that something is wrong with the ghouls and do their best to avoid them. The human population can’t afford to, and resorts to hunting them.
I think they are attributing too much to the ghouls, I don’t think they would have any way of predicting their movements. The ghouls don’t think, they just eat. They swarm where the food is and keep moving about until food is located.

Hunting them using Atmospheric Diving Suits, ADS, is preferable to scuba gear.
Unfortunately the Master Chief has seen or heard of many a diver having to surface too quickly and then succumbing to the bends. Being attacked by zombies with no escape other than surfacing is a terrifying prospect. A simple spear gun isn’t going to prevent Zack from trying to get your insides on your outsides, regardless of manoeuvrability.
However, who wants to die screaming into their demand valve (of their diving regulator) and who wants to pull of the mask of a diver who has died in such a manner. Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 4

World War Z

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 4, Father Sergei Ryzhkov.

So Russia has turned itself into a Holy religious state.
I have never really understood religion. Faith, yes. Sometimes faith in someone or something is all you have in the dark, be it a loved one or science or God. Religion, for me, has always been confusing. School and parents indoctrinate their children before the poor kids can even write their names, how can they possibly understand God when the concept of death is totally foreign.
It is with this lifelong odd feeling that I read this chapter.
Father Ryzhkov explains the after-effects of Russia’s decimations, how it’s soldiers would perform any task but would never again to be ordered to kill a fellow soldier. Under any circumstances, including infection.
Of how the senior officers took up this grisly task, with drastic effects. Suicides were the most common after-effect, followed by desertion.
I think the worst kind of suicide that the Father mentions, is that of “suicide by combat”. An increasingly desperate soldier, trying to find peace by the hands & teeth of a ghoul. Actively seeking at a macabre death, and a painful one. As if the pain of being ripped apart might atone for the unforgivable act of killing a comrade, regardless of his of her’s infected status.
I can see why the hierarchy decided to let these poor soldiers take their own lives. Sometimes in the company of groups, like some twisted head of a cult group; focused on the idea of a mass suicide.

Father Ryzhkov was a member of the 32nd Motor Rifle division, one with the oldest kind of Russia’s stockpiled, antiquated weaponry. He admits that many rounds of ammunition were duds, that’s why the amount of soldiers who became infected was so high.
Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 3

World War Z

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 3, Darnell Hackworth.

Todd Wainio only mentioned the army’s K-9 Corps. in a roundabout sort of way and obviously the Israeli’s had a great deal of success using sniffer dogs but their use was rather limited. I think the Israeli’s didn’t really think about other uses, other types of training.

Darnell, and all dog handlers, trained side-by-side with their canine partners. That much is fairly usual, but the training itself; well, considering the new breed of enemy, the training could be nothing else but unusual, even unorthodox.
Sorting out the puppies certainly seems rather odd, but at least they weren’t in any danger at such a young age.
Those that made the “A” grade were in considerable danger after their training was completed, although it isn’t clear what the fate of the “B” grade puppies were.
These “A” grade mutts were trained thoroughly. Each pairing of dog & human being put through their paces. The road ahead was a treacherous one for these units, as their main goal was to lure the zombies towards the army. A ploy which made the battle at Hero City a success.
If a human had been used as bait to draw the ghouls to their final doom, it might have been a very different outcome. I can’t think of any person who might volunteer for such a duty. Not willingly & completely of their own free will.
The K-9 Corps filled that gap, but the humans who have benefited from the loyalty & training of these dogs, seem to have overlooked their canine counterparts. Only the handlers, like Darnell, remember.
Sniffing out the infected was a useful task, but luring the zombies out of buildings, towns & cities would of been of paramount importance if you wanted to clear a place without casualties. Human casualties Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 2

World War Z

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 2, Todd Wainio.

Todd’s experiences at Yonkers & the many encounters with ghouls since that day, had helped him with his re-training.
That re-training wasn’t just about the new weaponry, but also the new tactics. For him and his superiors.
Seems there had been many lessons learned since the fiasco at Yonkers. No chances were going to be taken now that their President had mobilised the reclaiming of America.
The first battle against Zack, in a town called “Hope” no less, proved to be immensely successful.
From the weapons used to great effect, to the specialised team replenishing the clips, the “Sandlers”. Everyone had a role to play, even the brass keeping watch using their periscope tower, and they all performed like a well-oiled machine.
Todd recalls how a member of the Knock Out teams tapped him on the shoulder, declaring Todd’s need for a fiver. A rest break.
Everything had been taken into account it seems.
Battle tactics had changed dramatically too, even the type of round used against the enemy had been taken into consideration, and which proved to be extremely effective. If a bit creepy.

Ultimately, their victory against the undead in this initial contact, was clear in the amount of ghouls despatched without a single casualty among the ranks.

We were totally walled in, all sides were piled at least twenty feet high and over a hundred feet deep. I’m not sure how many we killed that day, stats always vary depending on who you get it from. The dozer-blade Humvees had to push a path through the corpse ring just to let us get out.

I’ll just bet they were feeling ecstatic regardless of their battle weariness, nothing a good well deserved rest couldn’t put right. Thanks again to lessons learned, Todd’s superiors made sure everyone was well rested.
Amazing how a kick in the teeth (Yonkers) can change someone’s attitude (Hope).

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 1

World War Z

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 1, General D’Ambrosia.

General D’Ambrosia, although fictional, must have been based on real person as most of these characters are.
What I have difficulty believing is the amount of common sense that D’Ambrosia relates.
He himself thinks the idea of a General has been totaly warped beyond all reasonable comprehension.

Maybe it was Hollywood, or the civilian press, or maybe we did it to ourselves by allowing those insipid, egocentric clowns—the MacArthurs and Halseys and Curtis E. LeMays—to define our image to the rest of the country.

I’m not sure if this characters statements can be trusted, yet he seems believable & sincere.
The idea that General D’Ambrosia was actually fearful of sending more soldiers to fight a virtually unstoppable force just adds to his credibility.
Is it just that I have come to believe those in power are all out for themselves. Am I tarring them all with the same brush perhaps, if so I will have to become more open-minded when it come to the military & politics. I’m fairly open-minded about most subjects but perhaps I’ve become a little too jaded in regards to these two topics..

His way of thinking is rather practical, he admits the difficulty in visualising two hundred million zombies and that the current way of warring is obviously not the way to tackle such an enemy.
Makes me wonder about his military education & background.
He understands the logistics behind an army and that the undead have no need for these restrictions/resources.
D’Ambrosia’s war beyond the Rocky Mountains would be a long and arduous battle, and if he was as worried about his soldiers as he claims, then his would be the most mentally & emotionally difficult role of all America’s military might.