Armchair Generals

I really didn’t want to get into this, but I now feel obliged to do so….

Some may say that I’m rising to the bait and if so, then I would at least like to consider myself as a shark.

Firstly, let’s make something unmistakably clear; my books are fiction. Pure and utter, off the top of my head, completely made up… fiction. Some may even go as far as describing them as absolute bollocks or as the Americans would say, ‘bull-shit’.

Dead people, walking around and eating the living, without higher brain function, a circulatory system, working lungs providing oxygen to the blood and in turn, to the internal organs and muscles… How, in the name of all that is Kylie Minogue’s worn hot-pants, does that happen? I would love for someone to give me a scientific explanation of how zombies could exist, in the George A. Romero sense.

It’s impossible!

It’s as ludicrous as vampires, especially those wanker sort that glitter in the sunlight and don’t like killing people. Oops, that’s a rant for another time….

However, many of us seem to love zombies and I enjoy writing stories about them.

Now, I would like to point something out to all the Armchair Generals out there (again, please remember that my books are made up and didn’t really happen). As I was writing the second book in ‘The Dead Walk the Earth’ series, I was fully aware of the strategy involved and its inherent faults. Attacking London and the overall plan was a terrible mistake, and it was that very fact and the stupidity of it that I wanted to highlight.

Armchair Generals are a special breed. They can win all conflicts with the stroke of a button (the one on the Sky remote that is perpetually glued to their hands). Mistakes and bad decisions are made all of the time, even in real life. It was that level of realism that I wanted to portray. Do you think that because humanity is on the brink; then logic, reason, and common sense would suddenly become primary factors in the decisions made by arseholes wearing suits and drinking brandy?

Iraq was a fuck up, Afghanistan was a fuck up, Vietnam was a fuck up, Korea was a fuck up… the list is endless. But the point I am trying to make is, Stalingrad really did happen. The Charge of the Light Brigade really did happen. Dien Bien Phu really did happen. These were actual events that were decided by politicians and high ranking officers, miles upon miles behind the lines and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers (local commanders even warned General Paulus that he was leaving his flanks too thinly protected during his advance on the Volga). So, why is it so hard to accept that these same sort of mistakes can occur in my stories? The army is still commanded by the same upper classes and they still receive their orders from the same slack-jawed spineless politicians.

What is more likely to happen; a bunch of generals and politicians ordering a pointless attack on a large city and losing thousands of soldiers in the process? Or, Superman flying around the earth and making it spin in the opposite direction in order to turn back time? The latter cannot be done, just ask Stephen Hawking. However, we all love Superman and we accept it as great entertainment, don’t we…

I could write out an entire battle-plan that would involve the close cooperation of all available forces and within a short space of time, the zombies on the UK mainland would be a thing of the past and with minimum casualties. But where would the fun be in that? So, I am proud to say that the military forces in my books are still commanded and controlled by the same morons that sent so many of our lads to their deaths in the real world.

No disrespect intended to our boys, especially since I was there with them.

Julius Caesar (in his armchair)…

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