The Zombies of World War 1

The Zombies of World War I

While there’ve never been any actual zombies roaming the earth , the battle of the Osowiec Fortress between the Germans and Russians has the closest thing to real life zombies the world will probably ever see.

The Germans tried to take the fort in both 1914 and 1915 during World War I. The one in 1914 failed and the one in 1915 wasn’t going much better. In the early morning of August 6, 1914, the winds had turned in the German’s favor and they released a gas that was a mix of chlorine and bromine. The bromine was a respiratory irritant, but the chlorine is what packed the real punch. It dissolved the soft tissue of the lungs causing its victims to choke on their own blood and cough out clumps of blood and lung. The Germans, assuming that all the Russian forces were killed by the gas, begin to march towards the fortress; only to come under fire from the fortress’s machine gunner.

Russian reinforcements can be seen in the distance, and seeing this the surviving a hundred Russian soldiers in the fortress start to march towards the Germans. Staggering, and coughing up blood like a zombie stumbling towards its next meal. Their skin burned like a corpse’s rotting flesh. The shock from the attack and the horror from the sight of pretty much the living dead causes the Germans to pull back. By eleven (a few hours after the original gas attack) the defensive line is back under Russian control. The exact casualty counts on both sides are unknown and the German accounts of the battle have been lost to history, but it’s still an interesting story that most people don’t know.

If you’d like to hear a more in depth version of the story I’d recommend going to and listening to the song Sabaton wrote on the battle.