In a recent edition of The Straight Dope, Cecil Adams tackles unlife's most pressing question: how would the military fight off a zombie invasion? But first he reiterates this timeless personal advice from a classic guide:
In The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), which remains the definitive and possibly only treatment of the subject, Max Brooks recommends for hand-to-hand combat something that can efficiently slice zombies into bits, a two-handed Japanese katana (samurai sword) being ideal. (Also receiving high praise are the compact yet deadly WWI trench spike and the much larger and deadlier ancient Shaolin monk's spade.) Brooks says forget about chain saws – no matter how cool they are, they just aren't reliable enough and require fuel, which may run out at a critical juncture. Firearms are a good choice if used properly – you need to aim for the head, rather than waste ammunition on the body. Even a zombie cut in half with automatic weapon fire can still crawl toward you. An old-style combat rifle such as the M1 Garand is perhaps your best bet. The semiautomatic action conserves bullets, and the heavy stock (useful as a bludgeon) and detachable bayonet give you options when the ammo is gone.
Presuming that the brain must be destroyed to fully incapacitate a zombie, I'd lean on a nice, sharp shovel.
How would the U.S. military fight a zombie army? [StraightDope.com]
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