There were many unsuccessful heroes of the Z-War, and for the most part they were torn apart as soon as they crawled from hiding to take command. Lieutenant Colonel Kovpak was one of the few exceptions. Many of his actions have been lost to myth, but three days which would later become known as the Battle of New New Jersey have withstood rigorous testing and speculation.
On July 4th, with the human military gaining a slight upper hand recently in the Battle of Hope, military leaders saw fit for another, similar attack to keep morale high. In a bid to find reinforcenments, they began sending small, stealthy teams into zombie infested territory to gather possible armed survivors. One of those survivors was a Russian-American college student named Miles Kovpak. Due to 'lucky' timing, a zombie ambush destroyed a command center in Nevada, and Kovpak found himself promoted to a Lieutenant Colonel. He immediately set out handpicking a small, elite survivor group and training the independent individuals to function as a team. To do this, he invaded a series of infected mobile home parks in what would be known as the Great Trailer Raids. After a period of two years, Kovpak had gathered an elite force of exactly 99 soldiers, divided into many groups of three. He ordered a refitting of abandoned M1-Abram tanks to be refitted with small caliber, high fire rate machine guns, and he planned his offensive.
In his planning, Kovpak aimed for the highest infected population possible,but an area where an easy escape was assured should more zombies show up than they had bullets. He decided on Philadelphia, near the state of New Jersey. He had two main reasons:
1. A survivor group of roughly fifty had gathered four cargo ships just off the East coast, and had called their floating fort New New Jersey. Kovpak made arrangements for an eventual retreat to those ships.
2. Philadelphia had been overrun only two months previous. There was a strong chance that survivors would climb from their shelers to aid in the offensive, or at least, to lure the Zeds from the more valuable soldiers.
Kovpak outfitted his soldiers well for the battle. Each was armed with a semi-automatic rifle matching those used at the Battle of Hope. Each also carried a razor sharp telescoping shovel, and eight clips of ammuntion. While purified water was provided, food was not. Kovpak wanted to ensure that his men wouldn't let their guard down to eat. The offensive was scheduled for a twenty-four hour limit, then a speedy evacuation. Food wouldn't be required. In addition to that equipment, each soldier was given a battle-ready Katana. They had been trained to use the four-body swords for nearly six months straight.
The battle began according to plan. The team advanced from Rhode Island, and in a quick skirmish captured derelict garbage barges to move their M1 tanks to Philadelphia. Contact was made with New Ney Jersey, and the battle for the city of Philadelphia began. Early into the day, Kovpaks modified tanks and 3-man squads advanced inch by inch through the city, taking most of the Southern half ahead of schedule.
What happened next was a catastrophe.
The cargo ships of New New Jersey were hit by a freak waterborne tornado, and run aground. Thousands of bloodthirsty zombies moved up from the South and exterminated the colony. Kovpak's elite squad was now cut off with no food, and little water. Hemmed in from all sides, they secured the town capitol building and set up for a slaughter, fully aware that they didn't have the resources for a seige. Their only hope was to punch back out the Zed line, and evacuate to the North.
Kovpak himslef played a major part in this battle. He forced the offensive immediately, aware that a night of rest would leave his soldiers sore and terrified. Armed with dual blades, and two twenty-two pistols, he carved his way through the zombie frontlines. His soldiers fell in behind, striking with deadly precision at close range. The tanks, meanwhile, forged further North, ahead of the soldiers to avoid collateral damage while clearing a path. By noon, Kovpak's men were exhausted, and many were down to their last few bullets, but they had reached a critical bridge leading across a man-made canal to Zed-free plains. Most of the Zeds along the coast had been lured to the New New Jersey slaughter.
Now Kovpak faced a dilemma. Of his squad of 99, 80 were still uninfected, and only twenty had ammuntion left. With the zeds in hot pursuit, Kovpak ordered the bridge to be destroyed.
The detonator for the c4 didn't work. It was Kovpak's actions here which forever ingrained him into the history books. He sprinted across the bridge, hacking his way through a dozen zeds. He located the explosive charge, and detonated it from 15 feet away with a stun gun. The resulting shockwave threw him back nearly to his lines with the bridge crumbling into the steep embankments of the canal. Kovpak's raid had been a miraculous success. Or so it seemed.
Upon standing, Kovpak examined himself with his men watching. He was adorned by 6 human bite marks. The spreading infection was no doubt what had allowed his partially coagulated blood to withstand the blast. He promptly seized a pistol from a soldiers, and shot himself in the head.