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|“||Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye... and the world just f-ckin' watched. Tomorrow, there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand.||„|
|~ Shepherd reveals his reason to MacTavish as he prepares to kill him to hide the truth, also his final words before he dies.|
Lieutenant General Hershel von Shepherd III, also simply known as General Shepherd, is the main antagonist of the 2009 video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and a posthumous antagonist in the 2011 sequel, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. He was also a minor character in the short film Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish.
He was a corrupt U.S. Army General in charge of Task Force 141, who secretly sought to restore his country's reputation as the world's greatest military force and become recognized as a war hero, while betraying and killing anybody who stood in his way.
In the game, he was voiced by Lance Henriksen; while in the short film, he was both portrayed by David Brandon George and voiced by Don Berns.
Second Russian Civil War
During the events of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Shepherd commanded 30,000 Marines and the entire U.S. invasion force in the Middle East on 2011 in response to the live execution of President Yasir Al-Fulani by the leader of OpFor (Opposing Forces or Opposition Force), Khaled Al-Asad. Unfortunately, he was helpless to assist his men when Vladimir Makarov detonated the nuclear device in the capital city, killing his fellow Marines including most of his invasion force involved in the battle.
Planning a full-scale war
With the lost of 30,000 Marines under his command, Shepherd sought new ways to restore his country in global power while secretly attempting to restore his reputation as a military commander. In the battle for occupying Afghanistan, Shepherd needed an enemy as part of his plan to increase the U.S. military. After hearing Vladimir Makarov's increased terrorist attacks throughout Europe, Shepherd believed that the former's presence would be a mark to indirectly help and bring his desire changes. Now that he had Task Force 141, Shepherd sent former U.S. Army Ranger-turned CIA operative, Private First Class Joseph Allen, undercover in Moscow under an alias, "Alexei Borodin," to infiltrate Makarov's Inner Circle as they planned to attack Zakhaev International Airport.
Unfortunately, Makarov knew of Allen's undercover status and he killed him in order to place the blame solely on America for the airport massacre, much to Shepherd's delight. As a result of the sudden Russian military invasion on the U.S. soil, the government appointed Shepherd to lead the defense of his country, setting the stage for his revenge on the Ultranationalists.
Betrayal of Task Force 141 and Death
Sometime after the rescue of Captain John Price, Shepherd planned a personal war against the Ultranationalists and anyone who knew of Joseph Allen. Shepherd sent Roach and Ghost to collect any intelligence related to Makarov before mercilessly executing them and giving them a sadistic funeral pyre as his (Shepherd's) elite private army soaked them in gas and he lit them on fire with his cigar. Then, his men began their plan to kill Makarov's men and the rest of Task Force 141. At the vehicle boneyard in Afghanistan, Makarov revealed Shepherd's command base "Site Hotel Bravo" to Price before he and Soap escaped in Nikolai's C-130 Hercules.
After the rescue, Price and Soap had no allies they could trust and decided to go on a suicide mission to kill Shepherd for betraying Task Force 141. With his command collapsed, Shepherd tried to escape in a Pave Low helicopter, but it was shot down by Price as he got in. Shepherd escaped the crash site and pinned MacTavish down after stabbing him. The renegade general then told Soap of the past events before attempting to execute him. Price saved Soap, and the two fought. Just when Shepherd was about to beat Price to death, Soap pulled the knife out of his chest and threw it at directly into Shepard's left eye, killing him and avenging the deaths of the Task Force 141 members.
Shepherd was later buried at the Arlington National Cemetery and he was called a "War Hero" by many people at that time and, unfortunately, Soap and Price were declared war criminals. However, their names were cleared when Price and Yuri (Soap wasn't there because he was killed) conducted a joint operation with their American Delta Force counterparts to rescue the President of Russia, Boris Vorshevsky, and his daughter Alena from a diamond mine in Siberia, restoring the President's goal of developing peace and friendship between the United States, Russia and NATO.
|“||The more things change, the more they stay the same. Boundaries shift, new players step in; but power always finds a place to rest its head. We fought and bled alongside the Russians; we should've known they’d hate us for it. History is written by the victor, and here I am, thinking we'd won. But you bring down one enemy and they find someone even worse to replace him. Locations change, the rationale, the objective. Yesterday's enemies are today’s recruits. Train them to fight alongside you and pray they don’t eventually decide to hate you for it, too.||„|
|~ Shepherd's speech during the introduction cutscene in S.S.D.D., while also describing the threat of Vladimir Makarov.|
|“||We are the most powerful military force in the history of man. Every fight is our fight. Because what happens over here, matters over there. We don't get to sit one out. Learning to use the tools of modern warfare is the difference between the prospering of your people, and utter destruction. We can't give you freedom. But we can give you the know-how to acquire it. And that, my friends, is worth more than a whole army base of steel. Sure it matters who's got the biggest stick, but it matters a helluva lot more who's swinging it. This is a time for heroes. A time for legends. History is written by the victors. Let's get to work.||„|
|~ Shepherd describes the military might of his country in the cutscene of "Team Player".|
|“|| Shepherd: Do you have the DSM?|
Ghost: We've got it, Sir!
Shepherd: Good. That's one less loose end.
|~ Shepherd revealing his true nature as he betrays and kills Ghost and Roach.|
- Makarov is the Big Bad in the Modern Warfare series due to being the cause of the events of the series; however, General Shepherd takes the role of the main antagonist in Modern Warfare 2 because he had bigger plans than anyone else.