In war, soldiers are killed, with each death representing a loss of manpower and a reduction in an army's ability to fight. And the deaths add up.
Therefore it probably isn't terribly suprising that every so often in fiction there's instances of dead soldiers being reanimated in order to send them back to the front lines, be it via science or magic.
Frequently We Have Reserves
taken to its logical extreme and, depending on the methods used, can also qualify as We Can Rebuild Him
on an industrial scale. Compare Night of the Living Mooks
Anime & Manga
- In One Piece, on the Thriller Bark, there are Soldier Zombie and General Zombie divisions, who are made of dead legendary soldiers reanimated by Gecko Moriah's power.
- Deconstructed in one of Robert Sheckley's short stories, where two countries are locked in a Forever War, thanks to both being able to restore their dead soldiers back to life indefinitely. The protagonist is a soldier who approaches his last revival (there is a law limiting how many times a guy might get revived)--but just as he dies for the "last" time, the law gets changed. So he goes out and tries dying by head shot, but it turns out, the medics have already learned how to fix even that.
- Stalkers in the Mortal Engines series are corpses that have been reanimated with cybernetics, and are often modified to serve as elite soldiers.
- An example of the zombie variant shows up in the short story Weaponized by David Wellington, compiled in the The New Dead anthology by Christopher Golden. The U.S. is recycling casualties into (literally) remote controlled meat robots by implanting a chip in a corpse and wrapping their body in a biohazard suit. Each zombie soldier costs less than it costs to buy a cup of coffee. It all seems to be going great for the Syrian campaign until the insurent jihadis figure out how to do it themselves.
- Celtic Mythology features multiple 'Cauldrons of Resurrection' which were used to resurrect warriors slain on the battlefield.
- A terminal in Marathon features an excerpt from "The History of Battleroids". Battleroids were soldiers who were killed in the war between Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492 and subsequently "recycled in makeshift battleroid factories. Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain, and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced the fragile human form." It is heavily implied in the games that the player character is a Battledroid, one of ten brought onto the Marathon in stasis.
- The Cauldronborne from The Black Cauldron are undead soldiers reanimated from the remains of perished warriors via the dark powers of the titular Black Cauldron. The Big Bad Horned King wants the cauldron because of this, and aims to rule the world.