World War III

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World War III (abbreviated as WWIII, also known as the Third World War) is the hypothetical future successor to World War II (1939–1945). In fiction, the war is often suggested to be nuclear and extremely devastating in nature.

This war is anticipated and planned for by military and civil authorities, and explored in fiction by many authors all around the world. Concepts range from purely conventional scenarios or a limited use of nuclear weapons to the destruction of the planet.

With the development of the arms race, before the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, an apocalyptic war between the United States and the Soviet Union was considered highly likely. The Doomsday Clock has served as a symbol of historic World War III close calls since the Truman Doctrine went into effect in 1947.

Some neoconservative thinkers, including Norman Podhoretz, have suggested that the Cold War between the United States and Russia in the mid-20th century should be considered World War III.[1]


Greatest threats

Suez Crisis—Soviet threat (1956)

During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin sent a note to British Prime Minister Anthony Eden warning that "if this war is not stopped it carries the danger of turning into a third world war."[2]

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 is generally thought to be the historical point at which the risk of World War III was greatest,[3] and Robert McNamara claimed that if it were not for Vasili Arkhipov, who prevented a nuclear launch on the B-59 Soviet submarine during the heat of the crisis, World War III would have broken out, saying at the Cuban Missile Crisis Havana conference, "A guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world."

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