World War III
World War III (WWIII, WW3 or the Third World War) is a hypothetical worldwide military conflict following World War II. Because of the development and use of nuclear weapons near the end of World War II and their subsequent acquisition and deployment by several countries, it is feared that a third world war could cause massive global destruction and could even cause the end of human civilization and most or all human life on Earth. A common hypothesis is that a small number of people could survive such an armageddon, possibly in deep underground blast shelters or away from Earth such as on the Moon or Mars or in space vehicles. Another major concern is that biological warfare could cause a very large number of casualties, either intentionally or inadvertently by an accidental release of a biological agent or the unexpected mutation of an agent or its adaptation to other species after use.One of the first imagined scenarios, hypothesized shortly after or even during World War II, is a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, which emerged as superpowers following World War II. This has been widely used as a premise or plot device in books, films, television productions, and video games. However, a few writers have instead applied the term 'World War III' to the Cold War, arguing that it met the definition of a world war even though there was no direct armed conflict between the superpowers.World War I (1914–18) was regarded at the time as the ""war to end all wars"" as it was believed there could never be another global conflict of such magnitude. World War II (1939–45) proved that to be false, and with the advent of the Cold War (1947–91) and the adoption of nuclear weapons, the possibility of a third global conflict became more plausible. It was anticipated and planned for by military and civil authorities in many countries. Scenarios ranged from conventional warfare to limited or total nuclear warfare or even leading to the destruction of civilization.