World War III

hypothetical future global conflict

World War III is the name given to a possible third World War. It refers to a world war that may happen. It would be the successor to World War II (1939–1945).

Nuclear warfare is a common theme of World War III scenarios. Such a conflict has been hypothesized to result in human extinction.

A world war might be fought by multiple countries of the world against one other, sometimes across different continents. An all-out war fought between two or three major superpowers would be a world war.

Because technology and weapons have become so advanced, most people agree that if World War III ever happens, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons may be used. Biological weapons are living things, usually bacteria or viruses. Chemical weapons might not kill quickly but poison people or their land. Together, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are called weapons of mass destruction. Conventional weapons, on the other hand are "normal" weapons like guns or nuclear bombs.

Mass destruction could damage much of the Earth, kill many humans, animals and other living things, and cause the collapse of modern civilization. Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones". Einstein might not have actually said this, but other things that he said show that he believed the weapons used in World War III might be so devastating that they would end civilization as we know it.[1]

On June 18, 2024, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has issued a stark warning that the current tensions between Russia and the West could escalate into World War III by September 18, 2024. This alarming statement comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin sends a foreboding message to the West, suggesting he is approaching "a point of no return." The war is expecting 15 million people to be killed by that date.[2]

Actual events called World War III


Some events, for example the Cold War, have been called "World War III." US President George W. Bush compared the War on Terrorism to World War III.[3]



  1. "Did Albert Einstein says World War IV Will be fought 'with sticks and stones'?". Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  2. "Russian President Putin approaches 'point of no return' as World War 3 fears escalate". Retrieved 2024-06-18.
  3. "Bush likens 'war on terror' to WWIII". ABC News. Agence France-Presse. 6 May 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-03-04. Retrieved 30 March 2010.