Talk:World War III in popular culture

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Link from World War III[edit]

If we're re-directing to the World War III article, shouldn't we at least include WWIII in pop culture IN the WWIII article?Little tinyfish 21:15, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

It appears that someone has done so. --GentlemanGhost 23:51, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Season 6 of 24 is described as contemplating a nuclear "exchange" between the US and an unidentified Arab state. I submit that the exchange would have been rather one way (ie- no contest, and likely not an exchange at all, just a unilateral strike).


I've rewritten the article so that it can (hopefully) pass AfD, changing the article's structure in the process. There is a lot of viable material in the earlier version here, but it will take time to sift through it and find cites for it. --Bláthnaid 20:01, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Really nice work - I've seen a lot of entries in this category go to the wall and this looks to have saved this one. It should also act as a template for others (pity something like this couldn't be done for others like The Spear of Destiny one). (Emperor 20:10, 12 August 2007 (UTC))
Thanks Emperor. I've spent hours on it today, because I was worried that it would be summarily deleted like the other "in popular culture" articles. --Bláthnaid 20:40, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Really good rewrite! Still a few gaps (e.g. 1970s) but it's light years ahead of the list. Dbromage [Talk] 00:12, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't find enough for even a few sentences regarding the 1970s. My take on it is that the US was preoccupied with Vietnam and Watergate, but that's entirely WP:OR. The article is very US- and UK-centric at the moment too. Information about the Soviet Union would be fascinating. Japan also, since they actually suffered through nuclear attacks. --Bláthnaid 18:02, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure there is just as much material from Europe and Asia. Dbromage [Talk] 01:57, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Items for inclusion[edit]

A lot of the trivia in the previous version was probably unnecessary and a lot were simply set in a post-apocalyptic world rather than about WW3 itself. However there are some I think should be included.

Dbromage [Talk] 02:17, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Done. Thank you for your help. --Bláthnaid 17:10, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
A good point made by User:JulesH in the AfD that IMO should be the standard for inclusion in this article: Something is only verifiably a cultural depiction of World War III if it is either (1) explicitly called this in the depiction or (2) referred to as such by a reliable secondary source. --Bláthnaid 11:41, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
A lot of conflicts are not specifically named as WW3. I have recently watched The War Game and Threads again and neither actually name the nuclear conflict as WW3 but I don't think there is any doubt that they satisfy inclusion (Threads does mention an East-West exchange of 3000 megatons). Post-apocalyptic settings obviously don't count, and unfortunately this rules out On The Beach. It also rules out movies like Armageddon, although these references could be moved to Nuclear weapons in popular culture (actually that article could be edited to remove any duplication with this one). Dbromage [Talk] 02:06, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
You're right, there is quite an overlap with Nuclear weapons in popular culture, the third paragraph of the introduction is probably better suited there too. I think Threads & Armageddon are OK here because the source links them with WWIII. Bláthnaid 19:00, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Not Jericho. Thus far, all of the on screen material points to the cause of the attacks to be terrorist based in the united states. If the damage was completely contained inside the United states (as has thus far been depicted) then it would count as a civil war. If jericho gets to the point where they say on screen "yeah, country x did it" then you get to the point where it would count as a world war. Encyclodoc 17:14, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
World in Conflict (talk) 05:33, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I feel that Aldous Huxley's Ape and Essence deserves mention as it's probably one of the first novels set following a nuclear Third World War. Kuralyov (talk) 06:18, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

neutral point of view - orginal research problem[edit]

from the second paragraph of the headline of the article.

"World War III could not be fought or won in reality because of the threat of global nuclear war."

On what is this based? nuclear weapons have been fired exactly two times in a war zone, and Carl Sagan aside, there are sufficient people who believe that a conventional world war three could be fought, such as Tom Clancy. The header of this article needs to be cleaned up. Encyclodoc 19:49, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Hi Encyclodoc. That sentence and the one following it are based on Cold War Fantasies: Film, Fiction, and Foreign Policy ISBN 0-742-51052-2. I should have specified the Cold War aspect in that paragraph, so I've added that and another source to allay any original research worries. Could you point me towards the NPOV problems? Tom Clancy is mentioned in the article, and I'll have a look for more sources about a conventionally fought WWIII. Bláthnaid 19:00, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
"During the Cold War, World War III could not be fought or won because the threat of global nuclear war prohibited military confrontation between the world powers." I think i get the point of what you are trying to say, but something along these lines might be cleaner. "During the Cold War, Concepts such as mutually assured destruction and second strike capability, along with the predictions of massive, possibly life ending destruction of the earth by various scientists and authors, such as Carl Sagan, led lawmakers and government officials in both the United States and the Soviet Union to avoid entering a Global Nuclear war. While Authors and scientist disagreed with the level and survivability of a Nuclear conflict, no one argued that the destructive power of Nuclear weapons could have catastrophic consequences not only for the belligerents, but the entire world. However, the possibility of such a war became the basis for speculative fiction, and its simulation in books, films and video games became a substitute to explore the issues of such a war that has thus far not occured in reality." What this does is explain "why it could not be fought in reality", as the original statement seems to be of the point of view "Of course you can't fight a real nuclear war" in its undertones. Does this make sense, or am I just rambling :) ? Encyclodoc 17:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I get it now. I've added your suggestions in. Sorry for not replying sooner, but I'm a bit short on time at the moment. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Bláthnaid 22:52, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

1970's The Static Margin - Problems[edit]

Spies Like Us Is an 80's movie (released in 1985) and exhibits a post-Reagan American view of the Soviet Union.

The comparison of 70's era power politics with the pre-WWI web of alliances seems far-fetched. Is this original research? And if not, which authors/politicians are thinking this?

Two super-powers and their minor client states (in terms of nuclear capability) with interchanging periods of dominance does not seem to parallel multiple super-powers with multiple interlocking alliances. Would the Soviet Union intervene if The United States declared war on Egypt after an Egyptian sponsored assasination of a newly elected United States President as it came to the aid of Serbia in 1914? And if it did, would the NATO countries immediately declare war on the Warsaw Pact in a show of solidarity? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:26, 4 March 2008

Hi, thanks for raising your concerns. The 1970s section was added by an anonymous editor and is not sourced. It might well be original research. I will look for some sources to back up this section. If I cannot find any, I will remove the section in a couple of days. Do you have any other concerns with the article? Bláthnaid 13:27, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

WWIII/Nuclear War[edit]

as affecting the material here, considering the time period they refer to, I'm not sure there is any difference. Blathnaid, could you consider either restoring or branching into a new earticle. personally, I'd rather keep it together with an explanatory heading. We possibly also need either a section or an article on post-Cold Ware concerns, but i am not sure it is wise to multiply articles with the wording "in popular culture" —Preceding unsigned comment added by DGG (talkcontribs) 00:24, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

There is Nuclear weapons in popular culture, which is quite a good article (I doubt that it will appear on AfD :-) ). There is already some overlap between this article and that one. I was concerned about the 1970s section because I couldn't find the phrase "the static margin" used in relation to this period anywhere, some of the films mentioned are not from the 1970s, and the Snoopy cartoon's link to WWIII would need to come from a WP:RS, since it is not blatantly linked to it. I have gathered some information for a new 1970s section. The info is saved on my computer at work, so I'll add it to this article on Monday. I agree about need for more information about post-Cold War concerns, but I can't find much information about them. I don't know of any recent cinema or television that is about WWIII. There might be video games or comics about WWIII as they are well suited to war as a theme, but I don't know much about those media. Bláthnaid 14:39, 29 March 2008 (UTC)


I think the title 'fears subside' is a bit POV. And is not entirely accurate. The Gulf Crisis was the reason I learned about Nostradamus in an early age. Many magazines, articles, tv shows etc talked about whether the Gulf Crisis would erupt in the 'prophecized' WWIII that would lead in the final destruction in 1999. Of course I am in no position to remember names, titles, editions or dates.

Also, should we write some section about the 'prophecies' concerning WWIII of that time? It's at least notable, although we could have some problems verifying them. However look here and here. Pictureuploader (talk) 11:54, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

WW III in Popular culture[edit]

Games such as Call of Duty 4, Battlefield 2 and 2142 are also themed on a World War III like scenario. Although not necessarily Battlefield 2142 which might be a World War IV.

--Hornet94 talk 06:17, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


I don't think anyone is really more scared of a nuclear war than they were in the 1990s, very few people see terrorism as a credible nuclear threat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

No mention of post-apocalypticism?[edit]

No Mad Max? No 1984? No "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"? No "I have no mouth and I must scream"? Serendipodous 21:24, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Alas, Babylon?[edit]

Curious there is no mention of Alas, Babylon (1959). Any reason not to include it in the 50s section?--Surv1v4l1st (Talk|Contribs) 01:57, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

"Rise of Conspiracy"[edit]

Osama bin laden death or conspiracy does not fit into World War III in popular culture, their has been no movie or book about it. The Guantanamo Bay files do not talk about it only nuclear terrorism and not WWIII.SG2090 18:31, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Osama's death is not the only caused that may start World War III. There are many other causes as well such as the Arab Spring, Amnesty International, Iraq War, and several other articles in . Several games and movies were made about large scale wars beyond the Cold War such as Command & Conquer: Generals, Terminator Salvation, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, etc. Osama bin Laden's death may also be linked to Nostradamus' Predictions. In fact there're some websites that explains about the relationships between the results of Osama bin Laden's death, World War III and the predictions made by Nostradamus. Here're the links: [1][2][3][4] This matter can be really serious as it will reflect upon the public view of the World in this decade.--Bumblezellio (talk) 08:32, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
All due respect Bumblezellio, but with your statements that include "may also", "Nostradamus", and "predictions", I have to remind you (and anyone else reading this) that Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia works in facts that can be cited reliably as well as proven. We don't write what may happen until it's a definite. You might want to read the following: WP:CRYSTAL for more clarity on what's allowed content-wise and what's not regarding events that may or may not take place in the future. Lhb1239 (talk) 16:48, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
After reading through WP:CRYSTAL, I guess I can't go against the rules about future predictions. Sorry to for the disturbances caused to everyone involved on this article.--Bumblezellio (talk) 00:29, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Turning Point[edit]

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is actually WWII. You see, it takes place in an alternate history where Britain lost the War. It's not WWIII.-- (talk) 02:11, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

"Technological certainty of nuclear war"[edit]

Presumably a quote, but what does "The public accepted the technological certainty of nuclear war, but did not have faith in nuclear defence" mean? I recall many people believed war was certain - I am unsure why "technological" is in the sentence. And (lack of) faith in nuclear defence is a different matter.Royalcourtier (talk) 02:30, 25 December 2015 (UTC)