Most people think that any outbreak of war between major nuclear powers (USA, Russia, and China) would almost immediately degenerate into a massive thermonuclear exchange, and that mankind would be wiped out, or near to it. While this is indeed possible, it is not probable. The reason is that any sane and rational person understands that you don’t get to enjoy your wealth, power, and status if you are living in a nuclear wasteland. Even Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, two of the most evil and murderous power mad people that ever lived, and who had thermonuclear weapons, understood this. Neither of them was willing to cross that line, even though their armies were engaged in shooting at us (either directly, as in Korea, or clandestinely, as in Vietnam). Even Hitler, who could have put nerve gas into aerosol form and unleashed clouds of it over England from Submarines upwind in the Irish Sea, didn’t want to do that, as that would result in a response of the same thing happening to Germany. The point is that no one seeking power actually wants the world to end.
When war starts, we will all be panicked that nuclear Armageddon is about to begin. But it won’t. The British were completely freaked out at the beginning of World War Two that the Nazis were going to drop gas bombs on London. They never did. Although both sides in that last major war carpet and fire bombed each other’s cities, they didn’t use the “weapons of mass destruction” of the time, poison and nerve gases. We will have the same experience regarding ICBMs and Thermonuclear detonations over cities.
Nuclear weapons will probably be used in World War III, but I believe they will be limited to tactical nuclear weapons. These are atomic bombs (much less powerful than thermonuclear hydrogen bombs) used to destroy enemy troop concentrations. Such weapons would be used early on against targets that while militarily significant, are not inside major cities. This would still be inconceivably bad. But it won’t be the end of the world.
The one wrinkle with this is that crazy nut jobs, like Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, or the Ayatollahs in Iran, do not necessarily have the same thinking. They may very well use nuclear weapons against major cities. North Korea could very well nuke Seoul South Korea, a city of about 10 Million, with the atomic weapons they now have. Iran could do the same against Saudi capitol, or against an Israeli city like Tel-Av iv. My belief is that WW III happens well before these wackos have hydrogen bombs, but they will still do a lot of damage with what we have allowed them to acquire.
World War III will be the next level of escalation in modern warfare. The first modern war was the American Civil War, the bloodshed in which was unfathomable while it was going on. Close to 700,000 died (about 2% of total population). The First and Second World War, which were very connected, were the next level. About 40 million died in the First and another 60-70 million in the Second. World War III could be another jump in the level of magnitude. With the technology we now have, plus nukes, we could easily experience a war with Hundreds of Millions, if not Billions are killed, either directly by weapons, or indirectly through famine and disease.
Each and every time, war is predicted to be short, as no one thinks the armies or countries can deal with the advances in killing technology. Or the cost, both in human and financial terms. And then they do, and they get used to it, until one side or the other literally runs out of Soldiers. Unfortunately for us all, this takes years, even with killing on an industrial scale.
What to Do
World War III will not be the end of the world. There are now about 7.6 BILLION people in the world. If a billion or two died in the course five to ten years, it would be a disaster of currently unimaginable proportions, the worst thing that has ever happened. But it would NOT be the end of the world or even of society as we know it.
But what you do need to do is prepare for what is coming; prepare Physically, Materially, Financially, and Emotionally.
You also need to know what advice to give to your family regarding military service and what you should do if you are at an age where you might be called upon, whether you want to go or not. Because if you are in the military age group (17 to 50), you ARE going to be involved.