World War III or the Third World War typically refers to a hypothetical worldwide conflict taking place at some point after the end of World War II. In fiction, the most common version of such a war is a nuclear conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War period.
In addition, The Valley-Westside War has an apocalyptic Russian-American War with nuclear weapons be the relevant Point of Divergence. Moreover, several short works are implicitly set after a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR.
Atypically, a global nuclear war called the Third World War occurred as part of the back-story of In the Presence of Mine Enemies. In this war, the United States was pitted not against the USSR, but against longer-lived versions of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
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