Revisiting General Sir John Hackett’s The Third World War

Jeffrey H. Michaels


General Sir John Hackett’s The Third World War set the benchmark by which other future war scenarios continue to be judged. Despite widespread familiarity with the published version, little is known about the drafting of the book or the early iterations of the scenario. This article has the twofold purpose of providing a history of the book based on the correspondence and early drafts found in Hackett’s private papers, as well as scrutinizing some key assumptions embedded in the published scenario, demonstrating how these evolved considerably during the book’s drafting, and comparing them with other works in the genre.

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