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The Third World War August 1985
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The Third World War August 1985

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,038 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Early in 1977 a retired NATO general called together six of his collegues--including an admiral, an airman, an economist and a diplomat--to write a dramatized game-plan for the next world war.

A sensational international bestseller, it is a vivid, detailed, and often blood-curdling on-the-spot report from the battle fronts of a "real war", from tank assaults to air clashes

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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 1st 1979 (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

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Jeffrey
This book is a unique artifact of the Cold War: in 1977, a retired British general wrote a book about a hypothetical "World War 3" centered in Europe in 1985. It's not actually an enjoyable reading experience - much of it reads like a textbook - and a lot of their future predictions turned out very wrong (China and Japan allied; the Shah's Iran dominant in the Middle East; Germany permanently partitioned; the draft restored in the US). However, other projections turned out well (a stronger EU; t...more
P.
The first chapter of this book was amazing... the next few chapters detailing the political backdrop were excruciating at the time, and the last half of the book was ok. So, overall 3 stars.

Of course, the whole thing seems quite silly now (and come to think of it, it seemed silly even when I first read this back in middle school). Still, the first chapter is worth it for its imagining of the frenetic crush of events on the modern kinetic battlefield.
Tony
The precusor novel to TEAM YANKEE by Harold Coyle. The book theorizes an invasion of western Europe by the Warsaw pact in 1985. For the most part, it was a very well considered novel. The only really weak point that I recall was his impression of what the space war element would be like. Rather dated now, but it was a great read at the time.
Rory Cleland
Tough going for the uninitiated. Not a narrative but a strategic history of WWIII.
Kym Andrew Robinson
This is the book that re inspired a genre of near future conflict projection. Perhaps now it could be considered an alternate history read but at the time it was an exercise in military realisation should the Cold War turn quite heated.

I really loved this book as a kid and I hope to re read it soon. Despite its age and the changing tides of history, the book I feel is still relevant a read for those who are interested in this subject matter.

If you are to read one book of this type, I personally...more
Kelby
I thought it was a decent book. With my age, I found myself having to read this book with my phone close I'm hand to Google certain things.

I also see a lot of reviews criticizing how the author predicted the future wrong. I personally think he did a great job of taking a shot at it. He did the best he could at the time and honestly, I'm pretty sure than the Shah of Iran overthrow caught everyone off guard. I think everyone remembers that little hostage situation.... :)
Charles
Hard to know where to put this. It's fiction, but was an attempt by General John hackett and other military advisors and generals to predict, realistically, how the Third World War might be fought. Of course it is far dated now. It was first published in 1979 and predicted the war for August, 1985.

I actually found the book pretty interesting reading. It held my attention, although it wasn't written exactly like a novel. I've often figured this book was an influence on Tom Clancy's work. Today i...more
Dark-Draco
I picked this up from the charity shop as I really thought it would be my sort of thing. The author takes the world situation as it was in 1979 and extrapolates what would lead to WWIII breaking out in 1985. And the first chapter was good - read more like a novel and really had me hooked. Unfortunately, it went downhill a bit from there. Each chapter just became a list ie. Isreal has this many boats, Russia does this, the UK sells this, America buys interests in that. By Chapter four, I had kin...more
George
Apr 17, 2014 George added it
Relevant today, I think.
Jim
Quite interesting. Somewhat thinly veiled propaganda for a pro-military, conservative approach to world affairs (It was all the liberals' fault!), but a lot of fun and I'm learning a lot about Cold War era politics.

Among the more unintentionally hilarious lines: "He was also, like very many generals, a brave, sincere, and selfless person."

This book was written by General sir John Hackett and "Other Top-Ranking NATO Generals & Advisors."

I wanted the next line to be: "He was the very model o...more
carl  theaker


A good read, though often from a technical perspective,
of a possible WW3 played out primarily on the battlefields of
Europe. This scenario was planned & practiced for by NATO in
those cold war days and is brought to life by the author.

Subject is much dated now that the USSR has gone its
way, still would be an interesting take for the
point of view of the era.

Momdad
Thoughtful and well documented study of possible war between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries in 1985. Was the factual basis for Harold Coyle's Team Yankee. This book looks at the strategic issues involved, primarily from the British government's position. It was well written and detailed, although some of the illustrations were outdated (soldiers with M-1 rifles instead of M-16s)
Terence
Wow! This brought back memories. I was just at a library book sale (1-Nov-08), saw a copy on the table and remembered reading this around 1981-82 (when the "intelligence community" still thought the Soviets could have mounted a worldwide war).

A bit too "right wing" for me now but a plausible enough scenario, I suppose, if the Pentagon's fantasy had any basis in reality.
Smith Nickerson
Could the USSR have taken Europe back in the 80's? Yah. I think so. The US forces were badly equipped and trained.

General Hackett thought so too but not for the same reasons. I don't think even he knew how drastic things could have been.

It still is unfathomable to me that this era is just a quirk in history.

Tracey
Ended up skimming through a lot of this re-read. It's so very dated now, but it was kind of interesting to remember what we were scared of back in the 70s. Haven't heard about BMEWS in decades!
Jim
Read it a few times. Interesting that it starts with a videotape of a demonstration in Ljubjana, considering how cell phone cameras and Balkan discord are now accepted
Alexander
Fascinating look from the mid-80s of what a former NATO general thought was a plausible scenario for a war in Europe between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
Jim
Oct 04, 2013 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: war
read this when it came out in the 80s, it was mentioned in eric schlosser's new book. as i recall i thought it weaker than clancy's book.
Adam Yoshida
A hell of a book. This 1977 "future history" is what inspired me to write my own "future history" of a Third World War for our age.
Max
A just about plausible story written in a quite entertaining manner. (if you are interested in all things military of course)
René
Too much military babbletalk, too much political day-dreams... More was expected.
John
How World War 3 would play out in Europe by the top military of the time
Clay Davis
A good technical book on how a Superpower war in Europe might have been fought.
Paul Oldwine
Very Interesting Read in 1987
Douglas Wilson
Excellent.
Yuval
Yuval marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
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Spalatus marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2014
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Heath marked it as to-read
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Goodreads Librari...: Some editions need split off into a separate book 3 26 Sep 22, 2011 04:15AM  
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General Sir John Winthrop Hackett GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC was an Australian-born British soldier, author and university administrator.

Hackett, who was nicknamed "Shan", was born in Perth, Western Australia. His Irish Australian father, Sir John Winthrop Hackett (1848–1916), originally from Tipperary,was a newspaper proprietor and politician and his mother was Deborah Drake-Brockman (1887–1965)...more
More about John W. Hackett...
The Third World War: The Untold Story I Was a Stranger The Profession of Arms Warfare in the Ancient World A Terceira Guerra Mundial: Agosto 1985 - Volume 1

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