World War III

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  • Earth's last massive conflict, beginning May 1, 2053 at 0230 UTC
  • The Eastern Coalition (ECON) launched a first strike nuclear attack against the states of the New United Nations (NUN), consisting of a wave of ICBMs simultaneously with a viral cyberattack against the network infrastructure of their targets. ("Star Trek: First Contact"; TLE Novel: The Sundered)
  • The NUN responded immediately with their own nuclear strike, as well as bomber- and satellite-strikes against targets across the Middle East and Asia. (TLE Novel: The Sundered)
  • Nuclear explosions above London, Moscow, Berlin, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Toronto, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Mecca, Riyadh, Samarkand, Karachi, Singapore, and New Delhi, as well as conventional explosions over Hong Kong, Beijing, and Ho Chi Minh City, led to the deaths of over 500 million people in the first minutes of war
    • Due to the various cyberattacks and the electromagnetic disruption caused by the the hundreds of warheads, four in five ICBMs on both sides fail to detonate, with unexploded nuclear ordnance later found around Washington D.C., Denver, Paris, Madrid, Rome, and Istanbul. (TLE Novel: The Sundered)
  • Ground attacks included covert operations using android imposters as assassins (ENT Novel: Live by the Code; TNG Novel: The Buried Age)
  • Largely unaligned before this point, the Pacific nations sided with ECON in response to the indeterminate nature of NUN strikes, while the unaligned Muslim Bloc of the Middle East and North Africa is caught in the crossfire and devastated. (TLE Novel: The Sundered)
  • Following the wave of EMPs and viral attacks, as well as the overall destruction of the strikes themselves, the nuclear capabilities of all involved nations are essentially destroyed, leading to an extended ground war with fronts across the globe, including both ground troops and AI-driven drone and robotics strikes. (TLE Novel: The Sundered; ENT Novel: Uncertain Logic)
  • Nuclear winter soon sets in, wreaking havoc to the climate but ironically helping to stave off the effects of global warming long enough for Vulcan aid to help resolve them. (TNG: "A Matter of Time"; DTI Novel: Watching the Clock)
  • Innumerous individuals and terrorist organizations take advantage of the chaos to strike out themselves, with biological, chemical, and small-scale nuclear attacks recorded worldwide in addition to the global military action.
  • The continued war left much of the world in near-anarchy, most major governments collapsing and many local forces (including the infamous Colonel Phillip Green) claiming hold of wide swathes of territory in the absence of national forces. (ENT: "Terra Prime"; TOS: "The Savage Curtain")
  • Many nations resort to drugging their own soldiers to keep order in the ranks which, while effective at preventing desertion, only turns combat into even more of a bloodbath. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")
  • Within mere months, following an attack on Washington, D.C. (up to this point, one of the few centers of government yet-untouched) by a nuclear airblast and the targeted bombing of Lee Kuan’s palace leading to the final collapse of the ECON
  • Few national governments survive the war, but those that do agree to end the fighting ("Star Trek: First Contact")
  • WW3 ends in the same year it began with a ceasefire signed in San Francisco, one of the only major cities within the warzones to survive the war largely unscathed. (ENT: "Demons")
  • Leads into the Post-Atomic Horror, a dark period across numerous portions of the globe still not yet recovered or rebuilt, which continues for decades to come even past First Contact, not settled until the late 21st century. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")
  • Most estimate direct deaths at 600 million at least, not counting later deaths inflicted by radiation sickness or the effect of nuclear winter. ("Star Trek: First Contact")
  • The horrors of the war coupled with open first contact with extraterrestrial life shortly after led to a global reappraisal of the direction of humanity, resulting by the early 22nd century in the global abolishment of poverty and hunger, as well as giving an increasing desire towards globalism
    • The formation of various international alliances in the aftermath of the war, such as the European Hegemony, eventually led directly to the formation of United Earth (TNG: "Attached")