Mapping World War III: Soviet Global Invasion Routes

A fascinating collection of strategic conceptual maps taken from a 1987 Department of Defense study, which examined the expected land and sea invasion routes for the Soviet Union in her primary operational theaters. Collectively the maps represents a staggering vision of armed global conflict that would have far outstripped even the most ambitious imperial wars of the Achaemenids, the Mongols, the Romans and Nazi Germany combined.

Visually, the Cold War was in many ways typified by maps of this sort. And it might have been the last period (at least for our lifetimes), where interstate warfare could be anticipated and expressed in such grand and expansive geo-strategic terms. Even with their large armies, powerful economies and ambitious national characters, it’s hard to imagine a comparable vision for world war driven by the armies of the three likely predominant powers of the 21st century: China, India and the United States.


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