“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones,” said Albert Einstein very wisely. It is believed that should there be a World War III, it will be fought with nuclear weapons that will bring doom to the world and take us right back to the stone age.
While there are restrictions imposed upon several countries (not that it is not likely for them to break those restrictions and actually plan a nuclear attack), there are nuclear weapons out there in the world that were lost and have not been found.
‘Broken arrows‘ is a term used for nuclear weapons that are lost, accidentally fired, stolen or accidentally launched. The first reported incident of a broken arrow was back in 1980 when a uranium bomb was dropped over Montreal. This bomb did not do mass destruction as there was no plutonium in it.
It is stated that since 1950 there were 32 such nuclear incidents of broken arrows, out of which 6 nuclear weapons are still missing.
When in 2016, a nuclear bomb was discovered in Canada by a diver, The Sunday Express reported, “There are an estimated 700 further so-called Broken Arrow in the US alone, and nobody really knows how many nuclear weapons other powers have been “lost”. Estimates for the US alone suggest there may be a total of around 700 cases, affecting up to 1,250 nuclear weapons.”
The numbers can be much higher as misplacing a nuclear weapon is a cause for embarrassment for the government of any nation and the real numbers could be hidden.
A film was also made on the subject in 1996, titled ‘Broken Arrow’, where a nuclear weapon is stolen.