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"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
J. Robert Oppenheimer, quoting Hindu Scripture, after witnessing the first atomic explosion.

Things that make cities go boom.

The use of atomic bombs in fiction started as soon as the possibilities of splitting the atom became known - H. G. Wells first used the term in fiction in 1914, before their invention. [1]

When the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed just what effect they had, they became an integral part of culture.

Credit should be given to nukes for being the only weapons that, after their initial use, were so frightening that humanity has done everything it could not to use them again. That still doesn't change the fact that nukes are awesome. Until one, hopefully not, goes off above your head, or just in close proximity to it. And even then it's pretty awesome, at least for a few miliseconds.

This is about them in both fact and in fiction.

Specific subtropes:

Nukes by country

What is counted in the nuclear weapons listings:

  • All deployed systems designed solely for nuclear use
  • All aircraft, missiles etc. with nuclear capability, or a nuclear capable variant.
  • Any planned nuclear-capable platform that did not enter service or entered service in a non-nuclear form only if it was obviously intended for a nuclear capability. Therefore the Seawolf-class attack sub is included in Superior Firepower as it was a Cold War design intended for nuclear-use. The Virginia design occurred afterwards, so isn't. The same applies with Russian carriers- Admiral Kuznetsov is included, the new planned carriers are not. If a ship was laid down, it's included.
  • Confirmed future nuclear weapons projects.
  • All ASROC-capable warships developed before 1989.

Platforms that did not enter service in a nuclear role are listed in [Square brackets].


  1. Wells also predicted the submarine-launched ballistic missile and its strategic implications in 1933's The Shape of Things to Come.
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