Some day we're going to look back at the wars of the 20th century and laugh. Except not really, because they were awful and horrifying. But we can take comfort in knowing that as terrible as the wars of the last century were, some of these near misses might have really messed your shit up. Or saved the world. It could go either way, really.
WARNING: The following article contains historical speculation from a comedy website.
5MacArthur's Nuclear War
Depending on who you ask, General Douglas MacArthur was either one of the greatest heroes or greatest assholes in American history. After becoming generalissimo of the army during WWII, he was given the honor of heading up all UN forces when North Korea invaded South Korea in June of 1950. By mid-September MacArthur and his UN troops recaptured South Korea, but it was only a matter of weeks before MacArthur decided he might as well shimmy on over to North Korea while they were in the neighborhood.
"While we're here..."
Naturally, the Chinese got pissed over this charge into communist territory, and answered back with some troops of their own. At this point, the conflict was forced into a stalemate, not unlike the stalemate MacArthur and President Truman were enjoying over who exactly was in control of the United States Army. Especially after the Joint Chiefs of Staff convened to authorize MacArthur the ability to use nuclear weapons against Chinese targets without presidential approval.
He loved two things: smoking preposterously large pipes and committing nuclear genocide.
Mac was poised to drop 30 to 50 atomic bombs on the country, including "the mainland cities of China," whether Truman liked it or not.
What Stopped It:
Truman grew a pair and fired him.
Or his Masonic overlords told him to do it.
When Truman met MacArthur in 1950, the general refused to salute the Commander-in-Chief. That should have tipped him off as to who he was dealing with. When Truman told him to shut the hell up about nukes, MacArthur rallied the Joint Chiefs of Staff against him. Truman had a rogue general on his hands.
As if these private acts of insubordination weren't enough, pretty soon the story broke that MacArthur had sent a letter critical of the President's war policy to the Speaker of the House and the press the same day that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were meeting to give him nuke power. By April, 1951, Truman had had enough and he fired MacArthur's ass. No Chinese nuclear war for him.
If The War Had Happened...
Nuclear weapons would have become conventionalized weapons of war, and China would have been nuked several times over. As for the post-war, any country that had a nuke would have probably used one by now thanks to MacArthur's lead.
Basically, war would be Starcraft with worse voice acting.
Oh, yeah, there is also the question as to what would have become of the U.S. presidency after MacArthur had essentially staged a military coup against Truman.