This chapter outlines the basic characteristics of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. It analyses the rich history of Cold War nuclear strategy. The chapter describes an assessment of contemporary strategic thought and practice on nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons first came to public attention with the atomic attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. A critical component of any nuclear force is its command and control. Due to the marriage of destructive power and rapid delivery, the command and control system of nuclear forces must be robust and responsive. In some respects, the first declaratory nuclear strategy of the United States, massive retaliation, is indicative of the existential approach. The discussion of nuclear strategy as a form of bargaining produced more-sophisticated forms of deterrence and perceived nuclear weapons as more-nuanced and more-flexible tools of strategy. Efforts to construct a theory of limited nuclear war appear rational and worthwhile.