Second Variety by Philip K. Dick
A nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the West has reduced much of the world to a barren wasteland. The war continues however among the scattered remains of humanity.
The Western forces have developed "claws", which are autonomous self-replicating robots to fight on their side.
T. S. Miller of Strange Horizons called the story one of "Dick's most compelling works."
Estimated reading time: 42 minutes. Number of pages: 50.