War Plan Red

Gentleman, we present this contingency not as an act of aggression,  but as a plan for defense. Our historical relationship with the Empire of Great Britain has been a contentious one to say the least. The United States of America was born out of revolutionary struggle with The Red Empire. We have fought two wars that have threatened our very existence with the Crown. They have invaded our lands  and burnt our capitol to the ground. During our Civil War seven decades past, the Crown sided with the insurrectionists providing supplies to our enemies and safe haven within the borders of Canada. Probing for weakness Great Britain waited for her chance to strike. Indeed, just a few short years ago in 1895 Great Britain challenged our interests in the South American continent during the border dispute between British Guiana and Venezuela. In recent years the Crown has entered into treaty with the Empire of Japan, a nation with whom many of us feel conflict is inevitable. Our recent alliance during The Great War with Germany aside, we must be prepared.

The Atlantic Strategic War Plan: Plan Red, was the American contingency for a titanic struggle between the United States of America and the Empire of Great Britain. Formulated throughout the 1920’s and formally drawn up in 1930, War Plan Red detailed proposals specifically aimed at eliminating all British land forces in Canada and the North Atlantic, thus destroying Britain’s trading ability and bringing the country to its knees.

Though war between America and England may be inconceivable within today’s context, during those years between the two World Wars nothing was certain. Great Britain owed the United States a princely sum for intervention during World War I and anti-British sentiment always present within America ran at a high ebb. Adolph Hitler was betting on conflict between the two powers, and even Winston Churchill admitted that it was certainly possible.

In 1931 famed aviator Charles Lindburgh was deployed covertly to the west shore of Hudson Bay to investigate the possibility of using sea-planes for warfare and seek out points of low resistance as potential bridgeheads. By 1935 Congress and authorized $57million to be allocated for the building of three secret airfields on the U.S. side of the Canadian border, to support a surprise invasion of the Dominion.

American planners believed U.S. possessions in the Pacific such as the Philippines would be quickly lost to the British striking from Australia or New Zealand but also believed that the United States could quickly assert control over the Caribbean. Canada was thought to be the primary theater of operations, and this was to be a continental war.

America would first strike Halifax with a poison gas attack. Occupying Halifax would deny the British a major naval base and cut links between Britain and Canada. Failing to take Halifax  the U.S. could occupy New Brunswick by land to cut Nova Scotia off from the rest of Canada at the key railway junction at Moncton. America would attempt to occupy Quebec and Montreal by striking from New York and Vermont. Occupying Montreal and Quebec City would cut the remainder of Canada off from the Eastern seaboard, preventing the movement of soldiers and resources in both directions. Control over the Great Lakes would be achieved by attacks from Buffalo and Detroit. Occupying this region gains control of Toronto and most of Canada’s industry, while also preventing Britain and Canada from using it for air or land attacks against the U.S. industrial heartland in the Midwest. An offensive from Grand Forks, North Dakota would gain control of Winnipeg the central nexus of the Canadian railway system. Vancouver would be attacked from Port Angeles and Bellingham, Washington cutting the enemy off from the Pacific.

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“I am speaking to you from the cabinet Room of 10 Downing Street, this morning the British Ambassador in Washington handed the American Government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by 11 o’clock that they were at once to withdraw their troops from Canada, a state of war would exist between us, I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently this country is at war with America." –Prime Minister Chamberlain

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