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Britain and Canada at war with the US

Britain and Canada at war with the US

Old Nov 19th 2005, 6:16 am
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Default Britain and Canada at war with the US

Thought this was interesting as an alternative history, found on another forum I frequent:


Hoover-Era American Plan For War Against Britain and Canada Uncovered

American military officials drew up a secret plan in 1930 for war against Britain in which Canada would be the main battleground. "Joint Plan Red," as it was known, envisaged the elimination of Britain as a trading rival.

Professor Floyd Rudmin of Queens University in Ontario, Canada, charges that the plan was a blueprint for an American invasion of Canada. According to the plan, the United States was prepared to invade Canada if political unrest brought on by Quebec's secession threatened American access to Canada's fresh water and cheap hydroelectric power.

The war plan document was drawn up by the Joint Board of the Army and Navy in May 1930, when Herbert Hoover was President. It identified Britain as Red, Canada as Crimson, Australia and New Zealand as Scarlet, and the U.S. as Blue. Its aim was to dismember the British empire on the grounds of "competition and interference with American foreign trade."

Describing the objectives of a possible war, the document stated:

It is believed that Blue's war aims in case of war with Red [Britain] should be the expulsion of Red from North and South America and the definite elimination of Red as a strong competitor in foreign trade.

Plan Red called for a series of coordinatedmilitary attacks against Canada to deny Britain land and naval bases. A naval force from Boston would seize Halifax (Nova Scotia), cutting off Canada from the Atlantic Ocean. Other U.S. forces would occupy the gulf of St. Lawrence, isolating Quebec City and Montreal.

American land forces would move from New York, Vermont and New Hampshire to take Montreal and Quebec City, much as American forces did during the Revolutionary war for independence during the 1770s. Other U.S. forces would cross into Canada at Detroit and head for Ottawa, Canada's capital. American troops would also take the Welland Canal, paralyzing shipping on the Great Lakes, and would seize the power stations at the Niagara falls. Naval forces would blockade the Pacific at Victoria and Vancouver.

It was envisaged that British, Australian, New Zealand and Indian forces would quickly overwhelm American bases in the Philippines and Guam. Out of concern that British forces might take the American-run Panama Canal, Plan Red called for a U.S. naval and air assault against British possessions in the Caribbean, including the seizure of Jamaica, the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Christopher Cushing of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies in Toronto recently commented:

The Americans would be threatened by economic and political instability. They would be especially worried about access to Canadian fresh water and hydroelectric power. It is the same motivation which sent them to the Gulf.

For many years now, Quebec has been a major supplier of cheap hydroelectric power from dams on northern rivers to New York state and New England.

The 94-page Joint Plan Red document is now in the National Archives in Washington, DC. Edward Reese, a military archivist there, noted that "there were [official American] color plans for all parts of the world." Indeed, all major military powers have similar contingency plans for military operations in different countries. Plan Red remained an active US military strategy until 1939, when it was superceded by Joint Plan Orange, which was directed against Japan.

Would have been interesting had they gone through with it. 1930 UK was a lot different than it is now. At the time the UK had most powerful navy in the world. Coupled with the difficulty of invading a country the size of Canada.

Worth consideration also is Hitlers idea that Britain and Germany were "natural partners" and was keen to form an alliance with Britain prior to the outbreak of the WW2"
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 6:40 am
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I thought I knew my history - wow. I think that taking on the whole British empire would have resulted in a loss for the US. How would that have changed everything after that?
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 7:05 am
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Default Re: Britain and Canada at war with the US

That's really interesting.

What are your sources for that information?

I can imagine that it would have been considered as a hypothetical scenario, but I suspect that military procedures are in place for many eventualities with regards to possible future military operations.

These plans probably exist without the realistic possibility of them actually being put into practice.

I very much doubt that wars start without any prior planning as to how they would be executed.

I would expect that Britain had a similar plan set out for a course of actions following a declaration of war with the USA.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 7:39 am
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Default Re: Britain and Canada at war with the US

Originally Posted by CitySimon
That's really interesting.

What are your sources for that information?

I can imagine that it would have been considered as a hypothetical scenario, but I suspect that military procedures are in place for many eventualities with regards to possible future military operations.

These plans probably exist without the realistic possibility of them actually being put into practice.

I very much doubt that wars start without any prior planning as to how they would be executed.

I would expect that Britain had a similar plan set out for a course of actions following a declaration of war with the USA.
I got the initial article from a Military forum.

Apparently the plans do exist and were declassified by the US gov in 1974 if memory serves. Here's more


http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mcanadawar.html

Last edited by rushman; Nov 19th 2005 at 7:45 am.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 8:07 am
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Default Re: Britain and Canada at war with the US

Given the political situation in 1919, the Royal Navy would have been the only force able to take on the US Navy, I guess both the UK & US had plans to deal with each other in the event of war.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 10:35 am
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Interesting. All countries have "hypothetical" plans for vast arrays of situations. Most are never intended to be carried out of course.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Britain and Canada at war with the US

Originally Posted by rushman
I got the initial article from a Military forum.
Arrse?

This plan was typical of US thinking then, not looking too far overseas. Changed a bit now. I dont think it would have been possible to invade and occupy the second largest country in the world. As Hitler found out, trying to invade the largest, with a highly efficient and well organised Army. In the 1930's the pink on the world map was about 30% of it.

We might have had a small (British) army, but we had a massive Navy and all those Indian troops. We also had an air force, not something the US had in the 30s. Granted, it didnt take too long for the US to build up in the early 40s, but this plan was in the 30s. We could have repulsed the attack with air power, and had complete air superiority. Boeing's plants are generally in the North, so the ability to ramp up an air force would have been hindered too.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:09 pm
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Interesting article, and when you think back to the American reluctance to join the war against the Nazi's at the beginning of the Second World then it adds even more credence to the whole thing. Were the Americans more than happy to see the UK's defences weakened and was it only the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor that changed things ?
I agree with those who reckon the Empires Indian troops would have given the Americans a good hiding..... Every time I take my American friends for a curry they always end up on the run
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:23 pm
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US Navy v Canadian Navy
Attached Thumbnails Britain and Canada at war with the US-350px-uss_nimitz_1997.jpg   Britain and Canada at war with the US-canadian_navy.jpg  
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:30 pm
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To save costs Canada introduces it's first One man Tank

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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Britain and Canada at war with the US

Originally Posted by rushman
I got the initial article from a Military forum.
Dear God not the Soldier of Fortune crowd.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:34 pm
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The Canadian Airforce at work

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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Britain and Canada at war with the US

Originally Posted by gruffbrown
US Navy v Canadian Navy
HMCS Chicoutimi, ex-RN diesel-electric submarine. Latest and greatest addition nearly went to the bottom on delivery, because the Captain did not order the hatches to be shut!!! Ingress of lots of seawater, which doesnt mix with electricity. There was even a fatality. Disgracefully bad seamanship.

But, in the 1930s, the USN would have been up against the Royal Navy, which was the biggest and most powerful in the world at the time. The US Iowa class battleships didnt come into the equation until the 40s. We also had submarines and aircraft carriers. The likes of Yorktown werent commissioned until the late 30s.

I think we would have held our own in the early 30s.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:39 pm
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We still do .... lets be honest here. The American Armed Forces rarely go into battle these days without the British Army in tow to cover their arses.
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Old Nov 19th 2005, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Britain and Canada at war with the US

Originally Posted by gruffbrown
The Canadian Airforce at work
Hate to be picky....but the tail code "SW" is of the 20th Fighter Wing, United States Air Force, Shaw AFB, South Carolina. They fly F-16s. This is a picture of a dickhead on an F-16.
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