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Thread: U.S. had secret 1930 plan to invade Canada

  1. #1
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    U.S. had secret 1930 plan to invade Canada

    ROFLMAO



    U.S. had secret 1930 plan to invade Canada
    Winnipeg's rail yards one of key targets

    Sat Dec 31 2005

    By Peter Carlson

    WASHINGTON POST
    Through history, U.S. has found Canada easy to invade but impossible to conquer.
    WASHINGTON -- If the U.S. were to invade Canada, the campaign would differ from Iraq in at least one key aspect -- the Pentagon would have a plan.

    First, they'd seize Halifax, cutting us off from British help.

    Then they'd swarm across the Niagara River, the way they did in 1812, this time with the aim of capturing the hydro-electric plants.

    Winnipeg's turn would be next, with the army charging up from North Dakota to cut the transcontinental railway and occupy the rail yards. Simultaneously, columns would march from Vermont to take Montreal and Quebec, and up from Michigan to grab Sudbury and its strategic nickel mines.

    That, in a nutshell, is Plan Red, the U.S.'s no-longer-secret blueprint for the invasion, occupation and annexation of Canada, which was originally drawn up and approved by the U.S. War Department in 1930, then updated in 1934 and 1935.
    Interviewed about it by the Washington Post, Mayor Sam Katz said Winnipeg's winter would do to the Americans what Russia's did to Napoleon.

    "You'll meet your Waterloo on the banks of the Assiniboine," he quipped.

    The 94-page document, called Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan -- Red, has the word SECRET stamped on the cover.

    But before Canadians take to the barricades, it's worth noting the plan was declassified in 1974, SECRET is crossed out with a heavy pencil and the plan is available for anyone to photocopy for 15 cents a page, or about 17 cents Cdn.

    War Plan Red sounds like a joke, but was no more of a joke than "Defence Scheme No. 1," Canada's plan to beat the Yankees to the punch. Drafted in 1921, it called for Canadian forces to seize U.S. points at the first threat of an invasion from the south, and then carry out a scorched-earth retreat.

    The U.S. actually designed War Plan Red for a war with England.

    In the late 1920s, American military strategists developed plans for a war with Japan (code name Orange), Germany (Black), Mexico (Green) and England (Red).

    The Americans imagined a conflict between the United States (Blue) and England over international trade: "The war aim of RED in a war with BLUE is conceived to be the definite elimination of BLUE as an important economic and commercial rival."

    In the event of war, the American planners figured that England would use Canada (Crimson) as a launching pad for "a direct invasion of BLUE territory." That invasion might come overland, with British and Canadian troops attacking Buffalo, Detroit and Albany. Or it might come by sea, with amphibious landings on various American beaches -- including Rehoboth and Ocean City, both of which were identified by the planners as "excellent" sites for a Brit beachhead.
    The planners anticipated a war "of long duration" because "the RED race" is "more or less phlegmatic" but "noted for its ability to fight to a finish."

    The stakes were high: If the British and Canadians won the war, the planners predicted, "CRIMSON will demand that Alaska be awarded to her."

    And so the American strategists planned to fight England by seizing Canada. (Also Jamaica, Barbados and Bermuda.) And they didn't plan to give them back.

    "Blue intentions are to hold in perpetuity all CRIMSON and RED territory gained," army planners wrote in an appendix to the war plan. "The policy will be to prepare the provinces and territories of CRIMSON and RED to become states and territories of the BLUE union upon the declaration of peace."

    None of this information is new. After the plan was declassified in 1974, several historians and journalists wrote about War Plan Red. But still it remains virtually unknown on both sides of the world's largest undefended border.

    "I've never heard of it," said David Biette, director of the Canada Institute in Washington, which thinks about Canada.

    "I remember sort of hearing about this," said Bernard Etzinger, spokesman for the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

    "It's the first I've heard of it," said David Courtemanche, mayor of Sudbury, Ont., whose nickel mines were targeted in the war plan.

    Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he'd never heard of the plan. He also said he wouldn't admit to knowing about such a plan if he did.
    "We don't talk about any of our contingency plans," he said.

    Has the Pentagon updated War Plan Red since the '30s?

    "The Defence Department never talks about its contingency plans for any countries," Whitman said. "We don't acknowledge which countries we have contingency plans for."

    In Winnipeg -- whose rail yards were slated to be seized in the plan -- Brad Salyn, the city's director of communications, told the Washington Post he didn't think Mayor Sam Katz knew anything about War Plan Red: "You know he would have no clue about what you're talking about, eh?"

    "I'm sure Winnipeggers will stand up tall in defence of our country," Katz said later. "We have many, many weapons."

    What kind of weapons?

    "We have peashooters, slingshots and snowballs," he said, laughing.

    But Canadians' best weapon, Katz added, is our weather. "It gets to about minus-50 Celsius with a wind chill," he said. "It will be like Napoleon's invasion of Russia. I'm quite convinced that you'll meet your Waterloo on the banks of the Assiniboine River."
    Katz isn't the first Canadian to speculate on how to fight the U.S.A.

    "Defence Scheme No, 1," Canada's 1921 plan, was developed by the country's director of military operations and intelligence, a First World War hero named James Sutherland "Buster" Brown. Apparently, Buster believed that the best defence was a good offence: His "Defence Scheme No. 1" called for Canadian soldiers to invade the United States, charging toward Albany, Minneapolis, Seattle and Great Falls, Mont., at the first signs of a possible U.S. invasion.

    "His plan was to start sending people south quickly because surprise would be more important than preparation," said Floyd Rudmin, a Canadian psychology professor and author of Bordering on Aggression: Evidence of U.S. Military Preparations Against Canada, a 1993 book about both nations' war plans. "At a certain point, he figured they'd be stopped and then retreat, blowing up bridges and tearing up railroad tracks to slow the Americans down."

    Brown's idea was to buy time for the British to come to Canada's rescue. Buster even entered the United States in civilian clothing to do some reconnaissance.

    "He had a total annual budget of $1,200," said Rudmin, "so he himself would drive to the areas where they were going to invade and take pictures and pick up free maps at gas stations."

    Rudmin got interested in these war plans in the 1980s when he was living in Kingston, Ont., just across the St. Lawrence River from Fort Drum, the huge army base in upstate New York. Why would the Americans put an army base there, he wondered. Could it be there to... fight Canada?

    He did some digging. He found "War Plan Red" and "Defence Scheme No. 1." At the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., he found a 1935 update of War Plan Red, which specified which roads to use in the invasion ("The best practicable route to Vancouver is via Route 99").

    Rudmin also learned about an American plan from 1935 to build three military airfields near the Canadian border and disguise them as civilian airports. The secret scheme was revealed after the testimony of two generals in a closed-door session of the House Military Affairs Committee was published by mistake. When the Canadian government protested the plan, President Franklin Roosevelt reassured it that he wasn't contemplating war. The whole brouhaha made the front page of the New York Times on May 1, 1935.

    That summer, however, the army held what were the biggest war games in American history on the site of what is now Fort Drum, Rudmin said.
    Is he worried that the Yanks will invade from Fort Drum?

    "Not now," he said. "Now the U.S. is kind of busy in Iraq. But I wouldn't put it past them."

    He's not paranoid, he hastened to add, and he doesn't think the States will simply invade Canada the way Hitler invaded Russia.

    But if some kind of crisis -- perhaps something involving the perennially grumpy French Canadians -- destabilized Canada, then... well, Fort Drum is just across the river.

    "We most certainly are not preparing to invade Canada," said Ben Abel, the official spokesman for Fort Drum.

    The fort, he added, is home to the legendary 10th Mountain Division, which is training for its third deployment in Afghanistan. There are also 1,200 Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

    "I find it very hard to believe that we'd be planning to invade Canada," Abel said. "We have a lot of Canadian soldiers training here. I bumped into a Canadian officer in the bathroom the other day."

    For many Canadians, a possible invasion by the United States is no joking matter.
    When TV show The West Wing had a subplot last winter about a U.S.-Canada border incident, Canadian newspapers took note.

    When Jon Stewart joked about invading Canada on The Daily Show last March, Canadian newspapers covered the story.

    When the Toronto Star interviewed comedian Jimmy Kimmel last year, the reporter asked him: "Is it only a matter of time before America invades Canada?"

    "I'm not sure," Kimmel replied.

    In 2003, the Canadian army set up an Internet chat room where soldiers and civilians could discuss defence issues. "One of the hottest topics on the site discusses whether the U.S. will invade Canada to seize its natural resources," the Ottawa Citizen reported. "If the attack did come, Canada could rely on a scorched-earth policy similar to what Russia did when invaded by Nazi Germany, one participant recommends. 'With such emmense (sic) land, and with our cold climates, we may be able to hold them off, even though we have the much weaker military,' the individual concludes."

    Bernard Etzinger, spokesman for the Canadian Embassy in Washington, isn't worried about an American invasion because Canada has a secret weapon -- actually thousands of secret weapons.

    "We've got thousands of Canadians in the U.S. right now, in place secretly," he said. "They could be on your street. We've sent people like Céline Dion and Mike Myers to secretly infiltrate American society."

    Pretty funny, Mr. Etzinger. But the strategists who wrote War Plan Red were prepared for that problem. They noted that "it would be necessary to deal internally" with the "large number" of Brits and Canadians living in the United States -- and also with "a small number of professional pacifists and communists."

    The planners did not specify exactly what would be done with those undesirables. But it would be kinda fun to see Céline Dion and Mike Myers wearing orange jumpsuits down in Guantanamo.
    -- The Washington Post

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    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    Here is more about the planned "invasion"

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

    I have read about it in other places as well. Seems the US just about gave up the Philipines and Guam, and expected the RN to be knocking at the gates of Hawaii.
    "Any relations in a social order will endure if there is infused into them some of that spirit of human sympathy, which qualifies life for immortality." ~ George William Russell

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    one wonders if the brits of the 1930s coulda saved canada at all or, for that matter, whether the US army of the 1930s coulda advanced that far into canada at all.

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    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Key word..."Plan Red". The U.S. had a contingency plan for dealing with most nations no matter how unlikely the senario.

    The only "plan" they acctually took to the board was "Plan Orange" with Japan.

    I'll have to do some digging on just what each colour stood for and who the unlucky nation was that recieved the title "Plan Pink" .

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    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Did some digging....

    War Plan Red was actually designed for a war with England. In the late 1920s, American military strategists developed plans for a war with Japan (code name Orange), Germany (Black), Mexico (Green) and England (Red). The Americans imagined a conflict between the United States (Blue) and England over international trade: "The war aim of RED in a war with BLUE is conceived to be the definite elimination of BLUE as an important economic and commercial rival."

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingassassin
    Did some digging....
    you mean you scrolled up?

    It is an interesting situation. Remember the army the US ended WWII with was very different in capability from the one it started with.

    Militarily does it look odd from the 21st century, it also looks odd poltically too. However the politiical situation at the start of the 20th century was very different.

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    If that invasion did occur there's one problem WINTER canadians have one of the coldest winters in the world, not to mention one of the longest and the Americans were never prepared for that, I know it talked about that, but the problem continues. At that point in time they didn't have tanks that could move well in mud, and guess what comes around in spring. As well if they invaded Canada, their soldiers would be getting killed faster than ever by resistance groups and by the end of the year no soldier would want to stay because it's so cold

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingassassin
    Key word..."Plan Red". The U.S. had a contingency plan for dealing with most nations no matter how unlikely the senario.

    The only "plan" they acctually took to the board was "Plan Orange" with Japan.

    I'll have to do some digging on just what each colour stood for and who the unlucky nation was that recieved the title "Plan Pink" .
    -Hey, why do I have to be "Mr. Pink"? Why can't I get a cool name like "Mr. Brown"?

    -Because "Mr. Brown's" already doing a job!
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Oh c'mon guys. It's because we're tired of the Canadian fascination with hockey. THAT is why we planned on invading your country.

    This whole subject was a thread from a looooong time ago.

    I believe I even mentioned Operation Leaf Blower to the Colonel.

    He hasn't spoken to me since...
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Great plan to take Canada.

    We would add in a lot more blue states in one swoop... lets do it...

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    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooth
    you mean you scrolled up?

    It is an interesting situation. Remember the army the US ended WWII with was very different in capability from the one it started with.

    Militarily does it look odd from the 21st century, it also looks odd poltically too. However the politiical situation at the start of the 20th century was very different.
    Thats what I get for skimming through the article! Oddly enough the site I found was the same one...

    Your right on the political outlook at the time. It was perfectly acceptable to come up with a plan to take on Britain and not be worried about it being politically correct. nowadays the anti-war nuts would stir up a hornets nest of complacency.

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    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadian boy
    If that invasion did occur there's one problem WINTER canadians have one of the coldest winters in the world, not to mention one of the longest and the Americans were never prepared for that, I know it talked about that, but the problem continues. At that point in time they didn't have tanks that could move well in mud, and guess what comes around in spring. As well if they invaded Canada, their soldiers would be getting killed faster than ever by resistance groups and by the end of the year no soldier would want to stay because it's so cold
    I think your over estimating the effects of winter. The U.S. army fought Germany in the Battle of the Bulge in the worst winter conditions in years. I doubt very much that Canadians of the 1930's would put up a serious resistance after their nation had been overrun by a nation that shares many cultural ties.

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    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    I think your over estimating the effects of winter. The U.S. army fought Germany in the Battle of the Bulge in the worst winter conditions in years. I doubt very much that Canadians of the 1930's would put up a serious resistance after their nation had been overrun by a nation that shares many cultural ties.
    BoB was when the US Army had capability undreamed of in 1920's/30's.
    "Any relations in a social order will endure if there is infused into them some of that spirit of human sympathy, which qualifies life for immortality." ~ George William Russell

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    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparten
    BoB was when the US Army had capability undreamed of in 1920's/30's.
    The same could be said for Canada in the 1920's/30's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingassassin
    Your right on the political outlook at the time. It was perfectly acceptable to come up with a plan to take on Britain and not be worried about it being politically correct. nowadays the anti-war nuts would stir up a hornets nest of complacency.
    Avtually i believe the restrictions would apply now as then. Militarily i hope we have a plan for dealing with an unprovoked invasion by the US and one for plonking the Union Flag back in New York (can't be doing with that new fangled capital in that drained swamp ). They are worthwhile exercises in planning, theory etc.

    Poltically, however i don't believe the US public would sponsor an attack on Britain or British interests now, or in the 1930s. If this plan had been drawn up in 1903, say, then perhaps there would be more of a political will to attack the UK but then i believe the US was a declared neutral nation at that point.

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