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  • Bizarre war plans

    On another (non-military) board, a person was raising up in a conventional conflict only who would win between U.S. versus the rest of the world. I raised the point that the best the U.S. could do would be to play for a draw as they could never conquer everyone. But one of the states that got short-listed in his major states was Canada, which someone laughed at. I remembered that the Canadians prior to World War II had a war plan to attack the U.S. and posted this in addition to War Plan Red (U.S. invading Canada). What are some odd plans you've seen or could imagine for states that when starting out are inferior in material and manpower? And which ones do you think could work, or have you had any loose ideas you've mulled in your head?

    For reference:

    Defence Scheme No. 1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Defence Scheme No. 1 was a plan created by Canadian Director of Military Operations and Intelligence Lieutenant Colonel James "Buster" Sutherland Brown, for a Canadian counterattack of the United States.

    Targets

    Defence Scheme No. 1 was created on April 12, 1921 and details a surprise invasion of the northern United States as soon as possible after evidence was received of an American invasion of Canada. It assumed that the Americans would first attempt to capture Montreal and Ottawa, then Hamilton, Toronto, the prairie provinces, and Vancouver and southwest British Columbia. Defence Scheme No. 1's American counterpart was War Plan Red, a plan to invade Canada as part of a war with Britain, created in 1930.[1]

    The purpose of invading America was to allow time for Canada to prepare its war effort and to receive aid from Britain. According to the plan, Canadian flying columns stationed in Pacific Command in western Canada would immediately be sent to seize Seattle, Spokane, and Portland. Troops stationed in Prairie Command would be sent to attack Fargo and Great Falls, then move to Minneapolis. Troops from Quebec would be sent to seize Albany in a surprise counterattack while Maritime troops would attack Maine. When resistance to the Canadians grew they would retreat to their own borders, destroying bridges and railways to hinder American pursuit.[1][2]

    Reconnaissance

    Lt. Colonel Brown himself did reconnaissance for the plan,[2] along with other lieutenant-colonels, all in plainclothes. These missions took place from 1921 and 1926. As historian Pierre Berton noted in his book Marching as to War, the investigation had "a zany flavour about it, reminiscent of the silent comedies of the day." To illustrate this, Berton quoted from Brown's reports, in which Brown recorded, among other things, that in Burlington, Vermont the people were "affable" and thus unusual for Americans; that Americans drink significantly less alcohol than Canadians (this was during Prohibition), and that upon pointing out that to Americans, one responded "My God! I'd go for a glass of beer. I'm going to 'Canady' to get some more"; that the people of Vermont would be serious soldiers only "if aroused"; and that many Americans might be sympathetic with the British cause.

    Reaction

    Despite Berton's description of the plan and its creator as "quixotic", Berton notes the plan had its supporters. These included General George Pearkes, who remarked that Defence Scheme No. 1 was a "fantastic desperate plan [which] just might have worked."

    Christopher M. Bell, however, criticizes the plan as "suicidal". Brown did not coordinate with the British, so did not know that the Royal Navy thought that defending Canada was impossible and did not plan to send a large army there. His plan would thus have sacrificed the best Canadian troops for no reason. Brown also did not understand the importance of keeping Halifax, Nova Scotia—one of the main targets of an American invasion—and other Atlantic ports open. Bell states that Canada's best strategy would have been to—as the Americans expected—engage in a defensive war.[1]

    In 1928 Defence Scheme No. 1 was terminated by Chief of the General Staff Andrew McNaughton, who sought peaceful US-British relations. Many of the documents relating to the scheme were accordingly destroyed. While never fully justified, when declassified information about the United States' War Plan Red was released Defence Scheme No. 1 demonstrated the foresight of such an operation, especially in that it was prepared before War Plan Red was researched.
    War Plan Red - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    War Plan Red had been one of the United States' greatest military secrets and was developed by the United States Army following the 1927 Geneva Naval Conference and approved in May 1930 by the Secretary of War and the Secretary of Navy and updated in 1934–35. In 1939 on the outbreak of WW2 and Great Britain's fight against the Axis nations, a decision was taken that no further planning was required but that the plan be retained.[2] War Plan Red was not declassified until 1974.

    War Plan Red first set out a description of Canada's geography, military resources, and transportation[citation needed], and went on to evaluate a series of possible pre-emptive American campaigns to invade Canada in several areas and occupy key ports and railways before British troops could provide reinforcement to the Canadians - the assumption being that Britain would use Canada as a staging point. The idea was that the American attacks on Canada would prevent Britain from using Canadian resources, ports, or airbases.[citation needed]

    A key move was a joint US army-navy attack to capture the port city of Halifax, cutting off the Canadians from their British allies.[citation needed] Their next objective was to "[s]eize Canadian Power Plants near Niagara Falls" (Carlson, 2005). This was to be followed by a full-scale invasion on three fronts: From Vermont to take Montreal and Quebec, from North Dakota to take over the railhead at Winnipeg, and from the Midwest to capture the strategic nickel mines of Ontario.[citation needed] In parallel, the U.S. Navy was to seize the Great Lakes and blockade Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific ports.[citation needed]

    Zones of operation

    The main zones of operation discussed in the plan are:

    Nova Scotia and New Brunswick:

    Occupying Halifax, following a poison gas first strike, would deny the British a major naval base and cut links between Britain and Canada.
    The plan considers several land and sea options for the attack and concludes that a landing at St. Margarets Bay, a then undeveloped bay near Halifax, would be superior to a direct assault via the longer overland route.
    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.

    Quebec and the valley of the Saint Lawrence River:

    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.
    The routes from northern New York to Montreal and from Vermont to Quebec are both found satisfactory for an offensive, with Quebec being the more critical target.

    Ontario and the Great Lakes area:

    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.
    The plan proposes simultaneous offensives from Buffalo across the Niagara River, from Detroit into Ontario, and from Sault Ste. Marie into Sudbury. Controlling the Great Lakes for U.S. transport is considered logistically necessary for a continued invasion.

    Winnipeg

    Winnipeg is a central nexus of the Canadian rail system for connecting the country.
    The plan sees no major obstacles to an offensive from Grand Forks, North Dakota, to Winnipeg.

    Vancouver and Victoria:

    Although Vancouver's distance from Europe reduces its importance, occupying it would deny Britain a naval base and cut Canada off from the Pacific Ocean.
    Vancouver could be easily attacked overland from Bellingham, Washington, and Vancouver Island could be attacked by sea from Port Angeles, Washington.
    The British Columbia port Prince Rupert has a rail connection to the rest of Canada, but a naval blockade is viewed as easy if Vancouver were taken.

    No attacks outside Western Hemisphere

    Unlike the Rainbow Five plan, War Plan Red did not envision striking outside the Western Hemisphere. The plan assumed that the British Empire would have a much larger army and slightly larger navy. Because of the Empire's historical strength, the United States had traditionally planned for a defensive war with the British. War Plan Red recommended continued use of this strategy even as American military might grew to match Britain's. Its authors saw conquering Canada as the best way to attack the British Empire and believed that doing so would cause Britain to negotiate for peace. A problem with the plan was that it did not discuss how to attack the Empire if Canada declared its neutrality, which the authors believed was likely. (The plan advised against accepting such a declaration without permission to occupy Canadian ports and some land until the war ended.)[4]

    Based on extensive war games conducted at the Naval War College, the plan rejected attacking British shipping or attempting to destroy the British fleet. The main American fleet would instead stay in the western North Atlantic to block British-Canadian traffic. The navy would wait for a good opportunity to engage the British fleet, and if successful would then attack British trade and colonies in the Western Hemisphere.[4]

    In 1935 War Plan Red was updated and specified which roads to use in the invasion. "The best practicable route to Vancouver is via Route 99" (Carlson, 2005). Further, in 1935 Americans planned to build three military airfields near the Canadian border and disguise them as civilian airports. "In February 1935, the War Department arranged a Congressional appropriation of $57 million to build three border air bases for the purposes of pre-emptive surprise attacks on Canadian air fields" (Berlin Glasnost, 1992–2007). The airfields were to be kept secret, but their existence was accidentally published by the Government Printing Office and reported on the front page of the New York Times on May 1, 1935.

    Interestingly, American war planners had no thoughts of returning captured British territory. "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."

  • #2
    While interesting, I would say that many of these colored plans never were thought to be something which would be used in the near future, if at all. They were simply a contingency to have on file in case something went to hell out of the blue.

    Probably busy work for younger officers.

    ZF-

    Comment


    • #3
      We conquered the mighty Grenada Empire pretty well...
      "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep, by threats you will return SWSNBN back.
        No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

        To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gunnut View Post
          We conquered the mighty Grenada Empire pretty well...
          An empire based on Ford compact was doomed to failure from the get-go.

          Comment


          • #6
            There was much value for the development of the colored war plans and it was not just busy work.

            The Plans & Operations Division was the incubator for many of the Army's great leaders in WW 2. And the Rainbow plans of the Joint Army Navy Board taught those two services to plan and work together. This experience was critical to the success of the US Armed Forces in the coming war, especially in the Pacific.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              Even my son had heard of the "USA vs. the world" conventional scenario; I had not until this thread. Like the Marines vs. Ancient Rome, it's one of those thought experiments that is both bizarre and interesting.

              Three minutes of thought between the two of us concluded that if the USA seized oil production facilities in both Canada and Mexico, as well as Canada's rich mineral resources, and then went into a defensive crouch... we'd survive with relative ease, simply because there are no other nations with the ability to project conventional power on the scale necessary to crack this egg open.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chogy View Post
                Even my son had heard of the "USA vs. the world" conventional scenario; I had not until this thread. Like the Marines vs. Ancient Rome, it's one of those thought experiments that is both bizarre and interesting.

                Three minutes of thought between the two of us concluded that if the USA seized oil production facilities in both Canada and Mexico, as well as Canada's rich mineral resources, and then went into a defensive crouch... we'd survive with relative ease, simply because there are no other nations with the ability to project conventional power on the scale necessary to crack this egg open.
                This asks for a strategic flanking maneuver from the South,preceded by a long Mexican guerilla war.We'll need to establish a link to Brazil and work our way up North.We'll need plenty of ASM and strategic bombers to prevent the US Navy from cutting our naval LOC's.It ain't over until we say it's over,ya cowboys .
                Those who know don't speak
                He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mihais View Post
                  This asks for a strategic flanking maneuver from the South,preceded by a long Mexican guerilla war.We'll need to establish a link to Brazil and work our way up North.We'll need plenty of ASM and strategic bombers to prevent the US Navy from cutting our naval LOC's.It ain't over until we say it's over,ya cowboys .
                  We'll just unleash a barage of bacon, spam, mac & cheese and Bud on you dogs when you get here.

                  You'll be more American than we natives within 48 hours!
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                    We'll just unleash a barage of bacon, spam, mac & cheese and Bud on you dogs when you get here.

                    You'll be more American than we natives within 48 hours!
                    I was getting stars and stripes from the drawer. But then you had to mention Bud.
                    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mihais View Post
                      This asks for a strategic flanking maneuver from the South,preceded by a long Mexican guerilla war.We'll need to establish a link to Brazil and work our way up North.We'll need plenty of ASM and strategic bombers to prevent the US Navy from cutting our naval LOC's.It ain't over until we say it's over,ya cowboys .
                      Pffft. All we need is a coffee embargo. Them Yankees would fold within a week.
                      In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

                      Leibniz

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                        Pffft. All we need is a coffee embargo. Them Yankees would fold within a week.
                        Or cut off the iPad/iPod imports. The Apple fans would take Washington by storm...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chogy View Post
                          Even my son had heard of the "USA vs. the world" conventional scenario; I had not until this thread. Like the Marines vs. Ancient Rome, it's one of those thought experiments that is both bizarre and interesting.

                          Three minutes of thought between the two of us concluded that if the USA seized oil production facilities in both Canada and Mexico, as well as Canada's rich mineral resources, and then went into a defensive crouch... we'd survive with relative ease, simply because there are no other nations with the ability to project conventional power on the scale necessary to crack this egg open.
                          Not well thought out. The oil fields are a long way from civie centre and most roads go north-south, not east-west. A single company group can cut the LOC to those oil fields forcing the Americans to go on a wild goose chase. Taliban IEDs are child's play when compared to the Canadian Engineer Regiments and cluster fields.

                          And we won't be going after the tanks and apcs. It's those damned oil trucks that would be our targets. And we do practice something the Americans have yet to encounter in an enemy in the past 60 years - patience..

                          And you don't even want to venture into the Canadian Shield.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                            Pffft. All we need is a coffee embargo. Them Yankees would fold within a week.
                            You really don't want to deal with a bunch of Marine and Army Senior NCOs that haven't had their coffee.

                            We will go get it ourselves. And it won't be pretty

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                              Not well thought out.
                              I did say "three minutes of thought" didn't I?

                              All ur Canadian oil belong to us. You can keep "her". You know who I refer to.
                              Last edited by Chogy; 07 Jun 13,, 03:43.

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