How the US Planned to Destroy Britain Just a Few Years Before World War II

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Invasion of Canada. Bombing raids on British industrial interests. Naval blockade. Chemical weapons. Six million troops fighting on the Eastern seaboard. This wasn't a crazy Nazi plan. It was the United States' strategy to destroy Britain as a world superpower.

It was very real. Its name was War Plan Red. Developed during the 1920s, it was approved by the US Secretary of War and the Secretary of Navy in May 1930. In fact, it was active until Hitler decided to invade Poland with his bloody pal Stalin. The plan wasn't declassified until 1974. Now, a new documentary by Channel 5 America's Planned War On Britain: Revealed, shows how this plan became to be alongside other plans that called for war against Mexico (War Plan Green), Japan (Orange), China (Yellow) and even domestic uprising (White).

Unlike the other color-coded plans, however, the US Congress approved $57 million for War Plan Red. This money was used to build three military airfields disguised as civilian airports on the Canadian border, which would be used to launch pre-emptive surprise strikes against Canadian air forces and defenses.


The plan also included a detailed land invasion strategy—devised with the help of transatlantic flight hero Charles Lindbergh—the bombing of industries in Canada, the use of chemical weapons—which was designed by Army General Douglas MacArthur himself—and a naval blockade that would have kept the British Navy out of the conflict.

The objective of War Plan Red was to neutralize Britain as a worldwide imperial power, blocking their trading routes. The US government truly believed that the war with the British was possible, even after they briefly fought as allies during World War I. The US population wasn't very fond of their former 1776 oppressors either. This was the time of the Great Depression and, after WWI, Britain owed the United States $14 billion. As a result of the dramatic economic situation, the anti-British sentiment in the US was quite strong at the time.


Fortunately—and unfortunately—a crazy dude by the name of Adolf Hitler decided to declare war on the world, and the US became best pals with the Brits shortly thereafter—even while they still hated each other. A little bit. On the inside. Especially Patton and Eisenhower, actually, who couldn't stand that snotty good-for-nothing Field Marshal that was Monty. Not as much as they hated the Germans, though. Or the French, for that matter. [Channel 5, War Plan Red (Wikipedia)]