Lest we forget that America was conceived through a direct and vicious confrontation with Britain, then nearly four decades later, Britain and Canadian forces campaigned on a war against its defected colonies in 1812, coined as the ‘second war of independence’, that was due to the will of expansion in American politics and commerce. Countless victories were gathered by the Brits; they had managed to even capture Washington D. C., burned down the White House, and gave an ultimate insult to the Republic. The remainder of the 19th century contained small, sporadic bouts of unsettling tension, mainly between irate Irish-Americans and Canada (at the time, Canada was still a colony of the British Empire until 1867); and it’s worthwhile in understanding their strife and cause – since Britain, acting like a pompous land-hoarder, wouldn’t grant Ireland independence. It would be reasonable to suspect sidelong difference to evaporate, or to dissolve with the passing of time, but persistently do the traces of history linger.
Fast-forward to the Great War, with roughly 150 years of conflict simmering behind these two nations, America entered the war in 1917, participating only as an “Associated Entity” and not as a full-fledged ally of Britain and her empire. Still yet there seemed to be a growing consensus of mistrust that even their Anglo-American forefathers must’ve also contemplated long before.
By the late 1920’s, the U.S. Joint Planning Committee began devising and formatting contingency plans in case of wars against various countries. Each country was specified according to a color, such as: Black for Germany, Green for Mexico, Orange for Japan, and so-forth; most of these contingency plans were taken lightly and not to be placed all in likelihood, but there was one more heavily thought-out, more amended, and more adamantly funded than all the others – War Plan Red: the destruction of Britain and her dominions (and subsequently War Plan Crimson, the invasion of Canada, also falls in this category).
The completed plan was adopted in mid-1930, and gained more discussion whilst the Great Depression sank coolly, forming economic and social uncertainty; in 1931, War Plan Red acquired vast weight when the famed Charles Lindbergh (a rampant supporter of Nazi Germany, by the way) conducted reconnaissance missions on the Hudson Bay as a spy, gathering information on suitable landing positions if warfare were to break out.
War Plan Red, now in 1934, was amended with the approval of chemical warfare upon Canadian citizens, and bombing raids upon Halifax. One year later, the U.S. War Department passed a grant of 57 million dollars to the sole purpose of constructing three air bases around the Great Lakes, to be used for “surprise attacks on Canadian air fields“, as stated by the Committee on Military Affairs during a hearing at the House of Representatives – the transcripts of which were accidentally published, and ended up on the front page of the New York Times, May 1, 1935 issue (feel free to Google that particular article).
In conclusion, of course these plans never played out in reality; although it may be assumed by some varied degree, that the only reason war didn’t escalate between America and Britain, is due in part because of Germany’s conquest on Poland, and the outbreak of World War II. Ironically, Adolf Hitler knew war between British and American forces was an inevitable event, and hoped for Britain to be the victor, so British and German armies could conquer America. Notably, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, during the early-to-mid 1930’s, could smell the scent of war between his country and America, often taking note on the subject.
Imagine if Hitler postponed his lebensraum, the course of history might have took a route we can hardly fathom.