Friday, August 24, 2012

What is War Plan Red?

War Plan Red is an idea that I've had for over a year now... I blame it on the British Channel Five for their fascinating and sobering documentary that came out last year.  It was a real eye opener to say the least.

It's easy to forget now-a-days, but once, long ago, the United States and the United Kingdom were at each other's throats.  It started when the former English colonies, the original thirteen colonies of yore, broke away from the crown and fought a bloody revolution against their former colonial masters.  It was a long and hard fought war that finally ended when France joined the colonists and the combined Franco-American armies cornered Lord Cornwallis and his army at Yorktown, a small tide-water town, in Virginia.

Cornwallis surrendering at Yorktown

But Anglo-American hostilities didn't end there...

They would again burn bright during the Napoleonic Wars.  The 1812 a young and hot-headed America declared war on Britain and launch an audacious invasion of its neighbor, and sister, Canada.  What started out as a "matter of marching" became a long and grim war that almost saw the destruction of the new republic.  However luck and fate didn't abandon the young state and it achieved a near miracle... the US went toe-to-toe with the mightiest nation of the time and lived to tell about it.  But only just.

The Battle of Baltimore

While there would never be another Anglo-American war there were a number of times over the following years when tensions reached scary heights and it really looked like these two nations, the mother country and her eldest daughter, would again come to blows.  But it always cooler heads prevailed, peaceful solutions were found, and war as adverted.

 The Battle of Ridgeway

However that didn't mean that all was better. After World War One relations between these two great English speaking nations reached an all new low.  A cash strapped British Empire was forced to default on loans drawn from the United States... leaving the American taxpayers handfuls of worthless IOUs.  Worse still both nations began to look at the powerful battle fleets that the other possessed and realised that those great engines of war could easily be used against them.  Both of these nations depended greatly on foreign trade and control over these all necessary sea lanes was vital to both nation's economies.  The once allies began to drift apart and the military planners were forced to think the unthinkable and even plan for it.

The plan, a basic blue print for the unthinkable, was simply called War Plan Red.

This blog is a chronicle my efforts to recreate this alternate World War Two.  This is a world that is much like ours in the early 1940s.  However history has taken a different and maybe even darker turn.  This is a world where Nazi Germany never existed: Adolf Hitler is a mere footnote in German antebellum history.  Instead these former allies have drifted dangerously apart and fear, envy, and paranoia have taken over.

This is the world of War Plan Red.

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