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Author Topic: What if invasion of the US 1901?  (Read 458 times)

Offline 10thMountain

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 99
What if invasion of the US 1901?
« on: April 30, 2021, 11:54:24 AM »
         Has anyone tried gaming this, (Imperial German plans for the invasion of the United States)? I know there is a novel based on the hypothetical invasion.

Thank you

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 586
Re: What if invasion of the US 1901?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 06:22:14 PM »
Yes indeed - well worth a read for anyone interested in German attitudes prior to WW1. 

Whilst, at first sight, a German "invasion" of the contiguous US seems ludicrous to us today, there are two factors that might have made it feasible:-
1) the Panama Canal was not fully open and operational until 1914 (although an outbreak of war may well have speeded things up), so any US naval forces on the West Coast would possibly have had to face sailing around the tip of South America to reinforce the East Coast forces; and
2) there was a substantial German population in the US which might have been prevailed upon to give its support to German plans (in fact, this demographic was considered such a threat after the US entered WW1 that plans were made to at least spy on them, if not intern them).

I suspect the outcome of any military action might have hinged upon whether or not America (or Germany) could marshal any allies - particularly from among the other maritime powers.  The Royal Navy's "two-power standard" (ie always being stronger than the world's 2nd and 3rd largest navies combined) came under serious threat from the expansion of its German counterpart and, whilst the UK might secretly have welcomed any attempt to curtail US influence and prestige as an economic rival, I suspect that a conflict that would potentially weaken the German navy via ship losses, plus any threat to Canada, would have made her a more likely ally of the US than of Germany.  Given their historical military links, and their possessions in the Caribbean, I would have thought France would have felt much the same.  At the same time, it's difficult to see Germany garnering much support in Europe for an attack on the US, and the Japanese navy was virtually a carbon copy of the Royal Navy at this time, so participation with Germany might have been problematic for them.

The US, of course, had its own "War Plan Black" which envisaged a predominantly naval conflict with Imperial Germany.  Earlier versions are not known, but in the early part of WW1 (prior to US entry) a projected German conquest of France and seizure of its overseas colonies, especially in the Caribbean, inspired plans to mine areas around the French West Indies and have submarines patrol the area to deny the Germans any landing points.  As the war progressed and this outcome became less likely, Plan Black switched its emphasis to defending New England against direct German attack.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 06:44:12 PM by Baron von Wreckedoften »
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

Offline Patrice

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1437
  • Breizh / Brittany
    • "Argad!"
Re: What if invasion of the US 1901?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2021, 07:42:57 PM »
I found this work very interesting - although it's more about Mexico but it also explains German attitude towards the US before and during WW1.


...Of course it doesn't prevent from imagining other events, but it can be inspiring. The (mad) idea of offering Texas etc. to the Mexican government, for example.  ::)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 10:35:51 AM by Patrice »

Offline juergen c. olk

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • *
  • Posts: 2112
Re: What if invasion of the US 1901?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2021, 01:30:18 AM »
I love the way you think..We did the Battle of White Plains. /NY back in the 90;s from that book. Germans were winning when random reinforcements arrived from Milwaukee..lots of fun.


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