Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

December 21, 2012

Why not nuke Canada?

Filed under: antiwar,Britain — louisproyect @ 10:24 pm

  • Emerging world power feared British reaction to its ambitions
  • Plan Red was code for massive war with British Empire
  • Top-secret document once regarded as ‘most sensitive on Earth’
  • $57m allocated for building secret airfields on Canadian border – to launch attack on British land forces based there

Details of an amazing American military plan for an attack to wipe out a major part of the British Army  are today revealed for the first time.

In 1930, a mere nine years before the outbreak of World War Two, America drew up proposals specifically aimed at eliminating all British land forces in Canada and the North Atlantic, thus destroying Britain’s trading ability and bringing the country to its knees.

Previously unparalleled troop movements were launched as an overture to an invasion of Canada, which was to include massive bombing raids on key industrial targets and the use of chemical weapons, the latter signed off at the highest level by none other than the legendary General Douglas MacArthur.

The plans, revealed in a Channel 5 documentary, were one of a number of military contingency plans drawn up against a number of potential enemies, including the Caribbean islands and China. There was even one to combat an internal uprising within the United States.

read full article


  1. Well, okay, but during my very brief tour in the military I learned that it was then (and I have to assume was before, and is now) standard practice to develop plans for “imagined” threats from ALL countries – North, South, East, West. I imagine that these plans surface from time to time and cause a “stir”, but they are primarily exercises designed to sharpen logistic skills – that is, what resources should be available and where should they be stationed. Attacks by X (anyone) on the Panama Canal have always been big.

    Comment by Bill — December 22, 2012 @ 12:24 am

  2. Yes, but then there was a war, in which the US took away Britain’s dominant role and displaced her as the world hegemonic power: the Second World War. Britain and America had often been in conflict in the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, so direct conflict was not out of the question in the 20th. On balance though, both antagonists preferred to sublimate their conflict, externalising it onto a third party, the Axis. By the time of the Second World War, Britain’s position was bankrupt, and she needed to engage the US in the European war, to finance the Empire. In the negotiations between British envoy JM Keynes and the US America exacted a harsh price – she was to open up her Empire to US domination. Washington achieved through alliance what would have been too costly by direct war with Britain, but achieve it they did.

    Comment by James Heartfield — December 22, 2012 @ 1:04 am

  3. I should of course mention that I found the article cited above in James Heartfield’s magisterial “Unpatriotic History of WWII”, by far the best “revisionist” history.

    Comment by louisproyect — December 22, 2012 @ 1:10 am

  4. Quite an assumption, 72 years later, that Germany would be defeated. Lend-Lease was signed by FDR in the winter of 1941. If he was planning to replace the British Empire with an American Empire was he blind to the German victories in Europe and the Japanese expansion in Asia? Easy for us today… we know who won.

    Comment by Richard Greener — December 22, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

  5. I’m not sure I understand your comment, Richard. Isn’t it possible that the Americans wanted a greater share of the British Empire whatever might happen in WW2? The desire needn’t be predicated on British victory, it could just as easily be predicated on British defeat.

    Comment by Castellio — December 23, 2012 @ 2:33 am

  6. “There was even one [a plan] to combat an internal uprising within the United States.”

    Yeah, “even”… I’m sure the US has no plans like that anymore. 😉

    Comment by Greg01 — December 23, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  7. “US took away Britain’s dominant role and displaced her as the world hegemonic power: the Second World War”

    Britain entered the First World War in perhaps such a position; by the end of it, deeply in debt and having lost millions of working age men; she had lost it. The Second World War merely reinforced just how inferior a power Britain was (hugely indebted to the US, the largest recipient of Marshall Aid, and a country that ended rationing AFTER war-wrecked Germany).

    Comment by Harsanyi_Janos — December 30, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

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