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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:13 PM   #1

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War Plan: Red = Fail


Greetings,

I have no doubt that this topic has no doubt surfaced here before. I remember being involved in a few of the more lively debates with a member who thankfully is long since banned and shall remain nameless.

But reviewing the stats. Watching the documentaries and weighing all the evidence.

I can safely conclude that War Plan: Red would have utterly failed.

Which leaves wondering why the general staff of the US would make a plan based on wishful thinking as opposed to hard facts.

Fight the Royal Navy to a draw?!?!? HA!
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Old November 21st, 2012, 11:42 PM   #2

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I don't think war plan red was ever researched or planned properly. I think someone at a fancy dinner once asked. "What if the Brits decided to get their empire back, what will we do?" Next thing you know some retired Brigader gets told to prepare a war plan for the UK. It is recieved and filed away in the deepest darkest depths of the pentagon.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 01:41 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
I don't think war plan red was ever researched or planned properly. I think someone at a fancy dinner once asked. "What if the Brits decided to get their empire back, what will we do?" Next thing you know some retired Brigader gets told to prepare a war plan for the UK. It is recieved and filed away in the deepest darkest depths of the pentagon.
To make matters worse, that retired Brigader most likely only began drawing up the plan a day before the deadline...
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:06 AM   #4

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The plan seems to have envisaged the USA attacking Canada, to bait the Brits. But there is a very real chance canada would have declared neutrality the moment the USA declared war on Britain.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:45 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
I don't think war plan red was ever researched or planned properly. I think someone at a fancy dinner once asked. "What if the Brits decided to get their empire back, what will we do?" Next thing you know some retired Brigader gets told to prepare a war plan for the UK. It is recieved and filed away in the deepest darkest depths of the pentagon.
Pretty much agreed. The US had color-coded war plans for every possible opponent. And in fact, there was a combined Army/Navy planning staff whose responsibility was coming up with the plans for the different scenarios.

One little quibble, though......The Pentagon wasn't built until well after the "Red" planning.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:50 AM   #6

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Originally Posted by Paragonrex View Post
Greetings,

I have no doubt that this topic has no doubt surfaced here before. I remember being involved in a few of the more lively debates with a member who thankfully is long since banned and shall remain nameless.

But reviewing the stats. Watching the documentaries and weighing all the evidence.

I can safely conclude that War Plan: Red would have utterly failed.

Which leaves wondering why the general staff of the US would make a plan based on wishful thinking as opposed to hard facts.

Fight the Royal Navy to a draw?!?!? HA!
You're missing the point. The goal of "Red" wasn't to fight the RN. The assumption was that a state of war existed and Red was worked out to deal with a de facto war with "Red" with the admittedly limited resources available. Fighting the RN was just a relatively small part of the overall plan. The real goal of "Red" planning was to isolate Canada so the British couldn't use it as a jumping off point to attack American soil. The USN was to keep the RN from being a factor, and if possible blockade the British home islands.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:53 AM   #7

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Originally Posted by The Cell View Post
To make matters worse, that retired Brigader most likely only began drawing up the plan a day before the deadline...
Not so much. The US had a joint planing board which was composed of active (typically field grade officers) representatives from both the Army and the Navy beginning in the first part of the 20th century. They typically were led by a general officer who in turn answered to the Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy. All the color coded war plans evolved over decades.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 08:40 AM   #8

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Wouldn't the US just wait the British out as the USN is built up? The US had plenty of space in the Great lakes fro ship construction. If the US Army captures the St Laurence river the great lakes are protected from the British Fleet.

The United States had more industry than the United Kingdom and Canada.

Also, it seem we're ignoring the American territories Hawaii, Alaska, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and VI in this discussion.


Meanwhile, this war is unlikely to remain limited the to US and Britain. Britain would call upon the Japanese and Americans would try to bring in China in retaliation.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:31 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by WeisSaul View Post
Wouldn't the US just wait the British out as the USN is built up? The US had plenty of space in the Great lakes fro ship construction. If the US Army captures the St Laurence river the great lakes are protected from the British Fleet.

The United States had more industry than the United Kingdom and Canada.

Also, it seem we're ignoring the American territories Hawaii, Alaska, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and VI in this discussion.


Meanwhile, this war is unlikely to remain limited the to US and Britain. Britain would call upon the Japanese and Americans would try to bring in China in retaliation.
Waiting out the British Empire was not an option.

1. The US did NOT have superior industry to the vast British Empire.

2. Assuming the Americans could hold the Great Lakes the bulk of Naval Construction at that point was on the Eastern Seaboard which was a prime target for British wartime planners.

3. The American fleet would never have been able to beat the Royal Navy let alone fight them to draw. But lets assume that they could fight the Royal Navy to draw. It would be Jutland all over. The American fleet would flee to southern ports and leave the northern ports to be blockaded and the great cities to be bombed by aircraft from Halifax and the Royal Navy.

4. The British Caribbean Fleet would be waiting for them when they tried to hide in the Southern ports

5. A drawn out war would have gone against the Americans, the longer the war went the more time the British would have to mobilize millions of troops from across the vast width of their Empire.

Someone earlier in post said it was poorly researched as an overall plan. which is indded incorrect. The American general staff did it's due diligence but the overall assumptions made were more well wishes then reality in wartime planning.

The assumption that Canada would have declared neutrality was debunked when Defense Scheme 1 came to light showing that the Canadians under Brigadier General Brown were doing extensive wartime planning and had well laid plans for the yanks.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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The British Empire was the one country which could pose a threat to the US, and had territory/"commonwealth" bordering and near the US. The Bahamas and other islands were close as well as Canada. So that was the one scenario that was considered worth planning for in the 1920s.

Plan Orange for war with Japan, assuming a Japanese attack on the Phillippines; Plan Rainbow V for a war in Europe and Africa in alliance with Britain and France; and Plan Indigo for an occupation of Iceland were actually used.

There were too plans for war over France's new world territories, one with France and another with Germany assuming Germany had taken over France.

United States color-coded war plans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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