american invasion

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Bernhart, May 8, 2007.

  1. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    Was watching a program last night on world war I about the global aspects of the war,( war on the sea around South america, War in Africa, new to me the Germans and Japanese fighting in China) they brought up an interesting topic. The Germans had plans to invade America in the New England area, with about 60,000 troops. Wonder if we could start a thread and discuss possibilities of sucess or failure.time frame was about 1906-1910. my opinion, while U.S. at that time had no army, no air force, i believe they had a navy, can't see the Germans sustaining any type of supply route. One would assume that the British would assist the US as opposed to say staying neutral...
     
  2. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The notion of a protracted German success is ludicrous. Even if they walked ashore unopposed and captured a few major cites… there was a whole lot more country to worry about.

    Perhaps the incursion was designed to delay an American presence in Europe and the 60,000 troops were sacrificial.

    The Zimmerman Telegram may give this a little credence but even so, The Mexican Army wasn’t exactly a jugernaught.

    Zimmermann Telegram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There all types of outlandish scenarios that War Colleges cook up for training purposes. Just because there was “A Plan” does not mean it was even remotely considered.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    And the German navy was going to sail 2000 miles across the Atlantic, mount a major invasion, and the USN was just going to roll over and let them land unopposed?
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Read the book Luftwaffe Over America by Manfred Griehl. It covers this notional invasion of the US.

    It was nothing more than notional and the plan called for an initial invasion force of 200,000 not 60,000.

    Germany never really had the desire to attack the United States around that time frame. After the Samoan Crisis, Germany thought that a war with the US was in the future, and started thinking of plans to invade if war were to take place.

    During this time though the German Reichsmarine knew that they lacked the necessary battle fleet.

    In 1903 the plans were again redrawn up but not to attack the US directly because they did not have the capability of doing so. Rather the idea was to capture the Panama Canal and stop the US influence over the entire continent. The Venesuelan Crisis of 1904 however proved what the US Navy was capable of and the plans were again thrown in the drawer.
     
  5. twoeagles

    twoeagles Member

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    Born of a distinct lack of understanding American psychology, the idea (and
    the Japanese were similarly blind in WW2) was a military strike which would
    so unbalance the American public that a quick truce would be sought with
    elements weighing in Germany's favor. That Germany never seriously tried
    something like this indicates, I believe, that shrewder heads prevailed. In any
    event, no long term occupation was seriously being planned. There was a lot
    of wishful thinking and (see the Zimmerman telegram) probing.

    However, this was perhaps the last time such an enterprise had any chance
    of success. The Navy was still growing and lagging European fleets, there
    was no air force to speak of and all serious aircraft were being purchased
    from Europe, and the Army was basically a 19th century outfit - congress
    was even worrying about how many rounds of ammunition to allocate solider's
    training, not wanting to be wasteful, eh?
     
  6. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    knew this thread would get syscom going, and yes I know it stood no chance of ever working, but am interested in other peoples thoughts
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Actually, Germany equiping and supporting Mexico might have had some possibilities.
     
  8. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    German archive reveals kaiser's plan to invade AmericaIt was planned down to the last detail. Sixty German ships laden with tens of thousands of troops were to arrive at various points on the US Atlantic seaboard. Several thousand soldiers would land at Cape Cod and march into Boston, while heavy cruisers entered New York's Lower Bay to bombard Manhattan.

    In Washington, President Theodore Roosevelt would be forced to negotiate.

    Papers found in the German military archive in Freiburg and published yesterday in Die Zeit show this was one of attack plans ordered by Kaiser Wilhelm II at the end of the 19th century "to put America in its place".

    At stake were German interests in the Pacific, where the US, much to the kaiser's annoyance, was expanding.

    Roosevelt's announcement that he planned a Panama canal proved to be the last straw, the kaiser fearing that Germany would be excluded from the waterway.

    In 1897, the documents show, he commissioned a young lieutenant, Eberhard von Mantey, to draft a series of attacks to force a treaty giving Berlin free rein in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

    The plan would have been realised had it been left to the kaiser and his admirals, all of whom were keen to indulge in Weltpolitik (world politics), according to Henning Sietz, who unearthed the documents.

    The plans, known as Von Mantey's "winter correspondence", were kept active for a decade as Berlin tried to expand its influence.

    Von Mantey, who later became a respected naval historian, excluded naval blockades or sea warfare, regarding direct attacks on the north-eastern ports as the best option.

    "Here is the core of America and it is here that the United States could be most effectively hit and most easily forced to sign a peace deal," he wrote.

    His main points of focus were Norfolk, Hampton Roads and Newport News, in Virginia. He acknowledged that an attack on New York would be difficult because of its fortifications.

    He also noted low morale and ill-discipline among US troops.

    The plans won the backing of Admiral Tirpitz, the "father' of the German navy, who saw them as the first significant chance to deploy Germany's new flotillas and a good argument for further bolstering the fleet.

    But the chief of staff, Count Alfred von Schlieffen, who planned the German invasion of France in 1914, quietly expressed his fear that the idea of attacking a country 3,000 miles away could turn into a fiasco.

    Because of his loyalty to the Kaiser, he bit his tongue, and at one point, according to the documents, was on the verge of ordering the invasion of New York, before insisting that Germany had too few troops for such an operation.

    It appears that startlingly little regard was paid to the political consequences.

    The plans faltered when the US, feeling increasingly vulnerable as dangerous political and military hotspots emerged around the globe, and sensing the German belligerence, increased its security and strengthened its navy. The plans were shelved in 1907.
    By Guardian Unlimited © Copyright Guardian Newspapers 2006
    Published: 5/8/2002
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    So the idea is to attack a country at peace in order that the country surrender and sign a peace deal?

    Reminds me of line from Hogan's Heros

    "Klink, you idiot!"
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Again the plans were ordered to be drawn up and were cancelled upon completion because they knew it would not work.

    It was nothing more than an idea...
     
  11. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Speaking of the US and WW1 reminds me of a book I have about the major battles of all of history. The author postulated an interesting thought. As we know, the US entered the war in 1917. One of the factors that finally pushed the US into the war was that Germany announced that she was goung to resume unrestricted submarine warfare. The author postulated that if the US had not declared war on the Tri-powers, both sides were very war weary, there were discussions going on about a cessation of hostilities. Something may have been worked out for an armistice, the war would have been over, the Russian revolution may not have happened and all of history may have been changed. As it was the entry of the US in the war gave hope and heart to the Allies, they hardened their position toward peace talks and the war went on. Interesting to think about!
     
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