"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Nazi invasion of America

Fight: The frightening maps were printed in the March 1942 issue of Life
"If it wasn't for us Brits, America would be speaking German now! We had our finest hour; they didn't."

By Gary,

I just can't help myself.  This is the internet after all.  It would be wrong to not have a Hitler or Nazi posting.

The UK Daily Mail re-published a March, 1942 article from Life Magazine about possible German and Japanese attacks on the United States.

The attack plan maps are pure fantasy.  The suggested attacks were far beyond the abilities of either Japan or the European Axis powers.  It is possible that the article might have been published at the urging of the War Department to motivate the civilian population. 

But it is just as possible the article reflected the real gut wrenching fear Americans felt after the defeat at Pearl Harbor.  At the time of publication the American Army and General Douglas MacArthur were surrounded and under siege in the Philippine Islands. 

Americans were coming out a deep sleep of isolationism.  Suddenly the world was trying to kill them.  Fear and panic would be expected.  That was a major reason for rounding up Japanese Americans and placing them in camps.

The fear was justified.  If England had fallen Germany would have gained the extra time needed to develop the atomic weapons they were working on.

Here are a couple "what if" options of my own.  The world would have been a very different place if either had happened.

What if #1:  What if Imperial Japan had made public statements supporting the United States on almost everything.  Say one thing and do another policy.  Then Japan attacks the European imperialists of France, the Dutch and the British, but the U.S. in the Philippines is bypassed and left alone.  The Americans would have no excuse to go to war with a Japan that praised us at every opportunity.  East Asia would look very different today, for the Europeans would not have the power to defeat the Japanese.

What if #2:  My favorite.  In an act of covering his ass, on December 8, 1941 Hitler backstabs his Japanese allies and totally condemns Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.  Going one step more Germany declares war on Japan and offers FDR German troops to defeat Japan.  The Nazis would have viewed the Japanese as racially inferior so why support their actions?  America would have to ignore the Germans and go off to fight the Japanese.  Without the U.S. to worry about Hitler would gain more time to develop atomic weapons.

The world could have become a very different place.

Option 1: Hit and run across the Atlantic. One scenario imagined by Life magazine sees the Germans invade the U.S. from the East Coast. But first, they would have needed to take out the British fleet, rescue captured Vichy France and Italian fleets - and have help from 5th columnists in the U.S. Meanwhile, separate assaults would be made on Seattle, San Francisco and LA.
Click on map to expand image.
 The year is 1942. After the Luftwaffe launch a devastating attack on the British fleet, Hitler's ships race across the Atlantic and - with the help of 5th columnists - invade America.

This is just one of the nightmare scenarios imagined by Life magazine at the time, when the threat of a Nazi invasion seemed all too real, says the UK Mail.

Created in the months after Pearl Harbor, the March 2 issue featured a series of maps showing how experts predicted Hitler might try to annex the U.S.

Its purpose was to serve as a warning to readers that America was no longer just an observer of the Second World War.

Option 2: Island hopping. According to these plans, the Nazis would launch an assault on Norfolk, Virginia. First, the Germans would rendezvous with the 'Jap fleet' via the Azores, Madeira and Canaries
Click on map to expand image

The varied diagrams show different options which would have been available to the Germans - from invasion across the Atlantic to the East Coast to the imagined bombing of the Panama Canal before launching at attack via Japan from the West.

The maps were created by Life as a follow-up to an article by science fiction author Philip Wylie, who had written a controversial article imagining an American defeat in the war.

Drawn as the U.S. had just become involved in the war, invasion was thought of as a very real possibility at the time.

The war in Europe had been raging since 1939.

By 1942, the Axis powers were in control of Austria, Czechoslovakia. Poland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Norway, Yugoslavia, Finland, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as well as parts of the Soviet Union and North Africa.

Meanwhile, Nazi ally Italy controlled Sicily, Ethiopia and Libya and the Japanese had annexed large areas of China, South-East Asia and Indonesia.

After the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941, America was facing the genuine threat of the Axis powers going for all and trying to annex the biggest Western nation.

The maps shown here appeared as a spread in Life, showing detailed plans of how the Nazis could work with their allies to take over America.

Option 3: The Iceland maneuver. This strategy imagines an invasion via Canada through the St Lawrence and Hudson Valleys, via Iceland after taking on the British Fleet
Click on map to expand image

Option 4: Japan calling. This attack from the Orient would have started with a surprise Japanese bombing of the Panama Canal, followed by landings in Ecuador
Click on map to expand image

Option 5: Pearl Harbor revisited. This plan calls for a frontal attack on the West Coast via Pearl Harbor. The Japanese and Germans, supported by carriers, first land on the outer Hawaiian islands, set up air bases and close in on Oahu. More difficult is the big water jump to San Francisco
Click on map to expand image

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