Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Wargaming: War Plan Red

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Wargaming: War Plan Red

    Hi guys,

    I know the topic of War Plan Red has been gone over a few times (thankfully not as much as Sealion though) but I was wondering if you guys could war game War Plan Red for me with my scenario.

    Here is the scenario. It is between the late 1920s and very early 30s. The British Empire and USA some how get into a war over Canada and the USA activates the plan. In my scenario, Britain is most willing to put up a hard fight for Canada and would defend it almost to the death.

    Take into account that Britain has an empire of over 450 000 000 people in the 1920s and both Canadian and other British Imperial troops have been battle-hardened after coming back from the Great War. We assume that the British would use poison gases if the Americans used them first. According to Wikipedia the US would not be doing any attacks outside the Western hemisphere.

    Britain's goal would be to keep her entire empire intact with Canada remaining in the British Empire. Would the British Empire be able to defend Canada from an American invasion? Or at least fight hard enough get to into a settlement where Britain keeps Canada?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I think it would go down to a negotiated settlement.

    Most of the fighting would be at sea though....the US has a huge advantage in a land war, because they can march right across the border with the whole army, while the Canadian army and population is relatively small. All those troops in India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Britain are useless if they're not in Canada.

    But at sea, principally in commerce, is where the Brits have an edge. This time period is before the completion of the USN's meteoric rise to preeminence. The Brits certainly have a lot of parity. And the Atlantic is more ideally suited to battleships, unlike the Pacific. Ground-based air means that neither side can really land a blow near the enemy's home waters without risking being mobbed. But US commerce can be wiped out by British cruisers operating from their huge number of colonial bases. In the end, that would bring the US to the negotiating table more than anything else.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

    Comment


    • #3
      It is pretty clear that if Halifax is lost, there is no hope for British reinforcements.

      Comment


      • #4
        I tend to agree with Tac. At sea the US has the advantage of position and a navy equal to that of Britain's in most ways. Worse in this respect is that the US has far more shipbuilding capacity than Britain.
        Britain also relies far more heavily on overseas commerce to keep their industry going than the US at that time does. The US is largely independent in that respect. That means the US can start a commerce war at sea and cripple British industry far more than Britain can do to the US.

        On land Britain is hit. The US population is such that once they begin raising an army it will reach (as it did) massive proportions that can then overrun the eastern part of Canada. The western portion is pretty much doomed from the start simply due to sparse population and a minimal transportation system.
        The US has vastly more ship building capacity on the Great Lakes than Canada and Britain and the Commonwealth are not going to be able to make a difference there as their is no direct sea access in the 1930's or 40's (the St. Lawrence seaway doesn't exist yet).
        This means the US dominates the Great Lakes. That makes defense of Eastern Canada harder.
        The British and Commonwealth also face having to supply their army from overseas as Canada is hardly capable at the time of providing the resources to support a large standing army.
        The US has interior lines of communication so their supply problems are minimal.

        On the whole, I'd think that a negotiated settlement would be reached but if one wasn't Canada would have fallen to the US within 18 months to two years.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmm. With Halifax still in British hands, could Britain be able to send a force equal to the US forces in strength?

          Comment


          • #6
            Everytime a WP Red or Crimson What If surfaces I have a vision of the Michigan National Guard ferrying across the river to Windsor

            Originally posted by Swanbridge View Post
            Hmm. With Halifax still in British hands, could Britain be able to send a force equal to the US forces in strength?
            At this time the US had a Army of approx 140,000 regulars, with roughly 30,000 of those posted overseas in the Phillipines, Panama, Alaska, Hawaii. The 30,000 man Army Reserve was entirely officers & a few NCOs who were intended as a cadre for a large scale mobilization they would be of little use in a short war. The National Guard of the era had roughly 250,000 men whos main asset were a shirinking number of Great War veterans in its cadre. The bulk were undertrained, but well equipped for the war of 1918.

            For combat ready forces in the US during the first 90 to 120 days there might have been two or three regular army divisions, and two or three Marine expeditionary brigades or regimental combat teams. The remainder of the Federal Army formations were seriously understrength.

            Logistically the 110,000 Federal Army and 250,000 State NG in the US could not have been supported enmass in a invasion of Canada on short notice. After 90 days perhaps fifty thousand could have been deployed along the border in several seperated corps. The bulk of the NG regiments would have needed 90 to 180 days to become combat ready, and few NG divisions would be ready for field operations in under 180 days.

            At the end of a year the 390,000 Federal, Reserves, and NG c ould have been expanded to over one million men from volunteers and perhaps conscription. From August 1940 it took some ten months to put 1,400,000 men in uniform, tho arguablly less than half were well enough trained for combat.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
              Everytime a WP Red or Crimson What If surfaces I have a vision of the Michigan National Guard ferrying across the river to Windsor



              At this time the US had a Army of approx 140,000 regulars, with roughly 30,000 of those posted overseas in the Phillipines, Panama, Alaska, Hawaii. The 30,000 man Army Reserve was entirely officers & a few NCOs who were intended as a cadre for a large scale mobilization they would be of little use in a short war. The National Guard of the era had roughly 250,000 men whos main asset were a shirinking number of Great War veterans in its cadre. The bulk were undertrained, but well equipped for the war of 1918.

              For combat ready forces in the US during the first 90 to 120 days there might have been two or three regular army divisions, and two or three Marine expeditionary brigades or regimental combat teams. The remainder of the Federal Army formations were seriously understrength.

              Logistically the 110,000 Federal Army and 250,000 State NG in the US could not have been supported enmass in a invasion of Canada on short notice. After 90 days perhaps fifty thousand could have been deployed along the border in several seperated corps. The bulk of the NG regiments would have needed 90 to 180 days to become combat ready, and few NG divisions would be ready for field operations in under 180 days.

              At the end of a year the 390,000 Federal, Reserves, and NG c ould have been expanded to over one million men from volunteers and perhaps conscription. From August 1940 it took some ten months to put 1,400,000 men in uniform, tho arguablly less than half were well enough trained for combat.

              I guess the British would be able to reinforce Canada with similar numbers within 90-120 days, wouldn't they? (I watched the documentary again last night) The British could bring them across with protection from the Royal Navy while British subs could watch the ports for American movements.

              The US East Coast would be nearly impossible to fully blockade for the Royal Navy. In a war at sea what role will submarines play? How were US subs versus British subs back then? I'm not completely sure but the US had problems with torpedoes even up till the Second World War so I think British subs might have an edge in that aspect.

              How feasible would it be to land some Indian and ANZAC divisions in Victoria and or Vancouver, BC? Could any other parts of the British Empire be used for the building of naval ships? Maybe India and Australia could build small but capable ships (like sloops and destroyers?) to terrorize American shipping in the Pacific? I know Australia had two cruisers during the period. Maybe they can both pull an Emden with US shipping.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Swanbridge View Post
                Hmm. With Halifax still in British hands, could Britain be able to send a force equal to the US forces in strength?
                No. The simple fact is that even with the Commonwealth the British won't be able to field 100 to 200 divisions in North America. The US easily can. Given historical production rates the British will also have fewer armored divisions and most of those will have less capable tanks in them than the ones they face.
                The US could also field very heavy vehicles that would be prohibitively expensive in terms of shipping tons to counter for the British.
                Also, the British will have to ship every division from some far point on the globe under serious naval escort for the most part because of the real threat the USN poses.
                Just facing a submarine campaign in the Atlantic and Pacific will tax British resources severely. They will have to start building huge numbers of cheap escorts like they did historically to counter this. Worse, unlike the Germans the US will have an effective long range maritime bomber force as well. This means that convoys will be under surveillance more, the threat of air attack will be far greater, and will require effective solutions to that problem far sooner and at much greater cost.
                After all, the B-17 was originally designed for just this mission...
                Aircraft like the Spitfire would be near worthless in such a war too. A short ranged interceptor would do little for the British in a war on the North American continent.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Swanbridge View Post
                  I guess the British would be able to reinforce Canada with similar numbers within 90-120 days, wouldn't they? (I watched the documentary again last night) The British could bring them across with protection from the Royal Navy while British subs could watch the ports for American movements.

                  The US East Coast would be nearly impossible to fully blockade for the Royal Navy. In a war at sea what role will submarines play? How were US subs versus British subs back then? I'm not completely sure but the US had problems with torpedoes even up till the Second World War so I think British subs might have an edge in that aspect.

                  How feasible would it be to land some Indian and ANZAC divisions in Victoria and or Vancouver, BC? Could any other parts of the British Empire be used for the building of naval ships? Maybe India and Australia could build small but capable ships (like sloops and destroyers?) to terrorize American shipping in the Pacific? I know Australia had two cruisers during the period. Maybe they can both pull an Emden with US shipping.
                  The problem on land is that Canada has no standing army whatsoever. They have just a Permanent and non-permanent militia equipped to WW 1 standards and just barely that.

                  http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/C.../OpSumm-1.html

                  Britain's army likewise is pretty thin on what is actually a standing force. Most of it reverted to individual "Regiments" of large battalion size mostly for colonial policing. So, they too are going to have to spend a good deal of time at the beginning of this scenario rounding up these units and building up new ones into divisions.
                  Even in a late 20's early 30's scenario the US has the advantage of home turf. They suffered far less in WW 1 than Britain and the Commonwealth did. The US has no major overseas commitments except the Philippines to deal with. Britain has lots of colonies and territories they will have to continue to garrison with troops from the Middle East to the Far East to Africa.

                  The RN in the 20's (if you assume no WNT) consists primarily of capital ships and cruisers that are on the edge of obsolescence compared to US Navy ones mostly built after 1914. Just the cost of maintaining and upgrading these will be a very expensive proposition to do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In the long run the US will always win due to its large industrial capability/population and logistic problems for the British. Taking that into account, is there any way for the British to keep the Americans out of Canadian soil and do enough damage in time for a peace settlement maybe within a year? Since as we all know, the Americans will be able to mobilize more men and resources the longer the war goes. If you were tasked with defending Canada what would you guys do?

                    How would the war at sea differ if this war had been fought in 1914?
                    Last edited by Swanbridge; 05 Jan 14, 14:21.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      The problem on land is that Canada has no standing army whatsoever. They have just a Permanent and non-permanent militia equipped to WW 1 standards and just barely that.

                      http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/C.../OpSumm-1.html

                      Britain's army likewise is pretty thin on what is actually a standing force. Most of it reverted to individual "Regiments" of large battalion size mostly for colonial policing. So, they too are going to have to spend a good deal of time at the beginning of this scenario rounding up these units and building up new ones into divisions.
                      Smart money would be for the US to attack Canada within 30-90 days with whatever Regular Army & NG units are ready in a effort to seize as many stratigic objectives as possible. Two or three weak corps would be available. The Navy had a Expeditionary Marine Brigade on each coast ready for operations on a few weeks notice. Those would have been suitable for landing at or near ports. There were several Marine Base Defense Battalions seperate from the brigades. Those were equipped with portable coast defense artillery to be planted on sites covering port channels or roadsteads & other key naval sites. A few

                      Point here is if the US is quick off the starting line the Brits are going to have a tougher problem than simply defending Canada.

                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      Even in a late 20's early 30's scenario the US has the advantage of home turf. They suffered far less in WW 1 than Britain and the Commonwealth did. The US has no major overseas commitments except the Philippines to deal with.
                      The Hawaii defenses asorbed nearly as much of the regular Army as the Phillipines. Panama had quite a bit as well. The Brits can seize minor undefended places like Guam, but Manilia, Pearl Harbor, or Panama were not vulnerable to any easy operation.

                      Comment

                      Latest Topics

                      Collapse

                      Working...
                      X