Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Imperial Germany's Invasion plans for New York

Following some comments on my War Plan Red post, I did a bit more digging on Kaiser Bill's plans to 'put America in her place'.

Apparently, this increasingly ambitious series of late 19th Century plans included dispatching a significant fleet to cross the Atlantic, conducting a decisive engagement in the vicinity of Norfolk Virgina, dashing north to shell Boston, and then sending battalions of Prussian chaps ashore in New York to install panic and plunder the city.

Cheeky Blighter!

Not sure how successful that might have been but there has to be some games in that!



A J said...

I did read something of this project. On paper it looked good, but I'm sure it wouldn't have been feasible. Still, an interesting "what if" for wargamers, with lots of lovely pre-Dreadnoughts to play with.

Robert Conroy wrote a novel about this hypothetical war, "1901." It's... okay, I guess. http://www.amazon.com/1901-Robert-Conroy/dp/0891418431

Michael Peterson said...

A lot of writers made a lot of money at the dawn of the 20th century telling stories of how their countries were about to be invaded by the vile {insert racial nickname here]. The most famous of this genre is Erskine Childer's Riddle of the Sands. Perhaps the best book of this type is H.G. Wells' The War in the Air, which is available as a free book: http://www.literaturepage.com/read/wells-war-in-the-air.html
It tells of a German/US naval battle in the Atlantic, and then a German airship fleet that briefly takes New York. The book ends in an apocalyptic twist that still gives the shivers a century later.

Paul oftheManCave said...

AJ - I agree, not very realistic at the time, but what if yu threw in some airships and submersibles...or if the US was busy in the Pacific and the Germans felt opportunistic. Good gang opportunities ensue!

Michael - indeed the Invasion genre was very popular and I find it rather fascinating to read. I really enjoyed War in the Air too and agree the no win stale mates that ensue are most prophetic of Cold War nuclear doctrine.

Joseph Boeke said...

The type of invasion literature that Michael Peterson mentions, carried all the way through to World War II (and some would say into the Cold War via movies like Godzilla and Red Dawn -- and lots of others).

Regarding German invasions, I remember reading Allhoff's Lighting in the Night when I was in high school, which has a similar (but World War II themed) German invasion scenario (along with the Japanese invading the West Coast). At least in this book the Germans had access to large parts of the British and French fleets (after conquering those countries) to help them get across the Atlantic...

Now regarding 1901, the thing I liked best about the story was the battle in New England between the Germans and the Americans (and should have thought of gaming it earlier), the thing I liked least, was the "wave of the hand" that allowed the German navy to cross the Atlantic and invade in the first place...

Thanks for the links, now I have more scenario fodder for my Franco-Prussian and Spanish American War armies!

Squirmydad said...

I see assault blimps off-loading troops onto the Empire State Building..."At the turn of the century there was great unrest in the German African Territories. It was no surprise to anyone that a massive army was being mobilized to reclaim this valuable Imperial holding. What was a surprise was where those airships full of troops touched down..."

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