...or at least, the US planners' assessment of the likely British plan...
The War in the Atlantic
This was assessed to be the dominant, but not only, theatre of maritime operations. The RN would initially seize control of the North Atlantic by combining their Home and Mediterranean Fleets and operating from a forward base at Bermuda. British cruiser and submarine forces would try to cut US Atlantic lines of communications from bases in Halifax and Jamaica. The Royal Navy would blockade the East Coast of the US, disrupt commerce, harass coastal areas with bombardment, and conduct Air and Amphibious raids to further degrade the economy and, ultimately, popular will of the US people for the war.
The British would expect the US to immediately redeploy the bulk of their Pacific Feet to the Atlantic via the Panama canal, and generate a Fleet in being with which to contest this blockade. If this was achieved, no decisive engagement would be sought initially as both sides were well balanced and the result could go either way.
Accordingly, the US Navy would remain in a defensive posture concentrated in the Western North Atlantic, threaten British lines of communication, wear down Royal Naval strength and await favourable opportunity for Fleet Action. Of course, if the Panama Canal could be disrupted or sabotaged, this would be a different story...
|Panama Cana - a vital Strategic link|
The British Asiatic Fleet would be concentrated at Singapore with only light, inshore forces remaining at Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. Indian troops would muster and link up wight he Fleet before for assaulting the Philippines to neutralise the US naval facilities holdings in Manilla. This would safeguard threats to British trade and commercial interests and subsequently, the Asiatic Fleet would be utilised to destroy any residual US Naval island holdings throughout the Pacific.
With the bulk of Empire assets investing the US East Coast, Hawaii was expected to remain a safe bastion and while it might be attacked to disrupt and commerce raiders operating from there, no invasion or landing was expected.
Alaska was expected to be raided from Canada, but only lightly and this was seen as acceptable.
|Landings by ANZAC and Indian troops on the West Coast of the US where seen as acceptable risks|
The pivotal US territory was seen to be the industrial North East region of continental US. Possible landings by ANZAC and Indian focus on the West Coast or striking south from Canada could and would be tolerated in order to maintain a strong defensive perimeter to safeguard the industrial heartland of the USA.
Should the Royal Navy manage to defeat the US Atlantic Fleet and establish sea control (either though battle or should the Panama Canal be disputed and the Pacific Fleet trapped) it was expected that invasion would come via sea with amphibious landings in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These forces would then strike westward through Connecticut, disrupt the region generally and threaten New York. This would greatly shorten the period of conflict and try to overcome the US mobilisation effort while also degrading industrial capacity.
War planners concluded that the British Empire could achieve this outcome, the US choice would be reduced to what kind of terms to ask for in their surrender...