The Bizarre Plan The US Had To Invade Canada

With all the issues dominating the news media these days — climate change, racial justice, abortion, and the pesky pandemic that a certain sector of the population seems to want to make last forever — it can be easy to forget that people used to actually protest the United States' penchant for going to war.

Obsession might actually be a better word for it. The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave has waged war — or at least seriously considered it — in just about every corner of the globe during its two and a half centuries of totally not being an empire (right...). Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump have both spoken of waging war in outer space, as well.

The list of potential enemies of the United States is so long that some entries on it will probably surprise you. According to Mental Floss, U.S. military leaders have drawn up invasion plans for New Zealand, Mexico, Portugal, and even our exceptionally friendly neighbor to the north, Canada. That's right. Canada. But what did the nation of inveterate apologizers do to irk its pugnacious southern neighbor? Let's take a look into the plan the U.S. had to invade Canada and see.

Canada was ready for a U.S. invasion

Relations between the United States and England have become so friendly that it can be easy to forget that the former fought the Revolutionary War to break free from the latter. But there has been militaristic animosity between the two even as recently as the early 20th century. According to Global Security, the United States was not happy with Britain's support of the Confederacy during the Civil War, among other historic slights. Then at the turn of the century, England got a little too buddy-buddy with Japan for the U.S.'s liking. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance was formed in 1902, leading U.S. military leaders to plan for the contingency of a war between the United States and Great Britain.

Called War Plan Red, it involved a large-scale military invasion of Canada. Politico reports that Canadian cities like Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax were all on the list of potential targets for actions like naval blockades, disabling of power grids, and outright military attacks.

But had they invaded, U.S. troops would have not set upon an unprepared Canada. The Canucks already had a plan in place for just such a contingency. Defense Scheme No. 1 had its sights on U.S. cities like Spokane, Portland, Minneapolis, Detroit, Albany, and more. Luckily, cooler heads on both sides of the border prevailed, and things are great between the United States and Canada today, eh?