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Subject: The Kaiser's plan to invade the US rss

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Michael Sommers
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The Kaiser wanted the Panama Canal, which meant he had to invade the US first.

http://io9.com/the-secret-german-scheme-to-invade-america-be...
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Wendell
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An interesting dream. About as as realistic as my dream of setting up a cozy love nest for me and Scarlett Johansson.
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Todd Warnken
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Reminds me of the plot of this novel:



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Jim S.
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Herwig's book Politics of Frustration has a good overview of the genesis of Plans I, II and III as worked on by von Mantey and others.

-Jim
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tms2 wrote:
The Kaiser wanted the Panama Canal, which meant he had to invade the US first.



Except, the first plan was dated 1898, the second plan was dated 1899 and the third plan was dated 1902-03 and the US didn't start work on the Canal until 1904 and didn't open until 1914.

In Tuchman's "The Zimmerman Telegram" there is a quote from a German Officer(I forget which one), "Whenever anything happens in the world, we German's make a plan".*

* may not be exact but the gist is right.
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wifwendell wrote:
An interesting dream. About as as realistic as my dream of setting up a cozy love nest for me and Scarlett Johansson.


Too late. She's become one of the machines.



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Michael Sommers
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wifwendell wrote:
An interesting dream. About as as realistic as my dream of setting up a cozy love nest for me and Scarlett Johansson.

Might make an interesting wargame, though.
 
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Wendell
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tms2 wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
An interesting dream. About as as realistic as my dream of setting up a cozy love nest for me and Scarlett Johansson.

Might make an interesting wargame, though.


If it's a wargame, you're doing it wrong!
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Michael Sommers
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ElCid91 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
The Kaiser wanted the Panama Canal, which meant he had to invade the US first.

Except, the first plan was dated 1898, the second plan was dated 1899 and the third plan was dated 1902-03 and the US didn't start work on the Canal until 1904 and didn't open until 1914.

It's not like the canal was a state secret. Everybody knew about it. The French started it. Their effort failed, but that someone would take over was pretty obvious. I doubt the Kaiser cared who finally built it, he was going to wait until it was finished, and then take it over. At least, that is how I understand the article.
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Michael Sommers
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wifwendell wrote:
tms2 wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
An interesting dream. About as as realistic as my dream of setting up a cozy love nest for me and Scarlett Johansson.

Might make an interesting wargame, though.

If it's a wargame, you're doing it wrong!

I don't understand.
 
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Interesting topic.

In an attempt to be charitable I'll overlook the goofy historical analogy made in the article.

The basic structure of the plan to dominate the Caribbean was essentially sound, at least from a military and diplomatic perspective. Of course, we'll have to assume Britain and France go along with the Kaiser's scheme, or at least take no action stronger than a letter of protest.

Here are the required actions:

-- Create an alliance with Mexico.
-- Foment unrest in "Occupied Cuba" and insert German advisors. The ultimate objective would be a German protectorate.
-- Follow a similar procedure in Puerto Rico.
-- Establish naval bases at strategic locations.
-- Develop a Tripartite Consul (Britain and France with Germany in real control) to advise the government of Panama... assuming that region breaks away from Columbia. This would provide a diplomatic smokescreen for officials London and Paris; they could claim the impulsive Kaiser went wild.

The response of the United States (in 1903 or any other similar era) could make a fine game.



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Seth Owen
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pete belli wrote:
Interesting topic.

In an attempt to be charitable I'll overlook the goofy historical analogy made in the article.

The basic structure of the plan to dominate the Caribbean was essentially sound, at least from a military and diplomatic perspective. Of course, we'll have to assume Britain and France go along with the Kaiser's scheme, or at least take no action stronger than a letter of protest.

Here are the required actions:

-- Create an alliance with Mexico.
-- Foment unrest in "Occupied Cuba" and insert German advisors. The ultimate objective would be a German protectorate.
-- Follow a similar procedure in Puerto Rico.
-- Establish naval bases at strategic locations.
-- Develop a Tripartite Consul (Britain and France with Germany in real control) to advise the government of Panama... assuming that region breaks away from Columbia. This would provide a diplomatic smokescreen for officials London and Paris; they could claim the impulsive Kaiser went wild.

The response of the United States (in 1903 or any other similar era) could make a fine game.





I concur that mucking around the Caribbean had more promise than any other course of action plausibly open to Germany. This would have required some combination of better German diplomacy with Britain and France and much worse American diplomacy with the sane two powers. It's conceivable that France and Britain could see some advantage to strife between the USA and Germany, which were both upstart powers from their point of view.

The invasion of the US part of the plan is absurd, hardly more plausible than a German expedition to Mars. That Germany could land and sustain a sufficient force to win such a campaign is complete fantasy. Even the ill-prepared US Army circa 1900 would have been able to deal with a German expedition operating at the end of a cross Atlantic supply line.

At least a Caribbean campaign would mean both armies would be operating in an expeditionary way, although the American task would be considerably easier.
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Brian Morris
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Early 20th century Europe was like a huge family with all these descendants of Victoria ruling all these countries. Of course every family needs that crazy cousin and in this case it was The Kaiser.
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Judd Vance
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tms2 wrote:
The Kaiser wanted the Panama Canal, which meant he had to invade the US first.

http://io9.com/the-secret-german-scheme-to-invade-america-be...


Teddy Roosevelt in charge and the U.S. Marines behind him?

Nothing but pain waiting for the Kaiser. shake
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wargamer55 wrote:
pete belli wrote:
Interesting topic.

In an attempt to be charitable I'll overlook the goofy historical analogy made in the article.

The basic structure of the plan to dominate the Caribbean was essentially sound, at least from a military and diplomatic perspective. Of course, we'll have to assume Britain and France go along with the Kaiser's scheme, or at least take no action stronger than a letter of protest.

Here are the required actions:

-- Create an alliance with Mexico.
-- Foment unrest in "Occupied Cuba" and insert German advisors. The ultimate objective would be a German protectorate.
-- Follow a similar procedure in Puerto Rico.
-- Establish naval bases at strategic locations.
-- Develop a Tripartite Consul (Britain and France with Germany in real control) to advise the government of Panama... assuming that region breaks away from Columbia. This would provide a diplomatic smokescreen for officials London and Paris; they could claim the impulsive Kaiser went wild.

The response of the United States (in 1903 or any other similar era) could make a fine game.





I concur that mucking around the Caribbean had more promise than any other course of action plausibly open to Germany. This would have required some combination of better German diplomacy with Britain and France and much worse American diplomacy with the sane two powers. It's conceivable that France and Britain could see some advantage to strife between the USA and Germany, which were both upstart powers from their point of view.

The invasion of the US part of the plan is absurd, hardly more plausible than a German expedition to Mars. That Germany could land and sustain a sufficient force to win such a campaign is complete fantasy. Even the ill-prepared US Army circa 1900 would have been able to deal with a German expedition operating at the end of a cross Atlantic supply line.

At least a Caribbean campaign would mean both armies would be operating in an expeditionary way, although the American task would be considerably easier.


This whole article makes it a lot clearer to me why WWI started. This isn't a plan about to defend themselves against American aggression. It's a plan for one of the wealthiest countries on the earth at the time to grab more turf to what ... make more money?

WWI was inevitable ...
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Jeb
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airjudden wrote:
tms2 wrote:
The Kaiser wanted the Panama Canal, which meant he had to invade the US first.

http://io9.com/the-secret-german-scheme-to-invade-america-be...


Teddy Roosevelt in charge and the U.S. Marines behind him?

Nothing but pain waiting for the Kaiser. shake


The US army was minuscule at the time ... but the plan is laughable ... It took the US army almost 100,000 troops and over 10 years to put down a poorly funded rebellion with no navy or industrial base in the Philippines from 1899 to 1913.

To put things in perspective ...

In WWI, it took the US army close to a year for the US army to land enough troops to influence the Western Front.

This happened:
1) With no German surface naval intervention.
2) With US troops first staging themselves in a friendly country (France).
3) With US troops being actively supplied by the hosting country.
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Brian Morris
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airjudden wrote:
tms2 wrote:
The Kaiser wanted the Panama Canal, which meant he had to invade the US first.

http://io9.com/the-secret-german-scheme-to-invade-america-be...


Teddy Roosevelt in charge and the U.S. Marines behind him?

Nothing but pain waiting for the Kaiser. shake


Come and get your whooping Mr Kaiser!

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Michael Sommers
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jeb123 wrote:
In WWI, it took the US army close to a year for the US army to land enough troops to influence the Western Front.

I'd put it, "It took the US army only a year to land enough troops in Europe to influence the western front." We started from a dead stop. We had a tiny army and a not much bigger National Guard. We had no conscription. We had to create an army from scratch, train and equip it, and get it across the ocean. That's not a bad performance.

By comparison, Kitchener's New Army did not see action until about a year after the war began, about the same as our new army.
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Brian Morris
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tms2 wrote:
jeb123 wrote:
In WWI, it took the US army close to a year for the US army to land enough troops to influence the Western Front.

I'd put it, "It took the US army only a year to land enough troops in Europe to influence the western front." We started from a dead stop. We had a tiny army and a not much bigger National Guard. We had no conscription. We had to create an army from scratch, train and equip it, and get it across the ocean. That's not a bad performance.

By comparison, Kitchener's New Army did not see action until about a year after the war began, about the same as our new army.


I have to agree. This was much like the civil war. The country didn't have a large standing army. It was built largely from scratch in a short amount of time and performed very well.
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Quote:
It's a plan for one of the wealthiest countries on the earth at the time to grab more turf to what ... make more money?


This was the Age of Imperialism.

Colonial possessions were status symbols for the Great Powers.

It is important to remember that Germany had almost clashed with the USA in Samoa and the Philippines. During the Age of Imperialism a direct attack on another Great Power was considered to be bad form. However, a muscular foreign policy was OK, even if it lead to the occasional diplomatic crisis. The Great Powers were fortunate that none of these incidents lead to a regional conflict during the period before WWI.
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Michael Sommers
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pete belli wrote:
It is important to remember that Germany had almost clashed with the USA in Samoa and the Philippines. During the Age of Imperialism a direct attack on another Great Power was considered to be bad form. However, a muscular foreign policy was OK, even if it lead to the occasional diplomatic crisis. The Great Powers were fortunate that none of these incidents lead to a regional conflict during the period before WWI.

War being averted in Samoa by a hurricane that destroyed all the American and German ships present.
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jeb123 wrote:

This whole article makes it a lot clearer to me why WWI started. This isn't a plan about to defend themselves against American aggression. It's a plan for one of the wealthiest countries on the earth at the time to grab more turf to what ... make more money?

WWI was inevitable ...


The whole thing struck me as the German navy thrashing around for a reason to exist, and eventually finding none - at least in the Caribbean.
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Wendell
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GLENN239 wrote:
jeb123 wrote:

This whole article makes it a lot clearer to me why WWI started. This isn't a plan about to defend themselves against American aggression. It's a plan for one of the wealthiest countries on the earth at the time to grab more turf to what ... make more money?

WWI was inevitable ...


The whole thing struck me as the German navy thrashing around for a reason to exist, and eventually finding none - at least in the Caribbean.


The German navy existed to protect its colonial empire, which existed to provide bases for the German navy, which existed to ...
 
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Judd Vance
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jeb123 wrote:
airjudden wrote:
tms2 wrote:
The Kaiser wanted the Panama Canal, which meant he had to invade the US first.

http://io9.com/the-secret-german-scheme-to-invade-america-be...


Teddy Roosevelt in charge and the U.S. Marines behind him?

Nothing but pain waiting for the Kaiser. shake


The US army was minuscule at the time ... but the plan is laughable ... It took the US army almost 100,000 troops and over 10 years to put down a poorly funded rebellion with no navy or industrial base in the Philippines from 1899 to 1913.

To put things in perspective ...

In WWI, it took the US army close to a year for the US army to land enough troops to influence the Western Front.

This happened:
1) With no German surface naval intervention.
2) With US troops first staging themselves in a friendly country (France).
3) With US troops being actively supplied by the hosting country.


But...we had Marines!

And as the Kaiser learned at Belleau Wood: if you mess with Marines, you'd better bring a large supply of body bags.
 
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Jeb
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mrbeankc wrote:
tms2 wrote:
jeb123 wrote:
In WWI, it took the US army close to a year for the US army to land enough troops to influence the Western Front.

I'd put it, "It took the US army only a year to land enough troops in Europe to influence the western front." We started from a dead stop. We had a tiny army and a not much bigger National Guard. We had no conscription. We had to create an army from scratch, train and equip it, and get it across the ocean. That's not a bad performance.

By comparison, Kitchener's New Army did not see action until about a year after the war began, about the same as our new army.


I have to agree. This was much like the civil war. The country didn't have a large standing army. It was built largely from scratch in a short amount of time and performed very well.


Agreed but I think your missing the point ... the logistical buildup is the likely bottleneck not troop availability. How many troops many German troops could they send at once and effectively supply while in active combat operations? 100,000 troops? You can have millions of troops in Europe but the logistics may mean you can only afford to send and supply a small percentage of those troops. How much of their cargo capacity would be required simply to supply and provide munitions to the first wave of troops on the ground using coal burning transports?
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