Book Review: War Plan Red

I grew up just a few hours from the Canadian border.  I had family in Canada, and my own Grandfather was Canadian by birth.  I always knew Canada as a place which shared a lot of common culture, but also a place with a friendly rivalry.  In adulthood, especially working in the service industry, I came to see through the mythological politeness of Canadians, realizing that they had their own societal ills and cultural chauvinism.  I didn’t think of Canada as a potential enemy, as an avaricious invader or as a target of American Imperialism.  Yet, it seems to have been those things.

Kevin Lippert takes us through the hot & cold relationship of the United States and Canada from the time we upstart colonists gave ol’ King George a black eye until we turned our own eyes to the natural resources of our Northern neighbor.  This culminates in War Plan Red, a real document, a plan for the invasion and annexation of Canada.  It’s weird to think how close we came.  It’s really weird to think it likely would have worked.  It’s extremely weird to think Canada had their own plan to invade the United States, and they came up with theirs first.  

Plenty of odd stories from the footnotes of History.  Names that would go on to be famous, and some that were once attached to acts of heroism, all get dropped into the mix of strange back & forths.  Reading the actual stuff that various governmental officials on either side wrote is a painful reminder of how deeply and blatantly racist a lot of governmental policies have been (yes, that very much includes Canadian racism).  World War II could have played out very, very differently, especially as there are indications England might have sat out any conflict.

The complete version of the American plan is contained, as well as excerpts from the Canadian plan.  Both are fascinating, if dry bits of Governmental speak.

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