Most of us know that World War Two started in 1939.
But here’s something I bet you didn’t know.
In the 1930s, America was planning a war against Britain.
Not against Germany but against Britain.
The details were discovered in 1974, when it was finally declassified.
It was called War Plan Red.
The plan was to invade Canada and draw the British army across the Atlantic, into a war.
The American invasion would begin with poison gas being dropped on Canadian cities by the United States Air Force.
(Although poison gas had been internationally outlawed, there was no agreement between the US and the UK.
So America felt this was perfectly legal.)
They secretly built three new air bases for this purpose.
Funding was $57 million.
That’s the equivalent of three quarters of a billion dollars today.
So this wasn’t a joke.
You don’t spend that kind of money unless you’re serious.
The plan was that America would invade with several million men.
The British would be forced to send an estimated three and a half million troops to defend Canada.
America would then destroy this force and Canada would be absorbed into the United States.
It wasn’t until 1939 that Roosevelt decided to put the plan on hold.
By that time it had become obvious that Germany was a far larger threat to America than Britain was.
Roosevelt realised he needed Britain as a buffer between the USA and the all-powerful, all-conquering Germany.
So War Plan Red was shelved as it became obvious the enemy wasn’t really us after all.
And no one in Britain even suspected it was happening.
It makes you wonder what else is happening that we don’t know about.
It reminded me of this passage in ‘From Russia With Love’.
Bond is taking a secret across Europe on a train to London.
A Turkish agent advises him to get off the train and fly instead.
Bond says not to worry, he’s got everything under control.
The Turkish agent says:
“Imagine this is a billiard table. An easy, flat, green billiard table. And you have hit the white ball and it is travelling easily and quietly towards the red. The pocket is alongside. Inevitably, you are going to hit the red and the red is going into that pocket. It is the law of the billiard table, the law of the billiard room. But, outside the orbit of these things, a jet pilot has fainted and his plane is diving straight at that billiard room, or a gas main is about to explode, or lightning is about to strike. And the building collapses on top of you and on top of the billiard table. Then what happened to that white ball that could not miss the red ball, and to the red ball that could not miss the pocket? The white ball could not miss according to the laws of the billiard table. But the laws of the billiard table are not the only laws, and the laws governing the progress of this train and of you to your destination, are also not the only laws in this particular game.”
So while we are worrying, in minute detail, about what’s going on with us: the job, the boss, the client-presentation, the mortgage, the kids’ schools, the row we had with our partner.
What’s going on that we don’t even know about, that could change everything?