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The Secret US Plan to Overthrow the British Empire (Hardback)

War Plan Red

Frontline Books Military

By Graham M. Simons
Frontline Books
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 200 black and white
ISBN: 9781526712028
Published: 30th April 2020

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After the Great War, there was much debate in the USA whether the country should isolate itself from ‘old world’ conflicts or follow an imperialist path and become the world’s only super-power. If the USA was to become a super-power, then conflict with Great Britain might result. Consequently, the US drew up War Plan Red. This was a scheme for the USA to invade Canada and the Caribbean which would draw the Royal Navy into North American waters where it would be destroyed. Without the Royal Navy, the rest of the British Empire would be vulnerable to American attacks.

It became clear, however, as the decade wore on, that the Imperialists were not going to gain a clear-cut victory, so other means of achieving their aims would be needed. In 1939 the American military establishment created an intelligence-gathering machine within their Embassy in London under the Ambassadorship of Joseph Patrick Kennedy. Then in spring 1941, a small group of US Army officers travelled to Britain to plan for Anglo-American cooperation should the United States became involved in the Second World War. This was the US Army Special Observer Group, or SPOBS as it was commonly known.

It is questionable whether the Military Attachés and SPOBS activities were ‘spying’, for they were operating – at least in the early days – with the full permission and knowledge of the British Government. Their intelligence-gathering activities spread out as far as the Middle East, Africa, South America, Russia and Asia – far beyond the terms of the original brief. It did not cease with the outbreak of peace – the advent of the Cold War between East and West brought forth a whole new range of subterfuge and behind-the-scenes activities by the CIA.

So, were the Americans allies or spies? Certainly, the SPOBS bled Great Britain white of data and information, sending it all back to the War Department in Washington under the guise of helping. It was also a blueprint that America used in one form or another to ‘encourage’ regime change around the world through the seventy years or so after the Second World War and which continues to this day.

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 Graham M. Simons

About Graham M. Simons

English professional aviation writer, publisher and historian Graham M Simons is one of the founders of the world famous aviation museum at Duxford near Cambridge where his interest was piqued watching the making of the ‘Battle of Britain’ film there in the late 1960’s and from the days when you could go ‘aircraft spotting’ at London Heathrow and other airports.

From this, and with an engineering background, he progressed to membership of a number of aviation societies, including sitting on the British Aviation Preservation Council, eventually taking the position of Engineering Director with one group. Here he was responsible for overseeing the restoration of a De Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide airliner to flying condition and placing this aircraft - with official approval — in the colours and markings of the first aircraft of what was then the Kings Flight. It was during this period that he was contacted by Ian Allen Ltd to write the first ever history of this classic De Havilland type.

Other titles rapidly followed and with a growing number of contacts in both the military and airliners, Graham turned professional in 1987, combining his love of writing with his skills in production to create and publish aviation histories focussed on a variety of subjects.

He is the author of Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose, Comet! The World’s First Jet Airliner, The Airbus A380: A History, and De Havilland Enterprises: A History, amongst many others published by Pen and Sword Books.

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