Hitler's Plan For Taking Over America. Exactly how close did the German get? - The Comprehensive Minds

Hitler's Plan For Taking Over America. Exactly how close did the German get?

Hitler's Plan For Taking Over America
Photo Credit: Google Images

Somewhere far out in the Atlantic, a reinforced American destroyer squadron out on patrol comes under fire. The first few shots are off-target, but as American crews scramble to their battle stations, the fire becomes much more accurate. 

The USS Breckinridge takes a direct hit right on her bow, twisting metal and killing dozens of sailors. The high Atlantic waves pour into her from the giant hole left behind, and within minutes she begins to sink. On the distant horizon, the attackers are visible to US Navy spotters. 

There's the tell-tale puff of multiple large-caliber guns firing simultaneously on several of the enemy vessels. Twenty-eight seconds later thirty 1500 pound shells smash into the American formation. The results are devastating, and hundreds of more American lives are lost in seconds. The destroyers are all but helpless in the onslaught. 

Their 4-inch guns can't hope to match the massive range of the enemy battleships, and the only real hope they have is their torpedoes-but that means getting closer and braving heavy enemy fire. With few options left, the American ships turn onto their enemies with grim determination, hoping to make use of their torpedoes. There is no air cover for the destroyer squadron, most of America's carriers have long ago been sent to the bottom of the Atlantic, and those that survive are held in reserve in the Pacific in a desperate last stand to hold the Japanese off the California coast

Likewise, most of America's battleships have long ago been lost to the major naval engagements of 1942 and 1943. Overwhelmed by a superior enemy with better planes, ships, and guns- and more of all three of those- the US Navy has been able to do little but put up enough of a fight to discourage an invasion of the homeland. Until now. 

As the destroyers steam towards their targets, ships being lost one by one under the withering enemy fire, the full complement of the enemy formation, at last, comes into sight. Rows of battleships supported by several squadrons of destroyers, and at the rear aircraft carriers for establishing air dominance. 

Also Read: Misconceptions about World War II

Several spotters planes have been launched and have allowed the enemy to accurately direct the fire of the battleships below onto the Americans, but the carriers haven't even bothered to launch their torpedo planes- they don't need to. This last line of American defense in the Atlantic shatters and breaks in its suicidal attack, the joint British and German task force, protecting the largest invasion fleet ever assembled by mankind, continues on its path to the American east coast. 

In the late 1930s, as Hitler began to ramp up his ambitions to create a new German Reich, it was clear he had one major problem: the United States. Taking on France and Britain would be difficult, though all of his advisors were confident neither nation was prepared for war and could be defeated. But if the United States were to once more throw its weight behind the Allies, as it had in World War I, then Hitler's dreams of conquering Europe could be at serious risk. 

Russia too would be problematic, but once his western flank was secure, shifting superior German firepower to the Russian front would be simple. Hitler's spies assured him that the Red Army was fundamentally weak- Stalin's great ideological purges and paranoia both had resulted in the extermination of many of the Red Army's best officers. What remained was a rag-tag force of mostly conscripts led by officers whose primary qualification wasn't battlefield expertise, but rather loyalty to Stalin.

The United States was the ultimate thorn on Hitler's side. Even if the nation remained neutral, Hitler's dream of German superpower dom only meant that it would eventually be put into direct competition with the United States, a nation that German observers were quick to point out was well on its way to becoming the dominant industrial and economic power in the world. 

Germany's invasion of Poland
Photo Credit: Google Images

Despite the Great Depression having leveled the US economy, the potential was nonetheless there- its navy alone had grown by almost 100 ships by the time of Germany's invasion of Poland. It was obvious- Germany would either have to face America today or defer the conflict to a post-war era when it had consolidated power in Europe. 

However, postponing the conflict meant that the United States could continue to grow in power while Germany depleted itself in combat, potentially giving America an insurmountable lead. Better than the US be dealt with now, while Germany was still strong. But how, exactly? First, American naval might would have to be neutralized- or at least heavily occupied. 

A modern industrial power protected on both sides by vast oceans, the United States enjoyed the best strategic position of any major nation in human history. It could easily engage in trade with both the European and Asian world while being protected from both by the sheer size of the oceans at either coast. America knew this too, which is why in the20th century it had begun a sizable investment in its Navy, which now rivaled the legendary British Royal Navy in might. It had also worked to deter any European expansion of power into its hemisphere of the world. 

The United States would tolerate no threat based in the southern or northern spheres of the American continents. The German navy wasn't big enough to take on the Americans alone, its navy was more focused on controlling the Baltic sea- and already faced incredible difficulty in doing so thanks to the British and French navies. What was needed was an ally with a strong navy of its own, and Japan afforded just such an opportunity. 

If the United States could be distracted in the Pacific, not only might it be deterred from joining the European war, but when the time came to bring the fight to American shores, the US would have to split its fleets between the Pacific and Atlantic. But Japan would never be able to support an actual invasion of the American homeland, which is what would be needed to truly neutralize the threat that the US posed to German dreams of superpower dom

It simply wouldn't be economic, or realistic, to ship German troops and equipment all the way to the Pacific where it could be escorted to the American coast by Japanese ships. Instead, it would have to be an Atlantic power that aided the German effort, and only one nation had the naval might to challenge and destroy, the American navy: Great Britain. 

But how could Britain be persuaded to join its bitter enemy in a fight against the United States? Well, if Britain could be defeated quickly enough, or at least made to suffer heavily, then perhaps Hitler could coerce the British to view America as an enemy, opposed to its own colonial interests

It was no secret that the American president, Franklin Roosevelt, and his vice-president, Harry Truman, were both no fans of European colonialism. Already talks amongst American leadership echoed a sentiment that if the US were to aid the Allies, it would only do so with the assurances that many of Britain and France's colonies would be liberated in the post-war period. 

With British colonies providing much of its industrial and economic power, surely England could be convinced that opposing the United States was in its own best interests. After all, Hitler had no plans to take and hold the British isles themselves- Britain could be allowed its independence and even given favorable trading status with the new German Reich, in exchange for helping it crush America. 

However, even before a naval invasion by a joint German-British fleet could commence, American industrial power would have to be pounded into submission. And that was a hell of a challenge considering New York was 4,000 miles (6400 km) from Berlin. 

Also Read: Misconceptions About the American Civil War

German engineering genius, however, could solve that issue. Enter the Amerikabomber, a massive long-range strategic bomber that could take off from airfields in France and deliver several tons of bombs to the American east coast. With competition from several different manufacturers, Hitler's dream of seeing New York City in flames, and Hermann Goring's ambition to “stuff the mouth of arrogance across the sea” would finally come true. 

The die was cast, Hitler finally had a plan to crush America and ensure uncontested German superpower dom in the age to come. There was just one problem- none of Hitler'splans were even remotely realistic. 

First, gaining British cooperation was exceedingly unlikely at best. Had Hitler actually succeeded in forcing Britain to surrender before American intervention, perhaps the Royal Navy could have been wrangled for his effort to destroy American naval might as part of unconditional surrender? 

Hitler's dream of a bomber capable of reaching US soil
Photo Credit: Google Images

However, the US entry into the war in 1941 all but ensured that Britain would continue to resist, and a cross-strait invasion was still an impossibility for the German army- even without American reinforcements waiting to greet them on British soil. Secondly, Hitler's dream of a bomber capable of reaching US soil was pure fantasy. 

Not only were the engineering challenges of such a long-range bomber incredibly difficult to overcome, and expensive, but German bombers would be put into the same position that Allied bombers would face themselves later in the war: forced to attack a heavily defended target with no fighter escorts. 

The savage mauling American bomber crews faced over Europe at the hands of the Luftwaffe due to a lack of a long-range fighter made it clear that Hitler's plan to bomb the United States was destined for disaster even if the technical challenges were overcome. 

However, the nail in the coffin for Hitler's plan to bomb the US came when Portugal lent the use of the Azores to the allies, denying Germany desperately needed airfields in the Atlantic. The truth is that other than a hazy ambition to attack the United States at home, Hitler never truly had a plan to invade the US that was remotely realistic. 

In a conversation with the Japanese ambassador in 1942, Hitler admitted that he did not yet know how to defeat the United States. Surely a troubling line of conversation coming from the wartime ally that dragged Japan into a one-on-one deathmatch with America in thePacific. 

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