Fighter pilot, Royal Navy 1945, Hydrographer Iraq 1947-52 India 1952-53, Canadian Hydrographic Arctic explorer 1953-1960, Writer-producer Canadian National Film Board 1961-72, Freelance journalist, audio-visual producer 1972-2009, National Press Club of Canada 1961 - 2006

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Battle that saved the Civilized World

How Herr Hitler, in 1940, came close to implementing Kaiser Wilhelm II’s 1903 Plan Three, code number 5951, for a 1914 surprise attack on America.

Excerpts from diplomatic reports sent to Washington by United States Ambassador to Britain, Joseph Kennedy, in the summer of 1940:

“...I don’t believe the British can withstand a German invasion...they will invade the island whenever they please...the Germans will be in London by mid-August...the English people are completely ignorant of what the real dangers are...there will be a dictated peace with Hitler getting the British navy...then we will find ourselves in a terrible mess...”

How a gallant band of Canadian fighter pilots helped Britain thwart Hitler’s plan to fulfil the Kaiser’s 1903 plan of global conquest.

How the Royal Air Force, under the calm direction and guidance of Air Marshals Hugh Dowding and Keith Park saved civilization —everybody’s civilization

—including YOUR civilization

In 1903 the Picklelhaube-spike-helmeted German Kaiser had a secret plan to attack America and gain world domination. It was thwarted by involvement in the 1914 landwar. But how forty years later, resurrected by Hitler, it would probably have succeeded if it had not been frustrated by Canadian and other Commonwealth fighter pilots who won the 1940 Battle of Britain. Thus emphasizing the essential, unassailable truth, underlying Winston Churchill’s famous words:

“Never in the field of Human Conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

For if the 1940 Battle of Britain had been lost Hitler’s follow-up on the Kaiser’s 1903 plan to attack America would have finally succeeded.

Germany’s 1903 PLAN THREE attack on America

At the same time as he was in England attending the funeral of his grandmother, Queen Victoria of Great Britain in 1901, the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, was already planning to make the burgeoning and united Germany of the Second Reich the foremost power in the world. Content for the time being with the apparent political stability of Europe and confident in possessing the world’s most powerful military land force, the Kaiser looked further afield and concentrated on plans for expanding his overseas empire.

An agreement with Turkey gave the Kaiser the go ahead to build a railway all the way from Berlin, via Turkey, and Baghdad, to Basra on the north coast of the Persian Gulf. This would provide a maritime gateway to India and the far Orient where Germany already had colonies.

These global ambitions called for the building of a much more massive navy to augment Germany’s already formidable battle fleet. Firstly, this was to counteract and then overwhelm the maritime mastery held by Britain’s Royal Navy.

But, secondly, the Kaiser also felt threatened by the growing sea power of the United States of America. Especially in the Pacific where Germany possessed several strategic colonies—and intended to gain many more.

For this reason the Kaiser decided to make ready an operational plan to assert German power in the western hemisphere in order to gain freedom of action in the eastern hemisphere—in the far east and across the Pacific.

Germany’s Plan Three, with a code number 5951, called for a strategic assault on ‘Amerika’. This daring plan included the armed annexation (as soon as it came into operation after its expected completion date of 1914) of the vital Panama canal. German control of the canal would allow the Kaiser’s battleships quick and easy access to the Pacific Ocean and the far east while preventing such passage to vessels of other nations. Incredibly this daring operation was to be coupled with a simultaneous invasion by a large army to capture Boston. At the same time a heavy bombardment of New York by a fleet of sixty large warships was expected to produce such total panic and civil submission, as to force the United States to agree to not interfere with the ensuing global expansion of the German Empire. Also the Mexican government was to be encouraged to invade the USA from the south.

This plan might well have succeeded considering that aerial support was not then such a vital factor. In fact even in 1917 when the USA joined the Allies in World War One they had no worthwhile military aircraft of their own and had to use British and French machines.

Amazingly ambitious as this German assault plan appears today, it was cancelled only when the sudden, and unexpected, flare up of the massive 1914 European land war meant the vast expansion of the German navy had to be curtailed in favour of the more vital strengthening of the German army.

Thus in 1914 the Kaiser’s assault on America was abandoned.

Or maybe, by fickle fate, it was just postponed.

Because twenty seven years later, in 1941, when another newly-arisen, iron-strong German Reich appeared under yet another supreme dictator, a fateful second chance of successfully carrying out the forty-year-old Plan Three presented itself.

For then Adolf Hitler had become the master of France and most of the rest of western Europe. He shared the autocratic Kaiser’s dislike for democracy and visions of global conquest and also a hatred for Jews. And by his dazzling blitzkrieg victories Hitler had set the stage for Wilhelm II’s ambitious Plan Three to come very close to actual implementation

But it was not to be. The greedy dream for world conquest by the Kaiser and Adolf Hitler was thwarted by a most wonderful and marvellous show of ‘wizards—the show put on by 2000 Rolls-Royce ‘Merlin’ aero engines and a select band of 3000 aerial knights, including Canadians, who saved not only Britain and Canada but also the United States and all the other earthly civilizations of that time.

Because though this vital miracle is called the Battle of Britain it should rightfully be known as the Battle of the Free World.

For it was then that British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and other allied pilots flying the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the Royal Air Force, powered by their fabled Merlin engines, confounded the enemies of democracy who were intent on subjugating the entire world..

Today, historians continue to argue as to which battle of World War Two was the most crucial in winning final victory for the allies. But it is glaringly obvious that the air battle fought high up in the sunny summer skies over southern England in 1940 was the most vital of all. For without that victory by the RAF’s Fighter Command all the other significant battles that followed in following years, and are so massively documented: Stalingrad, Midway, the Atlantic, the Coral Sea, the Normandy D-Day landings—all these would not even have had the opportunity to take place had Britain been invaded, defeated and rapidly subdued.

Without doubt, if Britain had fallen in July or August of 1940, Germany’s powerful ally, Japan, would have taken full and immediate advantage of the opportunity to attack the United States. Its surprise attack on Pearl Harbour would have taken place just as already planned—but one whole vital year earlier—in 1940 instead of December 1941. This earlier attack would have caught the Americans in an even more unprepared state, and doubly by surprise, than they actually were in 1941. In all probability the attack would have caught the aircraft carriers of the US Navy defencelessly at peaceful rest in Pearl Harbour, as opposed to the extremely lucky circumstance in 1941 when by chance they were safely far out to sea.

An earlier Japanese attack in 1940, would have in turn provoked both Hitler and Mussolini to declare war on the United States nearly that same one whole year earlier. The probable destruction of US aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbour would have left the United States crippled, and suddenly beset by enemies on both east and west coasts. And alone—to face the combined might of four of the world’s most powerful navies.

For with its main ally, Great Britain and its navy in defeated disarray, with its British ports and dockyards occupied by Germany, the eastern seaboard of North America would have been utterly infested with packs of U-boats capable of protecting a powerful multi-surface fleet comprised of not only German and Italian, but also French, and possibly even some captured British, battleships and battle-cruisers. For in 1940, the German, Italian and French fleets were at full strength. The later offensive operations by the Royal Navy had not yet weakened the German, Italian, and Vichy navies. This combined force of axis capital ships in 1941 would have been capable of wreaking terrible bombardments upon Halifax, Boston, New York, and other North American coastal cities. Such fears were held by Joseph Kennedy, the United States ambassador to Britain in 1940, when he wrote in his reports that if Hitler gained control of Royal Navy ships the USA would be in very serious trouble.

And at this point, as Japan, practically unopposed, swiftly occupied all significant parts of Asia and Australasia, the full might of the German armies, with the Luftwaffe’s massive air superiority strengthened in material and morale by having not lost the Battle of Britain, and boosted enormously by new production, would have simultaneously easily overrun Russia in double-quick time. Alternatively, that operation could have been postponed for a year or two, meanwhile placating Stalin with the German-Russian non-aggression pact already in existence.

In addition, a Nazi-occupied Britain would have given the US no air bases or fortified staging ground for a later invasion of Europe, nor the time needed for developing the atomic bomb. In contrast, the Nazis would have had control of all European industrial and munition production without suffering the delays caused by bombing raids of the United States Air Corps, the RAF and RCAF. Also, with new launch pads constructed in western Ireland, an invigorated German V2 rocket program could well have become rapidly operational and the bombardment of the USA with devastating, ultrasonic missiles capable of transatlantic assault, could have started as early as 1942.

Little imagination is needed to see that within just one or two years after a blitz-quick German invasion of Britain, and before the sleeping giant composed of America and Canada could fully awaken and embark upon its amazing all-out war effort, the whole world could have entered a new dark age of cruel domination by Nazi and Japanese invaders.

This is why the few who still remember will conduct their ceremonies and again give thanks to ‘the special few’ this September.

Note: next year, 2010, will be the seventieth anniversary of the fight to save world civilization. A portion of which battle, as a fourteen-year-old teenager, I witnessed taking place in the skies above our back garden in northeast London.

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