How Come the US was Never Invaded? Other than the Wussy Terrorists

Well how come? Especially in WWI & WWII, why didn’t they(the Germans, Japenese(other that Pearl Harbor)ever invade mainland USA?

The United States WAS invaded by the British in 1814, when they burned Washington, DC, to the ground. The War of 1812, look it up.

WWI was fought exclusively in Europe, so a foreign invasion
was not a concern.

The Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942 broke the Japanese advance in the Pacific.

Imagine the logistics of a D-Day invasion and then multiple it by 3,000 miles of ocean. The troop ships would have been sitting ducks hundreds of miles from the coast, there wouldn’t have been resources available for air support to the invading force, etc. Even if the invading force could have gotten close to shore, the U.S. defenders would have had a lot of advance notice to rush defenders in.

The Battle of New Orleans was also part of that. There’s even a song about it.

I thought that back during WWII the Alaskan Aleutian Islands were invaded by the Japenese or they came close to being invaded. I believe that this invasion or potential invasion was the whole purpose for constructing the Al-Can highway.

Too far. Too big.

The Germans had no navy that would make it; even had they managed to pull off an invasion of Britain it would have taken every boat they had, and even then victory was not certain. Try doing that 3,000 miles further against a vastly larger enemy. The Japanese navy was busy fighting the U.S. Navy on the other side of the Pacific, and their offensive towards the U.S. was broken at Midway.

Consider how hard it was for the Allies to stage the Normandy invasion; it took years of planning and more industrial production than the Germans ever had. The Allies established complete air and naval supremacy, were going less than a hundred miles, and even then had a tough time of it.

Amphibious nvasions are remarkably difficult. Successful examples throughout WWII usually involved massive air and naval support, all carefully planned and staged.

First ask why ENGLAND was never invaded. It’s right there. just a few miles across the water from occupied France and all of the German forces. Why didn’t the Nazis try it?

Because it’s really hard.

As others have said, D-Day (going the other way) was really tough. We only made it through some sleight-of-hand (the Germans thought we’d land farther down the coast).

So the Germans didn’t want to attempt it until it looked really promising for them. They had been softening up London with aerial attacks for just about forever, and it still wasn’t ripe for the picking. Imagine, then, taking an entire fleet and all of the men needed across a few thousand miles of ocean (of course, you’d need a few hundred thousand spare soldiers, which the Nazis disn’t have) that were under constant patrol by allied air and naval forces and then attack a landmass the size of Europe with no easily defensible supply line. A tough prospect.

Yes, but since Washington was the capital and the Battle of New Orleans was fought two weeks after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, it didn’t seem as important. Still, thanks, for the addition.

Is that the catchy song that goes like, “we fired our cannons until the barrels melted down then we grabbed alligator and fought another round. We filled his head with cannon balls and powdered his behind and when we touched the powder off the gator lost his mind”? I LOVE that Song.

They really didn’t make a bomb out of an alligator did they? Hech, we are talking about coon asses here? :wink:

My great grandfather invaded Pennsylvania. Does that count?

(Of course, things didn’t go so well once he got there. Pickett’s Charge and all…)

It’s interesting to note that, although US mainland soil has rarely been invaded, the threat has been there. During WWII both Japanese and German ships came amazingly close to our shores. German submarines came appallingly close to the Atlantic shore. I understand that a Japanese ship actually shelled a factory in California. That’s a long way from invasion, but still…

IIRC there were incidents in the war of 1812 when we were invaded from Canada. During the war with Mexico there was the possibility of invasion (although I don’t think it ever happened). During the Civil War the North invaded the South, and vice-versa. The South even invaded Vermont at one point (weird, but true!)

Don’t forget the Japanese balloon bombs. A few hit the US and I think that one causality resulted, I can’t remember, but it has been mentioned on the boards before.

There’s a legend among 2nd Amendment types that the Japanese actually considered an invasion of the American northwest, but decided against it in part because the populace was armed and would be difficult to subdue. Don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m sure that in war, lots of ideas get considered.

The German Empire did have two invasion plans prior to WWI.

One was hopelessly unrealistic (I don’t recall the exact details, but it was essentially, “we land troops in New York and Boston, march on Washington, and Ruprecht’s your uncle; the war’s over”. I think that the Great General Staff was slightly underestimating the size of the landmass that they were planning to invade). The other was rather more realistic; it called for two German naval squadrons, one to blockade New York City and the other to seize Block Island and, using it as a base, to blockade the eastern end of Long Island Sound; German troops would then march overland to New York, after which Gruppe Whoever would improvise.

Still, this would essentially been an unopposed landing (given the pre-WWI state of the American army, not a bad assumption; although we mobilized pretty fast in 1917, it was most of a year before American troops in any quantity made it Europe). As toadspittle and RickJay point out, an opposed landing would have been a lot more difficult (to the point of impossibility). Moreover, even suppposing that the British fleet would have let the Germans make the Atlantic crossing without harassment, the Germans were basically kidding themselves if they thought that the American navy could have been swept off the seas.

The exposure of the coded “Zimmerman Telegram” during WW1 helped bring the US into that war. Famous American historian Barbara Tuchman’s first book was called “The Zimmerman Telegram”.
As I recall, Zimmerman was the German foreign minister and he telegraphed a coded plan to German diplomats in Latin America. The plan was to cut a deal with Mexico to give them back Texas etc. in return for allowing a German army to launch an invasion of the US from the south. The US wasn’t even at war with Germany. I think the Brits intercepted the telegram, decoded it, and informed the Americans. At the time, the Americans felt that “gentlemen didn’t read other gentlemen’s mail” and had very weak intelligence services. Anyway, the US got somewhat annoyed by this.

My facts and memory may be a little rusty, I read the book when I was 12 years old, but I think I’ve repeated the facts pretty accurately.

Actually, a Japanese submarine surfaced off the coast of California and shelled an oil refinery near Santa Barbara. IIRC, this attack was the inspiration for the movie 1941. It apparently caused quite a stir on the West coast but there was never any serious threat of a Japanese landing.

**lucwarm wrote:

There’s a legend among 2nd Amendment types that the Japanese actually considered an invasion of the American northwest, but decided against it in part because the populace was armed and would be difficult to subdue. Don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m sure that in war, lots of ideas get considered.**

Robert Heinlein, in his book, To Sail Beyond Sunset touched on this idea. In his alternate universe where the Howard Families exist, instead of bombing Pearl Harbor, the Japanese bomb San Francisco. The main character, Maureen Johnson, is there to witness the bombing.

Check it out

I would imagine that an invasion of the US would be incredibly difficult compared to other invasions. We only have two neighbors, so any other country has to either invade them or launch an aphibious assault. We’ve had the strongest navy in the world for a while now, making it rather unlikely that an amphibious landing force could get across the few thousand miles of ocean required.

If such a force managed to cross the ocean, the US easily has air superiority over its coasts. The enemy are pretty much sitting ducks on the beach. Even if they manage to gain a foothold, they will actually have to conquor cities to get the country to surrender. Basically, if the US wanted, even if it was losing, it could retreat to the opposite coast, extending the enemy’s supply lines an additional 3000 miles. Armed citizen in this area would be far from cooperative, meaning high attrition for the supplies.

If the United States were invaded, the Army would swell with new recruits and reserves. Given the thechnological superiority, this would be a formidable force to take on, even if it wasn’t on its own soil. Plus we’ve got nuclear weapons to launch at any country that tries. Any country that wanted to try would have to be absolutely committed to the task. Even then, there are only a couple countries that could possibly have a chance.

On September 9, 1942 Nobuo Fujita became the only man to make an enemy bombing run over the continental US. (As noted in an earlier post, Japan dropped many incendiary bombs in the Northwest USA, but they were sent via unmanned balloons.) Fujita flew a single-engine float plane inland from a submarine off Cape Blanco, OR, dropped two incendiary bombs (which were soon extinguished) and returned to the sub. He repeated the feat three weeks later near Port Orford; that bomb, too, fizzled.

Twenty years later he returned to Brookings, OR, near where he dropped his first bombs, as an honored guest; be brought his 400 year-old samurai sword – that he had brought with him on his bombing runs – as a token of peace and friendship. The sword can be seen at the Chetco Community Library in Brookings.