The Nation: The Battle That Wasn't

Dreaming up contingency plans is hardly a new exercise for U.S. military officers on dull afternoons, but one stupefying day in 1919 must have been a corker. Searching for topics for his history seminars at the University of Missouri at Kansas City recently, Professor Lawrence H. Larsen discovered a plan drafted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in case it felt obliged to invade, of all places, Canada.

The purpose of the exercise 56 years ago remains murky. Plans for the use of mobile units supported by cannons and heavy guns mounted on railway cars were at the ready, as were...

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