As the world continues to reel from worldwide recession and conflict hotspots spread across the globe, we at The Blaze wanted to take you back to a time when things were perhaps even more dire.
The UK's Daily Mail has dusted off some hypothesized Nazi invasion plans, shown in the maps below. First published in the 1942 issue of Life, just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, these maps captivated American readers who lived under the very real threat of the Axis powers' invasion. Had Hitler not attacked the Soviet Union and focused on the Western front, some variation of the invasion routes on these maps may have become a reality.
Strategy 1: The Nazis go straight for the East Coast with everything they have -- submarines, bombers, and warships, delivering an assault up and down the east coast. Simultaneously, the Nazis pin down the Russians on the eastern front, allowing a rendez-vous with Japanese naval forces in the Indian Ocean. That Nazi-Imperial Japanese naval flotilla swoops around the north Pacific, and heads straight towards Los Angeles, attacking along the coast as it moves. Most frightening on this plan is the action of Nazi "Fifth Columnists" attacking from within the United States.
Strategy 2: First Nazis join with Japanese ships in the Canary Islands, then they make an all out push for Norfolk, Virginia, to knock out the primary U.S. Naval base on the Atlantic. This would have opened the waters up for follow-on invasion forces (fifth column plays its traitorous role again).
Strategy 3: "Oh, Canada"- In this iteration, the Nazis go all out on the British fleet, then they take Iceland, then Greenland, and hop on the St. Lawrence River all the way down into the heart of the Eastern U.S. Another Nazi force rips across the Hudson valley in Canada.
Strategy 4: The Japanese fake an invasion of Hawaii, while Imperial forces take over the Panama Canal, slicing U.S. naval power in half. Japanese landings in South America are followed by an invasion that works its way up the west coast, once again to Los Angeles.
Strategy 5: The least creative of the options. In this one, the Nazis basically help Japan do a replay of Pearl Harbor. This time the focus is on taking Oahu, then making an all out drive on San Francisco.
When these maps first went to print, the U.S was newly engaged in a war for the survival of the free world. What seems far-fetched now would have appeared much more plausible right after a massive attack on U.S. soil.
Had Hitler not turned his guns on Stalin, and thrown a vast majority of his best troops at the Eastern Front to crush the Soviet Union, one of these invasion routes could very much have become a reality.
As we look at our current troubles in the U.S. and unrest abroad, at least we can take some solace in the fact that the Nazi hordes aren't about to invade New York or bombard Los Angeles.