America Under Fire: Imagined Invasions of the United States during World War I

Jozef Pecina, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: When the war started in Europe in 1914, the United States military was desperately undermanned and underequipped. Prior to the country’s entry into the conflict, there was a pervading fear of a German invasion of the United States. The paranoia was further fed by what is now called “invasion literature.” Between 1914 and 1917, dozens of works appeared that raised the spectre of a German invasion. In these long-forgotten novels, millions of German soldiers are storming the beaches of the Atlantic coast and capturing New York, Boston, and Washington. This paper examines invasion literature and brings to light such examples of the genre as John Bernard Walker’s America Fallen! (1915), Cleveland Moffett’s The Conquest of America (1916), and Thomas Dixon’s The Fall of a Nation (1916). 




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