Impact On Relations Between The United States And Great Britain Ww2

1078 words - 4 pages

World War II began in 1939 and, although the United States were not involved, there was concern that it soon would be. The impact on the world and also on individuals was vast. It took an amazing collaborative effort to strengthen the general relations, which didn't seem to materialise until the war was "˜well under way'.During the months leading up to the war, the USA had hoped not to participate.President Roosevelt made it clear that Britain could buy equipment, but that it would be on a strictly "˜cash and carry' basis. He promised Americans that they would not have to fight, but he warned them that non-involvement would not necessarily insure peace. Soon after this talk America appeared to take a more helpful attitude towards Britain. In March 1941, a scheme was organised called "˜Lend-Lease', by which Britain could borrow or hire military equipment. By this means the USA hoped to ensure victory over the Axis without involving its own troops. However, when some Americans objected to Lend-Lease, Roosevelt immediately came to the assistance of Britain, saying that it was just like lending your garden hose to a neighbour whose house was on fire.In mid-1941, President Roosevelt imposed a ban on all trade with Japan, and froze all Japanese money in the USA. The aim was to force Japan to keep the peace. No sooner had the US authorities broken the Japanese diplomatic code, they realised it was an invitation for immediate attack. Obviously, Japan tried in vain to get the embargo lifted on terms that would still let them take the territory they wanted, but to no avail, they began to make preparations for war.The Japanese army and navy had, in fact, devised a war plan in which they had great confidence. They proposed to "˜knock out' the US Pacific Fleet, a move that would gain them a supremacy at sea which, by then, would make them too strong to be dislodged by the USA. They expected the USA to declare war but not to be willing to fight long or hard enough to win. Therefore, on December 7 a surprise air attack was held on Pearl Harbour. This introduced the USA into the war on December 8 - and brought them in determined to fight to the finish. The USA was now wholeheartedly on Britain's side.With the entry of the USA into the war, the world's greatest economy was converted to war production. This combined effort appeared to unite Britain and the United States further - they were all in the 'same boat'. People were proud of what they had achieved, this boosted morale and gave them the feeling that what they had done was an impossible thing. Yet, even though it was so impossible, they would be able to do it again and this is what gave them pride and a sense of unity with their fellow men in Britain and all over the world.The Americans and British, as was their custom, disagreed on how to proceed against Germany. Opinions therefore differed on how to fight the war. The United States had been attacked in the Pacific Ocean, but it was...

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