History of War


Until the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941, the United States had declared a public policy of neutrality. Mindful of the First World War, which American troops had entered in April 1917 and suffered over 116,000 military deaths (from all causes), a growing call for isolationism resulted in strict laws being created to prevent involvement in any new conflict. The so-called Neutrality Acts of the 1930s severely curtailed American participation in any external conflicts. However, after the outbreak of European war in 1939, various political compromises were reached and aspects of the act repealed to allow the Lend-Lease supply of military equipment and aid to the Allies. The growing cooperation between the United States and Great Britain was further underlined during August 1941, when Churchill and Roosevelt signed what became known as the Atlantic Charter, which set out goals for the post-war world.

By the middle of 1941 a US Navy destroyer group designated ‘Support Force, United States Atlantic Fleet’ was in operation as part of

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