On 11th March 1941 the United States had enacted the Lend Lease Act. The Act provided for the supply of food, oil and munitions to Britain, Free France and the Republic of China. It was the clearest sign yet of America’s position of opposing Hitler’s Germany, ending decisively the argument on whether the United States should remain neutral.
The supply of aid to countries that were not yet the United States’ formal Allies provided a vital lifeline. It was especially important in allowing Britain to continue the war alone. Without American munitions Britain would not have had the means to continue the war, without American food her population would have suffered severe hardships, even starvation. The greatest challenge now was to find the means to bring the supplies safely to Britain, the Battle of the Atlantic was entering a more intense phase.
The message that was sent to Germany was unmistakeable. The stakes had been set even higher.
Major Gerhard Engel, Hitlers Army Adjutant, was present at a meeting when Hitler gave his views on the position of the United States. Everything was seen through the prism of Hitler’s hatred for the Jews. As America became ever more closely associated with the British war effort, particularly in the Battle of the Atlantic, he would become ever more vindictive to the Jews in Europe:
24 March 1941
The Lend-Lease Pact
[The Fuhrer] spoke at length and in ample terms about the Lend-Lease Pact with frequent tirades against the Americans, particularly Roosevelt. The Americans had finally let the cat out of the bag; if one wanted, one could see a justification for war in it. Without anything further he could let it lead to war. At the moment he did not want to talk about the matter.
Eventually there would be war with the USA. Roosevelt, and behind him Jewish high finance, wanted war and had to want war, for a German victory in Europe would bring with it enormous losses of capital for American Jews in Europe.
The unfortunate thing was that we had no aircraft capable of bombing American cities. He would very much like to bring the lesson home in this way to American Jews. This Lend-Lease legislation brought him additionally major problems.
He was in no doubt that success would only be hindered by a merciless war on sea traffic. In any case with regard to the U-boat war he would not make the same mistakes as had been made in World War I.