American support comes in the form of Lend-Lease
Churchill sent Roosevelt a telegram of thanks in response to the President’s “arsenal of victory” promise, but he also expressed Britain’s concern about her ability to pay for armaments.
In early January, Harry Hopkins arrived in Britain. He was the first of several envoys who were making personal assessments of the situation on behalf of President Roosevelt. He would be followed shortly by Wendell Willkie and Averell Harriman.
As Hopkins and Churchill talked of ways that America could help, the Lend-Lease Bill was making its way through the American Congress.
“Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
In early February, Churchill broadcast to the British people that support was being promised and told the American people: “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies visited and noted that “Churchill’s course is set. There is not defeat, in his heart.” This course, which was “to extirpate Hitlerism from Europe,” had yet to face many perils: Rommel had brought new life to German forces in Africa; Turkey and Bulgaria sided with Germany; the Blitz continued; Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Greece; Operation Barbarossa began on the Eastern Front; there was growing evidence of Japanese aggression in the Far East; and shipping losses in the Battle of the Atlantic, “the blackest cloud which we had to face,” continued.
Nevertheless, Churchill telegraphed to President Roosevelt: “Corinthians II, Chapter 6, Verse 2.”