There was an undeclared war in practice and preparation, both in the East and West.
That congress and the American people were not aware or receptive is something else - there are parallels even today.
The US was a non-belligerent participating in the war against Germany by supporting Britain actively to the point of fighting an undeclared war in the Atlantic.
Neutrality patrols etc were like many of today’s humanitarian missions. They are euphemisms for being involved in an undeclared war.
Roosevelt's initiation of the Neutrality Patrol, which in fact also escorted British ships, as well as orders to U.S. Navy destroyers first to actively report U-boats, then "shoot on sight", meant American neutrality was honored more in the breach than observance.
Battle of the Atlantic
By 1941, the United States was taking an increasing part in the war, despite its nominal neutrality. In April 1941 President Roosevelt extended the Pan-American Security Zone east almost as far as Iceland. British forces occupied Iceland when Denmark fell to the Germans in 1940; the US was persuaded to provide forces to relieve British troops on the island. American warships began escorting Allied convoys in the western Atlantic as far as Iceland, and had several hostile encounters with U-boats.
The Atlantic Charter made clear that the United States was supporting the United Kingdom in the war. Both the US and UK wanted to present their unity, regarding their mutual principles and hopes for a peaceful post-war world and the policies they agreed to follow once the Nazis had been defeated.
On 10 April 1941, as she was nearing the coast, the ship picked up three boatloads of survivors from a torpedoed merchantman. When a submarine was detected, the division commander, Denis L. Ryan, ordered a depth charge attack which drove off the U-52. This bloodless battle apparently was the first action between American and German forces in World War II.
The first American hostile action against Axis forces that resulted in physical destruction was on 14 September 1941, when USCGC Northland destroyed a German weather station in northeast Greenland.
The incident led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue what became known as his "shoot-on-sight" order. Roosevelt publicly confirmed the "shoot on sight" order on 11 September 1941, effectively declaring naval war against Germany and Italy in the Battle of the Atlantic.
In October 1941, while the U.S. was still officially neutral in World War II, Kearny was docked at Reykjavík, in U.S.-occupied Iceland. A "wolfpack" of German U-boats attacked a nearby British convoy, and overwhelmed her Canadian escorts. Kearny and three other U.S. destroyers were summoned to assist.
USS Reuben James
On 23 October, she sailed from Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland with four other destroyers, escorting eastbound Convoy HX 156. At daybreak on 31 October, she was torpedoed near Iceland by U-552 commanded by Kapitänleutnant Erich Topp. Reuben James had positioned herself between an ammunition ship in the convoy and the known position of a German "wolfpack", a group of submarines poised to attack the convoy.
So how many Reuben James incidents does it take to sway the people and congress?
The war in the atlantic would have escalated, albeit at a slower pace.
When peace and neutrality are actually war.
< Message edited by Simulacra53 -- 12/24/2019 6:34:08 AM >