The U.S. At War, The Last Stage

Prime Minister Winston Churchill heard the news while he was having a quiet supper with U.S. Ambassador John Gilbert Winant at Chequers, the Prime Minister's country house some 25 miles from Downing Street. Winston Churchill picked up the telephone and called an extraordinary session of Parliament for the next afternoon. Then he and Mr. Winant set out for London.

The British public heard the news not many minutes later in a BBC newscast. It was no great surprise, but it left a disturbing question to sleep on. Would the U.S. be able to keep supplies flowing to Britain, now that she...