The United States Neutrality Act of 1939 required that military supplies were dispatched on a ‘cash and carry’ basis, but by 1941 Great Britain could no longer afford to pay. In March 1941 Roosevelt created Lend-Lease to enable the United States to send free supplies such as munitions, fuel and food to Allied countries, in exchange for postwar economic ‘consideration’. To ease the passage of supplies, Roosevelt declared the western Atlantic neutral, allowing US naval ships to patrol and inform Great Britain of the location of German submarines. During 1941, Lend-Lease was extended to China and the Soviet Union (following German invasion). In 1942, after the United States had entered the war, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the Free French issued American overseas forces with essential supplies in a reverse of Lend-Lease. The United States continued to assist more than 30 countries with Lend-Lease throughout World War II.
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