Sleep of the Saved

Winston Churchill

While the United States was still reeling over the growing number of casualties and the destruction some of its mightiest battleships, Churchill saw an opportunity. The early years of World War II had been incredibly difficult for England, as Germany proved to be a brutal foe. The Nazis seemed unstoppable and the British forces weren’t far from defeat.

When news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor reached Churchill, he immediately realized what that meant; the United States would now have to take up arms. In his own words, written in a history of World War II, Churchill said he “went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved” that night.

All of the time he had spent trying to convince the United States into joining forces with the British against Germany finally looked like it would pay off. With a declaration of war on Japan, it was only a matter of time before the Axis powers forced the Americans into fighting in the European Theater as well. Per the terms of the Tripartite Pact, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States on December 11th, 1941. Thanks to the Japanese, the British finally got the powerful ally it had so desperately needed since the war first broke out.