Following an unsuccessful American stage production of Romeo and Juliet in 1940, Leigh and Olivier were asked by Alexander Korda, then in Hollywood, to take the starring roles in Lady Hamilton. Filmed just weeks after they were married, with Olivier as Horatio Nelson and Leigh as his mistress Emma Hamilton, the film was promoted as featuring 'The Year's Most Exciting Team of Screen Lovers!'
The Blitz continues with sustained Luftwaffe attacks on British cities. As the bombing went on the urban population got used to the black out, the air raid sirens and nights spent in shelter. The idea emerged (to some extent a myth) of the 'spirit of the Blitz' where people pulled together united, disregarding traditional class and social divisions.
Art and science
Frank Whittle demonstrates the first test-flight of a plane powered by jet propulsion. Although the German, Hans von Ohain, built the first jet plane, Whittle was the first to patent a design for the jet engine (in 1930), and his subsequent work helped to advance the technology and made Britain leaders in the field.
The Soviet Union and America join the Allies. The Soviet Union was forced to switch sides after Hitler attacked in June 1941, reneging the Soviet-Nazi pact. Six months later the US Navy was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbour. The following day the USA declared war on Japan, and three days later Germany and Italy declared war on America.