Industrial America in the World War: The Strategy behind the Line, 1917-1918

Industrial America in the World War: The Strategy behind the Line, 1917-1918

Industrial America in the World War: The Strategy behind the Line, 1917-1918

Industrial America in the World War: The Strategy behind the Line, 1917-1918

Excerpt

Here is a good and useful book. There is no better school for nations than the school of truth, and it is never too early to lead them to it. The industrial history of the war has never yet been written. To it, Mr. Grosvenor B. Clarkson makes a first and most authoritative contribution. It is certain that no one of the victorious armies could have conquered but for the support of its industries. It is no less clear that no European industry could have survived but for the support of American industry.

All of us, without exception, make mistakes. Had we been better prepared for war, victory would have come sooner and cost less. As to military preparedness, our army was magnificent and admirably trained. But there was another kind of preparedness which had everywhere been neglected, that of the productive forces essential to the existence of the soldiers. One of the prime movers of American industrial mobilization spoke the truth when he said that "twentiethcentury warfare demands that the blood of the soldier must be mingled with from three to five parts of the sweat of the man in the factories, mills, mines, and fields of the nation in arms." Germany, which, living only for the war, understood its requirements better than we did, had to pay dearly for unpreparedness. In the first quarter of 1915, she passed through a munitions crisis which was not far from being fatal.

America, despite the power of her production, only escaped the common danger by the magnificent effort of which Mr. Clarkson tells the story. As he so rightly says, America was the "last reservoir." We in Europe, when we lacked steel or high explosives, had only her to turn to. She, however, was obliged to find everything within herself, to meet her own requirements and satisfy the demands of her allies.

The competition of European and American needs was our constant anxiety. To cope with the danger, there was but . . .

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