McNair Papers

McNair Papers is a specializing in Defense topics.

Articles from No. 50-51, August

10. Balancing Military and Civilian Needs
Great as the output was, the United States war effort did not absorb more than 40 percent of the gross national product, which grew 50 percent in constant dollars between 1939 and 1944. The United States devoted a smaller percentage of its gross national...
11. Overcoming Raw Material Scarcities
People were not the only shortage; there were numerous other scarcities that hampered the production and war effort. The production process requires raw materials. Although the United States was rich in minerals, the amount being produced in 1940...
12. Maritime Construction
Two products, aircraft and ships, demanded the most investment in people, materials, and infrastructure, and both were equally key to the grand strategy. The production story for both is spectacular. In 1941, the United States completed 1,906 ships,...
13. People Mobilization: "Rosie the Riveter"
No country kept a higher percentage of its labor force in armaments production and out of the fighting services than did the United States. In Germany, 1 in 4.5 men was a fighter, in Japan one in five, in the United Kingdom, one in five, but in the...
14. Conclusions
What mobilization lessons can be learned from the United States during the World War II period? First, personalities matter. Roosevelt did not invest sufficient authority in any of the people in charge of war mobilization until he appointed true confidant...
1. Introduction
At a dinner during the Teheran Conference in December 1943, Joseph Stalin praised United States manufacturing: I want to tell you from the Russian point of view, what the President and the United States have done to win the war. The most...
2. Mobilization Activities before Pearl Harbor Day
Despite the fact that World War I had been raging for 32 months when the United States declared war, despite the large numbers of war orders received by U.S. industry to arm the French and the British, and despite the National Defense Act of 1916,...
3. Education for Mobilization
When the Planning Branch was formed in 1921 and the Board in 1922, however, there was no formal schooling for the people who joined the staffs of each organization. That was rectified in 1924 with the establishment of the Army Industrial College. Staff...
4. Interwar Planning for Industrial Mobilization
The National Defense Act of 1920 (which was the foundation for the Planning Branch, the Army and Navy Munitions Board and Army Industrial College) directed that the Assistant Secretary of War prepare an industrial mobilization plan to prevent the fumbling...
5. Mobilizing for War: 1939 to 1941
With the defeat of Poland and the onset of the Sitzkrieg (between October 1939 and May 1940) during the so-called Phony War period, there was little bureaucratic momentum in Washington affecting industrial mobilization, although the General Staff,...
6. the War Production Board
Roosevelt tapped Nelson to be Chairman of the War Production Board in mid January 1942. Certainly of "all the civilian advisers the president had assembled. Nelson seemed best to appreciate the production problem. Probably nobody had a better background--for...
7. the Controlled Materials Plan
Nelson's major task, as it turned out, was administration of the Controlled Materials Plan--the allocation of raw materials to the specific industries that produced the weapons systems. Nelson wrote, in an oversimplification, that war production could...
8. the Office of War Mobilization (and Reconversion)
In early 1943 the president was being pushed to establish a war mobilization office by Senator Harry Truman and his committee. Truman's committee and other congressional investigative committees were dismayed by the lack of unity in the industrial...
9. U.S. Production in World War II
Everywhere one looks there are very impressive American production statistics throughout World War II. The war on the ground in Europe was often tank warfare. Between 1918 and 1933, the United States produced only 35 tanks, and no two of them the same...
Acknowledgments
I was most fortunate to be assisted by many people while writing this account of World War II U.S. Industrial Mobilization. Five people in particular stand out. Dr. Gary E. Weir of the Naval Historical Center provided very wise counsel. Mr. Terrance...
Appendix B: The War Agencies of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government
(Status as of December 31, 1945) ADVISORY BOARD ON JUST COMPENSATION Established by Executive Order No. 9387 of October 15, 1943. Reestablished for 60 days by Executive Order No. 9611 of September 10, 1945, and extended by Executive Order No. 9627...
The Major Powers in Northeast Asian Security
INTRODUCTION The political, economic, and security environment of the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century will be shaped in very large part by the interrelationships among the United States, Japan, China, and Russia. To the extent these four...
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