factories on the Rhine; it was one of the classic achievements of chemical industry, and was beginning to prove a feasible method for bulk production in the early months of the war. Thus, as the threat of nitrogen shortage increased, so the availability of explosives was restored by the Haber process, and this later proved the mainstay of the German explosives campaign.
Some years later a similar position arose through lack of supplies of raw rubber, which threatened the transport and gas- mask supplies of the German army. In this case, although the chemical industry produced a form of synthetic rubber, neither the quantities nor the properties were adequate to meet the situation in time. The research conversion lag was still in front instead of behind them. Thus, although Germany attended to armament potential in an extraordinarily efficient way, her own difficulties only serve to focus the critical importance of this matter for war and for disarmament.
What is the shortest space of time into which the development of a nation's armament can be compressed? How do the different forms of armament contribute to the delay? So great is the importance of such questions for our purposes that it is indeed fortunate that a very complete answer is provided by the U.S.A. In 1914, when war broke out, and even in 1917, when she entered it, this great country possessed an equipment of armament which, compared with that of Germany, was much less advanced in type and design, and hopelessly behind in manufacturing capacity. Yet conditions were probably more favourable in the U.S.A. for the rapid elimination of these differences than in any other country. Possessing unlimited wealth and resources, a wonderful corps of engineers, mechanics, and scientists to exploit them through her fine industrial organisation, having all the will and incentive to direct these vast facilities to armament, and favoured by her years of warning and remoteness from hostilities, it is doubtful whether any country could have moved faster, or as fast. Thus the armament conversion lag of the U.S.A. becomes evidence of the first importance in the case for or against the value of disarmament. We shall examine this, and it will also be valuable to place beside it information available from other countries.
The essential characteristics and facts of armament necessary for our subject will now be examined. They fall, according to their