Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945

By David M. Kennedy | Go to book overview

18
The War of Machines

The most important things in this war are machines. . . . The United States . . . is a country of machines. -- Josef Stalin, Teheran Conference, 1943

"I don't see much future for the Americans," Adolf Hitler crowed to his cronies in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack. "It's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities. . . . American society [is] half Judaized, and the other half Negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold together -- a country where everything is built on the dollar." Hitler's foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, took a more sober view of the possible consequences of American belligerency. He warned Hitler in December 1941: "We have just one year to cut off Russia from her American supplies. . . . If we don't succeed and the munitions potential of the United States joins up with the manpower potential of the Russians, the war will enter a phase in which we shall only be able to win it with difficulty." More than a year earlier Admiral Yamamoto had made the same point to Fumimaro Konoye when he had predicted that Japanese forces would run wild for six months but that he had "utterly no confidence for the second or third year."1

Between them, Ribbentrop and Yamamoto illuminated the three fundamental determinants of the war's eventual outcome and hinted at their complex interaction: time, men, and materiel. Time was the Axis

____________________
1
William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 895n.; David Irving, Hitler's War ( New York: Viking, 1977), 354; Reports of General MacArthur: Japanese Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area 2, pt. 1 ( Washington: USGPO, 1966), 33, n. 14.

-615-

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Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Editor''s Introduction xiii
  • Abbreviated Titles Used in Citations xvii
  • Prologue - November 11, 1918 1
  • 1 - The American People on the Eve of the Great Depression 10
  • 2 - Panic 43
  • 3 - The Ordeal of Herbert Hoover 70
  • 4 - Interregnum 104
  • 5 - The Hundred Days 131
  • 6 - The Ordeal of the American People 160
  • 7 - Chasing the Phantom of Recovery 190
  • 8 - The Rumble of Discontent 218
  • 9 - A Season for Reform 249
  • 10 - Strike! 288
  • 11 - The Ordeal of Franklin Roosevelt 323
  • 12 - What the New Deal Did 363
  • 13 - The Gathering Storm 381
  • 14 - The Agony of Neutrality 426
  • 15 - To the Brink 465
  • 16 - War in the Pacific 516
  • 17 - Unready Ally, Uneasy Alliance 565
  • 18 - The War of Machines 615
  • 19 - The Struggle for a Second Front 669
  • 20 - The Battle for Northwest Europe 709
  • 21 - The Cauldron of the Home Front 746
  • 22 - Endgame 798
  • Epilogue- the World the War Made 852
  • Bibliographical Essay 859
  • Index 877
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