Chapter 2: Acquisition in World War II

John E. Bokel and Rolf Clark

. . . victory over all enemies will be achieved in the last analysis not only by the bravery, skill, and determination of our men, but by our overwhelming mastery in the munitions of war. We must not only provide munitions for our own fighting forces but vast quantities to be used against the enemy in every appropriate theater of war, wherever that may be.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
January, 3, 1942

As the nation turned from World War I, many of those who were most engaged in both war fighting and war production, military and civilian leaders, reflected on the experience. One leader, who would in time have a special effect on a range of production issues, was Bernard M. Baruch, Chairman of the War Industries Board during World War I. He believed that there were real benefits to learning how and why things happened in mobilizing American Forces and other national resources in World War I. Baruch emphasized the mobilization, logistics, acquisition, and economic issues associated with war fighting.

One of the most critical areas of mobilization was acquisition--research, development and procurement of materiel, equipment, and other supplies necessary for waging war (dominated of course by procurement during wars). Over time, the acquisition process has led to some recurring questions:

Who will be in charge? What methods will best encourage competition? How can excessive profits be prevented and reasonable prices be ensured? How can accountability to the public


be attained? What is the role of the public vs. the private sector in supplying Federal needs? Can socioeconomic goals be attained by means of the procurement process?1

Furthermore the poor showing of procurement in World War I (e.g., lack of a U.S. merchant fleet to carry troops, and few weapons or tanks ever reaching the battle field in time) suggested to Baruch and others that the period following World War I gave fertile opportunity to correct inadequacies, and to actively organize a system which would be responsive to possible future large increases in procurement of military materiel and equipment. Acquisition was to become the subject of close scrutiny during the Interwar Years.

Acquisition is not really separable from mobilization, or logistics during war or during the interwar period. Still, this chapter attempts to focus on production--not only oil, the weapons, equipment, and materiel end-products, but also on the industries that made the end products possible.

Ultimately we are looking at numbers that are staggering, extraordinary, and unprecedented! How else can one describe the increase in tank production from 1,000 in the period between 1935-1940 to nearly 88,000 between 1940 and 1945; the production of more than 231,000 aircraft during the war years; and the seemingly inexhaustible supply of medicines, clothing, meals, and ammunition that were needed and produced.

World War I and Acquisition

The War Industries Board was set up in 1917 to manage war materials as the United States supported its Allies. The board had responsibility for contracting, for setting production priorities, for wage controls, and the like. It had the authority to eliminate normal contracting procedures--like formal advertising--because of the pressures of time, the uncertainty of the requirements, and the introduction of new technologies like the airplane, radio, gas masks,


long-range artillery, and tanks. In some cases, firms were permitted to start production without contracts. Other ad hoc arrangements were made to increase production.

World War I had its own version of fraud and abuse, and Congress passed an Excess Profits Act in 1917 to counteract excessive profit taking. The contract instruments were largely ones of a fixed fee, or cost type, with variations that included the cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost contract; the latter created problems in these large new contracts since it allowed gross profits. It was soon outlawed by an observant and concerned Congress. These two influences, the centralization of authority with broad flexibility, and concern over contract instruments, were prominent in the thinking of Baruch and others as they shaped acquisition and mobilization policy.

After the First War

With the end of the War, there was an effort to correct abusive contracting practices and to return from a centralized environment to more competition and negotiation. The chaos in procurement activities caused by circumstances, time pressures, and information shortfalls was not unusual to a nation at war. Corrections were initiated to redress the short circuits of the market system that had taken place. A more reliable capability for future military involvements seemed possible.

Additionally, the lessons learned from a crisis like war are forgotten rather quickly as the nation moves back to peace. Things like centralization of procurement, often preferred in a crisis, is forsaken rather quickly as too bureaucratic, too favorable to big business, less responsive to competition, too costly, and less responsible to the taxpayer in times of peace.

In fact, there are several central things often addressed after a war experience. First, abuses are corrected: excessive profits, delivery delays, and defects in contract instruments are done away with. Institutions are put in place as part of the correction process. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, leading to the General Accounting Office (GAO), and the Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget), attempted to redress inefficiencies


through a management review structure. The GAO had audit and enforcement powers, and under the direction of the Congress became a genuine player in acquisition activities. The basic contract instrument of cost-plus-percent-of-cost used in World War I was abolished. The Bureau of the Budget also coordinated procurement between federal agencies, including the military departments of the Department of War.

Second, future wartime procurement and production processes were reviewed for needed support from the government. Programs were enacted to provide an industrial base for national defense. Risks to businesses with the capacity and technology for producing war- fighting equipment were reviewed. Entry obstructions for doing business with the government--and terminating it--were reviewed.

Finally, organizations and structures, such as the War Industries Board, that were created to manage the crisis, were dissolved. Some legislation enacted for wartime procurement was folded into new statutes, such as the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, while others, such as the National Defense Act of 1916 remained but had little effect on things.

Some of the tasks before industrialists like Bernard Baruch and before the military elements were how to maintain an interest in the industrial base, how to foster the development of new technologies, how to bring military thinking and requirements to the private sector and work with business and industry, how to manage systems with long lead times for development, how to capitalize on the experience of the industrialists who knew how to make major items through mass production systems, and how to maintain the interest of the business community during times when the military would have little funding either to buy things or to invest in production.

One of the strategies was to enact legislation. In 1924, the Congress passed the Air Corps Act to stimulate the nascent aircraft industry. This act, while focused on the improvement of the military air service, also stimulated the civilian aircraft industry, a likely precursor of the dual-use concept! In effect, the Act allowed the aircraft industry to continue its research and development work, while beginning limited production of aircraft for military purposes. This was a creative and unique addition to acquisition practice in the sense that ". . . it recognized that different processes were needed for research


and development and for procurement, and that both required a strong industrial base for emergencies."2

The government also began providing funds in the form of loans to maintain the merchant shipbuilding industry. Such strategic decisions provided vital support to the industrial base, not only in using scarce funding, but also more critically by recognizing the value of government-supported investment in critical industries requiring long lead times.

The Depression, the 1930s, and the Lead-In to War

The 1930s were characterized by political upheaval in Europe and Asia, and recovery from the Great Depression in America. The United States turned isolationist in its policies, choosing to address its domestic problems with a new Administration and a new social agenda, The New Deal. This preoccupation with economic recovery led to multiple pieces of legislation (e.g., Buy America Act and The Davis-Bacon Act) which were rooted in such concepts as providing loans and grants to business, guarding against excessive profits when doing business with the government, setting wage and pricing safeguards, and posting performance bonds.

President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6166 in 1933, reorganizing certain executive agencies, creating the Procurement Division of the Department of the Treasury, and abolishing the General Supply Committee. The Procurement Division was authorized "to perform any procurement, warehousing, or distribution functions desirable in the interest of the economy."3 Reversing a decade of highly decentralized acquisition activity, the effect of this Executive Order was to begin a process of centralization, which would later serve national defense in World War II. A variety of other "special programs were also added to the centralized procurement system: the Red Cross purchasing program for refugee relief abroad; the


Stockpiling Act for purchasing strategic materials; consolidated procurement of defense housing equipment; (and) lend-lease purchasing . . . ."4 All of these had effects on procurement and acquisition systems, both military and civil. The government was getting into business in a bigger way. Acquisition was being used to stimulate economic recovery; including putting people back to work.

In addition to increased involvement with industry, there was a growing awareness that the government needed to find new ways of dealing with size or mass, both in acquiring large amounts of equipment and material, and in contracting major projects. Massive engineering projects, such as the building of the Hoover and Grand Coulee Dams, preceded the need for the mass production of vast amounts of war material and weapon systems. It was difficult to contract for such large projects. Moreover, no one company could do such projects alone. Such major construction projects required a "consortium" of firms, each with complementary capabilities. In some cases, it was necessary for the government to pick contractors who could do the job, and forego competition; some firms were just not able to meet the demands of time and scope of effort that were required.

Later, Donald Nelson, Head of the War Production Board, referred to this kind of approach when he spoke to leaders of the business press in 1942. He suggested " . . . a means of doing this great job of conversion through giving prime contracts to pools of operators who may get together and pool their facilities."5 In the same address, he also advanced the broad use of subcontractors as a way of increasing efficiency and production, rather than relying on the prevailing notion of doing everything in-house. Teaming, in contrast to the use of single entrepreneurs, was the preferred method for the future in dealing with technological complexity, size, and mass production.

These phenomena led to revisions in the ways in which contracting


was approached. In the usual "lump sum" contract, awarded by competitive bids, every bolt and nut would be specified beforehand. Blueprints and specifications, defining exactly what the successful bidder would be expected to do, were routine peacetime business practices. The task of the corporation was to develop efficiencies in production that would make doing business with the government profitable. But the uncertainty embedded in large and technologically complex contracts, and the uncertainties of time and quantity, suggested that that kind of contract form was too cumbersome.

Thus, the most common contract was the one in which a fixed-fee was added to the cost of the contract." [T]here were often great numbers of changes to a contract during its life, and this contracting device permitted the contractor to recover his expenses and still reach a profit . . . . the fee was either a specified sum or a percentage of costs."6 This kind of contract inevitably led to higher levels of government audit and management of the contractor.

The increasing tension in the world, and the growing awareness in the latter part of the 1930s that it might be necessary to come to the aid of Britain and France, prompted still more initiatives which relaxed, even further, other contract provisions for negotiation and advertisement. The government simply did not have enough time to apply the careful acquisition procedures that worked in less critical times.

Beginning in 1938, the government began to place so-called 'educational orders' with industry to teach them about manufacturing complex items of war. This process, authorized by the Educational Orders Act of June 16, 1938, represented an exception from competitive bidding and was limited to firms that were judged to be large enough to be able to support and manage large production contracts in time of war. While not a totally new idea--it had been proposed several times as a way of supplementing the limited capacity of government arsenals to produce munitions--it had never had enough support. There was too much concern by the Congress about favoritism in providing educational orders to certain firms.

This program began with a limited budget. But within a year,


as Hitler annexed other countries, the President called for its expansion and Congress ultimately appropriated some $50 million dollars that included funding for studies on production and the purchase and storage of special production equipment. The educational order program, as an exception to the competitive bidding process, opened the way for still other means of procurement that could be used to respond to the increasing demands of the time. Thus, the adoption of negotiated contracts for a diverse range of military and government procurement was a significant step away from the carefully phased contracting associated with bidding.

The War Years (1940-1945)

As Germany began to push deeper to the east, and as England and France became ever more engaged in the war, the United States initiated a series of actions in 1940 and early 1941 that set the stage for the highly productive effort that would formally begin with the Declaration of War in December 1941. The effect of these political and legislative actions expanded the capacity of the industrial base, set in place the Selective Service System, and represented the final push toward an active participation in the war. And while these actions were done under the guise of assistance to our Allies, the imminence of our own necessary participation was growing stronger.

In March 1940, for example, Congress passed the Multiple Awards Act through which the three lowest bids on any particular contract could be accepted by the government, rather than just the low bid; this had the effect of building up the industrial base by expanding the number of contractors who were doing business with the government. In June, the Speed-Up Act allowed the government to provide up to 30 percent of the final cost of a contract in order that the contractor could begin to make the capital investments that were necessary to purchase land and equipment, or erect facilities. The Act also eliminated the requirement for competitive bidding for certain items. Little by little, the slow and careful practices of peacetime procurement were being set aside because of the pending emergency.

The President and the military departments were openly setting


out goals of military production. The requirements for 50,000 aircraft an extraordinary goal in its time given the limited production that had up to this time been the rule in that industry, was advanced, as was the size of the naval and maritime fleet that would ultimately lead to the two-ocean Navy.

Structural changes in war management were also taking place. The Office of Emergency Management, one of whose tasks was managing and clearing Army and Navy contracts, gave way to the Office of Production Management, which in turn was supplanted ultimately by the War Production Board. The volume of new contracts, and the pace with which they had to be processed, called for an ever increasing centralization and simplification of management; this was the point that was not reached in World War I, and that Baruch and others advocated, that is, centralization and control of the national economy. This was done under the sense of a 'threatened national emergency,' a strategy adopted by the White House to justify further activity in war production. The Department of the Treasury, a key architect and manager of procurement, issued Treasury Directive 5000, which allowed the government to contract.

In August, the President met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The result was formulated in the Atlantic Charter, a broad ranging document which gave still further impetus for the United States to engage in actions to support its Allies. The following month the Congress passed, though just barely, the nation's first Selective Service Act.

In March 1941, Congress passed the Lend Lease Act, which supplied much-needed materiel, equipment, ships, and planes to our Allies in return for rights to certain bases, and with the presumption that the cost of the equipment would he repaid at a later time. Again, the effect was to enlarge and energize the industrial base. Each new set of contracts brought that much more capacity to the Arsenal of Democracy.

Finally, when Congress passed the War Powers Act in December of 1941, the President issued Executive Order 9001, which allowed agencies of the government to contract without advertising, taking bids, requiring bonds, and other safeguards usually stipulated by the government. Only contracts with a percentage of cost clause were banned.


Acquisition was centralized since there seemed to be no other way to support the military strategy of fighting on two fronts, and thus supplying huge amounts of equipment, than to control the means of production. Executive Order 9024, issued on January 16, 1942, gave full responsibility for contracting to the War Production Board, though the War, Navy, and Army Departments had the power to do the actual procuring. And while there were problems, particularly in allocating scarce materials (steel, for example), or in preventing hoarding or selective stockpiling of certain items, or in adjudicating preferences in production, it was a system that generally worked and produced agreements between the WPB and the services.

The Congress monitored the acquisition and contracting processes, especially through the House Naval Affairs Committee, and the Truman Commission. They were especially looking for contractors who might be prone to gouging the government and taking excessive profits. While they found some instances of wrongdoing, the general spirit of patriotism and united support for the war limited that kind of activity. The Congress did pass the Renegotiation Act in 1943 as a way of allowing both parties to a contract to change the terms of the contract; this was especially useful to the government in that original costs of producing some materials or systems had not been able to be done with much accuracy. Often the contractor found with experience that the job could be done at a lesser cost, and the Renegotiation Act made the task of more accurately establishing the contract much easier.

This general process of the evolution of acquisition systems and practices in the interwar and war years may be further enhanced by some anecdotal descriptions of experiences in shipbuilding, armaments and ordnance, and aircraft.


In designing the Liberty Ship, thought was given to minimum cost, rapidity of construction, and simplicity of operation. In order to get engines for the Liberties in the numbers needed, a less advanced type of propulsion machinery is used. . . . Extensive use is made of welding to save time and steel. Assembly work


is possible by a modification of fabrication methods. Delay in procurement is reduced by centralizing purchases of materials and equipment.7

The United States has a venerable and notable tradition, albeit an uneven one, in shipbuilding that began in the colonial period and advanced during the nineteenth century as wooden hulls gave way to iron and steel hulls, including the armor plating of naval combat vessels. The United States shipbuilding industry, expanded during the nineteenth century for combat and naval vessels, but activity at the commercial level declined. England was still preeminent in the world in shipbuilding, and on the whole the U.S. industry languished until the outbreak of World War I when continued sinking of vessels by German submarines provided an incentive to a rebirth of interest and production, an effort that was short-lived and almost immediately and precipitously declined after the war's end.

The government recognized the need for an industry that would build a merchant fleet able to be a more rigorous participant in the international economy, and not incidentally develop the capacity, to build naval and combat vessels. As a strategy of doing that, the Congress passed the Merchant Marine Act in 1920 through which government loans were provided to encourage shipbuilding. The provisions of this particular legislation were somewhat paltry, though with amended legislation later in the decade, it provided some impetus to the industry. This surge would later be negatively affected by the Depression.

These fledgling efforts were augmented in time by the establishment of the United States Maritime Commission in 1938, under a revised Merchant Marine Act. "The purpose of the Act was to provide a merchant fleet adequate to carry a large proportion of our foreign trade in peacetime and yet be convertible to an invaluable auxiliary to our naval and military forces in war."8 The Act provided a strategic


view in that it specified the "building of fifty merchant ships per year for ten years and for creating standard designs of modern cargo vessels which would incorporate the utmost in operating economy."9

This program provided design specifications, construction of new shipyards, standards of production, and a workforce; in other words, an industrial base capacity for responding to the procurement requirements that would eventually become apparent with the declaration of war against the Axis Powers.

The Commission had an immediate impact. In 1939, a year after its establishment, and with the goals of the Merchant Marine Act, "output was over twenty times that of 1933. In 1940 the building program of 50 ships per year was doubled and then doubled again. . ."10 The number of Liberty ships produced in 1942, approximately 271, was doubled again in 1943.11 This basic success, essential initially to the Lend Lease Program, and ultimately to our own efforts to supply materiel and equipment on several fronts and on two oceans, could not have been achieved without the prescience of the planners, and the wisdom of the Merchant Marine Act; it gave the United States a leg up on what it needed for meeting the demands of the War.

But, if the development of the merchant marine shipbuilding industry, motivated as it was initially by trade and economic policy, was a success, there was no consistent policy for the development of war fighting vessels, the ships of the Navy. Inadequate budgets and treaty limitations, because of a fear of war, led to severe limitations of the size and capability of the Navy; other countries, such as Great Britain and Japan, were similarly affected by the 1921 Disarmament Conference. In 1934, Japan indicated that it would no longer be bound by terms of the agreement, thus freeing the United States to reconsider its own position and begin to look realistically at protecting its shores. The lessons drawn from the expansion of the merchant fleet (standard design and formats, elimination of features which did not contribute to the overall efficiency of war fighting, training of workers, introduction of new techniques in welding, broad use of subcontractors and suppliers, use of both private and government


yards, and so on) served the Navy beginning in 1934, 2 years before the formal treaty collapsed. The establishment of the Naval Act of 1934 provided a base national policy that would initially provide for modest growth, but would eventually come to fruition in the concept of the 'two-ocean Navy' in 1940.

This dual-track system, one that reached for economic and trade opportunities through the Maritime Commission, and one that was directed toward building up naval combat power, worked in tandem to build a formidable asset in combating the Axis.

World War II was a war of superlatives when it came to contracting and procurement; 'most' became the adjective of choice. It was a war that involved the most money, produced the most materiel and equipment, bought the most things, and expanded the industrial base and the economy to unprecedented degrees. That was particularly true when it came to the production of the highly complex naval fighting ships, which required extraordinary technical skills in the elaborate construction of these huge machines of war. The necessity for speed, armor, maneuverability, sustainability, and so on were all unique to this effort. As naval historian R.H Connery notes, "Between July 1, 1940 and June 30, 1945, the Navy added 10 battleships, 18 large aircraft carriers, 9 small aircraft carriers, 110 escort carriers, 2 large cruisers, 10 heavy, cruisers, 33 light cruisers, 358 destroyers, 504 destroyer escorts, 211 submarines, and 82,028 landing craft of all types."12

In addition, thousands of cargo vessels were also produced. This extraordinary production of vessels was done by nearly tripling the number of shipyards in the United States. "On December 7, 1941, 8 navy yards and 24 private yards could build large combat or merchant vessels. By the end of the war, 99 more yards appeared along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts, as well as on the Great Lakes and major inland rivers."13 This increase in productive capacity was largely funded by the government in order to minimize the risk to business; the United States needed ships, and was willing to subsidize the industry by creating the shipyards, which, in time, would employ more workers than any other war industry.


The government controlled the shipbuilding industry just as it did other sectors of the economy. It controlled what would be built, and the specifications to be used; these were often drawn up hastily to respond to new requirements, not all of which were well developed, if the following anecdote is at all illustrative:

(Andrew Jackson) Higgins was asked to bid on a Navy design. He scrawled across their plan, "This is lousy." Higgins had a better idea for a light, maneuverable boat with a protected propeller that did not easily foul in the shallows. Show us, said the Navy. Higgins took over an entire block of New Orleans' Polyminia Street, set up floodlights, put machines and people to work around the clock. Fourteen days later, with the last paint applied as the freight flatcars clacked east, nine Higgins boats rolled into Norfolk, Virginia. The Navy would use 20,094 of the homely floaters before the war ended.14

The government controlled the hours worked, the number of employees, the wages, the factory floor, and all aspects of the contracting. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract was the instrument most widely used; negotiations, if done at all, were perfunctory; competition was ephemeral; in short, there was too much to be done, in too short a period of time, and against a formidable set of enemies. The procedures that the Congress had so recently imposed on acquisition were easily put aside to get on with getting the things that were necessary to prosecute and end the war. Contracts were let in bundles without protracted periods of negotiation. The government had a task to do; business could help; and the marriage was quickly formed without much of a courtship. The War Production Board, The Office of War Mobilization, and the Navy Maritime Commission all worked to exercise this control, though not always in concert.

And while ships were being built, and parenthetically being sunk by German submarines or in battle, they were able to be replaced in increasingly shortened timeframes. This was due not only to a proliferation of shipyards, but also to new techniques in which the ship was not built from the bottom up only, but parts were fabricated in the shops of subcontractors, transported to the shipyards, and


lifted into place by huge cranes and other machinery. The time required from keel laying and launching and outfitting was reduced for a merchant ship, for example, ". . . from 240 days required in January of 1942 to an average of 52.6 days in January of 1943."15 These construction techniques also reduced the man-hours required to build a ship to about half of what they had been in 1942. Similar reductions in the time required to build the more complicated warships of the Navy were also realized: construction of destroyers dropped from 23 months in 1940 to 6.5 months in 1942.

As military strategy changed, or perhaps more accurately, as requirements and new operations changed, so also did the requirements for contracting. Fortunately, some of these plans seem extraordinarily useful to logisticians and contracting officers. For example, the Granite Plan of January 13, 1944 from US PAC FLEET, developed an estimate of the number of naval craft that would be required in the Pacific campaigns. The plan, as a whole, was an extensive island-by-island strategy, one of whose features was an extensive list of vessels that would be required in each of the individual operations. "It will be used as a basis for acquiring and preparing forces; and for providing means for their logistic support."16 The plan estimated, as an example, that it would require 203 LSTs and 4566 LVT (cargo) vessels to carry out the plan; this was invaluable guidance for contracting officers and their work with industry to produce these necessary assets. It is also an illustration of changing requirements and the need for flexibility in contracting.

There may be a tendency to concentrate on the procurement, or acquisition, of the ship, the end-item only. This is to minimize the complexity of the relationship between the prime contractor and all the tiers of sub-contractors, suppliers, vendors, and the like who are part of the mosaic that supplies the thousands of items that make up a ship: steel and iron; lumber, cork, and rubber; fittings, fixtures, valves; electrical and mechanical equipment and machinery, brass, lead, zinc; paint, insulation, tiling, covering; kitchen and galley equipment; navigational and direction-finding equipment; safety and fire fighting equipment; and, in combat ships, equipment in the


form of guns, or materiel in the form of munitions. Prime contractors were allowed a great deal of latitude, even within the highly controlled systems sponsored by the War Production Board, and others, to procure and bring together the elements that would be needed to meet the highly synchronized requirements for naval and other maritime support.

In many cases, while prime contractors were creating huge enterprises, not all of which would survive after the war, other parts of industry were using former peacetime capacities to support the burgeoning naval industry. Steel production techniques and plants established for the automobile industry were converted to producing steel plates for shipbuilding. At another level, large numbers of new businesses were being created to support the prime contractors. Hundreds of entrepreneurs were busy creating or expanding their operations to meet the intricate and multiplying needs of the industry. It was estimated that some 1,200 subcontractors existed in the early 1940s to support the 99 shipyards that were producing ships for trade or war fighting.

Another challenge facing the Navy and the prosecution of the war in the Pacific was the building of naval bases. The general principles of size and complexity described earlier made it unlikely that these bases could be built using normal contracting methods. Conditions were worsening and typical methods of contracting, however reasonable, were not expeditious enough for the technology demands, the sheer size of presumed production runs, and the ambiguity and chaotic nature of world conditions. There were risks in this process, which the Congress was concerned about; but the government had little choice but to assume them. While this approach was initially adopted for the Navy, it was not long before it was applied to aircraft manufacturing also. And while there was still some sentiment for normal bidding practices, there was just too much momentum building to adopt only one general method of contracting in the fractious environment of the time. The Congress was of a mind to allow this flexibility. Consider, for example, the following:

When the Navy was contemplating the construction of naval air bases in the Pacific, they adopted this strategy: there would be no bidding on the island contracts. The Navy would choose the contractors it believed competent to do pioneering work under


stress of emergency, then pay them on a cost-plus-fixed fee basis . . . . since speed and economy were the essence of the undertaking, it would be impossible to produce complete plans of the projects in advance . . . . without detailed plans in hand, obtaining competitive bids from contractors would not be feasible.17
Army Ordnance
Here is a brief synopsis of our tank program during a quarter century:

1919-1935 33 tanks
1935-1940 1,000 tanks
1940-1945 87,619 tanks18

Tanks and guns. These two words may aptly and succinctly describe the central war fighting acquisition issues associated with the Army. The tank, including all types and forms of motor vehicles (tanks, jeeps, motorcycles, trucks, and so on), armored or not, and guns, including both the small personal arms of the infantryman, as well as artillery, and the munitions that are used in all of these weapons, fall under the general category of ordnance.

Many of the interwar themes, low budgets, and little research or development, for example, also affected the sprawling ordnance interests. Even the recognition that the tank and other vehicles would be critical in future wars was not enough to move ordnance programs forward. There was no special legislation, such as the Merchant Marine Act, or the Air Corps Act, to serve the development of ordnance. Through the arsenal system, and on its proving grounds, the Army retained a limited capacity to produce and test ordnance, and to proceed with research and development activities. On the other hand, the private automotive industry was a vibrant


and strong part of the economy and of the industrial system of the United States; it was state-of-the-art in all respects.

The Army contracted with industry to produce trucks and other vehicles for the Army, while what few tanks that were being manufactured were done at the Rock Island Arsenal. The Army leveraged its small budget, and the few officers and engineers available to work with professionals from the automotive and railroad industries, those with experience in mass production of heavy equipment, helped to study the making of tanks. These meetings also included people expert in tractors, aircraft engines, and the oil and rubber industries. The expertise of this core, both civilian and military, allowed the Army to make extraordinary strides in the construction of vehicles when the war got closer. Indeed, the anticipation of this industrial segment was such that the first heavy tank was actually delivered on December 8, 1941--the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.19

The limited number of tanks produced, many of them one of a kind, provided experience in design and manufacturing. There was the general belief that the mass production systems used in manufacturing cars would be easily adaptable to making tanks, a vehicle with armor plate! While this was generally true, there was a good bit of design change during production. Sometimes this had an effect on components, parts, and eventually maintenance. One had to remember that:

In a heavy tank, there are 40,000 individual pieces. Into a tank go steel, nickel, brass, copper, aluminum, rubber, leather, glass, cotton, plastic, tin, lead, and many other products. In its skeleton are rolled plates, castings, forgings, rivets, bolts, wire, tubing, ball and roller bearings, gears, electric motors, instruments, batteries, and valves.20

Despite the assembly lines and skilled workforce already in the robust automobile and truck industry, it was necessary for the government


to assume the risk of building plants specifically for the production of tanks; industry was not willing to assume this risk. Construction of the first of these plants was done as early as the summer of 1940 outside Detroit, Michigan. This allowed the Army to contract for tank production, without interfering with the production of automobiles for civilian consumption. The Army was able to take its plans and blueprints to the new factories, make sure that problems were worked out, and that new models were tested during production stages, even while new models were being designed. It was a model of cooperation between the military and industry.

And, when it later became apparent that there needed to be a sharp increase in production, the Army had to decide whether to select a few large experienced contractors to do all the work, and rely on suppliers and other support organizations with whom they had worked in the past, or to buy parts and components and even whole finished products from hundreds of firms. It chose the former option as one that would be more reliable, and also one that would not require a steep increase in the management of the program by a burgeoning government bureaucracy that might not be able to deliver the products in time. The experienced firms were able to produce a highly complex machine, rely on their suppliers and vendors for quality components and parts, and over time save money in labor costs as they learned efficiencies based on the large contracts.

Advertising as part of the contract procedure, detailed specifications, and in general the notion of competition, were not amenable to the pressures of time that everyone was feeling. In January 1942, for example, more than $2 billion worth of tank-automotive contracts were placed with industry, an increase roughly on the order of 2,000 percent over what had been spent in 1940.21 This was not a time for business as usual. Some evidence suggests that in constructing this complex mechanism, the tank, there was no single manufacturer who would have been able to do it all.

The requirement for large quantities of steel, and for engines, and for rubber emerged as bottlenecks. The Navy needed steel for ships; the Army needed it for tanks. Engines were needed for ships, planes, and tanks. And rubber, rationed for civilian use, was necessary


for the thousands of trucks, jeeps and other vehicles used, and for airplane tires. These crises points were resolved on the one hand through adjudication by the War Production Board, and other such commissions and organizations, and on the other by the ingenuity of contracting officers and engineers who found firms often with disparate, or only generally-related experiences, who could do the job. For example, to solve the problem of a shortage of armor plating, a contract was let with an automobile supply firm that made springs in peacetime; it coordinated the necessary cutting, hardening, straightening, and machining of the armor plate by a group of large and small facilities, including brick companies, stove manufacturers, and hardware firms. While it was expensive, it did produce the steel on time.22 Time was often a more critical dimension than money, or any other consideration.

Research and design was done continuously as military campaigns unfolded during planning stages and new requirements were generated. The cooperation of contractors, designers, Army testing and evaluation at Army proving grounds, and production engineers and managers allowed for flexibility. The Army successfully put to rest Henry Ford's dictum, "You can have any color car you want, as long as it is black;" flexibility and change allowed producers to respond more accurately to the needs of the fighting man. It was not merely arbitrary change that was taking place, but change brought on by scarcity, of materials, by improvements in doing things faster and cheaper, and by changes demonstrated by battle use, training, testing, or new ideas.

In addition to the acquisition of the vehicles themselves, it was also necessary to contract for all of the equipment that had to be installed; in turn, this required contracting for new infrastructure (plants to outfit the tank-body with communications gear, armament, seats, and the like), transportation to ports, maintenance, and spare parts. It was estimated that some 540,000 separate automotive spare parts were necessary for the growing inventory of tanks and other vehicles. By 1945, the Arsenal of Democracy had produced nearly 86,000 tanks, more than 2 million trucks, and 123,000 other combat vehicles, all of which had to have spare parts, and other


maintenance items. The intricate marriage of logistics and acquisition was never more apparent than in this 4-year period (1941-1945) and in this particular industrial sector. Its success was due to the seeds of cooperation sown in the 1930s when, despite low budgets and lack of any dramatic interest by the Congress or the Administration, the Army worked with the automotive industry, to plan, and ultimately produce the ground mobility that was integral to battle field success in North Africa, and throughout the European Campaign in general.

The Army Ordnance Department was also responsible for the billion bullets, the guns, the artillery tubes, the cannon, and other ordnance used in battle. The amounts produced were staggering: 574 million rounds of minor-caliber ammunition, 20-mm., 37-mm., and 40-mm.; 222 million rounds of medium-caliber ammunition, 57-mm. to 105-mm; 29 million rounds of major-caliber ammunition, 4.5 in. to 240-mm.; 76 million rounds of mortar ammunition, 60-mm. and 81-mm.; 90 million grenades; 26 million mines; 45 million signals and flares; 21 million practice bombs; and approximately 4.5 million tons of various types of high-explosive, chemical and armor-piercing bombs.23

The basic infrastructure to produce large quantities of munitions, the plants and factories, the machine tools, and skilled labor was lacking at the beginning of the war. The acquisition challenge was initially to create such an infrastructure, in itself a daunting task. But the job of building the plants needed for loading and components, powder works, and chemical works facilities was compounded by the larger question, logistical in nature, of how much would be needed, what kind of things to produce, and when and where the munitions would be needed. While there were some measures that could be used for planning purposes, these rules-of-thumb were often hostage to the unpredictability of the resistance of the enemy. How long, for example, would it take to conquer Iwo Jima, or Sicily; how many and what kinds of munitions would be needed; and so on? Because of the volatility and unpredictability of requirements, the ammunition industry established two control methods. One control was a forecast


of all the end items that would be needed in the field, while the other was a planning tool through which all the components, and therefore the need to procure things at the vendor and supplier and subcontractor level, were worked out. These systems were used to allocate munitions among the services, and also to procure vital parts necessary for the production of the ammunition. They allowed for dealing with either rapid escalation of production, or for an equally rapid reduction, often within weeks, of the production of particular items.

The problem of production of sufficient munitions was further compounded by the absence of any significant stockpile at the beginning of the war; scarce budgets, common to the interwar period, did not allow for an inventory other than for modest training requirements. The variety of the types of munitions, from small arms to as many as five sets of bombs (e.g. fragmentation, or armor piercing, etc.), each with numbers of subsets (e.g., 4000 lb.) created still other problems. The final problem faced in the contracting procedure was the availability of raw materials, discussed in later sections of this chapter.

As it was doing with tanks and other vehicles, the Army used the skills and experience of the 'old-line' munitions companies to help in the expansion of the industry, including the construction of new plants, expansion of the supplier base, and the training of workers skilled enough to manage and work in a highly dangerous and volatile environment. "The Army. . . construct(ed) . . . 25 plants for loading, 21 plants for making high explosives and smokeless powder, and 12 for manufacturing the chemical components of explosives. All of these plants were operated under private contract."24 Again, as we saw in the production of tanks, firms with scant or no experience in the field of ammunition production, such as soft drink, breakfast food, soap, cosmetics and similar firms participated in building up this industry, segment.

Much of the management was decentralized which accommodated rapid decision making, and led to many economies. Indeed, as we have seen in other segments, there was a great deal of cost-consciousness, not merely to avoid taking excessive profits, but to


reduce costs by improving efficiencies of operation. Production was constantly on the rise, while costs were declining as managers found ever new ways to produce things more economically. In many cases, manufacturers voluntarily renegotiated contracts in order to reflect their lower costs.

One day in November 1941, (Bernard) Taylor noted a harried congregation of high military brass outside his plant. Then he was called in by his boss, who declared, "You're in the glider business." Taylor and his workers swung into action with steel tubing, wood, fabric, paint and wooden wings. By the spring of 1943, they had turned out 750 Waco CG-4A gliders that would be towed behind C-47 transport planes, the silent landing craft for men and weapons in the farm fields behind the Normandy beaches.25


The expansion of the aircraft industry, during World War II, and by implication the acquisition of the infrastructure as well as the equipment itself, was perhaps the most dramatic development of the period. Large shipbuilding operations were not new; mass production of ordnance items was well established since the middle of the nineteenth century; but the manufacture of airplanes in production quantities had never been attempted in the United States. When one considers that the size of the Army Air Force in 1939 was about 400 aircraft, compared to a German combat force of some 4,000 to 10,000, and that some 231,000 aircraft of all types were to be produced in the period between January 1940, and December 1945, the building of the United States air arm was nothing short of astounding.26

On February 28, 1908, the Signal Corps of the Army Department entered into a $25,000 contract with the Wright Brothers of Dayton, Ohio, to acquire a "flying machine."27 What the Army Department


envisaged in its contract would come to full fruition during World War II. Indeed, and as far as contracting goes, its significance was that in addition to the fact that the aircraft was to be built according to government specifications, with delivery on a mandated date, it is also perceived to be the first contract to contain an 'incentive clause' penalizing the contractor for failure to meet specifications, or on the other hand, rewarding them for exceeding specifications. The risk fell flatly on the contractor.28

The development of the flying machine, and its use in World War I, both as a surveillance and combat weapon system, was not lost on war planners and others. Even during World War I, the production of aircraft was substantial; during a 21-month period, nearly 10,000 aircraft were produced. But the Armistice "reduced the aviation industry to chaos. Within months, more than a hundred million dollars worth of contracts was cancelled. Ninety percent of the industry underwent liquidation."29 This was a devastating and sobering blow to the nascent aircraft industry. The rapid demobilization, the drying up of orders, and the canceling of contracts sent a strong caution throughout the industry that it should be wary of relying on military business. But what other customers did it have for this exciting and revolutionary technology?

The decade of the 1920s saw a series of initiatives through which the fledgling private sector of the industry attempted to find a niche for itself, largely through commercial ventures such as passenger transportation and mail service. Meanwhile, the military was trying to maintain its interest in the field of aviation. But with little funding, and that largely for flying and operations, there was little left for either research and development or the purchase of new equipment. And, the air fleet was aging. A report issued in 1925 gives a good picture of the effect of Federal programs:

The Air Services have no standard procurement policy. They have not sufficiently recognized the principle of proprietary rights. They have not spent their money with a view to continuity of production in the industry. They have constantly competed


with the industry. They have spent a large part of their appropriations attempting to do the things that ought to be left to private capital, all with the result that the aircraft industry is languishing. . . . The decline in industrial aircraft is due not only to a lack of orders but also to a lack of a continuing policy . . ."30

Overall, there was a sense that the United States needed to develop professional air services in the Army and Navy that would be like those in the military of other countries, France, England, and Germany. Furthermore, the sense of air adventure stimulated by the flight of Charles Lindbergh to Paris served to create a national consciousness of air power and create a climate for the development of the industry.

Shortly after this report, the Congress passed the Air Corps Act of 1926; its intent was to stimulate the private sector while also improving the Army air service. One of the sections, Section 10, was critical to acquisition policy in the sense that it described design and construction criteria, encouraged expansion of the industry, provided incentives and protection for creative design work, and allowed the Government the opportunity to secure quality aircraft at a reasonable cost.31 Furthermore, the military departments were authorized to make use of a design competition in contracting for aircraft, parts, or accessories. The act required the advertisement of such a competition and the publication of detailed specifications of the kind and quantity of aircraft desired. A formal merit system, expressed in percentage points, was to be applied to the designs submitted.32 The impetus of this legislation, and the acquisition and contract initiatives it put in place, cannot be underestimated. It laid the essential groundwork for the incredible production activities of World War II through its rigorous and derailed specifications and procedures, its rewarding of research and development, its fostering of the building of an infrastructure, and its working relationship and partnership with the private sector. Ultimately, not only were the production numbers astounding, but the quality of the aircraft, and


the continued development of component parts, constantly improved over the course of the war.

During the 1930s as the imminence of war in Europe grew, and as the United States began to recover from the Great Depression, aircraft manufacturers were still reluctant to invest too fully in plants or production capacity; the post-World War I lessons were still fresh in their minds. However, the continued urging of the US military and the possibility of orders from foreign governments did attract their attention. The numbers arguing for expansion were there, and most of the major airframe manufacturers, Boeing, Lockheed, Douglas, and so on, responded by increasing capacity and floor space in their plants. They knew about the war in Europe, and the need for aircraft. Soon foreign governments, the French and then the British, began to place large orders for aircraft with American manufacturers so that by 1939, orders for some 36,000 air planes provided a solid base for increasing capacity, and for developing the techniques and relationships with subcontractors that would be vital to production success in the future.

One of the general conditions in the industry was that there was a tendency to build airplanes one at a time; thus, there was an inherent tension between mass production and design development. The latter was constantly shifting as the science and technology of airframes, engines, and other components improved. It was also a field in which inveterate tinkerers and inventors worked at the edges of technology in order to go higher and faster. This played havoc with manufacturers who in considering the need to produce large numbers of aircraft wanted to stabilize the design, much as Henry Ford had finalized his decision on the Model T. In considering the manufacturing of aircraft, Ford thought that he would be able to make as many as 1,000 aircraft a week, if only he could 'freeze' the design as he did on cars. But with the turbulence in continuous evolution of technology and design, this was hard to do. The Congress, as part of the appropriations process, sometimes intruded by setting its own requirements, often contrary to the needs of the Army, thus, compounding the problem. But, in the end, ways were found, often by standardizing components without compromising new designs, that let them solve the problems of mass production while still 'pushing the envelope' of technology.


In 1940 when President Roosevelt set a goal of producing 50,000 aircraft a year, and funds were appropriated in large amounts, severe problems developed for acquisition. Many of the carefully developed procedures relating to advertising and competition had to be set aside simply because of the shortage of time, and the necessity to get on with the work of production. The commercial aircraft companies, unencumbered with the Army's contracting procedures in producing aircraft for Great Britain and France, argued for flexibility. Ad hoc management became the rule of thumb. Things constantly changed during the war, despite the effort to manage the chaos through a variety of commissions and boards that represented the best minds and agents of both the military and private sector who attempted to cope with the huge increase in the amount of producers, including large numbers of subcontractors, the evolution of new requirements, the development of technology, and the constant pressure of time.

The Congress which had not been very cooperative during most of the 1930s requiring the Army Air Force to conform to existing legislation on 'buy-America', or wages, or profits, not only appropriated huge sums of money in 1939 and beyond, but also gave the AAF great discretion, abolishing restrictions on advertising and negotiation.

Technology development never stopped. And it was not only the main frame of the aircraft that was undergoing change. A great deal of development was in discrete areas such as engines, propellers, radios, compasses and navigational equipment, landing gear, deicing equipment, safety systems, landing systems, gyropilots and the like. The cadre of subcontractors, suppliers, and other vendors who were already working with the industry became energetic and cooperative team members working with the prime contractor under large and complex contracts. While the Army let contracts for new planes, they were implicitly 'sub-contracting' for development and production of all of these systems, including armaments, that increased the reliability of the aircraft, provided additional safety for the air crew, and ultimately led to increased lethality and assurance that the missions would be able to be successfully completed. Cost was again not an overriding consideration.

Furthermore, the notion of cooperation extended to sharing


what would now be termed proprietary information. All the major companies in Southern California were facing the same problems--manpower, womanpower, material, subcontracting, production planning, upgrading of personnel into more important jobs to spread out the know-how.33 The trade and manufacturing 'secrets' became the common property of all the companies, and the basis for planning of research, purchasing, design, hiring, production scheduling and the like. Technical reports, drawings, models, anything that could help, was shared. This was, after all, a pioneering industry and companies reacted in that spirit; they would cross this frontier together. In addition to ideas, they shared material; if one company ran short and production would be hindered, another would help by making something for another.

It still took time to do things. There were still months, in some instances, between design and completion. "Even under wartime pressure it had taken 25 months to build the factory, design and build the volume tooling, line up the subcontractors and materials, and brig the flow of component parts together into one B-29."34 And then there were the changes that came as a result of testing, training, and especially combat. Both the initial manufacture, and the retrofitting, required constant modifications of the contract. And the acquisition systems had to remain flexible enough throughout the war to accommodate aircraft production.

Acquisition Dynamics in WWII

With this background, we now change emphasis to the industrial lessons of World War II. These require understanding more than just the facts and figures of production or the details of contracting. They also require seeing the dynamic logic behind the overall war production effort, and the specifics of industrial problems at all levels.


The strategic thinker will view wartime production in a systems context--to view the interactions, delays, and feedbacks between one acquisition sector and another. Further, to understand the acquisition of munitions, one needs to first consider the production sectors "upstream" from the final weapon systems--the sectors that produce the ships and aircraft and vehicles and ammunition.

Insights emerge to show why certain factors--such as machine tool production--are particularly stressed in the early days of a buildup while others experience their major dynamics later. in the Second World War, shortages for capital equipment had to be corrected before munitions could be produced in quantity. The munitions production caused raw material shortages, and these preceded labor shortages. In fact, shortages will always cause further shortages through a "pipeline" dynamic: Rising shipments reduce inventories which not only need replenishment but expansion to now higher levels consistent with new higher demands.

Natural differences in industry dynamics become apparent. Textiles, steel, and vehicles-0-which were needed in large quantities before and after the war--responded differently than aluminum, magnesium, and ammunition which were not. The US shipbuilding industry was expanded tremendously during the war. It suffered later because of its residual excess capacity while the auto industry thrived after the war. Energy needs, being basic to all other industries, experienced different dynamics from the industries energy serviced.

A systems view will also show why a large, prolonged war can results in subsequent economic growth while a small, short war tends to lead to economic recession. Such are the issues of interest here.

The Environment

The production dynamics of World War II must, however, be seen in perspective. The state of this union and that of other nations, plus the timing of events, have much to do with the industry dynamics.


All lessons learned from the 1940s will not apply to a war occurring when there is less build-up time after a period of economic excess, rather than depression.

The nation had experienced a decade in the 1930s during which industrial capacity had decayed. Technological advancement had been retarded, investment in plant and equipment--and in product development--had been small. Building up to wartime production meant starting from a lower industrial base than would be the case at other times such as Vietnam in the 1960s or Desert Storm in the 1990s.

Yet the United States was allowed an unusually long build- up time before full wartime capacities were needed, for we did not officially enter the war until the late 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. By that time Europe had been at war for 2 years and we could not only see possible future involvement, but through the lend-lease program were in effect building up our own capacity without being at war ourselves. Clearly not all our wars will start with such warning time. In an approximate $100 billion 1940 economy, lend-lease represented almost $40 billion of output mostly over a 2-year period. Lend-lease not only built up our capacity, but also helped end the depression.

The attack on Pearl Harbor had specific implications for several industries. Rubber from the east was no longer accessible and a synthetic industry had to emerge. Royal Dutch Petroleum--the world's largest provider--lost oil access to the East Indies, and Texas oil had to take up the slack to supply the allies. Textile imports from Japan were lost, amplifying the early shortages for wartime clothing and canvas. Perhaps most important, the steel and shipbuilding industries faced sudden shortfalls as the Pacific Fleet was severely damaged. The building of some 12,000 ships resulted in many dynamics, one of which was that electrical power generation expansion ashore was virtually stopped while ship powered generator capacity expanded. The American automobile industry had thrived during the 1920s, and it could be converted, with some effort, to munitions production. The steel industry was available for conversion to defense systems. On the other hand, there was only a small aircraft


industry--air travel not yet popular35 --so the aluminum and magnesium industries had to be developed from virtual non-existence to large scale production.

The weapons industry was minimal, yet an important difference between World War II and any future wars must be kept in mind. The WWII weapons were reasonably compatible with non-military systems of the day. Ships and aircraft were more like commercial systems, so factories that produced commercial goods then had better chances of being converted to wartime production than they would, say, in the 1970s or 1980s. The 1940 mass production processes, for example, lent themselves to "Rosie the Riveter" conversion into factories that could mass-produce aircraft and ships and vehicles. Many weapons of year 2010 will be less likely to be produced in ways similar to the commercial products of 2000. The mobilization process will be far different than mobilization in 1942, though the electronics and software industries of the future seem exceptions, and should be reasonably compatible with military needs. Not so in the non-electronic portions of industries making vehicles, aircraft, ships, submarines, missiles, "smart" bombs, and even clothing and medicines for a chemical/biological war.

Finally, the willingness of the population to sacrifice for a war effort was far greater in 1942 than it is likely to be in near future wars. First, there was real threat that invasion from Japan and even Germany was possible, so sacrifice seemed appropriate to protect one's future. We do not think, today, of the possibility, of large scale attack from foreign forces, so mobilization sacrifice may be unpopular. Second, the depression had made the people accustomed to sacrifice. Foregoing civilian consumption for the war effort was not such a large step, especially as jobs began to accompany that sacrifice after a long period of unemployment. There was arguably greater


national cohesion than at any time since. A draft was possible then, today it may not be. The war effort, the production dynamics, the tradeoffs, all were effected by this national environment. Our conclusions must not ignore this.

Stocks and Flows and "Accelerators:"--The Building Blocks of Production Dynamics

In order to place World War II production dynamics in context, a basic logic must be explored first. This logic relates to the industrial interactions that provide the essentials for understanding WWII's lessons. Of particular interest is the relationship between force levels and the production of force levels--said another way, between the "stock" of assets and the "flow" of asset production.

Embedded in the dynamics of production stocks and flows is something called the accelerator: If one wants to increase the automobile's speed from 50 to 60 mph, then the flow of fuel to the engine must increase first, and by considerably more than the 20 percent increase in speed. How much more depends on how fast one accelerates. The fuel increase is typically about 300 percent for a rapid acceleration. Once one reaches 60, you ease back on the pedal using about 20 percent more gas than when doing 50. The threefold increase in gas use followed by the drop in use almost to prior levels, is the accelerator principle in action.

In production, the accelerator can be thought of in terms of stocks and flows: If an asset (a stock) is to change, then production (a flow) must change proportionately more than the asset inventory. For example, if aircraft force levels are to grow, then the production of aircraft must grow both sooner and faster than the aircraft fleet itself.

Data demonstrates this. From 1941 to 1943 the inventory of military combat aircraft rose by 450 percent, but the production of combat aircraft rose 720 percent.36 In the same period the total


tonnage of naval ships rose 100 percent while ship production rose over 400 percent.

On the way down the accelerator becomes a decelerator. From 1945 to 1946 combat aircraft inventories dropped 33 percent while production dropped 95 percent. During the same period, military ship tonnage dropped only 24 percent while military shipbuilding dropped 82 percent. This accelerator effect is a crucial concept, for accelerators are pervasive. They apply in any system changing from one state to another--and real world systems are always in a state of change. The steady state, wherein things have stabilized, is a myth.

Accelerators have certain implications for the dynamics of war and mobilization. First, the less time allowed to make changes the more the production effort is impacted. That much is clear, for a fast build up certainly requires a dramatic change to production capability.

Less obvious is that the dynamics become amplified as one gets further from the end product (e.g., aircraft) and nearer to the basic factors of production--like plant, equipment, and machine tools--needed to increase capacity in the first place. In 1945 J. A. Krug, then Chairman of the War Production Board, reports on this criticality: "The timing varied for different products and different industries, but in general the acute shortage as the defense effort first got underway was in the facilities. . . plant, equipment, and above all, machine tools."37

This all means that the earliest and most severe increases in capacity will come in those production sectors that produce production equipment and facilities. Besides machine tools, these would include facilities production and of course plant conversions. Thus, the resultant observation by the War Production Board that plant, equipment, and machine tools were the earliest crisis industries.38


Futurists will want to consider the equivalent of WWII's production systems. Machine tools come to mind, but so do the tools that produce computer chips, the software that writes software, and the machines that manufacture electronic production facilities.

Most of the capacity expansion indeed occurred early in the war years. More than half the overall growth in production facilities themselves occurred by 1942, and three-quarters by 1943. Production of war equipment on the other hand, (such as ship and aircraft production) did not peak until 1944. This is the accelerator generalized: To increase production, one needs to first increase the production of production facilities.

Any build up can, of course, is eased if the increased production can be affected through conversion of existing facilities, rather than construction of new ones--or through redirection of their use from peacetime needs to wartime priorities. The accelerator principle must be kept in mind particularly for World War II mobilization however, because of the low level of economic activity following the 1930s Depression. Accelerators will be most dramatic when building from low initial capacity levels. The long depression led to low productive capacity. The dynamics would have been different in 1942 had there been excess plant and equipment. Then it would only be a matter of workers returning to work. But after the Depression, it meant building the capacity that allowed work to be performed.

An Overview of the Effort

Wartime production needs to be kept in perspective. While massive in scale, the effort at no time absorbed more than about 40 percent of gross national product, which grew about 50 percent during the war years in real (constant dollar) terms. Manufacturing output, however, nearly tripled by 1945 as new plant and equipment came on.

The earliest growth came in capacity expansion and construction-of plants, military camps, and housing for defense workers.


As time passed and production plants expanded, the war effort was focused on production of munitions and less on expansion. Then, as production increased the availability of raw materials became critical. Still later, as the buildup in Europe progressed and both men and materials were needed, labor became the most critical commodity.

The timing of the war dictated the tradeoff between expansion and production. The manpower needs of the military meant production had to rely considerably on women, youngsters, the elderly, and the handicapped to assist. Ten million new workers entered the production workforce in 5 years. Those 10 million plus the 9 million previously unemployed allowed manning both the production effort and the military force requirements by 1944.

The coordination between defense production and civilian needs was eased somewhat by another dynamic. The goods that were denied the civilian population were largely goods that had long lives--automobiles, washers, electrical appliances and the sort. These could be repaired and patched rather than replaced, thus easing the consumer's burden.

The production effort was government coordinated. Tradeoffs and allocations of scarce resources were coordinated by government agencies such as the War Production Board (WPB) and the War Manpower Commission (WMC). Raw materials, plant expansion and conversion, and plant staffing were the concerns of such agencies. Yet, this was not an entirely centralized production effort. The government normally established the rules, and then relied on the manufacturer to control production and deliveries. Consumption goods were mostly driven by market forces once the war allocations and price controls had been decided on. Labor was not really controlled through a central plan, though incentives such as pay differentials, draft deferments, and wage controls did influence labor decisions.

Munitions acquisition of course meant production increases. Many industries were simply expanded during the war. The existing output of those industries could be largely shifted to defense needs--construction being an obvious candidate. Vehicles, machinery, food products, iron and steel, and chemicals were all well established before 1940. Other industries began essentially from scratch. Synthetic rubber, explosives and explosive handling, guns and ammunition,


nonferrous metals, and of course aircraft and shipbuilding were essentially government grown, often to 10 or 20 times their prewar scale. Not only does their war expansion present insight, but their postwar fate is important too. Those with commercial value, like aircraft, could thrive. Others, like ammunition and explosives, would of course experience more serious reconversion dynamics.

Industrial raw material production was increased dramatically in war-related areas. Magnesium and aluminum were among the largest gainers, the former gaining thirty-fold and the latter 400 percent over pre-war production. Both were of course needed for aircraft production. Nitrogen chemicals (explosives and fertilizer), steel, copper, and industrial alcohol (for synthetic rubber) all gained at least 50 percent in production.

From 1940 to 1945 GNP grew from $100 billion per year to $213 billion. During the same period munitions expenditures (tanks, planes, ships, rifles, artillery, ammunition, etc.) totaled $186 billion, or about 20 percent of the total GNP.

Industry Insights

The dynamics of production differ from one industry to another, and a bit of "industry-hopping" is appropriate. Consider convertibility. The steel mill does not change its product significantly for military or civilian use. Textile mills, food production, construction equipment, lumber, and machine tools are other examples of sectors that do not need major revamping to start producing for military use.

Not so with Ford and Chevy plants. They need to be retooled and at least partly redesigned to make trucks and tanks instead. Washing machine and electrical appliance manufacturers would need to make products to totally different specifications.

The important difference is that to produce military goods, a large portion of the manufacturing industry dedicated to consumer and purely civilian goods had to spend valuable labor, materials, and time converting to military, production--and the effort spent in conversion meant that production of military systems was delayed.


This was yet another reason the lend-lease years, before America entered the war, were very beneficial.

Such conversion, plus expansion and construction of new facilities, was massive. With GNP around $100 billion in 1940, $2 billion went toward new industrial facilities. In 1941 that was doubled to $4 billion (GNP $125B), and rose to $8.5 billion (GNP $160B) in 1942. By 1943, the growth rate slowed, reaching $2.7 billion (GNP $193B) by 1945.39

One advantage of conversion to military production would be felt after the war. Weapon systems require quality manufacturing. Labor became skilled in working to close tolerances with tungsten hardened cutting tools. Process control skills were honed in electronics. Production of alloys were nurtured. The United States gained knowledge in manufacturing new materials like plywood and plastics. Future sales would benefit from experience in packaging and shipping delicate and heavy goods in large quantities. Inventory control processes were established. All would be needed in the post-war growth period the United States dominated.

Each industry important to munitions production has its own characteristics and lessons. Let us review a few.

Electric Power

One of the most interesting dynamics was displayed by the electric power industry. In 1939, there was fifteen percent excess capacity for the nation's need. There followed, however, a 75 percent increase in power demand from 1939 to 1944, yet generating capacity only increased by 25 percent.

The obvious need to expand power generation facilities was restricted by another industry: The massive need to produce ships, each of which needed generators. From 1941 to 1945, the total generating capacity installed in new military and maritime ships exceeded the total national electricity capacity available in 1945.40

To compensate for the resulting power shortage ashore, the nation's power systems were pooled to network the available capacity.


The limited new construction was closely monitored to ensure geographic distribution, to provide power at regions not covered by the network. A shortage that occurred in Cleveland was met by power networked from Arkansas. When a 1941 Tennessee Valley drought lowered the TVA capacity, 27 other sources were linked to flow power back to TVA, usually the source of power.

Unused turbines were found and relocated. In one case, generators were taken from a Los Angeles plant and shipped to the Soviet Union, with the Los Angeles shortfall made up from pooled resources.

The networking of power was truly an impressive action. By 1944, there was 15 percent more power being generated than the nation's maximum designed capability was supposedly able to produce. Of course, at war's end, there were well established arguments to expand the nation's capacity. Utilities would do very well for some time thereafter.

Construction and Facilities

Construction had been strong before the depression, but by 1933 it had fallen to only 25 percent of its $11 billion 1926 peak. It rebounded to about $7 billion per year by 1942. Still, even the rebuilding that started in 1935 with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and augmented by lend-lease did not stress the industry.

In 1941 there were still excess laborers and abundant building materials inventories. When America entered the war the construction industry, seemed fully able to produce.

Pearl Harbor's destruction changed the picture. Military construction added 50 percent to demand by in 1942. Total demand rose to about $13 billion, higher than the earlier 1926 peak. Nonessential civilian production had to be stopped by the War Production Board in April 1942.

Serious problems surfaced in construction grade aluminum, steel, copper, zinc, and lead. Asphalt had to replace sheet metal and copper exterior materials, and plastics replaced copper plumbing. Metal use in the average dwelling went from 8,300 lbs. to 3,200 lbs., and plywood became essential.

After the war, housing construction boomed as soldiers and


sailors returned, married, and wanted homes. In Levittown, N.Y., 6,000 slabs were laid for foundations on a potato field in Long Island, and soon 6,000 low cost homes were sold.


Associated with construction, the lumber industry started in surplus. Workers had provided high inventories, and wartime needs seemed easy to meet at the outset. Wood was available to substitute for packaging needs, and wood barrels replaced steel oil drums. Wood was used for PT boat hulls and plywood and veneer was available for small trainer airplanes.

Well into 1942 the lumber supply was thought to be plenty for any future wartime needs. Even the construction needs after Pearl Harbor were handled with relative ease from existing inventories.

In late 1942 military procurement of lumber became less dependable and the War Production Board placed the first major restriction on its use. Then balsa wood, imported from Ecuador and needed for flotation and light aircraft fuselages, became short. The United Kingdom and America competed for supplies, especially in lifeboat flotation needs.

In 1943 there was a crisis in softwoods for packaging as boxes, crates, and dunnage went from 15 percent of all lumber consumption to 40 percent.

Lumber was shipped overseas to build barracks and buildings at air and sea bases. Railroad construction required railroad ties and station platforms.

A problem arose as labor rates in lumbering were lower than those in manufacturing. The industry lost workers--recall that wage rates were not controlled by central planners, and traditionally industries such as lumber and construction, without strong unions, lose out over time.

Another dynamic--as in other industries--was that orders for lumber, reacting to shortages and delays, were padded to increase local supplies. This led to larger than necessary increases in filling pipeline inventories.

After the war, the need for lumber was great, with the construction industry booming.



Like lumber, cotton seemed abundant in 1941. Also like lumber, it became scarce by 1943. Again, the reason was primarily that workers migrated to higher paying industries--a lesson that reemerges often in non-unionized sectors.

Cotton became scarce as canvas and clothing demands rose, especially in 1944 as the invasion of Europe neared. Burlap supplies from Calcutta had been stopped by the Japanese successes, and cotton bagging was needed to replace burlap for sacking.

By 1944, controls were needed to coordinate cotton production. This presented problems, as unlike steel and aluminum, which were produced by large centralized firms, cotton was produced by thousands of individual firms using diverse processes at different stages of production from raw cotton through cloth manufacturing to final product. Controls were difficult and segmented opposition to them was rampant.

After the war, however, the cotton goods industry thrived, for European production lagged, returning soldiers needed new "uniforms," and civilians were eager to replace austere wardrobes.


Because of capacity built up before the depression, in 1941 the steel industry seemed capable of supplying war needs though lend- lease was beginning to stress capacity somewhat. After Pearl Harbor, it became clear that steel-making capacity would need to be expanded considerably. Plate steel needed for ships was given top production priority until its relative need eased in 1943.41

As steel demand rose, raw material supplies required expansion. Some mills had to be shut down in 1942 for lack of iron ore and pig iron. To increase supplies, the ore-shipping season on lake Superior was opened earlier in the spring, lower quality ore was used, and ore carriers were loaded more fully.

A major dynamic occurred early in America's entry. There was a tradeoff--between producing steel and producing steel mills.


Steel mill production used large amounts of steel that detracted from munitions production here and in the UK and USSR, but of course expanded possible future output. Ultimately detailed planning and allocation of materials and production of steel related processes was specified and carried out.

Another dynamic occurred in the tradeoff between civilian use of steel and military use. Before Pearl Harbor, about 55 million tons of finished steel products were going to non-military uses and 10 million tons to the military. By 1943 the total military use was 40 million tons, while civilian use had been cut by more than half.42

This substitution effect was possible because the industry had been established before the war.

After the war, steel thrived with commercial real estate construction, automobile production, and exports.


The use of copper increased dramatically during the war. It was used in brass shell casings, especially small arms, and anti-aircraft 20mm and 40mm ammunition.

Gold mining was virtually stopped to provide more copper mine labor. Restrictions were put on the use of copper for jewelry, plumbing, fans, and heaters to provide more for military uses. The Navy eventually made use of steel shell casings, aluminum fuses, and even cast iron propellers ("screws") on ships to save copper.


Paper presents an unusual insight. As the war heated up, more people bought newspapers to stay informed. This caused a paper shortage. Newspaper drives to recycle paper became popular to help the war effort.

The subsequent sending of packages to overseas soldiers and sailors, plus the demand for paperboard for shipping, made the shortages critical. Additionally, pulp imports from Scandinavia were cut off by national neutrality and German submarines.

Like lumber and cotton, a shortage of labor grew as workers fled to higher paying manufacturing jobs.


The postwar paper industry thrived as shortages were made up and demand held up, especially in the growing governmental role in society.


Specific war needs dictated a strong chemical industry yet pay scales were low relative to ship and aircraft production. By 1945, there was a 10 percent labor shortage, just as the needs for synthetic rubber, ammunition, and explosives peaked with the war in Europe.

Chemical nitrogen was essential for the nitric acid used in explosives. And industrial alcohol--during peacetime used in antifreeze, foods, paints, tetraethyl lead, plastics and film--was essential in war for smokeless powder, chemical warfare gases, and particularly synthetic rubber. In fact by 1944 synthetic rubber production used more than half the total alcohol supply.

Alcohol could be made from either molasses or grain, and controversies between Midwest grain farmers and southern sugar cane farmers--as well as Cuban supporters--arose as each wanted to sell its product. Whiskey distillers were ordered to convert their output to war use--an unhappy fate for some.

Small Electric Motors

Before the war more than 90 percent of fractional horsepower motors were used in household appliances. During the war, production of such motors increased fivefold, and 90 percent of the resulting output was used for war machines.

Motors turned antennas and turrets, opened bomb doors, moved wing flaps, aimed searchlights, and raised landing gears. Yet, military motors were more costly than their civilian forerunners. They needed to be direct current to be activated by batteries, and were smaller and lighter. They cost about $50 to $75 instead of the $6 or $7 they cost in civilian appliances. Partly this may have been due to profiteering. Yet, motor specifications were frequently revised, and many were tailor made. They needed ball bearings and castings that were already in short supply.

As with other scarce items, biased safety, margins were placed on orders, creating unnecessary backlogs in the pipeline. Eventually


the War Production Board required users to document past and future uses and to account for prior orders to avoid such practices.

Synthetic Rubber

Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Japanese successes cost America and its allies 90 percent of their rubber supply. By 1945 supply from an essentially new industry, synthetic rubber, exceeded that total pre-war natural rubber supply. This was truly a production success story.

The initial rubber shortfall could be ameliorated by producing synthetic rubber, maximizing output from remaining sources, eliminating civilian consumption of rubber, reducing the use of existing rubber tires, and reclaiming rubber.

Made from alcohol and petroleum, synthetic rubber production was negligible in 1941, while imports were 900,000 tons per year. After Pearl Harbor and the loss of Singapore, Malaya, and the East Indies, imports dropped to 11,000 tons and rubber was in critical supply. Synthetic production provided only an eighth of the rubber needs of 1941, and only rose to adequate levels in 1945.

In between, ways to economize on rubber had to be invented. For example despite adequate gasoline supplies, gas rationing was imposed to reduce the use of rubber on the roads. Imports from Britain's Ceylon and India, plus the Firestone plantations in Liberia, supplemented supplies.43

Tire production demonstrates the complex wartime dynamics. Rubber shortages in 1942 and 1943 prevented tire production, so tire manufacturing labor shifted to other factory work. Reclaiming the labor proved difficult once synthetic production gained momentum. Not only were skilled workers working elsewhere, but the workers needed most were for heavy truck and aircraft tires. Not only did workers need to be skilled, but brawny enough to handle such massive products. That limited the selection.

Further, tire mileage had been overestimated, and thus tire needs underestimated. The coral beaches of the Pacific and the flak saturated rocky roads of Normandy wore tires out rapidly. Also synthetic


tires developed more internal heat than rubber tires, so rayon cord production had to be developed and facilities built to replace cotton. Finally, carbon black, previously abundant, became another shortage as it was needed for synthetic rubber.

The interlinkages of production needs are complex indeed when expanding or creating capacity.


Tied largely to the aircraft industry, aluminum production grew from 500 million pounds in 1939 to 800 in 1941 and 2,700 at its 1943 peak. Aluminum needs were initially underestimated. Not only was aircraft production underestimated, but classic analytic errors were made. Only the finished weight of aircraft was used to estimate aluminum needs, thus wastage was not estimated. Planners failed to properly allow for filling pipeline inventories in plants. The inefficiency of new labor as production grew was underestimated.44

Aluminum provides an important strategic insight. Since the war's ending date is unknown, production capacity expansion will invariably continue beyond what is eventually needed. By V-J Day, plants were operating at less than half their capacity, plus there were huge inventories available and more scrap being returned from war surplus. Yet who was to know, in late 1942, that production expansion could cease as the war would be over before more capacity was needed?

This is an industry that would have relative difficulty after the war because there was not immediate civilian demands to compensate for war production, and because of this excess capacity. Fortunately there were other jobs for aluminum workers.


The largest expansion of any industry occurred in magnesium, which increased 100-fold from prewar levels. magnesium was used in aircraft and incendiary bombs. It was essentially a new industry, with new processes and new skills.

At the war's end, the workers in this industry were not needed.


Yet the economy soared, and they found other jobs. This is not always the case after wars.


There were abundant lead supplies at first due to pre-war imports from Australia, Peru, Canada, and Mexico. But usage grew, and Australian and Canadian lead were preempted by the UK.

As the demand for trucks and jeeps and landing craft grew for the invasion at Normandy, so did the demand for batteries and bullets, and therefore for lead. The postwar period would be far different for lead than magnesium or aluminum. The war's end saw lead in short supply, and batteries for automobiles, and lead based paint, would be needed for the consumption boom about to occur.

Observations and Conclusions

A strategist in future warfare must be careful what is derived from the past, but World War II surely provides useful ideas. Networking, as was done in generating electricity, may be useful in the future, and not just for electricity but for computing capacity or transportation.

Certainly substitutions will be needed. One has seen several types. Material substitution examples included asphalt for sheet metal and plastic for copper. Usage substitution was demonstrated by the transfer of capacity from civilian to military use in steel, lumber, chemicals, and virtually every other area where there was already prewar capacity. Processes were substituted: Gold mining yielded to copper mining, synthetic rubber replaced genuine rubber.

One saw unique solutions to problems, as when gas rationing helped save rubber use--as when Lake Superior ore carriers operated earlier than before, breaking ice if necessary to do so. And as when generators needed in the U.S.S.R. were cannibalized from Los Angeles and the shortage made up from networked power. One also saw unique problems, as when interest in the war caused more newspapers to be sold, and a resulting paper shortage. Will the next war see a flooding of fax circuits and the Internet?


Often dynamics need to be traced from one effect to the next. Truck tires made by synthetic rubber failed to be as lasting on Pacific beaches, cotton tire casings became too hot so rayon was needed, and strong arm labor lost when rubber was not available or difficult to replace and the synthetic industry was born. Each effect takes its toll. Where will such future interactions arise?

There are some general dynamics. As shortages become obvious through delayed deliveries, humans will bias orders to build safety, into their own supply inventories. That of course creates larger pipeline inventories making the shortages even greater, at least temporarily.

Labor rates may vary over industries, causing labor shortages where pay is lower, as in non-unionized and decentralized industries like farming, lumber, and construction. We also learned it is more difficult to control decentralized industries.

Certain imports will be lost from those parts of the world that are not available to us. In WWII, it was oil from the East Indies, burlap from Calcutta, rubber from Malaya. Will it be oil again next time? Should we be more interested now in substitutes? Texas no longer has enough oil to fill in next time as it did then.

The most dominant dynamic is that of changing needs--of accelerating demands during buildup. The mismatch between supply and need depends on the size of the increased need, the time available to build up, and the capacity, in existence when the need begins. Will there be a buildup period like the lend-lease phase? Will the supply be met by civilian cutbacks, as when steel yielded to the military? Will there be enough capacity in the first place, or will sacrifices need to be made to build capacity as when steel needed for weapons needed to first be used to build steel mills themselves?

So much depends on the size and length of the war effort, and the state of the economy when the effort begins. Will there be unused capacity? Unused labor?

And a deeper thought. Will the war last long enough so that the economy will have experienced a long denial and therefore need high post-war production? Or will the war be short, so that civilian needs are not severe, and returning soldiers and sailors find unemployment their reward?

The successful prosecution by the United States of World War


II was based on the strategy and valor of the fighting forces above all. But the battles were won because the horse was properly shod, so to speak. The roots of this success lie within the simplification of the maze of government acquisition instruments and procedures; the extraordinary relationship between the military, the government, business and industry; and the resilient ingenuity, of the American industrialist, businessman, and worker. These strengths and capabilities, finally, can be traced to our inadequacies in arming and supplying our forces in World War I. Out of these failures came the success of World War II.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (1) * Next Chapter (3)


1. Report of the Commission on Government Procurement, Appendix G, 1972, 1.

2. C. M. Culver, Federal Government Procurement: An Uncharted Course Through Turbulent Waters (National Contract Management Association, 1984), 7.

3. Report of the Commission on Government Procurement, 4.

4. Ibid., 5.

5. "Converting Industry: Turning a Nation's Production to War," Transcript of Conference of Business-Paper Editors and Publishers With War Production Board Officials, Washington, D.C., February 13, 1942, War Production Board, Division of Information, Washington, D.C., 9.

6. Jerome G. Peppers, .Jr., History of United States Military Logistics 1935-1985 (Logistics Education Foundation Publishing, 1988), 79.

7. Production Goes to War (Washington, D.C.: War Production Board, Division of Information,1942), pages unnumbered.

8. Industrial Engineers and Management Consultants, An Engineering Interpretation of the Economic and Financial Aspects of American Industry (New York: George S. Armstrong & Co., Inc., 1943,); The Shipbuilding Industry and The Logistics of Amphibious Warfare, 30.

9. Ibid., 30.

10. Ibid., 31.

11. Ibid., 32.

12. James F. Nagle, A History of Government Contracting (Washington, D. C.: The George Washington University, 1992), 404.

13. Ibid., 405.

14. Time, June 13, 1944, 48.

15. Industrial Engineers and Management Consultants, 35.

16. The GRANITE Plan (Combined Chiefs of Staff, United States Government Printing Office, 1987-721-732-60330), H-l, Paragraph 2.

17. David O. Woodbury, Builders for Battle: How the Pacific Naval Air Bases Were Constructed (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1946).

18. Production Goes to War, unnumbered page under the section on Tanks.

19. Ibid., unnumbered page under the section on Tanks.

20. Levin H. Campbell,Jr., The Industry-Ordnance Team (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1946), 219.

21. Ibid., 224.

22. Ibid., 228.

23. Ibid., 252.

24. Peppers, 131.

25. Time, June 13, 1994, 48.

26. Jeremy Marsh, USAF, "Liberators, Mustangs and 'Enola Gay': America Acquires Army Air Power for World War II," Program Manager, September-October, 1994, 2.

27. Culver, 3.

28. Ibid.

29. Report of the Commission on Government Procurement, 167.

30. Ibid., 168.

31. Ibid., 169.

32. Ibid.

33. Frank J. Taylor and Lawton Wright, Democracy's Air Arsenal (New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce, 1947), 44.

34. Ibid., 55.

35. Though the Douglass DC-3, for the first time combining rotary engine with variable pitch propeller, retractable landing gear, monocoque body, and wing flaps--all five ingredients leading to a stable and efficient logistics aircraft--had been produced and would be essential in wartime logistics and post-war airline development.

36. Derived from U. S. Department of Commerce, Statistical Abstract of the United States (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, annual issues.)

37. War Production Board, Wartime Production Achievements and the Reconversion Outlook: Report of the Chairman (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1945), 7.

38. Such shortages are logical. Since the production of aircraft will vary far more than the force levels themselves (because of the accelerator) the production of the machinery used in the manufacture of aircraft will experience even more dramatic changes. For the machines that manufacture aircraft represent a stock of equipments that must change. But if the stock of machines changes, then another accelerator impacts the production of production machines. Machine tools produce this production machinery. A production base that needs expansion will therefore feel the need for machine tools early and dramatically.

39. Wartime Production Achievements (War Production Board, October 9, 1945),

40. War Production Board, 40.

41. Successes in the Pacific and the Normandy invasion in 1944 then caused another shortage in steel plating, needed especially for producing tens of thousands of amphibious landing craft.

42. War Production Board, 50.

43. Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (New York: Touchstone, 1992), 380.

44. The analytic skills we are accustomed to today--i.e., the "systems analysis" contributions--were virtually invented during the war.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Chuck Roberts for the HyperWar Foundation