This book is one of a number in the present series that describe what happened to the U.S. Army in World War Ii as the result of two prevailing circumstances. one was that the War Department had a vital interest and a leading role in maintaining the production of supplies needed to win the war. The other was that, once organized for war, the War Department and the Army comprised an administrative machine incomparably more efficient for getting things done than any other at the disposal of the President. In both connections Army officers found themselves drawn into the realm of industrial management--one surely remote from the field of battle. A companion volume, The Army and Economic Mobilization, show how extensively and deeply the War Department became involved in business relationships. The authors of the present volume examine and illustrate the ways in which the Army and its officers dealt with the problems into which they were drawn in dealing with organized labor. Since World War II the Army has become even more deeply involved in relations, present and potential, with industry and industrial management. No officer can therefore afford to overlook the instructive experience that this book recounts.
30 May 1958
Maj. Gen., U.S.A.
Chief of Military History
Byron Fairchild received the Ph.D. degree in history from Princeton University and has taught at the University of Maine, Amherst College, and Munson Institute of Maritime History. He is the author of Messrs. William Peppernell, which received the Carnegie Revolving Fund Award of the American Historical Association for the outstanding manuscript in any field of history in 1954, and has contributed a number of articles and reviews to historical journals. As a civilian professional historian with the Army since 1949, Dr. Fairchild has been coauthor of two other volumes scheduled to appear in the Army's official WOrld War II series: The Framework of Hemisphere Defense and Guarding the United States and Its Outposts.
Jonathan Grossman has his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University and has taught at City College of New York and Rutgers University. Author of the biography, William Sylvis, Pioneer of American Labor, Dr. Grossman has also worked on projects with the National Industrial Conference Board, prepared sections of a history of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and worked as a historian on the Morgenthau Diary. He joined the staff of the Army's Office of the Chief of Military History in 1949, leaving in 1953 to become Historian for the Office, Chief of Finance, where he is currently writing a history of fiscal activities during World War II.
Over the years the Army in peacetime has become accustomed to performing tasks that have had only remote if any bearing on its role as a defender of the country and guardian of law and order, while in time of war its energies have been concentrated on fighting the enemy. But as war has changed in character and has come to be more "total," more mechanized, so the role of the Army has broadened. Activities that in former times were extraneous have become inherently part of the conduct of war. Statecraft, diplomacy, scientific research, and business management have become part of the soldier's stock in trade, and now the labor expert-in-uniform has taken his place alongside the soldier-diplomat and the military scientist.
As a result of its World War I experience, the War Department in 1920 was given responsibility for planning the mobilization of industry. As the full scope of responsibility gradually developed, the mobilization planners brought industrial labor within the range of their endeavors, but when World War II placed unprecedented demands on American industry the Army finally found itself drawn into a position with respect to labor that was not precisely according to plan. The nature of the problems that the Army then faced and the major steps taken to deal with them make up the substance of the story told in the following pages.
To write a comprehensive and complete history of the Army's activities in the field of industrial labor problems would mean treating the subject thoroughly on a number of levels--the service commands, the various technical services, Army Service Forces headquarters, the Bureau of Public Relations of the War Department, and the Under Secretary's office--and it would lead outside the War Department as well. It would mean dealing systematically with each of the capacities in which the War Department became involved in labor matters, namely, as the agency principally responsible for the procurement of military matériel, as the direct employer of civilian labor in government-owned and government-operated plants, as the chief military claimant for the use of the nation's manpower, as the agency
responsible for internal security and for custody of prisoners of war, and as one of the agencies called upon to enforce labor and manpower policies for which the laws failed to provide adequate sanctions. A history on so vast a scale could be produced only if time and space were unlimited. In any case, large segments of the story at these different levels can be found in other volumes of the UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. The histories of the respective technical services and those dealing with procurement, supply, and economic mobilization place labor matters within the setting of the organization or activity that comprises the subject of the particular volume.
In this volume we have told the story principally from the vantage point of the Office of the Under Secretary of War and the Industrial Personnel Division, ASF, with only brief and very general excursions into the field. It is an account not so much of operations as of relationships, policies, and interests. The problems connected with the utilization of industrial manpower into which the Army was drawn are illustrated, rather than traced, by discussing successively the principal elements that affected the productivity and size of the industrial labor force, the major efforts to counteract adverse factors, and the ways and means of enforcing manpower policies. The approach is topical, but the topics are not treated as case studies. We have presented the facts chronologically and according to their causal relationship, without the plastic surgery so often required for proving a point or general principle.
We have been saved from pitfalls at every turn by the advice and aid of our colleagues and of many of the people who helped to make the history that we were writing. For their assistance we are grateful. Our debt to Kent Roberts Greenfield, Chief Historian of the Army, is large. The brute facts that we have failed to tame in spite of Dr. Greenfield's good shepherding are evidence of what the book would have been like without his help. Although an associate only in the early stages of the work, Albert A. Blum, at present a member of the faculty of New York University, has contributed much to the final product. His assistance lightened the drudgery of research and his ground-breaking studies on selective service provided the basis for the sections on that subject that appear in the book. Helen McShane Bailey, editor of htis volume, her colleague, Mary Ann Bacon, Loretto Carroll Stevens, copy editor, and Joseph R. Friedman, editor in chief, have rescued us from infelicities, inconsistencies, and disorder on nearly every page. Finally we wish to express our special indebtedness to all those who, in addition to Dr. Greenfield, have read the manuscript and generously
given us the benefit of their comments and suggestions. We particularly thank W.G. Flinn, Col. S.W. Foote, U.S. Army, John P. Hall, John H. Ohly, Albert F. Sanderson, Jr., and Lt. Col. T.H. Sawn, U.S. Army, as well as Leonard P. Adams, Leo Pl. Brophy, Goldthwaite H. Dorr, Ralph F. Gow, Edward S. Greenbaum, Maj. Gen. R.P. Hollis, U.S. Army, Albert Kay, John D. Millett, Samuel Silver, and Sidney C. Sufrin. It seems almost superfluous to add that for any error of fact or interpretation the authors alone are responsible.
30 May 1958
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