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Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

Monday, February 28, 2005

Armor For Our Troops? Use WW2 Production Strategies

The doomsayers on the Left have been criticizing the Pentagon for failure to provide armor for our troops in Iraq. In addition there has been criticism on both sides of the political spectrum that with the movement of major manufacturing overseas, the US is vulnerable to a major war. Not so much the initial conflict, or our abilities, but our ability to replace equipment, or upgrade it as required by battlefield conditions, has been questioned.
Granted, there would be some downtime in a live warfare situation. When World War 2 started, there weren't very many factories dedicated to military production. Off the top, I would say 2% or less of the industrial production of the US was devoted to the military. Yet within two years, our country was outproducing the entire rest of the world combined, in military equipment. The automobile factories started building tanks and halftracks. The aircraft industry (which is still engaged in military production) moved from airliners and barnstormer style fast planes to bombers and fighters very quickly. Other small tool and die industries suddenly were making ammunition and spare parts. The only industry that is down in relation to a pre-WW2 era view is the ship building industry. This isn't that critical, since our Navy is on a totally ready basis.
Pre-WW2, the US Navy was third in battleships (to Great Britain & Japan) and second in aircraft carriers (to Japan). Today our navy is second to none.
So this piece is a good news example of what was done in 1941. It's just a reminder that the United States of America has always had a CAN DO! attitude.

I'll be back



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