U.S. Supplies in WWII

Some people say that the most devastating war in the
history of the world has been World War II. First of all,
what is a war? Webster’s Dictionary says that the definition
of war is an armed contest between states or nations any
contest or strife, such as a war of words. As one can see,
World War II was a contest between states or nations. It
began with a simple little conflict in Europe in 1939. This
conflict involved Germany and an Anglo-French coalition
but eventually widened to include most of the nations of the
world. It ended in 1945, leaving a new world order
dominated by the United States and the USSR. As
mentioned before, World War II has been the most
devastating war humans have ever been involved with. The
question of why can be answered in the three reasons listed
below. First is that it involved the commitment of nations’
entire human and economic resources. Second is the
blurring of distinction between combatant and
noncombatant, and third is the expans! ion of the battlefield
to include all of the enemy’s territory. The involvement of
nations’ entire human and economic resources is the first
and most important reason. This ties into the end of the war
with the United States and the USSR being world powers.
This could have never happened if the United States entire
human and economic resources weren’t involved in the war
and if most of the United States resources had not went to
help the USSR. The United States at the time of the war
was almost a world power. It was a strong country that
attempted to stay out of the war as long as possible but still
help nations in need. The United States did not fight the
war in Europe for a few years but it began fighting it at
home. More than 60 million Americans helped the war
effort by working in factories and farms. The War
Production Board was created to oversee all of this
production. Chairman of the War Production Board,
Donald Nelson remarked, "The American war-production
job was probably the greatest achievement of all time. It
makes the seven wonders of the ancient world look like the
doodlings of a small boy on a rainy Saturday afternoon."
No doubt about it, war production was a great
achievement. Six million women were added to the labor
force. Old men who had once been retired returned to
work and the unemployed soon found jobs. Production
increased. Between 1940 and the end of 1944, the
production of mili! tary aircraft rose from 23,000 per
annum to 96,000. Tank production was increased from
4,000 in 1940-41 to almost 30,000 in 1943. Car plants
such as the Detroit Chrysler one started to assemble jeeps
and tanks instead of the luxeray cars. All of this effort in
production turned out billions of supplies that helped win
the war. Some examples are: 4,490,000 bayonets,
519,122,000 pairs of socks, 634,569 jeeps, 237,371,000
cans of insect repellent, 3,076,000,000 lbs. of beef, 7,570
railroad locomotives, 2,679,819 machine guns, 597,613
leg splints, 25,065,834,000 rounds of .30 cal. Ammunition,
1,024,000 pairs of panties for WACs, 476,628 antitank
bazookas, 1,397,000,000 lbs. of coffee, 7,309,000
500-lb. bombs, 3,242,017 hot-water bottles, 113,967
combat vehicles, 106,466,000 tent pins, and much, much
more. The amount the American worker made to provide
for the war was staggering. What is even more staggering is
that all of this was just for the American army. The United
Sta! tes produced even more to help other countries that
include Great Britain, China, and the USSR. The United
States was able to help these countries because of the
Lend-Lease Act passed by Congress in March of 1941.
The Lend-Lease Act was an act that authorized the
president of transfer, lease, or lend "any defense article" to
"the government of any country whose defense the
President seems vital to the defense of the Untied States."
When the program had been terminated in 1945, over $50
billion in Lend-Lease aid had been shipped to Great
Britain, the USSR, and China. The United States helped
Great Britain a great deal but the amount given does not
compare to the aid that the USSR received. Great Britain
received 7,411 aircraft, 5,128 tanks, 4,932 antitank
weapons, 4,005 machine guns, 9 torpedo boats, 4
submarines, and 14 minesweepers. Great Britain’s aid was
in the thousands but the USSR’s was in the millions.
Beginning in the summer of 1941, the United States
contributed the following materials to the USSR: 2,680,000
tons of steel 170,400 tons of aluminum 29,400 tons of tin
240,000 tons of copper, 330,000 telephone sets and some
one million miles of cable 2,000 radar sets 5,0! 00 radio
receivers 900,000