Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

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TheMarcksPlan
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Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 11 Nov 2021 21:55

For the Army/AAF I have excellent sources like Global Logistics and Strategy and the various statistical digests that break down procurement spending and production in good detail. Is there anything like this for the Navy?
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 11 Nov 2021 22:06

You could try Warship Builders by Thomas Heinrich. It may be more narrative and less statistical digest for your tastes though. Some interesting comparisons to other nation’s programmes and choices though.

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Tom

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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 11 Nov 2021 22:11

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:06
You could try Warship Builders by Thomas Heinrich. It may be more narrative and less statistical digest for your tastes though. Some interesting comparisons to other nation’s programmes and choices though.

Regards

Tom
I've read it - good book. But you're right, heavier on narrative than numbers.
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Richard Anderson
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Nov 2021 22:28

The short answer is no. The long answer is https://www.history.navy.mil/research/l ... -wwii.html
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2021 03:30

Richard Anderson wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:28
The short answer is no. The long answer is https://www.history.navy.mil/research/l ... -wwii.html
Thanks for the "no." If you don't know it doesn't exist. I've trudged through a lot of the Navy's admin histories, which provide useful info on a lot of points (e.g. spending on base construction) but don't include a statistical compendium AFAICS.

I suspect USN would have been embarrassed to publish/defend its figures. It was laying down and/or working on useless heavy cruisers, large cruisers, battleships, and extraneous fleet destroyers while our boys in Europe were having an ammunition crisis. And USN's wasteful building program rested on our army being cut dramatically in latter 1942. Turf wars, profiteering, and strategic stupidity that nobody wanted to rehash after the great victory.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2021 03:53

Well, yes, exactly, sorry to burst the bubble. However, if you already knew, then why did you ask? The War Department completed a number of statistical compendiums, the Navy Department did not. Guess you'll have to do more than hoovering up the downloadable detritus and hammering it into the shape desired.

Snip the rest of the useless, but usual, hindsight-based diatribe.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2021 04:01

Richard Anderson wrote:However, if you already knew, then why did you ask?
I didn't know, that's why I asked. I only know now that you've confirmed it. Thank you.
Richard Anderson wrote:Snip the rest of the useless, but usual, hindsight-based diatribe.
Sorry, Rich, I don't go for patriotically-correct editing of bedtime stories for 'Murica-lovers. America's WW2 effort was, like everything our military has ever done, full of waste, fraud, stupidity, etc. Even in the one good war it fought over the last century.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2021 04:53

Damn, war is wasteful, corrupt, and stupid. Who knew? I'll make a note of that revelation.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2021 04:59

Richard Anderson wrote:
12 Nov 2021 04:53
Damn, war is wasteful, corrupt, and stupid. Who knew? I'll make a note of that revelation.
Good. Maybe next time you'll see it with foresight instead of leveling hindsight accusations.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2021 05:07

Oh, you think that was foresight rather than hindsight? The reality of what the actual "foresight" was can be found in the discussions in:

Navy Department Appropriation Bill for 1936: Hearing Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, Seventy-fourth Congress, First Session, on H.R. 7672, a Bill Making Appropriations for the Navy Department and the Naval Service for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1936 and for Other Purposes

Navy Department Appropriation Bill for 1938: Hearings Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, Seventy-fifth Congress, First Session, on the Navy Department Appropriation Bill for 1938

Navy Department Appropriation Bill for 1940: Hearings Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, Seventy-sixth Congress, First Session, on H.R. 6149, a Bill Making Appropriations for the Navy Department and the Naval Service for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1940, and for Other Purposes

Navy Department Appropriation Bill for 1942: Hearings Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, Seventy-seventh Congress, First Session, on the Navy Department Appropriation Bill for 1942

Happy reading!
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2021 05:13

Richard Anderson wrote:Hearings Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, Seventy-seventh Congress
Oh it was discussed in Congress!!?????!!!!! Why didn't you say so? Nothing discussed in a Congressional subcommittee has EVER ever involved stupidity and self-interest, only the highest level of disinterested rationality.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2021 05:26

In case anyone is curious about contemporaneous awareness that the Navy was making ridiculous and unjustifiable demands for warship construction, Paul Koistinen's Arsenal of World War II: Political Economy of American Warfare provides proof:
The navy remained a problem. Byrnes appointed William Francis Gibbs,
an experienced manufacturer of naval supplies, to serve on the service’s
review board. The navy invoked rules of secrecy to obstruct his work.
Hence, Gibbs did not participate in writing the review, which he
characterized as vague and elusive. On the basis of information that he
gathered and other data available to OWM, Gibbs concluded that the navy
was building unneeded escort vessels, patrol craft, and minesweepers, that
its aircraft program was badly out of balance, and that inventory control
was especially weak. Summarizing these findings for the president in
September 1943, Byrnes pointed out that, by July 1944, navy schedules
required a 22 percent increase in shipyard workers, most of whom had to be
recruited on the West Coast, where dire labor shortages were developing.
Cutting back on construction would save massive amounts of both
manpower and materials. If current building programs continued, Byrnes
warned, by the end of 1946 the navy’s total tonnage would be 3.6 times
greater than that which currently existed. Gibbs also informed the OWM’s
director that navy operations involving ordnance, bases, the Marine Corps,
and other areas were troubled as well.
About the same time, OWMR [Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion] took up a battle with the navy over combat
vessels, clearly in the service’s realm. In January 1945, the secretary of the
navy, at the request of Admiral King, asked the president to approve
construction of eighty-four additional ships totaling 644,000 tons. After a
quick review, Roosevelt said that the proposal appeared to have merit.
Director of the Bureau of the Budget Harold D. Smith strongly urged
Roosevelt to change his mind since costs would run close to $2 billion, no
apparent need for the ships existed, and, if there was, much of the new
construction would not be available until 1947. With the president still
appearing favorable, Smith asked for Byrnes’s assistance. The OWMR
director was able to get both King and Secretary Forrestal to concede that
the ships were not necessary and that advocacy for them originated with
Representative Carl Vinson (D-GA), chair of the House Naval Affairs
Committee. Marshaling all arguments against more ships, and pointing out
that some officials supported the proposal to keep labor in shipyards and
ensure a large postwar fleet, Byrnes ultimately succeeded in having the
president reject the project. As a face-saving move, the navy was allowed to
go forward with twelve of the eighty-four ships it wanted.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2021 07:19

Hmmm, did I say anything about "stupidity and self-interest" or "disinterested rationality" or whether US Navy procurement was ridiculous and unjustifiable or cogent and justified? I was talking about what the actual "foresight" was, rather than some fantasists hindsight of what it should have been. Whether or not that foresight was stupid, self-interested, disinterested, rational, or irrational makes no difference.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2021 07:43

Richard Anderson wrote:I was talking about what the actual "foresight" was
Well this is another example of why you're so ill-placed to do evaluative and/or counterfactual analysis. I'll summarize our exchange to illustrate.

TMP: US Navy spending was wasteful.
RA: That's hindsight.
TMP: Contemporaries thought USN spending was wasteful, including future spending that USN was advocating.
RA: Congress approved USN spending.
TMP: Congress is stupid; smart contemporaries thought USN spending was wasteful.
RA: "I was talking about what the actual "foresight" was"

TMP (now in this post): what the actual "foresight" was is irrelevant to whether that "foresight" was foreseeably wasteful/stupid, per a reasonably intelligent contemporary.

As always, you think that pointing out that something was "actual" precludes it having been stupid in the view of smart contemporaries. In your mind, the "actual" is always a trump over the counterfactual, no matter how stupid was the "actual." Your ability to evaluate "actual" historical judgments is limited to checking whether they were "actual." The additional evaluative step does not exist in your philosophy.
Richard Anderson wrote:Whether or not that foresight was stupid, self-interested, disinterested, rational, or irrational makes no difference.
I couldn't have summed up your philosophy any better. Thank you.

-----------
TMP bookmark: standard response to RA
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2021 08:39

I do hope you're not really a lawyer if that is how you summarize facts. The actual sequence is pretty easy to follow:

TMP: Help!
RA: Here you go.
TMP: I already knew that and now I have an excuse to spin a weird conspiracy theory about why the USN didn't publish a Statistical Digest and show how it should have been done except all them people were stupid and venal.
RA: That's hindsight.
TMP: Babbles on about patriotically-correct editing of bedtime stories for 'Murica-lovers, which has zero to do with anything I said.
RA: Who knew? (Thinking to myself, WTF does that have to do with TMP's request for help or the fact that he's pontificating with the benefit of hindsight.)
TMP: Contemporaries thought USN spending was wasteful, including future spending that USN was advocating...nah, not really, what TMP actually said was "Good. Maybe next time you'll see it with foresight instead of leveling hindsight accusations."
RA: Gives references to the actual discussions that went on over the Navy budget, including perceived threats, how to counter them, what ships to build and why...you know, the actual attempt by them to foresee what they might have to deal with in the future. However, unlike TMP, they did not have the advantage of 79-odd years hindsight working for them. Somehow TMP bizarrely translates that into "Congress approved USN spending"? Well du-uh!
TMP: Congress is stupid; smart contemporaries thought USN spending was wasteful.
RA: Um, WTF does the stupidity or smartness of Congress or its contemporaries FORESIGHT have to do with the simple fact TMP is making a value judgment based on HINDSIGHT? Yes, by 1943, the Navy "was building unneeded escort vessels, patrol craft, and minesweepers", well maybe not minesweepers given what they would encounter in European waters in 1943 and 1944, but it was the why they were doing so that is interesting and it is the same reason King nearly got his "eighty-four additional ships totaling 644,000 tons". Here's a hint, it wasn't stupid Congresscritters that gave the go-ahead after cursory thought.

Meanwhile, the real point, as ever, is does your source actually support your contention that the Navy "was laying down and/or working on useless heavy cruisers, large cruisers, battleships, and extraneous fleet destroyers while our boys in Europe were having an ammunition crisis. And USN's wasteful building program rested on our army being cut dramatically in latter 1942."? I mean, here I thought it was the wasteful USAAF program that did that? Or is it now both? And am I to understand that only the AGF did not suffer from the venality, corruption, patronage of stupid Congresscritters that infected the other services? How saintly of them.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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