Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Nov 2021 22:55

Tom from Cornwall wrote:It's worth noting that as soon as the War Department identified a need for more production capacity for artillery ammunition, the "War Production Board immediately" set about making it available. Obviously that record of events may be hiding bitter debate and challenge, but I don't have a deep understanding of how the US War Production Board was organised or whether it left adequate records.
WPB left excellent records and a "summary" (1,000+ pages) study* that is essentially a primary source as it was written by the agency itself (by its successors technically but largely the same personnel).

*Industrial Mobilization for War: History of the War Production Board and its Predecessor Agencies

WPB did not, however, have much say* in grand strategic questions such as what to build and when. It was solely tasked with making production happen, once the War and Navy departments told it what was needed.

*Significant caveat is the Feasibility Dispute of 1942, wherein WPB economists fought a brutal war against military dunderheads like General Brehon Somervel regarding whether FDR's stated production goals were feasible or needed to be drastically shrunken.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:Production shortages in the US, although apparently caused by decisions made within the War Department rather than in allocating priorities across the different forces (air, land and sea):
Hold on there, Tom. Proof of one dispute is not absence of proof of another dispute. Describing proximate cause does not negate finding a deeper cause.

To be more specific, the "decisions made within the War Department" occurred in a broader grand strategic concept which, from no later than 1938, prioritized aircraft over everything else within the War Department. The resolution of the Feasibility Dispute - slashing the army to maintain aircraft production - shows particularly this grand strategic orientation. I have already provided cites on these matters upthread.

Given the tone in this thread, I'll not feel any compunction in telling you that you are out of your depth in discussing these matters and need to read up on the structure and history of US decision making in WW2. Unlike with others, I trust we could have a productive discussion, however.
OpanaPointer wrote:I was hoping you'd up your game by reading more than one book. You're fighting over your weight here.
Silly.
Richard Anderson wrote:only build landing ships and craft
Again you demonstrate why I won't put any effort into discussing this with you. Let me know when you are ready to discuss without bad faith misrepresentations of my position.

As usual, I won't hold my breath but, given that you've occasionally demonstrated an ability to drop the immature fooling around, I'll leave the door open.
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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 » 15 Nov 2021 00:47

Interesting. So if you eliminate "useless cruisers, battleships, carriers, [and] DD's aren't you left with just "landing ships and craft"? Oh, and submarines. Sorry, forgot the submarines. I do note that the vaguely cabalistic description of the WPB comprised "by grandees of American industry, finance, and politics" now correctly states the WPB "did not, however, have much say* in grand strategic questions such as what to build and when", which is nice. I guess then we are only left with a cabal of admirals and Congresscritters to blame the sorry state of affairs on?

BTW, since most ammunition production and stockpiling actually exceeded consumption, then I'm not sure producing more would have done much beyond creating larger Z/I stockpiles. Ditto for tanks, where very much the same occurred.
"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 » 15 Nov 2021 00:53

Drop the tone and wild accusations, Richard, and I'll substantively discuss with you. Until then you remain substantively on ignore.

Tom or anyone else - if you feel Richard has raised a specific contention you'd like me to address, happy to do so.
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Re: Book or other source on US Navy spending in WW2?

Post by Gooner1 » 15 Nov 2021 15:58

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Nov 2021 19:52
Some proof:

Churchill's anti-land orientation stretched all the way back to the 1930's:
While Churchill fulminated about airpower, he insisted that all would be well if the French army and the Royal Navy remained strong enough, and if Bomber Command... were strengthened. At no time did [Chuchill] advocate the two courses of action that might actually have deterred Hitler: a commitment to a continental strategy through an alliance with France, and conscription to match the French army. from Churchill's Shadow
Churchill was merely a backbench MP between 1929 and 1939. An early committment to a call for conscription would possibly have damaged such influence as he possessed. He did however advocate greater spending on the army:
I say the Army lacks almost every weapon which is required for the latest form of modern war. Where are the anti-tank guns, where are the short-distance wireless sets, where the field anti-aircraft guns against low-flying armoured aeroplanes? We want to know how it is that this country, with its enormous motoring and motor-bicycling public, is not able to have strong mechanised divisions, both Regular and Territorial. Surely, when so much of the interest and the taste of our youth is moving in those mechanical channels, and when the horse is receding, with the days of chivalry, into the past, it ought to be possible to create an army of the size we want fully up to strength and mechanised to the highest degree in the world.

Look at the Tank Corps. The tank was a. British invention. This idea, which has revolutionised the conditions of modern war, was a British idea forced on the War Office by outsiders. Let me say they would have just as hard work to-day to force a new idea on it. I speak from what I know. During the War we had almost a monopoly in, let alone the leadership in, tank warfare, and for several years afterwards we held the foremost place. To England all eyes were turned. All that has gone now. Nothing has been done in the years that the locust has eaten to equip the Tank Corps with new machines. The medium tank which they possess, which in its day was the best in the world, is now long obsolete. Not only in numbers—for there we have never tried to compete with other countries—but in quality these British weapons are now surpassed by those of Germany, Russia, Italy and the United States. All the shell plants and gun plants in the Army, apart from the very small peace-time services, are in an elementary stage. A very long period must intervene before any effectual flow of munitions can be expected, even for the small forces of which we dispose. Still we are told there is no necessity for a Ministry of Supply, no emergency which should induct us to impinge on the normal course of trade. If we go on like this, and I do not see what power can prevent us from going on like this, some day there may be a terrible reckoning, a very terrible reckoning, and those who take the responsibility so entirely upon themselves are either of a hardy disposition or they are incapable of foreseeing the possibilities which may arise.
And he did advocate a continental strategy.
I believe that the efforts at rearmament which France and Britain are making will not, by themselves, be sufficient. I believe that it will be necessary for the Western democracies, even at some extension of their risks, to gather round them all the elements of collective security or, if you prefer to call it so, combined defensive strength against aggression—the phrase which I prefer—which can be assembled on the basis of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Thus I hope we may succeed again in achieving a position of superior force and then will be the time not to repeat the folly which we committed when we were all-powerful and supreme, but to invite Germany to make a common cause with us in assuaging the griefs of Europe and opening a new door to peace and disarmament.
Both from the same speech 12th November 1936 https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1 ... dbe36f57d8

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 15 Nov 2021 18:43

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Nov 2021 00:53
Tom or anyone else - if you feel Richard has raised a specific contention you'd like me to address, happy to do so.
Fill your boots, but I’d prefer it if you answered my contentions first, rather than just evading them. :D

Sorry, not much time today just about got time to read up on why the British Cabinet agreed on the priorities articulated in the various Defence Rearmament Committee reports to remind myself of how silly comments on “Churchill’s [alleged] anti-land orientation” are when discussing British grand strategy in the run up to war.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Nov 2021 22:55
Hold on there, Tom. Proof of one dispute is not absence of proof of another dispute.
That’s true and, of course, why I asked about WPB records. Thanks for the news that they exist in some detail.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Nov 2021 22:55
WPB did not, however, have much say* in grand strategic questions such as what to build and when. It was solely tasked with making production happen, once the War and Navy departments told it what was needed.
Isn’t that somewhat contradicted by the quote you posted up thread:

The WPB Planning Committee, for example, expressed the opinion,

. . . the United States could contribute
more toward a successful termination of the
war by producing and shipping to our Allies
the great quantities of munitions needed,
than by shipping and supplying large numbers of American troops, which would interfere with our munitions production. . . .
Although foreign labor cannot be brought in
to relieve our industrial manpower shortage,
foreign soldiers can be substituted for American soldiers in many of the theaters of war.
A true combined strategy of the United Nations would free shipping and rationalize the
use of manpower.32
Or are you actually saying that no one took any notice of the blah blah blah (with due respect to Greta :D ) from the WPB so their opinions don’t actually tell us anything about US grand strategy?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Nov 2021 22:55
Given the tone in this thread, I'll not feel any compunction in telling you that you are out of your depth in discussing these matters and need to read up on the structure and history of US decision making in WW2.
I wouldn’t disagree with you there, just trying to help you refine your argument when I feel you are over-playing your tone of righteous anger. :thumbsup:

Regards

Tom

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