Roosevelt Uses Business Leaders for World War II Planning (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s appointment of William S. Knudsen of General Motors Corporation to take charge of the manufacturing aspect of military supply marked a turning point in the United States’ military preparation.
Summary of Event
Modern war involves the conflict of rival industrial complexes as much as armed combat between opposing armies. The crux of the problem of industrial mobilization of the United States for World War II was how to supply the war materials required by United States and allied military forces while meeting the needs of the country’s civilian population. Complicating that task were three fundamental difficulties of war production. The first difficulty involved the technical and engineering problems of large-scale manufacture of new and complex military equipment that had to meet exacting specifications. The second was the shortage of many critical resources, given the magnitude of military demands. The third—which aggravated the other two—was the pressure to meet the goals of war production as rapidly as possible. Overcoming those difficulties required a degree of centralized control, or national planning, that was anathema to most Americans in peacetime. The exercise of such control was sensitive politically because decisions concerning industrial mobilization inevitably affected people’s lives and interests.
During World War I, mobilization...
(The entire section is 2637 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!