*** World War II -- land campaigns industrial capacity production

World War II: Industrial Production Capacity

World War II industrial power
Figure 1.-- World War II was an industrial war won by mechanized formations. But only one country in the world had the capacity to fully mechanize a massive army--the United States. Americans even in the depths of the Depression, even poor Americans, had cars. And no only in the cities. Cars and trucks were also common in rural areas. Large numbers of young Americans drove cars and were familiar with operating machinery. Here American teenagers from modest families are photographed with the cars they drove during the mid-1930s. You would not see a scene like this anywhere in Europe. Once in the War, American industry not only equipped its own military, but those of the Allies. American trucks in the hands of the Red Army led to the destruction of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front.

What Hitler and the Japanese failed to fully assess in launching World War II is that two factors are involved in a war economy. First, is developing weapons systems. Second is the industrial capacity to produce them in meanginful numbers. And in this regard, Germany and Japan was seriously weak. It is one thing to develop modern weapons, but that is meaningless without the industrial capacity to produce them. Hitler was not unaware of the potentuial power of the United States and thus pursued policies to keep America neutral and provided support to American isolationists. The Japanese made another calculation. They concluded that martial spirit was even more important than industrial producrion. Hitler and the Japanese were so intent on war, that they decided to gamble. They calculated they could win the War quickly before the industrial capacity of their opponents could be mobilized. Hitler suceeded with France, but failed with the other major industrial powers (America, Britain, and the Soviet Union). The Japanese despite their spectacular successes never even threatened the industrial base of their adversaries. They thus were left to fight a war against an industrial giant. The result for both Germany and Italy was national destruction.


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Created: 8:07 PM 5/9/2011
Last updated: 6:40 PM 5/20/2011