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Essay/Term paper: U.s. supplies in wwii

Essay, term paper, research paper:  American History

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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 tons of projectiles and explosives

3,786,000 tires 49,000 tons of leather 18 million pairs of

shoes more than six million tons of provisions three million

tons of gasoline 900,000 tons of chemical products and

700,000 trucks. Much of this was delivered to factories for

the manufacture of sheet aluminum, rubber and pipelines

Most of the aid the United States offered went to the

USSR as one can see by the number of supplies sent.

World War II was one of the most devastating wars in the

history of the world yet it brought out the best in people.

People helped other people. The help came from home

where millions of women worked in factories to produce

aid for Americans and others. Help also came from the

battlefield where one American may have offered a Russian

a smoke to calm his nerves or the help may have come

from the shoes a poor little Russian girl received so her feet

wouldn"t freeze. Help came from all over but most of it was

from the United States in the form of supplies to help

armies win the war. At the end of the war, the U.S. is

estimated to have spent $341 billion, including $50 billion

for lend-lease supplies, of which $31 billion went to Britain,

$11 billion to the USSR, $5 billion to China, and $3 billion

to 35 other countries. The aid given to countries is not a

waste of time nor money. If this had not taken place the

war just may not have been won. Maybe this goes along

with yo! u have to give a little to get a little.  

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