Monday, June 8, 2020

Conquerers of the Impossible 2

Just to amplify ASM826's posts about what America used to be, here are some statistics about US military production during World War II.  We manufactured:

108,000 tanks and self-propelled guns;
250,000 artillery pieces plus 100,000 mortars;
2.6M machine guns;
2.3M trucks and other vehicles;
300,000 aircraft;
124 aircraft carriers;
23 battleships and 72 cruisers;
over 800 destroyers, destroyer escorts, and frigates; and
34M tons of cargo sealift capacity;

The numbers are a little hard to grasp in this day of $100M fighter planes.


libertyman said...

Speaking of which, they made about 4 million Garands, still available through the CMP. Here is a great site on how they were made:

The CMP Special Grade Garand is essentially a totally rebuilt rifle, and I would say a bargain. Become a member of the Garand Collectors Association and they will ship it to your door.

libertyman said...

I am not sure the CMP has much left in stock, but have a look.
I got mine a few years ago.

Old NFO said...

And all done in less time than the 'basic' project planning would take today, considering the average of 12 years to get things into the Fleet.

libertyman said...

The P-51 Mustang had a very quick development time -- 90 days or so, I believe. They hit it out of the park with that one. How does the F-35 compare to that? He said with tongue firmly in cheek.

I was amazed to see how many planes the Germans built. They concentrated on two models, the Bf-109 and FW-190. We produced a lot more and a lot more varieties, and provided them to our allies, too.

I am amazed how quickly they built ships. I mean, they are big! Even with new shipbuilding techniques, we have only cranked out a few Zumwalt class ships over the years.

Beans said...

5 million M1 Garands

6.1 million M1/2/3 Carbines

622 thousand M3 submachine guns

1.7 million Thompsons

1.9 million M1911s of all varieties

And enough ammo that there are still stockpiles privately and publicly owned.

Not to mention all the tooling to make the tooling to make the machines that made the machines that made everything.

You can still find low-mileage machine tools with 'Finished to War Standards' labels or cast directly into the casting. Meaning no finishing touches like chromed pieces, multi-layered paint with sanding between, and care to finish the castings and fill in all casting pores.

And then there were the fabric mills and garment plants that produced everything from socks to tarps to inflatable rafts and uniforms and and and...

Food canneries that made prepared foods that were still being eaten in the 1960's.

But... all of those workers, all of that production capability, thrown away in the late 60's and 70's and gutted by the 80's due to a combination of union over-reach, managerial indifference to updating and maintaining, and the whole-scale raping of companies for monetary reasons - making money selling everything but the actual items produced.