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1 WW 2 History Club 27 – Jul - 2011 The Home Front.

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1 1 WW 2 History Club 27 – Jul The Home Front

2 2 "But there is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States - every man, woman, and child - is in action… That front is right here at home, in our daily lives. - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1942

3 3 Home Front Topics Dozens of topics; had to pick just a few and focus on US only (see Daily Items on web site for more) 1.Total War 2.Transformation of Washington, DC and the Federal Government 3.Manufacturing Miracle 4.Women – the other American soldiers 5.Propaganda in WWII 6.Eyewitness – Gene Talanek Interest Groups?

4 4 Total War WWII was total war WWII was a war between ideologies and between production systems. The superior production system would win.

5 5 Total War Orators, columnists, professors, preachers, and propagandists performed magnificently with the theme that World War II was a war between two ideologies. But what­ever inflamed people's minds in warring countries, victory was on the side of the heaviest-armed battalions. The conflict became one of two systems of production. Charles Sorensen, The Biggest Challenge of My Life

6 6 Total War Destroying factories and the enemys ability to wage war was as important as destroying its armies. The bomber did not always get through but for the first time, virtually any location within the enemys borders could be attacked. Everyone was a combatant

7 7 Transformation of Washington, DC and the Federal Government Pre WWII: sleepy southern city US Federal Government was completely unprepared (worse than industry or military) Little was in place to cope Traditional Federal government was inept New Dealers were not capable A 2 nd government took shape to manage the US through WWII New Deal aside, Fed Govt did not place a significant role

8 8 Stabilization of the Economy As the war began, FDR attempted to stabilize the national economy by creating an Office of Economic Stabilization led by an Economic Director. In the process, the president assumes an unprecedented executive control over the American economy.

9 9 Transformation of Washington, DC and the Federal Government Alphabet Soup (just a sample!) AWPCAircraft War Production Council NDACNational Defense Advisory Commission NDMBNational Defense Mediation Board NDRCNational Defense Research Commission NJACNational Joint Aircraft Commission ODTOffice of Defense Transportation OEMOffice of Emergency Management OPAOffice of Price Administration OPACSOffice of Price Administration and Civilian Supply OPMOffice of Production Management OSRDOffice of Scientific Research and Development OWIOffice of War Information PAWPetroleum Administration for War SPABSupply Priorities and Allocation Board WMCWar Manpower Commission WOWWomen Ordnance Workers WPCCWar Production Coordinating Committee WPMWar Production Board OCIOffice of Coordinator of Information OSSOffice of Strategic Services CIACentral Intelligence Agency

10 10 Paying for the War Demand for labor Wages and Prices Controlling Labor Controlling Inflation War bonds Beginning of modern income tax

11 11 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TAKES CONTROL OF INFLATION With prices of goods threatening to rise out of control, FDR responded by creating the Office of Price Administration (OPA) The OPA froze prices on most goods and encouraged the purchase of war bonds to fight inflation (siphon off excess cash)

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13 13 Financing The War Federal government encouraged citizens to purchase war bonds. By borrowing money, ~ 40% of the cost of the war. high levels of deficit spending also boosted the national debt five-fold from 1940 – 1945.

14 14 Financing The War Income tax funded most of the war 4 million paid in million in 1945 Withholding initiated Fed Govt finally had a continuoussource of funds WWII came and went Income Tax came and stayed

15 15 Rationing The productive capacity of the United States during World War II surpassed all expectations. Americans at home were asked to conserve materials and to accept ration coupons or stamps that limited the purchase of certain products such as: –Gasoline ** –Rubber –Sugar –Butter –Certain cloths American responses to rationing varied from cheerful compliance to resigned grumbling to black market subversion and profiteering.

16 16 Inflation & Food Prices Facing rapidly increasing food prices and wage rates, FDR submitted a bill to Congress on September 7, Roosevelt spoke to the American people that evening warning that farm prices may succumb to drastic inflation unless the government establishes further price controls. He also explained to the nation the need for the government to increase the federal income tax rates. The Office of Price Administration established price controls to control inflation. Congress passed a stabilization bill on October 2nd.

17 17 Victory Gardens Farm labor migrating to defense work and into military Office of War Mobilization encouraged citizens to participate via Victory Gardens Help lower cost of feeding the troops Help manage inflation. 40% of all the produce grown during the war

18 18 Transformation of Washington, DC and the Federal Government 1940: sleepy southern city Modest presence Hardship assignment 4 million paying taxes New Deal was dead Isolated Economic potential Rollercoaster Military Major World Player 1945: center of the free world Fed Govt everywhere Coveted assignment 60 million paying taxes Another deal is brewing International oversight 60% of world output Large Standing Military True Superpower

19 19 Manufacturing Miracle Effect of the Depression Industrial potential Jump start from Europe Virtually everything mined, manufactured, grown or transported Every business – large or small Need for much increased labor force Federally subsidized factories Assembly lines and the American Way

20 20 Manufacturing Miracle Quantity and Efficiency ( often cut costs and time in half ) Bearings, rifles, gunpowder Uniforms and boots ( 5600 sizes, 200M in 44 ) Weapons Systems The best design is only as good as the ability to manufacture, deploy and service German tanks were elegant designs and extremely deadly, but ultimately failures as weapons systems

21 21 War Production Board (WPB) To ensure the troops had ample resources, FDR created the WPB The WPB decided which companies would convert to wartime production and how to best allocate raw materials to those industries

22 22 A Production Miracle Americans converted their auto industry into a war industry The nations automobile plants began to produce tanks, planes, boats, and command cars Most other industries also converted to war- related supplies

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24 24 Aircraft Production Ranking behind the USSR, Britain & Germany in 1939, the U.S. became the top aircraft producer in the world by By war's end, the U.S. had produced 86,500 more aircraft than Germany, Italy & Japan combined & tripled the combined output of Germany & Japan.

25 25 Merchant Ship Production Another insightful statistic illustrating the United States' enormous industrial output is the gross tonnage of merchant ships built during the war. When compared with England and Japan, the second and third largest fleets respectively, the U.S. output is staggering.

26 26 Manufacturing Miracle $1,500,000,000,000 (2010 $) 41,000,000,000 rounds of ammo 2,600,000 machine guns 2,400,000 trucks 200,000 defense companies 126,839 gun carriages 5,600 merchant ships 79,125 landing craft 5,000 hours / soldier 24 lbs /man/day

27 27 Manufacturing Miracle The Axis powers turned out more human robots than war machines. Although Hitler's armament was formidable and fearsome, it would have been more so had it come from mass production Henry Ford-Detroit style. The seeds of United Nations victory in 1945 were sown in 1908 in the Piquette Avenue plant of Ford Motor Company when we experimented with a moving assembly line. Thirty-five years later everything from artillery shells to giant four-engine bombers came off assembly lines in the same method that we first developed when turning out Model Ts. Charles Sorensen, The Biggest Challenge of My Life

28 28 Manufacturing Miracle Video: Birth of the B29

29 29 Women in WWII The American women won WWII for the Allies Without the American women, the manufacturing miracle would not have happened American women were different

30 30 Women in the Workforce Workforce shortage? Men depart for the military Women in the war industries would only be temporary Perceived problems –No understanding of machinery –Could not do heavy work –Disturbing influence on male workers –Not readily teachable –Facilities for women Actual problems –Lack of facilities –Dress code / safety code compliance –Absenteeism Unexpected results –Better at many jobs –Less easily bored (saw the big picture) –Increased production

31 31 Women in the Workforce Govt launched propaganda campaign to sell the importance of the war effort and to lure women into working. Promoted fictional character* of Rosie the Riveter as the ideal woman worker: loyal, efficient, patriotic, and pretty. Women responded to the call to work differently depending on age, race, class, marital status, and number of children. Half of the women who took war jobs were minority and lower-class women already in the workforce, moving from lower-paying traditionally female jobs to higher-paying factory jobs. * Girl From Lockheed

32 32 Women and the Homefront public resistance to the idea of working mothers: lower rate of women aged 25 to 34 in the work force. Rationing made home life more labor intensive Women in big cities felt this squeeze more Womens magazine Uniform glamour factor created need for better looking factory attire and created WOW

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35 35 LABORS CONTRIBUTION By 1944, nearly 18 million workers were laboring in war industries (3x the # in 1941) More than 6 million of these were women (36%) and nearly 2 million were minorities

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37 37 Women and The Home Front Video: String of Pearls

38 38 Propaganda Anything that attempts to influence opinion Books, magazines, posters, movies, cartoons, newspapers, … Get the population behind the war Get the population to hate the enemy

39 39 Home Front Propaganda 1940 – 41: US public was against foreign involvement However, the government (FDR) recognized that American participation was necessary, and quickly stepped up pro-war propaganda. This was not very successful until after Pearl Harbor, when the war no longer seemed comfortably distant but very close to home.

40 40 Home Front Propaganda It was also necessary to begin stepping up production and conservation of materials for the war effort, because the Allies only real advantage was their great production power. As the war began in earnest, America increased the flood of propaganda, utilizing the radio and visual media, most specifically posters. Thousands of posters were created on virtually every subject

41 41 Home Front Propaganda Hollywood contributed with not so subtle propaganda films and the very effective use of animation. 90 million Americans went to the movies once a month. Movies and cartoons were very effective propaganda.

42 42 Demonizing the Enemy During the war, both sides attempted to demonize their adversary. In these American posters, the Germans and Japanese are depicted in less than flattering light.

43 43 Encourage Production

44 44 Discourage Careless Talk

45 45 Encourage Participation

46 46 Encourage Rationing

47 47 WWII Propaganda Video: Der Fehruers Face

48 48 The Home Front Eyewitness: Gene Talanek

49 49 Sources Miracle of World War II – How American Industry Made Victory Possible, Francis Walton My Forty Years With Ford, Charles Sorensen Our Mothers War – American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II, Emily Yellin War and Society – The United States, , Richard Polenberg War Lords of Washington, Bruce Catton Washington Goes to War, David Brinkley Web-Based Sources: Northwesterns Library Collection of WWII Posters (on-line) The Home Front ( PP file: 17TheWWIIHomeFront ), Alyson Westby THE US in WWII ( PP File: A C 17 US CHAPTER 17.ppt ), John Naisbitt


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