Industrial Mobilization

August 22, 1947

Report Outline
Advance Preparation for M-Day, World War III
Lessons from World War I and World War II
Postwar Work on Industrial Mobilization

Advance Preparation for M-Day, World War III

Modern Reliance on Industry for Fighting Power

An overall plan for rapid mobilization of the country's resources to back the land, sea and air arms in the event of another war is now nearing completion at Washington. It will set forth in broad outline the steps to be taken on M-Day to put the national economy on a war footing. The mobilization plan is now scheduled for publication in November. It will be buttressed by numerous appendices giving the detailed application of the plan to men, machines and materials, but these will be kept “top secret” so far as the general public is concerned.

World War II demonstrated that exertion of the country's maximum effort in any future war will require ultimate regulation by the government of almost every human activity. At the outset, however, the success or failure of military operations is likely to be determined by the speed with which an industrial high command can be brought into being and peacetime manufacturing facilities can be converted for the mass production of war equipment.

Need of Industrial Preparedness for War

In a future war the United States is not likely to have a long period of non-belligerency, such as it had in World War II, during which a gradual conversion of the industrial plant can be carried out. Military leaders say the time factor has been reduced, if not eliminated, by (1) enemy realization that the measure of victory in the last war was provided in large part by the output of American industry, (2) new weapons with which swift and destructive attacks can be launched from long distances, (3) world changes which have left only two nations—the United States and Soviet Russia—capable of waging a major war. In an armed conflict with the Soviet Union, the United States could not count upon formidable delaying actions by allies in Western Europe to allow time for converting its industrial machine; it could count upon fifth-column efforts by Communists within its borders to delay the conversion to war production.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Preparation for World War II
Aug. 22, 1947  Industrial Mobilization
Sep. 23, 1941  War Organization of the Government
Aug. 02, 1941  Daylight Saving
Jul. 24, 1941  Conservation of Strategic Materials
Jun. 27, 1941  Atlantic Islands and American Defense
May 27, 1941  Production of War Materials
May 21, 1941  Rearmament and Work Relief
Mar. 15, 1941  War Aims
Feb. 20, 1941  War Orders and Decentralization
Feb. 05, 1941  Regulation of Priorities
Jun. 03, 1940  Methods of Financing War
Dec. 27, 1938  American Rearmament
Feb. 20, 1937  War Profits and Industrial Mobilization
Emergency Preparedness
Manufacturing and Industrial Production