Military Supplies — World War II US Propaganda Posters

In early 1942, the Americans faced not only the problem of increasing industrial production, but also the problem of securing the supply of raw materials necessary for industrial manufacturing.
World War II US Propaganda Posters Military Supplies

In early 1942, the Americans faced not only the problem of increasing industrial production, but also the problem of securing the supply of raw materials necessary for industrial manufacturing. However, objectively speaking, the American raw material reserves were not sufficient, and the German submarines, which were active in all corners of the Atlantic Ocean, were constantly attacking Allied merchant ships to disrupt the already strained supply of materials between the Allies. During the war, the main focus on the supply of raw materials was the Quartermaster Department under the War Production Board; in addition, the Purchasing and Transportation Departments, which were also under the Board, were also responsible for ordering and importing some raw materials. Nearly all U.S. war materials were more or less dependent on imports, and among the supply of several important raw materials, the supply of oil was first in serious crisis in the fall of 1941.

We’re on our way! It takes 2,000,000 gallons of Hi-octane gasoline to put 1,000 planes over Germany (Wartime Petroleum Industry Council,1943)
We’re on our way! The Navy moves in on a sea of oil (Wartime Petroleum Industry Council,1943)

Roosevelt supported this proposal and eventually signed a decree in early December announcing the formation of the War Petroleum Administration, a division of the Department of the Interior to coordinate such efforts, which would not only limit the domestic supply of civilian petroleum products (mainly derivatives such as gasoline and diesel fuel) but would also be in direct contact with Nelson-led wartime production committees. The Solid Fuels Administration was formally established on April 19, 1943, followed by the targeted establishment of the Coal Mining Administration by Inks, who was also the general coordinator of solid fuels, within the third month of his appointment, thereby reducing the number of coal strikes.

Small bearings play big parts in war(U.S. Department of the Army,1943)

Natural rubber was also in short supply, as was oil, and the American rubber industry was in such a state of impasse that it could come to a halt at any time, with less than 300 barrels of synthetic rubber produced in a single month at the beginning of 1942.

Two quality inspectors are sampling samples of manufactured synthetic rubber on the production floor of the U.S. Rubber Company in West Virginia.

Recognizing this dilemma, the U.S. Congress approved the Synthetic Rubber Program in early July to improve the existing synthetic rubber manufacturing process in the United States in order to radically increase the production of artificial rubber. Subsequently, the Rubber Reserve Corporation and the Defense Industries Corporation organized pilot groups to improve the manufacturing processes for neoprene and styrene-butadiene rubber, which were fundamentally needed for daily production since  Americans later succeeded in diplomatically bringing Brazil together in exchange for valuable ore and natural rubber resources by way of industrial assistance, these synthetic rubbers are also fundamentally meet the needs of daily production.

“The Synthetic Rubber Forum produces enough to cover four billion miles of driving.” This was a promotional ad for the synthetic rubber tires produced by Goodrich in 1943.

The work of supplying mineral raw materials was largely similar to that of rubber. Unlike the rubber industry, however, the mineral industry was firmly in the hands of the War Production Board from the very beginning. In order to encourage the factories to further increase production, the WPC introduced a new quota and price policy on December 15, 1942, dividing production work into three categories, A, B, and C, and using the number of increments per production as the first level of pay. This measure soon paid off in 1943, and many metals actually reached their wartime production extremes that year.

Copper is vital for national defense (Bell Telephone Southwest Region Company,1941)
The more we produce. The quicker this will end(U.S. Department of the Army,1944)

In addition to these most critical munitions materials, wood is also an indispensable combat material from the training of trainers for airmen, to the construction and laying of some military structures, to the direct participation in front-line operations of gliders and torpedo boats, can not be without the supply of processed wood.

During the war, the Forest Service began to follow the Treasury Department’s practice of promoting bonds by establishing a lumber processing goal for each state in the country. By December 1942, however, the Forestry Department was surprised to find that overall timber production was less than 70 percent of the total program and that only 11 states had met their target production. The Forestry Department then concluded that the main cause of wartime forest processing in the United States was the extreme scarcity of loggers and woodworkers and, more importantly, the fact that many of the lumberyards and logging plants were not members of the two major unions and did not have access to the human resource allocations available to them from the Wartime Manpower Board. Of course, interference from the outside world also caused many loggers to panic, especially when the American public learned one after another that Japanese submarines and seaplanes had launched attacks on the Oregon area, and many people believed that the east and west coasts of the United States would most likely be the target of German and Japanese air raids – and Oregon and New England were the two concentrated sources of lumber in the United States at the time.

Give us lumber for more PT’s(U.S. Department of the Army,1942)

The battle depicted in the poster took place on the night of April 8, 1942, when the American torpedo boat PT-34 successfully wounded the Japanese light cruiser Kuma during the night off Cebu Island. Unfortunately, the next morning, the boat encountered four Zero seaplanes from the Japanese ad hoc mothership Sanuki Maru off Kauai, was wounded by Japanese aircraft, and was later sunk

Recognizing the seriousness of the problem, the Wartime Manpower Board decided in July 1943 to integrate domestic logging workers into the wartime labor human resource system. While this initiative greatly improved the manpower shortage in the lumber industry, subsequent conflicts between the Forest Service and the Wartime Production Board left lumber production unable to fully meet the Army’s needs until the end of the war, and some species of lumber limited supply necessitated the use of composite lumber instead.

The Yanks are there! The army needs lumber for trucks (Felix Schmitt,1943)
A blow to the Axis. More lumber for the army (Harold von Schmidt,1943)

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