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War Production

What is the role of industrial production during war?

Keep the home fires burning. More Production!

There are a good many ways we can lose this war, but there is only one way to win it: Every man of us must keep his sleeves rolled up all the time. Every machine must work all the way around the clock.

We have come to the place where every hour is zero hour, where a day lost can mean a month of fighting later on. Let us not waste a day or a minute. Let us use every man and every machine. Let’s use them now!

-Donald Nelson
Chairman, War Production Board

An executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to direct war production led to the formation of the War Production Board in January 1942. The goal of the WPB was to oversee the production of war supplies, allocate vital war resources, and prohibit non-essential wartime industries to maximize the output of necessary weapons and supplies during World War II. The WPB lasted from 1942-1945. The most crucial year during its existence was 1942. The United States needed to increase the production of war materials to supply American troops and assist the other Allied powers. During its three years in existence, the WPB oversaw the production of $185 billion worth of weapons and supplies.