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Industrial Production During World War II


When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941, the United States was not completely prepared for war. Congress had passed America's first peacetime draft in history in September of 1940 and American manufacturers had been supplying the Allied powers with war materials.

However, the United States now needed to supply their own troops with weapons and supplies. This was a great challenge. Americans on the home front made sacrifices by donating scrap metal, bought government war bonds, conserved energy, planted "victory gardens", and joined the armed forces. Every man, woman, and child had a role in the mobilization of the homefront.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that war production would be essential to an Allied victory. The War Production Board was established in January 1942 as well as the National War Labor Board to help the manufacture of weapons and supplies in American factories.

The more we produce, the quicker this will end

You will be required to read these files later on during this module:

War Production

War production was essential to supply troops with the resources necessary to defeat the Axis Powers.

  • Students will understand the significance of wartime production on the outcome of the war.
  • Students will create a persuasive letter to send to factories telling them the important role they play in the war effort.
Factory scene

Labor Lessons

Labor played a vital role in manufacturing wartime necessities.

  • Students will evaluate the role labor played in a national effort to win the war.
  • Students will examine the growth in shipyard workers between 1935 and 1942.
  • Students will investigate the effect women had on homefront war production.
  • Students will analyze the increased need for skilled workers in N.J.
American labor...producing for attack


Posters were employed in a propaganda campaign to keep the nation focused on war effort.

  • Students will examine propaganda posters as they relate to war production, labor, and women's roles.
  • Students will create a propaganda poster illustrating the importance of war production, labor, and women's roles.

Culminating Assessments

Students will combine all knowledge learned throughout the unit to complete two activities.

  • Students must complete all other lessons in this unit before beginning this assessment.
  • A final portfolio will be created that demonstrates mastery of the skills and content incorporated in this module.
More production