US WWII War Production From Rick Atkinson’s The Day of Battle


“By now the American war machine had become the “prodigy of organization so admired by Churchill and so dreaded by German commanders. U.S. Production totals in 1943 had included 86,000 planes,  compared with barely  2,000 in 1939. Also: 45,000 tanks, 98,000 bazookas, a million miles od communications wire, 18,000 new ships and craft, 6488,000 trucks, nearly 6 million rifles, 26,000 mortars, and 61 million pairs of wool socks.  Each day another 71 millions rounds of small arms ammo spilled from US munitions plants……



…..Wehrmacht headquarters reported dwindling stocks of iodine, soap, insulin, plaster of Paris, X-ray film, insecticide, dentures and glass eyes. Kesselring’s total ration strength topped one million men, including the Luftwaffe and various support units. And the daily supply allocation was a lean one kilogram per man. Not least was the daily victualing of 95,000 horses, which required 900 tons of fodder every single day and 200 tons of horseshoes and nails each month. Shortages of trucks and dray horses sometimes forced gun teams to harness oxen and even cows to pulls their tubes. A scheme to produce German munitions in Northern Italian plants when factory owners realized that virtually all raw materials would have to be shipped south from the Fatherland, from coal to brass to tungsten to molybdenum.


Allied quartermasters had their own woes, including shortages of 155mm ammunition, watches and binoculars. The incessant shelling at Anzio took a grievous toll in water cans and kitchen equipment, not to mention men. Three hundred varieties of ammo from carbine cartridges to bunker busters, required extravagant inventory controls: bimonthly ordinance requisitions, in sextuplicate, weighed sixty pounds each. Fifth Army’s supply arm, known as Peninsular base Section, by early Spring of 1944  employed 65,000 soldiers; like rear echelon troops in every war, they provoked snarling resentment among frontline veterans.”


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