THE ARMY AND ECONOMIC MOBILIZATION. By R. Elberton Smith. (1959, 1985; 749 pages, 63 tables, 4 charts, 11 illustrations, bibliographical note, glossaries, index, CMH Pub 1 -7.)
No ingredient of the power with which the Allies inflicted defeat on their enemies in World War II is less in dispute than the overwhelming superiority in the materiel of war that they ultimately developed. Equally evident is the fact that the United States took the lead in producing the great variety and huge quantities of munitions, military equipment, supplies, and services that gave them this superiority. The present volume is a description and analysis of the basic problems, policies, and procedures with which the War Department, in cooperation with almost every other agency of government, was concerned in carrying out a nationwide program of economic mobilization.
This work traces the foundations of the achievement in the nation's experience of World War I and the planning for economic mobilization with which the War Department was charged in the period between the two wars. It describes, for each of the major substantive areas of economic mobilization, the nation's transition from a peacetime status through the eighteen-month "defense period" to the achievement of a full-fledged war economy.
Before production for war had reached its peak, planning for a return to a peacetime economy began, and the book in its concluding chapters describes this and the operations by which the vast machine was dismantled and reconverted. An "epilogue" chapter reviews and summarizes the effort of economic mobilization as a whole and presents the author's conclusions.
The volume concentrates on the basic issues as they appeared at the highest policy-making levels of the War Department-the Office of the Under Secretary of
War and the staff divisions of the Headquarters of the Army Service Forces. Nevertheless, in order to show the operational effects of the policies adopted, and in turn the reciprocal effects of operations on policy, the study includes many of the activities of the Army's actual procuring arms and services.
These operations are set forth in detail in the volumes of the United States Army in World War II devoted to each of the technical services. The present volume, in addition to forming the capstone of these as far as they relate to economic mobilization and reconversion, is closely related to such others in the series as both Global Logistics and Strategy volumes, The Army and Industrial Manpower, and The Organization and Role of the Army Service Forces. It may also be read to advantage in conjunction with the various histories, official and unofficial, that describe the wartime activities of other governmental agencies on the home front.
1. The following subject areas are discussed throughout:
a. Economics of war.
b. Relation between economic, political, and other factors in the development and administration of economic control systems.
c. Production feasibility of wartime requirement programs.
d. Organization and administration of military procurement; military versus civilian responsibility for procurement; quantities, varieties, and special characteris-tics of military procurement items.
e. Contract placement problems: selection of contractors, development and use of the negotiated contract, preliminary contractual instruments, and contract forms.
f. Wartime pricing problems: effects of the decline of competition in wartime; pricing policy as a means of economizing real resources; dilemmas posed by the requirement of "close pricing"; effects of ceiling prices upon military procurement; and alternative and complementary solutions to wartime pricing problems.
2. Problems of small business in the placement and administration of
war contracts (Ch. XVIII).
3. Financing of military and industrial facilities (Chs. XIX-XXI).
4. War Department procurement planning-1920-40 (Ch. III).
5. Nationwide industrial mobilization planning-1920-40 (Ch. IV).
6. Methods of determining military requirements (Chs. VI-VIII).
7. Nature and administration of Army cost-plus-a-fixed-fee contracts in World War II (Ch. XII).
8. Pricing in fixed-price contracts; origin and development of progressive pricing articles (Ch. XIII).
9. Contract renegotiation-origin and nature, principles, policies, and results in World War II (Chs. XV-XVI).
10. Nature and administration of "tax amortization" provisions for rapid write-off of capital facilities in World War II (Ch. XX).
11. Evolution and administration of the priorities system in World War II (Chs. XXIII-XXIV).
12. Origin, adoption, and administration of the Controlled Materials
Plan (Ch. XXV).
13. Contract termination and settlement: basic policies, procedures, and results for World War II (Chs. XXVII-XXIX).
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