Printer-friendly page

Scenes of war production, World War II (from World at War)

Clip from a U.S. Government film made after the U.S. entry into World War II, explaining the war to Americans.


Video Transcript

Narrator (00:00)
Like the other democracies, we were not prepared for total war. Fortunately under a Lend-Lease Act of March 19, 1941, we had set out to become the arsenal of the free and fighting nations. We were determined to supply them with our war goods whether they could afford to pay or not. We were buying time. Time to convert the industries of peace into war.
Time to make ships, merchant ships and war ships. Time to make planes and more planes. Bombers and fighters. Faster, more powerful than any the world had ever seen. Time to make guns. And more guns. Shells. And more shells. Tanks, and more tanks. Time to gather the huge strength which was ours. To pour the great riches of American *earth* into the cauldron of war. Iron, steel, oil, coal.
Time to build a navy, called upon to fight in both oceans, and upon all the seas, to convoy men and weapons to Australia, to Britian, to the Middle East, to Russia. A navy that had already undertaken daring raids upon the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, and braved Japanese waters. And had taken a heavy toll of the invading forces in the Makassar Strait. And had won the first battle in the Coral Sea.
Time to expand our miniature professional army into a modern war machine. Time to take civilians, gathered in the peace time conscription while we were still debating. To mold them into soldiers. Train them in the use of new weapons, new tactics. And we were buying time to weld the home front and the fighting front into one. For this was total war. And we realized victories were born in the production line. We needed more ships, more planes, more tanks, more guns, more shells.
Usage Statement: 

Public Domain

Public Domain is a copyright term that is often used when talking about copyright for creative works. Under U.S. copyright law, individual items that are in the public domain are items that are no longer protected by copyright law. This means that you do not need to request permission to re-use, re-publish or even change a copy of the item. Items enter the public domain under U.S. copyright law for a number of reasons: the original copyright may have expired; the item was created by the U.S. Federal Government or other governmental entity that views the things it creates as in the public domain; the work was never protected by copyright for some other reason related to how it was produced (for example, it was a speech that wasn't written down or recorded); or the work doesn't have enough originality to make it eligible for copyright protection.