In cost and bulk, the munitions manufactured by and for the Army's Ordnance Department during World War II exceeded the output of all the other technical services of the Army combined, and in cost they rivaled that for the aircraft and ships with which the war was fought. The process of getting these munitions to fighting forces all over the world—of storing them until needed, of keeping track of them, and of keeping them in repair—was almost as complicated as their manufacture. In writing the story of these two main aspects of the Ordnance mission on the home front, the authors have produced a record of enduring value; for whatever the character of military procurement now and in the future, the problems of producing and distributing military equipment on a very large scale remain much the same. Since private industry and civilian labor inevitably are called upon to contribute enormously to the making of munitions on any large scale, civilian as well as military readers should find much in this volume to instruct them. Perhaps its greatest lesson is the long lead time required to get munitions into full production, and therefore the need for calculating military requirements with the utmost accuracy possible. It is imperative, in this age of international tension and partial mobilization, that all of the intricacies of military production be clearly understood if the nation is to get the maximum of economy as well as security in preparations for its defense.
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