Americas WWI wooden fleet

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#1
Having watched an abandoned engineering programme on TV I had a scratch on google and found this [to me] fascinating article on Americans wooden fleet of WWI

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

I have tended to think/believe that America was the economic and industrial superpower of the time [and leading up to and during the second WW], so learning that they had no choice but to build a 1000 ship wooden fleet?! I was a bit surprised - and that none of them made it to the war and it was all a bit of a disaster.....

Also learning that all their capacity [which meant that when they entered the war they couldn't provide for themselves] was aimed at providing for us the Russians and the French was a another surprise.
 
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#2
Interesting article, especially the very 'cost effective' salvage operations.

There is a whole raft of interesting articles and photographs of weird, odd, strange 'abandoned' places on the net, perhaps you could start a proper thread on them just like the bridge thread !!
 
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ugly

LE
Moderator
#3
Right from the beginning of WW1 the allies let contracts in the USA for arms and ammo, frankly apart from the ammo most of the weapons were woefully late and not good enough to the point where Japanese weapons were bought and used for training and secondary troops until domestic production caught up and they were then shipped to Imperial Russia.
Secondary arms of WW1 has always been of interest thanks to Tony Edwards lectures and publications. The French and Belgians both ordered from the UK and the USA on a commercial basis. Remember none of these were US Govt trade agreements they were commercial contracts. Lend Lease didn't exist then.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
Sorry for the topic drift above, back on thread (well almost) did anyone know that the design for the WW2 Liberty Ships came from a North East British Shipyard?
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
America didn't really become an industrial superpower until the outbreak of WW2. It was still suffering from the effect of the great depression in 1938/39, but substantial orders from France and the UK for American weapons gave a major boost to many industries - and in many cases paid for the modernisation of factories. Roosevelt also had the vision to see that sooner of later the US would end up in conflict with the Axis powers and placed orders to reequip the US's then pitiful armed forces.

Given that the US had plentiful raw materials and was effectively immune from attack, it them ramped up its production and turned itself into an industrial behemoth in just a few short years. The US equipped not only itself but also provided substantial assistance to the UK and Russia, along with more minor allies like the Free French.

The production statistics are astonishing - for example the US produced just short of 300,000 aircraft from 1940 - 1945.

United States aircraft production during World War II - Wikipedia

Wordsmith
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
It's not suprising that they were using wood to build. There were still merchant vessels under sail operating into the 20s and 30s. It was dying out transoceanic, but wooden schooners were plentiful in the Pacific an Indian oceans.
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#7
It's not suprising that they were using wood to build. There were still merchant vessels under sail operating into the 20s and 30s. It was dying out transoceanic, but wooden schooners were plentiful in the Pacific an Indian oceans.
The programme said that they simply didnt have the facilities and skill and spare capacity to produce a 1000 ships in steel - so they went back to wood as the only option to them...
 

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