During World War II, America's shipbuilding industry, mobilized under the U.S. Maritime Commission, set records of production that have never been equaled. Given the daunting task of building ships faster than they were being sunk, shipbuilding firms across the country found new ways to increase their efficiency and scale of production. Huge new shipyards were built, a labor force of 640,000 was employed, and over 55 million deadweight tons of ocean-going ships were delivered, including the famous Liberty and Victory ships. First published in 1951, Ships for Victory chronicles this remarkable wartime program in magisterial detail: the development of revolutionary construction methods; the upheavals in management, awarding of contracts, and allocation of steel and other materials; the recruitment, training, housing, and union activities of the workers; the crises, confusions, and scandals that arose; and the role of shipbuilding within the total war effort.
Frederic C. Lane (1900-1984) was a noted maritime historian of medieval and Renaissance Venice. Among his many books are Venetian Ships and Shipbuilders of the Renaissance and Venice, A Maritime Republic, both available from Johns Hopkins. Arthur Donovan is a professor of humanities at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Contents:Preface to the 2001 Edition, by Arthur DonovanPreface to the 1951 EditionChapter 1: The Commission and the Shipbuilding IndustryChapter 2: Emergency Shipbuilding before the Declaration of WarChapter 3: Design and Initial Procurement for the Liberty ShipChapter 4: Contracts with Shipbuilders and Their SupervisionChapter 5: Expansion and Reorganization after Pearl HarborChapter 6: Excess Capacity and the Cancellation of the Higgins ContractChapter 7: Speed and Productivity in Multiple ProductionChapter 8: Building the Labor ForceChapter 9: Collective BargainingChapter 10: The Battle for SteelChapter 11: Guiding the Flow of MaterialsChapter 12: Increasing the Supplies of ComponentsChapter 13:Stabilization and Morale in the Labor ForceChapter 14: Managing ManagementsChapter 15: Changing ManagementsChapter 16: Cracks in Welded ShipsChapter 17: The Victory ShipChapter 18: Military and Minor TypesChapter 19: The Contrast between 1943 and 1944Chapter 20: The Manpower and Managerial CrisisChapter 21: Administrative Problems-(A) The Regional OfficesChapter 22: Administrative Problems-(B) The Flow of MoneyChapter 23: Administrative Problems-(C) The Commission and the War Shipping AdministrationChapter 24: Adventures in HindsightBiographical NoteIndex