MEN MONEY AND MATERIEL"
AN ADDRESS BY
CAPTAIN ROSWELL P. ROSENGREN, G.S.C.
Chairman: The President, Mr. C. R. Sanderson.
Thursday, October 26, 1941
MR. C. R. SANDERSON: There are some men who throughout their career, by their ability, their drive, their energy, and their personality, manage to blaze a trail of distinction right from the beginning of that career. Such a man is our speaker today--Captain Rosengren. As you look at him, as I look as him, we might guess his age--shall we take the radio audience into our confidence by saying that he appears to be still in his thirties. Yet he has already a great career behind him as well as in front of him.
For the benefit of those people who are listening on the air, may we say that this distinguished citizen of the United States has earned degrees from two Universities; his interests range from dramatics to geology, from debates to law; he has a successful law practice in Buffalo; and the breadth of his interest might be further shown--I take but one instance-by the fact that successively he was President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce of the City of Buffalo, of the State of New York, and of the United States of America.
In addition to his law practice, in addition to his other activities, again to take but one further instance of his wide activities, he is on the executive bodies of the American Amateur Athletic Union and of the American Olympic Association, and he is a Director of the Niagara Frontier Planning Committee.
All this shows the wide sweep of his talents. This shows his achievements. And at the present time he is on Active Service with the General Staff Corps of the Army of the United States of America.
On your behalf, Gentlemen, I assure Captain Rosengren that he is warmly welcome here today, and I have great pleasure in presenting him to you to address us on the topic, "Men Money and Materiel". (Applause.)
CAPTAIN ROSWELL P. ROSENGREN, G.S.C.: Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Radio Audience: To one who for nearly forty years has lived at one point of our far-famed, unarmed border, it is good to be back in Canada. If ever two nations were one by mutuality of free choice, they are Canada and the United States. I have played as a child with your children upon your beautiful sandy beaches and have engaged in friendly combat with your young men in sail-boat races, on the golf course and at squash racquets. In the fields of Conservation and of the Civil Service, it has been my privilege, upon many occasions, to engage in profitable discussion in Ottawa, Washington and elsewhere. As Province President of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, the chapter at the University of Toronto is presently "under my wing".
This recital is made in a spirit of humble pride as an illustration of how closely our lives have been intertwined. We might add an interminable list of delightful social events, admit that the last letter of the alphabet is "zed" and that the proper pronunciation of l-i-e-u-t-e-n-a-n-t is Leftenant, and the fact that my lovely wife was educated at Ontario Ladies College, as "clinchers". Finally, I am proud to appear before this great Canadian audience as an Officer of the Army of the United States.
There are many subjects upon which we might spend a mutually enjoyable half-hour together. These times, however, are much too serious to talk of football, or of hockey, or of even the Civil Service or conservation of natural resources. You are primarily interested in one subject which can be paraphrased in the title of a popular song, "South of the Border".
At the outset it must be clear that the views expressed are strictly my personal views and not the views of the War Department. You must further understand that it is not the province of the Army to become interested or involved in the political questions which produce clashes that frequently result in war. When the President and the Congress have determined that an emergency exists, and the extent of that emergency, it then becomes the duty of the Army and our other Armed Forces to prepare to meet whatever threat exists. The Congress of the United States has loosed the purse and its contents are being rapidly translated into modern materiel and trained men.
In our two countries we have many things in common. Neither of us is a warlike people. Neither of us has found it necessary to maintain large navies for the protection of our world commerce. Neither of our countries has boasted huge arms plants such as Vickers, Krupp or Skoda. We have maintained armies which were little more than token forces. And so for twenty years we reclined in peaceful oblivion.
Suddenly across two ocean highways came the threat of lightning war to rouse us from our double decade of delusion. Persuaded in part that war was a contractual matter to be entered into by the consent of the parties involved, we had come to believe that permanent peace could be maintained over here. The past two years, however, have shown us that countries which hoped and prayed for peace, but failed to gird themselves for war, have fallen wholesale. One nation with lust for world power, has rolled a tide of ruthless savagery over the helpless lands of three great continents.
France fell in June, 1940, a victim of the treacherous machinations from within, destroying that magnificent army which in 1914 stood between the Hun and our democracies.
The other day a friend gave me a copy of an advertisement of the Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland. It was captioned "Wonder what a Frenchman thinks about". It is worth a moment's close attention:
"Two years ago a Frenchman was as free as you are. Today what does he think
"-as he humbly steps into the gutter to let conquerors swagger past,
"-as he works 53 hours a week for 30 hours' pay,
"-as he sees all trade unions outlawed and the 'rights' for which he sacrificed his country trampled by his foreign masters,
"-as he sees his wife go hungry and his children face a lifetime of serfdom?
"What does that Frenchman-soldier, workman, politician or business man--think today? Probably it's something like this--'I wish I had been less greedy for myself and more anxious for my country; I wish I had realized you can't beat off a determined invader by a quarreling, disunited people at home; I wish I had been willing to give in on some of my rights to other Frenchmen instead of giving up all of them to a foreigner;' I wish I had realized other Frenchmen had rights, too; I wish I had known that patriotism is work, not talk, giving, not getting'.
"And if that Frenchman could read our newspapers today, showing pressure groups each demanding things be done for them instead of for our country, wouldn't he say to American business men, politicians, soldiers and workmen--'If you knew the horrible penalty your action is bound to bring, you'd bury your differences now before they bury you; you'd work for your country as you never worked before, and wait for your private ambitions until your country is safe. Look at me . . . I worked too little and too late!' "
In the event there is any doubt in your minds, let me assure you that we in the United States know who the foe is and what his intentions are. In proclaiming an unlimited emergency on May 27, 1941, President Roosevelt said, "The objectives of the Axis belligerents in . . . (this) war ... include overthrow throughout the world of existing democratic order . . ." and, he continued, "We will not hesitate to use our armed forces to repel attack".
Let there be no doubt-it is Hitler who is our enemy and it is Hitlerism that threatens our democratic security. On the Atlantic last August, Roosevelt and Churchill defined and announced to the world the newest document of free men. First we must put Hitler behind the eight points.
On September 11th, the President proclaimed for all to hear, and in no uncertain terms, the means we would employ in defense of this hemisphere and to maintain the freedom of the seas.
Despite 'the sometimes slow and costly democratic processes, they insure the deliberate judgment of our peoples. All factions have been accorded free speech, free "air" and peaceable assembly.
There are some in the United States who sincerely disagree with our present program. We welcome their discussions, for only by constructive criticism can there be the progress which is the essence of the democracy we are arming to defend. There are others who criticise vehemently for the sole purpose of gaining publicity for themselves by being sensational. We shall not dignify them by reply. We believe that the people of the United States can distinguish the wheat from the chaff, even as the free people of Britain do, who are permitted to listen to the German broadcast propaganda. There are still others who are simply chronic critics, and to them I could give the reply of another Roosevelt-Teddy Roosevelt, who said in "The Man in the Arena"
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat".
The minds of the American people have largely "jelled". The Gallup Poll of a few days ago indicates that the majority of our people believe the defeat of Hitler to be more important than the preservation of peace. Throughout the whole debate, Congressional and public, there has been no substantial word against our National Defense Armament, nor against all-out-aid to the soldiers and civilians of Britain who are bearing the battle.
The problems of preparing our present respective military forces are different from 1917. Then, England and France had built a tremendous productive capacity through three years of concentrated military effort. Both your soldiers and ours were equipped by our Allies and sent overseas with only the basic training of the soldier.
Today all that is reversed. We are the "Arsenal of Democracy". Only those who witnessed the retreat from Dunkerque and counted the loss of men and equipment know the full story of how low the English fortunes sank. I heard it in Washington from the eloquent lips of DuffCooper. Britain has dug in with her fingernails, and we on this side of the Atlantic have been producing to support her. England's labour has replaced arms deserted on the channel shore-and now comes our great effort.
Here is what the Secretary of War said last month, "Some comment has been made on the relatively small amount of defence articles which thus far have been transferred under the Lease-Lend Act. I think this comment loses sight of the primary purpose of the Act and some of its greatest benefits to the countries concerned. The great contribution of the Lease-Lend Act and of the appropriations made under it lies in the opportunity which these have afforded the resisting countries, particularly Great Britain, to plan ahead for the continuation of their resistance. The measure of our contribution is not the amount thus far transferred, but the amount of the production which is now in train, for it is on the basis of this production that Britain is enabled to plan her effort on an expanding, rather than a shrinking, program. . . . Her position as to reserves and resources has been thus lifted into sharp contrast with that of Germany whose reserves and resources, great as they are, are nevertheless necessarily limited and shrinking . . . .".
But now we are beyond that good position. Our Quartermaster General has clothed and fed and tended to the physical needs of an Army of over a million and a half in less than one year. He is procuring equipment and supplies for an army of nearly a million and three-quarters and critical and essential items for three million men. Proportionately this compares with Canada's 320,000 on active service and does not include a single Home Guard unit.
Of course you understand that exact data regarding our production, disclosure of which is not in the public interest, cannot be given. Nevertheless here are some interesting comparisons indicative of the progress being made. I have seen the exact figures and I know the amazing story of production in one year in a democracy.
You are interested--and vitally--in Ordnance--tanks, guns, and ammunition--and aircraft. In the field of Ordnance, sixty-three plants have been planned. Of this number approximately fifty are under construction or completed, twenty-eight are in actual production today. At Fort Meade, Maryland, before the newsmen knew an order had been placed for such vehicles, there were displayed fifty-four high speed self-propelled gun mounts, delivered sixty days after the equipment had been ordered.
Although facilities at the Elwood Ordnance Plant, Joliet, Illinois, are not yet completed, bomb and shell loading lines are now in operation and are more than sixty days ahead of schedule. The Gadsden Ordnance Plant, Gadsden, Alabama, operated by Landsdowne Steel, is five weeks ahead of its shell forging schedule. Although constructed practically overnight, this plant is the largest air-conditioned factory unit in the world. R. Hoe & Co., one of the oldest newspaper press makers in the United States, recently delivered its first 3 inch gun recoil mechanism over a month ahead of schedule. The St. Louis, Missouri, small arms ammunition plant is the largest ever constructed in the history of the world.
The story of the twenty-eight ton medium tank is typical of the production possibilities of American industry. The Ordnance Department had a medium tank in operation in the summer of 1940. Its speed and manoeuvrability were amazing. It seemed to be just what we needed. However, the experience in Flanders and France proved that modern warfare required much heavier tank armour and armament. This, of course, meant complete redesigning for the increased weight, requiring a heavier transmission and strengthening of many parts. Ordnance engineers, working with selected manufacturers, worked out the resultant problems so rapidly that a complete new medium tank was produced and demonstrated in less than six months. During these same months, three great private companies were tooling up, and training men to make these tanks in quantity. Two other companies were added to the list and relatively heavy production of this new tank is now a f act.
The machine tooling output of the United States for 1941 will approach $1,000,000,000-more than four times the peak production attained during the World War years.
In the first nine months of 1941, deliveries of equipment have increased nearly three times; of ammunition, about ten times. September deliveries as compared with January, 1941, deliveries were as follows: Garand rifles, doubled; 60 mm. mortars, tripled; .30 calibre aircraft machine guns, three times; light tanks, six times; .50 calibre aircraft machine guns, twelve times; and medium tanks, fifteen times. And-every machine gun manufacturing facility planned is now in actual production.
As to airplanes, engines and propellers, in 1938, the output of the entire aviation industry was $125,000,000, representing equipment either sold or contracted for, and including not only Army, but also commercial production, the majority being commercial. In 1939, we raised this figure by 100 millions, mostly commercial. In 1940, we spent more than half a billion, with slight commercial inclusions. This year, which must obviously be an estimate, a billion and a quarter will be spent, about 80 per cent military items. Next year, that figure will be more than doubled, nearly 100 per cent military.
In 1938, the entire aircraft industry of the United States had approximately nine and one-half million square feet of floor space. To date, this floor space has been increased approximately five times, and, when the expansion program is completed, will be increased approximately six times.
Today, there are forty-five prime contractors for airplanes, engines and propellers, exclusive of the auto industry. These prime contractors are operating sixty-three plants, including thirty airplane companies, ten plants; nine engine companies, ten plants; six propeller companies, ten plants.
The number of sub-contractors is not definitely known but it is estimated to be several thousand.
The production of military airplanes has increased ten times or 1,000 per cent over the pre-emergency production. These "Vital statistics" relate only to the Army and include in no way the great work of our other splendid arm-the Navy.
We could discuss at length the tremendous progress made in the army motor transport service in the past year both in vehicles and equipment and in men trained to drive, maintain, and repair them, in the field and under battle conditions. Briefly, there are both tactical vehicles and administrative vehicles. Tactical vehicles are those required by the field forces to transport supplies and equipment under combat or manoeuvre conditions. Administrative vehicles are "housekeeping" vehicles used in and around installations in the zone of the interior. An outstanding development during the year was the testing, putting into shape, and putting into service of the quarter ton truck known to the public as "the baby jeep". Because of its light weight, small size, and manoeuvrability in cross-country operation, it offers many possibilities for military use, and has attracted more widespread public interest than any other army motor vehicle.
Based on experience gained the hard way in World War No. 1 and on developments made by the automotive industry since 1918, the vast procurement program for obtaining a sufficient number of the right kind of army motor vehicles for specialist purposes evolves into the principle that standardization, both of vehicles and parts, is essential. One of the first big accomplishments in this direction is the adoption of the all-wheel drive in all tactical vehicles.
There is not the slightest doubt that at the present moment motor transportation is far ahead of its position in 1917. Although the Quartermaster Corps received very limited appropriations for motor experimental purposes during the intervening years, it was possible to continue essential research indicating the kind of equipment needed in modern warfare. . It was also possible to continue the work of testing proposed equipment. Thus the essential needs of the army, as to type of equipment, were known when the present emergency arose. Orders were placed long before industry had to contend seriously with rising costs of labour and material. Industry, therefore, having had an opportunity to reduce production costs by virtue of our large orders, is providing our motor transportation at a very reasonable figure.
The principle of standardization, meaning a uniformity of vehicles and parts, and, where possible, parts that are interchangeable, was almost entirely lacking during the World War. As a result of experiences gained abroad in the last war, we realized the absolute necessity of standardization. Today much progress has been made in this direction. Models and types of vehicles have been reduced in number and many parts today are interchangeable.
Because army motor vehicles are exposed to exceptionally hard usage under adverse conditions as to roads, long hours, and inexperienced personnel, maintenance problems begin as soon as new vehicles are delivered. Proper maintenance requires trained drivers, skilled mechanics, and an abundance of tools and spare parts. Great stress is laid in army motor transport on "Preventive Maintenance" by the drivers and those who control them directly. It is better to prevent damage than to have to repair damage.
There were two hundred and fifty projects placed under the direction of the Quartermaster General, entailing the expenditure of nearly two billions of dollars. This included troop housing, general hospitals, Ordnance manufacturing plants and storage depots, general storage depots, chemical warfare plants, and miscellaneous projects.
This building operation is unparalleled in the history of any nation. It represents fifty major camps and cantonments, twenty-eight reception centres, nineteen replacements centres, fifty-two harbour defenses, eighteen air corps projects, sixty-eight housing facilities, thirty-three miscellaneous troop housing projects, nine general hospitals, forty-five Ordnance and munitions plants, ten chemical warfare plants, twenty-one storage depots and twenty-three scattered projects of various types.
In terms of speed it represents the most remarkable achievement in rapid large scale construction in the annals of this or any other army. It exceeds the record of 19171918.
The new American Army has been housed in new modern construction in considerably less than a year's time. In face of the unprecedented demand placed on it last July, the Construction Division had to be reorganized to handle a program seventy times its accustomed capacity, at a time when qualified army personnel was needed for tactical duty, involving, at the peak of employment, nearly half a million workers.
Perhaps no branch of the United States Army maintains a more effective nation-wide organization than the crack Corps of Engineers. It is well that this is the case, for with the extensive expansion (almost twice the average rate for the Army as a whole) necessitated by the emergency, the Engineers are in the throes of a herculean task.
All construction for the Army Air Corps, totalling two-thirds of a billion dollars, is in their hands. The responsibility of the development of the Eastern Island bases falls to the Engineers. At eight locations off our Atlantic coast-at Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica. Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad and British Guiana-army installations must be designed and constructed. They consist of Army air bases, harbour defenses, communication and supply systems, and barracks, mess halls and utilities for the army garrisons.
The national defense features of the Civilian Aeronautics Administration of navigation improvements in rivers and harbours, as well as flood control projects of a specific national defense value, are just part of the job. In addition, the maintenance and development of our seacoast fortifications has always been a function of the Army Engineers.
Were we living under a totalitarian form of government, in which for years all business and industry had been required to turn out its products primarily for conversion to war use, this defense program might not be so impressive.
If our President were a dictator, who could take over the entire economic life of the country and direct production and rationing of all products, this army effort might seem feeble. But our government is not a dictatorship. It is dedicated to the principle of democracy that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. As Abraham Lincoln put it, "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of Democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no Democracy".
In the monthly leaflets furnished me by your Military Attache in Washington, you commence with this statement in reciting "Canada's War Record"
"1. Canada entered the war after full and free debate and entirely of her own volition on September 10, 1939".
That is the Canadian way. That is the Democratic way. That is the way of the people of the United States. It is unnecessary for me to recite the progress of our "full and free debate"; you have followed it each day with avid interest.
From apathy to concern and from concern to alarm, we have progressed-then we acted. Destroyers were traded for bases. Lease-Lend became an accepted policy. Circumstances necessitated keeping our trainees, our National Guard, and our Reserve Officers, beyond their expected one year tour of duty. Now we have an Army, the first elements of which have just concluded manoeuvres in Louisiana-their final phase of training. Soon we shall be ready for any eventuality.
While this great production program is vital to us both, we must remember wars are not won by tanks and dive bombers alone. The Totalitarianism of Hitler has made the same error in this respect which the Kaiser's Junkers made.
We remember that thin line of Canadians and French which stemmed the far advance of that other "invincible army" in that other World War before Paris. History will record in equal deathless bronze the story of the "little people" of England whom Hitler can never "lick" however many he may destroy or render homeless. (Applause.) Despite the magic of the speed of wings, which blitzkrieg has imparted to the bulk and weight and power of the engines of war, they are still run by men, and men are still the most important element of all. With half a chance, the men who love the cause for which they fight, will triumph in the end. The voluntary latent dynamics of a democracy, once aroused, are more powerful than the driven dynamics of a dictatorship.
On June 21, 1940, in convention assembled at Washington, D.C., the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the "cannon-fodder" of the United States, deliberated upon the coming crisis which so vitally affected them. They called for the immediate organization of all resources, including industry and manpower, and specified as the number one step, compulsory military training. These are the young men between the significant ages of 21 and 35. They concluded their long recital in the same tone as their Canadian brothers, by declaring
"Having faith in our future and confidence in the willingness of our young men to make any sacrifice necessary, the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce tenders to the nation the services of its members .... in the establishment of adequate national defense and the maintenance of our democratic form of government".
In the sixteen months that have elapsed, I have seen that pledge fulfilled in terms of tears and sweat--yes--blood. Our first member has been killed in a training airplane crash.
I have seen them in the Army camps and in the training centres, in the Navy and in the Marines. Two weeks ago I saw them in the most exciting war games staged at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Many veterans of the last war pronounced the games the finest they had ever witnessed.
I saw them drive tanks at break-neck speed through almost impassable obstacles. I saw them jump from transport planes and guide their parachutes exactly to the spots where their equipment had been dropped. I saw them race tremendous cannons over rough terrain to meet the challenge of the tanks point blank. These men were less than one year trained.
This new kind of warfare depends for its effectiveness upon hair-timed coordination for success. Never in any coordinated effort of any kind have I seen such team work. These lads know what they are doing and where they are going and how to do both. They have morale in the highest sense.
They know morale does not consist of creature comforts. If it were merely being well fed and comfortable, a hog wallowing in the mud could be said to have morale. They know morale is the spirit of team play with respect to courage, confidence, and zeal, which are begotten of good leadership down and of good soldiership up. Woe unto him who depends upon an absence of morale in the Army of the United States for Axis victory! Sad and costly will he find that mistake. (Applause.)
The past has cast up the score of men who fought for human liberty. Time was when doubters were silenced with the power of unlimited belief and faith. Free men have ever defied the mightiest powers of the earth and counted the odds against them only after the war was won. Today, the arm-chair experts tell us whom we can and whom we cannot "lick". They have had a long and patient hearing. Now is the time for action.
Just up ahead in life's parade are the men of '17. Their job is done. They too loved peace and yet they likewise knew that there are some things more dear than life itself. They bared their breasts between the foe and liberty and freedom.
Down through the ages comes the challenge of our day. Woven through our common heritage of one law, one language and one God, from brave and noble sire to worthy son, it has been passed. Twenty-odd years ago a physician donned a uniform in this Niagara Peninsula, sailed across the Atlantic, wrote a poem and then marched out with measured tread, out upon the Flanders Fields of which he wrote--to die. Across a score of years we hear his words. In them Lieutenant John McCrae will live forever. From them, we the living take increased devotion. To them, in answer, we meet the challenge
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe; To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who (lie,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields."
MR. C. R. SANDERSON: Gentlemen, I imagine that the thing that struck me throughout Captain Rosengren's address struck you. This is a young man talking-talking of and for his own generation-and as he talked, one could realize why in 1934 he was given the National Distinguished Service Award by the Junior Chambers of Commerce of the United States of America. (Applause.) We realize too, why in 1938 he was chosen by his compeers as one of the ten outstanding men in the United States of America under forty years of age.
And as he talked, as he mentioned that unarmed border, he drove home the fact that that unarmed border is not the cause of peace, it is the result of mutual confidence, of trust, of understanding. And when there is trust, when there is understanding, when there is confidence, hands are held tighter in times of stress whether by individuals or by nations. Sir, this story that you have brought us today, the story of production, the story of training, the story of morale, the story of the fundamental feeling in your country, will mean that the hands across the border are clasped more tightly and with increased confidence, with increased trust in this time of stress.
If I say "Thank you" to you, Sir, I am saying very little. But on behalf of this audience and on behalf of the masses of people listening to us on the air, I do say that we not only sincerely appreciate your kindness in coming, but also value greatly what you have said to us. (Applause.)