Most strategists during the First World War saw no military future for aviation. The French Marshal Ferdinand Foch once said, “Aviation is good sport, but for the Army it is useless” (Bailey 10); however, as air technology advanced in the 1920s, the idea of air power gained strength. World War II was the first war in which air power was considered vital to winning. At the beginning, in 1939, air supremacy belonged to Germany and the Luftwaffe, the German air force, which consisted of five hundred thousand men. England had one hundred thousand men in its Royal Air Force. The United States had only twenty-six thousand in the American Air Corps. Two years before the United States even entered the war, Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to strengthen U.S. air power (Nelson). As advancements were made in aeronautics and new innovations were being fashioned, a prodigious belief in air power was rapidly emerging.
For six years beginning in 1939, Congress had been increasing the demand for the purchase of military aircrafts. New manufacturing plants were being built for their construction just as the United States entered World War II. By the end of 1943, more than two million workers were busy assembling military aircrafts. At this time, the United States was capable of producing one hundred ten thousand aircraft a year (Nelson). Mass production techniques were used for American military production. The United States and the Allied Powers were able to produce armaments in much greater number than the Axis Powers (Brinkley 819). The... [continues]
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