Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy

Documentary Recalls Chrysler Corporation’s Role in Roosevelt’s Great Arsenal of Democracy

In recognition of the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s historic “Arsenal of Democracy” radio broadcast (December 29, 1940), FCA US LLC has released “Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy,” a short documentary that chronicles the role of the Chrysler Corporation as one of the primary military suppliers for the Allied war effort.

The “Arsenal of Democracy” in World War II was a slogan used by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a radio broadcast delivered on December 29, 1940. Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by giving them military supplies while the United States stayed out of the actual fighting

Narrated by FCA US historian Brandt Rosenbusch, the nearly six-minute feature provides viewers with an unprecedented look at the Chrysler Corporation’s wartime production, which included trucks and tanks; aircraft parts and components; guns, ammunition, rockets and bombs; and a variety of other goods and materials that were a vital part of military operations.

Honoring Those Who Serve – Past and Present 
FCA US LLC is proud to support the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, both at home and abroad. The Company currently has numerous employees who are on active military leave, active or inactive reservists or veterans. Further, the FCA US has numerous military-related programs emphasizing community growth, support and gratitude throughout the U.S. and the world, including:

  • Annual monetary donation to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation program
  • Support toward the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Financial support of the United Service Organizations (USO)
  • Donation of Jeep® vehicles to selected Operation package recipients

As a partner with our U.S. Armed Forces, FCA US has played a vital role in keeping America safe and free. We continue to support the men and women who serve in the fight to enable and preserve democracy for the rest of the world.

By mid-June 1941, the automaker was purchasing machinery to produce the nose and center fuselage sections for the Martin B-26 Marauder bomber.
By mid-June 1941, the automaker was purchasing machinery to produce the nose and center fuselage sections for the Martin B-26 Marauder bomber.

 

Installation of a multibank tank engine in Sherman M4A3 tanks at Chrysler Tank Arsenal, Warren, Mich., about 1942.
Installation of a multibank tank engine in Sherman M4A3 tanks at Chrysler Tank Arsenal, Warren, Mich., about 1942.

 

Multibank tank engine final assembly line at Chryslers Jefferson Plant, Detroit, 1942.
Multibank tank engine final assembly line at Chryslers Jefferson Plant, Detroit, 1942.

 

On February 4, 1942, a little more than a year after the original contract award, the first mass-produced Bofors antiaircraft guns came off Chrysler’s assembly lines.
On February 4, 1942, a little more than a year after the original contract award, the first mass-produced Bofors antiaircraft guns came off Chrysler’s assembly lines.

 

Chrysler accounted for nearly half of the auto industry’s tank output of 49,058 units and more than one quarter of total American production of 86,000 tanks from all sources.
Chrysler accounted for nearly half of the auto industry’s tank output of 49,058 units and more than one quarter of total American production of 86,000 tanks from all sources.

Additional Resources
FCA US LLC is pleased to be able to assist vehicle restorers, collectors and scholars with information from the corporate archives. Visit www.fcanorthamerica.com and click on Our Company to explore a comprehensive look at the intriguing evolution of an American automaker, as well as request Historical Services’ assistance with build cards, photographs, owner’s manuals and general information.

December 28, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich.

 

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