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Title: America's Munitions 1917-1918
Author: Crowell, Benedict
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "America's Munitions 1917-1918" ***


[Illustration: FRONTISPIECE.



One minute before the hour.

All guns firing.

Nov. 11, 1918. 11 A.M.

One minute after the hour.

All guns silent.

    This is the last record by sound ranging of artillery activity
        on the American front near the River Moselle. It is the
        reproduction of a piece of recording tape as it issued
        from an American sound-ranging apparatus when the hour of
        11 o'clock on the morning of November 11, 1918, brought
        the general order to cease firing, and the great war came
        to an end. Six seconds of sound recording are shown. The
        broken character of the records on the left indicates great
        artillery activity; the lack of irregularities on the right
        indicates almost complete cessation of firing, two breaks
        in the second line probably being due to the exuberance
        of a doughboy firing his pistol twice close to one of the
        recording microphones on the front in celebration of the
        dawn of peace. The two minutes on either side of the exact
        armistice hour have been cut from the strip to emphasize
        the contrast. Sound ranging was an important means of
        locating the positions and calibers of enemy guns. A
        description of these wonderful devices, which were a secret
        with America and the Allies, is given in Book III, chapter

                          America's Munitions

                           BENEDICT CROWELL

                         DIRECTOR OF MUNITIONS


                      GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

                                 WASHINGTON, D. C., _December 24, 1918_.

DEAR MR. CROWELL: American munitions production, which for some time
has been in your charge, played an important part in the early decision
of the war, yet the very immensity and complexity of the problem has
made it difficult for this accomplishment to be adequately understood
by the public or in fact by any except those who have had occasion to
give the matter special study. As the whole people have been called
upon to make sacrifices for the war, all the people should be given an
opportunity to know what has been done in their behalf in munitions
production, and I therefore ask that you have prepared a historical
statement of munitions production, so brief that all may have time to
read it, so nontechnical that all may be able readily to understand it,
and so authoritative that all may rely upon its accuracy.

      Cordially yours,

                                                        NEWTON D. BAKER,
                                                     _Secretary of War_.

      _The Assistant Secretary of War_.

                                      WASHINGTON, D. C., _May 10, 1919_.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Responding to your request, I transmit herewith
a brief, nontechnical, authoritative history of munitions production
during the recent war. The several chapters have been prepared in the
first instance by the officers who have been directly responsible for
production, and have been assembled and edited, under my direction, by
Hon. Robert J. Bulkley, assisted by Capt. Robert Forrest Wilson and
Capt. Benjamin E. Ling. Capt. Wilson has undertaken responsibility for
the literary style of the report, and has rewritten the greater part of
it, consulting at length with the officers who supplied the original
material, and with officers of the statistics branch of the General
Staff, in order to insure accuracy.

Maj. Gen. C. C. Williams, Chief of Ordnance; Brig. Gen. W. S. Peirce,
Acting Chief of Ordnance; Maj. Gen. C. T. Menoher, Chief of Air
Service; Maj. Gen. W. M. Black, Chief of Engineers; Maj. Gen. W. L.
Sibert, Chief of Chemical Warfare Service; Maj. Gen. H. L. Rogers,
Quartermaster General; Mr. R. J. Thorne, Acting Quartermaster General;
Maj. Gen. G. O. Squier, Chief Signal Officer; Brig. Gen. Charles B.
Drake, Chief of Motor Transport Corps; and Maj. Gen. W. M. Ireland, the
Surgeon General, have cooperated in the preparation of the material
transmitted herewith.

Special acknowledgment for the preparation and correction of the
several chapters is due to the following officers:

The ordnance problem, Col. James L. Walsh.

Gun production, Col. William P. Barba.

Mobile field artillery, Col. J. B. Rose.

Railway artillery, Col. G. M. Barnes and Maj. E. D. Campbell.

Explosives, propellants, and artillery ammunition, Col. C. T. Harris
and Maj. J. Herbert Hunter.

Sights and fire-control apparatus, Col. H. K. Rutherford and Maj. Fred
E. Wright.

Motorized artillery, Col. L. B. Moody and Lieut. Col. H. W. Alden.

Tanks, Lieut. Col. H. W. Alden.

Machine guns, Col. Earl McFarland and Lieut. Col. Herbert O'Leary.

Service rifles, Maj. Lewis P. Johnson and Maj. Parker Dodge.

Pistols and revolvers, Lieut. Col. J. C. Beatty and Maj. Parker Dodge.

Small arms ammunition, Lieut. Col. J. C. Beatty, Maj. Lee O. Wright,
Maj. A. E. Hunt, and Capt. C. J. Evans.

Trench warfare material, Lieut. Col. E. J. W. Ragsdale, Capt. J. R.
Caldwell, Capt. R. D. Smith, and Lieut. J. T. Libbey.

Miscellaneous ordnance equipment, Lieut. Col. S. H. MacGregor, Maj.
Bashford Dean, Capt. A. L. Fabens, and Capt. James S. Wiley.

The aircraft problem and airplane production, Lieut. Col. George W.

The Liberty engine and other airplane engines, Lieut. H. H. Emmons,
United States Navy.

Aviation equipment and armament, Lieut. Col. E. J. W. Ragsdale, Maj. E.
Bradley, Capt. Robert D. Smith, Capt. H. E. Ives, and Lieut. John M.

The airplane radio telephone, Col. C. C. Culver and Lieut. Col. Nugent
H. Slaughter.

Balloons, Capt. H. W. Treat.

The Engineers in France, Lieut. Col. J. B. Cress and Capt. C. Beard.

Military railways, Col. J. M. Milliken and Mr. S. M. Felton.

Engineer activities at home, Lieut. Col. J. B. Cress and Lieut. Col. R.
W. Crawford.

Sound and flash ranging and searchlights, Lieut. Col. J. B. Cress and
Maj. W. D. Young.

Toxic gases, Col. M. T. Bogert, Col. W. A. Walker, Lieut. Col. E. M.
Chance, and Lieut. Col. William McPherson.

Defensive gas equipment, Col. Bradley Dewey and Lieut. Col. A. L. Besse.

Subsistence, Lieut. Col. J. H. Adams and Capt. S. B. Johnson.

Clothing and equipage, Lieut. Col. F. A. Ellison and Capt. W. H. Porter.

Miscellaneous quartermaster undertakings: Music, Maj. George H.
Richards; fuel, oil, and paints, Mr. J. Elliott Hall; brushes, Capt. T.
W. S. Phillips; rolling kitchens, Capt. J. G. Williams and Mr. M. A.
Dunning; tools and tool chests, Mr. W. F. Fusting and Mr. M. E. Moye;
hardware, Lieut. Col. H. P. Hill and Mr. William A. Graham; factory
enterprises, Lieut. Col. H. P. Hill; shoe fitting, Col. F. A. Ellison;
meat cutting, Dr. W. O. Trone; packing, Capt. R. H. Moody; horses and
mules, Maj. A. Cedarwald.

Motor and horse-drawn vehicles: Motor vehicles, Col. Fred Glover;
horse-drawn vehicles, Maj. A. Volgeneau.

Medical and dental supplies, Lieut. Col. J. P. Fletcher and Capt. W. G.

Salvage, Col. J. S. Chambers and Capt. F. C. Simpson.

Mr. W. L. Pollard, Mr. Aaron Rachofsky, and Lieut. J. J. Cameron
have rendered very valuable assistance in assembling data concerning
quartermaster activities.

Cantonments and camps, and miscellaneous construction, Maj. W. G.

Signal Corps material, Brig. Gen. C. McK. Saltzman and Capt. Donald

The accuracy of all statistics and direct statements of fact has been
checked and approved by the statistics branch of the General Staff,
under the direction of Maj. W. R. Burgess.

Respectfully submitted,

                                                      BENEDICT CROWELL,
                                       _The Assistant Secretary of War,
                                                Director of Munitions_.

      _Secretary of War_.


Except in one or two instances, this account of the production of
munitions in America for the war against Germany and her allies
contains nothing about secret devices invented during the period under
discussion. When the necessity for silence with respect to vital
matters brought about a voluntary censorship in American publications,
the land was filled with rumors of new and revolutionary developments
in war matériel, particularly of new weapons of offense. It is fair to
the American public to-day to state that such rumors were not without
foundation. American inventiveness rose splendidly to the emergency.
The expected American offensive in 1919 would have had its "surprises"
in numbers, some of which might well have proved to be decisive.
Certain of these inventions had been put in large production before
the armistice was declared, others had been carried to an advanced
experimental stage that insured their success. Since the value of these
innovations as part of the Nation's permanent military assets depends
largely upon their secret nature, it would be obviously unwise to
mention or describe them at this time.

The Director of Munitions wishes to acknowledge the debt of America,
so far as the production of munitions is concerned, to the Navy for
its cooperation in industrial matters at home and its strong aid
in the safe transport of munitions to France, and to all the other
Government departments, each one of which contributed in numerous and
important ways to the success of the munitions enterprise. The debt
also extends heavily to the War Industries Board, its functions of
creating facilities for manufacture, opening up new sources of raw
materials, allocating materials, decreeing priorities, fixing prices,
and acting as purchasing agent for the allies, making it the national
industrial clearing house through which the War Department could work
without waste effort. Acknowledgment is made to such essential agencies
as the United States Railroad Administration, the United States Fuel
Administration, the War Trade Board, and the United States Food
Administration, and to all official or volunteer activities looking to
the conservation and mobilization of our national resources. Without
this entire cooperation the history set forth in these pages would not
be what it is.


  Introduction                                                        13

                           BOOK I--ORDNANCE.

  CHAPTER 1.  The ordnance problem                                    21
          2.  Gun production                                          38
          3.  Mobile field artillery                                  56
          4.  Railway artillery                                       91
          5.  Explosives, propellants, and artillery ammunition      103
          6.  Sights and fire-control apparatus                      135
          7.  Motorized artillery                                    148
          8.  Tanks                                                  154
          9.  Machine guns                                           158
         10.  Service rifles                                         177
         11.  Pistols and revolvers                                  187
         12.  Small-arms ammunition                                  191
         13.  Trench-warfare material                                200
         14.  Miscellaneous ordnance equipment                       221

                       BOOK II--THE AIR SERVICE.

  CHAPTER 1.  The aircraft problem                                   235
          2.  Airplane production                                    239
          3.  The Liberty engine                                     265
          4.  Other airplane engines                                 281
          5.  Aviation equipment and armament                        294
          6.  The airplane radio telephone                           323
          7.  Balloons                                               331

                     BOOK III--THE ENGINEER CORPS.

  CHAPTER 1.  The Engineers in France                                347
          2.  Military railways                                      367
          3.  Engineer activities at home                            375
          4.  Sound and flash ranging and searchlights               383

                      BOOK IV--CHEMICAL WARFARE.

  CHAPTER 1.  Toxic gases                                            395
          2.  Gas defense equipment.                                 410


  CHAPTER 1.  Subsistence                                            435
          2.  Clothing and equipage                                  453
          3.  Miscellaneous quartermaster undertakings               475
          4.  Motor and horse-drawn vehicles                         496
          5.  Medical and dental supplies                            511
          6.  Salvage                                                517


  CHAPTER 1.  Cantonments and camps                                  535
          2.  Miscellaneous construction                             548

                      BOOK VII--THE SIGNAL CORPS.

  CHAPTER 1.  Signal Corps material                                  567
  Conclusion                                                         585

                      AMERICA'S MUNITIONS, 1917-18


As our war against Germany recedes into the past its temporal
boundaries become more sharply defined, and it assumes the character
of a complete entity--a rounded-out period of time in which the United
States collected her men and resources, fought, and shared in the

As such it offers to the critic the easy opportunity to discover that
certain things were not done. American airplanes did not arrive at
the front in sufficient numbers. American guns in certain essential
calibers did not appear at all. American gas shells were not fired at
the enemy. American troops fought with French and British machine guns
to a large extent. The public is familiar with such statements.

It should be remembered that the war up to its last few weeks--up to
its last few days, in fact--was a period of anxious suspense, during
which America was straining her energies toward a goal, toward the
realization of an ambition which, in the production of munitions,
dropped the year 1918 almost out of consideration altogether, which
indeed did not bring the full weight of American men and matériel into
the struggle even in 1919, but which left it for 1920, if the enemy had
not yet succumbed to the growing American power, to witness the maximum
strength of the United States in the field.

Necessarily, therefore, the actual period of hostilities, between April
6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, was devoted in this country to laying
down the foundations of a munitions industry that should bring about
its overwhelming results at the appointed time. What munitions of the
more difficult sort were actually produced in this period might almost
be termed casual to the main enterprise--pilots of the quantities to

The decision to prepare heavily for 1919 and 1920 and thus sacrifice
for 1917 and 1918 the munitions that might have been produced at the
cost of any less adequate preparation for the more distant future, was
based on sound strategical reasoning on the part of the Allies and

On going back to the past we find that on April 6, 1917, the United
States scarcely realized the gravity of the undertaking. There was a
general impression, reaching even into Government, that the Allies
alone were competent to defeat the Central Powers in time, and that
America's part would be largely one of moral support, with expanding
preparation in the background as insurance against any unforeseen
disasters. In line with this attitude we sent the first division of
American troops to France in the spring of 1917 to be our earnest to
the governments and peoples of the Allies that we were with them in the
great struggle. Not until after the departure of the various foreign
missions that came to this country during that spring did America fully
awake to the seriousness of the situation.

All through the summer of 1917 the emphasis upon American man power in
France gradually grew, but no definite schedule upon which the United
States could work was reached until autumn or early winter, until the
mission headed by Col. Edward M. House visited Europe to give America
place on the Supreme War Council and in the Interallied Conference. The
purpose of the House mission was to assure the Allies that America was
in the war for all she was worth and to determine the most effective
method in which she could cooperate.

In the conferences in London and Paris the American representatives
looked into the minds of the allied leaders and saw the situation as
it was. Two dramatic factors colored all the discussions--the growing
need for men and the gravity of the shipping situation. The German
submarines were operating so effectively as to make exceedingly dark
the outlook for the transport on a sufficient scale either of American
troops or of American munitions.

As to man power, the Supreme War Council gave it as the judgment of
the military leaders of the Allies that, if the day were to be saved,
America must send 1,000,000 troops by the following July. There were
in France then (on Dec. 1, 1917) parts of four divisions of American
soldiers--129,000 men in all.

The program of American cooperation, as it crystallized in these
conferences, may be summarized as follows:

1. To keep the Allies from starvation by shipping food.

2. To assist the Allied armies by keeping up the flow of matériel
already in production for them in the United States.

3. To send as many men as could be transported with the shipping
facilities then at America's command.

4. To bend energies toward a big American Army in 1919 equipped with
American supplies.

In these conferences sat the chief military and political figures of
the principal European powers at war with Germany. In the Supreme
War Council were such strategists as Gen. Foch for the French and
Gen. Robertson for the British, Gen. Bliss representing the United
States. The president of the Interallied Conference was M. Clemenceau,
the French prime minister. Mr. Winston Churchill, the minister of
munitions, represented Great Britain, while Mr. Lloyd-George, the
Prime Minister of England, also participated to some extent in the

Out of bodies of such character came the international ordnance
agreement. It will be apparent to the reader that this agreement must
have represented the best opinion of the leaders of the principal
Allies, initiated out of their intimate knowledge of the needs of the
situation and concurred in by the representatives of the United States.
The substance of this agreement was outlined for Washington in a cabled
message signed by Gen. Bliss, a document that had such an important
bearing upon the production of munitions in this country that its more
important passages are set down at this point:

    The representatives of Great Britain and France state that
    their production of artillery (field, medium, and heavy) is now
    established on so large a scale that they are able to equip
    completely all American divisions as they arrive in France
    during the year 1918 with the best make of British and French
    guns and howitzers.

    The British and French ammunition supply and reserves are
    sufficient to provide the requirements of the American Army
    thus equipped at least up to June, 1918, provided that the
    existing 6-inch shell plants in the United States and Dominion
    of Canada are maintained in full activity, and provided that
    the manufacture of 6-inch howitzer carriages in the United
    States is to some extent sufficiently developed.

    On the other hand, the French, and to a lesser extent the
    British, require as soon as possible large supplies of
    propellants and high explosives: and the British require the
    largest possible production of 6-inch howitzers from now onward
    and of 8-inch and 9.2-inch shell from June onward.

    In both of these matters they ask the assistance of the

    With a view, therefore, first to expedite and facilitate the
    equipment of the American armies in France, and, second, to
    secure the maximum ultimate development of the ammunition
    supply with the minimum strain upon available tonnage, the
    representatives of Great Britain and France propose that
    the American field, medium, and heavy artillery be supplied
    during 1918, and as long after as may be found convenient,
    from British and French gun factories; and they ask: (A) That
    the American efforts shall be immediately directed to the
    production of propellants and high explosives on the largest
    possible scale; and (B) Great Britain also asks that the
    6-inch, 8-inch, and 9.2-inch shell plants already created for
    the British service in the United States shall be maintained in
    the highest activity, and that large additional plants for the
    manufacture of these shells shall at once be laid down.

    In this way alone can the tonnage difficulty be minimised and
    potential artillery development, both in guns and shells, of
    the combined French, British, and American armies be maintained
    in 1918 and still more in 1919.

This agreement had a profound effect upon American production of
munitions. Most important of all, it gave us time; time to build
manufacturing capacity on a grand scale without the hampering necessity
for immediate production; time to secure the best in design; time to
attain quality in the enormous output to come later as opposed to early
quantity of indifferent class.

In the late autumn of 1917, shortly after Russia collapsed and
withdrew from the war, it became evident that Germany would seize the
opportunity to move her troops from the eastern front and concentrate
her entire army against the French and British in 1918.

This intelligence at once resulted in fresh emphasis upon the man-power
phase of American cooperation. As early as December, 1917, the War
Department was anticipating the extraordinary need for men in the
coming spring by considering plans for the transport of troops up to
the supposed limit of the capacity of all available American ships,
with what additional tonnage Great Britain and the other Allies could
spare us. It is of record that the actual dispatch of troops to France
far outstripped these early estimates.

Then came the long-expected German offensive, and the cry went up
in Europe for men. England, "her back against the wall," offered
additional ships in which to transport six divisions over and above the
number of troops already scheduled for embarkation, agreeing further to
feed and maintain these men for 10 weeks while they were brigaded with
British units for final training. After the six additional divisions
had embarked there was still need of men, and the British continued
their transports in our service. The high mark of shipment was in July,
when 306,000 American soldiers were transported across the Atlantic,
more than three times the number contemplated for July in the schedule
adopted six months earlier.


The effect of this stepping up of the man-power program upon the
shipment of supplies was described by Lieut. Col. Repington, the
British military critic, writing in the Morning Post (London) on
December 9, 1918, in part as follows:

    * * * they (the British war cabinet) also prayed America in
    aid, implored her to send in haste all available infantry
    and machine guns, and placed at her disposal, to her great
    surprise, a large amount of transports to hasten arrivals. * * *

    The American Government acceded to this request in the most
    loyal and generous manner. Assured by their Allies in France
    that the latter could fit out the American infantry divisions
    on their arrival with guns, horses, and transport, the
    Americans packed their infantry tightly in the ships and left
    to a later occasion the dispatch to France of guns, horses,
    transport, labor units, flying service, rolling stock, and a
    score of other things originally destined for transport with
    the divisions. If subsequently--and indeed up to the day that
    the armistice was signed--Gen. Pershing found himself short
    of many indispensable things, and if his operations were
    thereby conducted under real difficulties of which he must have
    been only too sensible, the defects were not due to him and
    his staff, nor to the Washington administration, nor to the
    resolute Gen. March and his able fellow workers, but solely to
    the self-sacrificing manner in which America had responded to
    the call of her friends.

       *       *       *       *       *


The really amazing thing which America did was to place in France
in 19 months an army of the size and the ability of the American
Expeditionary Force. The war taught us that America can organize,
train, and transport troops of a superior sort at a rate which leaves
far behind any program for the manufacture of munitions. It upset
the previous opinion that adequate military preparedness is largely a
question of trained man power.

When the war touched us our strategical equipment included plans ready
drawn for the mobilization of men. There were on file at the Army War
College in Washington detailed plans for defending our harbors, our
coasts, and our borders. There were also certain plans for the training
of new troops.

It is worthy of note, however, that this equipment included no plan for
the equally important and equally necessary mobilization of industry
and production of munitions, which proved to be the most difficult
phase of the actual preparation for war. The experience of 1917 and
1918 was a lesson in the time it takes to determine types, create
designs, provide facilities, and establish manufacture. These years
will forever stand as the monument to the American genius of workshop
and factory, which in this period insured the victory by insuring the
timely arrival of the overwhelming force of America's resources in the
form of America's munitions.

                                                                   B. C.

  WASHINGTON, _May, 1919_.





To arm the manhood called to defend the Nation in 1917 and 1918, to
make civilians into soldiers by giving them the tools of the martial
profession--such was the task of the Ordnance Department in the late

The off-hand thought may identify ordnance as artillery alone. It
may surprise many to know that in the American ordnance catalogue of
supplies during the recent war there were over 100,000 separate and
distinct items. Thousands of the items of ordnance were distinctly
noncommercial, meaning that they had to be designed and produced
specially for the uses of war.

While the principles of fighting essentially have changed not one whit
since the age when projectiles were stones hurled by catapults, nearly
every advance in mechanical science has had its reflection in warfare,
until to-day the weapons which man has devised to destroy the military
power of his enemy make up an intricate and an imposing list. When
America accepted the challenge of Germany in 1917, part of the range of
ordnance had already been produced in moderate quantities in the United
States, part of it had been developed by the more militaristic nations
of the world in the last decade or quarter century, and part of it was
purely the offspring of two and one-half years of desperate fighting
before America entered the great struggle. Yet all of it, both the
strange and the familiar, had to be put in production here on a grand
scale and in a minimum of time, that the American millions might go
adequately equipped to meet the foe. Let us examine the range of this
equipment, seeing in the major items something of the character of the
problem which confronted the Ordnance Department at the outset of the
great enterprise.

Starting with the artillery, there was first in order of size the baby
two-man cannon of 37 millimeters (about an inch and a half) in the
diameter of its bore--a European development new to our experience, so
light that it could be handled by foot troops in the field, used for
annihilating the enemy's machine-gun emplacements.

Then the mobile field guns--the famous 75's, the equivalent in size of
our former 3-inch gun, the 155-millimeter howitzer, the French 155
millimeter G. P. F. (Grand Puissance Filloux) gun of glorious record in
the war, and its American prototypes, the 4.7-inch, 5-inch, and 6-inch
guns--all of these employed to shell crossroads and harass the enemy's
middle area.

Beyond these were the 8-inch and 9.2-inch howitzers and the terrific
240-millimeter howitzer, for throwing great weights of destruction high
in air to descend with a plunge upon the enemy's strongest defenses.

Then there were the 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, and 14-inch guns on
railway mounts, for pounding the depots and dumps in the enemy's back
areas. These weapons were so tremendous in weight when mounted as to
require from 16 to 24 axles on the car to distribute the load and the
recoil of firing within the limits of the strength of standard heavy
railway track.

All of these guns had to be produced in great numbers, if the future
requirements of the American forces were to be met, produced by the
thousands in the cases of the smaller ones and by the hundreds and
scores in the cases of the larger.

These weapons would be ineffective without adequate supplies of
ammunition. In the case of the mobile held guns this meant a
requirement of millions of shell or shrapnel for the incessant
bombardments and the concentrated barrages which characterized the
great war. The entire weight of projectiles fired in such an historic
engagement as Gettysburg would supply the artillery only for a few
minutes in such intensive bombardments as sowed the soil of Flanders
with steel.

The artillery demanded an immense amount of heavy equipment--limbers,
caissons, auto ammunition trucks, and tractors to drag the heavy and
middle-heavy artillery. Some of them were fitted with self-propelled
caterpillar mounts which could climb a 40° grade or make as high as 12
miles an hour on level ground. These, the adaptations to warfare of
peaceful farm and construction machine traction, for the first time
rendered the greater guns exceedingly mobile, enabling them to go into
action instantly upon arrival and to depart to safety just as soon as
their mission was accomplished.

Then, too, this artillery equipment must have adequate facilities for
maintenance in the field, and this need brought into existence another
enormous phase of the ordnance program. There must be mobile ordnance
repair shops for each division, consisting of miniature machine shops
completely fitted out with power and its transmission equipment and
mounted directly on motor trucks. Then there must be semi-heavy repair
shops on 5-ton tractors, these to be for the corps what the truck
machine shop was to the division. Each army headquarters called for its
semipermanent repair shop for artillery and still larger repair shops
for its railway artillery.

And in addition to all these were the base repair shops in France,
which were erected on a scale to employ a force three times as large
as the combined organizations of all the manufacturing arsenals of
the United States in time of peace, having a capacity for relining
1,000 cannon and overhauling and repairing 2,000 motor vehicles, 7,000
machine guns, 50,000 rifles, and 2,000 pistols every month. This
equipment of artillery and its maintenance organization implies the
flow from American industry of enormous quantities of repair parts and
spare parts to keep the artillery in good condition.

Coming next to the more personal equipment of the soldier, we find the
necessity confronting the Ordnance Department to manufacture shoulder
rifles by the million and cartridges for them by the billion. The great
war brought the machine gun into its own, requiring in the United
States the manufacture of these complicated and expensive weapons by
the tens of thousands, including the one-man automatic rifle, itself an
arm of a deadly and effective type.

Simultaneously with the mass employment of machine guns in the field
came the development of the modern machine gun barrage, the indirect
fire, of which required sighting instruments of the most delicate
and accurate sort, and tripods with finely calibrated elevating and
traversing devices, so that the gunner might place the deadly hail
safely over the heads of his own unseen but advancing lines and with
maximum damage to the enemy. These thousands of machine guns required
water jackets to keep their barrels cool and specially built carts to
carry them.

The personal armament of the soldier also called for an automatic
pistol or a revolver for use in the infighting, when squads came in
actual contact with soldiers of the enemy. These had to be produced by
the hundreds of thousands.

The requirements of the field demanded hundreds of thousands of trench
knives, murderous blades backed by the momentum of heavily weighted
handles, which in turn were protected by guards embodying the principle
of the thug's brass "knucks" armed with sharp points.

Then there were the special weapons, largely born of modern trench
warfare. These included mortars, ranging from the small 3-inch Stokes,
light enough to go over the top and simple enough to be fired from
between the steadying knees of a squatting soldier, to the great
240-millimeter trench mortar of fixed position. The mortars proved
to be exceedingly effective against concentrations of troops, and so
there was devised for them a great variety of bombs and shell, not only
of the high explosive fragmentation type, but also containing poison
gas or fuming chemicals. Great quantities both of mortars and their
ammunition were required.

From the security of the trenches the soldiers first threw out
grenades, which burst in the enemy's trenches opposite and created
havoc. From the original device were developed grenades of various
sorts--gas grenades for cleaning up dugouts, molten-metal grenades
for fusing the firing mechanisms of captured enemy cannon and machine
guns, paper grenades to kill by concussion. Then there were the rifle
grenades, each to be fitted on the muzzle of a rifle and hurled by the
lift of gases following the bullet, which passed neatly through the
hole provided for it. The production of grenades was no small part of
the American ordnance problem.

In addition to these trench weapons were the Livens projectors, which,
fired in multiple by electricity, hurled a veritable cloud of gas
containers into a selected area of enemy terrain, usually with great
demoralization of his forces.

Bayonets for the rifles, bolos, helmets, periscopes for looking safely
over the edges of the trenches, panoramic sights, range finders--these
are only a few of the ordnance accessories of general application.

Then those innovations of the great war--the tanks--the 3-ton
"whippet," built to escort the infantry waves, the 6-ton tanks, most
used of all, and the powerful Anglo-American heavy tanks, each mounting
a 37-millimeter cannon and four machine guns.

The war in the air put added demands upon ordnance. It required the
stripped machine gun firing cartridges so rapidly that their explosions
merged into a single continuous roar, yet each shot so nicely timed
that it passed between the flying blades of the propeller. There had
to be electric heaters for the gun mechanisms to prevent the oil
which lubricated them from becoming congealed in the cold of high
altitudes. The airplane guns required armor-piercing bullets for use
against armored planes, incendiary bullets to ignite the hydrogen of
the enemy's balloon or to fire the gasoline escaping through the wound
in the hostile airplane's fuel tank, and tracer bullets to direct the
aim of the aerial gunner. Other equipment for the airman included
shot counters, to tell him instantly what quantity of ammunition he
had on hand, and gun sights, ingeniously contrived to correct his aim
automatically for the relative speed and direction of the opposing
plane. These were all developments in ordnance brought about by the
great war, and in each case they involved problems for the production
organization to solve.

Then there were the drop bombs of aerial warfare, of many gradations
in weight up to 500 pounds each, these latter experimental ones
forecasting the day when bombs weighing 1,600 pounds would be dropped
from the sky; then bomb sights to determine the moment when the missile
must be dropped in order to hit its target, sights which corrected
for the altitude, the wind resistance, and the rate of speed of the
airplane; and then mechanisms to suspend the bombs from the plane and
to release them at the will of the operator.

The list might be stretched out almost indefinitely--through
pyrotechnics, developed by the exigencies in Europe into an elaborate
system; through helmets and armor, revivals from medieval times to
protect the modern soldier from injury; through the assortment of heavy
textiles, which gave the troops their belts, their bandoleers, their
haversacks, and their holsters; through canteens, cutlery for the mess
in the fields, shotguns, and so on, until there might be set down
thousands of items of the list which we know as modern ordnance.

It will be noted that the most important articles in this range are
articles of a noncommercial type. In other words, they are not the sort
of things that the industry of the country builds in time of peace,
nor learns how to build. Many other war functions came naturally to
a country skilled in handling food supplies for teeming populations,
in solving housing problems for whole cities, and in managing
transportation for a hundred million people; there was at hand the
requisite ability to conduct war enterprises of such character smoothly
and efficiently. Yet there was in the country at the outbreak of war
little knowledge of the technique of ordnance production.

The declaration of war found an American Ordnance Department whose
entire commissioned personnel consisted of 97 officers. Only 10 of
this number were experienced in the design of artillery weapons. The
projected army of 5,000,000 men required 11,000 trained officers
to handle every phase of ordnance service. While a portion of this
production would have to do with the manufacture of articles of
a commercial type, such as automobiles, trucks, meat cans, mess
equipment, and the like, yet the ratio of 97 to 11,000 gives an
indication of the amount of ordnance knowledge possessed by the War
Department at the outbreak of war as compared to what it would need to
equip the first 5,000,000 men for battle.

The Government could obtain commissary officers from the food industry;
it could turn bank tellers into paymasters, or convert builders into
construction quartermasters; find transportation officers in the great
railway systems, Signal Corps officers in the telegraph companies, or
medical officers in professional life. But there was no broad field
to which ordnance could turn to find specialized skill available. The
best it could do was to go into the heavy manufacturing industry for
expert engineers who could later be trained in the special problems of

Prior to 1914 there were but six Government arsenals and two large
private ordnance works which knew anything about the production of
heavy weapons. After 1914, war industry sprang up in the United
States, yet in 1917 there were only a score or so of firms engaged in
the manufacture of artillery ammunition, big guns, rifles, machine
guns, and other important ordnance supplies for the allies. When
the armistice was signed nearly 8,000 manufacturing plants in the
United States were working on ordnance contracts. While many of these
contracts entailed production not much dissimilar to commercial
output, yet here is another ratio--the 20 or more original factories
compared with the ultimate 8,000--which serves as an indication of the
expansion of the industrial knowledge of the special processes incident
to ordnance manufacture.

When we found ourselves in the war the first step was to extend our
ordnance knowledge as quickly as possible. The war in Europe had
developed thousands of new items of ordnance, many of them carefully
guarded as military secrets, with which our own officers were familiar
only in a general way. As soon as we became a belligerent, however,
we at once turned to the allies, and they freely and fully gave us of
their store of knowledge--plans, specifications, working models, secret
devices, and complete manufacturing processes.

With this knowledge at hand we adopted for our own program certain
French types of field guns and howitzers and British types of heavy
howitzers. The reproduction of the British types caused no unusual
difficulties, but the adoption of French plans brought into the
situation a factor the difficulties of which are apt not to be
appreciated by the uninitiated.

This new element for consideration was the circumstance that the entire
French system of manufacture in metals is radically different from our
own in its practices and is not readily adapted to American methods.

The English and the American engineers and shops use inches and feet
in their measurements, but the French use the metric system. This fact
means that there was not a single standard American drill, reamer,
tap, die, or other machine-shop tool that would accurately produce the
result called for by a French ordnance drawing in the metric system.
Moreover, the French standards for metal stocks, sheets, plates,
angles, I-beams, rivet holes, and rivet spacing are far different from
American standards.

It was discovered that complete French drawings were in numerous cases
nonexistent, the French practice relying for small details upon the
memory and skill of its artisans. But even when the complete drawings
were obtained, then the American ordnance engineer was confronted with
the choice of either revolutionizing the machining industry of the
United States by changing over its entire equipment to conform to the
metric system, or else of doing what was done--namely, translating the
French designs into terms of standard American shop practice, a process
which in numerous cases required weeks and even months of time on the
part of whole staffs of experts working at high tension.

Nor do the French know the American quantity-production methods. The
French artisan sees always the finished article, and he is given
discretion in the final dimensions of parts and in the fitting and
assembling of them. But the American mechanic sees only the part in
which he is a specialist in machining, working with strict tolerances
and producing pieces which require little or no fitting in the
assembling room. Consequently, in the translating of French plans it
was necessary to put into them what they never had before, namely,
rigid tolerances and exact measurements.


                               FIGURE 1.

  Year.|Battle.    |  Days'  |Army.   |Rounds of artillery ammunition
       |           |duration.|        |expended.
   1863|Chickamauga|    2    |Union   |  7,325
       |           |         |        |
   1863|Gettysburg |    3    |Union   | 32,781
       |           |         |        |
   1870|St. Privat |    1    |German  | 39,000
       |           |         |        |
   1904|Nan Shan   |    1    |Japanese| 34,047
       |           |         |        |
   1904|Liao Yang  |    9    |Russian |= 134,400
       |           |         |        |
   1904|Sha Ho     |    9    |Russian |= 274,300
       |           |         |        |
   1915|Neuve      |  [1]3   |British |= 197,000
       |Chapelle   |         |        |
       |           |         |        |
   1915|Souches    |  [2]1   |French  |== 300,000
       |           |         |        |
   1916|Somme      |  [3]7   |British |==================== 4,000,000
       |           |         |        |
   1917|Messines   |  [3]7   |British |============== 2,753,000
       |Ridge      |         |        |
       |           |         |        |
   1918|St. Mihiel |  [2]4   |United  |===== 1,098,217
       |           |         |States  |

[1] Artillery preparation lasted 35 minutes.

[2] Artillery preparation lasted 4 hours.

[3] Artillery preparation intermittent 7 days.

    One of the most striking developments of the present war has
    been the great increase in the use of artillery to precede
    infantry action in battle. This is illustrated by a comparison
    of the expenditure of artillery ammunition in characteristic
    battles of recent wars with that in important battles of the
    present war. The special features of the several battles should
    be kept in mind. Chickamauga was fought in a heavily wooded
    region; Gettysburg and St. Privat over open farm land. The
    latter battles, together with Nan Shan, and all the battles
    of the present war considered below, involved artillery
    preparation for assault upon armies in defensive position. The
    expenditures, therefore, are roughly comparable.

    The high mark of the use of artillery in offensive battle was
    reached at the Somme and Messines Ridge, before the effective
    use of tanks was developed.]

When an army of 100,000 men expands and becomes an army of 3,000,000,
it becomes a job just 30 times bigger to feed the 3,000,000 than it was
to feed the 100,000. A soldier of a campaigning army eats no more than
a soldier of a quiet military post. The same is true approximately in
the case of clothing an army. But the army's consumption of ammunition
in time of war is far out of proportion to its numerical expansion to
meet the war emergency.

For instance, an Army machine gun in time of peace might fire 6,000
rounds in practice during the year. This was the standard quantity of
cartridges provided in peace. Yet it is necessary to provide for a
single machine gun on the field in such a war as the recent one 288,875
rounds of ammunition during its first year of operation, this figure
including the initial stock and the reserve supply as well as the
actual number of rounds fired. Thus the machine gun of war increases
its appetite, so to speak, for ammunition 4,700 per cent in the first
year of fighting.


                               FIGURE 2.

           War.           |      Army.       | Approximate rounds per
                          |                  |      gun per day.
  1854-1856, Crimean      |British and French|== [4]5
                          |                  |
  1859, Italian           |Austrian          |.3
                          |                  |
  1861-1865, Civil        |Union             |== 4
                          |                  |
  1866, Austro-Prussian   |{Austrian         |= 2.2
                          |{Prussian         |.8
                          |                  |
  1870-71, Franco-Prussian|German            |= [5]1.1
                          |                  |
  1904-5, Russo-Japanese  |Russian           |== 4
                          |                  |
  1912-13, Balkan         |Bulgarian         |==== 7
                          |                  |
       PRESENT WAR        |                  |
                          |                  |
  September, 1914         |French            |==== [5]8
                          |                  |
  Jan. 1-Oct. 1, 1918     |Italian           |==== [5]8
                          |                  |
  Jan. 1-Nov. 11, 1918    |United States     |=============== [5]30
                          |                  |
  Jan. 1-Nov. 11, 1918    |French            |================= [5]34
                          |                  |
  Jan. 1-Nov. 11, 1918    |British           |================== [5]35

[4] Siege of Sebastopol.

[5] Field gun ammunition only.

    The rates are based upon total expenditure and average number
    of guns in the hands of field armies for the period of the wars.

    A large part of the heavy expenditure of artillery ammunition
    in the present as compared with other modern wars can be
    attributed to the increased rate of fire made possible by
    improved methods of supply in the field and by the rapid-fire
    guns now in use. In wars fought before the introduction of
    quick-firing field guns, four or five rounds per day was the
    greatest average rate. Even this was reached only in the
    siege of Sebastopol, where armies were stationary and supply
    by water was easy, and in the American Civil War, which was
    characterized by advanced tactical developments. The guns of
    the allied armies in France fired throughout the year 1918 at
    a rate about seven times greater than these previously high

In the case of larger weapons the increase in ammunition consumption
is even more startling. Prior to 1917 the War Department allotted to
each 3-inch field gun 125 rounds of ammunition per year for practice
firing. Ammunition for the 75-millimeter guns (the 3-inch equivalent)
was being produced to meet an estimated supply of 22,750 rounds for
each gun in a single year, or an increased consumption of ammunition in
war over peace of 18,100 per cent.


                               FIGURE 3.


    Year.  |     War.      |  Army.  |    Rounds expended during war.
  1859     |Italian        |Austrian | 15,326
           |               |         |
  1861-1865|Civil          |Union    |========== 5,000,000
           |               |         |
  1866     |Austro-Prussian|{Prussian| 36,199
           |               |{Austrian| 96,472
           |               |         |
  1870-71  |Franco-Prussian|German   |== 817,000
           |               |         |
  1904-5   |Russo-Japanese |Russian  |== 954,000
           |               |         |
  1912-13  |Balkan         |Bulgarian|= 700,000
           |               |         |
  1918     |Present        |British  |In one
           |               |and      |month.[6]
           |               |French   |========================= 12,710,000
  1864[7]  |Civil          |Union    |= 1,950,000
           |               |         |
  1918[8]  |Present        |United   |== 8,100,000
           |               |States   |
           |               |         |
  1918[8]  |Present        |British  |====================== 71,445,000
           |               |         |
  1918[8]  |Present        |French   |========================= 81,070,000

[6] Average, year ended Nov. 10, 1918.

[7] Year ended June 30, 1864.

[8] Year ended Nov. 10, 1918.

    The industrial effort necessary to maintain modern armies in
    action may be measured to a certain extent by their expenditure
    of artillery ammunition. European wars of the past 100 years
    were for the most part decided before peace-time reserves had
    been exhausted. The American Civil War, however, required
    for its decision an industrial mobilization at that time
    unprecedented, which, like the use in that war of intrenchments
    by field armies, was more truly indicative of the trend of
    modern warfare than were the conditions of the more recent
    European wars.]

Thus when a peace army of 100,000 becomes a war army of 3,000,000 its
ammunition consumption becomes not 30 times greater, but anywhere from
48 to 182 times 30 times greater--an increase far out of proportion to
its increase in the consumption of food, clothing, or other standard
supplies. Modern invention has made possible and modern practice has
put into effect a greatly augmented use of ammunition. Figures 1, 2,
and 3 show graphically how ammunition expenditure has increased in
modern times.

Another circumstance that complicated the ordnance problem was the
increasing tendency throughout the great war to use more and more the
mechanical or machine methods of fighting as opposed to the older and
simpler forms in which the human or animal factor entered to a greater

At the time the United States entered the war the regulations
prescribed 50 machine guns as the equipment for an infantry division.
When the armistice was signed the standard equipment of a division
called for 260 heavy machine guns and 768 light automatic rifles. Of
the heavy machine guns with a division, only 168 were supposed to
be in active service, the remainder being in reserve or in use for
antiaircraft work. However, the comparison in the two standards of
equipment shows the tendency toward machine methods in the wholesale
killing of modern warfare and indicates the fresh demands made upon the
ordnance organization to procure this additional machinery of death.
Moreover, when the fighting came to an end the A. E. F. was on the
point of adding to its regimental and divisional equipment a further
large number of automatic rifles.

The day of the horse was passing in the great war as far as
his connection with the mobile artillery was concerned, and
the gasoline motor was taking his place, this tendency being
accelerated particularly by America, the greatest nation of all in
automotivity. Trucks and tractors to pull the guns, motor ammunition
trucks displacing the old horse-drawn caissons and limbers, even
self-propelling platforms for the larger field guns, with track laying
or caterpillar mounts supplying not only mobility for the gun but
aiming facilities as well; these were the fresh developments. Some of
these improvements were produced and put in the field, the others were
under development at the signing of the armistice. The whole tendency
toward motorization served to complicate ordnance production in this
country, not only in the supply of the weapons and traction devices
themselves, but in the production of increased supplies of ammunition,
since these improvements also tended to increase the rapidity with
which bullets and shell were consumed.

The total cost of the ordnance alone required to equip the first
5,000,000 Americans called to arms was estimated to be between
$12,000,000,000 and $13,000,000,000. This was equal to about half of
all the money appropriated by Congresses of the United States from
the first Continental Congress down to our declaration of war against
Germany, out of which appropriations had been paid the cost of every
war we ever had, including the Civil War, and the whole enormous
expenses of the Government in every official activity of 140 years. To
equip with ordnance an army of this size in the period projected meant
the expenditure of money at a rate which would build a Panama Canal
complete every 30 days.

Above are sketched some of the difficulties of the situation. In
our favor we had the greatest industrial organization in the world,
engineering skill to rank with any, a race of people traditionally
versatile in applying the forces of machinery to the needs of mankind,
inventive genius which could match its accomplishments with those of
the rest of the world added together, a capacity for organization that
proved to be astonishingly effective in such an effort as the nation
made in 1917 and 1918, enormous stores of raw materials, the country
being more nearly self-sufficient in this respect than any other nation
of the globe, magnificent facilities of inland transportation, a vast
body of skilled mechanics, and a selective-service law designed to
take for the Army men nonessential to the Nation's industrial efforts
for war and to leave in the workshops the men whose skill could not
be withdrawn without subtracting somewhat from the national store of
industrial ability.

It only remains to sketch in swift outlines something of the
accomplishments of the American ordnance effort. In general it may be
said that those projects of the ordnance program to which were assigned
the shorter time limits were most successful. There never was a time
when the production of smokeless powder and high explosives was not
sufficient for our own requirements, with large quantities left over
for both France and England.

America in 19 months of development built over 2,500,000 shoulder
rifles, a quantity greater than that produced either by England
or by France in the same period, although both those countries in
April, 1917, at the time when we started, had their rifle production
already in a high stage of development. (See fig. 4.) However, the
Franco-British production of rifles dropped in rate in 1918 because
there was no longer need for original rifle equipment for new troops.

In the 19 months of war American factories produced over 2,879,000,000
rounds of rifle and machine-gun ammunition. This was somewhat less than
the production in Great Britain during the same period and somewhat
less than that of France; but America began the effort from a standing
start, and in the latter part of the war was turning out ammunition at
a monthly rate twice that of France and somewhat higher than that of
Great Britain. (See fig. 4.)

Between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, America produced as many
machine guns and automatic rifles as Great Britain did in the same
period and 81 per cent of the number produced by France; while at the
end of the effort America was building machine guns and machine rifles
nearly three times as rapidly as Great Britain and more than twice as
fast as France. (Fig. 4.) When it is considered that a long time must
elapse before machine-gun factories can be equipped with the necessary
machine tools and fixtures, the effort of America in this respect may
be fairly appreciated.


                               FIGURE 4.



  _Machine guns and machine rifles:_ Per cent of rate for Great Britain.
    Great Britain            10,947  ========== 100
    France                   12,126  =========== 111
    United States            27,270  ========================= 249

    Great Britain           112,821  ========== 100
    France                   40,522  ==== 36
    United States           233,562  ===================== 207

  _Rifle and machine-gun ammunition:_
    Great Britain       259,769,000  ========== 100
    France              139,845,000  ===== 54
    United States       277,894,000  =========== 107


  _Machine guns and machine rifles:_ Per cent of rate for Great Britain.
    Great Britain           181,404  ========== 100
    France                  229,288  ============= 126
    United States           181,662  ========== 100

    Great Britain         1,971,764  ========== 100
    France                1,416,056  ======= 72
    United States         2,506,742  ============= 127

  _Rifle and machine-gun ammunition:_
    Great Britain     3,486,127,000  ========== 100
    France            2,983,675,000  ========= 86
    United States     2,879,148,000  ======== 83

    British and French production of rifles during 1918 was at a
    lower rate than had been attained because there was no longer
    need for original equipment of troops.]

Prior to November 11, 1918, America produced in the 75-millimeter size
alone about 4,250,000 high-explosive shell, over 500,000 gas shell, and
over 7,250,000 shrapnel. Of the high-explosive shell produced 2,735,000
were shipped to France up to November 15, 1918. In all 8,500,000 rounds
of shell of this caliber were floated--nearly two-thirds of it being
shrapnel. American troops on the line expended a total of 6,250,000
rounds of 75-millimeter ammunition, largely high-explosive shell of
French manufacture drawn from the Franco-American ammunition pool.
American high-explosive shell were tested in France by the French
ordnance experts and approved for use by the French artillery just
before the armistice.


The Lincoln Memorial and the Potomac River in the background.]








    The charging floor of an "open-hearth" furnace building,
    showing two furnaces on the side into which the raw materials
    are "charged." Each of these furnaces is 75 feet long and 15
    feet wide, and the melted steel lies in a shallow bath inside
    the three doors, into one of which the man is looking. The pool
    or "bath," as it is termed, is 33 feet long by 12 feet wide
    and approximately 2½ feet deep, weighs approximately 60 tons,
    and is composed of pig iron and well-selected scrap steel from
    previous operations, which are placed in the furnace through
    the three doors shown, the furnace being all the time at a
    temperature so high that the naked eye may not look within
    the furnace, but must be protected with blue glass or smoked
    glass, exactly as when looking at the noonday sun. The eye
    can see nothing in the atmosphere of the bath in which the
    steel is being melted and refined, due to the exceedingly high
    temperature, which gives a light as white as that of the sun.]


                               FIGURE 5.

                     COMPARED WITH GREAT BRITAIN.

                      [Types for use in A. E. F.]

                      MONTHLY RATE AT END OF WAR.

  _Unfilled rounds_:             =Per cent of rate for Great Britain.=
    Great Britain     7,748,000  ==================== 100
    France            6,661,000  ================= 86
    United States     7,044,000  ================== 91

  _Complete rounds_:
    Great Britain     7,347,000  ==================== 100
    France            7,638,000  ===================== 104
    United States     2,712,000  ======= 37

        TOTAL PRODUCTION, APRIL 1, 1917, TO NOVEMBER 11, 1918.

  _Unfilled rounds_:             =Per cent of rate for Great Britain.=
    Great Britain   138,357,000  ==================== 100
    France          156,170,000  ======================= 113
    United States    38,623,000  ====== 28

  _Complete rounds_:
    Great Britain   121,739,000  ==================== 100
    France          149,827,000  ========================= 123
    United States    17,260,000  === 14]

In artillery ammunition rounds of all calibers America at the end of
the war was turning out unfilled shell faster than the French and
nearly as fast as the British; but, due to the shortage in adapters
and boosters, a shortage rapidly being overcome at the end of the war,
the rate of production of completed rounds was only about one-third
that of either Great Britain or France. In total production during her
19 months of belligerency America turned out more than one-quarter
as many unfilled rounds as Great Britain did in the same time and
about one-quarter as many as came from the French munition plants. In
completed rounds alone did America lag far behind the records of the
two principal allies during 1917 and 1918. (Fig. 5.)

The production of completed rounds of artillery ammunition was gaining
rapidly, beginning with the early summer of 1918, and in the month
of October was approaching half the rate of manufacture in Great
Britain or in France. Figure 6 shows graphically the rate at which the
artillery ammunition deliveries were expanding.


                               FIGURE 6.


  Jan.   == 130
  Feb.   == 138
  Mar.   ====== 500
  Apr.   =========== 906
  May.   ============ 1034
  June.  ================ 1319
  July.  ============= 1051
  Aug.   ======================== 1984
  Sept.  ============================== 2548
  Oct.   ==================================== 3026
  Nov.   =============================== 2570
  Dec.   ======================== 2024]

In artillery proper the war ended too soon for American industry to
arrive at a great production basis. The production of heavy ordnance
units is necessarily a long and arduous effort even when plants are
in existence and mechanical forces are trained in the work. America
in large part had to build her ordnance industry from the ground
up--buildings, machinery, and all--and to recruit and train the working
forces after that. The national experience in artillery production in
the great war most like our own was that of Great Britain, who started
in from scratch, even as we did. It is interesting, then, to know how
Great Britain expanded her artillery industry, and the testimony of the
British ministry of munitions may throw a new light on our own efforts
in this respect. In discussing artillery in the war the British
ministry of munitions issued a statement from which the following is an

    It is very difficult to say how long it was before the British
    army was thoroughly equipped with artillery and ammunition. The
    ultimate size of the army aimed at was continually increased
    during the first three years of the war, so that the ordnance
    requirements were continually increasing. It is probably true
    to say that the equipment of the army as planned in the early
    summer of 1915 was completed by September, 1916. As a result,
    however, of the battle of Verdun and the early stages of the
    battle of the Somme, a great change was made in the standard
    of equipment per division of the army, followed by further
    increases in September, 1916. The army was not completely
    equipped on this new scale until spring, 1918.


                               FIGURE 7.

                          MONTH DURING 1918.

  Jan.   ====== 73
  Feb.   ===== 68
  Mar.   ======= 89
  Apr.   ======= 86
  May.   ====== 76
  June.  ======== 106
  July.  ======= 85
  Aug.   ============== 180
  Sept.  ===================== 271
  Oct.   ==================================== 465
  Nov.   ===================== 266
  Dec.   ====================== 279]

Thus it took England three and a half years to equip her army
completely with artillery and ammunition on the scale called for at the
end of the war. On this basis America, when the armistice came, had two
years before her to equal the record of Great Britain in this respect.

As to the production of gun bodies ready for mounting, the attainments
of American ordnance were more striking. At the end of the fighting
America had passed the British rate of production and was approaching
that of the French. In totals for the whole war period (Apr. 6, 1917,
to Nov. 11, 1918) the American production of gun bodies could scarcely
be compared with either that of the British or that of the French, this
due to the fact that it required many months to build up the forging
plants before production could go ahead.

In completed artillery units the American rate of production at the end
of the war was rapidly approaching both that of the British and that
of the French. In total production of complete units in the 19 months
of war, American ordnance turned out about one-quarter as many as came
from the British ordnance plants and less than one-fifth as many as
the French produced in the same period. Figure 8 represents visually
America's comparative performances in the production of gun bodies and
complete artillery units.


                               FIGURE 8.

                            GREAT BRITAIN.


  _Gun bodies (new)_:      =Per cent of rate for Great Britain.=
    Great Britain      802  ==================== 100
    France           1,138  ============================ 142
    United States      832  ===================== 104

  _Complete units_:
    Great Britain      486  ==================== 100
    France             659  =========================== 136
    United States      412  ================= 85

        TOTAL PRODUCTION, APRIL 1, 1917, TO NOVEMBER 11, 1918.

  _Gun bodies (new)_:      =Per cent of rate for Great Britain.=
    Great Britain   11,852  ==================== 100
    France          19,492  ================================= 164
    United States    4,275  ======= 36

  _Complete units_:
    Great Britain    8,065  ==================== 100
    France          11,056  =========================== 137
    United States    2,008  ===== 25]

Stress has sometimes been laid upon the fact that the American Army was
required to purchase considerable artillery and other supplies abroad,
the latter including airplanes, motor trucks, food and clothing, and
numerous other materials. Yet, balanced against this fact is that every
time we spent a dollar with the allied governments for ordnance, we
sold ordnance, or materials for conversion into munitions to the allied
governments to the value of five dollars. The interallied ordnance
agreement provided that certain munitions plants in the United States
should continue to furnish supplies to the allies, and that additional
plants for the allies should be built up and fostered by us. Thus,
while we were purchasing artillery and ammunition from the allies we
were shipping to them great quantities of raw materials, half-completed
parts, and completely assembled units, and such war-time commodities
as powder and explosives, forgings for cannon and other heavy devices,
motors, and structural steel. The following table shows the ordnance
balance sheet between America and the allied governments:

       _Purchase and sales from Apr. 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918._

  Purchases: By Army Ordnance Department from         $450,234,256.85
  Allied governments


  By Army Ordnance Department to Allied governments    200,616,402.00

  By United States manufacturers other than Army
  Ordnance Department to Allied governments          2,094,787,984.00
    Total                                            2,295,404,386.00

The credit for the ordnance record can not go merely to those men who
wore the uniform and were part of the ordnance organization. Rather it
is due to American science, engineering, and industry, all of which
combined their best talents to make the ordnance development worthy of
America's greatness.



The sole use of a gun is to throw a projectile. The earliest projectile
was a stone thrown by the hand and arm of man--either in an attack upon
an enemy or upon a beast that was being hunted for food. Both of these
uses of thrown projectiles persist to this day, and during all time,
from prehistoric days until now, every man who had a projectile to
throw was steadily seeking for a longer range and a heavier projectile.

The man who could throw the heaviest stone the longest distance was
the most powerfully armed. In the Biblical battle between David and
Goliath, the arm of David was strengthened and lengthened by a leather
sling of very simple construction. Much practice had given the young
shepherd muscular strength and direction, and his longer arm and
straighter aim gave him power to overcome his more heavily armed

Later, machines were developed after the fashion of a crossbow mounted
upon a small wooden carriage which usually was a hollowed trough open
on top and upon which a heavy stone was laid. The thong of the crossbow
was drawn by a powerful screw operated by man power, and the crossbow
arrangement when released would throw a stone weighing many pounds
quite a distance over the walls of a besieged city or from such walls
into the camps and ranks of the besiegers. This again was an attempt by
mechanical means to develop and lengthen the stroke of the arm and the
weight of the projectile.

With the development of explosives, which was much earlier than
many people suppose, there came a still greater range and weight of
projectile thrown, although the first guns were composed of staves
of wood fitted together and hooped up like a long, slender barrel,
wound with wet rawhide in many folds, which, when dried, exerted a
compressive force upon the staves of the barrel exactly as do the steel
hoops of barrels used in ordinary commercial life to-day.

This, the first gun, sufficed for a long while until the age of iron
came. And then the same principle of gun construction was followed
as is seen in that historical gun, the "Mons Meg," in the castle at
Edinburgh. The barrel of that gun is made of square bars of iron,
placed lengthwise, and similar bars of iron were wrapped hot around the
staves to confine them in place and to give more resisting power than
was possible with the wooden staves and the rawhide hooping.

Thus, all during the age of iron, gun development went steadily
forward. Every military power was always striving by the aid of
its best engineers, designers, and manufacturers to get a stronger
gun, either with or without a heavier projectile, but in every case
striving for greater power. As a special development we find in March,
1918, the now famous long-range gun of the Germans, which was at that
time trained upon Paris, where it successfully delivered a shell
approximately 9 inches in diameter, punctually every 20 minutes for a
good part of each day until the gun was worn out. This occurred after a
comparatively small number of shots, probably not more than 75 in all.
The rapid wearing out was due to the immense demands of the long range
upon the material of the gun. The Germans in the shelling of Paris used
three of these long-range weapons and 183 shells are known to have
fallen in the city.

The Germans evidently calculated with great care and experience upon
the factors leading up to this famous long-range type of gun, which
had an effective shooting distance of approximately 75 miles, which
range, in the opinion of our experts, it is now quite easy for an
experienced designer and manufacturer to equal and excel at will. In
fact, one would hesitate to place a limit upon the length of range
that could be achieved by a gun that it is now possible to design and
build. In this connection it is interesting to note that the great
French ordnance works at Le Creusot in 1892 produced the first known
and well-authenticated long-range gun, which was constructed from the
design of a 12-inch gun, but bored down to throw a 6-inch projectile.
And instead of the usual 8 miles expected from the flight of a 6-inch
shell this early Creusot long-range gun gave a range of approximately
21 miles with a 6-inch projectile, using a 12-inch gun's powder charge.

Closely connected with the development of the gun itself, and a
necessary element of the gun's successful use, is the requirement that
the weapon itself be easily transported from point to point, where its
available range and capacity for throwing the projectile can be made
of maximum use. This requires a gun carriage which has within itself
various functions, the primary one being to establish the gun in the
desired position where it can be made most effective against the enemy.
Then, too, the gun carriage must have stability in order to withstand,
absorb, and care for the enormous recoil energies let loose by the
firing of the gun. It is obvious that the force which propels the
projectile forward is equal to the reacting force to the rear, and in
order to care for, absorb, and distribute to the earth this reacting
force to the rear the carriage must have within itself some very
peculiar and important properties. To this end there is provided what
is known as a "brake" which permits the gun, upon the moment of firing,
to slide backward bodily within the controlling apparatus mounted upon
a fixed carriage.

The sliding of the whole gun to the rear by means of the mechanism
of the brake is controlled, as to speed and time, by springs, by
compressed air, by compressed oil, etc., either all together or in
combinations of two or three of these agencies; so that the whole
recoil energy is absorbed and the rearward action of the gun brought to
rest in a fraction of a second and in but a very few inches of travel.
The strains are distributed from the recoil mechanism to the fixed
portion of the carriage that is necessarily anchored to the ground by
means of spades, which the recoil force of each shot sets more firmly
into the ground, so that the whole apparatus is thus steadily held in
place for successive shots.

In mobile artillery, again, rapid firing is a prime essential. The
75-millimeter gun of modern manufacture is capable of being fired at a
rate in excess of 20 shots a minute--that is, a shot every 3 seconds.

Rarely however, is a gun served as rapidly as this. The more usual rate
of fire is 6 shots a minute or 1 about each 10 seconds, and this rate
of fire can be maintained in the 75-millimeter gun with great accuracy
over a comparatively long period.

The larger guns are served at proportionately slower rates, until as
the calibers progress to the 14-inch rifles, which have been set up
upon railway mounts as well as on fixed emplacements for seacoast
defense, the rate of fire is reduced to one shot in three minutes for
railway mounts, and to one shot a minute for seacoast mounts, although
upon occasions a more rapid rate of fire can be reached.

Under rapid fire conditions, the gun becomes very hot, owing to the
heat generated by the combustion of the powder within the gun at
pressures as high as 35,000 pounds per square inch or more, which are
generated at the moment of fire. This heat is communicated through the
walls of the gun and taken off by the cooling properties of the air.
Nevertheless, the wall of the gun becomes so hot that it would scorch
or burn a hand laid upon it. The rapid fire and heating of the gun
lessens the effective life of the weapon, due to the fact that the hot
powder gases react more rapidly on hot metal than they do upon cold
metal; hence a gun will last many rounds longer if fired at a slow rate
than if fired at a rapid rate.

It may be helpful to keep in mind throughout that the sole purpose of
a gun is to fire a projectile, as was stated at the very beginning of
this chapter. All other operations connected with the life of a gun,
its manufacture, its transportation to the place where it is to be
used, its aiming, its loading and all its functions and operations are
bound up in the single purpose of actually firing the shot.

Consider now for a moment, the life of, let us say, one of the 14-inch

In the great steel mills it requires hundreds and perhaps thousands of
workmen to constitute the force necessary to handle the enormous masses
of steel through the various processes which finally result in the
finished gun.

From the first operation in the steel mill it requires perhaps as
long as 10 months to produce the gun ready for the first test. During
the 10 months of manufacture of one of these 14-inch rifles there has
been expended for the gun and its carriage approximately $200,000. Of
course, while it requires 10 months to make a final delivery of one
gun after its first operation is commenced, it should be remembered
that yet other guns are following in series and that in a well-equipped
ordnance factory two and perhaps three guns per month of this kind can
be turned out continuously, if required.

Remembering now that it requires 10 months to produce one such 14-inch
rifle and that its whole purpose is to fire a shot, consider now the
time required to fire this shot. As the primer is fired and the powder
charge ignited the projectile begins to move forward in the bore of
the gun at an increasingly rapid rate, so that by the time it emerges
from the muzzle and starts on its errand of death and destruction, it
has taken from a thirtieth to a fiftieth of a second in time, depending
upon certain conditions.

Assuming that a fiftieth of a second has been taken up and that the
life of a large high-pressure gun at a normal rate of firing is 150
shots, it is obvious then that in the actual firing of these 150 shots
only three seconds of time are consumed. Therefore, the active life of
the gun, which it has taken 10 months to build, is but three seconds
long in the actual performance of the function of throwing a shot.

However, after the gun has fired its life of 150 shots it is a
comparatively simple and inexpensive matter to bore out the worn-out
liner and insert a new liner, thus fitting the gun again for service,
with an expenditure of time and money much less than would be required
in the preparation of a new gun.

As the size of the powder charge decreases, a progressively longer life
of the walls of the bore of a gun is attained, so that we have had the
experience of a 75-millimeter gun firing 12,000 rounds without serious
effect upon the accuracy of fire. Large-caliber guns, such as 12-inch
howitzers, with the reduced powder charge required for the lower muzzle
velocities employed in howitzer attack, have retained their accuracy of
fire after 10,000 rounds.

From the fact that when in action guns are served with ammunition,
aimed, fired, and cared for by a crew of men carefully trained to
every motion involved in the successful use of the gun, it is most
essential that the design and the material shall be such, both as to
calculation in the design and as to manufacture in the material, as
will insure the maintenance of the morale of the crew that serves
the gun. Each man must be confident to the very last bit of fiber in
his make-up that his gun is the best gun in the world, that it will
behave properly, that it will protect him and his fellow soldiers who
are caring for the welfare of their country, that it will respond
accurately and well to every demand made upon it, that it will not
yield or burst, that it will not shoot wild, but that it will in every
respect give the result required in its operation.

To this end it has for generations been known that the requirements
of manufacture of ordnance material, particularly for the body of the
gun, are of the very highest order and call for the finest attainable
quality in material, workmanship, and design.

It is well known and admitted that the steel employed in the
manufacture of guns must be of the highest quality and of the finest
grade for its purpose. It requires the most expert knowledge of the
manufacture of steel to obtain this grade and quality. Until recently
this knowledge in America was confined to the Ordnance officers of
the Army and of the Navy and to a comparatively small number of
manufacturers--not more than four in all--and only two of these
manufacturers had provided the necessary equipment and appliances for
the manufacture of complete guns.

Until 1914 the number of guns whose manufacture was provided for in
this country as well as in the countries of Europe, excepting Germany,
was very small. It might be stated that the sum total of guns purchased
by the United States from the two factories mentioned did not exceed
an average of 55 guns a year in calibers of from 3-inch to 14-inch,
and that the stock of guns which by this low rate of increase of
manufacture had been provided for us was pitifully small with which to
enter a war of the magnitude of the one through which this country has
just passed.

The two factories in question not having been encouraged by large
purchases of ordnance material, as were similar industries in Germany,
were not capable of volume production when we entered the war. But
at the same time the gun bodies produced by these concerns at least
equaled in quality those built in any other country on earth; so that
while the big-gun-making art was in existence in this country and was
maintained as to quality, it was most insufficient as to the quantity
of the production available.

When the United States faced the war in April, 1917, arrangements
were at once entered into to obtain in the shortest space of time an
adequate supply of finished artillery of all calibers required by our
troops and to get this supply in time to meet our men as they should
set foot on the shores of France. Many thousands of forgings for guns,
and finished guns too, had been ordered by the allies of the few gun
makers in this country; and these makers were, at the time we got into
the conflict, fully occupied for at least a year ahead with orders from
the French and English ordnance departments. All of this production
was immediately useful and available for the combined armies of the
allies, and so it was allowed to go forward, the forgings preventing a
gap in the output of the finished articles from the British and French
arsenals which were then using the semifinished guns made in the old
factories in existence in this country in April, 1917.

Some idea of the volume of this production in this country will be
gained from the following table showing material supplied to the allies
between April, 1917, and the date of the signing of the armistice,
November 11, 1918.

  Guns of calibers from 3-inch to 9.5-inch                      1,102
  furnished to the allies

  Additional gun forgings furnished to the allies   tubes      14,623

  Shell and shell forgings furnished to the allies  pieces  5,018,451
  in this period

In supplying all of this material from our regular sources of
manufacture in this country to the finishing arsenals of the allies we
were but maintaining our position as a part of the general source of
supply. The plan of the French and British ordnance engineers at the
outbreak of the war in 1914 was to build their factories as quickly
and as extensively as could possibly be done. By the time the United
States entered the war all of these factories were in operation and
clamoring for raw material at a rate which was far in excess of that
which could be supplied by the home steel makers in Great Britain and
France. Consequently their incursions into the semifinished ordnance
material supplies in the United States were necessary. In sending these
large quantities of our own materials abroad, when we needed them
ourselves, we were distinctly adding to the rate and quantity of the
supply of finished ordnance for the use of our own Army in the field
as well as being at the same time of inestimable value to the allies.
This was because the French and British had agreed to supply our first
armies with finished fighting weapons while we were giving them the raw
materials which they needed so badly.

The four gunmakers in America meanwhile were being expanded into a
total of 19 makers. All of these 19 factories during the month of
October, 1918, were practically in full operation. Many of them were
producing big guns at a faster rate than that for which the plants
had been designed. In the month of October, 1918, with 3 of the 19
factories yet to have their machine-tool equipment completed, there
were produced 2,031 sets of gun forgings between the calibers of
3-inch and 9.5-inch, which is at the rate of upward of 24,000 guns
a year. This figure, of course, does not indicate anything of the
gun-finishing capacity of the country; yet this expansion may be
contrasted to the fact that our supply of finished guns prior to 1917
amounted only to 55 weapons a year.

    _Monthly production of finished cannon, ranging in size from 75
     millimeters to 240 millimeters, at the various machining and
                        assembling plants._[9]

                          | 1917 |                  1918
       Caliber.           +------+------+------+------+------+------+-------
                          | Dec. | Jan. | Feb. | Mar. | Apr. | May. | June.
  75-millimeter           |    5 |   45 |   48 |   52 |   74 |  127 |   169
  3-inch antiaircraft     |    3 |   16 |   24 |   16 |    2 |      |    11
  4.7-inch                |      |      |      |      |      |      |     6
  155-millimeter howitzer |      |      |    3 |   10 |   16 |   28 |    75
  155-millimeter gun      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  8-inch howitzer         |      |      |      |   34 |   38 |    8 |
  240-millimeter howitzer |      |      |      |      |      |      |
             Total        |    8 |   61 |   75 |  112 |  130 |  163 |   261
                          |                   1918                  |
       Caliber.           +------+------+------+------+------+------| Total
                          | July.| Aug. | Sept.| Oct. | Nov. | Dec. |
  75-millimeter           |  142 |  204 |  199 |  214 |  320 |  214 | 1,813
  3-inch antiaircraft     |   10 |   11 |   22 |   50 |   34 |   31 |   230
  4.7-inch                |    8 |   15 |   29 |   71 |   50 |   39 |   218
  155-millimeter howitzer |  110 |  248 |  206 |  350 |  231 |  179 | 1,456
  155-millimeter gun      |    2 |      |   14 |   51 |   22 |   40 |   129
  8-inch howitzer         |      |   28 |   22 |   33 |   14 |   14 |   191
  240-millimeter howitzer |      |    1 |      |      |    1 |      |     2
             Total        |  272 |  507 |  492 |  769 |  672 |  517 | 4,039

[9] Carriages, recuperators, and sights had to be added to these cannon
to make them complete units ready for service.

                _Monthly production of cannon forgings._

                          | 1917 |                  1918
       Caliber.           +------+------+------+------+------+------+-------
                          | Dec. | Jan. | Feb. | Mar. | Apr. | May. | June.
  75-millimeter           |    4 |   13 |   73 |   62 |   79 |  239 |   376
  3-inch antiaircraft     |      |      |    6 |    7 |    5 |    4 |    12
  4.7-inch gun            |      |      |    9 |   10 |    8 |   28 |
  155-millimeter howitzer |    2 |   13 |   26 |   61 |   44 |  146 |   133
  155-millimeter gun      |      |      |      |      |    1 |   15 |     4
  8-inch howitzer         |      |      |      |   34 |   38 |    8 |
  240-millimeter howitzer |      |      |      |      |      |      |
             Total        |    6 |   26 |  114 |  174 |  175 |  440 |   525
                          |                   1918                  |
       Caliber.           +------+------+------+------+------+------| Total
                          | July.| Aug. | Sept.| Oct. | Nov. | Dec. |
  75-millimeter           |  574 |  678 |  754 |1,385 |  674 |  310 | 5,221
  3-inch antiaircraft     |   10 |    6 |   49 |  163 |  124 |   18 |   404
  4.7-inch gun            |   70 |  100 |   84 |   35 |   25 |   53 |   422
  155-millimeter howitzer |  176 |  204 |  273 |  279 |  276 |   62 | 1,695
  155-millimeter gun      |   42 |   28 |   56 |  105 |   79 |   24 |   354
  8-inch howitzer         |      |   28 |   22 |   33 |   14 |   14 |   191
  240-millimeter howitzer |      |   30 |   21 |   31 |   22 |   49 |   153
             Total        |  872 |1,074 |1,259 |2,031 |1,214 |  530 | 8,440

Our chain of gun factories, that were making this remarkable production,
were built as follows:

One at the Watertown Arsenal, Watertown, Mass., near Boston, for
the manufacture of rough machined gun forgings of the larger mobile
calibers. This factory was entirely built and equipped on Government
land with Government money and is splendidly able to produce rough
machined gun forgings of the highest quality at the rate of two sets a
day for the 155-millimeter G. P. F. rifles, and one set a day of the
240-millimeter howitzers.

At Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, N. Y., large extensions were made
to the existing plant that had always been the Army's prime reliance
for the finishing and the assembly of guns of all calibers, including
the very largest. This plant was extended to manufacture complete
four of the 240-millimeter howitzers each day, and two a day of the
155-millimeter G. P. F. guns.

At Bridgeport, Conn., there was constructed a complete new factory by
the Bullard Engineering Works for the United States to turn out four
155-millimeter G. P. F. guns a day.

At Philadelphia, the Tacony Ordnance Corporation, as agents for the
Government, erected complete a new factory officered and manned by
experts well-trained and experienced in the difficult art of the
manufacture of steel and gun forgings. On October 11, 1917, the grounds
for this great undertaking had been merely staked out for the outline
of the buildings. Seven months later, on May 15, 1918, the entire
group of buildings, comprising a complete steel works from making the
steel to the final completion of 155-millimeter gun forgings, was
entirely erected at a cost of about $3,000,000. This difficult and
rapid building operation was carried through successfully during the
extraordinarily severe winter of 1917-18. On June 29, 1918, the first
carload of gun forgings was accepted and shipped from this plant, so
we have the marvelous enterprise of building a complete steel works
from the bare ground forward to the shipment of its first forgings in a
total elapsed time of only eight and one-half months.

At another, the works of the Midvale Steel Co. in Philadelphia, large
extensions were made to enable some of the larger guns to be produced,
to be finished later at the Watervliet Arsenal.

At the Bethlehem Steel Co.'s plant, Bethlehem, Pa., as early as May,
1917, orders were placed and appropriations allotted for expansions
to this enterprise to enable a rapid output of a larger number of gun
forgings and finished guns.

Large extensions were made at the works of the Standard Steel Works
Co., Burnham, Pa., to increase their existing forging and heat treating
facilities, so that at this plant two sets of 155-millimeter howitzers
and one set of 155-millimeter gun forgings were produced each day.

At Pittsburgh, Pa., the plants of the Heppenstall Forge & Knife Co. and
the Edgewater Steel Co. were extended so as to provide for the daily
production at the first plant of forgings for one 3-inch antiaircraft
gun and one 4.7-inch gun, and at the second plant of forgings for one
155-millimeter G. P. F. gun and one 240-millimeter howitzer per day.

At Columbus, Ohio, the Buckeye Steel & Castings Co. in combination with
the works of the Symington-Anderson Co. at Rochester, N. Y., had their
facilities extended to provide for the manufacture each day of six sets
of forgings for the 75-millimeter guns.

At the Symington-Anderson Co. in Rochester, N. Y., there was provided
a finishing plant for the 75-millimeter gun with a capacity of 15
finished guns per day.

At Erie, Pa., one of the most remarkable achievements in rapid
construction and successful mechanical operation was performed by
the erection of a plant that was commenced in July, 1917, and out of
which the first production was shipped to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds
in February, 1918. The American Brake Shoe & Foundry Co. built and
operated this plant as agents for the Ordnance Department, and much
credit is due them for their energy and organizing capacity.

It is doubtful if history records any similar enterprise in which guns
were turned out in a plant seven months from the date of beginning the
erection of the factory. This plant was laid out to manufacture 10
of the 155-millimeter Schneider-type howitzers a day, and before the
signing of the armistice it had more than fulfilled every expectation
by regularly turning out up to 15 howitzers a day, or 90 a week.

At Detroit, Mich., the Chalkis Manufacturing Co. adapted an existing
plant, and additional facilities were erected for the manufacture of
three of the 3-inch antiaircraft guns each day.

At Madison, Wis., the Northwestern Ordnance Co. erected for the United
States an entire new factory, beautifully equipped for the manufacture
of four guns a day of the 4.7-inch model.

At Milwaukee, Wis., the Wisconsin Gun Co. put up for the Government an
entirely new works capable of finishing six 75-millimeter guns each
day. The plants at both Milwaukee and Madison acquitted themselves very
well and gave us guns of the highest quality.

At Chicago, the Illinois Steel Co. expanded existing facilities to
produce more of the necessary electric furnace steel, which was forged
into guns at several works producing gun forgings, both for the Army
and Navy.

At Indiana Harbor, Ind., the works of the Standard Forgings Co., whose
sole business had been the volume production of forgings with steam
hammers and hydraulic presses, were expanded to the enormous degree
of producing each day 10 sets of gun forgings for the 155-millimeter
howitzer and 25 sets a day for the 75-millimeter gun. It should be
stated that this was a triumph of organizing ability and that this
factory was one of our main reliances for these guns.

At Gary, Ind., the American Bridge Co. created what is perhaps the
finest gun-forging plant in the world, comprising four presses from
1,000 tons to 3,000 tons forging capacity and all the other necessary
apparatus for the production each day of two sets of 155-millimeter G.
P. F. guns and the equivalent of one and one-half sets a day of the
240-millimeter howitzers.

At Baltimore, Md., the plant of the Hess Steel Corporation was enlarged
from its peace-time capacity and caused to produce at three times its
normal rate the special steels required for gun manufacture.

It will become evident that the collection of machinery, buildings,
and equipment necessary to produce these guns in the short space
of time required and at the rate of production stipulated, was an
enormous task in itself. It required the production of vast quantities
of raw materials and the congregating in one place of large numbers
of men capable of undertaking the exceedingly intricate mechanical
processes of manufacture. The success of this plan and its carrying
out is due largely to the loyalty of the manufacturers who unselfishly
came forward early in 1917 and agreed at the request of the Ordnance
Department to turn over their plants, lock, stock, and barrel, to
the requirements of the department; agreed also to undertake the
manufacture of products totally unfamiliar to them; agreed likewise to
lend all of their organizing ability and great material resources to
the success of the plants which the United States found necessary to
build in the creation of a new art, in new locations and in an extent
theretofore undreamed of.


Steel, of course, and steel in some of its finest forms is the basis
of gun manufacture. The word "steel" for the purpose of producing guns
means much more than is ordinarily carried by the word in its everyday
and most commonly accepted use. Only steel of the very highest quality
is suitable for gun manufacture, as was indicated previously when
attention was directed to the complete reliance which the operating
crews must place in their guns and the severity of the uses to which
the big guns are put.

Let us take a hasty trip through a big gun plant, watching the
processes through which is finally evolved from the raw materials one
of our hardy and efficient big guns.

Entering an open-hearth furnace building at one of our big gun plants,
we find two large furnaces in which the raw materials are charged.
Each of these furnaces is 75 feet long and 15 feet wide, and in them
in a shallow bath or pool lies the molten steel. The pool is about 33
feet long by 12 feet wide and approximately 2½ feet deep. This pool, or
"bath" as it is termed, weighs approximately 60 tons and is composed of
pig iron and well-selected scrap steel from previous operations.

The furnace is at all times during the operation of melting these raw
materials in the bath kept at such a high temperature that the eye may
not look within at the molten mass without being protected with blue
glass or smoked glass, exactly as when looking at the noonday sun. The
eye can see nothing in the atmosphere of the bath in which the steel is
being melted and refined because the temperature is so exceedingly high
that it gives a light as white as that of the sun.

After 12 or 15 hours of refining treatment in this furnace the metal
is tested, analyzed in the chemical laboratory, and, if found to be
refined to the proper degree, it is allowed to flow out of the furnace
on the opposite side from that through which it entered. Flowing out
of the furnace the entire charge of 60 tons finds its way into a huge
ladle which is suspended from a traveling crane capable of safely
carrying this great weight.

The ladle is then transferred by the crane to a heavy cast-iron mold
which is built so as to contain as much of the 60 tons of molten metal
as is required for the particular gun forging under manufacture.

The mold, which we have before us now on our imaginary trip through the
gun plant, will provide an "ingot" from the molten metal that will be
40 inches in diameter and 100 inches high. On top of this ingot is a
brick-lined so-called "sinkhead." This sinkhead is that portion of the
molten metal that has been allowed to cool more slowly in the brick
lining than the ingot does in the cast-iron mold proper. The ingot with
the sinkhead will weigh approximately 60,000 pounds.

This sinkhead is to insure greater solidity to the portion of the ingot
which is used for the gun forging. Only that part of the ingot below
the sinkhead enters the forging. The sinkhead itself is cut off while
hot under the press in a subsequent operation and afterwards remelted.

Next the ingot is placed under a 2,000-ton forging press which handles
ingots up to 45 inches in diameter. There it is forged into a square
shape after coming from the mold in an octagonal form. Previous to its
being put under this press, however, a careful chemical analysis has
been made of the ingot to determine that it is satisfactory for gun
purposes, and then before being put under the press the whole ingot is
heated in the charge chamber and fired either by a gas or oil flame.


The ladle is receiving metal from the furnace and the crane is
conveying the ladle to the mold.]


    Arrow points from letter A to a completed ingot from a mold.
    The brick-lined sink head is a part of the mold and is to
    insure greater solidity to the portion of the ingot which is
    used for the gun forging; only the part below the sink head
    entering the forging, the sink head itself being cut off hot
    under the press in a subsequent operation.]

[Illustration: VIEW OF INGOT MOLD.]


    This press can forge ingots up to 45 inches in diameter. The
    ingot under the press is shown in a partly forged state. Note
    that the original octagonal shape of the ingot as it came from
    the mold has been forged down to a square shape and later will
    be forged into a round shape. After coming from the mold, the
    ingot has been subjected to a careful chemical analysis to
    determine its fitness for use as a gun barrel.]


This press is needed for such large caliber guns as the 14-inch and
16-inch guns. The piece of forging under the press is armor plate and
not a gun forging.]


    Three tubes of the 155-millimeter guns suspended at furnace
    ready for heating and quenching to give them the necessary
    combination of hardness and toughness. The door of the furnace
    is open. The tubes remain in this furnace for perhaps eight
    hours at a temperature of 1,500° Fahrenheit or until a bright
    yellow color, uniform in every part.]



The gun tube is 41 feet long.]



    The ingot out of which this tube was made, came from the mold
    in an octagonal shape and later was forged into a square
    shape and finally made round. It now, too, has the hole bored
    partially into it. Through this hole, ultimately, will pass the

The forging press used for the larger caliber guns, such as 14-inch and
16-inch, is of a 9,000-ton weight capacity.

After the ingot forging has been reduced from squareness to a
cylindrical shape under the press, it is allowed to cool, then taken
to the machine shop, where it is turned and the hole through which the
projectile ultimately will pass is bored into it. This hole is somewhat
smaller than the diameter of the projectile, because in the finishing
operation, when the gun is assembled finally and put together, the hole
must be within one-one-thousandth of an inch of the diameter required,
which is all the tolerance that is allowed from the accuracy to which
the projectiles are brought. Otherwise the accuracy of the gun in
firing would be injured and the reliability of its aim would not be

During all of these operations with the ingot, the steel is largely
in the soft condition in which it left the forging press. As is well
known, steel is capable of taking many degrees of "temper." Temper
is an old term that no longer is quite descriptive of the condition
desired or obtained, but it is sufficiently expressive of the condition
desired for the purposes here. This condition is one of a certain
degree of hardness--greater than that ordinarily carried by the soft
steel--combined with the greatest obtainable degree of toughness. This
combination of hardness and toughness produced to the proper degree
resists the explosive power of the powder and also causes the wear on
the gun in firing to be diminished and made as slight as possible.

To effect this combination of hardness and toughness it is necessary to
take the bored and turned tubes of the guns and suspend them by means
of a specially made apparatus in a furnace where they are heated for a
period of perhaps eight hours to a temperature of approximately 1,500°
F. or a bright-yellow color, uniform in every part of the piece.

After being subjected to this treatment for the time mentioned, the
tube is then conducted by means of a traveling crane apparatus to a
tank of warm water in which it is dipped and the heat rapidly taken
from it down to a point of practically atmospheric temperature. This
"quench" as it is called, produces the required degree of hardness
called for by the ordnance officers' design; but the piece has not yet
got the required degree of toughness. This toughness is now imparted
to the hard piece by heating it once more in another furnace to a
temperature of approximately 1,100° F., or a warm rosy red, for a
period of perhaps 14 hours. From this temperature, the piece is allowed
to cool naturally and slowly to the atmospheric temperature.

The ordnance inspectors at this point determine whether the piece has
the required properties in a sufficient degree, by cutting from the
tube a piece 5 inches long and ½ inch in diameter. The ends of this
piece are threaded suitably for gripping in a machine. The piece is
then pulled until the half-inch stem breaks. The machine registers
the amount of force required to break this piece and this gives the
ordnance engineer his test as to the degree of hardness and toughness
to which the piece has been brought by the heat treatment processes
just described.

A satisfactory physical condition having been determined by pulling
and breaking the test pieces described, the whole forging is sent to
the finishing shop where it is machined to a mirror polish on all
its surfaces. The diameters are accurately measured and the forgings
assembled into the shape of a finished gun.

In this process there is required a different kind of care and
accuracy. Up until this time the care has been to provide a metal of
proper consistency and quality. From this point forward the manufacture
of a gun requires the machining and fitting of this metal into a shape
and form so accurate that the full strength of the gun and the best
accuracy of fire may be attained.

To explain how and why hoops are placed upon the gun tubing and how
the various hoops are shrunk from the outside diameter of the gun will
require a few lines.

Cannon are made of concentric cylinders shrunk one upon another. The
object of this method of construction is twofold. The distinctly
practical object is the attainment throughout the wall of each cylinder
of the soundness and uniformity of metal which is more certainly to be
had in thin pieces than in thick ones; the other object is more closely
connected with the theory of gun construction.

When a hollow cylinder is subjected to an interior pressure the walls
of the cylinder are not uniformly strained throughout their thickness,
but the layer at the bore is much more severely strained than that at
the outside. This can be readily seen if we consider a cylinder of
rubber, for example, with a bore of 1 inch and an exterior diameter
of 3 inches, which are about the proportions of many guns. If we put
an interior air pressure on the cylinder until we expand the bore to
2 inches, the exterior diameter will not thereby be increased 1 inch.
But supposing that it were increased as much as the bore, that is, 1
inch, we would have the diameter, and therefore the circumference, of
the bore increased 100 per cent, and the circumference of the exterior
increased 33-1/3 per cent. That is, the layer at the bore would be
strained three times as much as that at the exterior, and the interior
layer would commence to tear before that at the exterior would reach
anything like its limit of strength. The whole wall of the cylinder
therefore would not be contributing its full strength toward resisting
the interior pressure, and there would be a waste of material as well
as a loss of strength. Let us now consider, instead of our simple
cylinder, a built-up cylinder composed of two concentric ones, the
inner one of a bore originally a little greater than 1 inch, and
the outer one of exterior diameter a little less than three inches,
originally; so that when the outer one is pressed over the inner one
(its inner diameter being originally too small for it to go over the
inner one without stretching) the bore of the inner one is brought to
1 inch, and the exterior of the outer one to 3 inches. We now have a
cylinder of the same dimensions as our simple one, but in a different
state; the layers of the inner one being compressed and those of the
outer one extended.

If now we commence to put air pressure on the bore, we can put on a
certain amount before we wipe out the compression of the inner layer,
and bring it to a neutral state, and thereafter can go on putting on
more pressure until we stretch the inner layer 100 per cent beyond the
neutral state, as before; which would take just as much additional
pressure as the total pressure which we employed with our simple
cylinder. We have therefore gained all that pressure which is necessary
to bring the inner layer of our built-up cylinder from its state of
compression to the neutral state. If we have so proportioned the
diameter of junction of our inner and outer cylinders and so gauged
the amount of stretching required to get the outer one over the inner
one that we have not in the process caused any of the layers of the
outer one to be overstrained, the gain has been a real one, attained by
causing the layers of the outer cylinder to make a better contribution
of strength toward resisting the interior pressure. This is the theory
of the built-up gun.

The number of cylinders employed generally increases, up to a certain
limit, with the size of the gun, practical considerations governing;
and the "shrinkage," or amount by which the inner diameter of the outer
cylinder is less than the outer diameter of the one which it is to be
shrunk over, is a matter of nice calculation. Roughly speaking, it is
about one and one half one-thousandths of an inch for each inch of
diameter, varying with the position of the cylinder in the gun; and its
accurate attainment, throughout the length of the cylinder of a large
gun, is a delicate matter of the gun-maker's art and the machinist's

The method of assembly is to have the cold tube set upright and
prepared for a circulation of water within the bore of the tube to
keep it cool. Then the hoop, whose inside diameter is smaller than the
outside diameter of the tube on which it is to be shrunk, is measured
and carefully heated to a temperature of approximately 450° F., or just
about the temperature of a good oven for baking or roasting. This mild
temperature so expands the material in the hoop that the difference of
diameter is overcome and the hot hoop is expanded to a larger inside
diameter than the outside diameter of the cold tube on which the hoop
is to be placed. Next the hot, expanded hoop is placed in position
around the breech end of the tube, and slowly and carefully cooled,
so that in contracting from the high temperature to the low ordinary
temperature, the hoop shrinks toward its original diameter and thus
exerts an inclosing pressure or compressive strain upon the breech end
of the tube.

Now when the gun is fired the tube tends to expand under the pressure
and this expansion is resisted, first by the compressive force exerted
by the shrunken hoop and later by the hoop itself, so that the built-up
system is stronger and better able to resist the explosive charge of
the burning powder than would be the case if the gun were made in one
piece and of the same thickness of metal.

This brief explanation will show why so many pieces are provided for
the manufacture of the finished gun and the reason for the large number
of machine tools and machining operations necessary in order to carry
forward the manufacture of the finished article. Sometimes one or more
of the outer cylinders are replaced by layers of wire, wound under

Both our 4.7-inch gun, model 1906, with which our troops have been
equipped for a long time and which throws a projectile weighing 45
pounds a distance of about 6 miles, and the French 75-millimeter
(2.95-inch) gun, successfully used by the French since 1897, were
designed to be drawn by horses, and the guns are best used when drawn
by teams of 6 or 8 horses. As the horse has a sustained pulling power
of only 650 pounds, it is obvious that the weight to be drawn by the
team of 6 horses must not be more than 3,900 pounds. So there is
every incentive for making mobile artillery of this kind as light as
possible, consistent with the strength required for the work to be
done. Thus the pulling power of the horse coupled with his speed has
been the limiting factor in the design and weight of mobile field

As one of our foremost United States ordnance engineers once said,
"the limited power of the horse is what has governed the weight of our
artillery," and that "if Divine Providence had given the horse the
speed of the deer and the power of the elephant, we might have had a
far wider and more effective range for our mobile artillery."



    In the foreground are three large gun tubes partially
    completed. This company started the manufacture of the first
    piece of ordnance material in America in 1880.]

One of the answers of the United States ordnance engineers to this
problem, as developed in the recent war, has been the production of
a tractor to replace the horse, and this tractor has the speed of
the deer and the power of the elephant. The most powerful tractors
are mounted on track-laying devices and are colloquially known as
caterpillars. One of these powerful caterpillars, on which is mounted
an 8-inch howitzer with a range of 6 miles, which is manned and
operated by only two men, and which can go up hill and down hill, over
broken brushwood, trees, etc., was recently given a severe test at the
Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Here it was sent through a dense wood in
which it bumped square into a live locust tree that was 17 inches in
diameter at the bottom. This tree, almost the tallest in the wood, was
prostrated by the attack of the tractor, which rode over it and then
emerged from the wood, took up its position, and fired its shot almost
in as short a time as that which it takes to tell of the deed. Truly
the power of the elephant and the speed of the deer has been brought to
the aid of the ordnance engineer for any future warlike operations.

The number of workmen employed in gun production at once in this
country totaled 21,329, and fully that many more are estimated to have
been employed in the manufacture of gun carriages and fire-control
instruments. Consequently in turning out the complete big guns there
were fully 42,000 workmen engaged by the month of October, 1918.
Furthermore, these men became so skilled in their work that it may be
said that the difficult art of gun making has become firmly established
in this country and that the United States may now and at any time in
the near future rely on this trained body of artisans for the finest
kind of gun-metal manufacture.


     _Production of cannon forgings during the war at the various

       Caliber.     |    Contractor.   |1917 |              1918
                    |                  +-----+----+-----+----+----+----+-----
                    |                  |Dec. |Jan.|Feb. |Mar.|Apr.|May.|June.
  75-mm. field gun, |Bethlehem Steel   |    2|   1|   32|  14|  13|   3|   75
  model 1916        |Co., Bethlehem,   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pa.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Forgings |    1|   5|   11|  10|  19|   5|   67
                    |Co., Indiana      |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Harbor, Ind.      |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Buckeye Steel     |     |    |     |    |    | 154|
                    |Co., Columbus,    |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Ohio              |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  75-mm. field gun, |    do.           |     |    |     |    |    |  44|  162
  model 1897        |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Forgings |     |    |     |    |    |    |   10
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  75-mm. field gun, |Bethlehem Steel   |    1|   7|   30|  38|  47|  33|   62
  model 1917        |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  3-inch anti-      |    do.           |     |    |    6|   7|   5|   4|   12
  aircraft gun      |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Heppenstall Forge |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |& Knife Co.,      |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pittsburgh, Pa.   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  4.7-inch gun      |Bethlehem Steel   |     |    |    9|  10|   8|  28|
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Heppenstall Forge |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |& Knife Co.       |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  155-mm. howitzer  |Bethlehem Steel   |     |  10|   26|  51|   9|  37|   25
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Forgings |    2|   3|     |  10|  20|  55|   44
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Steel Co.|     |    |     |    |  15|  54|   64
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  155-mm. gun       |Bethlehem Steel   |     |    |     |    |   1|   9|
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Edgewater Steel   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Co., Pittsburgh,  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pa.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Steel    |     |    |     |    |    |   6|    4
                    |Car Co., Burnham, |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pa.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Tacony            |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Ordnance Co.,     |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Philadelphia, Pa. |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |American Bridge   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Co., Gary, Ind.   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  8-inch howitzer   |Midvale Steel Co. |    1|   5|   11|  10|  19|   5|   67
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  240-mm. howitzer  |Bethlehem Steel   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Edgewater Steel   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Tacony Ordnance   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Watertown Arsenal |     |    |     |    |    |    |
      Total         |                  |    6|  26|  114| 174| 175| 440|  525

       Caliber.     |    Contractor.   |               1918            |Total.
                    |                  +-----+----+-----+----+----+----+-----
                    |                  |July.|Aug.|Sept.|Oct.|Nov.|Dec.|
  75-mm. field gun, |Bethlehem Steel   |   23|   7|    1| 180|   1|    | 352
  moodel 1916       |Co., Bethlehem,   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pa.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Forgings |   29|   2|     |    |    |    | 149
                    |Co., Indiana      |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Harbor, Ind.      |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Buckeye Steel     |   10|    |     |    |    |    | 164
                    |Co., Columbus,    |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Ohio              |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  75-mm. field gun, |    do.           |  419| 325|  322| 658| 181| 224|2335
  model 1897        |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Forgings |   32| 275|  310| 471| 245|  39|1382
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  75-mm. field gun, |Bethlehem Steel   |   61|  69|  121|  76| 247|  47| 839
  model 1917        |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  3-inch anti-      |    do.           |   10|   6|   46| 112| 109|   5| 322
  aircraft gun      |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Heppenstall Forge |     |    |    3|  51|  15|  13|  82
                    |& Knife Co.,      |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pittsburgh, Pa.   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  4.7-inch gun      |Bethlehem Steel   |   70|  94|   66|  14|    |  43| 342
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Heppenstall Forge |     |   6|   18|  21|  25|  10|  80
                    |& Knife Co.       |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  155-mm. howitzer  |Bethlehem Steel   |    5|    |   11|  52|  19|  32| 277
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Forgings |   89|  74|  169| 127| 157|  10| 760
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Steel Co.|   82| 130|   93| 100| 100|  20| 658
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  155-mm. gun       |Bethlehem Steel   |   21|   7|    5|   4|   1|    |  48
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Edgewater Steel   |     |   4|   13|  21|  24|   5|  67
                    |Co., Pittsburgh,  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pa.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Standard Steel    |   21|  14|   23|  41|  21|   9| 139
                    |Car Co., Burnham, |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Pa.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Tacony            |     |   3|   15|  31|  26|    |  75
                    |Ordnance Co.,     |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Philadelphia, Pa. |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |American Bridge   |     |    |     |   8|   7|  10|  25
                    |Co., Gary, Ind.   |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  8-inch howitzer   |Midvale Steel Co. |   29|   2|     |    |    |    | 149
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
  240-mm. howitzer  |Bethlehem Steel   |     |  30|   16|  16|  19|  16|  97
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Edgewater Steel   |     |    |    1|    |    |  14|  15
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Tacony Ordnance   |     |    |    4|  15|   3|  12|  34
                    |Co.               |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |                  |     |    |     |    |    |    |
                    |Watertown Arsenal |     |    |     |[10]|    |   7|   7
  Total             |                  |  872|1074| 1259|2031|1214| 530|8440

[10] Figures in first table indicate delivery of completed sets of
forgings only. Deliveries of finished and accepted gun forgings, not in
complete sets, were made in carload lots and in other large quantities
by various factories prior to the dates when their receipt of machine
tools enabled them to produce completed sets. For instance, Watertown
Arsenal made its first carload shipment of forgings on Oct. 28, 1918.


    _Progress of the work of machining and assembling cannon at the
                  various factories during the war._

               |              |1917 |                1918
               |              +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----
  Caliber.     | Contractor.  |Dec. |Jan. |Feb. |Mar. |Apr. |May. |June.
  75-mm.       |Symington-    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  field gun,   |Anderson Co., |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |Rochester,    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1916         |N. Y.         |     |     |     |     |   1 |  51 |  81
               |Wisconsin     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Gun Co.,      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Milwaukee,    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Wis.          |     |     |     |     |     |   8 |  18
               |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Arsenal,      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Watervliet,   |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |N. Y.         |   4 |  38 |  18 |  14 |  26 |  35 |   8
               |Bethlehem     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Steel Co.     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  75-mm.       |Symington-    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  field gun,   |Anderson      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1897         |Co.           |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |              |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Wisconsin     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Gun Co.       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  75-mm.       |Bethlehem     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  field gun,   |Steel Co.     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |              |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1917         |              |   1 |   7 |  30 |  38 |  47 |  33 |  62
  3-inch       |Chalkis       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  antiaircraft |Manufacturing |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  gun          |Co., Detroit, |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Mich.         |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  3-inch       |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  antiaircraft |Arsenal       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  gun,         |              |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  15-pdr.      |              |   3 |  16 |  24 |  16 |   2 |     |  11
  4.7-inch,    |Northwestern  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |Ordnance Co., |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1906         |Madison, Wis. |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Arsenal       |     |     |     |     |     |     |   6
  155-mm       |American      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  howitzer     |Brake Shoe    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |& Foundry     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Co.,          |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Erie, Pa.     |     |     |   3 |  10 |  16 |  28 |  75
  155-mm.      |Bullard       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  gun          |Engine        |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Works         |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Co.,          |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Bridgeport,   |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Conn.         |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Arsenal       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  8-inch       |Midvale       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  howitzer     |Steel Co.     |     |     |     |  34 |  38 |   8 |
  240-mm.      |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Arsenal       |     |     |  34 |  38 |   8 |     |
    Total      |              |   8 |  61 |  75 | 112 | 130 | 163 | 261

               |              |                  1918
               |              +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----
    Caliber.   | Contractor.  |July.| Aug.|Sept.| Oct.| Nov.| Dec.|Total.
  75-mm.       |Symington-    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  field gun,   |Anderson Co., |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |Rochester,    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1916         |N. Y.         |  61 |  88 |  48 |  74 |  12 |     |  416
               |Wisconsin     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Gun Co.,      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Milwaukee,    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Wis.          |  20 |  38 |  27 |   5 |     |     |  116
               |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Arsenal,      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Watervliet,   |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |N. Y.         |     |   8 |     |   5 |   5 |   5 |  166
               |Bethlehem     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Steel Co.     |     |   1 |   1 |     |     |     |    2
  75-mm.       |Symington-    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  field gun,   |Anderson      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1897         |Co.           |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |              |     |     |   1 |  52 |  50 | 136 |  239
               |Wisconsin     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Gun Co.       |     |     |   1 |   2 |   6 |  26 |   35
  75-mm.       |Bethlehem     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  field gun,   |Steel Co.     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |              |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1917         |              |  61 |  69 | 121 |  76 | 247 |  47 |  839
  3-inch       |Chalkis       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  antiaircraft |Manufacturing |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  gun          |Co., Detroit, |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Mich.         |   1 |   7 |  19 |  48 |  29 |  30 |  134
  3-inch       |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  antiaircraft |Arsenal       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  gun,         |              |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  15-pdr.      |              |   9 |   4 |   3 |   2 |   5 |   1 |   96
  4.7-inch,    |Northwestern  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  model        |Ordnance Co., |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  1906         |Madison, Wis. |     |   5 |   7 |  31 |  23 |  32 |   98
               |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Arsenal       |   8 |  10 |  22 |  40 |  27 |   7 |  120
  155-mm       |American      |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  howitzer     |Brake Shoe    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |& Foundry     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Co.,          |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Erie, Pa.     | 110 | 248 | 206 | 350 | 231 | 179 |1,456
  155-mm.      |Bullard       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  gun          |Engine        |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Works         |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Co.,          |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Bridgeport,   |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Conn.         |   1 |     |  14 |  28 |  18 |  36 |   97
               |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      "        |Arsenal       |   1 |     |     |  23 |   4 |   4 |   32
  8-inch       |Midvale       |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  howitzer     |Steel Co.     |     |  28 |  22 |  33 |  14 |  14 |  191
  240-mm.      |Watervliet    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
               |Arsenal       |     |   1 |     |     |   1 |     |    2
    Total      |              | 272 | 507 | 492 | 769 | 672 | 517 |4,039

Chapter III


The chance observer might assume that once the Ordnance Department
had succeeded in putting in production the cannon of various sizes
described in the preceding chapter the battle of providing artillery
was as good as won. But such was not the case. Even after the ponderous
tubes had come finished from the elaborate processes of the steel
mills, the task of the ordnance officers had only just begun. Each one
of these guns had to be rendered mobile in the field and it had to be
equipped with a mechanism to take up the retrograde shock of firing
(the "kick") and to prevent the weapon from leaping out of aim at each

Mobility to a gun is given by the carriage on which it rides. The
device which absorbs the recoil and restores the gun to position is
called the recuperator (in the case of the hydropneumatic French
design) or the recoil mechanism. Carriage and recuperator, or recoil
mechanism, together are known as the mount.

The forging, boring, reinforcing, machining, and finishing of the
gun body is not half the battle of manufacturing a modern military
weapon; it is scarcely one-third of it. No ordnance officer of 1917-18
will ever forget the heartbreaking experiences of manufacturing the
mounts, a work which went along simultaneously with the production of
the cannon themselves. The manufacture of carriages often presented
engineering and production problems of the most baffling sort. As
to the recuperators, a short analysis of the part they play in the
operation of a gun will indicate something of the nature of the project
of building them in quantities.

The old schoolbook axiom that action and reaction are equal has a
peculiar emphasis when applied to the firing of a modern piece of
high-power artillery. The force exerted to throw a heavy projectile 7
miles or more from the muzzle of a gun is equally exerted toward the
breach of the weapon in its recoil. Some of these forces handled safely
and easily by mechanical means are almost beyond the mind's grasp.

Not long ago a touring car, weighing 2 tons, traveled at the rate of
120 miles an hour along a Florida beach. Conceive of such a car going
337 miles an hour, which is much faster than any man ever traveled;
then conceive of a mechanism which would stop this car, going nearly
6 miles a minute, stop it in 45 inches of space and half a second
of time, without the slightest injury to the automobile. That is
precisely the equivalent of the feat performed by the recuperator of a
240-millimeter howitzer after a shot.

Conceive of a 150,000-pound locomotive traveling at 53.3 miles an hour.
The action of the 240-millimeter recuperator after a shot is equivalent
to stopping that locomotive in less than 4 feet in half a second
without damage.

The forging for the 155-millimeter howitzer's recuperator is a block
of steel weighing nearly 2 tons--in exact figures, 3,875 pounds. This
must be bored and machined out until it weighs, with the accessory
parts of the complete recuperator placed on the scales with it, only
870 pounds. It is scarcely fair to a modern hydropneumatic recuperator
to say that it must be finished with the precision of a watch. It must
be finished with a mechanical nicety comparable only to the finish of
such a delicate instrument as a navigator's sextant or the mechanism
which adjusts the Lick telescope to the movement of the earth. No heavy
articles ever before turned out in American workshops required in their
finish the degree of microscopic perfection the recuperators called for.

We adopted from the French, the greatest of all artillery builders,
four recuperators--one for the 75-millimeter gun, one for the
155-millimeter gun, another for the 155-millimeter howitzer, and the
fourth for the 240-millimeter howitzer. These mechanisms had never been
built before outside of France. Indeed, one could find pessimists ready
to say that none but French mechanics could build them at all and that
our attempt to duplicate them could end only in failure. Yet American
mechanical genius "licked" every one of these problems, as the men
in the greasy overalls say, and did it in little more than a year of
time after the plans came to the workshops. There was not one of these
beautiful mechanisms, in France the product of patient handiwork on the
part of metal craftsmen of deep and inherited skill, that eventually
did not become in American workshops a practical proposition of
quantity production.

The problem of building French recuperators in the United States, in
short, may be regarded as the crux of the whole American ordnance
undertaking in the war against Germany, the index of its success. It
presented the most formidable challenge of all to American industrial
skill. There were men whose opinion had to be considered and who were
convinced that it was impracticable to attempt to produce French
recuperators here. Although the superiority of these recoil devices
in their respective classes were universally conceded, Germany had
never been able to make them, while England, with the cooperation of
the French ordnance engineers freely offered, did not attempt them.
The French built them one by one, as certain custom-built and highly
expensive automobiles are produced. When American factories proposed to
produce French recuperators not only but to manufacture them by making
parts and assembling them according to the modern practice of quantity
production, the ranks of the skeptics increased.

Yet, as we have said, the thing was done. The first of these
recuperators ever produced outside of the French industry were produced
in America and manufactured by typically American quantity methods.

The first of these recuperators to come into quantity production was
that for the 155-millimeter howitzer. Rough forgings began to be turned
out in heavy quantities by the Mesta Machine Co. in the spring of 1918,
while the Watertown Arsenal, the other contractor, reached quantity
production in rough forgings in September, 1918. At their special
recuperator plant at Detroit the Dodge Bros. turned out the first
finished 155-millimeter howitzer recuperator in July, 1918, and went
into quantity production with them in September, producing 495 in the
month of November alone, and turning out up to the end of April, 1919,
the great number of 1,601 of them.

Next in order of time to be conquered as a factory problem was the
155-millimeter gun recuperator. The rough forgings at the Carnegie
Steel Co., the sole contractor, were in quantity production in the
spring of 1918. The first of these recuperators finished came from the
Dodge plant in October, 1918; and although 30 issued from the plant
and were accepted before the end of the year, quantity production may
be said to have started on January 1, 1919, when the factory began
producing them at the rate of more than four a day. In March the high
mark of 361 recuperators was reached, and the total production up to
the end of April was 880.

The heavy 240-millimeter howitzer recuperator was third to come into
quantity production. The rough forgings were being turned out in
quantity in the spring of 1918 by the Carnegie Steel Co., while the
Watertown Arsenal, the other contractor, produced a number of these
rough forgings in August, 1918. The two contractors for finishing and
turning out the complete recuperators were the Otis Elevator Co., at
its Chicago plant, and the Watertown Arsenal. The arsenal produced the
pilot recuperator in October, 1918. In January the Otis Elevator Co.
produced its first four, while quantity production began in February,
1919, both contractors that month sending out 19 recuperators, a number
which may be regarded as good quantity when the size of this mechanism
is taken into consideration. Both plants together in April turned out
the large number of 89 recuperators for the 240.

Last to come through to quantity production was the hardest of the four
to build, the one that promised to defy American industry to build it
at all--the 75-millimeter gun recuperator. The two contractors for the
rough forgings for this recuperator were the Carbon Steel Co. and the
Bucyrus Co. The Carbon Steel Co. was in large series production of them
in the spring of 1918, and the Bucyrus Co. reached the quantity basis
of manufacture in October, 1918. In that month alone both contractors
together turned out 1,305 sets of forgings.

The machining and finishing of the 75 recuperator was in the hands
of the Rock Island Arsenal and the Singer Manufacturing Co., which
built a costly plant especially for the purpose at Elizabethport,
N. J. The first recuperator of this size to appear and be accepted
under the severe tests came from the arsenal in October. Thereafter
the production ceased for a while. The contractors indeed built
recuperators in this period, but the recuperators could not pass the
tests. The machining and production of parts seemed to be as perfect as
human skill could accomplish, but still the devices would not function
perfectly. Adjustments, seemingly of the most microscopical and trivial
sort, had to be made--there was trouble with the leather of the valves
and with oil for the cylinders. These matters, which could scarcely
cause any delay at all in the production of less delicate machinery,
indicate the infinite care which had to be employed in the manufacture
of the recuperators. At length the producers smoothed out the obstacles
and learned all the secrets and necessary processes, and then the
75-millimeter recuperators began to come--2 in January, 1919, and then
13 in February, 20 in March, and 23 in April.

It should be remembered that by quantity production in this particular
is meant the production in quantity of recuperators of such perfect
quality as to pass the inspection of the Government and to be accepted
as part of our national ordnance equipment. In this inspection the
Government was assisted by French engineers sent from the great
artillery factories in France which had designed the recuperators and
which until the successful outcome of the American attempt were their
sole producers. Such inspection naturally required that the American
recuperators should be the equals of their French prototypes in every

Because the production of French recuperators stands at the summit of
American ordnance achievement, here at this point, before there is
given any account of the manufacture of field artillery, the theme
of this chapter, a performance table is inserted to show the records
written by the various concerns engaged in making these devices.

    _American acceptances of recuperators by firms on Army ordnance
                             orders only._

                           |                      1918
  Item, process, and firm. |   To  |July.|August.|Septem-|Octo-|Novem-|Decem-
                           |July 1.|     |       |  ber. | ber.| ber. | ber.
  75-mm. gun recuperator:  |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
    Forging--              |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Carbon Steel Co.     |  259  | 259 |  254  |   750 |1,005|  300 | 552
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Bucyrus Co.          |       |     |   29  |    78 |  300|  173 | 111
        Total              |  259  | 259 |  283  |   828 |1,305|  473 | 663
    Finish machining and   |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      assembling--         |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Singer Manufacturing |       |     |       |       |     |      |
        Co.                |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Rock Island Arsenal  |       |     |       |       |    1|      |
        Total              |       |     |       |       |    1|      |
  155-mm. howitzer         |       |     |       |       |     |      |
    recuperator:           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
    Forging--              |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Mesta Machine Co.    |  676  | 646 |  648  |   899 |1,080|  226 |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Watertown Arsenal    |       |     |       |   160 |   80|   80 |
        Total              |  676  | 646 |  648  | 1,059 |1,160|  306 |
    Machining complete and |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      assembling--         |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Dodge Bros.          |       |   1 |   27  |   249 |  285|  495 | 403
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
  155-mm. gun recuperator: |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
    Forging--              |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Carnegie Steel Co.   |  212  | 213 |  229  |   269 |  401|  389 |  21
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
    Finish machining and   |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      assembling--         |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Dodge Bros.          |       |     |       |       |    1|   10 |  19
  240-mm. howitzer         |       |     |       |       |     |      |
    recuperator:           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
    Forging--              |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Carnegie Steel Co.   |  286  |  99 |  115  |    61 |   70|   79 |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Watertown Arsenal    |       |     |   21  |       |     |      |
        Total              |  286  |  99 |  136  |    61 |   70|   79 |
    Finish machining and   |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      assembling--         |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Otis Elevator Co.    |       |     |       |       |     |      |
                           |       |     |       |       |     |      |
      Watertown Arsenal    |       |     |       |       |    1|      |
        Total              |       |     |       |       |    1|      |

                           |            1919           | Total, |Total| Total,
                           +------+------+------+------+Nov. 11,|1918.|Apr. 30,
  Item, process, and firm. | Jan- |Febru-|March.|April.|  1918. |     |  1919.
                           |uary. | ary. |      |      |        |     |
  75-mm. gun recuperator:  |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
    Forging--              |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Carbon Steel Co.     |  407 |   49 |      |      | 2,600  |3,379|  3,835
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Bucyrus Co.          |      |   68 |      |      |   435  |  691|    759
        Total              |  407 |  117 |      |      | 3,035  |4,070|  4,594
    Finish machining and   |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      assembling--         |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Singer Manufacturing |      |      |      |      |        |     |
        Co.                |      |      |    3 |    8 |        |     |     11
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Rock Island Arsenal  |    2 |   13 |   17 |   15 |     1  |    1|     48
        Total              |    2 |   13 |   20 |   23 |     1  |    1|     59
  155-mm. howitzer         |      |      |      |      |        |     |
    recuperator:           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
    Forging--              |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Mesta Machine Co.    |   49 |      |   31 |      | 4,000  |4,175|  4,255
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Watertown Arsenal    |   25 |    1 |      |      |   268  |  320|    346
        Total              |   74 |    1 |   31 |      | 4,268  |4,495|  4,601
    Machining complete and |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      assembling--         |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Dodge Bros.          |  141 |      |      |      |   796  |1,460|  1,601
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
  155-mm. gun recuperator: |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
    Forging--              |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Carnegie Steel Co.   |      |      |      |      | 1,480  |1,734|  1,734
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
    Finish machining and   |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      assembling--         |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Dodge Bros.          |  116 |  270 |  361 |  103 |        |   30|    880
  240-mm. howitzer         |      |      |      |      |        |     |
    recuperator:           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
    Forging--              |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Carnegie Steel Co.   |      |      |      |      |   678  |  710|    710
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Watertown Arsenal    |      |      |      |      |    21  |   21|     21
        Total              |      |      |      |      |   699  |  731|    731
    Finish machining and   |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      assembling--         |      |      |      |      |        |     |
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Otis Elevator Co.    |    4 |   14 |   41 |   62 |        |     |    121
                           |      |      |      |      |        |     |
      Watertown Arsenal    |      |    5 |   19 |   27 |     1  |    1|     52
        Total              |    4 |   19 |   60 |   89 |     1  |    1|    173

The process of manufacture of recuperators requires four
steps--forging, rough machining, finish machining, and assembling. In
the case of 155-millimeter howitzer recuperators all the machining
was done by one firm; in the other cases rough machining was done by
various firms, including, in the case of the 155-millimeter gun and
240-millimeter howitzer recuperators, the firms doing the forging.
Complete records of rough machining are not available.

In discussing here, therefore, the production of field artillery in the
war period, we are concerned chiefly with carriages and recuperators,
for they offered the major difficulties. Since the production of gun
bodies for these various units has been taken up in the preceding
chapter, such reference to them as is necessary will be brief. For the
sake of additional clearness in the mind of the reader inexpert in
these things, the line should be sharply drawn between field artillery
and the so-called railway artillery, which was also mobile to a limited
degree. The mobile field artillery consisted of all rolling guns or
caterpillar guns up to and including the 240-millimeter howitzer in
size; and also included the antiaircraft guns of various sizes. All
mobile guns of larger caliber than the 240-millimeter howitzer were
mounted on railroad cars.

The list of the mobile field artillery weapons in manufacture here
during the war period was as follows:

The little 37-millimeter gun, the so-called infantry cannon, one of
which two husky men could lift from the ground--a French design;

The 75-millimeter guns--three types of them--the French 75, adopted
bodily by the United States; our own 3-inch gun redesigned to the
French caliber; and the British 3.3-inch gun, similarly redesigned;

The 4.7-inch gun of American design;

The 5-inch and 6-inch guns, taken from our coast defenses and naval
stores and placed on mobile mounts;

The 155-millimeter gun, a French weapon with a barrel diameter of
approximately 6 inches;

The 155-millimeter howitzer, also French;

The 8-inch and 9.2-inch howitzers, British designs, being manufactured
in the United States when war was declared;

The 240-millimeter howitzer, French and American; and, finally,

The antiaircraft guns.

In modern times, but prior to 1917, the United States had designed
types of field-artillery weapons and produced them in quantities shown
by the following tabulation:


  2.95-inch mountain gun         113
  3-inch gun                     544
  4.7-inch gun                    60
  5-inch gun                      70
  6-inch howitzer                 40
  7-inch howitzer                 70
        Total                    897

A comparison of this list with the enumeration above of weapons
put in production during the war against Germany indicates that we
greatly expanded our artillery in types. That we were able to do this
at the outset and go ahead immediately with the production of many
weapons strange and unknown to our experience, without waiting to
develop models and types of our own, is due solely to the generosity
of the governments of France and Great Britain, with whom we became
associated. We manufactured in all eight new weapons, taking the
designs of three of them from the British and of five from the French.

It might seem to the uninitiated that the way of the United States to
a great output of artillery would be made smooth by the action of the
British and French Governments in agreeing to turn over to us without
reservation the blue prints and specifications that were the product of
years of development in their gun plants. Yet this was only relatively
true. In numerous instances we were not able to secure complete
drawings until months after we had entered the war, due to the practice
of continental manufacturers that intrusts numerous exact measurements
to the memories of the mechanics working in their shops. Consequently
it required several months to complete drawings, and when we received
them our troubles had only begun.

First there came the problem of translating the plans after we received
them. All French dimensions are according to the metric system. A
millimeter is one one-thousandth part of a meter, and a meter is 39.37
inches. An inch is approximately 0.0254 meter. Thus to translate French
plans into American factory practice involves hundreds of mathematical
computations, most of them carried out to decimals of four or five
places. Moreover, the French shop drawings are put down on an angle
of projection different from what is used in this country. This
fact involved the recasting of drawings even when the metric system
measurements were retained. When it is considered that such a mechanism
as the recuperator on the 155-millimeter gun involves the translation
of 416 drawings, the fact that the preparation of French plans for our
own use never took more than two months is remarkable, particularly so
since it was hard to find in the United States draftsmen and engineers
familiar with such translation work.

Once our specifications were worked out from the French plans, it then
became necessary to find American manufacturers willing to bid on the
contracts. The average manufacturer would look at these specifications,
realize what a highly specialized and involved sort of work would be
required in the production of the gun carriages or recoil mechanisms,
and shake his head. In numerous instances no such work had ever before
been attempted in the United States.

However, as the result of efforts on the part of the Government an
increased capacity for producing mobile field artillery was created as

At Watertown, N. Y., the New York Air Brake Co., as agent for the
United States, constructed a completely new factory to turn out 25 gun
carriages a month for the 75-millimeter guns, model 1916--the American
3-inch type modified to the French dimensions.

At Toledo, Ohio, increased facilities were put up at the plant of
the Willys-Overland Co. to manufacture a daily output of 17 French
75-millimeter gun carriages, model 1897.

At Elizabethport, N. J., the Singer Manufacturing Co. erected for
the Government a complete new factory for finishing daily 17 French
75-millimeter recuperators.

At New Britain, Conn., the plant of the New Britain Machine Co. was
adapted and increased facilities were created for the manufacture of
two 3-inch antiaircraft gun carriages a day.

At Detroit, Mich., Dodge Bros., as agents for the Government, erected
an entirely new factory, costing in the neighborhood of $11,000,000
to give the final machining to the rough-machine forgings for five
recuperators daily for the 155-millimeter gun and to machine completely
the parts for twelve recuperators daily for the 155-millimeter
howitzer. Their huge new plant for this purpose established a record
for rapidity of construction in one of the most severe winters of
recent history.

At the plant of the Studebaker Corporation at Detroit, facilities were
extended for turning out three carriages a day for the 4.7-inch guns.

At Plainfield, N. J., extended facilities were created at the factory
of the Walter Scott Co. for manufacturing 20 carriages a month for the
4.7-inch guns.

At Worcester, Mass., at the plant of the Osgood Bradley Car Co.
increased facilities were built for the daily manufacture of five
carriages for the 155-millimeter howitzers.

At Hamilton, Ohio, at the works of the American Rolling Mill Co.,
extensions were made to provide for the manufacture each day of three
carriages for the 155-millimeter howitzers.

The plant of the Mesta Machine Co., at West Homestead, Pa., near
Pittsburgh, was extended to the enormous capacity of turning out the
forgings for 40 recuperators a day for the 155-millimeter howitzers.

Extensively increased facilities were made at the shops of the Standard
Steel Car Co., at Hammond, Ind., for the daily output of two carriages
for the 240-millimeter howitzers.

Increased facilities were created in the plant of the Otis Elevator
Co., Chicago, Ill., for the finish machining of the equivalent in parts
of two and one-half recuperators a day for the 240-millimeter howitzers.

Large extensions were made to the plant of the Morgan Engineering Co.,
Alliance, Ohio, for the manufacture monthly of 20 improvised mounts for
the 6-inch guns taken from the seacoast fortifications.

The facilities of the United States arsenals at Watertown, Mass., and
at Rock Island, Ill., for the manufacture of field-gun carriages and
recuperators were greatly increased.

This carriage construction for the big guns required the closest kind
of fine machine work and fittings where the brake or recuperator
construction entered the problem, and the great plants built for this
purpose of turning out carriages and recuperators were marvels for the
rapidity of their construction, the speed with which they were equipped
with new and intricate tools, and the quality of their output.

Every mobile gun mount must be equipped with a shield of armor plate.
The size of the artillery project may be read in the fact that our
initial requirement for armor for the guns ran to a total of 15,000
tons to be produced as soon as it could be done. Now, we had no real
source for getting armor in such large quantities, because the previous
demands of our artillery construction had never called for it. The
prewar manufacturers of artillery armor were three in number--the
Simmons Manufacturing Co., of St. Louis; Thomas Disston & Sons, of
Philadelphia; and the Crucible Steel Co. To meet the new demand two
armor sources were developed--the Mosler Safe Co. plant of the Standard
Ordnance Co. and the Universal Rolling Mill Co. The process of building
this armor had been a closely guarded secret in the past, a fact
entailing extended experiments in the new plants before satisfactory
material could be obtained.

The new artillery program required the manufacture of 120,000 wheels
of various types and sizes for the mobile carriages. The Rock Island
Arsenal and two commercial concerns prior to the war had been building
artillery wheels in limited quantities. One completely new plant had
to be erected for the manufacture of wheels, while seven existing
factories were specially equipped for this work. We had to develop new
sources of supply of oak and hickory and to erect dry kilns especially
for the wheel project.

The largest order for rubber tires in the history of the American
rubber industry was placed as one relatively small phase of the
artillery program, the order amounting to $4,250,000. Rubber tires
on the wheels of all the heavier types of artillery carriages, so
that the units might be drawn at good speed by motor vehicles, was
essentially an American innovation. No tires of this size had ever been
manufactured in this country. Consequently it was necessary for the
firms who got the orders to build machinery especially designed for the

With practically all of the manufacturers of the American metal-working
industries clamoring for machine tools, and with some branches of the
Government commandeering the machine-tool shops in whole sections of
the country, it is evident that the necessity for the heavier types
of machine tools required by the manufacturers of artillery material
offered a weighty problem at the outset. In fact, the machine-tool
supply was never adequate at any time, and the shortage of this
machinery hampered and impeded to a great degree the speed of our
artillery production.

The Nation was raked with a fine-toothed comb for shop equipment.
The Government went to almost any honorable length to procure this
indispensable tooling. For instance, when the Dodge plant at Detroit
was being equipped to manufacture the 155-millimeter recuperators, the
Government agents discovered trainloads of machinery consigned to the
Russian government and awaiting shipment. These tools were commandeered
on the docks. One huge metal planer had dropped overboard while it was
being lightered to the ocean tramp that was to carry it to a Russian
port. Government divers fixed grappling hooks to this machine, and it
was brought to the surface and shipped at once to the Dodge plant.

The 3-inch gun which we had been building for many years prior to the
war was a serviceable and efficient weapon; but still we were unable to
put it into production immediately as it was. Our earliest divisions
in France, under the international arrangement, were to be equipped
by the French with 75-millimeter guns; while we, on this side of the
water, reaching out for all designs of guns of proven worth, expected
to manufacture the 75's in large numbers in this country. The French 75
in its barrel diameter is a fraction of an inch smaller than our 3-inch
gun, the exact equivalent of 75 millimeters being 2.95275 inches. Thus,
if we built our own 3-inch gun (and the British 3.3-inch gun, as we
intended) and also went ahead with the 75-millimeter project on a great
scale, we should be confronted by the necessity of providing three
sorts of ammunition of almost the same size, with all the delays and
confusion which such a situation would imply. Consequently we decided
to redesign the American and British guns to make their bores uniformly
75 millimeters, thus simplifying the ammunition problem and making
available to us in case of shortage the supplies of shell of this size
in France.

With all of the above considerations in mind, it is evident now, and it
was then, that we could not hope to equip our Army with American-built
artillery as rapidly as that Army could be collected, trained, and sent
to France; and this was particularly true when in the spring of 1917
the Army policy was changed to give each 1,000,000 men almost twice
as many field guns as our program had required prior to that date.
Consequently, when on June 27, 1917, the Secretary of War directed the
Chief of Ordnance to provide the necessary artillery for the 2,000,000
men who were to be mobilized in 1917 and the first half of 1918, the
first thought of our officers was to find outside supplies of artillery
which we could obtain for an emergency that would not be relieved
until our new facilities had reached great production.

We found this source in France. The French had long been the leading
people in Europe in the production of artillery, and even the great
demands of the war had not succeeded in utilizing the full capacity
of their old and new plants. Two days later, on June 29, 1917, the
French high commissioner, by letter, offered us in behalf of France
a daily supply of five 75-millimeter guns and carriages, beginning
August 1, 1917. The French also offered at this time to furnish us with
155-millimeter howitzers; and on August 19, 1917, the French Government
informed Gen. Pershing that each month, beginning with September, he
could obtain twelve 155-millimeter Filloux guns and carriages from the
French factories.

Before the signing of the armistice 75-millimeter guns to the number
of 3,068 had been ordered from the French, and of this number 1,828
had been delivered. Of 155-millimeter howitzers, 1,361 had been
ordered from the French and 772 delivered before November 11, 1918.
Of 155-millimeter guns, 577 had been ordered from the French and 216
delivered previous to the granting of the armistice.

From British plants we ordered 212 Vickers-type 8-inch howitzers, and
123 had been delivered before the armistice had been signed; while of
9.2-inch howitzers, Vickers model, 40 of an order for 132 had been
completed. In addition to this, 302 British 6-inch howitzers were in
manufacture in England for delivery to us by April 1, 1919. These
figures, with the exception of those relating to the order for British
6-inch howitzers, do not include the arrangements being made by this
Government during the last few weeks of hostilities for additional
deliveries of foreign artillery.

As to our own manufacture of artillery, when we had conquered all
the difficulties--translated the drawings, built the new factories,
equipped them with machine tools and dies, gages, and other fixtures
needed by the metal workers, and had mobilized the skilled workers
themselves--we forged ahead at an impressive rate. When the armistice
was signed we were turning out 412 artillery units per month. Compare
this with Great Britain's 486 units per month in the fall of 1918 and
measure our progress, remembering that England had approximately three
years' head start. Compare it with the French monthly production of 659
units per month, and remember that France was the greatest artillery
builder in the world. When it came to the gun bodies themselves we
obtained a monthly output of 832, as against Great Britain's 802 and
France's 1,138. And our artillery capacity was then, in the autumn of
1918, only coming into production.

In the war period--April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918--we produced
2,008 complete artillery units, as against 11,056 turned out by France
and 8,065 completed by Great Britain in the same period. In those 19
months we turned out 4,275 gun bodies, while in the same months France
produced 19,492 and Great Britain 11,852.


The smallest weapon of all the field guns we built was the French
37-millimeter gun, the diameter of its bore being about 1½ inches
in our measurements, the figure being 1.45669 inches. This was the
so-called infantry field gun, to be dragged along by foot soldiers when
they are making an advance. Its chief use in the war was in breaking
up the German concrete pill boxes, machine gun nests, and other strong
points of enemy resistance. In service it was manned by infantrymen
instead of artillerists, a crew of eight men handling each weapon,
the squad leader being the gunner. One of the men of the crew was the
loader, and he was likewise able to fire the piece. The other six men
served as assistants.

The 37-millimeter outfit as it exists to-day consists of the gun,
with a split trail, mounted on axle and wheels. By means of a trailer
attachment on the ammunition cart it can be drawn by one horse or one
mule. The ammunition cart itself is merely a redesigned machine-gun
ammunition vehicle. The wheels and axle can easily be removed and left
a short distance in the rear of the place where it is desired to set up
the gun. The whole outfit weighs only 340 pounds and is about 6 feet

The gun rests on its front leg which is dropped to form a tripod with
the two legs of the split trail. The gun proper can be removed from the
trail and the sponge staff can be inserted in the barrel through the
opened breech. Two men can bear this part of the weapon in advancing
action. Two other men are able to carry the trail, when its legs are
locked together, while the four other members of the squad bring along
the boxes of ammunition.

The ammunition cart holds 14 ammunition boxes, each containing
16 rounds. A spare-parts case, strapped to the trail, contains a
miscellaneous assortment of such parts as can readily be handled in the
field. A tool kit in a canvas roll is also transported on the cart,
along with entrenching tools and other accessories.

Equipped with a telescopic sight for direct fire and a quadrant, or
collimating sight, for indirect fire, great accuracy is obtained by
this small piece of artillery. The length of the barrel of the gun
proper is 20 calibers, which means that it is 20 times 37 millimeters
in length, or about 29 inches. The length of the recoil when the gun is
fired is 8 inches.

Two types of ammunition were provided for this gun at first; but,
as the low-explosive type was not so effective as desired, it was
abandoned entirely in favor of the high-explosive type contained in
a projectile weighing 1¼ pounds. This projectile is loaded with 240
grains of T. N. T. and detonated by a base percussion fuse. The range
of the gun is 3,500 meters, or considerably more than 2 miles. Only
three to six shots from this gun were found to be necessary to demolish
an enemy machine gun emplacement or other strongly held position.

In the great war the 37-millimeter gun found itself and proved its
usefulness. The original model had been designed at the Puteaux Arsenal
in France in 1885; but it was not until after 1914 that the weapon was
produced in quantities.

In this country we took up the production of 37-millimeter guns in
October, 1917. While our shops were tooling up for the effort, 620 of
these weapons were purchased from the French and turned over to the
American Expeditionary Forces. For the purposes of greater speed in
manufacture our executives took the gun apart and divided it into three
groups, known as the barrel group, the breech group, and the recoil
group. Additional to these, as a manufacturing proposition, were the
axle and wheels and the trail.

The barrel group went to the Poole Engineering & Machine Co., of
Baltimore, Md., who subcontracted for some of the parts to the Maryland
Pressed Steel Co., of Hagerstown, Md. The breech group was manufactured
by the Krasberg Manufacturing Co., of Chicago. The C. H. Cowdrey
Machine Works, of Fitchburg, Mass., turned out the recoil mechanisms.
The axles and wheels were built by the International Harvester Co.,
of Chicago. The trails were turned out by the Universal Stamping &
Manufacturing Co., also of Chicago.

When crated for overseas shipment, the gun, ammunition cart, and all
accessories, weighed 1,550 pounds and occupied about 15 cubic feet of

The first delivery of completed 37-millimeter guns from our factories
was made in June, 1918, and at the cessation of hostilities
manufacturers were turning out the guns at the rate of 10 per day.
Between June and November 122 American-built 37-millimeter guns were
shipped abroad, and more were ready to be sent over when the armistice
was signed. The gun had been so successful in use abroad that our
original order of 1,200 had been increased to 3,217 before the signing
of the armistice, including the 620 purchased from the French.

The various groups of this gun were shipped to the plant of the
Maryland Pressed Steel Co., Hagerstown, Md., for assembly and were
there tested at a specially built proving ground, 8 miles from the

Three 37's were issued to each infantry regiment, making one for each
battalion. The required equipment for a division was, therefore, 12



               _Figures on 37-millimeter gun production._

  Guns procured from the French Government                                620
  Guns ordered manufactured in United States, October, 1917             1,200
  Increase in order, September, 1918                                    1,397
  Total number ordered in United States                                 2,597
  Total number of guns completed prior to the signing of the armistice    884
  Guns delivered for overseas shipment prior to the signing of the        300
  Guns shipped to various camps in this country                            26
  Guns shipped to other points in this country                              4
  On hand at Hagerstown Arsenal, proof fired                              425
  Completed and ready for proof firing                                    129


Next in order in the upward scale of sizes we come to the 75-millimeter
gun, which was by far the most useful and most used piece of artillery
in the great war. In fact the American artillery program might be
divided in two classes, the 75's in one class, and all other sizes
in the other, since it may be said practically that for every gun of
another size produced we also turned out a 75. In number the 75's made
up almost half of our field artillery. The 75-millimeter gun threw
projectiles weighing between 12 and 16 pounds and it had an effective
range of over 5½ miles.

We approached the war production of this weapon with three types
available for us to produce--our own 3-inch gun; its British cousin
the 3.3-inch gun or 18-pounder; and the French 75-millimeter gun, with
its bore of 2.95275 inches. The decision to adopt the 75-millimeter
size and modify the other two guns to this dimension, giving us
interchangeability of ammunition with the French, was an historic
episode in the American ordnance development of 1917.

While in 1917 the French with their excess manufacturing capacity
began work on our first orders for 1,068 guns of this size to supply
our troops during the interim until American factories could come into
production, we were preparing our factories for the effort. Roughly
speaking the 75 consists of a cannon mounted on a two-wheeled support
for transportation purposes. This support also provides a means for
aiming by suitable elevating and traverse mechanisms. As previously
explained, a recoil mechanism is also provided to absorb the shock
of firing, allowing a certain retrograde movement of the cannon and
then returning it in position for the next shot--returning it "into
battery," as the artillerists say. By its recuperator device the field
gun of to-day is chiefly distinguished from its brother of the latter
part of the nineteenth century. Without a recuperator the gun would
leap out of aim at each shot and would have to be pointed anew; but one
with a recuperator needs to be pointed only at the beginning of the

When we entered the war we found ourselves with an equipment of 544
field guns of the old 3-inch model of 1902. This gun had a carriage
provided with the old-style single trail. By 1913, however, we had
been experimenting with the split trail and it had been strongly
recommended by our ordnance experts; and in 1916 we had placed orders
for nearly 300 carriages of the split-trail type, which had come to be
known as Model 1916. Of these orders 96 carriages were to come from the
Bethlehem Steel Co., and the remainder from the Rock Island Arsenal.

Meanwhile for some time the Bethlehem Steel Co. had been engaged in
turning out carriages for the British 3.3-inch guns. Here was capacity
that might be utilized to the limit; and, accordingly, in May, 1917,
we ordered from the Bethlehem Co. 268 of the British carriages. At the
same time we ordered from the same company approximately 340 of our own
Model 1916 carriages at a cost of $3,319,800. A few weeks later the
decision had been made to make all our guns of this sort conform to the
French 75-millimeter size, and these British and American carriages
contracted for in May were ordered modified to take 75-millimeter
guns. The carriages needed little modification and the guns not much.
Subsequently, in rapid succession we placed orders with the Bethlehem
Steel Co., calling for the construction of an additional 1,130 of the
British carriages, all of them to be adapted to 75-millimeter guns.

Next it was the concern of the Ordnance Department to find other
facilities for manufacturing carriages for these weapons. The artillery
committee of the Council of National Defense located the New York Air
Brake Co. as a concern willing to undertake this work; and in June,
1917, this company signed a contract to produce 400 American model 1916
carriages at a cost of $3,250,000.

By December we had the drawings for the French carriages of this
size and made a contract with the Willys-Overland Motor Car Co. to
produce 2,927 of them. The table at the end of this section shows the
production attained at these various plants.

The manufacture of carriages for the 75's produced concrete results, as
our factories here were turning them out for us at the rate of 393 per
month when the fighting ceased, and our contract plants in France were
making 171 per month. In all we received from American factories 1,221
carriages. At the rate of increase we would have been building 800
carriages per month by February, 1919.

It may be said we were thoroughly impressed with the difficulties
attached to the transplanting to this country of the manufacture of
French 75-millimeter recuperators. It was a question whether this
device could possibly be built by any except the French mechanics
trained by long years in its production. At first it seemed that we
could secure no manufacturer at all who would be willing to assume
such a burden. Not until February, 1918, were complete drawings and
specifications of the recuperator received from France. At length
the Singer Manufacturing Co., builders of sewing machines, consented
to take up this new work, and on March 29 the company contracted to
produce 2,500 recoil systems for the 75-millimeter gun carriages. In
April, 1918, the Rock Island Arsenal was instructed to turn out 1,000
of these recuperators.


    This type of gun has been used by the French Army since 1897,
    and was the gun most used by the Allies in the Great War. This
    gun throws a shell weighing 12.3 pounds a distance of 8,400
    meters or shrapnel weighing 16 pounds a distance of 9,000
    meters. The weight of the gun and carriage is 2,657 pounds. The
    service muzzle velocity of the shell is 1,805 feet per second,
    while for shrapnel it is 1,755 feet per second.]


    This gun throws a shell weighing 12.3 pounds a distance of
    8,300 meters, and 16 pounds of shrapnel a distance of 8,900
    meters. The weight of the gun and carriage is 2,887 pounds.
    Its muzzle velocity for shell is 1,750 feet a second and for
    shrapnel 1,680 feet a second.]

The production of gun bodies for the 75-millimeter units was
quite satisfactory. The Bethlehem Co., the Wisconsin Gun Co., the
Symington-Anderson Co., and the Watervliet Arsenal were the contractors
who built the gun bodies. Gun bodies of three types, but all of the
same 75-millimeter bore, were ordered--the American type (the modified
3-inch gun), the British type (the modified 3.3-inch gun), and the
French type.

Our ordnance preparation would have given us enough 75's for the
projected army of 3,360,000 men on the front in the summer of 1919,
together with appropriate provision for training in the United States.
Of the 75's built in this country, 143 units were shipped to the
American Expeditionary Forces before the armistice went into effect.
Meanwhile the French had delivered to our troops 1,828 units of this
size. The total equipment of 75's for our Army in France from all
sources thus amounted to 1,971 guns with their complete accessories.

          Unit.           |      Contractor.       |Number|Number|Number|Number
                          |                        | or-  | comp-|float-| com-
                          |                        |dered.| leted|  ed  |leted
                          |                        |      |  at  |over- |up to
                          |                        |      | sign-| seas |April
                          |                        |      |ing of|  to  | 17,
                          |                        |      | armi-| Nov. |1919.
                          |                        |      |stice.| 11,  |
                          |                        |      |      |1918. |
  75-mm. gun carriage,    |{Rock Island Arsenal    |   472|   159|     }| { 185
  model 1916              |{Bethlehem Steel Co.    |   455|    14|  } 34|  { 25
                          |{New York Air Brake Co. |   400|    33|     }|  { 97
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. gun carriage     |Willys-Overland Co.     | 2,927|   291|      | 1,299
  (French)                |                        |      |      |      |
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. gun carriage     |Bethlehem Steel Co.     | 2,868|   724|   124|   921
  (British), complete     |                        |      |      |      |
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. gun carriage     |    do.                 |   968|   439|      | 1,010
  limber (British),       |                        |      |      |      |
  complete                |                        |      |      |      |
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. gun carriage     |{ do.                   |   436|   436|      |   441
  limber, model 1918      |{American Car & Foundry | 3,661| 3,661|   980| 3,661
                          |Co.                     |      |      |      |
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. gun caisson,     |{Bethlehem Steel Co.    | 1,666|   302| 4,957|   831
  model 1918              |{American Car & Foundry |20,356|11,680|      |18,301
                          |Co.                     |      |      |      |
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. caisson limber,  |{Bethlehem Steel Co.    | 1,916| 1,210|      | 1,916
  model 1918              |{American Car & Foundry |20,675|15,526| 4,126|20,675
                          |Co.                     |      |      |      |
                          |                        |      |      |      |
                          |{Symington-Anderson Co. |   640|   416|     }| { 416
  75-mm. cannon, model    |{Wisconsin Gun Co.      |   160|   116|  } 19| { 116
  1916                    |{Watervliet Arsenal     |   264|   161|     }| { 192
                          |{Bethlehem Steel Co.    |   340|     2|     }|   { 2
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. cannon (French)  |{Symington-Anderson Co. | 4,300|   103|      |   860
                          |{Wisconsin Gun Co.      | 2,050|     9|      |   190
                          |                        |      |      |      |
  75-mm. cannon (British) |Bethlehem Steel Co.     | 2,868|   592|   124|   909


In the 4.7-inch field gun, model of 1906, America took to France a
weapon all her own. It was a proven gun, too, developed under searching
experiments and tests. There were 60 of these in actual service when
we got into the war. The 4.7-inch guns, with their greater range and
power, promised to be particularly useful for destroying the enemy's
77-millimeter guns.

The carriage model of 1906 for the 4.7-inch gun is of the long recoil
type, the recoil being 70 inches in length. The recoil is checked by a
hydraulic cylinder, and a system of springs thereupon returns the gun
to the firing position. The gun's maximum elevation is 15 degrees, at
which elevation, with a 60-pound projectile, the gun has a range of
7,260 meters, or 4½ miles. With a 45-pound projectile a range of 8,750
meters, or nearly 5½ miles, can be obtained at 15 degrees elevation.
It is possible to increase this range to about 10,000 meters, or well
over 6 miles, by depressing the trail into a hole prepared for it, a
practice often adopted on the field to obtain greater range. The total
weight of the gun carriage with its limber is about 9,800 pounds.

An order for 250 of the 4.7-inch carriages was placed with the Walter
Scott Co., at Plainfield, N. J., July 12, 1917, upon the recommendation
of committees of the Council of National Defense, who were assisting
the Ordnance Department in the selection of industrial firms willing to
accept artillery contracts. Of the 250 ordered from this concern, 49
were delivered up to the signing of the armistice.

The Rock Island Arsenal had also been employed previously in turning
out 4.7-inch carriages; and the capacity of that plant, although
small, was utilized. Under the date of July 23, 1917, the arsenal
was instructed to deliver 183 carriages. Late in December, 1917,
the Studebaker Corporation was given an order for 500. On September
30, 1918, Rock Island Arsenal was given an additional order for 120
carriages, while the Studebaker order was reduced to 380. Additional
plant facilities had to be provided at both the Walter Scott Co. and
the Studebaker Corporation.

Up to December 12, 1918, a total of 381 carriages of the 4.7-inch type
had been completed and delivered. These carriages included the recoil
mechanism. In the month of October, 1918, alone, 113 were produced, and
this rate would have been continued had the armistice not been signed.

Cannon for the 4.7-inch units were turned out at the Watervliet Arsenal
and the Northwestern Ordnance Co., Madison, Wis. Deliveries from the
Watervliet Arsenal began in June, 1918, totaling 120 up to December,
while the Northwestern Ordnance Co., starting its deliveries in August,
had completed 98 by December.

Up to the 15th of November, 64 complete 4.7-inch units had been floated
for our forces overseas.

Forgings for the 4.7-inch gun cannon were made by the Bethlehem Steel
Co. and the Heppenstall Forge & Knife Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Owing to the great difference in cross section between muzzle and
breech end of the jacket, great difficulty was experienced in the heat
treatment of these forgings, particularly on the part of manufacturers
who had had no previous experience in the production of gun forgings.


This gun throws a projectile weighing 45 pounds a distance of about 6

[Illustration: TWO VIEWS OF 155-MILLIMETER GUN, MODEL 1918, G. P. F.

The upper view shows the piece mounted on an auto truck for quick
moving about.]

In order to produce enough forgings to supply the finish-machining
shops, an order for 50 jackets was later given to the Edgewater Steel
Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa., where the jackets were forged. These were
then sent to the Heppenstall Forge & Knife Co. for rough machining and
finally returned to the Edgewater Steel Co. for heat treating. An order
for 150 jackets was also given to the Tacony Ordnance Corporation.

Shortly before the signing of the armistice, the jacket was redesigned
so that the heavy breech end was forged separately in the shape of a
breech ring. This design, however, was not produced.

It was desired to develop a 4.7-inch gun carriage having the
characteristics of the split-trail 75-millimeter gun carriage, model of
1916, so that greater elevation and wide traverse could be obtained.
The Bethlehem Steel Co. was given a small order for 36 carriages of
their own design prior to the war, and their pilot carriage had been
undergoing tests at the proving ground. The design was, however, not
sufficiently advanced to be used in the war.

           Unit.         |      Contractor.      | Number |  Number  |  Number
                         |                       |ordered.|completed |completed
                         |                       |        |  at the  |  up to
                         |                       |        |signing of|April 17,
                         |                       |        |armistice.|   1919.
  4.7-inch gun carriage, |{Rock Island Arsenal   |     303|       183|      183
  model of 1906          |{Studebaker Corporation|     380|        88|      175
                         |{Walter Scott Co.      |     250|        49|       57
                         |                       |        |          |
  4.7-inch gun-carriage  |{American Car &        |     433|       433|      433
  limber                 |Foundry Co.            |        |          |
                         |{Maxwell Motor Co.     |     479|        82|      250
                         |                       |        |          |
  4.7-inch gun caisson   |{American Car &        |   1,848|       320|      848
                         |Foundry Co.            |        |          |
                         |{Ford Motor Co.        |   1,001|       106|      400
                         |                       |        |          |
  4.7-inch cannon        |{Northwestern Gun Co.  |        |        56|
                         |{Watervliet Arsenal    |        |        93|

Sixteen of these units, also 48 which were previously on hand, were
floated for overseas up to November 11, 1918.


In the war emergency America sought to put on the front every pound of
artillery she could acquire from any source whatsoever. Accordingly,
before any of the manufacturing projects were even started, the
Ordnance Department conducted a preparedness inventory of the United
States to see what guns already in existence we might find that could
be improvised for use as mobile artillery in France. The search
discovered a number of heavy cannon that could serve the purpose--part
of them belonging to the Army, these being the guns at our seacoast
fortifications; part belonging to the Navy, in its stores of supplies
for battleships; and part of them being the property of a private
dealer, Francis Bannerman & Son, of New York.

The guns for this improvised use were obtained as follows:

From the Coast Artillery, a branch of the Army, we obtained ninety-five
6-inch guns, 50 calibers in length, and twenty-eight 5-inch guns, 44.6
calibers; from the Navy stores came forty-six 6-inch guns, ranging
from 30 to 50 calibers in length; from Francis Bannerman & Son, thirty
6-inch guns, 30 calibers long. This was a total of 199 weapons of great
destructive power, awaiting only suitable mobile mounts to make them of
valiant service on the western front. It was the task of the Ordnance
Department to take these guns and as swiftly as possible mount them
on field artillery carriages of an improvised type that could be most
quickly built.

Minor changes had to be made on many of the guns obtained in this
manner in order to adapt them for use on field artillery carriages. The
various seacoast guns were retained as they were in length, because
it was planned to return them eventually to the fortifications from
which they had been taken. The Navy guns, all of the 6-inch size, were
shipped to the Watervliet Arsenal to be cut down to a uniform length of
30 calibers.

The need for speed in manufacture demanded that the carriages for
these guns should be of the simplest design consistent with the
ruggedness required for field operations and the accuracy necessary for
effectiveness. When tests of the first carriages produced were made it
was found that requirements had been more than met.

Orders were placed on September 24, 1917, with the Morgan Engineering
Co., of Alliance, Ohio, for 70 mounts for the 6-inch units. A few days
later this number was increased to 74, while on the 28th of September,
1917, the same company was given an order for 18 additional 6-inch
gun mounts and 28 mounts for the 5-inch guns. Orders for limbers were
placed with the same company on December 1.

It was soon discovered that big transport wagons would be required to
carry the long 6-inch seacoast guns separately because of their great
weight. On February 15, 1918, the Morgan Engineering Co. was ordered to
build these necessary transport wagons.

Difficulties in securing skilled labor, necessary materials, and tools
delayed production of these mounts, but the eighteen 6-inch gun mounts
ordered September 28, 1917, were completed in March, 1918, while the
twenty-eight 5-inch gun mounts ordered on the same date were finished
in April. In August, 1918, the seventy-four 6-inch gun mounts were
turned out. The production of an additional order for thirty-seven
6-inch gun mounts was just beginning when the armistice was signed.

The 6-inch gun carriage, bearing the gun, weighs about 41,000 pounds.
A maximum range of over 10 miles can be obtained by this weapon. The
complete 5-inch gun unit weighs about 23,500 pounds and has a maximum
range of more than 9 miles. In understanding the difficulties that
faced the Ordnance Department in building carriages for these guns, it
should be recalled that these big weapons were originally built for
fixed-emplacement duty and were therefore much heavier than mobile
types. This fact complicated the problem of designing the wheeled
mounts. They proved to be more difficult to maneuver than the lighter
types of guns.

          |         |          |   Number   |   Number
          |         |  Number  | completed  | floated for
   Model. |  Size.  | ordered. |  prior to  |  overseas.
          |         |          |  Nov. 11.  |
  1897    |  5-inch |    28    |     28     |     26
  1917    |  6-inch |    74    |     74     |     68
  1917-A  |  6-inch |    18    |     18     |      4
  1917-B  |  6-inch |    37    |      1     |


It is a testimonial to the adaptability and skill of American industry
that we were able to duplicate successfully in this country the
celebrated 155-millimeter howitzer, before 1917 built only in the
factory of its original designer, the great firm of Schneider et
Cie., in France. This powerful weapon is a fine example of the French
gun builders' art, in a country where the art of gun-making has been
carried to a perfection unknown anywhere else.

The 155-millimeter howitzer's history dates back to the nineteenth
century. In its development the French designers had so strengthened
its structure, increased its range, and improved its general
serviceability, that in 1914 it was ready to take its place as one of
the two most-used and best-known weapons of the allies, the other being
the 75-millimeter field gun.

As thus perfected the howitzer weighs less than 4 tons and is extremely
mobile for a weapon of its size. It can hurl a 95-pound projectile
well over 7 miles and fire several times a minute. The rapidity of
fire is made possible by a hydropneumatic recoil system that supports
the short barrel of the gun and stores up the energy of the recoil by
the compression of air. With the gun pointing upward at an angle of 45
degrees, the recoil mechanism will restore it into battery in less than
13 seconds. The carriage of the gun is extremely light, being built of
pressed steel parts that incorporate many ingenious features of design
to reduce the weight. The shell and the propelling charge of powder are
loaded separately.

The American-built 155-millimeter howitzer was practically identical
with that built in France. Any of the important parts of the American
weapon would interchange with those which had come from the Schneider
factory. We equipped the wheels of our field carriage, however, with
rubber tires, and gave the gun a straight shield of armor plate instead
of a curved shield.

In the spring of 1917 we bought the plans of the howitzer from
Schneider et Cie. and began at once the work of translating the
specifications into American measurements. This work monopolized the
efforts of an expert staff until October 8, 1917.

In order to facilitate the reproduction here, we divided the weapon, as
a manufacturing proposition, into three groups--the cannon itself, the
carriage, and the recuperator or recoil system--and placed each group
in the hands of separate contractors. There was, of course, the usual
difficulty in finding manufacturers willing to undertake production of
such an intricate device and who also possessed machine shops that had
the equipment and talent required for such work, and in procuring for
these shops the highly specialized machinery that would be necessary.

The American Brake Shoe & Foundry Co., of Erie, Pa., whose magnificent
work in building a special plant has been described in the preceding
chapter, took an order in August, 1917, for 3,000 howitzer cannon and
by October, 1918, was producing 12 of them every day. The company
turned out its first cannon in February, 1918, approximately six months
after receiving the contract, having in the interim built and equipped
a most elaborate plant. It is doubtful if the annals of industry in any
country can produce a feat to match this.

In fact, the production of cannon by the Erie concern so outstripped
the manufacture of carriages and other important parts for the howitzer
that it was possible by September, 1918, for us to sell 550 howitzer
bodies to the French Government. When the armistice was signed on
November 11, 1918, the company had completed 1,172 cannon.

In November, 1917, we placed orders for 2,469 carriages for this
weapon, splitting the order between the Osgood-Bradley Car Co., of
Worcester, Mass., and the Mosler Safe Co., of Hamilton, Ohio. Then
followed a long battle to secure the tools and equipment, the skilled
mechanical labor, and the necessary quantities of the best grades of
steel and bronze, an effort in which the contracting companies were
at all times aided by the engineers of the Ordnance Department. All
obstacles were overcome and the first carriages were ready for testing
in June, 1918. When the armistice was signed 154 carriages had been
delivered, and production was moving so rapidly that one month later
this number had been run up to 230.

The limbers were manufactured by the Maxwell Motor Car Co., which had
orders to turn out 2,575 of them. The first deliveries of limbers came
in September, 1918, and seven a day were being turned out in October, a
total of 273 having been completed by the day of the armistice. A month
later the number of completed limbers totaled 587.

It was in the making of the recuperator systems that the greatest
problems were presented. No mechanism at all similar to this had ever
been made in this country. No plant was in existence here capable of
turning out such a highly complicated, precise, and delicate device.

Finally, after much Governmental search and long negotiation, the
Dodge Bros., of Detroit, motor car builders, agreed to accept the
responsibility. In this effort they built and equipped the splendid
factory, costing $10,000,000, described elsewhere.

This howitzer recuperator is turned out from a solid forging, weighing
3,875 pounds, but the completed recuperator weighs only 870 pounds.
Each cylinder must be bored, ground, and lapped to a degree of fineness
and accuracy that requires the most painstaking care.

Difficulties of almost every sort were experienced with the forgings
and other elements of the recuperators. The steel was analyzed and its
metallurgical formulas were changed. The work of machining proceeded
favorably until the very last operation--that of polishing the interior
of the long bores to a mirrorlike glaze and still retaining the extreme
accuracy necessary to prevent the leakage of oil past the pistons. Such
precision had been theretofore unknown in American heavy manufacture.
Until the many processes could be perfected, the deliveries were held

Even with the delivery of the first recuperator, difficulties did not
vanish. This mechanism has no adjustments which can be made on the
field, but depends for its wonderful operation upon the extreme nicety
of the relation of its parts. It required the alteration of certain
small parts before the first trial models could be made to function.

However, all obstacles and difficulties were finally overcome, and
in the plant that had been erected during the bitter cold of one of
our severest winters, and with practically entirely new machinery
and workmen, production got under way, and the first recuperator was
delivered early in July, 1918, nine months after the contract was
signed. Production in quantity began to follow shortly after that
month, and by November an average of 16 recuperators a day was being
turned out. Of the 3,120 recuperators contracted for, 898 had been
finished when the armistice was signed, and this quantity was increased
to 1,238 one month later.

The steel required for the recuperators in these 155-millimeter
howitzers, and also for those of the 155-millimeter guns, was of
special composition; yet all the forge capacity in this country was
being utilized in other war manufacture. New facilities for the
manufacture of these forgings had to be developed by increasing the
capacity of the Mesta Machine Co. of Pittsburgh, until it could meet
our requirements. The Government itself contracted for these forgings
and supplied them to Dodge Bros.

Each howitzer required some 200 items of miscellaneous equipment, such
as air and liquid pumps and other tools. These were purchased from many
sources, and many of these contractors had just as much difficulty
with the small parts as the larger firms had with the more important
sections of the howitzers.

Many of the problems involved in turning out the complete unit
could not be known or understood until they were met with in actual
manufacture. Mechanical experts representing Schneider et Cie. were on
hand at all times to help solve difficulties as they arose.

The Government turned to France for an auxiliary supply of carriages
for the American-built howitzers, placing orders for 1,361 with French
concerns. Of this number 772 had been completed when the armistice was
signed, and the French expected soon to turn out the carriages at the
rate of 140 per month. It might also be noted here that we placed an
order in England for 302 British 6-inch howitzers, a piece very like
the French howitzer. The British contract was to be completed April 1,

The various parts of the 155-millimeter howitzer were assembled into
complete units and tested at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. After being
assembled and tested, the whole unit was taken apart and packed into
crates especially designed for overseas shipment. One crate held two
howitzer carriages with recuperators in less space than would have been
occupied by one carriage on its wheels.

It will be noted that the first gun body of the 155-millimeter
howitzers made in this country was delivered in February and the first
recuperator in July. Before the recuperators were ready, the other
parts of the howitzer had been proof-tried by using a recuperator of
French manufacture.

During the months of August and September, 1918, the first regiment
equipped with 155-millimeter howitzers was made ready at Aberdeen. The
big weapons were packed and on the dock for shipment overseas when the
armistice was signed. These first ones were to be followed by a steady
stream of howitzers. All arrangements had been made to assemble units
and crate them for overseas at the Erie Proving Ground at Port Clinton,

None of the 155-millimeter howitzers built here reached the American
Expeditionary Forces, but French deliveries of the weapon up to the
signing of the armistice totaled 747.

          Unit.          |      Contractor.       | Number | Number  | Number
                         |                        |ordered.|completed|completed
                         |                        |        |Nov. 11, |Apr. 17,
                         |                        |        |  1918.  |  1919.
 155-mm. howitzer        |Osgood Bradley Car Co.  |     900|      136|      369
 carriage                |                        |        |         |
                         |                        |        |         |
 155-mm. carriage        |    do.                 |      49|         |        0
 replacement parts       |                        |        |         |
                         |                        |        |         |
 155-mm. howitzer        |    do.                 |     250|         |       93
 carriage                |                        |        |         |
                         |                        |        |         |
 Do                      |American Rolling Mill   |   1,270|       18|       26
                         |Co. (old Mosler Safe    |        |         |
                         |contract)               |        |         |
                         |                        |        |         |
 Do                      |Rock Island Arsenal     |     172|         |        0
                         |                        |        |         |
 155-mm. howitzer        |                        |        |         |
 carriage limbers        |Maxwell Motor Co.       |   2,575|      273|      700
                         |                        |        |         |
 Do                      |Rock Island Arsenal     |     100|         |        0
                         |                        |        |         |
 155-mm. howitzer caisson|Ford Motor Co.          |   8,937|    4,373|    8,937
                         |                        |        |         |
 155-mm. howitzer cannon |American Brake Shoe &   |        |         |
                         |Foundry Co.             |        |    1,172|    1,789


The reproduction in the United States of the French 155-millimeter G.
P. F. (the French designation) gun presents much the same story as that
of the howitzer of equal size--a story of difficulties in translating
plans, writing into them the precision of finishing measurements that
the French factory usually leaves to the skill of the mechanic himself,
difficulties in finding manufacturers willing to undertake the work,
and then of providing them with suitable raw materials and machinery,
and, above all, of locating the necessary skilled mechanics.

This strange, big monster of a weapon is of rugged design. The entire
unit weighs 19,860 pounds. The gun has the extremely high muzzle
velocity of 2,400 feet per second, a rate of propulsion that throws the
95-pound projectile 17,700 yards, or a little more than 10 miles.

The wheels of the carriage have a double tread of solid rubber tire.
By an ingenious arrangement a caterpillar tread can be applied to the
wheels in a few minutes whenever soft ground is encountered.

The center of gravity of the unit is low. The wheels are of small
dimensions and the cradle is trunnioned behind in such a fashion as
to reduce the height of the cannon. The carriage has a split trail,
which allows for a large clearance for recoil at a high elevation and
a large angle of traverse. The carriage when traveling is supported on
semielliptical springs, as is also the carriage limber.

Two large steel castings make up the carriage of this unit. The bottom
part of the carriage is supported by the axle, which carries the two
sections of the split trail upon the hinge pins. The top part of
the carriage is supported by and revolves upon the bottom carriage
and carries in trunnioned bearings the recuperator. The principal
difficulty in carriage manufacture was to obtain in this country the
extremely large steel castings of light-section, high-grade steel.

The carriages, 1,388 in number, were ordered in November, 1917, from
the Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. The first delivery of carriages
was made in August, 1918, and in the last week of October they were
being turned out at the rate of seven a day. Up to the armistice date
370 had been produced, of which 16 had been sent overseas.

We also placed orders in France for 577 of these carriages, of which
216 had been completed upon the signing of the armistice. The American
monthly rate of production of carriages in October was 162.

The 155-millimeter gun itself is far from being simple to manufacture.
It is of considerable length and is built of a number of jackets and
hoops to give the required resistance to the heavy pressures exerted
in firing, this being a high-velocity gun. Except for a slight change
in the manner of locking the hoops to the jacket, our gun is identical
with that of the French.

Orders for 2,160 cannon were given to the Watervliet Arsenal and the
Bullard Engineering Works, at Bridgeport, Conn., in November, 1917.
The Bullard Engineering Works had to construct new buildings and to
purchase and install special equipment, and the Watervliet Arsenal
had to extend its shops and also purchase and install much additional
machinery--a job that took time at both places.

The first deliveries of cannon came from Watervliet Arsenal in July,
1918. During October 50 cannon were delivered, and it seemed certain
that by early in 1919 the projected eight cannon per day would be the
rate attained. We shipped 16 of the cannon overseas. By November 11 we
had received 71 cannon, a number increased to 109 by December 12.

Limbers in the same quantity as carriages were ordered from the
Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co., which produced a limber to accompany
each one of its delivered carriages. This limber has an extremely heavy
axle, similar to the automobile front axle. Its size and weight caused
difficulty in obtaining it as a drop forging.

To Dodge Bros. was assigned the task of producing the recuperators for
this gun in their special plant. The 155-millimeter gun recuperators,
however, were made secondary to the production of the recuperators for
the 155-millimeter howitzers, which were the easier of the two sorts to

Forgings were available and work started on recuperators in April,
1918. No rapid completion of these intricate mechanisms was possible,
however, as the first forgings encountered many delays in their
machinings. In the cycle of operations, with everything speeded up
to the limit, more than three months must elapse from the day the
recuperator forging is received to the day when the completed mechanism
can be turned over to the inspector as an assembled article.


This weapon throws shell or shrapnel weighing 95 pounds. Muzzle
velocity for shell is 1,420 feet per second. The weight of the howitzer
and carriage is 7,600 pounds.]

[Illustration: 8-INCH HOWITZER, MODEL 1917.]

It was in October, 1918, that the first 155-millimeter gun recuperator
was delivered. The factory expected to reach a maximum capacity of 10
a day. The company built 12 more by December 1. After the armistice
was signed the company's order was reduced to 880, which had all been
completed by May 1, 1919.

In order to have recuperators available for use for the units shipped
from the United States minus these mechanisms, 110 rough-machined
recuperator forgings were shipped to France, where the work of
machining and completing was done.

The translation of the French plans for this weapon furnished one
of the most difficult pieces of work undertaken by the Ordnance
Department. Without counting in the gun pieces, the carriage and
limber is made up of 479 pieces, while the recoil mechanism itself has
372 pieces. A total of 150 mechanical tracings had to be made by our
draftsmen for the carriage and test tools; 50 for the carriage limbers;
142 for the recoil mechanism; 74 for the tools and accessories; or a
total of 416. It was extremely difficult to secure draftsmen who could
do this work, and the translation, accomplished in a few weeks, is
regarded as a remarkable achievement.

The cannon for this gun were tested at the Erie Proving Grounds and
there packed for overseas shipment. We had many cannon and carriages
awaiting shipment when the armistice was signed, the plan being to send
them to France, where they would be equipped with recuperators.

                     |                  |        |  Number |  Number  | Number
        Units.       |   Contractors.   | Number |completed|completed |floated
                     |                  |ordered.|Nov. 11, | Apr. 17, |Nov. 11,
                     |                  |        |  1918.  |   1919.  |  1918.
 155-mm. gun carriage|Minneapolis Steel |  1,446 |     370 |      800 |   16
   model 1918        |  & Machinery Co. |        |         |          |
   (Filloux)         |                  |        |         |          |
                     |                  |        |         |          |
 155-mm. gun carriage|        do.       |  1,446 |     370 |      800 |   16
   limber, model 1918|                  |        |         |          |
   (Filloux)         |                  |        |         |          |
                     |                  |        |         |          |
 155-mm. gun cannon  |Bullard Engine    |  1,400 |      53 |      250 |}
   proper            |  Works           |        |         |          |}  16
         Do          |Watervliet Arsenal|    760 |      18 |       68 |}


In the early days of the war the British designed an 8-inch field
howitzer that proved itself on battle fields in France. Great Britain
loaded her own plants with orders for this weapon and then turned
to the United States for additional facilities. The Midvale Steel &
Ordnance Co. at Nicetown, Pa., was manufacturing this unit for the
British at the time we entered the war.

On April 14, 1917, exactly eight days after we had formally announced
our purpose of warring with Germany, an order for 80 of these 8-inch
howitzers was placed with the Midvale Steel Co. It was understood
that production on our order was to be begun upon the completion of
the British contract on which the Midvale Co. was then engaged. The
order included the complete units, with carriages, limbers, tools, and
accessories, all to be built in accordance with British specifications.

Contracts for the trails were sublet by the Midvale Co. to the Cambria
Steel Co; for the wheels, to the American Road & Machinery Co.; for the
limbers and firing platforms, to the J. G. Brill Co.; and for the open
sights, to the British-American Manufacturing Co. Panoramic sights for
these guns were furnished by the Frankford Arsenal.

So satisfactory did the production proceed that on December 13, 1917,
the first of the 8-inch howitzers was proof-tried with good results.
Early in January, 1918, the complete units began to come through at the
rate of three a week, increasing to four a week in April and to six a
week in May.

A subsequent contract with Midvale brought the total number of
howitzers ordered from that plant up to 195. These weapons, all of
the model known as the Mark VI, were all produced and accepted before
the signing of the armistice, 96 of them being shipped overseas, with
their full complement of accessories. Each completed unit cost in the
neighborhood of $55,000. These weapons throw a 200-pound projectile
11,750 yards.

The progress of the war moved so swiftly, however, that there soon
was need for artillery units of this same size but with longer range.
Accordingly, a new design, known as the Mark VIII½, was brought out,
having a range of over 13,000 yards. On October 2, 1918, we placed with
the Midvale Co. an order for 100 of these 8-inch howitzers, specifying
carriages of the new, heavier type.

When we entered the war the Bethlehem Steel Co., at Bethlehem, Pa.,
was producing for the British Government a howitzer with a bore of 9.2
inches. The Bethlehem Co. expected to complete these British contracts
in July, 1917. The 9.2-inch howitzer was approximately the same size
as the 240-millimeter howitzer which we were getting ready to put
into production. However, in our desire to utilize every bit of the
production facilities of the country, we ordered 100 of the 9.2-inch
howitzer units from the Bethlehem Steel Co. and placed additional
orders for 132 of these units in England. The British concerns
delivered 40 howitzers before the armistice was signed.

             |            |            | Number | Number  |        | Number
     Mark.   |    Size.   |Contractor. |ordered.|completed| Number |completed
             |            |            |        |Nov. 11, |floated.| to Apr.
             |            |            |        |  1918.  |        |17, 1919.
  VI         |8-inch      |Midvale     |   195  |   167   |   96   |   195
             |  howitzer  |  Steel Co. |        |         |        |
  VIII½      |    do.     |    do.     |   100  |         |        |    34
  Model 1917 |9.2-inch    |Bethlehem   |   100  |         |        |     1
             |  howitzer  |  Steel Co. |        |         |        |

[Illustration: THE 9.2-INCH HOWITZER, MODEL 1917.

This gun shoots shell weighing 290 pounds 8,690 meters. The weight of
the howitzer and carriage is 29,100 pounds.]



The scheme of production of the French 240-millimeter howitzers
was entirely aimed at the year 1919; since even if American heavy
manufacturing establishments had not been loaded with war orders, it
would have been well-nigh impossible to turn out this mighty engine of
destruction in quantities in any shorter period of time.

Although approximately the same size as the British 9.2-inch howitzer
(the exact diameter of the bore of the 240 being 9.45 inches) and only
a little larger than the 8-inch howitzer, the French gun was far more
powerful than either. The 8-inch and the 9.2-inch howitzers had ranges
in the neighborhood of 6 miles, while their shell weighed from 200 to
290 pounds. The 240, on the other hand, hurled a shell weighing 356
pounds and carrying a bursting charge of between 45 and 50 pounds of
high explosive. Its range was almost 10 miles.

We produced the 8-inch and the 9.2-inch howitzers to fill the gap
during the two years which must elapse before we could get into
quantity production of the 240. The French and British governments in
the fall of 1917 asserted their ability to equip our first 30 combat
divisions in 1918 with heavy howitzers, so that if our production came
along in the spring of 1919 it could meet the requirements of the war

Consequently we planned to equip our first army of 30 divisions with
8-inch and 9.2-inch howitzers in equal numbers of each. Our second
army of 30 divisions should be wholly equipped with 240-millimeter
howitzers; and our expected production of these, being beyond our own
contemplated needs, would serve to replace such 8-inch and 9.2-inch
howitzers as had been lost in the meantime.

As we adapted it from the French Schneider model, the 240-millimeter
howitzer consisted of four main parts--the howitzer barrel, the
top carriage, the cradle with recoil and mechanism, and the firing
platform. Each of these four parts had its own transportation wagon and
limber drawn by a 10-ton tractor. The weapon was set up with the aid of
an erecting frame and a small hand crane.

Each of the main sections is composed of numerous smaller assembled
parts made up of various grades of iron and steel and raw materials,
all requiring the greatest precision in their manufacture and all
having to pass rigid and exacting tests for strength and dimensions.

The production of even one of these enormous weapons would have been
a hard job for any American industrial plant, but to manufacture over
1,200 of them, and that within the comparatively limited time allowed
and under the abnormal industrial and transportation conditions then
prevailing, was a task of tremendous difficulty and complexity.

On September 1, 1917, an order was placed with the Watertown Arsenal
for 250 carriages for the American 240's, to be turned out complete
with the recoil mechanism, transportation vehicles, tools, and
accessories. To show the size of the job, an allotment of $17,450,000
was set aside to cover the estimated expenses at the arsenal.

Well equipped as the Watertown Arsenal was said to be at the time for
the production of heavy gun carriages, it was found necessary, in
order to handle this job, to construct a new erecting shop that had a
capacity practically as large as all the other buildings of the plant
put together. The number of employees at the arsenal was increased from
1,200 to more than 3,000.

The greatest difficulty experienced was in obtaining the large number
of heavy machine tools required, and experts were sent out to scour
the country in an effort to locate these tools wherever they might
be available. Raw materials could not be procured in sufficient
quantities, while numerous transportation delays impeded the work.

Finally, in October, 1918, the pilot carriage was completed and
sufficient progress had been made on the entire contract to assure
production of the required number of units in the early part of 1919.

A second carriage contract (Nov. 16, 1917) went to the Standard Steel
Car Co., of Hammond, Ind. This called for the delivery of 964 carriages
complete with transportation vehicles, limbers, tools, etc., but not
with recuperators. These the Otis Elevator Co., of New York, undertook
to deliver.

The Standard Steel Car Co. is one of the most important builders of
railway cars, freight and passenger, in the country, and it possessed a
large and well-equipped plant. Nevertheless, the company was compelled
to construct several additional buildings and practically to double the
capacity of its huge erecting shop in order to prepare adequately for
the tremendous task undertaken.

As a means to save time, subcontracts were immediately placed with more
than 100 firms throughout the East and Middle West for the production
and machining of as many as possible of the component parts needed by
the Standard Steel Car Co. Wherever practicable, the subcontractors
working on similar contracts for the Watertown Arsenal were retained
by the Indiana company, so that better prices might be obtained, parts
standardized, and the whole production greatly facilitated.

Once the work was well under way the ramifications of this one
contract, with its subcontracts for parts, materials, tools, building
construction, etc., extended throughout practically the entire
industrial facilities of the eastern and central sections of the

As in the case of the contract given the Watertown Arsenal, there were
many difficulties in obtaining tools and raw materials. In a large
majority of cases allocations, partly of iron and steel products, had
to be obtained through the War Industries Board. When allocations had
been granted, priority orders had to be secured, as the producers of
these materials were already overworked with Government orders of
varying importance.

With the pilot carriage complete in the early part of October,
production on all the main parts had progressed by November to such
an extent that a large output of finished carriages was assured
for December and thereafter, had not the signing of the armistice
intervened and ended the necessity for further expedition of the work.

Orders for howitzer bodies were placed as follows:

  Bethlehem Steel Co., Nov. 21, 1917.              237
  Edgewater Steel Co., Oct. 24, 1917.              175
  Tacony Ordnance Corporation, Nov. 14, 1917.      175
  Watertown Arsenal, Nov. 10, 1917.                 80
  American Bridge Co., Mar. 31, 1918.              800

The Watervliet Arsenal on November 20, 1917, was instructed to do
the machining of forgings so as to turn out 250 gun bodies for the
240-millimeter howitzers, and three months later this order was
doubled. On November 7, 1918, an additional 660 were ordered from
Watervliet, making a grand total of 1,160 howitzer cannon of this
caliber ordered machined and completed at the Watervliet Arsenal. The
arsenal contracted to reach an output of 100 cannon a month and deliver
the last of the 1,160 not later than September 30, 1919.

It was found necessary to erect an entirely new shop for the machining
of these howitzers. This shop was completed in May, 1918. During the
war period $13,164,706 was spent or allotted to the Watervliet Arsenal
for increasing its facilities. Forgings were furnished to the arsenal
by the Government, but the forging situation was never a delaying
factor in the production of 240-millimeter howitzers.

In all, 158 sets, of 1,467 ordered, were delivered up to December 12,
1918. The pilot howitzer was delivered by the Watervliet Arsenal to the
proving ground on August 24, 1918.

In the summer of 1918 the Watertown Arsenal contracted to build 252
additional recuperators for these howitzers. Work was started at once
in the shops, and, though additional facilities had to be prepared and
much new equipment added, the production of the first recuperator was
begun without delay. It was found that the planing equipment at the
arsenal was not sufficient to handle the work, and therefore a great
deal of the rough planing was done by subcontractors.

The Watertown Arsenal was to furnish its own forgings, but it was
quickly found that an additional source of supplies was required.
The Carnegie Steel Co. had been given an order on December 27, 1917,
for 1,300 recuperator forgings, and some of these were sent to the
Watertown Arsenal.

The first recuperator was completed October 28, 1918, and 16 had been
finished up to December 31, 1918, when 280 forgings were in the process
of machining.

To handle its order for 1,039 recuperators, the Otis Elevator Co.,
of New York, found it necessary to rebuild a plant which it owned in
Chicago. Forgings were furnished by the Government.

On May 1, 1918, the Otis Elevator Co. started its rough machining.
Hard spots were found in the metal, causing great trouble at first,
but this difficulty was overcome by changes in the heat treatment. The
Carnegie Steel Co. was then instructed to rough-machine the forgings
before sending them to the Otis Elevator Co. An order was also given to
the Midvale Steel Co. to rough-machine 24 forgings. Early in November,
1918, the Otis Elevator Co. finished its first recuperator.

One 240-millimeter howitzer unit was completed at the time of the
signing of the armistice, out of a total of 1,214 contracted for;
but had war conditions continued, the expectation was for a monthly
capacity of 80 units by 1919. Actual deliveries are given below:

                      |                   |        |Number   |Number
        Units.        |   Contractors.    |Number  |completed|completed
                      |                   |ordered.|Nov. 11, |Apr. 17,
                      |                   |        |1918.    |1919.
  240-mm. unit,       |} Watertown        |    250 |{  [11]1 | [11]41
  complete, except    |}  Arsenal         |        |{  [12]4 | [12]25
  howitzer            |}                  |        |         |
  240-mm. howitzer    | Standard          |    964 |       5 |      67
  carriage units,     |  Steel Car Co.    |        |         |
  except recuperators |                   |        |         |
  Windlasses          | Dodge             |  1,125 |      33 |     350
                      |  Manufacturing Co |        |         |
  Rammer trucks       |       do.         |  1,205 |       2 |     375
  Shot trucks         |       do.         |  3,214 |       2 |   1,000
  240-mm. howitzer    | Watervliet        |        |       2 |      19
  cannon              |  Arsenal          |        |         |

[11] Carriage alone.

[12] Carriages with recuperators.


The American development of antiaircraft artillery had, previously to
1917, been confined almost exclusively to the task of designing and
constructing stationary units of defense for our coast fortifications.
It was naturally expected that it would be at those points that we
would first, if ever, have to meet an attack from the air. Very little
attention had been paid mobile artillery of this sort.

Before April, 1916, the Ordnance Department had designed a high-powered
3-inch antiaircraft mount for the fixed emplacement at coast
fortifications. The gun on this mount fired a 15-pound projectile with
a muzzle velocity of 2,600 feet a second. It is still to-day the most
powerful antiaircraft weapon of its caliber. Between May, 1916, and
June 18, 1917, orders for 160 of these mounts were placed with the
Watertown Arsenal and the Bethlehem Steel Co. Up to April 10, 1919, a
total of 116 of these had been completed and sent for emplacement at
the points selected.



By the end of 1916, however, it was foreseen that it would be necessary
to provide antiaircraft artillery of a mobile type as part of the
equipment for any field forces that might be sent abroad. Since that
contingency seemed entirely possible at that time, and as it appeared
to be impossible to provide a suitable design that would have a
sufficient period of time in which to get proper consideration and
test, it was decided to improvise a simple structural steel design that
would permit quick construction and on which a 75-millimeter field gun,
that was already in production, could be mounted.

This design was completed May 1, 1917, and an order for 50 placed with
the Builders Iron Foundry. Deliveries on these were made during the
fall of 1917, and the carriages were at once shipped to France for
equipment with French field guns and recuperators that had been already
procured for the purpose.

In its mobility the improvised antiaircraft gun mount was far from
perfect. It was necessary to disassemble it partly and mount it on
trailers. The need for a mount that could be moved easily and speedily
had been realized before our entrance in the war, and a design
embodying these qualities was completed as early as December, 1916.

This truck was designed to be equipped with the American 75-millimeter
field gun, model of 1916. Before the drawings were completed an order
for the pilot mounts of this type was placed with the Rock Island
Arsenal. The war came on, and it was decided not to wait for a test
of the mounts before starting general manufacture. Accordingly the
New Britain Machine Co., in July, 1917, was given an order for 51
carriages. No further orders were placed for carriages of this sort, as
it was not thought best to go too heavily into production of an untried

It may be noted here that our first 26 antiaircraft guns were mounted
on White 1½-ton trucks.

It was also realized that the field guns with which these mounts were
to be equipped did not have the power and range that the war experience
was showing to be necessary. The only reasons that the field guns of
the 75-millimeter caliber were used in this way was because they were
the guns most quickly available and because the French were already
using them for this purpose.

To meet the need of more powerful antiaircraft weapons, a need becoming
more pressing each day, a 3-inch high-powered antiaircraft gun was
designed and mounted on a four-wheel trailer of the automobile type.
This mount permitted elevations of the gun from 10 degrees to 85
degrees and also allowed for "all around" firing. An order for 612 of
these carriages was given to the New Britain Machine Co. in July, 1917,
shortly after the contract for the 51 truck mounts had been placed with
that concern.

Because of the urgency of the situation it was necessary to construct
these carriages without the preliminary tests on a pilot carriage.
This, of course, is a very undesirable practice, but under the existing
conditions no other procedure would have been practicable. The French
antiaircraft auto truck mount, which had the French 75-millimeter field
gun with its recuperator placed upon a special antiaircraft mount, was
not adopted at the time, because, in July, 1917, the whole question of
the possibility of constructing French recuperators in this country was
still entirely unsettled. It was imperative then that we develop our
own designs.

All of the 51 truck mounts for the antiaircraft guns were delivered
during the fall and early winter of 1918, and 22 of them were in France
before December, 1918.

Delivery of the first carriage for the 3-inch high-powered gun mounted
on the trailer carriage was made in August, 1917. It had been rushed
ahead of general production in order to be given some sort of a test.
No further deliveries were made, but manufacture reached a point where
production in quantity could begin.

A representative of the Ordnance Department was sent to France and
England in December, 1917, to gather all the information possible
on antiaircraft artillery. As a result of his investigations it was
determined that it would be best to procure the greater part of our
fire-control equipment in France, since the instruments developed there
were in some cases of a highly complicated nature and their manufacture
entirely controlled by private parties. Orders were placed for enough
of these instruments for the equipment of the first 125 batteries.

Meanwhile, fire-control instruments of various types were in the
process of development in this country; but, as they were largely
based upon theoretical construction derived from study of the French
practices, it was deemed best not to manufacture any of these
instruments in quantity, as better instruments of French design were
available. Drawings of the French instruments were brought back by the
Ordnance officer on his visit to France and were available in this
country in the spring of 1918, when manufacture of some of them began
in the United States.

At the signing of the armistice our forces in France were equipped
almost wholly with antiaircraft artillery loaned to us and supplied
by the French. This, of course, does not include the 101 improvised
and truck mounts completed during 1917. Production here, however, had
reached such a point that shipment of material would have begun in
quantity in January, 1919.

The estimated requirements of antiaircraft artillery for 2,000,000 men
in 48 divisions is only 120 guns. Other material, of course, would
have been required previously for defense of depots, railheads, etc.,
dependent in a great measure upon the activities of German bombers. It
is estimated that about 200 guns would have sufficed for this purpose.

To summarize, 50 of the so-called improvised 75-millimeter antiaircraft
guns and mounts had been ordered and completed up to the time of the
signing of the armistice; 51 of the 75-millimeter antiaircraft mounts,
model of 1917, had been ordered and 46 completed; while 612 of the
3-inch antiaircraft trailer carriage mounts, model of 1917, had been
ordered, of which 1 had been actually delivered at the signing of the
armistice, the balance to come at the rate of 26 per month starting in

         _Artillery--Production of complete units, by months._

      [Deliveries in the United States on U. S. Army orders only.]

                         | To  |             1918
  75-mm. gun, model 1897 |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  75-mm. gun, model 1916 |  0  |  0 |  0 |  9 |  4 |  6 |  21
  75-mm. gun, model 1917 |  1  | 11 | 36 | 28 | 58 | 22 |  61
  75-mm. antiaircraft gun|  0  | 49 |  2 |  0 |  0 |  1 |   1
  3-inch antiaircraft gun|  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  4.7-inch gun           |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  155-mm. howitzer       |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  5-inch seacoast gun    |  0  |  0 |  1 | 27 |[13]|[13]| [13]
  6-inch seacoast gun    |  0  |  0 | 12 |  5 |  2 | 45 |  23
  155-mm. gun            |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  8-inch howitzer        |  7  | 12 | 17 | 20 | 22 |  2 |   0
  9.2-inch howitzer[14]  |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  240-mm. howitzer       |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  8-inch seacoast gun    |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  10-inch seacoast gun   |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  12-inch gun            |  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
  12-inch seacoast mortar|  0  |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0
        Total            |  8  | 72 | 68 | 89 |86  | 76 | 106

                         |               1918             |
                         |July.|Aug.|Sept.|Oct.|Nov.| Dec.|
  75-mm. gun, model 1897 |  0  |  0 |   0 |  1 |  0 |   0 |    1
  75-mm. gun, model 1916 |  2  | 60 |  42 | 51 | 11 |  45 |  251
  75-mm. gun, model 1917 | 61  | 55 | 130 |211 |110 |  55 |  839
  75-mm. antiaircraft gun|  2  | 16 |   2 | 18 |  6 |   3 |  100
  3-inch antiaircraft gun|  0  |  1 |   0 |  0 |  0 |   0 |    1
  4.7-inch gun           | 15  | 15 |  28 | 72 | 50 |  44 |  224
  155-mm. howitzer       |  1  |  8 |  39 | 63 | 65 | 100 |  276
  5-inch seacoast gun    | [13]|[13]| [13]|[13]|[13]| [13]|   28
  6-inch seacoast gun    |  4  |  1 | [13]|[13]|[13]| [13]|   92
  155-mm. gun            |  0  |  0 |   0 |  1 |  5 |  10 |   16
  8-inch howitzer        |  0  | 23 |  27 | 33 | 13 |  15 |  191
  9.2-inch howitzer[14]  |  0  |  0 |   0 |  0 |  0 |   0 |[14]0
  240-mm. howitzer       |  0  |  0 |   0 |  0 |  1 |   0 |    1
  8-inch seacoast gun    |  0  |  0 |   3 | 14 |  4 |   1 |   22
  10-inch seacoast gun   |  0  |  0 |   0 |  0 |  0 |   0 |    0
  12-inch gun            |  0  |  0 |   0 |  0 |  1 |   2 |    3
  12-inch seacoast mortar|  0  |  1 |   0 |  0 | 10 |   2 |   13
        Total            | 85  |180 | 271 |464 |276 |277  |2,058

[13] Project complete.

[14] No deliveries made by Bethlehem Steel Co. on U.S. Army orders
until after signing of the armistice because of priority given to
British orders placed before the American declaration of war.

By "complete units" is meant gun body complete, carriage, and recoil
mechanism or recuperator. Units are given as complete when their
component parts were complete, although the actual assembly of these
parts at a common point, testing, and final delivery usually required
from two weeks' to two months' additional time.

The 5-inch, 6-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch seacoast guns and the 12-inch
seacoast mortars were taken from the fortifications and modified for
use with mobile carriages, all above 6 inches for railway mounts.

The 75-millimeter gun, model 1897, was the approved model for active
service in France. Model 1916 and model 1917 were used for training
purposes both in the United States and in France.

    _Production of mobile artillery (complete units), Apr. 1, 1917,
                          to Nov. 11, 1918._

    [Including all produced for France and Great Britain in United

                                            |  Produced. | Shipped
                                            |            |Overseas.
  75-mm. guns (or British 18-pounder)       |      970   |    181
  3-inch and 75-mm. antiaircraft guns       |       97   | [15]26
  4.5-inch howitzers                        |       97   |     97
  4.7-inch guns                             |      157   |     64
  155-mm. (5-inch and 6-inch seacoast guns) |      121   |[16]114
  155-mm. howitzers                         |      144   |      0
  7-inch guns on caterpillar mounts         |   [17]10   |      0
  Railway artillery                         |       20   |     11
  Heavy howitzers                           |  [18]418   |    322
          Total                             |    2,034   |    815

[15] Does not include 51 improvised mounts for which guns were
furnished by French.

[16] Includes sixteen 155-mm. guns and carriages shipped without

[17] Built for the Marine Corps.

[18] Includes sixteen 8-inch howitzers built for the Marine Corps.



This rifle has a range of about 10 miles and throws a projectile
weighing 165 pounds. Note the means of loading and the depression



As soon as war was declared against Germany the Ordnance Department,
in its search for an immediate equipment of strong artillery, surveyed
the ordnance supplies of the country and discovered some 464 heavy
guns which might be spared from the seacoast defenses, obtained from
the Navy, or commandeered at private ordnance plants where they were
being manufactured for foreign Governments. There were six guns of this
last-named class--powerful 12-inch weapons which had been produced for
the Chilean Government. It was seen that if all, or if a large part, of
these guns could be made available for service in France, America would
quickly provide for herself a heavy artillery equipment of respectable

The guns thus available for mounting on railway cars ranged in size
from the 7-inch guns of the Navy to the single enormous 16-inch
howitzer which had been built experimentally by the Ordnance Department
prior to 1917. The list of these guns according to number, size,
length, and source whence obtained was as follows:

  Number of guns. |  Size.  | Length.  | Source whence obtained.
                  | Inches. |Calibers. |
  12              |   7     |   45     |  Navy.
  96              |   8     |   35     |  Seacoast defenses.
  129             |  10     |   34     |      Do.
  49              |  12     |   35     |      Do.
  6               |  12     |   50     |  In manufacture for Chile.
  150 (mortars)   |  12     |   10     |  Seacoast defenses.
  21              |  14     |   50     |  Navy.

In addition to these there was the 16-inch howitzer, 20 calibers in
length, which had been built by the Ordnance Department before 1917.

The expression 14-inch gun, 50 calibers, means that the gun has a
barrel diameter of 14 inches and that the gun body is fifty times the
caliber of 14 inches, or 700 inches (58 feet 4 inches) long.

The Ordnance Department conceived that the only way to make these guns
available for use abroad would be to mount them on railway cars. These
guns were not vital in the defense of our coast under the conditions
of the war with Germany, but it was evident that they would make a
valuable type of long-range artillery when placed on satisfactory
railway mounts.

Mounting heavy artillery on railway cars, however, was not an idea born
of the recent war. The idea was probably originally American. The Union
forces at the siege of Richmond in 1863 mounted a 13-inch cast-iron
mortar on a reinforced flat car, this being the first authenticated
record of the use of heavy railway artillery.

In 1913 the commanding officer of the defenses of the Potomac, which
comprise Forts Washington and Hunt, was called upon to report on the
condition of these defenses. In reply, he advised that no further
expenditure be made on any one of the fixed defenses, but recommended
that a "strategic railroad" be built along the backbone of the
peninsula from Point Lookout to Washington, with spurs leading to
predetermined positions both on Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River,
so placed as to command approaches to Washington and Baltimore.

Further, he recommended that 4 major-caliber guns, 16 medium-caliber
guns, and 24 mine-defense guns be mounted on railroad platforms, with
ammunition, range finding, and repair cars making up complete units,
so that this armament could be quickly transported at any time to
the place where most needed. He suggested that this scheme be made
applicable to any portion of the coast line of the United States. His
argument was based upon the fact that guns in fixed positions, of
whatever caliber, violate the cardinal military principle of mobility.

The nations engaged in the war now ending developed to a high stage
the use of heavy artillery mounted on railway cars, bringing about a
combination of the necessary rigidity with great mobility, considering
the weight of this material.

Railway artillery came to be as varied in its design as field
artillery. Each type of railway mount had certain tactical uses
and it was not considered desirable to use the different types
interchangeably. The three types of cannon used on railway mounts were
mortars, howitzers, and guns. It was not practicable to use the same
type of railway mounts for the different kinds of cannon. Moreover,
these mounts differed radically from the mounts for such weapons at the
seacoast defenses.

The three general types of railway mounts adopted were those which gave
the gun all-around fire (360-degree traverse), those which provided
limited traverse for the gun, and those which allowed no lateral
movement for the gun on the carriage but were used on curved track, or
epis, to give the weapons traverse aim.

The smaller weapons, such as the 7-inch and the 8-inch guns and the
12-inch mortars, were placed on mounts affording 360-degree traverse.
The limited traverse mounts were used for the moderately long-range
guns and howitzers. The fixed type of mount was used for long-range
guns only, and included the sliding railway mounts, such as the
American 12-inch and 14-inch sliding mounts and the French Schneider à
glissement mounts.

The work of providing railway artillery--that is, taking the big,
fixed-position guns already in existence within the United States
and similar guns being produced and designing and manufacturing
suitable mounts for them on railway cars--grew into such an important
undertaking that it enlisted the exclusive attention of a large section
within the Ordnance Department. This organization eventually found
itself engaged in 10 major construction projects, which, in time, had
the war continued, would have delivered more than 300 of these monster
weapons to the field in France and, to a lesser extent, to the railway
coast defenses of the United States.

As it was, so much of the construction--the machining of parts, and so
on--was complete at the date of the armistice, that it was decided to
go ahead with all of the projects except three, these involving the
mounting of 16 guns of 14-inch size, 50 calibers long, the production
of 25 long-range 8-inch guns, 50 calibers, and their mounting on
railway cars, and the mounting of 18 coast-defense, 10-inch guns, 34
calibers long, on the French Batignolles type of railway mount.

Inasmuch as it will be necessary in this chapter to refer frequently
to the barbette, Schneider, and Batignolles types of gun mounts for
railway artillery, it should be made clear to the reader what these
types are.

The barbette carriage revolves about a central pintle, or axis, and
turns the gun around with it. When it was decided to put coast-defense
guns on railway cars, the guns were taken from their emplacements,
barbette carriages manufactured for them, and the whole mounted upon
special cars. The barbette mount revolves on a support of rollers
traveling upon a circular base ring. In the railway mount the base ring
is attached to the dropped central portion of the railway car. The
barbette railway mount is provided with struts and plates by which the
car is braced against the ground.

The Schneider railway mount is named after the French ordnance concern
Schneider et Cie, who designed it. In this mount the gun and its
carriage are fastened rigidly parallel to the long axis of the railway
car. Thus the gun itself, independently of any movement of the car, can
be pointed only up and down in a vertical plane, having no traverse or
swing from left to right, and vice versa. In order to give the weapon
traverse for its aim, special railway curved tracks, called epis, are
prepared at the position where it is to be fired. The car is then run
along the curve until its traverse aim is correct, and the vertical
aim is achieved by the movement of the gun itself. In the Schneider
mount there is no recoil mechanism, but the recoil is absorbed by the
retrograde movement of the car itself along the rails after the gun
is fired. This movement, of course, puts the gun out of aim, and the
entire unit must then be pushed by hand power back to the proper point.

In the Batignolles type, gun and cradle are mounted on a so-called top
carriage that permits of small changes in horizontal pointing right and
left. Thus with the railway artillery of the Batignolles type also,
track curves, or epis, are necessary for the accurate aiming. The
Batignolles mount partially cushions the recoil by the movement of the
gun itself in the cradle. But, in addition, a special track is provided
at the firing point and the entire gun car is run on this track and
bolted to it with spades driven into the ground to resist what recoil
is not taken up in the cradle. The unit is thus stationary in action,
and the gun can be more readily returned to aim than can a gun on a
Schneider mount.


The conditions under which the war with Germany was fought virtually
precluded any chance of a naval attack on our shores which would
engage our fixed coast defenses. The British grand fleet, with the
assistance of fleets of the other allies and America, had the German
battle fleet securely bottled. On the other hand there was the prowling
submarine able at all times to go to sea and even to cross the ocean,
and some of the latest of these submarines were armed with long-range
medium-caliber guns. It was not beyond possibility that some sort of an
attack would be made on our shores by submarines of this character, yet
it was safe to believe that these craft would keep well out of range of
the guns at our stationary coast defenses.

To protect our coast from such attack the Ordnance Department conceived
the plan of mounting heavy guns on railway cars. They might then be
moved quickly to places on the seacoast needing defense. For this
purpose the Navy turned 12 of its 7-inch rifles over to the Ordnance
Department for mounting. Meanwhile our ordnance officers had designed
certain standard railway artillery cars, known as models 1918, 1918
Mark I, and 1918 Mark II, for 7-inch and 8-inch guns and 12-inch
mortars, respectively. These cars all had the same general features.

The model 1918 car was selected for the converted 7-inch Navy rifle.
The rifle was mounted on a pedestal set on the gun car in such a manner
as to give all-around fire, or 360-degree traverse. The pedestal mount
permitted the gun to be depressed at an angle suitable for firing from
high places along the coast down upon the low-lying submarines.

Contracts for the various parts for these cars and the pedestal gun
mounts were let to concerns engaged in heavy steel manufacture, but
the assembling was done by the American Car & Foundry Co., of Berwick,
Pa. Twelve of the 7-inch rifles were so mounted. As this equipment
was intended exclusively for use in this country, the gun cars were
equipped with the American type of car couplings.


For the 8-inch guns taken from seacoast fortifications the Ordnance
Department designed a barbette mount giving complete, 360-degree,
traverse, thus providing for fire in any direction. There were 96
such guns available for railway mounts. Orders for 47 gun cars with
carriages for mounting the weapons were placed with three concerns--the
Morgan Engineering Co., of Alliance, Ohio, the Harrisburg Manufacturing
& Boiler Co., of Harrisburg, Pa., and the American Car & Foundry Co.,
of Berwick. Two of the three contractors found it necessary to provide
additional facilities and machine-tool equipment at their plants in
order to handle this job.

The first railway mount for the 8-inch gun was completed and sent
to the Aberdeen Proving Ground for test in May, 1918. In early
June the test had shown that the weapon was efficient and entirely
satisfactory. Before the end of the year 1918 a total of 24 complete
units, with ammunition cars for standard-gauge track, shell cars for
narrow-gauge track, transportation cars, tools, spare parts, and all
the other necessary appurtenances of a unit of this character, had been
completed. Three complete 8-inch units were shipped overseas before the
armistice was signed.

When the armistice came the Harrisburg company had delivered 9 of these
mounts and the Morgan Engineering Co. an equal number, making 18 in
all. The former concern had reached an output of 5 mounts per month and
the latter 10 per month.

An interesting feature of this mount is that it can be used either on
standard-gauge or on narrow-gauge railroad track. The narrow gauge
adopted was that in standard use in the fighting zones in France, the
distance between the rails being 60 centimeters, or the approximate
equivalent of 24 inches. Each gun car was provided with interchangeable
trucks to fit either gauge. The artillery train necessary for the
maneuvering of the weapon was also similarly equipped to travel on
either sort of track.

As a rule the longer the barrel of a cannon, the greater its range. The
8-inch seacoast guns thus mounted were 35 calibers in length, that is,
thirty-five times 8 inches, or 23 feet 4 inches. The requirements of
our forces in the field in France called for guns of this same size
but of longer range. Consequently an 8-inch gun of 50 calibers--that
is, 10 feet longer than the seacoast 8-inch gun--was designed, and 25
of them were ordered. This project came as a later development in the
war, the guns being intended for use abroad in 1920. The railway mounts
for the weapons had not been placed in production when the armistice
came. Because of the incomplete status of this project in the autumn of
1918, the whole undertaking was abandoned.


There were at the seacoast defenses and in the stores of the Army
a large number of 10-inch guns of 34 calibers. Of these 129 were
available for mounting on railway cars. It was proposed to mount these
weapons on two types of French railway mounts--the Schneider and the

The project to mount 36 of these weapons on Schneider mounts was taken
up as a joint operation of the United States and French Governments,
the heavy forging and rough machining to be done in this country
and the finishing and assembling in the French shops. The American
contractors were three. The Harrisburg Manufacturing & Boiler Co.
undertook to furnish the major portion of the fabricated materials for
the carriages and cars. The Pullman Car Co. contracted to produce the
necessary trucks for the gun cars, while the American Car & Foundry Co.
engaged to build the ammunition cars.

Eight sets of fabricated parts to be assembled in France had been
produced before the armistice was signed. Gen. Pershing had requested
the delivery in France of the 36 sets of parts by March 2, 1919. After
the armistice was signed there was a natural letdown in speed in nearly
all ordnance factories, but even without the spur of military necessity
the contracting concerns were able by April 7, 1919, to deliver 22 of
the 36 sets ordered. Had the war continued through the winter there is
little question but that all 36 sets of parts would have been in France
on the date specified.

The 10-inch seacoast gun, Batignolles mount project, was placed
exclusively in the hands of the Marion Steam Shovel Co., of Marion,
Ohio. It had been proposed also to mount 12-inch seacoast guns on this
same type of equipment, and this work, too, went to the Marion concern.
There were to be produced 18 of the 10-inch units and 12 of the larger


This view shows gun in act of hurling projectile parallel to track.]


This gun, thus mounted on a railway car, is capable of an all-around
fire and can deliver a shot in any direction from its location on the

[Illustration: 12-INCH RIFLE IN ACT OF FIRING.

The force of the recoil sends the entire car back on track about 5


It is capable of hurling a 700-pound shell 25 miles. This is a modified
Schneider type of carriage.


The Marion Steam Shovel Co. had had a large experience in producing
heavy construction and road-building equipment. The concern encountered
numerous difficulties at the start in translating the French drawings
and in substituting the American standard materials for those specified
by the French. These difficulties, combined with struggles to obtain
raw materials and the equipment for the increased facilities which had
to be provided at the factory, so delayed production that no mount
for either the 10-inch or 12-inch guns had been delivered at the
time of the armistice. The first mount of these classes--one with a
12-inch gun--reached the Aberdeen proving ground about April 1, 1919.
The 10-inch project, calling for 18 mounts, was canceled soon after
November 11, 1918. The work on the dozen mounts for 12-inch guns,
however, had progressed so far that the Ordnance Department ordered the
completion of the entire equipment.

As has been stated, the Government found in this country six 12-inch
guns being made for the Republic of Chile. Their length of 50 calibers
gave them a specially long range. It was decided to place the Chilean
guns on a sliding mount. In a mount of this type the retrograde
movement of the car along the track as and after the gun is fired takes
up and absorbs the energy of fire.

The first sliding railway mount used on the allied side in the great
war was of French design. But our manufacturers had so much trouble
with French designs that when the project came up of mounting the
Chilean guns in this fashion it was decided that it would be quicker
to design our own mount. Consequently the French design was taken in
hand by our ordnance engineers and redesigned to conform to American
practice, with the inclusion in the design of all original ideas
developed by the Ordnance Department in its creative work during the
war period up to that time. The manufacturers who looked at the French
design of the sliding railway mount estimated that it would take from
12 to 18 months before the unit could be duplicated in this country and
first deliveries made. They looked at the American design and estimated
that they could build it in 3 months.

It was decided to build three mounts of this character and thus have
a reserve of one gun for each mount to serve as replacement when the
original guns were worn out. Contracts were placed in the early summer
of 1918, and all three mounts were delivered before the armistice
was signed, the first mount being completed within 85 days after the
order was placed. For these mounts the American Bridge Co. furnished
the main girders or side pieces, the Baldwin Locomotive Co. built the
railway trucks, and the Morgan Engineering Co. manufactured the many
other parts and assembled the complete units. The speed in manufacture
was made possible by the fact that the plant engineers of the three
companies helped the ordnance officers in designing the details.
With such intimate cooperation, the concerns were able to begin the
manufacture of component parts while the drawings were being made.

All three weapons with their entire equipment, including supplies,
spare parts, ammunition cars, and the whole trains that make up such
units, were ready for shipment to France in November, 1918. Each mount
as it stands to-day is 105 feet long and weighs 600,000 pounds. The
load of the gun and the peak load put on the carriage when the gun
is fired are so great that it requires four trucks of 8 wheels each,
32 car wheels in all, to distribute the load safely over ordinary
standard-gauge track.


In years past the Ordnance Department had procured a large number of
12-inch mortars for use at seacoast defenses. These great weapons are
10 calibers in length, or 10 feet in linear measurement, the diameter
of the barrel being just an even foot. Of the number stationed at the
coastal forts and in reserve it was decided that 150 could be safely
withdrawn and prepared for use against Germany. When Gen. Pershing was
informed of the proposal, he asked that 40 of these weapons mounted on
railway cars should be delivered to the American Expeditionary Forces
for use in the planned campaign of 1919. In order that there might be
an adequate supply of them, the Ordnance Department let contracts for
the mounting of 91 of these mortars on railway equipment, a project
which would give the United States a formidable armament and still
provide a reserve of 59 mortars to replace the service mortars on the
carriages after repeated firing had worn them out.

This job proved to be one of the largest in the whole artillery
program. The entire contract was let to the Morgan Engineering
Co., of Alliance, Ohio. In order to handle the contract, a special
ordnance plant, costing $1,700,000 for the building alone, had to be
constructed at the company's works at Alliance. The work was so highly
specialized that machine tools designed for the particular purpose had
to be produced. The Government itself bought these tools at a cost of
$1,800,000. Although work on this plant was not started until December
10, 1917, and although thereafter followed weeks and weeks of the
severest winter weather known in recent years, with all the delays in
the deliveries of materials which such weather conditions bring about,
the plant was entirely complete on June 1, 1918, not only, but the
work of producing the mounts had started in it long before that, some
machines getting to work as early as April.

The gun car used for mounting the mortar carriage was of the same
design as that for the 7-inch and 8-inch guns, except that each truck
had six wheels. The carriage built upon this car was of the barbette
type, and it allowed the gun to be pointed upward to an angle as
high as 65° and provided complete traverse, so that the mortar could
be fired in any direction from the car. A hydropneumatic system for
absorbing the recoil of the mortar after firing was adopted. This
recuperator in itself was a difficult problem for the manufacturer to
solve, being the first hydropneumatic recuperator of the size ever
built in this country.


This huge weapon in this position is ready to fire half a ton of shot a
distance of 25 miles. It requires only two men to operate the powerful
elevating apparatus necessary to bring the gun into quick-firing


Lower view shows the mortar in its extreme position of recoil.]

In spite of the weight and elaborate character of this unit it was put
into production in an astonishingly short space of time. The pilot
mount came through on August 22, 1918, less than nine months after
the spade was first struck in the ground to begin the erection of the
ordnance plant. By the end of August the pilot mortar had successfully
passed its firing tests at Aberdeen, functioning properly at angles of
elevation from 22 degrees to 65 degrees and in any direction from the
mount. While this unit was put through hurriedly for these tests, the
preparation for the rest of the deliveries was made on a grand scale,
looking toward quantity production later on. When the armistice was
signed, every casting, forging, and structural part for every one of
the 91 railway mounts was on hand and completed at the works of the
Morgan Engineering Co., and thereafter the process was merely one of
assembling, although in a unit of such size the assembling job alone
was one of great magnitude. Even at the reduced rate of production
incident to the relaxation of tension after the armistice was signed,
the company delivered 45 complete units to the Government up to April
7, 1919, or five more than Gen. Pershing said he would require during
the whole campaign of 1919. Careful estimates show that if the war had
continued the company would have delivered the mounts at the rate of
15 per month beginning on December 15, 1918, a rate which would have
completed the entire project for 91 mounts by the middle of June, 1919.

As in the case of the 8-inch railway guns, the 12-inch mortars were
provided with interchangeable wheel trucks allowing the unit to travel
and work either on standard-gauge track or on the 60-centimeter,
narrow-gauge track of the war zone in France.


The War Department did not have any 14-inch guns which could be spared
from the seacoast defenses for use abroad. The Ordnance Department,
therefore, inaugurated the project for the construction of 60 guns
of 14-inch caliber. For the construction of such guns complete new
plants were required, as all available facilities were already taken
over for other projects considered more important. This contract was
to have been turned out by the Neville Island ordnance plant. The Navy
Department in May, 1918, expressed willingness to turn over to the Army
certain 14-inch guns, 50 calibers, then under construction and of which
it was estimated that 30 would be completed by March, 1919.

It was decided to place some of these 14-inch guns on American sliding
railway mounts, and 16 such mounts were ordered from the Baldwin
Locomotive Works, deliveries to begin February 1, 1919. The 16 units
were to be delivered prior to April, 1919, but due to the signing of
the armistice work was suspended on the contracts, since the mounts
were designed for use in France. The contract was canceled in March,

The Navy itself placed five of these guns on railway mounts of another
design to be operated in France by naval forces on shore. Eleven such
mounts were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works under the supervision
of the Navy Ordnance Bureau, and six of them were afterwards turned
over to the Army.


Without discussing here the 12-inch howitzers, 20 feet long, which the
Ordnance Department ordered produced and mounted on railway trucks, a
development for use abroad in 1920, we come, finally, to the largest
weapon of all in the railway artillery program, the 16-inch howitzer,
the barrel of this mighty weapon being 26 feet 6 inches long. The
American 16-inch howitzer had been forged out and finished prior to the
date of America's entrance into the war. It was proposed to place this
weapon on a railway mount and make it available for use on the western

The Ordnance Department completed the design for the mount on February
10, 1918. In order to turn out the unit in the shortest possible time,
the project was placed with three manufacturers, each of whom was to
produce different parts. The American Bridge Co. received the order to
build the structural parts, the Baldwin Locomotive Works contracted for
the trucks, while the Morgan Engineering Co. undertook to assemble the
unit and also to build the top carriage and other mechanical parts. The
contractors did a speedy job in producing the mount for this howitzer.

In nearly all railway artillery of this size it is necessary to provide
bracing when the gun is set up in position for firing. The 16-inch
howitzer mount was unique in that the weapon could be fired from the
trucks without any track preparation whatsoever. An exhaustive test at
the Aberdeen proving grounds demonstrated that this piece of artillery
ranked with the highest types of ordnance in use by any country in the

In the meantime orders had been placed for 61 additional howitzers. The
American Expeditionary Forces asked that 12 of these enormous weapons
be sent overseas as soon as they could be produced, a job which would
have extended over a period of months, if not years. Since none of the
additional howitzers had been produced when the armistice was signed,
the project of building mounts for them never got under way. The pilot
howitzer and mount were not shipped abroad.


This type was evolved entirely by the Ordnance Department. It is an
excellent weapon for coast defense and hurls a 1,200-pound projectile
more than 18 miles.]


A 1,600-pound projectile being loaded into the 16-inch howitzer from
which it will be sent on a journey of approximately 13 miles.]


This view shows howitzer in the act of firing.]

In the design of railway equipment for high-angle weapons such as
howitzers, two loads must be considered by the builders in order to
provide a gun car of sufficient strength to hold its freight. One of
these loads, the lighter one, consists merely of the ordinary weight
of the gun and its carriage upon the car wheels. The other load, the
so-called firing load, consists of the weight of the unit plus the
additional weight of the down-thrust of the howitzer when it recoils.
In the case of the 16-inch howitzer the firing load is 748,231 pounds.
The weight of 748,231 pounds must be distributed along the tracks by
the numerous sets of wheels at the instant the gun is fired.

The mount for the howitzer is so constructed that this load is partly
taken up by the slide of the gun car along the track. In addition, the
howitzer is equipped with a hydraulic recoil cylinder. Thus the unit
has a double recoil system. The car trucks in the tests comfortably
transmitted, through a series of equalizer springs, this enormous load
upon an ordinary rock-ballast track, without any distortion to the
track or roadbed or impairment to the working parts of the unit. After
each discharge the whole huge mount moves backward along the track for
a distance of 20 or 30 feet.

Each railway artillery project called for the manufacture of a great
equipment of ammunition cars, fire-control cars, spare-parts cars,
supply cars, and the like, a complete unit being a heavy train in
itself. Such armament-train cars, together with numerous other
accessories and necessary equipment, were designed by the Ordnance
Department and produced for each mount. In all, 530 ammunition cars
were produced up to April, 1919. Most of them were shipped abroad, but
118 were retained for use in this country. Since the overseas cars
were to be used with French railway equipment, it was necessary to fit
them out with French standard screw couplers, air brakes, and other
appliances for connecting up with French railway cars.

The matter of traction power for these gun and armament trains near the
front set a problem for the Ordnance Department to solve. It was out
of the question to use steam engines near the enemy's lines, since the
steam and smoke would betray the location of artillery trains at great
distances. The Ordnance Department adopted a gas-electric locomotive
of 400 horsepower to be used to pull railway artillery trains at the
front, and was on the point of letting a contract to the General
Electric Co. for the manufacture of 50 of them when the armistice was


It seems fitting at this point to say something about the Neville
Island ordnance plant, on an island in the Ohio River near Pittsburgh,
which would have produced weapons of the character of those used with
railway mounts and would have turned them out in large numbers had
the armistice not come to put an end to this enormous project. The
plant was being erected for the Government by the United States Steel
Corporation without profit to itself. The estimated cost of this plant
when finished was $150,000,000. Designed to supply the needs of the
Army for artillery of the heaviest types, the Neville Island plant was
being constructed on such a scale that it would surpass in size and
capacity any of the famous gun works of Europe, including the Krupps.

It was being equipped to handle huge ordnance undertakings, such as
the monthly completion of 15 great 14-inch guns and the production of
40,000 projectiles monthly for 14-inch and 16-inch guns. The plans
of the Government contemplated the production of 14-inch guns to the
number of 165 in all and their shipment to France in time to be in the
field before May 1, 1920. An initial order for 90 of these weapons had
been placed at the arsenal while it was being erected.

Besides 14-inch guns the plant was being equipped to turn out 16-inch
and even 18-inch weapons. The immense size of the machinery necessary
for such production can be understood when it is noted that an
18-inch gun weighs 510,000 pounds and a 14-inch gun 180,000 pounds.
It requires from 12 to 18 months to produce guns of this size, yet
Neville Island was being developed on a scale to build hundreds of them
simultaneously. The entire plant was to cover 573 acres and was to
employ 20,000 workmen when in full operation.

At the signing of the armistice work was suspended at Neville Island,
and four months later the whole project was abandoned.

              |        |        |        |  Number   |      |
              |        | Number | Number | required  |      |
              |        |Produced|produced|by A. E. F.| Guns |
     Type.    | Total  |Nov. 11,|   to   |   for     |avail-|     Remarks.
              |Ordered.|  1918. | Apr. 7,| campaign  | able.|
              |        |        |  1919. |  during   |      |
              |        |        |        |   1919.   |      |
  7-inch      |   12   |   12   |    12  |     0     |  12  |Produced for
    Navy gun, |        |        |        |           |      |  antisubmarine
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |  work along
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |  America's
              |        |        |        |           |      |  seacoast.
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  8-inch,     |   47   |   18   |    33  |    36     |  96  |
    35-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |
    seacoast  |        |        |        |           |      |
    gun,      |        |        |        |           |      |
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  10-inch,    |   36   |[19]8   |[19]22  |    36     | 111  |Fabricated
    34-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |  material and
    seacoast  |        |        |        |           |      |  trucks,
    gun on    |        |        |        |           |      |  complete,
    French    |        |        |        |           |      |  produced
    type      |        |        |        |           |      |  within
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |  country,
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |  mount to be
              |        |        |        |           |      |  assembled
              |        |        |        |           |      |  in France.
              |        |        |        |           |      |
      Do      |   18   |    0   |        |     0     |  18  |Project
              |        |        |        |           |      |  cancelled on
              |        |        |        |           |      |  signing of
              |        |        |        |           |      |  the armistice,
              |        |        |        |           |      |  Batignolles.
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  12-inch,    |   12   |    0   |     1  |    12     |  49  |French
    35-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |  Batignolles
    seacoast  |        |        |        |           |      |  type.
    gun on    |        |        |        |           |      |
    French    |        |        |        |           |      |
    type      |        |        |        |           |      |
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  12-inch,    |    3   |    3   |     3  |     4     |   6  |Guns obtained
    50-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |  from Chilean
    gun on    |        |        |        |           |      |  Government
    American  |        |        |        |           |      |  manufactured
    sliding   |        |        |        |           |      |  in this
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |  country.
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  14-inch,    |   11   |   11   |    11  |    11     |  21  |
    50-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |
    naval gun |        |        |        |           |      |
    on        |        |        |        |           |      |
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  12-inch,    |   91   |    1   |    45  |    49     | 150  |
    10-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |
    seacoast  |        |        |        |           |      |
    mortar on |        |        |        |           |      |
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  16-inch     |    1   |    1   |     1  |     0     |   1  |61 guns
    howitzer, |        |        |        |           |      |  under
    20-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |  construction.
    on        |        |        |        |           |      |
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  14-inch,    |   16   |    0   |        |           |      |Protect
    50-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |  cancelled
    guns on   |        |        |        |           |      |  Mar. 11,
    American  |        |        |        |           |      |  1919. Guns
    sliding   |        |        |        |           |      |  under
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |  construction.
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |
              |        |        |        |           |      |
  12-inch,    |    1   |    0   |        |           |      |If war had
    20-caliber|        |        |        |           |      |  continued,
    howitzer  |        |        |        |           |      |  60 mounts
    on        |        |        |        |           |      |  contemplated.
    railway   |        |        |        |           |      |
    mount     |        |        |        |           |      |

[19] Sets, fabricated parts.



The Interallied Ordnance Agreement of the late fall of 1917, supplying
to the United States as it did French and British artillery and other
heavy ordnance supplies until the developing American ordnance industry
could come into production, nevertheless called upon the United States
to produce heavily the explosives and propellants that are of such
major importance to a modern army. These commodities were needed by the
armies of France and Great Britain more than any other sort of ordnance
which America could supply.

The result was an enormous production of propellants and explosives
in the United States during the period of American belligerency, no
other prime phase of the ordnance program being carried to such a stage
of development. The reader will clearly see the distinction between
propellants and explosives. The propellant is the smokeless powder that
sends the shell or bullet from the gun; the explosive is the bursting
charge within the shell.

To realize the expansion of the American explosives industry during
the war period, consider such figures as these: America in 19 months
turned out 632,504,000 pounds of propellants--the powder loaded
into small-arms cartridges or packed into the big guns behind the
projectiles to send them against the enemy. In those same 19 months
France produced 342,155,000 pounds of propellants and Great Britain
291,706,000 pounds. The American production was practically equal to
that of England and France together.

In those 19 months we produced 375,656,000 pounds of high explosives
for loading into shell. In the same 19 months England produced
765,110,000 pounds of high explosives and France 702,964,000 pounds.
America was below both France and England in total output, but in
monthly rate of output America had reached 47,888,000 pounds as
against France's 22,802,000 pounds and England's 30,957,000 pounds.
Our rate of manufacturing propellants at the end of the fighting was
up to 42,775,000 pounds as against France's 17,311,000 and England's

Figure 9 shows graphically the achievements of America in manufacturing
propellants and explosives.

In the production of artillery ammunition a comparison with France
and Great Britain shows that our monthly rate in turning out unfilled
rounds of ammunition at the end of the war was 7,044,000 rounds, as
against 7,748,000 rounds for Great Britain and 6,661,000 rounds for
France. In producing complete rounds of artillery ammunition, our
monthly rate at the signing of the armistice was 2,429,000 rounds while
that of Great Britain was 7,347,000 rounds and that of France 7,638,000


                               FIGURE 9.



  _Smokeless powder_:     Pounds.    Per cent of rate for Great Britain.

      Great Britain     12,055,000   ========== 100
      France            17,311,000   ============== 144
      United States     42,775,000   ==================================== 355

  _High explosives_:

      Great Britain     30,967,000   ========== 100
      France            22,802,000   =======  74
      United States     43,888,000   ============== 142

        TOTAL PRODUCTION, APRIL 6, 1917, TO NOVEMBER 11, 1918.

  _Smokeless powder_:     Pounds.    Per cent of rate for Great Britain.

      Great Britain    291,706,000   ========== 100
      France           342,155,000   ============ 117
      United States    632,504,000   ====================== 217

  _High explosives_:

      Great Britain    765,110,000   ========== 100
      France           702,964,000   =========  92
      United States    375,656,000   =====  49]

In the 19 months of our participation in the war our production of
unfilled rounds in ammunition was 38,623,000 rounds, while that of
France was 156,170,000 rounds and that of Great Britain 138,357,000
rounds. In that time we had produced 17,260,000 complete rounds, while
France had produced 149,827,000 rounds, and Great Britain 121,739,000
complete rounds.

The entrance of the United States into the war found the existing
American explosives manufacturers operating to the very limit of their
capacity in production for the allied governments and for general
commercial purposes.

Since the outbreak of the war in 1914 the explosives business in this
country had increased enormously and the trained men familiar with
manufacturing operations and conditions in this highly specialized and
extremely dangerous industry had fallen short of meeting demands.

When we entered the war, therefore, it became necessary at once to
distribute this limited force of experts as equitably as possible and
to put chemists, engineers and other specialists in the various plants
under the supervision of this trained personnel so as to produce in as
quick a time as possible a vastly enlarged force of competent operators
and supervisors for the production of explosives.

Summed up, the problem that faced the Ordnance Department was, while
maintaining the current great production of explosives, to expand
enormously the facilities for further production, to provide personnel
for operating these expanded facilities, to build up entirely new
manufacturing plants for making both propellants and high explosives,
and in addition to all of this, to bring into existence huge loading

In all, 53 new plants for making explosives and propellants and for
loading these were undertaken at a cost of approximately $360,000,000.
When the armistice was signed a very large part of this construction
work had been completed and was in an efficient state of operation.

How creditably this reflects upon America can be understood when it is
made plain that in addition to the development of production there was
also to be worked out the very intricate question of design, not only
of the plants themselves but also of their products, which required an
exceptional degree of technical skill and thorough control.

Prior to our entry into the war the Ordnance Department had depended
upon ammonium picrate, known in the Army vernacular as explosive "D,"
as a bursting charge for our high-explosive shell.

During the progress of the European conflict the British had
developed an explosive they called amatol, which is a mixture of
trinitrotoluol--T. N. T.--and ammonium nitrate. As this had proved to
be entirely satisfactory in actual service on European battle fields,
and as ammonium nitrate could be produced here in large quantities, we
adopted it.

The Ordnance Department eventually put into effect a standard policy
for the use of high explosives. Every effort was being made to conserve
the supply of T. N. T., and consequently this explosive was specified
for the shell of smaller calibers only. The standard filling scheme
was as follows: T. N. T. for shell between and including the calibers
of 75-millimeter and 4.7-inch; amatol for shell of calibers between
4.7-inch and 9.2-inch, including the latter; ammonium picrate, or
explosive D, for shell of 10-inch caliber and higher. While these were
the standards the scheme was not always followed rigidly. As a matter
of fact amatol was loaded into shell of all sizes and so was T. N. T.,
although explosive D was never used in shell smaller than those for the
10-inch guns. These departures from standard practice were due to the
necessity for keeping certain plants in production and to other special
causes and exceptional circumstances.

Production of large quantities of T. N. T. and ammonium nitrate was
the first big problem to be solved by the high-explosives section of
the Ordnance Department. All the work of the explosives section can be
subdivided under four group heads--raw materials, propellants, high
explosives, and loading.


The first steps taken in the endeavor to meet the need for raw
materials were to increase greatly the available means for obtaining
toluol, phenol, caustic soda, sodium nitrate, sulphuric and nitric
acids, ammonia liquor or aqua ammonia, and to attempt to provide a
substitute for cellulose in case a shortage of cotton should render its
use necessary.

How to increase the supply of toluol, the basic raw material from
which T. N. T. is made, was the greatest and most pressing of all the
problems in regard to the existing raw materials. Before the war the
sole source of this ingredient was from by-product coke ovens. The
monthly capacity of these ovens in 1914 was, approximately, 700,000
pounds. By April, 1917, when we stepped into the conflict, this
capacity had been increased to 6,000,000 pounds a month.

By the time the armistice was signed our efforts for greater production
had been carried on so successfully that the supply had been increased
to 12,000,000 pounds a month, and the average cost of this was only 21
cents a pound. This tremendous increase of production not only took
care of all demands for commercial purposes and permitted the shipment
of about 11,000,000 pounds to the allied Governments, but was more than
ample to take care of our own entire explosives program, leaving a
stock on hand December 1, 1918, of 17,000,000 pounds.

A few details of how this tremendous increase in production was brought
about through the energies of the officials charged with this task and
the most efficient and whole-hearted cooperation of patriotic business
concerns are interesting.

Three general sources existed from which toluol was obtained: first,
from the by-product recovery coke ovens; second, by the stripping or
absorbing of toluol from carbureted water and coal gas; and third, by
the cracking or breaking down of oils.

In augmenting the supply of toluol through the first process,
construction of additional by-product coke ovens by the following big
steel companies was arranged:

                       Company.                    |  Toluol capacity
                                                   |     per year.
                                                   |   _Pounds._
  Jones & Laughlin Steel Co., Pittsburgh, Pa.      |   5,770,160
  The Sloss-Sheffield Co., Birmingham, Ala.        |   2,019,556
  United States Steel Corporation, Clairton, Pa.   |   2,308,064
  International Harvester Co., Chicago, Ill.       |   1,585,794
  United States Steel Corporation, Birmingham, Ala.|   2,019,556
  Rainey-Wood Co., Swedeland, Pa.                  |   2,163,810
  The Seaboard By-Product Co., Jersey City, N. J.  |   1,081 905
  Pittsburgh Crucible Steel Co., Midland, Pa.      |   2,019,556

The total cost of these additional ovens was about $30,000,000, which
was met by private capital after contracts for the purchase of the
product had been made, insuring a secure return on the investment.
Production was to begin in 1919.

In addition to this there was arranged construction for 320 additional
ovens at the following places:

                  Company.                  |           |          | Estimated
                                            |  Date of  |Estimated |  time of
                                            | contract. |   cost.  |completion.
 Donner Steel Co., Buffalo, N. Y.           |May, 1918  |$6,000,000| Mar., 1920
 Birmingham Coke Co., Birmingham, Ala.      |July, 1918 | 2,500,000| Oct., 1919
 Domestic Coke Corporation, Fairmont, W. Va.|Sept., 1918| 2,700,000| Nov., 1919
 Domestic Coke Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio |July, 1918 | 1,500,000| Feb., 1920
 International Coal Products Corporation,   |May, 1918  | 2,000,000| Aug., 1919
     Clinchfield, Va.                       |           |          |

From these sources the monthly production of toluol in 1920 would have
been increased by 600,000 pounds a month.

While all these arrangements for vastly increasing the supply of
this chemical in 1919 and 1920 were being made, technical experts of
the Ordnance Department stimulated production by visiting existing
by-product coke ovens and advising as to changes and alterations in the
plants, both in regard to equipment and methods of operation.

Investigations were made early in the summer of 1917 on the possibility
of recovering toluol by stripping illuminating gas, and a report was
made on this subject in October, 1917. Construction of the necessary
plants to carry out this plan was begun late in November, and the
first plants were in operation in April, 1918. This was considered a
remarkable record, in view of the fact that the operating personnel for
the purpose had to be established and trained in this entirely new line
of activity.

In this connection it is extremely interesting to note that the
American people in 13 of the largest cities of the country played an
unconscious part in contributing to the successful termination of
the war by using artificial gas of considerably less heating power,
as a result of the removal of the toluol for explosive purposes.
For example, in New York City, due to the extraction of toluol, the
artificial gas there was reduced in heating value approximately 6
per cent and the candlepower lowered from 22 to 16 because of this
stripping process.

Contracts for taking the toluol from artificial gas were made
with companies in the following cities: New York and Brooklyn, N.
Y.; Boston, Mass.; New Haven, Conn.; Albany, N. Y.; Utica, N. Y.;
Elizabeth, N. J.; Washington, D. C.; Detroit, Mich.; St. Louis, Mo.;
New Orleans, La.; Denver, Colo.; and Seattle, Wash.

The total cost of the installations made for this purpose in these
cities in connection with the gas plants was about $7,500,000.

For the production of toluol by cracking crude oils or petroleum
distillates, three processes of the many submitted were officially
approved and contracts awarded for operation.

The first and most important of these was that of the General Petroleum
Co. of Los Angeles, Calif. Under their scheme a yield of 6 per cent
toluol was obtained from a petroleum distillate, of which there was a
large quantity available, by treatment under temperature and pressure.
To facilitate production of toluol by this means, two large plants,
one at Los Angeles and the other at San Francisco, were erected at a
cost of approximately $5,000,000. These plants have a monthly capacity
of 3,000,000 pounds of toluol and their construction destroyed all
possibility of a shortage in this vital raw material.

Another process was that known as the Rittman process, evolved by
a scientist of the Bureau of Mines. This scheme, which called for
producing toluol from solvent naphtha or light oils by cracking under
high pressure and temperature, was finally demonstrated to be capable
of operation under war conditions, and production had just started at a
plant on Neville Island, Pittsburgh, Pa., at the time of the signing of
the armistice.

A third process was that known as the Hall process, by which toluol
was also obtained by cracking solvent naphtha under high pressure and
temperature by another, different, mechanical system. This scheme was
in operation on a small scale during 1918 at the Standard Oil Plant,
Bayonne, N. J.

Phenol, one of the essentials in the manufacture of picric acid, was
another raw material, the production of which was greatly augmented.
At the time of our entry into the war the monthly production amounted
to 670,000 pounds, while in October, 1918, it had been increased to
13,000,000 pounds. In December, 1917, the price of phenol as fixed
by the War Industries Board was 46 cents a pound, while Government
contracts in force a year later had reduced this figure to 31 cents a

The price of sulphuric acid jumped from $14 a ton to $60 a ton early in
the war, while nitric acid advanced from 5¼ cents a pound to 10 cents.
The shortage of sulphuric acid was met by the erection of both chamber
and contact plants in all high-explosives factories built for or under
direction of the Ordnance Department.

Both pyrites and sulphur were used at the beginning of the war, but the
submarine warfare stopped the importation of the pyrites from Spain,
and therefore sulphur deposits in Texas and Louisiana were depended
upon. A destructive storm in the early part of 1918 temporarily
curtailed the production from Louisiana deposits, but repairs were made
in time to prevent its effect being felt by the acid manufacturers.

The submarine also had the effect of lessening the importations from
Chile of sodium nitrate, which prior to the war were depended upon
entirely in the production of nitric acid. It became necessary,
therefore, to develop other methods of production. After investigations
a plant for the fixation of nitrogen under what is known as a modified
Haber process was erected at Sheffield, Ala., while a plant for the
same purpose using the cyanamide process was erected at Muscle Shoals,

Both of these were equipped for the oxidation of ammonia to nitric
acid, each using a different process. When the armistice was signed
these plants were just coming into production. The existence of these
two nitrate plants insures the independence of this country in its
supply of commercial nitrogen, either for peace or for war.

There were also in course of erection, though not in operation on
November 11, 1918, great plants for the extraction of nitrogen from
the air, at Toledo and Cincinnati, Ohio, but construction on these two
plants, each of which was to cost $25,000,000, was stopped when the
armistice was signed.


In army usage the term "propellant" includes both smokeless powder and
black powder.

At the outbreak of the European war, the producing capacity in this
country for smokeless powder was approximately 1,500,000 pounds a
month. By the time the United States got into the war this capacity had
been increased from 25 to 30 times, and under the explosives program
laid down by us it was indicated that even this capacity would have to
be greatly increased.

The increase in the production of smokeless powder was helped by the
construction of two of the largest smokeless-powder plants in the
world--one known as the Old Hickory Plant, located almost on the site
of Andrew Jackson's old home at Nashville, Tenn., and the other at
Nitro, near Charleston, W. Va.

The Old Hickory Plant was the larger and more complete of the two. It
is probably the biggest plant of its kind in the world and is entirely
self-contained; in other words, the plant actually takes the crude, raw
cotton and, producing both the acid and solvents used, puts it through
every process until the final product is attained.

Nine powder lines were planned for this enterprise, each with a
capacity of 100,000 pounds per day, although developments from the
early operations indicated that the ultimate production of the plant
would reach 1,000,000 pounds a day.

The estimated cost of this huge undertaking was in the neighborhood of
$90,000,000. Negotiations were begun in October of 1917 and led to a
contract with the du Pont Engineering Co., under which this concern was
to construct the plant and operate it for a six months' period after
its completion.

Operation of the first powder line in the plant was to start September
15, 1918, or seven and one-half months after the signing of the
contract. Ground was broken March 8, 1918, and work was pushed so
efficiently and successfully that on July 1, 1918, the first powder
line was put in operation, 75 days ahead of the schedule called for in
the contract.

Some idea of the magnitude of this enterprise can be realized in the
statements that the plant covers an area of 5,000 acres and that in
addition to the powder plant proper there was built a city, housing
twenty odd thousand people, complete with schools, churches, and
all other elements that go to make up a town. There was also built
in connection with the plant a number of subprocess plants for
the manufacture of purified cotton, sulphuric acid, nitric acid,
diphenylamine, and other chemicals used in powder manufacture. Each of
these was an undertaking of no little size in itself.

Operation of the plant during the four and one-half months preceding
the signing of the armistice showed a production in excess of contract
requirements. On November 11, 1918, the plant was over 90 per cent
complete and about 50 per cent in operation. At that time 6,000,000
pounds of powder over and above contract expectations had been
produced, the total capacity having reached 423,000 pounds a day.

The second powder plant, located at Nitro, is somewhat smaller
than the Old Hickory Plant. It has a capacity of 625,000 pounds of
smokeless powder a day. It was built under the direction of D. C.
Jackling, director of United States Government explosive plants, by the
Thompson-Starrett Co., of New York. The contract was dated January 18,
1918, and ground was broken February 1. A contract for the operation of
the plant was signed with the Hercules Powder Co., and at the time of
the armistice the output was running approximately 109,000 pounds a
day, with the expectation of early and speedy increase. As in the case
of the Old Hickory Plant, a large village and many subprocess plants
were constructed in connection with this enterprise.

[Illustration: NITRO, WEST VIRGINIA.]

When the war began smokeless powder was dried by the circulation of
warm dried air for a long period of time over the damp powder as it
came from the solvent recovery house. This process required from six
weeks for small-caliber powder to nine months for large-caliber powder.
This time-consuming method being obviously impracticable in war, the
Ordnance Department authorized the so-called water-drying process. This
consists in the immersion of the powder as it comes from the solvent
recovery house in warm water for varying periods up to 72 hours, the
water then being expelled by filtration or centrifugal force and the
surplus external moisture dried off by hot air. By this method the time
of drying was reduced to 4 days for the small-caliber powder and to 22
days for powder for the larger caliber guns.

Just prior to the signing of the armistice an entirely new drying
process had been experimentally tried out. This was known as the Nash
or alcohol-drying process. The preliminary tests indicated that this
method was a great improvement both in safety and in the reduction of
cost. The indications were that drying could be reduced from days to
hours by this new method. The Nash process also insured apparently a
more uniform and tougher grade of powder, both of which characteristics
were greatly to be desired.

In spite of the rise in price of labor and of almost everything else,
the cost of powder was being reduced. At the beginning of the war cost
figures were 80 cents a pound for small-arms and 53 cents a pound for
cannon powder. When the armistice was signed these costs had been
reduced to 62 cents for small-arms powder and 41¼ cents for cannon

At the time of the signing of the armistice there was on hand
approximately 200,000,000 pounds of smokeless powder.

It early became evident that the supply of cellulose, even though
all available sources of supply were utilized to the utmost, would
nevertheless be insufficient to meet our vast production program.
For years it had been rumored that the Germans in the manufacture of
their smokeless powder had been using, with great success, cellulose
produced from wood pulp. Following out this idea, experimental work was
undertaken in an effort to develop cellulose that could be produced
from wood pulp in suitable physical form for nitration and which would
meet the chemical requirements.

In the southern and southwestern portions of the United States there
are large tracts of land from which timber has been removed and there
are also vast acreages of swamp lands. Processes developed by the
Ordnance Department had in view the idea of taking as much of these
lands as possible for farming and reforesting and utilizing the tree
stumps thereon. These stumps contained quantities of turpentine and
resin that could be recovered and the resultant pulp after proper
treatment could be prepared in suitable form as cellulose for nitration

The question of black powder, while an important one, did not present
many difficulties excepting one, the necessary supply of potassium
nitrate. This was because Germany was the principal source of the
potash. It was thought that sodium nitrate might possibly have to be
used as a substitute. Experimental work along these lines indicated
that by using certain precautions, this substitution, if necessary,
could be made, although it was never adopted.

Black powder of all grades for military purposes was being produced
at the rate of 840,000 pounds a month, at a cost of 25 cents a pound,
at the time the armistice was signed. At that time there was on hand
6,850,000 pounds of black powder.

If the war had continued the United States could have produced during
the year 1919 more than 1,000,000,000 pounds of smokeless powder.
Two-thirds of this would have been available for our overseas forces
and the balance would have gone to the allied governments. This rate
of production would have amounted to about seven times the quantity of
explosives normally manufactured in peace times.


In addition to solving the problem of producing a sufficient quantity
of propellant powder there was also the problem, just as important,
of assembling this powder into fixed ammunition, or loading it into
bags. The Frankford Arsenal and commercial cartridge factories, after
expansion, were enabled to take care of the expanded small-arms
program. But it became necessary for the Government to erect and
operate several great bag-loading plants. These were located at
Woodbury, N.J., Tullytown, Pa., and Seven Pines, Va.

The ordinary cartridge fired from the rifle is familiar to most people.
The projectile is fitted into the metal case in which the explosive
force is contained. Projectiles for big guns are made along similar
lines, until the 4.7-inch gun is reached. Up to and including guns
of this caliber the projectile is fired with what is known as fixed
ammunition--that is to say, the shell itself is fixed into a metal
container which holds the powder.

Guns above the caliber of 4.7 inches, however, are fired with unfixed
ammunition--that is, the powder is loaded in silk bags, the projectile
placed in the gun, and a number of bags, depending upon the size of the
charge necessary, put into the breach of the gun behind the projectile.
The powder is then ignited and the big shell ejected by the gases

From the mills the powder is shipped to the bag-loading plants in bulk.
The silken bags are manufactured in huge quantities by industrial
plants and forwarded to the bag-loading plants, where are also daily
received large quantities of metal and fiber containers, into which are
loaded bags packed for overseas shipment not to be unpacked again until
they have reached the battle field.

Filling the bags is a precise and delicate operation. Chances can not
be taken or averages struck. Errors may mean the possible loss of
battles. A battery commander who has figured his range and who is about
to drop a number of high-explosive shell on an enemy battery must know
exactly how much powder he has behind his charge. If more powder is in
the bag than he calculates on, he will overshoot his mark; if less, the
shell instead of dropping upon an enemy battery may explode in midst of
his own advancing troops.

The three bag-loading plants the Government constructed at Woodbury,
Tullytown, and Seven Pines were built to load bags that were to be
used in firing guns from 155-millimeter caliber up to a caliber of 10
inches. The estimated average capacity of each plant was 20,000 bags a
day, but as a matter of fact a maximum capacity of 40,000 bags a day at
each plant had been reached before the signing of the armistice. Two
shifts a day were used at these plants most of the time. In each shift
there were approximately 3,500 operatives, most of them women.

At each of these plants, which are located in comparatively isolated
points, because of the dangerous work, special housing facilities had
to be constructed. For example, at Tullytown there were 70 bungalows,
13 residences for officers and executive heads, and six 98-room
dormitories, while at Woodbury 19 great dormitories were built to house

The number of buildings at Tullytown is 215. They range from
guardhouses to electrical generating stations for power and light.
Besides this construction there are between 22 and 30 miles of railroad
track laid at each of these points. The extremely dangerous nature
of the work makes it necessary to store not more than 400,000 pounds
of explosives in a single building, and where powder is stored the
buildings are at least 350 feet apart.

Up to the time of the signing of the armistice there were loaded
into small-arms ammunition 19,741,500 pounds of powder; there were
assembled into fixed ammunition approximately 33,000,000 pounds of
smokeless powder; and there were assembled into bags, properly packed
for shipment, approximately 32,300,000 pounds of smokeless powder.


When Europe was plunged into the great war in August, 1914, the
American production of trinitrotoluol for commercial purposes amounted
to approximately 600,000 pounds a month of varying grades of purity.
This quantity was almost entirely consumed in the making of explosives
for blasting purposes. When we entered the war this production had been
increased to 1,000,000 pounds a month, exclusive of that which was
being used here commercially. Under pressure of our own war-time needs
the production of this highly important explosive chemical had been run
up to 16,000,000 pounds a month at the termination of hostilities in
November, 1918.

During the early stages of the war the average price of T. N. T.
for military purposes was $1 a pound. Largely, however, because of
the tremendous quantity production and enormous economies effected
by reason of this, and despite the scarcity of raw materials, and
notwithstanding the greatly increased labor cost, this price had been
reduced at the time of the signing of the armistice to 26½ cents
a pound. There were in the course of erection at the time of the
armistice, two great Government T. N. T. plants--one at Racine, Wis.,
that was to have a capacity of 4,000,000 pounds a month, and one at
Giant, Cal., with a capacity of 2,000,000 pounds a month.

During the war three grades of T. N. T. were produced. Grade I was
used for booster charges--that is, those charges which initiated the
explosive wave in the main shell charge. Grade II was used as a shell
filler; while Grade III was utilized with ammonium nitrate in producing

In view of the fact that high explosives were produced in such enormous
quantities and that it was necessary to carry on these tremendous
manufacturing operations with an inexperienced force, the toll of life
taken in the production was remarkably small. Only two explosions of
any magnitude occurred in plants where explosives were manufactured and
both of these took place in T. N. T. producing plants. One of these
happened at Oakdale, Pa., in the plant of the Aetna Explosives Co. in
May, 1918. This cost the lives of 100 persons. The other took place on
July 2, 1918, at Split Rock, N.Y., in the plant of Semet-Solvay Co.,
where 60 people lost their lives. At the time of the explosions neither
of these plants was operating on War Department contracts.

Before the great war about 58,000,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate
used in the manufacture of commercial explosives were being produced
annually in this country, at an average cost of about 12 cents a pound.
By January, 1917, the commercial explosives manufacturers had extended
their facilities so that they had increased their production by
1,700,000 pounds monthly. This expansion, however, was insufficient to
meet our demands, and a Government ammonium nitrate plant was erected
at Perryville, Md. This plant was operated under the supervision of the
Atlas Powder Co., who also cooperated in its erection.

It did this manufacturing under the Brunner-Mond process that was
developed in England under the patents of Capt. Freeth. Under this
process ammonium nitrate is produced by the double decomposition of
ammonium sulphate and sodium nitrate.

In December, 1917, the Atlas people detailed several technical men to
go to England and study the Brunner-Mond process as carried on there.
In 1918 these men returned to the United States and prepared designs as
a result of the information they had gained abroad.

Ground was broken for the plant at Perryville March 8, 1918, and it
was in production by July 15. This plant is a large one, of excellent
construction, and absolutely fireproof, as is necessary because of the
nature of the work conducted in it. Because of the type of the building
the rapidity of its construction may well be classed as phenomenal.
Even while the plant was being put up, experimental work of a highly
technical nature was being carried on.

At the time of the signing of the armistice production of ammonium
nitrate at the Perryville plant had reached 452,000 pounds a day, and
this was greatly in excess of that being obtained at the English plant
of a similar size that had been in operation for months before ground
had been broken for our American plant.

Each of the Government-owned nitrogen fixation plants at Muscle Shoals,
Ala., and Sheffield, Ala., was also equipped to produce ammonium
nitrate by neutralization. Our total capacity from all sources at the
time of the signing of the armistice was 20,000,000 pounds monthly.
Ammonium nitrate is the one material in the field of explosives that
shows an increase in price over that of normal times. The average cost
of this substance used for military purposes was 17½ cents a pound.
There were on hand 60,500,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate on November
11, 1918.

Picric acid as such is not used by this country directly for military
purposes. But it is one of the raw materials used in producing ammonium
picrate, or explosive D, and in the manufacture of the poisonous gas
known as chlorpicrin.

Picric acid is, however, the main explosive used by the French, who
had placed enormous contracts for this material with explosives
manufacturers prior to the entry of the United States in the war.
Because of our purchase of early large supplies of ammunition and guns
from the French Government, to be largely paid for by picric acid,
large contracts were entered into by our Government for this explosive,
which was produced here in accordance with French specifications and
subject to joint inspection by our officers and the French.

In November, 1917, we were turning out 600,000 pounds of picric
acid monthly, and a year later this had been increased to a monthly
production of 11,300,000 pounds; the average cost was 56 cents a pound.

To insure production quickly for the needs of the times, three
Government picric-acid plants were authorized. One of these was located
at Picron, near Little Rock, Ark., to be operated by the Davis Chemical
Corporation; another was located at New Brunswick, Ga., to be operated
by the Butterworth-Judson Corporation; and the third was located at
Grand Rapids, Mich., for operation by the Semet-Solvay Co. All of these
contracts were made on a cost-plus basis. Each of these plants was to
have a capacity of 14,500,000 pounds of picric acid a month. The plant
at Picron in Arkansas was the only one that had started production
before the signing of the armistice.

Ammonium picrate, otherwise known as explosive D in our Army annals,
is produced by the ammoniation of picric acid, and because it is more
insensitive than picric acid and is less liable to form sensitive salts
with metals it is used as the explosive charge for all armor-piercing

Our average monthly production of ammonium picrate in May, 1917, was
53,000 pounds, and this had been increased without the erection of any
Government plants to a monthly capacity in November, 1918, of 950,000
pounds. There was on hand at the time of the signing of the armistice
6,500,000 pounds of this explosive, the average cost of which was 64
cents a pound.

Tetryl, on account of its high cost and the lack of manufacturing
facilities for its production, was not used except as a loading charge
for boosters. It is more sensitive than T. N. T. and has a higher rate
of detonation.

Only two companies, the du Pont Powder Co. and the Bethlehem Loading
Co., manufactured tetryl. Expansion of these two plants increased the
monthly capacity of 8,700 pounds in December, 1917, to 160,000 pounds
in November, 1918, while its cost was reduced from $1.30 a pound to 90
cents a pound.

This increased capacity, however, was not in excess of our explosives
requirements, and there was authorized by the Government the erection
of a plant at Senter, Mich., that was to be operated by the Atlas Co.,
and which was to have a monthly capacity of 250,000 pounds. This plant
had not reached production when the armistice was signed.

The Aetna Powder Co. at the time we entered the war was manufacturing
for the Russian Government tetranitroaniline that was to be used in
the loading of boosters and fuses. This company's plant at Nobleston,
Pa., was destroyed by an explosion. Ordnance officers learned that this
material was equal to tetryl as a military explosive. Consequently a
contract was entered into with Dr. Bernhardt Jacques Flurschein, the
holder of the patent rights, to have manufactured T. N. A. for our own
uses. A Government plant was authorized for erection on the ground
of the Calco Chemical Co., Bound Brook, N.J., to be operated by that
concern. Production at this plant was to be on a cost-plus basis,
the estimated cost of the material being 70 cents a pound. When the
armistice was signed, about 8,000 pounds of T. N. A. had been produced,
but none had been utilized.

Mercury fulminate, a very sensitive and powerful explosive, was used
only in caps, primers, detonators, etc., as a means of initiating
detonation, on account of its own high rate of detonation. The three
plants operating in this country to produce this explosive for
commercial purposes, the du Pont Co., Pompton Lake, N.J., the Atlas
Powder Co., Tamaqua, Pa., and the Aetna Powder Co., Kingston, N.Y.,
expanded their facilities sufficiently to meet our program. Their
average monthly production in 1918 was 50,000 pounds at a cost of $3.21
per pound, and there was on hand in November, 1918, 330,900 pounds of
this explosive.

In the early stages of the war to meet the apparent shortage of T.
N. T. and ammonium nitrate then existing because of our enormous
explosives program, it was necessary to develop an explosive for
trench warfare purposes that could be used for filling hand and rifle
grenades, trench-mortar shell, and drop bombs. To meet this need,
the Trojan Powder Co., of Allentown, Pa., submitted a nitrostarch
explosive. After exhaustive investigations and complete tests, this
explosive was authorized for use in loading the hand and rifle grenades
and the 3-inch trench-mortar shell.

Development of a nitrostarch explosive for commercial purposes had been
under consideration and investigation by two other large experienced
manufacturers for a number of years, but the difficulties incident to
the production and purification of nitrostarch were such that their
efforts had met with little success.

The Trojan Powder Co., operating under secret process, solved this
problem, and all nitrostarch explosives used were produced by this
company, although another nitrostarch explosive known as "grenite,"
which was produced by the du Pont Co., was tested and authorized for

Our country was the only Government that used nitrostarch explosives
during the war, and the development of this explosive made the loading
problem easier and made possible the use of materials that were
available and whose cost was low. The average cost of this explosive
was 21.8 cents a pound. In July, 1918, the average monthly production
of nitrostarch was 840,000 pounds and this had been increased by
November, 1918, to 1,720,000 pounds a month.

There were loaded with nitrostarch explosive 7,244,569 defensive hand
grenades; 1,526,000 offensive hand grenades; 9,921,533 rifle grenades
and 813,073 three-inch trench-mortar shell. At the time of the signing
of the armistice there was on hand of this explosive 1,650,500 pounds.

The du Pont Co. developed an explosive called lyconite, and this was
authorized for use in the loading of drop bombs.

Anilite, a liquid explosive used by the French, was thoroughly
investigated and improvements were made in it to render its use safer,
but development had not progressed far enough to warrant authorization
for its use prior to the signing of the armistice.

Chlorate and perchlorate explosives were also investigated and several
types developed that were considered entirely satisfactory for use, but
these never got into production before the end of the war.


When we entered the war the quantity of field artillery ammunition on
hand was considerably less than a single month's supply, basing our
rate of expenditure on the estimated rate for November, 1918. There
were no facilities of any degree of magnitude available to take care of
our projected program for filling the high-explosive shell necessary
for use by our overseas forces.

Consequently it became necessary at once to plan and to develop the
resources of the country for the production of metallic parts, such as
the shell proper, the fuse, boosters and adapters, as well as to design
and build entirely new plants and to train completely new forces for
the loading of the shell with the high explosives.


_75M/M TYPE_

_Detonator (explosive)_


_Explosive charge (T. N. T.) or (Amatol)_

_Smokeless powder_

_Primer (brass)_

_Adapter (steel)_

_Percussion fuse_

_Booster case, or Jacket, or Gaine. (cold drawn or pressed

_Copper band or rotating band_

_Cartridge case (drawn brass)_]


The explosion of an H. E. shell is really a series of explosions.
The process of the burst is about as follows: The firing pin strikes
the percussion primer, which explodes the detonator. The detonator
is filled with some easily detonated substance, such as fulminate of
mercury. The concussion of this explosion sets off the charge held
within the long tube which extends down the middle of the shell and
which is known as the booster. The booster charge is a substance
easily exploded, such as tetryl or trinitroaniline (T. N. A.). The
explosion of the booster jars off the main charge of the shell, T. N.
T. or amatol. This system of detonator, booster, and main charge gives
control of the explosives within the shell, safety in handling the
shell, and complete explosion when the shell bursts. Without the action
of the booster charge on the main charge of the shell, the latter would
be only partially burned when the shell exploded, and part of the main
charge would thus waste itself in the open air.

The shell used by our Army before the war had been largely of the
base-fuse type. Interchangeability of ammunition with the French
required that we adopt shell of the nose-fuse type. The boosters and
adapters that went with this type were unfamiliar to our industry.

The adapter is the metallic device that holds the booster and fuse and
fastens them in the shell. The adapter, therefore, is a broad ring,
screw-threaded both outside and inside. The inside diameter is uniform,
so as to allow the same size of booster and fuse to be screwed into
shell of different sizes. The outside diameters of the adapters vary
with the sizes of the shell they are made to fit, the rings thus being
thicker or thinner as the case may require. Fuses of several sorts
are employed by the modern artillerist; and with shell equipped with
adapters, any fuse may be inserted in the field right at the gun.

Unexpectedly the manufacture of boosters and adapters proved to be much
more difficult than it appeared to be at the start, and the shortage of
these devices was a limiting factor in the American production of shell.

On May 1, 1917, drawings and specifications were sent to the principal
manufacturers of ammunition and ammunition components inviting bids
on 3-inch ammunition. These bids were opened on May 15, 1917, and
after full discussion with the Council of National Defense orders were
placed for 9,000,000 rounds of 3-inch shell and shrapnel ammunition.
The bids for shell and shrapnel ammunition for all the other calibers
of guns and howitzers we had on hand then were about to be asked,
when the French mission to this country arrived; and the sending out
of proposals was deferred, while discussion ensued as to changing
our 3-inch and 6-inch artillery to 75-millimeter and 155-millimeter
calibers, so as to make our ammunition interchangeable with that of the
French. This decision was made June 5, 1917.

There then took place much discussion and consideration of the French
ammunition. The French had several distinct types of shell, ranging
from the very thin walled high capacity kind to the thicker walled
types. The French specifications were radically different from our own
or those of the British. The steel shell in the French practice was
subjected to a drastic heat treatment, which did not seem necessary to
us for the thicker walled types of shell.

The French fusing system also was entirely different from that used by
our service. French fuses were carried separately, and the adapter and
the booster casing were screwed permanently into the shell.

Our decision to adopt French types of ammunition made it necessary to
rearrange all our plans, and to obtain drawings of the shell, boosters,
adapters, and fuses from France. This caused much negotiating, and
a considerable amount of time was consumed in getting the necessary
specifications and drawings here.

As a result of recommendations from French officials against production
in this country during 1917 of the so-called "_obus allongé_" and the
semisteel type of shell, no attempt was made to produce these for the
155-millimeter guns and howitzers during the first year of the war, but
as a result of new recommendations and investigations of our officers
in France in the spring of 1918 both of these types of shell were put
into quantity production here. When the armistice was signed they were
being turned out in such quantities that it appeared that there was
sure to be an ample supply on hand in the early spring of 1919.

Radical differences of manufacture existed between the French and
British in the matter of specifications and methods of production.
Large quantities of British ammunition had been made in this country,
and we had adopted the British 8-inch howitzer, so that it appeared we
should use British practice in the manufacture of shell. Manufacturers
claimed that great delay would result in the production of shell here
if the heat treatment and hydraulic tests were insisted upon as the
French specifications called for, and investigation proved this to be
essentially true, as no facilities for heat treating and hydraulic
testing existed.

The upshot of the entire matter was that it was decided to use French
dimensions and shell for the 75-millimeter and 155-millimeter calibers
so as to obtain uniformity of ballistics, but to permit American
metallurgical practice to obtain in the manufacture. Shells made under
these specifications were tested by the French commission in France.
The verdict on these shell can be summarized in this quotation from
their report:

    To sum up, from the test of 10,000 cartridges of 75 millimeter,
    it may be concluded that American ammunition is in every
    way comparable to French ammunition and that the two may be
    considered as interchangeable.

Our designs for shrapnel and time fuses had been proven to be entirely
satisfactory, and they were continued as they were. In fact it was
generally agreed that ours was the best time fuse used on the allied
side during the war. That our decision in the matter of continuing
production of shrapnel and time fuses was warranted, is borne out by
the fact that we obtained early deliveries in sufficient quantities to
meet requirements.

In the use of the adapters and boosters, which introduced an entirely
new component to our service in shell making, we had had no experience,
and subsequently met with great difficulties due to this lack of
experience. Delays were encountered because in this part of shell
manufacture it was generally necessary to await information from France
whenever difficulties were encountered, or to conduct experiments
before we could proceed.

When we began receiving our bids for 3-inch gun ammunition there were
comparatively few factories in the United States that were able to turn
out complete rounds of ammunition. There were many factories, however,
capable of turning out one or more of the shell components. It was
necessary to place orders for complete rounds of ammunition with those
factories that could furnish them, and have the remaining components
manufactured separately, and to provide assembling plants. To get as
many factories as possible on a production basis in anticipation of the
future large orders for ammunition that must necessarily follow with
extension of operations by our field forces, orders for our initial
quantities of ammunition were distributed as widely as possible.

To prevent confusion and loss of time because of the scramble for steel
forgings and other raw materials it was decided that the Government
would purchase all raw materials as well as furnish components for

How successful we were in getting into quantity production on
ammunition after the numerous and large obstacles in the early months
of the war can be indicated best by the fact that of the 11,616,156
high-explosive shell for 75-millimeter guns machined up to November
1, no less than 2,893,367 passed inspection in October; while of the
7,345,366 adapters and boosters for 75-millimeter guns that had been
machined up to the 1st of November, 2,758,397 passed inspection in

The figures for the 4.7-inch and 155-millimeter guns and howitzers

                        |    Machined    |    Machined
                        | high-explosive |  adapters and
    Kind of ammunition. |      shell     |    boosters
                        |  accepted up   |  accepted up
                        |   to Nov. 1.   |   to Nov. 1.
  4.7-inch              |     994,852    | [20]636,096
  155-millimeter        |   2,083,782    |   2,516,216

[20] For use in 4.7-inch and other sizes.

Ammonium picrate or explosive D upon which this country had depended
almost entirely up to the time of our entry into the war was forced
into the shell under hydraulic pressure. The adoption of the
point-fused shell and an explosive for shell filling new to this
country, namely, amatol, made necessary the provision of new methods
for shell loading and the expansion of plant facilities for these
new methods capable of loading the vast and tremendous numbers of
shell required in modern warfare. As a result of reports, following
investigations by our officers of methods used abroad, various new
shell-loading plants were built in the United States.

The names, location, and output of the shell-loading plants in our
country are as follows:

                                  |                        |  Total
              Company.            |        Location.       | capacity
                                  |                        |  daily
                                  |                        | (shell).
  T. A. Gillespie Loading Co.     | Morgan, N. J.          |  47,000
    Do.                           | Parlin, N. J.          |  25,000
    Do.                           | Runyon, N. Y.          |   3,500
  Poole Engineering & Machine Co. | Texas, Md.             |  15,000
  United States Arsenal           | Rock Island, Ill.      |   1,000
  Sterling Motor Car Co.          | Brockton, Mass.        |  10,000
  American Can Co.                | Kenilworth, N. J.      |  20,000
  Atlantic Loading Co.            | Amatol, N. J.          |  53,500
  Bethlehem Loading Co.           | Mays Landing, N. J.    |  41,000
    Do.                           | New Castle, Del.       |  27,400
    Do.                           | Redington, Pa.         |   4,000
  du Pont Engineering Co.         | Penniman, Va., G plant |  41,000
    Do.                           | Penniman, Va., D plant |  13,330
  J. D. Evans Engineer Corp.      | Old Bridge, N. J.      |  30,000
                                  |                        +---------
        Total                     |                        | 331,730

It was found necessary in the early stages of the war to fill all shell
with T. N. T., regardless of cost, until there could be built the
required and properly equipped plants for the mixing and loading of

Two methods for loading T. N. T. were adopted. The one most largely
used, however, was the casting method by which the chemical was
brought to a molten condition in a steam jacketed kettle and poured
into the shell. To do this two operations were usual. First, the shell
was filled approximately two-thirds full with the molten material,
and then as soon as a crust was formed this was broken through and
the second filling took place. This process was necessary to prevent
the formation of cavities in the filling charge. Such cavities cause
breakdowns, resulting almost invariably in incomplete or entire failure
of detonation.

The ammonium nitrate first produced in this country during the war was
of such a character that proper densities could not be obtained when
mixed with T. N. T. to form amatol. This difficulty was overcome after
much investigation, and proper methods were outlined for the ammonium
nitrate manufacturers, with the result that Grade III ammonium nitrate
was produced as a sharp, hard crystal at a setting point of not less
than 290° F. This was found to be perfectly satisfactory.


View of extruding machine bulkhead in background.]

[Illustration: MARK V FUSE ASSEMBLY.

    This picture shows two complete units for this assembly work.
    The operation begins in the foreground with cap assembly and
    progresses toward background, the fulminate detonator being
    inserted midway down table. The protecting bulkhead for cap
    supply is shown in the foreground.]

The so-called 50-50 amatol, composed of 50 parts ammonium nitrate and
50 parts T. N. T., is loaded into shell by a casting method similar to
that used in loading T. N. T. alone.

The so-called 80-20 amatol, composed of 80 parts ammonium nitrate
and 20 parts T. N. T., was originally loaded cold, by hand, and then
followed up with mechanical pressing. As a substitute for this method,
which is accompanied by a certain element of danger, the use of hot
80-20 amatol, was resorted to in England. This was tamped by hand to
the proper density, it being more compressible than cold amatol.

As this is an exceedingly tedious method of operation it was entirely
done away with in England, except for large shell, by the use of what
is known as the horizontal extruding machine. With this machine the
British were able to load 80-20 amatol with great success into the
75-millimeter shell and higher calibers up to 8 inches.

This machine took a mixture of T. N. T. and ammonium nitrate in a
jacketed hopper, so that the temperature might be maintained, and
the hopper fed it down through a funnel upon a screw that was placed
against the shell by counterweights to give the proper density. One
of these machines was imported here from England, but, as it was
unsatisfactory from a construction standpoint, new and satisfactory
machines were built on the same principles of construction in our own
amatol loading plants.

Experimental work with these machines was carried on at the Government
testing station Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, N. J., and the du Pont
Experimental Station, Gibbstown, N. J., as well as experimental plant
operations at the Morgan plant of the T. A. Gillespie Co., Parlin,
N. J., and the Penniman plant of the du Pont Co., Penniman, Va. All
difficulties of the operations were overcome so satisfactorily that the
greater portion of the loaded shell was produced by this method.

The metal parts as received at the shell-filling plant are inspected
and cleaned to remove all traces of foreign matter such as grit or
grease before being sent to the loading room. After being loaded the
shell are again inspected. At intervals a split shell is loaded and
then taken apart and examined, so that any loading defects may be found
quickly and conditions remedied, before any large quantities of shell
are produced.

The cavity left in the amatol by the tube of the extruding machine is
filled with molten T. N. T., and a cavity is produced in this T. N. T.
into which the booster fits. This is necessary in order to provide for
complete detonation. The booster cavity is produced either by the use
of a former, which upon removal leaves a cavity of the proper size, or
by plunging the booster into the shell filling before this is cooled,
or by drilling out a cavity for the booster after the filling has been
thoroughly cooled.

A large number of rounds of ammunition of all calibers had also to be
loaded with a flashless compound that was inserted in the propelling
charges, so that the discharge of the guns would not betray their
positions to the enemy at night, while a smoke compound was inserted in
a large quantity of shell so that each missile of this character might
be located after firing to determine the accuracy of the shot.

Coordination of manufacture of metallic parts so as to cause the
proper quantities of shell, fuse, and boosters to be produced without
leaving any incomplete rounds that would have to be held awaiting other
components caused the greatest difficulty.

The magnitude of the task of providing the necessary shell components
in the tremendous quantities required can be better appreciated by a
realization of the fact that the various parts of each component must
be made to fit each other properly and perfectly. Gauging had to be
resorted to frequently in the process of manufacture to make certain
that there was perfect interchangeability of parts of each component to
prevent any waste of time in selecting parts to fit each other.

The complete components, too, must themselves be made with equal care
and scrupulous attention to make certain that they fit properly. Thus,
the booster had to be made in such a fashion and with such precision
and accuracy that it would fit perfectly into the shell as well as
into the booster cavity in the shell filling into which it is screwed
and also at the same time accommodate the fuse which screws into the

This extreme accuracy made necessary a large number of gauges, which
had to be designed at the same time as, and in coordination with, the
design of the component. For example, in a complete round of artillery
ammunition, 80 dimensions must be gauged. To standardize the gauges
used for these 80 dimensions, 180 master gauges are required, while the
actual number of different gauges used during the various stages of
manufacture of a complete round is over 500.

Government inspectors required over 200 gauges in their work of
inspecting and gauging the finished components for the shell, so in all
about 800 gauges were used in the process of manufacturing a complete
round of artillery ammunition, to insure interchangeability of parts,
proper fit for the projectile in the gun, and perfect functioning of
the various parts.


Notice safety door at the girl's elbow. A flash in this room will
not communicate to an adjoining room. The room is heated by overhead
hot-air heating system.]


Girl operating the same device on the left. The view shows the bulkhead
between the operations.]

[Illustration: SHELL PAINTING.

This view shows the exhaust hood open and turntable lowered. Operator
raises turntable by foot lever and closes hood before spraying.]


    Shell is received on the elevated platform and trucked to
    the edge on hand trucks, where the trolley hook just enters
    the eyebolt as shell is removed from truck, thus making it
    unnecessary to lift the shell during any operation in this room.]

All fixed ammunition was assembled at the shell-filling plants, making
it necessary to install at these points storage capacity and equipment
to handle the propellant powder as well as to fill the high-explosive
shell. Boosters and fuses were loaded at separate plants and shipped to
the shell-filling assembly places to be packed for shipment with the
shell for transportation overseas.

The cost of a loaded 75-millimeter shell with the fuse and propellant
charge ready to be fired is about $11. Such a shell contains a little
over 1½ pounds of high explosive, which costs $1. The loading and
assembling of the complete round costs $4.

A loaded 155-millimeter shell complete with fuse costs about $30,
exclusive of the propellant charge of powder, which is loaded
separately. A shell of this caliber holds about 14¼ pounds of high
explosive, which costs $10, while the loading and assembling costs $4.

The 75-millimeter and 155-millimeter shell were used in the greatest
quantities on the European battle fields, and at the time of the
signing of the armistice our American loading plants were concentrating
on filling ammunition for guns of these two calibers.

The nature of the work carried on at these shell-loading plants, of
course, made the danger of a disaster ever present. Prior to our entry
into the war an explosion at the Canadian Car & Foundry Co.'s plant,
Kingsland, N. J., resulted in the entire destruction of the plant with
large loss of life.

In October, 1918, the Morgan plant of the T. A. Gillespie Co., South
Amboy, N. J., was wiped out by an explosion in which about 100
employees lost their lives. Plans for rebuilding this plant, had
progressed far when the armistice was signed. In the fall of 1917, 40
people were killed in an explosion at the Eddystone Loading Plant,
Eddystone, Pa.

For the successful carrying out of our program for the production
of vast quantities of explosives and propellants, as well as shell
loading, the women of America must be given credit, on account of the
highly important part they took in this phase of helping to win the
war. Fully 50 per cent of the number of employees in our explosive
plants were women, who braved the dangers connected with this line of
work, to which they had been, of course, entirely unaccustomed, but
whose perils were not unknown to them.

In connection with the production of shell themselves, the American
Ordnance Department adopted certain changes of design which were not
only radically different from what we had known before the war but were
interesting for the way in which they were brought about and for the
results they accomplished.

The modern shell as we knew it before the war was simply a metal
cylinder cut off squarely at the base and roundly blunted at the nose.
The shell is zoned with a so-called rotating ring, a circular band of
copper which by engaging the rifling channels of the gun gives to the
shell the whirl that keeps it from tumbling over and over and thus
holds it accurately on its course in flight.

In the proof-firing of the 6-inch seacoast guns it was discovered that
their fire was none too accurate; and the American ordnance engineers
began studying the shell to see if the fault lay there. One of these
experts was Maj. F. R. Moulton, who before accepting a commission
in the Army had been professor of astronomy at the University of
Chicago. Maj. Moulton began a study of the 6-inch shell; and soon it
was discovered that the mathematics which could chart the orbits of
comets could also deal with the flight of projectiles, calculate the
influences of air resistance and gravitation, and eventually work out
new, scientific contours for offsetting these influences as much as

Maj. Moulton first dealt with the inaccuracy of our 6-inch shell.
He discovered the cause in the rotating band. Although but a slight
portion of this band was upraised above the surface of the shell's
circumference, yet the enormous force exerted upon the projectile
to start it from the gun actually caused the cold copper to "flow"
backward. The result was that when the shell emerged from the muzzle
of the gun it bore around its sides an entirely unsuspected and
undesirable flange. This flange not only shortened the range of the
shell by offering resistance to the air, but it was seldom uniform all
the way around, a condition giving rise to the idiosyncracies of our
6-inch shell as they were fired at the target.

The remedy for this was a redesigned rotating band, making it somewhat
thicker in front. The "flow" of the copper could thus be accommodated
without causing any detrimental distortion to the projectile. When this
improvement was made the 6-inch shell became as accurate as any.

But Maj. Moulton was to make an even greater contribution to the 6-inch
shell. This shell, like those of our other types, was square ended at
the base. Maj. Moulton in his new design tapered in the sides somewhat,
making the shell "boat ended." He elongated the nose, bringing it out
to a much sharper point. The result was the first American "streamline"
design for a shell. Shell of this new model were built experimentally
and tested. The 6-inch gun could fire its old shell 17,000 yards, while
the streamline shell went 4,000 or 5,000 yards farther--2 or 3 miles
added to the range of an already powerful weapon by the application of
brains and mathematics.


                              FIGURE 10.


                           MUZZLE VELOCITY.
           Type.         |    Date.   |        Feet per second.
                         |            |
  Early rifled guns      | 1863-1870  | ==== 1090
                         |            |
  Later rifled guns      | 1870-1893  | ===== 1466
                         |            |
  Early quick firers     | About 1900 | ====== 1695
                         |            |
  Modern quick firers    | 1914-1918  | ======= 1770
                         |            |
                          RANGE WITH SHRAPNEL.
                         |            |
  Smooth bores           | 1815-1850  | ===== 1257
                         |            |
  Early rifled guns      | 1863-1870  | ======= 2004
                         |            |
  Later rifled guns      | 1870-1893  | =============== 4120
                         |            |
  Early quick firers     | About 1900 | ======================= 6160
                         |            |
  Modern quick firers    | 1914-1918  | ======================== 6,500
                         |            |
                           RANGE WITH SHELL.
                         |            |
  Smooth bores           | 1815-1850  | === 1,670
                         |            |
  Early rifled guns      | 1863-1870  | ======== 3,965
                         |            |
  Later rifled guns      | 1870-1893  | ============ 6,168
                         |            |
  Early quick firers     | About 1900 | =============== 7,340
                         |            |
  Modern quick firers    | 1914-1918  | ================= 8,500
                         |            |
  With streamline shell  | 1918-19    | ======================== 12,130
                         |            |

    The limiting factor in the development of light field guns has
    always been the continuous hauling power of 6 horses, which is
    about 4,000 pounds. The gun has been as powerful as possible
    within the limits of this weight, which includes the carriage
    and limber as well as the cannon itself. Improved technique and
    materials have reduced the necessary weight of the cannon from
    1,650 pounds in 1815 to about 800 pounds to-day, permitting the
    use of weight for recoil mechanism and shield of armor plate
    without exceeding the limit.

    The 800-pound nickel-steel gun of 1918 fires as heavy a
    projectile (12-15 pounds) as the 1,650-pound bronze gun of the
    Napoleonic wars. The improved material permits a more powerful
    propellant charge, which results in greater muzzle velocity,
    a flatter trajectory, and longer maximum range. The latter is
    due in part also to improved shapes of projectiles and the
    introduction of rifling. The efficiency of artillery is further
    increased by the introduction of high-explosive bursting
    charge. The modern 75-millimeter shell contains about 1.76
    pounds of high explosive as against about 0.5 pound of black
    powder in shell prior to 1893.]

The French were experimenting with streamline shell. We adopted the
French streamline 75-millimeter shell and put it into production,
calling it our Mark IV shell. Our regular 75-millimeter shell, known
as the Mark I 1900 shell, had a maximum range of 9,000 yards. The
Mark IV shell proved to have a maximum range of 12,130 yards, giving
an increase in range of well over a mile. America up to April 3, 1919,
turned out about 524,000 of these streamline shell.

The French also built shell of semisteel, steel to which iron was
added. It was claimed that these shell, by bursting into fine fragments
upon exploding, were more effective against troops than all-steel
shell, because the fragments of the latter were larger. We adopted
this shell also and produced it experimentally. In contour it was a
compromise between the old cylindrical shell and the extreme streamline
type and was easier to make than the latter.

     _Artillery ammunition, complete rounds--Acceptances in United
             States and Canada on U. S. Army orders only._

                   [Figures in thousands of rounds.]

                            |  To  |                  1918
                            | Jan. +------+------+------+------+------+------
                            |  1.  | Jan. | Feb. | Mar. | Apr. | May. | June.
  _Calibers for American    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
      Expeditionary Force   |      |      |      |      |      |      |
      program._             |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                            |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  75-mm. gun H. E.          |      |      |      |      |      |      |  235
  75-mm. gun shrapnel       |    20|  121 |  124 |  483 |  888 |1,011 |1,049
  75-mm. gun gas            |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  75-mm. A. A. shrapnel     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  3-inch A. A. shrapnel     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  4.7-inch gun H. E.        |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  4.7-inch gun, shrapnel    |     9|    9 |   14 |   17 |   18 |   23 |   35
  5-inch S. C. gun H. E.    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  6-inch S. C. gun H. E.    |      |      |      |      |      |      |    2
  155-mm. gun H. E.[21]     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  155-mm. howitzer H. E.[21]|      |      |      |      |      |      |
  155-mm. shrapnel          |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  8-inch howitzer H. E.     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  9.2-inch howitzer H. E.   |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  240-mm. howitzer H. E.    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  8-inch S. C. gun H. E.    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  10-inch S. C. gun H. E.   |      |      |      |      |      |      |
        Total          |[22]29|[22]130|[22]138|[22]500|[22]906|[22]1,034|1,321
  _Calibers for use in      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
   United States only._     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                            |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  2.95-inch mountain gun    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
    H. E.                   |    22|      |      |      |      |      |
  2.95-inch mountain gun    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
    shrapnel                |    37|      |      |      |      |      |
  3-inch F. G. H. E.        |   333|   73 |  212 |  142 |  128 |   95 |    3
  3-inch F. G. shrapnel     |   957|  164 |  231 |  174 |   55 |   60 |   15
  3.8-inch howitzer H. E.   |     3|    3 |    2 |    2 |    1 |      |
  3.8-inch howitzer shrapnel|    12|    1 |      |      |      |      |
  4.7-inch howitzer H. E.   |    14|    4 |      |      |    5 |    1 |    1
  4.7-inch howitzer shrapnel|      |      |      |      |      |    4 |
  6-inch howitzer H. E.     |    20|    1 |    3 |   24 |   35 |      |
  6-inch howitzer shrapnel  |      |      |      |      |      |      |    1
        Total               | 1,398|  246 |  448 |  342 |  224 |  160 |   20
        Grand total         | 1,427|  376 |  586 |  842 |1,130 |1,194 |1,341

                            |                   1918
                            | July |  Aug.| Sept.|  Oct.|  Nov.|  Dec.|
  _Calibers for American    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
      Expeditionary Force   |      |      |      |      |      |      |
      program._             |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                            |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  75-mm. gun H. E.          |  287 |  809 |1,168 | 1,122| 1,175|  790 | 5,586
  75-mm. gun shrapnel       |  730 |  732 |  802 |1,057 |   812|  738 | 8,567
  75-mm. gun gas            |      |  188 |  164 |  213 |   15 |      |   580
  75-mm. A. A. shrapnel     |      |   92 |   97 |  185 |  134 |  126 |   634
  3-inch A. A. shrapnel     |      |      |      |   11 |   59 |    2 |    72
  4.7-inch gun H. E.        |      |      |   32 |   45 |   43 |   46 |   166
  4.7-inch gun, shrapnel    |   23 |   38 |   29 |   28 |   15 |   19 |   277
  5-inch S. C. gun H. E.    |      |      |    7 |      |      |    5 |    12
  6-inch S. C. gun H. E.    |      |      |    1 |   36 |   23 |      |    62
  155-mm. gun H. E.[21]     |      |      |      |    9 |   33 |   51 |    98
  155-mm. howitzer H. E.[21]|   11 |  113 |  193 |  119 |  173 |  140 |   749
  155-mm. shrapnel          |      |   12 |   22 |   66 |   41 |   93 |   234
  8-inch howitzer H. E.     |      |      |      |   91 |    8 |      |    99
  9.2-inch howitzer H. E.   |      |      |   13 |    8 |   24 |    3 |    48
  240-mm. howitzer H. E.    |      |      |      |    2 |      |      |     2
  8-inch S. C. gun H. E.    |      |      |      |   20 |   11 |      |    31
  10-inch S. C. gun H. E.   |      |      |   20 |   50 |    4 |   11 |    85
        Total               |1,051 |1,984 |2,548 |3,062 |2,570 |2,024 |17,297
  _Calibers for use in      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
   United States only._     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                            |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  2.95-inch mountain gun    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
    H. E.                   |      |      |      |      |      |      |    22
  2.95-inch mountain gun    |      |      |      |      |      |      |
    shrapnel                |    9 |   14 |    2 |      |      |      |    62
  3-inch F. G. H. E.        |    1 |   84 |      |      |      |      | 1,071
  3-inch F. G. shrapnel     |      |      |      |      |      |      | 1,656
  3.8-inch howitzer H. E.   |      |      |      |      |      |      |    11
  3.8-inch howitzer shrapnel|      |      |      |      |      |      |    13
  4.7-inch howitzer H. E.   |    1 |    1 |      |      |   12 |      |    39
  4.7-inch howitzer shrapnel|   23 |    5 |    8 |   10 |   10 |      |    60
  6-inch howitzer H. E.     |      |      |      |      |      |      |    83
  6-inch howitzer shrapnel  |      |    3 |      |      |      |      |     4
        Total               |   34 |  107 |   10 |   10 |   22 |      | 3,021
        Grand total         |1,085 |2,091 |2,558 |1,072 |2,592 |2,024 |20,318

[21] All thick walled type; not all supplied with fuses.

[22] Shrapnel only.

The following table lists the name of each manufacturer of the various
types and sizes of shell for big guns and states the quantity turned
out by each:

                                   |     Forgings.      |    Machinings.
                                   | Quantity | Quantity| Quantity| Quantity
             Contractor.           | ordered  | accepted| ordered | accepted
                                   |    to    |    to   |    to   |    to
                                   |  Nov. 1, |  Nov. 1,|  Nov. 1,|  Nov. 1,
                                   |   1918.  |   1918. |   1918. |   1918.
       _3-inch antiaircraft        |          |         |         |
      high-explosive shell._       |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Hydraulic Pressed Steel Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 | 1,938,806|  135,435|         |
  John Inglis Co.,                 |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |   500,000|  131,542|         |
  Saskatchewan Bridge & Iron Works,|          |         |         |
   Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan         |          |         |   84,000|
  West Shell & Box Co.,            |          |         |         |
   North Edmonton, Alberta         |          |         |   83,000|
  Manitoba B. & I. Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Winnipeg, Manitoba              |          |         |   83,000|
  Medicine Hat P. & B. Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Medicine Hat, Alberta           |          |         |   83,000|
  Dominion Bridge Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Winnipeg, Manitoba              |          |         |   84,000|
  Salisbury Wheel & Axle Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Jamestown, N. Y.                |          |         |  500,000|    1,097
                                   |          |         |         |
   _3-inch antiaircraft shrapnel._ |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Symington Machine Corporation,   |          |         |         |
   Rochester, N. Y.                | 1,052,099|1,013,199|1,000,000|1,000,000
                                   |          |         |         |
     _75-millimeter antiaircraft   |          |         |         |
       high-explosive shell._      |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Moline Forge Co., Moline, Ill.   |   939,866|  540,532|         |
  Jackson Munitions, Jackson, Mich.|   225,000|         |         |
  Spencer Engine Co., Toledo, Ohio |   500,000|   28,293|         |
  Chamberlain Machine Works,       |          |         |         |
   Waterloo, Iowa                  |   365,000|   23,669|         |
                                   |          |         |         |
     _75-millimeter antiaircraft   |          |         |         |
             shrapnel._            |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Symington Manufacturing Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Rochester, N. Y.                |   672,625|  672,625|  672,625|  672,625
                                   |          |         |         |
       _75-millimeter gas and      |          |         |         |
       high-explosive shell._      |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  T. A. Gillespie, Parlin, N. J.   | 1,400,000|1,400,000|1,400,000|1,977,149
  American International           |          |         |         |
   Corporation, New York City      | 3,000,000|2,433,438|         |
  American Can Co., New York City  | 7,000,000|2,563,151|4,000,000|  399,728
  Hydraulic Pressed Steel Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |12,000,000|4,455,090|         |
  Valley Forge Co., Verona, Pa.    | 4,000,000|  880,263|         |
  New York Air Brake Co.,          |          |         |         |
   New York City                   | 2,000,000|  192,774|1,300,000|   17,652
  Worthington Pump Machine Co.,    |          |         |         |
   New York City                   | 2,650,000|1,473,929|2,660,000|  634,159
  The Canadian Allis-Chalmers Co., |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                | 2,267,062|1,802,117|      435|  140,647
  Canada Car & Foundry Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                | 1,656,302|1,592,877|         |
  A. P. Smith Co., Orange, N. J.   |          |         |  125,000|
  S. A. Wood Manufacturing Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Boston, Mass.                   |          |         |1,500,000|  405,344
  Vermont Farm Machine Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Bellows Falls, Vt.              |          |         |  750,000|  188,300
  American Machinery Corporation,  |          |         |         |
   Port Huron, Mich.               |          |         |  200,000|
  Consolidated Car Heating Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Albany, N. Y.                   |          |         |  810,000|  181,885
  Wire Wheel Corporation,          |          |         |         |
   Springfield, Mass.              |          |         |  300,000|   71,239
  The Canadian Crocker Wheeler,    |          |         |         |
   St. Catherines, Ontario         |          |         |  475,000|  160,935
  Lachine Manufacturing Co.,       |          |         |         |
   Lachine, Quebec                 |          |         |  660,000|  255,264
  The Electric Steel & Metal Co.,  |          |         |         |
   Welland, Ontario                |          |         |   11,458|   11,458
  J. Bertram & Co., Dundas, Ontario|          |         |  100,000|   51,141
  Canadian Fairbanks Morse, Toronto|          |         |1,584,548|1,377,800
  W. H. Banfield & Sons, Toronto   |          |         |1,620,000|  670,000
  Canadian Bridge Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Walkerville, Ontario            |          |         |1,450,000|  456,993
  Canadian Metal Co., Toronto      | 3,250,000|1,154,371|         |
  Goldie & McCullough,             |          |         |         |
   Galt, Ontario                   | 1,100,000|  921,206|  410,000|   61,476
  John Inglis Co., Toronto         | 1,700,000|  775,033|   75,000|   42,400
  Cluff Ammunition Co., Toronto    |   600,000|  509,343|         |
  G. W. McFarland Engineering Co., |          |         |         |
   Paris, Ontario                  | 1,500,000|  285,335|         |
  Dayton, Ohio, Products Co.,      |          |         |         |
   New York City                   | 3,500,000|  732,842|         |
  E. W. Bliss Co., Brooklyn, N. Y. | 1,300,000|  701,804|         |
  Lymburner (Ltd.) Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |   800,000|  630,978|2,474,000|1,126,556
  Moline Forging & Machining Co.,  |          |         |         |
   Moline, Ill.                    | 1,500,000|  471,281|         |
  Laconia Car Co., Laconia, N. H.  |   550,000|         |         |
  Symington Machine Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Rochester, N. Y.                | 4,025,000|         |6,025,000|1,200,686
  Roberts Filter Co., Darby, Pa.   |          |         |  600,000|  151,975
  Auto Transportation Co.,         |          |         |         |
   Buffalo, N. Y.                  |          |         |  350,000|  107,441
  Dominion Bridge Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |          |         |  795,000|  301,144
  Canadian Ingersoll Rand Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Sherbrooke, Quebec              |          |         |1,100,000|  290,431
  Steel Co. of Canada,             |          |         |         |
   Brantford, Ontario              |          |         |  515,000|  162,399
  Allis-Chalmers Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Milwaukee, Wis.                 |          |         |1,520,000|  347,635
  Jackson Munitions, Jackson, Mich.|          |         |  775,000|   67,570
  Maxwell Motor Co., Detroit, Mich.|          |         |  800,000|   61,761
  Batavia Steel Products,          |          |         |         |
   Batavia, N. Y.                  |          |         |1,175,000|  311,417
  Wheeling Mold & Foundry,         |          |         |         |
   Wheeling, W. Va.                |          |         |  500,000|  118,496
  Eddystone Munitions,             |          |         |         |
   Eddystone, Pa.                  |          |         |1,000,000|  190,100
  Lachine Manufacturing Co.,       |          |         |         |
   Lachine, Quebec                 |          |         |         |
  The International Clay & Machine,|          |         |         |
   Dayton, Ohio                    |          |         |  124,000|    3,812
  Smead & Co.,                     |          |         |         |
   Jersey City, N. J.              |          |         |1,100,000|  246,841
  Manufacturing Production Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Dayton, Ohio                    |          |         |1,600,000|  340,885
  Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |          |         |  250,000|  132,321
  Mueller Manufacturing Co.,       |          |         |         |
   Port Huron, Mich.               |          |         |  500,000|   78,300
  The Westfield Manufacturing Co., |          |         |         |
   Westfield, Mass.                |          |         |1,740,000|  413,578
  The Platt Iron Works,            |          |         |         |
   Dayton, Ohio                    |          |         |1,600,000|  170,312
  The Mueller Metal Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Wayne, Mich.                    |          |         |  750,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
      _75-millimeter field-gun     |          |         |         |
             shrapnel._            |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  American Can Co., New York City  |   969,039|  969,039|  904,067|  904,067
  Eddystone Munitions Co.,         |          |         |         |
   Eddystone, Pa.                  |   769,961|  769,961|  750,000|  750,000
  Bartlett-Hayward Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Baltimore, Md.                  | 6,565,519|4,272,900|6,200,000|3,492,863
  Symington Machine Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Rochester, N. Y.                | 5,459,378|4,868,942|8,375,000|3,329,025
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   650,000|    4,713|  750,000|    4,713
  Laconia Car Co., Laconia, N. H.  |   450,000|  369,483|         |
  Bossert Corporation, Utica, N. Y.|   200,000|         |         |
  Hydraulic Pressed Steel Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 | 2,285,000|   10,000|         |
  Canada Forge Co.,                |          |         |         |
   Welland, Ontario                |   730,000|         |         |
  The Liberty Ordnance Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Bridgeport, Conn.               | 1,000,000|   27,000|         |
                                   |          |         |         |
     _155-millimeter howitzer      |          |         |         |
       high-explosive shell,       |          |         |         |
         Mark I, type B._          |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Whittaker Glessner,              |          |         |         |
   Portsmouth, Ohio                |   130,000|  137,406|         |
  American Rolling Mills,          |          |         |         |
   Middletown, Ohio                |   100,000|   49,785|         |
  Pressed Steel Car Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh Pa.                  |   600,000|  552,867|         |
  American Car & Foundry Co.,      |          |         |         |
   New York City                   | 2,800,000|1,110,964|         |
  New York Air Brake Co.,          |          |         |         |
   New York City                   |   350,000|    1,158|  138,316|
  Wm. Wharton Manufacturing Co.,   |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   280,000|   61,224|         |
  Standard Steel Car Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |   450,000|         |         |
  Standard Forging Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |    21,141|         |         |
  Curtis & Co., Manufacturing Co., |          |         |         |
   St. Louis, Mo.                  |   500,000|  404,645|         |
  American Steel Foundry Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |   412,042|  412,042|         |
  Midvale Steel & Ordnance Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   130,000|  130,000|         |
  Detroit Shell Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Detroit, Mich.                  |          |         |  500,000|   45,563
  J. J. Cavrick, Batavia, N. Y.    |          |         |  300,000|   92,974
  Standard Sanitary Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |          |         |  600,000|   94,409
  Potter & Johnson,                |          |         |         |
   Pawtucket, R. I.                |          |         |  175,000|
  North American Motor Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Pottstown, Pa.                  |          |         |   30,000|   29,446
  Minneapolis Steel & Machine Co., |          |         |         |
   Minneapolis, Minn.              |          |         |  400,000|  245,344
  W. J. Oliver Manufacturing Co.,  |          |         |         |
   Knoxville, Tenn.                |          |         |  130,000|   88,662
  Twin City Forge & Foundry Co.,   |          |         |         |
   Stillwater, Minn.               |          |         |  600,000|   54,483
  Winslow Bros. Co., Chicago, Ill. |          |         |  600,000|  176,081
  American Brake Shoe & Foundry    |          |         |         |
   Co., New York City              |          |         |  750,000|  184,697
  American Clay & Machine Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Bucyrus, Ohio                   |          |         |  700,000|
  Elyria Machine Co., Elyria, Ohio |          |         |  100,000|   32,139
  American Machine & Manufacturing |          |         |         |
   Co., Atlanta, Ga.               |          |         |  240,000|   75,063
  Haroun Motor Corporation,        |          |         |         |
   Wayne, Mich.                    |          |         |  200,000|   23,899
  Wagner Electric Manufacturing    |          |         |         |
   Co., St. Louis, Mo.             |          |         |  300,000|   12,569
                                   |          |         |         |
     _155-millimeter howitzer      |          |         |         |
       high-explosive shell,       |          |         |         |
         Mark IV, type D._         |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  National Tube Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |   800,000|   48,263|         |
  P. Lyall & Sons,                 |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |   400,000|    4,774|  150,000|    2,559
  National Iron Works,             |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |   400,000|    9,137|         |
  Dominion Steel Foundry,          |          |         |         |
   Hamilton, Ontario               |   400,000|   23,270|         |
  Studebaker Corporation,          |          |         |         |
   Detroit, Mich.                  |   800,000|         |  800,000|
  Fairfax Forge Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |   400,000|         |  150,000|
  Pressed Steel Car Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 | 1,000,000|   15,122|         |
  Cleveland Crane Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Wickliffe, Ohio                 |   500,000|         |         |
  Bethlehem Steel Co.,             |          |         |         |
   South Bethlehem, Pa.            |   600,000|  139,103|         |
  G. W. McFarland, Paris, Ontario  |   370,000|      521|         |
  LaClede Gas Light Co.,           |          |         |         |
   St. Louis, Mo.                  |   850,000|         |  850,000|
  Standard Forging Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |   500,000|         |         |
  Whittaker Glessner Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Portsmouth, Ohio                |   900,000|   31,909|         |
  Curtis & Co., St. Louis, Mo.     |   130,000|         |         |
  Warden King & Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |   180,000|         |         |
  John Inglis Co.,                 |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |   400,000|         |         |
  Canada Iron Foundry Co.,         |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |   100,000|         |  100,000|
  Cluff Ammunition Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |   500,000|         |         |
  Taylor Forbes (Ltd.),            |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |    90,000|         |         |
  Moon Motor Co., St. Louis, Mo.   |          |         |  200,000|
  Standard Sanitary,               |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |          |         |  150,000|
  Holden Morgan Thread Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |          |         |  100,000|
  E. Leonard & Sons,               |          |         |         |
   London, Ontario                 |          |         |   80,000|
  Otis Fenson Elevator Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Hamilton, Ontario               |          |         |  200,000|
  Dominion Copper Products,        |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |          |         |  150,000|    2,056
  Caron Bros., Montreal, Quebec    |          |         |  125,000|      235
  Potter & Johnson,                |          |         |         |
   Pawtucket, R. I.                |          |         |  350,000|
  Biscoe Motor, Jackson, Mich.     |          |         |  325,000|
  Hudson Motor, Detroit, Mich.     |          |         |  400,000|
  Munition & M. N. (Ltd.), Sorel   |          |         |   50,000|
  John Bartram Sons,               |          |         |         |
   Dundas, Ontario                 |          |         |  450,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
      _155-millimeter howitzer     |          |         |         |
            gas shell._            |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  American Rolling Mills,          |          |         |         |
   Middletown, Ohio                |   500,000|  492,399|         |
  Midvale Steel & Ordnance Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   120,000|   96,799|         |
  American Radiator Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Washington, D. C.               |   625,000|      500|  416,667|
  Wilson Foundry & Machine Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Pontiac, Mich.                  |   400,000|         |  300,000|
  Rathbone Sard & Co., Aurora, Ill.|   600,000|         |  400,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
       _155-millimeter gun         |          |         |         |
      high-explosive shell,        |          |         |         |
       Mark III, type B._          |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Standard Steel Car Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 | 1,000,000|  568,092|1,000,000|  431,238
  Whittaker Glessner Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Portsmouth, Ohio                |   350,471|  350,471|         |
  Standard Forging Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Indiana Harbor, Ind.            |   800,000|  730,950|         |
  Mead Morris & Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Gloucester, Mass.               |   300,000|    2,056|         |
  Twin City Forge & Foundry Co.,   |          |         |         |
   Stillwater, Minn.               |   425,000|  136,053|         |
  Chicago Rlg. Equipment Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |   400,000|   23,356|         |
  Minneapolis Steel & Machine Co., |          |         |         |
   Minneapolis, Minn.              |          |         |  200,000|   41,254
  International Arms & Fuse,       |          |         |         |
   Bloomfleld, N. J.               |          |         |  500,000|  310,130
  North American Motors,           |          |         |         |
   Pottstown, Pa.                  |          |         |   70,000|
  Potter & Johnson,                |          |         |         |
   Pawtucket, R. I.                |          |         |  100,000|   73,836
  Templer Motor Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |          |         |  450,000|   45,014
  New York Air Brake Co.,          |          |         |         |
   New York City                   |          |         |  211,684|
  Jackson Munitions, Jackson, Mich.|          |         |  177,500|   25,981
  Pullman Co., Pullman, Ill.       |          |         |  300,000|
  New Home Sewing Machine Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Orange, Mass.                   |          |         |  200,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
       _155-millimeter gun         |          |         |         |
      high-explosive shell,        |          |         |         |
        Mark V, type D._           |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Symington Chicago Corporation,   |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   | 1,000,000|         |  805,000|
  American Rolling Mills,          |          |         |         |
   Middletown, Ohio                |   755,000|   36,161|         |
  Milton Manufacturing Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Milton, Pa.                     |    10,000|         |         |
  Whittaker Glessner Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Portsmouth, Ohio                |   750,000|         |         |
  Dominion Foundry & Steel Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Hamilton, Ontario               |   500,000|         |         |
  Winslow Bros., Chicago, Ill.     |          |         |  400,000|
  Grant Motor Car Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |          |         |  260,000|
  Cribbon Sexton Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |          |         |  200,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
   _155-millimeter gun gas shell._ |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Bethlehem Steel Co.,             |          |         |         |
   South Bethlehem, Pa.            |   100,000|   92,430|         |
  Kohler Co., Kohler, Wis.         |   850,000|      100|  657,000|      100
  American Radiator Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Washington, D. C.               |   125,000|         |   83,333|
  Whittaker Glessner Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Portsmouth, Ohio                |     5,000|    5,000|         |
  American Car & Foundry Co.,      |          |         |         |
   New York City                   |          |         |1,350,000|   63,914
                                   |          |         |         |
      _155-millimeter gun and      |          |         |         |
        howitzer shrapnel._        |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Dayton, Ohio, Production Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Dayton, Ohio                    |   850,000|  131,329|         |
  Wm. Wharton, jr.,                |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   540,947|  345,457|         |
  Bartlett-Hayward Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Baltimore, Md.                  |   200,000|         |1,600,000|  135,590
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   100,000|         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
     _3.8-inch howitzer shell._    |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |     1,000|    1,000|   15,928|   11,757
  Hydraulic Pressed Steel Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |   105,000|         |         |
  F. R. Wilford & Co.              |   105,000|         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
    _3.8-inch howitzer shrapnel._  |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |    18,522|   14,264|   43,522|   14,264
  Hydraulic Pressed Steel Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |    35,000|         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
         _4.72-inch shell._        |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  National Tube Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Christie Pks. Works             |    12,500|    5,614|         |
  United States Government         |     1,850|    1,850|    1,850|    1,850
  Buffalo Pitts Co., Buffalo, N. Y.|          |         |   12,705|
  Twin City Forge,                 |          |         |         |
   Stillwater, Minn.               |          |         |    2,500|
                                   |          |         |         |
   _4.7-inch antiaircraft shell._  |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  National Tube Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Christie Pks. Works             |   230,000|  188,495|         |
  Maritime Manufacturing Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |          |         |  100,000|
  Spartan Manufacturing Co.,       |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |          |         |   46,000|   45,159
  Darling Bros., Montreal, Quebec  |          |         |   42,500|   15,060
  Alberta Foundry & Machinery Co., |          |         |         |
   Alberta                         |          |         |   42,500|    6,170
                                   |          |         |         |
  _4.7-inch antiaircraft shrapnel._|          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  The E. W. Bliss Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Brooklyn, N. Y.                 |    10,000|         |         |
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |    60,000|         |   60,000|
  National Tube Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Christie Pks. Works             |   100,000|   42,840|         |
  Alberta Foundry & Machinery Co., |          |         |         |
   Alberta                         |          |         |   42,500|
                                   |          |         |         |
    _4.7-inch drill projectile._   |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Grand Rapids Brass Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Grand Rapids, Mich.             |     2,975|      404|    2,975|      405
                                   |          |         |         |
      _4.7-inch gun gas shell._    |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Milton Manufacturing Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Milton, Pa.                     |   400,000|  194,612|  400,000|   92,342
  American Radiator Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Buffalo, N. Y.                  |          |         |  189,360|
                                   |          |         |         |
      _4.7-inch gun shrapnel._     |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |    22,897|   22,440|   22,897|   22,440
  Bartlett-Hayward Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Baltimore, Md.                  |   312,005|  327,183|  701,500|  306,635
  National Tube Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Christie Pks. Works             |   754,777|  338,507|         |
  Metal Production Co., Beaver, Pa.|          |         |  150,000|   11,264
                                   |          |         |         |
     _4.7-inch howitzer shell._    |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |    87,833|   26,614|   87,833|   26,614
                                   |          |         |         |
    _4.7-inch howitzer shrapnel._  |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Bartlett-Hayward, Baltimore, Md. |    46,115|   46,294|   40,000|   40,000
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |    79,865|   19,999|   79,865|   20,379
                                   |          |         |         |
          _4.7-inch gun            |          |         |         |
      high-explosive shell._       |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  National Tube Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Christie Pks. Works             | 1,284,848|  908,543|         |
  Allegheny Steel Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |   900,000|  435,978|         |
  The E. W. Bliss Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Brooklyn, N. Y.                 |    10,000|         |         |
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |    40,286|   12,047|   40,286|   12,047
  Milton Manufacturing Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Milton, Pa.                     |   700,000|  351,731|  700,000|  285,000
  Hydraulic Pressed Steel Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |   200,000|         |         |
  Darling Bros., Montreal, Quebec  |          |         |   65,000|
  Spartan Machine Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |          |         |  165,000|
  Robb Engineering Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Amherst, N. J.                  |          |         |   95,000|    3,720
  Motor Trucks Co.,                |          |         |         |
   Brantford, Ontario              |          |         |  205,000|   11,083
  P. Lyall & Sons, Montreal, Quebec|          |         |  845,000|  318,578
  Steel Products Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Huntington, W. Va.              |          |         |  100,000|    9,023
  Armstrong Ck. Co., Lancaster, Pa.|          |         |  475,000|   20,238
  Campbell Howard Machine Co.,     |          |         |         |
   Sherbrooke, Quebec              |          |         |  350,000|
  Thurlow Steel Works, Chester, Pa.|          |         |  136,500|   35,116
  Bell Manufacturing Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Fairmount, Ind.                 |          |         |   75,000|    5,289
  Buffalo Pitts Co., Buffalo, N. Y.|          |         |  350,000|   70,975
  Indiana Fiber Co., Marion, Ind.  |          |         |   75,000|   12,520
  Canadian Westinghouse Co.,       |          |         |         |
   Hamilton, Ontario               |          |         |  300,000|   94,156
  Ry. Ind. Engineering Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Greensburg, Pa.                 |          |         |  100,000|   34,347
  Sherbrooke Ironworks, Sherbrooke |          |         |   60,000|   14,026
  Bridgeport Project Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Bridgeport, Conn.               |          |         |   20,000|   16,802
  American & British Manufacturing |          |         |         |
   Co., Bridgeport, Conn.          |          |         |   87,319|   57,932
  Maritime Manufacturing Co.,      |          |         |         |
   St. Johns, New Brunswick        |          |         |  100,000|
  Alberta Foundry & Machinery Co., |          |         |         |
   Alberta                         |          |         |   50,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
      _8-inch gun and howitzer     |          |         |         |
   high-explosive and gas shell._  |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Carnegie Steel Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |   561,548|  210,171|         |
  Root & Vandervoort Engineering   |          |         |         |
   Co., East Moline, Ill.          |    40,000|   40,928|  190,000|  144,815
  Wagner Electrical & Manufacturing|          |         |         |
   Co., St. Louis, Mo.             |    40,000|   40,000|  170,000|   48,586
  McMyler Interstate Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |   500,000|  263,674|  450,000|  238,470
  Pollak Steel Co., New York City  |   100,000|         |         |
  Curtis & Co., St. Louis, Mo.     |   295,000|  167,202|         |
  Midvale Steel & Ordnance Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   140,000|  135,176|         |
  Standard Steel Car Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Butler, Pa.                     |   100,000|    6,072|         |
  Pressed Steel Car Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |   250,000|         |         |
  Westinghouse Electric &          |          |         |         |
   Manufacturing Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |          |         |  360,000|  166,803
  Willys Overland Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Toledo, Ohio                    |          |         |  600,000|
  Motor Products Corporation,      |          |         |         |
   Detroit, Mich.                  |          |         |  100,000|
  British War Mission, Munsey      |          |         |         |
    Building, Washington, D. C.    |   101,817|  100,277|         |
  Imperial Munitions Board, Ottawa |     8,612|    7,722|         |
  Pollak Steel Co., New York City  |    75,000|   22,681|         |
  American Steel Foundry Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |   570,000|  247,649|         |
  Dominion Steel Foundry Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Hamilton, Ontario               |   100,000|   91,191|         |
  Canada Cement Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |   150,000|   22,304|  650,000|    4,700
  British Forgings (Ltd.),         |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |   275,000|   24,933|         |
  Dominion Bridge Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Montreal, Quebec                |   150,000|   55,324|         |
  Standard Forging Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |   300,000|   38,659|         |
  Pressed Steel Car Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |   250,000|   85,750|         |
  Wm. Wharton, jr., & Co.,         |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |   125,000|         |         |
  Dominion Foundries & Co. (Ltd.), |          |         |         |
   Hamilton, Ontario               |   250,000|   10,746|         |
  American Brake Shoe & Foundry    |          |         |         |
   Co., New York City              |          |         |  250,000|  197,250
  Maritime Manufacturing           |          |         |         |
   Corporation, St. John,          |          |         |         |
   New Brunswick                   |          |         |  460,000|   26,000
                                   |          |         |         |
        _9.2-inch howitzer         |          |         |         |
       high-explosive shell._      |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Russell Motor Car Co.,           |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |          |         |  335,000|   15,049
  St. Lawrence Bridge Co., Montreal|          |         |  335,000|   31,880
  United States Ammunition         |          |         |         |
   Corporation, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.|          |         |  250,000|    6,486
  Fisher Motor Co., Orilla, Ontario|          |         |  180,000|      100
  Canadian Bridge Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Walkersville, Ontario           |          |         |  110,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
          _240-millimeter          |          |         |         |
       high-explosive shell._      |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Carnegie Steel Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |   190,000|   92,316|         |
  Curtis & Co. Manufacturing Co.,  |          |         |         |
   St. Louis, Mo.                  |   275,000|  174,174|         |
  American Car & Foundry Co.,      |          |         |         |
   New York City                   |    90,000|         |  400,000|   47,953
  American Steel Foundries Co.,    |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |    80,000|    3,277|         |
  Scullin Steel Co., St. Louis, Mo.|   350,000|         |         |
  A. F. Smith Manufacturing Co.,   |          |         |         |
   East Orange, N. J.              |          |         |   25,000|
  Motors Truck (Ltd.),             |          |         |         |
   Brantford, Ontario              |          |         |  125,000|
  Laclede Gas Light Co.,           |          |         |         |
   St. Louis, Mo.                  |          |         |  526,014|
                                   |          |         |         |
    _5-inch seacoast gun shell._   |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Cleveland Crane & Engineering    |          |         |         |
   Co., Wickliffe, Ohio            |   244,812|  122,324|         |
  McMyler Interstate Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |     5,000|    5,107|         |
  Milton Manufacturing Co.,        |          |         |         |
   Milton, Pa.                     |    30,000|   29,121|         |
  Machine Products Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Cleveland, Ohio                 |          |         |   75,000|   21,532
  A. J. Vance & Co.,               |          |         |         |
   Winston-Salem, N. C.            |          |         |   40,000|    1,578
  Twin City & Foundry Co.,         |          |         |         |
   Stillwater, Minn.               |          |         |      400|
  A. B. Ormsby Co. (Ltd.),         |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |          |         |   50,000|   10,029
  P. Tyrall Construction Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Montreal                        |          |         |  105,000|   38,385
                                   |          |         |         |
    _6-inch seacoast gun shell._   |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Frankford Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Philadelphia, Pa.               |    40,950|   25,957|   40,950|   25,957
  Bethlehem Steel Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Bethlehem, Pa.                  |    16,000|   22,053|   16,000|   15,910
  Columbian Iron Works,            |          |         |         |
   Chattanooga, Tenn.              |    40,000|   40,346|  132,542|  149,281
  The Pressed Steel Car Co.,       |          |         |         |
   McKeesport, Pa.                 |   385,000|  370,677|         |
  Standard Steel Car Co.,          |          |         |         |
   Hammond, Ind.                   |   400,000|  376,827|         |
  Anniston Steel Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Anniston, Ala.                  |   243,812|         |         |
  Westinghouse Electric            |          |         |         |
   Manufacturing Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |    35,000|   31,310|  385,000|  192,684
  Wm. Wharton, jr., Easton, Pa.    |    24,000|         |         |
  The Southern Machinery Co.,      |          |         |         |
   Chattanooga, Tenn.              |          |         |  447,458|   19,537
                                   |          |         |         |
    _10-inch seacoast gun shell._  |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  American Car & Foundry Co.,      |          |         |         |
   New York City                   |    24,360|   24,360|  275,000|  130,040
  Carnegie Steel Co.,              |          |         |         |
   Pittsburgh, Pa.                 |    60,000|   61,770|         |
  Carnegie Steel Co., Munhall, Pa. |   225,000|  137,168|         |
                                   |          |         |         |
    _12-inch seacoast gun shell._  |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Carnegie Steel Co.,              |          |         |         |
   McKees Rocks, Pa.               |   165,000|    7,627|         |
  Watertown Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Watertown, Mass.                |    15,000|    1,449|         |
  Washington Steel & Ordnance Co., |          |         |         |
   Giesboro Manor, D. C.           |    28,631|    6,129|   38,000|    1,907
  Leaside Munitions Corporation,   |          |         |         |
   Toronto, Ontario                |   105,000|         |  105,000|
  Standard Forging Co.,            |          |         |         |
   Chicago, Ill.                   |    15,000|         |         |
  Bethlehem Steel Co.,             |          |         |         |
   Bethlehem, Pa.                  |    32,000|         |         |
  American Clay Machine Co.,       |          |         |         |
   Bucyrus, Ohio                   |          |         |   15,000|
                                   |          |         |         |
    _14-inch seacoast gun shell._  |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Carnegie Steel Co.,              |          |         |         |
   McKees Rocks, Pa.               |    10,000|      220|         |
  Watertown Arsenal,               |          |         |         |
   Watertown, Mass.                |     9,000|         |         |
  Washington Steel & Ordnance Co., |          |         |         |
   Washington, D. C.               |          |         |       80|
                                   |          |         |         |
         _16-inch seacoast         |          |         |         |
          howitzer shell._         |          |         |         |
                                   |          |         |         |
  Washington Steel & Ordnance Co., |          |         |         |
   Washington, D. C.               |       140|         |      140|



At the threshold of the war with Germany we were confronted with the
problem of providing on a large scale those instruments of precision
with which modern artillerists point their weapons. As mysterious to
the average man as the sextant and other instruments which help the
navigator to bring his ship unerringly to port over leagues of pathless
water, or as those devices with which the surveyor strikes a level
through a range of mountains, are the instruments which enable the
gunner to drop a heavy projectile exactly on his target without seeing
it at all.

The old days of sighting a cannon point-blank at the visible enemy
over the open sights on the barrel of the weapon passed with the Civil
War. As the power of guns increased and their ranges lengthened, the
artillerists began firing at objects actually below the horizon or
hidden by intervening obstacles. These conditions necessarily brought
in the method of mathematical aim which is known as indirect fire.

In the great war indirect firing was so perfected that within a few
seconds after an aviator or an observer in a captive balloon had
definitely located an enemy battery, that battery was deluged with
an avalanche of high-explosive shell and destroyed, even though the
attacking gunners were located several miles away and hills and forests
intervened to obscure the target from view. With the aid of correlated
maps in the possession of the battery gunners and the aerial observer,
a mere whisper of the wireless sufficed to turn a torrent of shell
precisely upon the enemy position which had just been discovered.
So accurate had indirect artillery fire become that a steel wall of
missiles could be laid down a few yards ahead of a body of troops
advancing on a broad front, and this wall could be kept moving steadily
ahead of the soldiers at a walking pace with few accidents due to
inaccurate control of the guns firing the barrage.

The chief difference between the old and the new methods of artillery
practice is the degree of precision attained. At the time of the
Civil War the artillery was fired relatively blindly, reliance being
placed upon the weight of the fire regardless of its accuracy and its
effectiveness; but modern artillery has recognized the importance of
the well-placed shot and demands instruments that must be marvels
of accuracy, since a slight error in the aiming at modern ranges
means a miss and the total loss of the shot. Such uncanny accuracy is
made possible by the use of those instruments of precision known as
fire-control apparatus. The gunner who is not equipped with proper
fire-control instruments can not aim correctly and is placed at a
serious disadvantage in the presence of the enemy. These instruments
must not only be as exact as a chronometer, but they must be
sufficiently rugged to withstand the concussion of close artillery fire.

Equipment classified under "Sights and fire-control apparatus"
comprises all devices to direct the fire of offensive weapons and to
observe the effect of this fire in order to place it on the target.
Included in this list are instruments of a surveying nature which serve
to locate the relative position of the target on the field of battle
and to determine its range. For this purpose the artillery officer uses
aiming circles, azimuth instruments, battery commander telescopes,
prismatic compasses, plotting boards, and other instruments. Telescopes
and field glasses equipped with measuring scales in them are also
employed in making observations.

Instruments of a second group are attached directly to the gun to train
it both horizontally and vertically in the directions given by the
battery commander. These devices include sights of different types,
elevation quadrants, clinometers, and other instruments. The intricate
panoramic sight which is used especially in firing at an unseen target
is one of the most important instruments of this group.

Still another set of instruments comprises devices such as range
deflection boards, deviation boards, and wind indicators which,
together with range tables and other tables, assist the battery
commander to ascertain the path of the projectile under any condition
of range, altitude, air pressure, temperature, and other physical
influences. When it is understood that the projectile fired by such a
weapon as the German long-range gun which bombarded Paris at a distance
of 70 miles mounts so high into the air that it passes into the highly
rarified layers of the air envelope surrounding the earth and thus
into entirely different conditions of air pressure, it can be realized
how abstruse these range calculations are and how many factors must be
taken into account. The fire-control equipment enables the artilleryman
to make these computations quickly.

In addition to the above items many auxiliary devices are needed by the
Artillery, notable among these being the self-luminous aiming posts
and other arrangements which enable the gunners to maintain accuracy
of fire at night. This whole elaborate set of instruments is supplied
to the field and railway artillery--the big guns--and in part to
trench-mortar batteries and even to machine guns, which in the latter
months of the war were used in indirect firing.

Still another group of pointing instruments is used by antiaircraft
guns against hostile aircraft to ascertain their altitude, their speed,
and their future location in order that projectiles fired by the
antiaircraft guns may hit these high and rapidly moving targets. Sights
are also used on the airplanes themselves to aid the pilot and the
observer in the dropping of bombs and in gunfire against enemy planes
or targets. One of these sights corrects automatically for the speed
and direction of the airplane.

Fuse setters, which enable the gunner to time the fuse in the shell so
that the projectile moving with enormous speed explodes at precisely
the desired point, were required in large numbers.

The responsibility for the design, procurement, production, inspection,
and supply of the above equipment to the American Expeditionary Forces
was lodged in the Ordnance Department. The effectiveness of the
artillery on the field of battle depended directly on the fire-control
equipment furnished by this bureau.

The optical industry in this country before the war was in the hands of
a few firms. Several of these were under German influence, and one firm
was directly affiliated with the Carl Zeiss Works, of Jena, Germany;
the workmen were largely Germans or of German origin; the kinds and
design of apparatus produced were for the most part essentially
European in character; optical glass was procured entirely from abroad
and chiefly from Germany.

It was easier and cheaper for manufacturers to order glass from abroad
than to develop its manufacture in this country. Educational and
research institutions obtained a large part of their equipment from
Germany and offered no special inducement for American manufacturers to
provide such apparatus. Duty-free importation favored and encouraged
this dependence on Germany for scientific apparatus.

With our entrance in the war the European sources of supply for optical
glass and optical instruments were cut off abruptly and we were
brought face to face with the problem of furnishing these items to the
Army and Navy for use in the field. Prior to 1917 only three private
manufacturers in the United States had built fire-control apparatus
in any quantity for the Government. The Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.,
Rochester, N. Y., had made range finders and field glasses for the
Artillery and Infantry, and gun sights, range finders, and spy glasses
and field glasses for the Navy; the Keuffel & Esser Co., Hoboken, N.
J., had produced some fire-control equipment for the Navy; the Warner
& Swasey Co., Cleveland, Ohio, with J. A. Brashear, Pittsburgh, Pa.,
had furnished depression-position finders, azimuth instruments, and
telescopic musket sights to the Army. The only other source of supply
in this country had been the Frankford Arsenal.

Prior to 1917 the largest order for fire-control equipment which our
Army had ever placed in a single year amounted to $1,202,000. The total
orders for such instruments placed by the Ordnance Department alone
during the 19 months of war exceeded $50,000,000, while the total
orders for fire-control apparatus placed by the Army and Navy exceeded

To meet the situation, existing facilities had to be increased, new
facilities developed, and other, allied, industries converted to the
production of fire-control material.

Quantity production had to be secured through the assembling of
standardized parts of instruments which heretofore had either never
been built in this country or only in a small, experimental way. A
large part of the work had of necessity to be done by machines operated
by relatively unskilled labor. The manufacturing tolerances had to be
nicely adjusted between the different parts of each instrument, so that
wherever less precise work would answer the purpose the production
methods were arranged accordingly. Only by a careful coordination
of design, factory operations, and field performance could quantity
production of the desired quality be obtained in a short time. Speed
of production meant everything if our troops in the field were to be
equipped with the necessary fire-control apparatus and thus enabled to
meet the enemy on even approximately equal terms.

To accomplish this object a competent personnel within the Army had to
be organized and developed; the Army requirements had to be carefully
scrutinized and coordinated with reference to relative urgency;
manufacturers had to be encouraged to undertake new tasks and to be
impressed with the necessity for whole-hearted cooperation and with the
importance of their part in the war; raw materials had to be secured
and their transportation assured. These and other factors were faced
and overcome.

Although American fire-control instruments did not reach the front
in as large numbers as were wanted, great quantities were under way,
and we had attained in the manufacturing program a basic stage of
progress which would have cared for all of our needs in the spring and
summer of 1919. Incidentally there has been developed in this country
a manufacturing capacity for precision optical and instrument work,
which, if desired, will render us independent of foreign markets. At
the present time there exists in this country a trained personnel
and adequate organization for the production of precision optical
instruments greatly in excess of the needs of the country. One of
the problems which we now have to consider is the conversion of this
development brought about by war-time conditions into channels of
peace-time activity.

At the present time American manufacturers are in a position to make
instruments of precision equal to the best European product, and the
industry will continue, provided there is an adequate market for its
product. Such a market will exist if the universities and commercial
laboratories of the country will obtain scientific apparatus from
American manufacturers rather than import it from abroad as has
heretofore been the custom.

In April, 1917, the most serious problem in the situation was the
manufacture of optical glass. Prior to 1914 practically all of the
optical glass used in the United States had been imported from abroad;
manufacturers followed the line of least resistance and preferred to
procure certain commodities, such as optical glass, chemical dyes, and
other materials difficult to produce, direct from Europe rather than
to undertake their manufacture here. The war stopped this source of
supply abruptly, and in 1915 experiments on the making of optical glass
were under way at five different plants--the Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.
at Rochester N. Y.; the Bureau of Standards at Pittsburgh, Pa.; the
Keuffel & Esser Co. at Hoboken, N. J.; the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.
at Charleroi, Pa.; the Spencer Lens Co. at Hamburg, Buffalo, N. Y.

By April, 1917, the situation had become acute; some optical glass
of fair quality had been produced, but nowhere had its manufacture
been placed on an assured basis. The glass-making processes were not
adequately known. Without optical glass fire-control instruments could
not be produced; optical glass is a thing of high precision and in
its manufacture accurate control is required throughout the factory
processes. In this emergency the Government appealed to the Geophysical
Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington for assistance.

This laboratory had been engaged for many years in the study of
solutions, such as that of optical glass, at high temperatures and
had a corps of scientists trained along the lines essential to the
successful production of optical glass. It was the only organization
in the country with a personnel adequate and competent to undertake a
manufacturing problem of this character and magnitude. Accordingly,
in April, 1917, a group of its scientists was placed at the Bausch &
Lomb Optical Co. and given virtual charge of the plant; its men were
assigned to the different factory operations and made responsible for
them. By November, 1917, the manufacturing processes at this plant had
been mastered and large quantities of optical glass of good quality
were being produced. In December, 1917, the work was extended, men from
the Geophysical Laboratory taking practical charge of the plants of the
Spencer Lens Co. and of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.

The cost to the Geophysical Laboratory of contributing to the
Government the solution of the optical glass problem amounted to about
$200,000, but the results attained surely more than justified these
expenditures. These results could not have been attained, however,
without the hearty cooperation of the manufacturers and of the Army and
Navy, which assisted in the procurement and transportation of the raw
materials. An ordnance officer was in charge of the Rochester party
from the Geophysical Laboratory and was responsible for much of the
pioneer development work accomplished there. It was at this plant,
that of the Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. at Rochester, that the methods
of manufacture were first developed and placed on a production basis.
The Bureau of Standards aided in the development of a chemically and
thermally resistant crucible in which to melt optical glass; also in
the testing of optical glass, and especially in the testing of optical
instruments. The Geological Survey aided in locating sources of raw
materials, such as sand of adequate chemical purity.

By February, 1918, the supply of optical glass was assured; but the
manufacture of optical instruments was so seriously behind schedule
that a military optical glass and instrument section was formed in the
War Industries Board and took charge of the entire optical instrument
industry of the country. Through the efforts of its chief, Mr. George
E. Chatillon, of New York, the entire industry was coordinated.
By September, 1918, the production of fire-control instruments in
sufficient quantities to meet the requirements of both the Army and
Navy during 1919 was believed to be assured.

To the accomplishment of this result the Ordnance Department
contributed most effectively. The information and long experience
of Frankford Arsenal in instrument manufacture and in the work of
precision optics were placed at the service of contractors; trained
officers of the Ordnance Department were stationed at the different
factories; in many factories these officers rendered valuable aid in
devising and developing proper and adequate factory operations, in
establishing production on a satisfactory basis, in securing the proper
inflow of raw materials, in devising testing fixtures, in establishing
proper manufacturing tolerances, and in testing the performance of the
assembled instruments. Schools for operatives in precision optics were
established at Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, Pa., at Rochester, N.
Y., and at Mount Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, Cal. To many contractors
financial aid had to be extended. The fire-control program required, in
short, all the available talent and resources of the country to carry
it to a successful finish.

The general procedure adopted by the Ordnance Department was to assign
the more difficult instruments to manufacturers who had had experience
along similar lines. To others, who had produced articles allied only
in a distant way to fire-control instruments, less intricate types of
instruments were awarded. In certain instances the optical elements
were produced by one firm, the mechanical parts by another, the final
assembly of the instrument being then accomplished by the latter.

Because our Army had adopted a number of French guns for reproduction
here, it became necessary to build sights for these weapons according
to the French designs. This gave us much trouble, not only because of
the delay in securing samples and drawings from France, but because of
the difficulties in producing articles from these French drawings by
American methods and with American workmen.

The most intricate of these French sights was the Schneider
quadrant sight. It was used with the French 155-millimeter gun, the
155-millimeter howitzer, and the 240-millimeter howitzer. The structure
of this sight was highly complicated, and extreme accuracy was required
at every stage of production. These sights were put into production by
the Emerson Engineering Co. of Philadelphia, the Raymond Engineering
Co. of New York, and by Slocum, Avram & Slocum of New York.

The design of this sight was received from France early in 1918, yet it
was the 1st of November--10 days before the armistice was signed--when
the first Schneider sight was delivered to the Army; but at all times
the progress made was as rapid as could be expected. A total of 7,000
Schneider quadrant sights was ordered, which meant a year's work for
1,000 men. Of this order 3,500 sights were to be manufactured by
the Schneider Co. in France and the rest by the three firms in this
country. On November 11 the American factories had delivered 74 sights
and since that time over 560 have been completed.

The amount of labor involved in the case of Schneider quadrant sights
is shown by the fact that while the raw material for it cost about $25,
the finished sight is worth about $600. In order to expedite production
the Government extended financial assistance to some of the factories
to aid in the procurement and installation of additional equipment.
On November 11 the number of these sights completed was short of
requirements for installation on completed carriages by about 400, but
the rate of progress which had been attained in production would have
overtaken the output of gun carriages by January 1, 1919.

Another difficult task was the construction of telescopic sights
for the French 37-millimeter guns, the "Infantry cannon" which we
adopted for reproduction in this country. Here again we encountered
the same difficulty of adapting French plans to our methods. The
original contract was placed with a firm which had had no experience
with optical instruments of precision, but no other company was
available for the work. When by May, 1918, this concern had produced
only a few sights the contract was taken from it and placed with a
subcontractor, the Central Scientific Co., of Chicago, who had been
building mechanical parts for the sights. In this plant the complete
force had to be educated in the art before any production could begin.
When the armistice was signed the gun factories had produced 884 of the
37-millimeter guns, but only 142 telescopic sights had been completed.
The rate of production of these sights by the Central Scientific Co.
was such, however, that the shortage would have ceased to exist shortly
after January 1, 1919.

The French design for the telescopic sight for the 37-millimeter
gun used on the tanks was also adopted by the Army. Here again
difficulty was experienced in manufacture, but excellent progress was
made especially by one firm (Burke & James of Chicago, Ill.), and
the output in adequate quantities was assured for 1919. The French
collimator sight for the 75-millimeter gun presented difficulties
to the manufacturer, especially in the optical parts. These were,
however, overcome by the Globe Optical Co., who furnished the optics
to the Electric Auto-Lite Corporation and to the Standard Thermometer
Co. of Boston, with the result that at the time of the signing of the
armistice the production of these sights was progressing well.

Periscopes from 20 inches to nearly 20 feet in length were produced in
quantity. These periscopes enabled the men in the front-line trenches
to look over the top with comparative safety. The long periscopes were
used in deep-shelter trenches and bomb proofs. The production of the
short-base periscopes and also of the battery commanders' periscopes
by the Wollensak Optical Co., Rochester, N. Y., and of the 3-meter and
6-meter periscope by the Andrew J. Lloyd Co. of Boston, Mass., was
progressing at such a rate that the needs of the Army for 1919 would be
met on time.

At the outbreak of the war the policy followed by the Ordnance
Department was to place orders for standard fire-control apparatus,
such as range finders of different base lengths, battery commander
telescopes, aiming circles, panoramic sights, musket sights, and
prismatic compasses with firms of established reputation and
experience. The result was that when requests from the Army in France
came for instruments of new design, new sources of manufacture had
to be sought out and these organizations educated in the methods of
precision optics. Such a procedure necessarily caused delay, but it was
the only course of action left. Wherever possible part of the total
contract was awarded to an experienced manufacturer, so that some
production was assured.

[Illustration: PANORAMIC SIGHT.]



[Illustration: AIMING CIRCLE.]

[Illustration: BRACKET FUSE SETTER, MODEL OF 1916.]

[Illustration: RANGE FINDER.]



The records show that the experienced manufacturers overcame the
difficulties encountered and had obtained in general a rate of output
which was satisfactory at the time of the signing of the armistice.
Thus the Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. had delivered large numbers of
range finders of base lengths of 80 centimeters, 1 meter and 15 feet,
and battery commanders' telescopes; Keuffel & Esser had made many
prismatic compasses and a few range finders; the Spencer Lens Co. had
produced aiming circles in quantity; the Warner & Swasey Co., with J.
A. Brashear of Pittsburgh, had furnished large numbers of the valuable
panoramic sights with which much of the artillery fire is directed.
Much credit is due the above organizations for the efficient manner
in which they placed the manufacture of these items on a high-speed
production basis. Frankford Arsenal proved to be a most reliable source
of supply for battery commander telescopes, panoramic sights, azimuth
instruments for 3-inch telescopes, plotting boards, and other ordnance
fire-control instruments.

The manufacture of many other types of instruments was undertaken in
this country. Among these the French sitogoniometer, a device which
assists the battery commander in obtaining data for the direction
of fire, was successfully produced by the Martin-Copeland Co. of
Providence, R. I.; quadrant sights for the 37-millimeter gun by the
Scientific Materials Co. of Pittsburgh; lensatic compasses and Brunton
compasses were furnished by Wm. Ainsworth & Sons of Denver, Colo.;
prismatic compasses by the Sperry Gyroscope Co. of Brooklyn, N. Y.;
telescopes for sights on antiaircraft carriages by the Kollmorgen
Optical Corporation of Brooklyn; altimeters, gunners' quadrants,
elevation quadrants, and aiming stakes by the J. H. Deagan Co. of
Chicago, Ill.; panoramic telescopes and fuse setters by the Recording
& Computing Machines Co. of Dayton, Ohio; battery commander telescopes
by Arthur Brock of Philadelphia; tripods for fire-control instruments
by the National Cash Register Co. of Dayton, Ohio. Optics for different
sights were furnished by the American Optical Co. of Southbridge,
Mass., and by the Mount Wilson Observatory of Pasadena, Calif. These
and other organizations entered into the task and devoted their energy
to the production of equipment desired by the Government.

At no time during the fighting did our artillery units have a
sufficient supply of fire-control instruments. This was due to the fact
that we were not able to secure in Europe the amount of this equipment
required to take care of our needs while our own industry was being

With almost a total lack of optical glass in this country, with an
equal lack of factories and workmen familiar with military optical
instrument-making, we were suddenly called upon to produce about 200
different types of instruments in large quantities. These included many
new designs of fire-control apparatus made necessary by new artillery
developments both among the allies and in our own factories, by the
adoption of trench warfare in place of open warfare, by the development
of weapons for use against aircraft, by the extension of indirect
fire-control methods to weapons which formerly had been fired by direct
sighting, and by the use of railway and seacoast artillery.

While we did not solve all the difficulties in this development, we
had met and conquered the worst of them, and we were making such great
strides in production when the war ended that all the requirements of
the Army would have been met early in 1919. It has been a source of
inspiration to witness the high sense of patriotic duty and cooperation
shown by the manufacturers which made possible the remarkable expansion
of the optical glass and instrument industry in the United States
during the period of the war.

The following table shows the principal items of sights and
fire-control apparatus, the firms that did the work, the quantity of
the various kinds of instruments ordered, and the deliveries made up to
November 11, 1918, and to February 20, 1919:

                      |                           |         | Deliveries to--
        Material.     |           Firm.           |  Total  +--------+--------
                      |                           | ordered.|Nov. 11,|Feb. 20,
                      |                           |         |  1918. |  1919.
  Aiming circle,      |Spencer Lens Co.,          |  1,473  |    717 |  1,117
    model 1916        |  Buffalo, N. Y.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
     Do.              |Frankford Arsenal,         |     98  |     98 |     98
                      |  Philadelphia             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Aiming stakes       |J. C. Deagan Co.,          | 16,618  |        |  1,320
    for machine gun   |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Aiming posts,       |Metropolitan Manufacturing | 16,791  |     25 |    250
    field artillery   |  Co., Detroit, Mich.      |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
     Do.              |Dahlstrom Metallic Door    | 10,791  |        |
                      |  Co., Jamestown, N. Y.    |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Aiming devices      |National Vitaphone         |  5,700  |        |    150
                      |  Corporation,             |         |        |
                      |  Plainfield, N. J.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Angle of            |Atwater Kent               |  4,468  |  4,401 |  4,468
    site instruments  |  Manufacturing Co.,       |         |        |
                      |  Philadelphia             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
     Do.              |Blair Tool Machine Co.,    |  1,090  |  1,090 |  1,090
                      |  New York City            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Azimuth instruments,|Warner & Swasey Co.,       |    129  |    126 |    129
    model 1910        |  Cleveland, Ohio          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Azimuth instruments,|Spencer Lens Co.,          |    669  |        |      1
    model 1918        |  Buffalo, N. Y.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Boards,             |Premier Metal Etching Co., |     13  |        |
    gun deflection    |  New York City            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Boards,             |Metallograph Corporation,  |    628  |        |
    Pirie deviation   |  New York City            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Boards, plotting    |McFarlan Motor Co.,        |  4,811  |  4,811 |  4,811
                      |  Connersville, Ind.       |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Boards, Pratt range |F. F. Metzger,             |    134  |        |     65
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Boards,             |Gorham Manufacturing Co.,  |    741  |        |
    range deflection  |  Providence, R. I.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Boards, rocket      |Liquid Carbon Co.,         |  3,000  |        |    630
                      |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Chronographs        |Precision Thermometer Co., |     19  |      9 |     19
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Chronographs,       |Leeds Northrup Co.,        |     20  |     18 |     20
    Aberdeen          |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Clinometers,        |Atwater Kent               | 26,972  |  8,270 | 21,972
    machine-gun       |  Manufacturing Co.,       |         |        |
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
     Do.              |Central Scientific Co.,    | 10,644  |        |
                      |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Clinometers, machine|F. F. Metzger,             |     25  |     25 |     25
    gun, model 1912   |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Compass, lensatic   |Wm. Ainsworth & Sons,      | 11,651  |  8,150 | 11,651
                      |  Denver, Colo.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Compass, prismatic  |Sperry Gyroscope Co.,      |  9,575  |    600 |  3,000
                      |  Brooklyn, N. Y.          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
     Do.              |Keuffel & Esser Co.,       |  4,028  |  3,828 |  4,028
                      |  Hoboken, N. J.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Compass, transit,   |Wm. Ainsworth & Sons,      |  1,500  |  1,500 |  1,500
    pocket, Brunton   |  Denver, Colo.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Cylinders,          |Wilton Tool Co.,           |  8,000  |  8,000 |  8,000
    cannon pressure   |  Boston, Mass.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Depression position |Pratt-Whitney Co.,         |     90  |     81 |     90
     finders, Lewis   |  Hartford, Conn.; J. A.   |         |        |
                      |  Brashear, Pittsburgh, Pa.|         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Electrical equipment|Line Material Corporation, | 26,888  |        | 11,765
    for aiming posts  |  Milwaukee, Wis.          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Electric lighting   |Guide Motor Lamp Co.,      |  5,352  |        |
    devices           |  Cleveland, Ohio          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Flash lights        |Delta Electric Co.,        |136,861  | 73,066 |125,448
                      |  Marion, Ind.             |         |        |
      Do.             |Novo Manufacturing Co.,    | 13,563  | 13,563 | 13,563
                      |  New York City            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |American Ever-ready Works, |341,373  |194,878 |257,258
                      |  Long Island City, N. Y.  |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Glass, optical, lbs.|Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.,| 45,000  | 23,761½| 24,010
                      |  Charleroi, Pa.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Spencer Lens Co., Buffalo, |  3,490  |        |    517½
                      |  N. Y.                    |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Bausch & Lomb Optical Co., |  4,450  |  4,450 |  4,450
                      |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Goniometers,        |Sloane & Chase             |     90  |        |
    model 1917        |  Manufacturing Co.,       |         |        |
                      |  Newark, N. J.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Levels,             |Young & Sons,              |  1,310  |    934 |  1,201
    longitudinal,     |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
    3-inch            |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Levels,             |Arthur Brock, jr.,         |  1,474  |    864 |    864
    longitudinal      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Levels, sight       |Electric Auto-Lite         |  1,277  |    560 |  1,277
                      |  Corporation, Toledo,     |         |        |
                      |  Ohio                     |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Levels, testing     |Carlson-Wenstrom Co.,      |  1,620  |    196 |    590
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Lighting devices for|Globe Machine & Stamping   | 27,240  |        |  8,000
    field carriages   |  Co., Cleveland, Ohio     |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Night firing boxes  |New Method Stove Co.,      | 16,618  |        |  3,196
    for machine gun   |  Mansfield, Ohio          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Delta Electric Co.,        | 16,818  |        |  4,417
                      |  Marion, Ind.             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Periscopes, battery |      do.                  | 11,701  |    289 |  5,000
    commander's       |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Periscopes, mirror  |J. R. Young Co. (Penn Toy  | 60,000  | 60,000 | 60,000
                      |  Co.), Pittsburgh, Pa.    |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Seneca Camera Co.,         | 36,625  |     72 |     72
                      |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Periscopes, rifle,  |Oneida Community,          |140,527  |115,236 |115,236
    model 1917        |  Oneida, N. Y.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |John W. Browne             | 58,313  | 58,313 | 58,313
                      |  Manufacturing Co.,       |         |        |
                      |  Detroit, Mich.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Periscopes, 3 m.    |A. J. Lloyd Co.,           |  2,234  |        |     16
    deep, shelter     |  Boston, Mass.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Periscopes, 6 m.    |  do.                      |  2,234  |    276 |    700
    deep, shelter     |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Periscopes, trench, |Wollensak Optical Co.,     | 32,512  |  2,948 |  9,252
    No. 10            |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Plane tables        |Pfau Manufacturing Co.,    |  4,928  |  3,200 |  4,928
                      |  Norwood, Ohio            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Protractors,        |Metallograph Corporation,  | 13,945  |        |
    Alidade           |  New York City            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Wm. Ainsworth & Co.,       |  1,000  |        |    108
                      |  Denver, Colo.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Protractors and     |Frankford Arsenal,         |  1,284  |  1,284 |  1,284
    straightedges     |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Eugene Dietzgen Co.,       | 35,112  | 35,112 | 35,112
                      |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Whitehead Hoag Co.,        |  5,000  |        |  3,500
                      |  Newark, N. J.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Celluloid Co.,             | 12,422  | 12,422 | 12,422
                      |  New York, N. Y.          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Keuffel & Esser Co.,       |  6,509  |  6,509 |  6,509
                      |  Hoboken, N. J.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Quadrants, elevation|Recording & Computing      |    214  |     74 |    106
                      |  Machine Co.,             |         |        |
                      |  Dayton, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |J. C. Deagan Co.,          |    120  |     45 |    120
                      |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Quadrants, gunner's |International Register Co.,|     72  |     72 |     72
                      |   Chicago, Ill.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Central Scientific Co.,    |  6,245  |        |  2,852
                      |   Chicago, Ill.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |J. C. Deagan Co.,          |  6,245  |        |  2,552
                      |   Chicago, Ill.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Gorham Manufacturing Co.,  |    491  |    137 |    329
                      |  Providence, R. I.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Quadrants, range    |Talbot Reel Manufacturing  |    200  |    101 |    186
                      |  Co., Kansas City, Mo.    |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Slocum, Avram & Slocum,    |  1,386  |    431 |    940
                      |  Newark, N. J.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Range finders, 80-cm|Bausch & Lomb Optical Co., |  5,470  |  2,167 |  2,600
                      |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Keuffel & Esser Co.,       |  1,000  |        |
                      |  Hoboken, N. J.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Range finders,      |Bausch & Lomb Optical Co., |  7,131  |  1,508 |  1,665
    1-meter           |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Range finders,      |    do.                    |     65  |     55 |     55
    15-foot           |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Range finders,      |Keuffel & Esser Co.,       |     86  |        |
    9-foot            |  Hoboken, N. J.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Recording           |Bristol Co.,               |    439  |    439 |    439
    thermometers      |  Waterbury, Conn.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, battery      |Wescott Jewel Co.,         | 26,406  | 26,406 | 26,406
    commander's       |  Seneca Falls, N. Y.      |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Stanley Rule & Level Co.,  |  1,500  |  1,500 |  1,500
                      |  New Britain, Conn.       |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, elevation,   |J. E. Sjostrom Co.,        |    200  |    200 |    200
    slide, model 1918 |  Detroit, Mich.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, Hitt-Browne, |U. S. Infantry Association,| 24,058  |        | 24,058
    for machine gun   |  Washington, D. C.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, musketry     |Taft-Pierce Manufacturing  | 80,000  | 80,000 | 80,000
                      |  Co., Woonsocket, R. I.   |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Metallograph Corporation,  | 55,067  |        | 55,067
                      |  New York                 |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, slide        |J. H. Weil Co.,            |  4,852  |  4,852 |  4,852
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, slide,       |Frankford Arsenal,         |  1,500  |  1,500 |  1,500
    model E           |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, 2-foot       |Stanley Rule & Level Co.,  | 52,519  | 52,519 | 52,519
                      |  New Britain, Conn.       |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Lufkin Rule Co.,           | 38,540  | 38,540 | 38,540
                      |  Saginaw, Mich.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Upson Nut Co.,             | 14,358  | 14,358 | 14,358
                      |  Cleveland, Ohio          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Chapin-Stephens Co.,       |  7,040  |  7,040 |  7,040
                      |  Pine Meadow, Conn.       |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, zinc, for    |Clapp Eastman Co.,         |  5,193  |        |  5,193
    machine guns      |  Cambridge, Mass.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, 3-foot       |L. S. Starrett Co.,        |    343  |    343 |    343
                      |  Athol, Mass.             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rules, boxwood      |Stanley Rule & Level Co.,  |  2,000  |  2,000 |  2,000
                      |  New Britain, Conn.       |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Lufkin Rule Co.,           | 15,630  |  3,000 |  7,509
                      |  Saginaw, Mich.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rule, zigzag        |    do.                    |  2,312  |  2,312 |  2,312
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights,             |Recording & Computing      |     25  |     25 |     25
    antiaircraft,     |  Machines Co.,            |         |        |
    model 1917        |  Dayton, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |New Britain Machine Co.,   |     60  |      1 |     60
                      |  New Britain, Conn.       |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights for          |    do.                    |    519  |     27 |     63
    antiaircraft      |                           |         |        |
    carriages         |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopes, |Kollmorgen Optical Co.,    |    519  |     66 |    255
    for antiaircraft  |  Brooklyn, N. Y.          |         |        |
    carriages         |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopes, |    do.                    |     90  |        |     16
    for goniometers   |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, optics, for |Mount Wilson Observatory,  |    467  |        |    467
    altimeter         |  Pasadena, Calif.         |         |        |
    telescope,        |                           |         |        |
    model 1917        |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, bomb        |Globe Optical Co.,         |    100  |    100 |    100
                      |  Boston, Mass.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, bore        |Benjamin Electric          |  2,191  |      1 |  2,191
                      |  Manufacturing Co.,       |         |        |
                      |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Poole Engineering          |  1,500  |    524 |  1,357
                      |  & Machine Co.,           |         |        |
                      |  Hagerstown, Md.          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Buffalo Forge Co.,         |    900  |    900 |    900
                      |  Buffalo, N. Y.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, panoramic,  |Atwater-Kent               |  6,000  |        |    525
    for machine gun   |  Manufacturing Co.,       |         |        |
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Scientific Materials Co.,  |  4,510  |        |
                      |  Pittsburgh, Pa.          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights for 1917     |Recording & Computing      |    123  |    123 |    123
    6-inch gun        |  Machines Co.,            |         |        |
    carriages         |  Dayton, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, luminous    |Radium Luminous Material   |  1,250  |  1,215 |  1,250
                      |   Corporation             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, luminous,   |Watson Luminous Gunsight   |123,236  | 18,018 | 87,236
    for machine gun   |  Co., New York            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, panoramic,  |Warner & Swasey Co.,       |  9,500  |  1,336 |  2,180
    model 1917        |  Cleveland, Ohio          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Frankford Arsenal,         |    800  |    800 |    800
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Recording & Computing      |  6,000  |    100 |    230
                      |  Machines Co.,            |         |        |
                      |  Dayton, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, panoramic,  |Frankford Arsenal,         |    237  |    237 |    237
    model 1915        |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, panoramic,  |Recording & Computing      |     30  |     30 |     30
    for 8-in gun      |  Machines Co.,            |         |        |
                      |  Dayton, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, quadrants,  |Emerson Engineering Co.,   |    800  |        |
    Schneider         |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Raymond Engineering Co.,   |    764  |        |      1
                      |  New York City            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Slocum, Avram & Slocum,    |  3,800  |     74 |    567
                      |  New York City            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopic, |Winchester Repeating Arms  |     89  |        |     89
    rifle, style B    |  Co., New Haven, Conn.    |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopic, |    do.                    |    400  |    400 |    400
    rifle, 5A,        |                           |         |        |
    mounted on rifle  |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopic, |    do.                    | 32,000  |        |
    rifle, model 1918 |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopic, |Warner & Swasey Co.,       |  4,000  |  4,000 |  4,000
    rifle, model 1913 |  Cleveland, Ohio          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, optics for  |Eastman Kodak Co.,         | 42,607  |        |
    telescopic,       |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
    rifle, model 1918 |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopic, |Central Scientific Co.,    |  4,100  |    142 |    578
    37-mm. Infantry   |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
    gun               |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, Telescopic, |Universal Optical Co.,     |  1,225  |        |
    for 37-mm.        |  Providence, R. I.        |         |        |
    Infantry gun      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopic, |Globe Optical Co.,         |     50  |     50 |     50
    for 37-mm gun     |  Boston, Mass.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, optics,     |American Optical Co.,      |  1,692  |    910 |  1,692
    clinometer, for   |  South Bridge, Mass.      |         |        |
    37-mm. gun        |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, telescopic, |Burke & James Co.,         |  6,576  |     50 |    386
    for 37-mm tank    |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
    gun               |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, optics for  |American Optical Co.,      |    784  |    784 |    784
    telescopic, for   |  South Bridge, Mass.      |         |        |
    37-mm gun         |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, quadrant,   |Scientific Materials Co.,  |  3,192  |    600 |  1,207
    for 37-mm gun     |  Pittsburgh, Pa.          |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights for 75-mm.   |Electric Auto-lite         |  2,632  |    221 |  1,100
    gun               |  Corporation,             |         |        |
                      |  Toledo, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Standard Thermometer Co.,  |  2,000  |        |
                      |  Boston, Mass.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, master, for |Electric Auto-Lite         |    820  |        |      7
    75-mm. gun        |  Corporation, Toledo,     |         |        |
                      |  Ohio                     |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Standard Thermometer Co.,  |    410  |        |     26
                      |  Boston, Mass.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, optics for  |Globe Optical Co.,         |  2,632  |    385 |  1,500
    model 1901, for   |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
    75-mm. gun        |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, model 1918, |Ansco Co.,                 |  3,142  |        |
    for 75-mm. gun    |  Binghamton, N. Y.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, shanks for  |American Standard          |  2,178  |        |
    telescopic, model |  Motion-Picture Machine   |         |        |
    1918, for 75-mm.  |  Co., New York            |         |        |
    gun               |                           |         |        |
  Sights, for 3-inch  |Peerless Printing Press    |  1,456  |    455 |    591
    gun, model 1916   |  Co., Palmyra, N. Y.      |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, peep, for   |Standard Thermometer Co.,  |  2,000  |    900 |  1,600
    3-inch gun        |  Boston, Mass.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights for 3-inch   |Frankford Arsenal,         |    366  |    366 |    366
    gun               |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, model 1916, |    do.                    |     40  |     40 |     40
    for 3.8-inch      |                           |         |        |
    howitzer carriage |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, peep, for   |Electro Auto-Lite          |  2,632  |     96 |    960
    Schneider         |  Corporation,             |         |        |
    quadrants         |  Toledo, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, peep, for   |    do.                    |    720  |     24 |
    4.7-inch gun      |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, for         |Carlson-Wenstrom Co.,      |    286  |     70 |    126
    4.7-inch gun      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
      Do.             |Emerson Engineering Co.,   |    500  |        |    125
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights for 5-inch   |Blair Tool & Machine Co.,  |     26  |        |
    improvised gun    |  New York City            |         |        |
    carriage          |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights for 6-inch   |    do.                    |    143  |        |
    improvised gun    |                           |         |        |
    carriage          |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, dial,       |Arthur Brook, jr.,         |     75  |        |
    8-inch howitzer   |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, clinometer, |    do.                    |     75  |        |
    8-inch howitzer   |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Rocking bar, 8-inch |    do.                    |     75  |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sights, lens for    |Central Scientific Co.,    |    615  |        |    615
    master, for 75-mm.|  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
    gun               |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Sitogoniometer      |Martin Copeland Co.,       |  5,100  |        |  5,100
                      |  Providence, R. I.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Squares, zinc       |Metallograph Corporation,  | 13,551  | 13,551 | 13,551
                      |  New York                 |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Squares, zinc, for  |Clapp Eastman Co.,         | 12,752  |    456 | 12,752
    machine gun       |  Cambridge, Mass.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Staffs, sighting    |Colson Co., Elyria, Ohio   |  1,205  |  1,205 |  1,205
                      |                           |         |        |
  Staffs, Jacob's,    |McFarlan Motor Co.,        | 15,745  |        | 15,745
    for field glass   |  Connersville, Ind.       |         |        |
    supports          |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Tapes, steel,       |Justus Roe & Sons,         | 50,000  |        | 50,000
    5 feet            |  Patchogue, N. Y.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
     Do.              |Lufkin Rule Co.,           | 31,791  | 31,791 | 31,791
                      |  Saginaw, Mich.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Tapes, steel        |    do.                    |  4,250  |  4,250 |  4,250
    60 feet           |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Tapes, steel        |    do.                    |  1,422  |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Tapes, metallic     |    do.                    | 10,441  |  5,608 |  8,988
    linen             |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Telescopes, azimuth |Spencer Lens Co.,          |  1,579  |        |
    instrument,       |  Buffalo, N. Y.           |         |        |
    model 1918        |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Telescopes, battery |Bausch & Lomb Optical Co., |  6,428  |  2,820 |  3,698
    commander's       |  Rochester, N. Y.         |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
       Do.            |Arthur Brock, jr.,         |  2,029  |        |
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
       Do.            |Central Scientific Co.,    |  2,000  |        |
                      |  Chicago, Ill.            |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
       Do.            |Frankford Arsenal,         |     52  |     52 |     52
                      |  Philadelphia, Pa.        |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Telescopes, battery |National Cash Register Co.,| 15,730  |  9,858 | 15,730
    commander's,      |  Dayton, Ohio             |         |        |
    tripod            |                           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Telescopes for      |Recording & Computing      |    217  |     41 |     50
    panoramic 4 and   |  Machines Co.,            |         |        |
    10 power          |  Dayton, Ohio             |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Telescopes,         |Keuffel & Esser Co.,       |  1,579  |        |
    periscopic        |  Hoboken, N. J.           |         |        |
                      |                           |         |        |
  Tripods for machine-|Herschede Hall Clock Co.,  |  7,854  |        |
    gun sights        |  Cincinnati, Ohio         |         |        |



Complete motorization of field artillery and its ammunition supply
is almost certain to be one of the far-reaching and highly important
results of our country's experiences in its participation in the war.

Practically all field artillery was of the horse-drawn type previous
to our entry into the war, but with the evolution and perfection
of the heavier siege artillery, 5-ton, 10-ton, and even heavier,
traction engines were brought into play as means of motive power for
the big guns and howitzers, with such success that the horse in the
field artillery operations was being supplanted to a large degree by
mechanical power.

Strictly speaking, the foundation for this departure had been laid
before 1917, in the Mexican campaign of 1916 and in experiments that
had been conducted at the Rock Island Arsenal. Insufficiency of funds,
however, had prevented the experiments from being either thorough or

A consideration of the difficulties that vehicles of all sorts had
to contend with in the battle areas of Europe made it evident at the
outset that two general types of motor carriers would be required by
the Army so far as ordnance was concerned--one type for far-advanced
work, for hauling artillery over the worst possible kind of shell-torn
and water-soaked earth, and the other for bringing up ammunition,
supplies, equipment for repairs and the like in less advanced zones and
areas, but over roads and country that had been cut and hacked and made
almost impassible by the activities of the contending forces.


The standard four-wheel-drive commercial trucks, modified to meet the
special needs of the service, were adopted immediately after war began,
while experimental work was put under way to develop a standard type
that would set this country far in advance of all others in this line
of activity.

A total of 30,072 of the four-wheel-drive trucks was ordered, and
before the armistice 12,498 of this number had been completed, while
23,499 had been turned out by the 31st of January, 1919.

In round numbers, 25,000 of these trucks were to be equipped with
bodies for the hauling of ammunition, and the balance with special
bodies and equipment suitable for artillery supply and repair, for
repair of equipment, and for heavy mobile ordnance.


This truck was designed with special bodies and loads for varied
classes of artillery supply, and the bodies could be mounted on either
Nash or F. W. D. chassis.]


This is another special body equipped with suitable machinery and tools
for minor repairs and capable of being mounted on either F. W. D. or
Nash four-wheel-drive chassis.]


This is the vehicle, designed by the Ordnance Department and civilian
experts, that was intended to supersede both the Nash and the F. W. D.
and become the standard Army wheeled tractor. It is shown here with
standard ammunition body mounted thereon.]


Special body, carrying tools and machinery for doing repair work to
harness, personal equipment, etc., and capable of being mounted on
either F. W. D. or Nash four-wheel-drive chassis.]

Special bodies were manufactured by these concerns:

  American Car & Foundry Co., Berwick, Pa.
  J. G. Brill Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
  Hale & Kilburn Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa.
  Dumbar Manufacturing Co., Chicago, Ill.
  Pullman Co., Pullman, Ill.
  Kuhlman Car Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
  C. R. Wilson Body Co., Detroit, Mich.
  Insley Manufacturing Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
  Lang Body Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
  Heil Co., Milwaukee, Wis.
  Variety Manufacturing Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
  J. E. Bolles Iron & Wire Co., Detroit, Mich.

The first contract for these trucks was placed on August 18, 1917, and
9,420 were shipped to the American Expeditionary Forces overseas by the
date of the armistice.

It required considerable time to work out and perfect all the details
of the special bodies and equipment, as most of these were exceedingly
complicated, and in a number of cases there were as many as 700 items
of equipment on a single truck.

Representatives of the allied governments were not hesitant in
asserting that the line of artillery repair trucks developed for our
Army was the most complete and well worked out in detail that any army
ever received.

These manufacturers did the work of turning out the special trucks:

  Nash Motors Co., Kenosha, Wis.
  Four-Wheel-Drive Auto Co., Clintonville, Wis.
  Mitchell Motor Car Co., Racine, Wis.
  Premier Motor Corporation, Indianapolis, Ind.
  Kissel Motor Car Co., Hartford, Wis.
  Hudson Motor Car Co., Detroit, Mich.
  National Motor Car Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
  Paige Motor Car Co., Detroit, Mich.
  Commerce Motor Car Corporation, Detroit, Mich.
  White Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
  Dodge Motor Car Co., Detroit, Mich.

About 4,000 of the 5,000 special body type of trucks were delivered
before the middle of December, 1918.


There were developed five different types of four-wheeled trailers.
Each type, being for a particular use, required a special study and
individual design, with all the consequent specially prepared machines
and specialized shop work.

For antiaircraft service, a 1½-ton and a 3-ton trailer were worked
out; for the 75-millimeter field gun, a special 3-ton trailer; for the
mobile repair shops, a 4-ton trailer; and for the small tank, a special
10-ton trailer.

By the middle of December, 2,157 of these trailers had been delivered
of the 4,847 that had been ordered and put in production.

Concerns engaged in turning out trailers were:

  Sechler & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.
  Trailmobile Co. of America, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  Ohio Trailer Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
  Grant Motor Car Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio.

It might also be stated at this point, too, that two special types of
passenger motor vehicles were designed and built. One of these was for
staff observation and the other for reconnaissance. Nearly all of the
total of 2,250 that were ordered of these two types were completed by
mid-December, 1918, delivery of them having started in the month of
April, 1918.


It was found after a comprehensive study of the needs of the various
branches of ordnance and the requirement of the big guns that five
sizes of caterpillar tractors would be required--of capacities of 2½
tons, 5 tons, 10 tons, 15 tons, and 20 tons.

Commercial types of machines of the 15-ton and 20-ton sort, with only
slight alterations, were found to be suitable, but special designs were
made for those of 2½-ton, 5-ton, and 10-ton capacity. Our experience in
Mexico and the experiments at the Rock Island Arsenal had taught us the
need of the special designs of machines of those sizes.

In all, 24,791 of these five types of caterpillar tractors were
ordered. The 5-ton machine reached production in the summer of 1918 and
the 2½-ton machine in the fall. By the end of the following January,
5,940 of the tractors had been delivered. Manufacturers who had orders
for the caterpillar tractors were:

  Holt Manufacturing Co., Peoria, Ill.
  Chandler Motor Car Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
  Reo Motor Car Co., Lansing, Mich.
  Maxwell Motor Car Co., Detroit, Mich.
  Federal Motor Truck Co., Detroit, Mich.
  Interstate Motor Co., Indianapolis, Ind.

Throughout the production of tractors during the war period there was
continuous and persistent experimentation, and satisfactory solutions
of many of the problems were being reached at the time of the signing
of the armistice.

Self-propelled caterpillar gun mounts were the subject of the most
important of these experiments. The self-propelled caterpillar gun
mounts differ from the ordinary caterpillar tractors in that they have
the guns mounted directly on them, the guns forming an integral part of
the entire machine. Six types of these were being developed, and 270
had been ordered when the armistice came.

A 2½-ton tractor mounting a 75-millimeter gun and a 5-ton tractor
containing a gun of the same size were far along the road to success in
their first state of development.

Development of caterpillar cargo carriers or caissons for bearing
supplies over any sort of terrain, no matter how rough the going might
be and regardless of whether there were roads or not, was so far along
the pathway of success that two sizes were about to go into production
on November 11.

A 2½-ton ammunition trailer, a 2-ton 11-inch trench mortar trailer, and
a 4.7-inch antiaircraft gun trailer were also in development, but not
in production, at the time of the signing of the armistice.

So successful were the experiments with new types of four-wheel-drive
trucks and tractors that orders for what would probably have proven
the best type of four-wheel-drive truck and the best type of
four-wheel-drive tractor ever produced had been placed, but the signing
of the armistice forced cancellations of these orders. In the course of
the experiments, all types of American four-wheel-drive vehicles were
examined and two of the best French types.

The purchase of $365,000,000 worth of trucks, trailers, and tractors
was obligated in about 3,000 separate orders.


In Europe, the French had been the only people to experiment with
caterpillar mounts for guns. They produced the St. Chamond type, but
this had not gone far beyond the experimental stages.

Prior to the early months of 1918, our own efforts along this line
consisted in the building of one caterpillar mount, self-propelled by a
gasoline engine and carrying an antiaircraft gun. Around this nucleus
an ambitious caterpillar program was built.

An 8-inch howitzer was placed on this antiaircraft caterpillar mount
and fired at angles of elevation varying up to 45°. Maneuvered over
difficult ground, the machine withstood the firing strains and road
tests in a highly satisfactory manner.

As a result of the success of these tests, orders were placed for three
more experimental caterpillars to mount 8-inch howitzers. Tests of
two of these completed units were so gratifying that it was felt they
warranted quantity production. Accordingly, orders were placed for 50
units of the 8-inch howitzer caterpillars to cost about $30,000 apiece,
for 50 caterpillar units mounting 155-millimeter guns, and for 250
units mounting 240-millimeter howitzers.

The Standard Steel Car Co., Hammond, Ind., was to produce the
240-millimeter howitzer caterpillars, the Harrisburg Manufacturing
& Boiler Co., Harrisburg, Pa., was to turn out the 8-inch howitzer
caterpillars, and the Morgan Engineering Co., of Alliance, Ohio, was to
produce the 155-millimeter gun caterpillars.

Mountings for the 8-inch howitzer and 155-millimeter gun were
practically identical. Both utilized many of the standard Holt
caterpillar parts. The only real change was in the carriage for
the 155-millimeter gun. This was made sufficiently sturdy to carry
higher-powered guns. A 194-millimeter gun is now being machined in
France, and when finished it will be shipped to this country to be
mounted upon the 155-millimeter caterpillar mount for experiment.

The 240-millimeter howitzer mounts were of two types--one following
closely the St. Chamond type of the French and the other being a
self-contained unit designed by Ordnance Department engineers. The
self-contained type is a single unit that mounts both the power plant
and the howitzer and for which it is necessary to provide additional
cargo-carrying caterpillars to haul ammunition and fuel. Two units make
up the St. Chamond type. One mounts the gun and electric motors; the
other, a limber, mounts the power plant and carries ammunition.

In the battle area the St. Chamond type had the peculiar advantage that
the power-plant unit could be run to shelter and be available for a
rapid advance or change of location of the gun mount as the situation
might demand. With the self-contained unit a direct hit by the enemy
would put both gun and power plant out of commission.

Contracts for the caterpillar mounts called for the completion of the
entire program not later than February, 1919. All the firms engaged
on the work of production were putting forth every effort when the
armistice was signed and there was every reason to believe deliveries
would be as scheduled. The termination of hostilities caused all
contracts to be reduced. Provisions have been made for only enough
caterpillars of each type to provide for further experimental work.

Twenty mounts equipped with caterpillar treads and mounting 7-inch
Navy rifles were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Co. for the Navy
Department. These were so successfully operated that orders were placed
for 36 similar units for the use of the Army, but since the signing of
the armistice this order has been cut to 18.

The great gun on a caterpillar mount fires its death-dealing
projectile, and almost before the shot has reached its destination
the caterpillar mount has moved the gun to another point. With motor
still running the gun is fired again and once more quickly moved on to
another location, so that the enemy's artillery is unable to get its





[Illustration: 20-TON ARTILLERY TRACTOR.]


Special body for field touring on a White one-ton truck chassis.]


The machine-gun truck is similar except for the addition of gun racks
under rear seat and on Commerce chassis.]





Special body with tools for making minor motor repairs.]


A specially designed vehicle for carrying different loads, including
a 3-inch field-gun carriage and limber in one load and two 3-inch
field-gun caissons for another load.]




                   _Ordnance motor production table._

                                   |         | Quantity| Quantity|
                Size.              |Quantity | accepted| accepted|  Floated
                                   | ordered.| Nov. 11,| Jan. 31,|  to Nov.
                                   |         |  1918.  |  1919.  | 11, 1918.
  2½-ton                           |   5,586 |      10 |      25 |         2
  5-ton                            |  11,150 |   1,543 |   3,480 |       459
  10-ton                           |   6,623 |   1,421 |   2,014 |       628
  15-ton                           |     267 |     267 |     267 |       232
  20-ton                           |   1,165 |     126 |     154 |        81
  1½-ton antiaircraft machine gun  |   2,289 |     150 |     562 |       126
  3-inch field gun                 |     830 |     235 |     472 |        15
  4-ton shop bodies                |     576 |     101 |     384 |        12
  4-ton shop chassis               |     576 |     260 |     555 |
  10-ton                           |     540 |     104 |     245 |         1
  3-inch antiaircraft              |     612 |     542 |     611 |       199
  F. W. D. chassis                 |  13,907 |   5,361 |  10,615 |     3,561
  Nash chassis                     |  16,165 |   7,137 |  12,884 |     5,859
  Ammunition bodies                |  24,729 |  18,212 |  21,709 |
  Ammunition mountings             |  24,729 |   9,615 |  11,024 |     6,955
  Artillery repair                 |   1,332 |   1,318 |   1,332 |       350
  Artillery supply                 |   5,474 |     813 |   1,838 |       444
  Light repair                     |   1,012 |   1,012 |   1,012 |       362
  Dodge chassis                    |   1,012 |   1,012 |   1,012 |       436
  Commerce chassis                 |   1,500 |   1,500 |   1,500 |        24
  Machine-gun body, mounted on     |         |         |         |
    Commerce or White 1-ton chassis|   1,500 |     486 |   1,306 |       241
  1-ton supply                     |      60 |      60 |      60 |        55
  White chassis                    |   1,695 |   1,929 |   2,695 |       575
  Reconnaissance                   |   1,081 |     712 |   1,003 |       320
  Staff observation                |   1,175 |   1,164 |   1,175 |       189
  Equipment repair                 |     310 |     310 |     310 |       121
  H. M. R. S. trucks               |     624 |     287 |     416 |        12



The tank, more than any other weapon born of the great war, may be
called the joint enterprise of the three principal powers arrayed
against Germany--America, France, and Great Britain. An American
produced the fundamental invention, the caterpillar traction device,
which enables the fortress to move. A Frenchman took the idea from this
and evolved the tank as an engine of war. The British first used the
terrifying monster in actual fighting.

There is a common impression throughout America that the British Army
invented the tank. The impression is wrong in two ways. The French
government has recently awarded the ribbon of the Legion of Honor to
the French ordnance officer who is officially hailed as the tank's
inventor. His right to the honor, however, is disputed by a French
civilian who possesses an impressive exhibition of drawings to prove
that he and not the officer is the inventor. As this is written a
lively controversy over the point is in progress in France. Wherever
the credit for the invention belongs, the French were first to build
tanks, building them only experimentally, however, and not using them
until after the British had demonstrated their effectiveness.

In the second place, it was not the British Army which adopted them
first in England, but the British Navy. The tank as an idea shared the
experience of many another war invention in being skeptically received
by the conservative experts. The British Navy, indeed, produced the
first ones in England; but to the British Army goes the glory of having
first used them in actual fighting and of establishing them in the
forefront of modern offensive weapons.

Brought forth as a surprise, the tanks made an effective début in the
great British drive for Cambrai. Later the enemy affected to scoff
at their usefulness. The closing months of the tanks' brief history,
however, found them in greater favor than ever, and they were used by
both sides in increasing numbers.

Up to the beginning of the summer of 1917 there was little accurate
information in this country regarding the tanks. Somewhat hazy
specifications then began to come from Europe about the designs of the
different tanks at that particular time in use on the battle front, but
these specifications were exceedingly rough and sketchy, consisting in
the main of merely the fact that the machines should be able to cross
trenches about 6 feet wide, that each should carry one heavy gun and
two or three machine guns, and that their protection should consist of
armor plate about five-eighths of an inch thick.

[Illustration: THREE-TON TANK.

Weight, 5,800 pounds; crew, two men (one gunner, one driver); power
plant, two Ford motors, geared together, each motor driving one track;
speed, nine miles per hour; climbing ability, 45°.]

[Illustration: SIX-TON TANK.

    This machine is practically a copy of the French Renault tank
    and carries two men (one driver, one gunner). About half of
    these tanks were equipped with 37-millimeter cannon and about
    half with machine guns. Certain of these tanks also made with
    wireless apparatus substituted for the turret of the fighting
    tanks. Power plant, one Buda 4-cylinder motor; speed, five to
    six miles per hour; grade capacity, 45°; weight, 15,000 pounds.]

With these facts as a guide, two experimental machines were decided
upon, and work on them was begun immediately. With these machines
it was determined to test the relative advantages of a specially
articulated form of caterpillar tractor with wheeled traction, making
use of very large wheels, and to develop the possibilities between the
gas-electric and steam systems of propulsion.

In September, 1917, decision had been made to supply the American Army
with two types of tanks--one the large size, typical of that used by
the British and capable of containing a dozen men, and the other a
smaller one patterned after the French two-man model and known as the
Renault. In September one of our officers charged with tank production
was dispatched to Europe for a more intimate study of the machines
used abroad and for the purpose of getting more detailed information
respecting the merits of the various types of tanks, as well as to make
arrangements for sending specimens here.

The decision to equip the American forces in Europe with tanks of two
sizes was made only after thorough and somewhat protracted conferences
with British, French, and American officers in Europe. Complete
drawings and samples of the small tank were obtained from the French
and shipped to this country. As all of the drawings were made in
accordance with the metric system of measurements, it was necessary
before anything could be done toward actual production to remake the
drawings, as the machine shops here were not equipped to use the metric

The large British tank had been successful in its operations on the
battle front, but its very decided limitations, recognized by British
authorities, caused our officers to think it best to redesign the large
tank in preference to copying the existing big British tank with its

General "fighting" specifications for the big tank were laid down by
the British general staff at the conference at British headquarters
at which American officers were present. It was agreed that this big
tank, known as the Mark VIII, should be of Anglo-American design and
construction. Arrangements were made for producing 1,500 of this type.
To do this, Great Britain and the United States entered into a working
agreement that provided for England to furnish the hulls, guns, and
ammunition, while the United States was to furnish the power plant and
driving details of the monster. Roughly speaking, each tank would cost
about $35,000, of which $15,000 represented the American part of the
job, on which some 72 contractors were at once engaged. About 50 per
cent of the work on these tanks had been completed when the armistice
was signed, and the first units were undergoing trials.

It was confidently expected that all of the 1,500 contracted for
would have been completed by March, 1919. While these Anglo-American
tanks were in the process of construction there were also being built
here 1,450 all-American tanks of the large English type, and for this
all-American tank 50 per cent of the work had also been done at the
signing of the armistice.

In December, 1917, a sample French tank of the Renault type reached
this country along with detailed drawings and a French engineer.
Much difficulty then ensued in getting American concerns to take on
production of this machine, because of the difficult nature of its
manufacture. Considerable time, too, was taken up in changing the
drawings from the French metric dimensions to the American dimensions,
and this involved redesigning many parts.

In the manufacture of the armor built for the Renault type of tank
the French made no attempt to adhere to simple shapes, and for this
reason practically a new source of supply for this kind of armor had
to be developed. Contracts for 4,440 of the Renault type of tanks
were finally made. The approximate cost of each one of these machines
was $11,500. Manufacturing activities for the various parts had to be
divided up among more than a score of plants, so that many plants were
turning out parts for these machines, while the assembling was done at
only three plants, which also made a portion of the parts.

The three assembly plants were the Van Dorn Iron Works, of Cleveland,
Ohio; the Maxwell Motors Co., of Dayton, Ohio; and the C. L. Best Co.,
also of Dayton.

Finished machines of this type started to come through in October. When
the armistice was signed 64 of these 6-ton Renault tanks, each designed
to carry two men and a machine gun, were completed, while up to the end
of December the number of those finished amounted to 209, with 289 in
the process of assembly. There is every reason to believe that had the
armistice not been signed, the entire original program would have been
completed by April.

During the summer and fall of 1918 our tank program had been augmented
by the development of two entirely new types of tanks. One was a
two-man tank weighing 3 tons, built by the Ford Motor Co. and costing
in the neighborhood of $4,000. This tank, mounting one machine gun, has
a speed of about 8 miles an hour. Of this type 15 had been built; and,
up to the 1st of January, 1919, 500 were to have been finished, after
which they were to have been turned out by the Ford Co. at the rate of
100 a day.



The tank has 400 horsepower, a speed of 6 miles an hour, and can climb
a 45° grade. It carries a crew of 11 men and is equipped with two
6-pounders and seven machine guns.]

The other new tank developed was a successor to the French Renault,
designed for production in great volume. This tank was to carry three
men, instead of two, as the original Renault machine, and mount two
guns, one a machine gun and the other a 37-millimeter gun. Some Renault
tanks were equipped with 37-millimeter cannon instead of machine guns.
Cost of production of this machine would have been very much less than
that of the original Renault, while the weight of the machine would
have been substantially the same and its fighting power much greater.

An outlay of about $175,000,000 was projected in the tank program, but
this, of course, was greatly reduced upon the signing of the armistice.
This outlay would have included, besides the cost of the machines,
expenses at various plants for increased facilities for operation.

                           |          | Quantity | Quantity  |
            Item.          | Quantity | accepted |  accepted | Floated
                           | ordered. | Nov. 11, | Jan. 31,  |  to Nov.
                           |          |   1918.  | 1919.[23] | 11, 1918.
  Tanks:                   |          |          |           |
  6-ton                    |   4,440  |     64   |    291    |    6
  Mark I                   |   1,000  |          |           |
  3-ton                    |  15,015  |     15   |           |   10
  Mark 8 A. A. components  |   1,500  |  [24]1   |      1    |
  Mark 8 U. S. complete    |   1,450  |          |           |

[23] Immediately upon signing of the armistice, production was slowed
down as rapidly and as much as possible.

[24] Approximately 50 per cent of the production work on components for
these 1,500 tanks had been completed by Nov. 11.



The machine gun is typically and historically an American device. An
American invented the first real machine gun ever produced. Another
American, who had taken British citizenship, produced the first weapon
of this type that could be called a success in war. Still a third
American gave to the allies at the beginning of the great war a machine
gun which revolutionized the world's conception of what that weapon
might be; while a fourth American inventor, backed by our Ordnance
Department, enabled the American forces to take into the field in
France what is probably the most efficient machine gun ever put into

The machine gun as an idea is not modern at all. The thought has
been engaging the attention of inventors for several centuries.
The idea was inherent in guns which existed in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, but they should be called rapid-fire guns rather
than machine guns, since no machine principle entered into their
construction. They usually consisted of several gun barrels bound
together and fired simultaneously.

The first true machine gun was the invention of Richard Jordon Gatling,
an American, who in 1861 brought out what might be termed a revolving
rifle. The barrels, from 4 to 10 in number, were placed parallel to
each other and arranged on a common axis about which they revolved
in such a manner that each barrel was brought in succession into the
firing position. This gun was used to some extent in our Civil War and
later in the Franco-Prussian War.

In 1866 Reffye, a French inventor, brought out the first
mitrailleuse--a mounted machine gun of the Gatling type towing a limber
and drawn by four horses. It had 25 rifled barrels and could fire 125
shots per minute. The weapon, however, during the Franco-Prussian War,
turned out to be a failure for the reason that it proved an excellent
target for the enemy's artillery and was not sufficiently mobile.
Accordingly the French government abandoned it.

Sir Hiram S. Maxim, who was American born, in 1884 developed a machine
gun which operated automatically by utilizing the force of the recoil.
This gun was perfected and became a serviceable weapon for the
British army in the Boer War. The Maxim gun barrel was cooled by the
water-jacket system. When the water became hot it exhausted a jet of
steam which could be seen for long distances across the South African
veldt, making it a mark for the Boer sharpshooters. This defect was
remedied in homemade fashion by carrying the exhaust steam through a
hose into a bucket of water where it was condensed. This Maxim gun
fired 500 shots a minute.

Meanwhile in this country the Gatling gun had been so improved that it
became one of our standard weapons in the Spanish-American War. Later
on it was used in the Russo-Japanese War.

The Colt machine gun also existed in 1898. This was the invention of
John M. Browning, whose name has been prominently associated with the
development of automatic firearms for the last quarter of a century.

In England the Maxim gun was taken up by the Vickers Co., eventually
becoming what is known to-day as the Vickers gun. In 1903 or 1904 the
American Government bought some Maxim machine guns which were then
being manufactured by the Colt Co. at Hartford, Conn.

In no war previous to the one concluded in 1918 did the machine gun
take a prominent place in the armaments of contending forces. The
popularity of the earlier machine guns was retarded by their great
weight. Some of them were so heavy that it took several men to lift
them. All through the history of the development of machine guns the
tendency has been toward lighter weapons, but it was not until the
great war that serviceable machine guns were made light enough to give
them great effectiveness and popularity. Such intense heat is developed
by the rapid fire of a machine gun that unless the barrel can be kept
cool the gun will soon refuse to function. The water jacket which keeps
the gun cool proved to be the principal handicap to the inventors who
were trying to remove weight from the device. The earliest air-cooled
guns were generally unsuccessful, since the firing of a few rounds
would make the barrel so hot that the cartridges would explode
voluntarily in the chamber, thus rendering the weapon unsafe. The
Benét-Mercié partly overcame this difficulty by having interchangeable
barrels. As soon as one barrel became hot it could be quickly removed
and its cool alternate inserted in its place.

These conditions led to the development of machine guns along two
separate lines--the heavy type machine gun, which must be capable of
long sustained fire, and the automatic rifle, whose primary requisite
is extreme lightness. These requirements brought the ultimate
elimination from ground use in France and in the United States of guns
of the so-called intermediate weight as being incapable of fulfilling
either of the above requirements to the fullest degree.

The machine gun produced by the American inventor, Col. I. N. Lewis,
was a revelation when it came to the aid of the allies early in the
great war. This was an air-cooled gun which could be fired for a
considerable time without excessive heating, and it weighed only 25
pounds, no great burden for a soldier. The Lewis machine gun was hailed
by many as the greatest invention brought into prominence by the war,
although its weight put it in the intermediate class, with limitations
as noted above.

Along in the first decade of the present century the Benét-Mercié
automatic machine rifle was developed. This was an air-cooled gun of
the automatic rifle type and weighed 30 pounds. Light as this gun was,
it was still too heavy to be of great service as an automatic rifle,
since a strong man would soon tire of holding 30 pounds up to his
shoulder, and it was therefore in the intermediate class.

The Germans had apparently realized better than anyone else the value
of machine guns in the kind of fighting which they expected to be
engaged in, and therefore supplied them to their troops in greater
numbers than did the other powers, having, an early report stated,
50,000 Maxim machine guns at the commencement of hostilities. The
Austrian Army had adopted an excellent heavy type machine gun known as
the Schwarzlose whose chief feature lay in the fact that it operated
with only one major spring.

Such was the machine-gun situation, although incompletely set forth
here, at the beginning of the great war. The nations, with the
exception of Germany, had been slow to promote machine gunnery as a
conspicuous phase of their military preparedness. In our Army we had
a provisional machine-gun organization, but no special officers and
few enthusiasts for machine guns. We were content with a theoretical
equipment of four machine guns per regiment. The fact was that in no
previous war had the machine gun demonstrated its tactical value.
The chief utility of the weapon was supposed to lie in its police
effectiveness in putting down mobs and civil disorders and in its value
in other special situations, particularly defensive ones.

The three years of fighting in Europe before the United States was
drawn in had demonstrated the highly important place which the machine
gun held in modern tactics. Because of the danger of our position
we had investigated many phases of armed preparedness, and in this
investigation numerous questions had arisen regarding machine guns.
The Secretary of War had appointed a board of five Army officers and
two civilians to study the machine-gun subject, to recommend the types
of guns to be adopted, the number of guns we should have per unit
of troops, how these guns should be transported, and other matters
pertaining to the subject. Six months before we declared war this
board submitted a report strongly recommending the previously adopted
Vickers machine gun and the immediate procurement of 4,600 of them. In
December, 1916, the War Department acted on this report by contracting
for 4,000 Vickers machine guns from the Colt Co. in addition to 125
previously ordered.

The Vickers gun belongs to what is known as the heavy type of machine
gun. The board found that the tests it had witnessed did not then
warrant the adoption of a light-type machine gun, although the Lewis
gun of the intermediate type was then being manufactured in this
country. The board, however, recommended that we conduct further
competitive tests of machine guns at the Springfield Armory, in
Massachusetts, these tests to begin May 1, 1917, the interval being
given to permit inventors and manufacturers to prepare equipment for
the competition.

The war came to us before these tests were made. On the 6th day of
April, 1917, our equipment included 670 Benét-Mercié machine rifles,
282 Maxim machine guns of the 1904 model, 353 Lewis machine guns, and
148 Colt machine guns. The Lewis guns, however, were chambered for
the .303 British ammunition and would not take our service cartridges.

Moreover, the manufacturing facilities for machine guns in this country
were much more limited in extent than the public had any notion of
then or to-day. Both England and France had depended mainly upon their
own manufacturing facilities for their machine guns, the weapons which
they secured on order from the United States being supplementary and
subsidiary to their own supplies. We had at the outbreak of the war
only two factories in the United States which were actually producing
machine guns in any quantity at all. These were the Savage Arms
Corporation, which in its factory at Utica, N. Y., was nearing the
completion of an order for about 12,500 Lewis guns for the British and
Canadian Governments, and the Marlin-Rockwell Corporation, which had
manufactured a large number of Colt machine guns of the old lever type
for the Russian Government. The Colt factory in the spring of 1917 was
equipping itself with machinery to produce the 4,125 Vickers guns, the
order for 4,000 of which had been placed the previous December by the
War Department on recommendation of the Machine Gun Board. None of
these guns, however, had been completed when the United States entered
the war. The Colt Co. also held a contract for Vickers guns to be
produced for the Russian Government.

It was therefore evident that we should have to build up in the United
States almost a completely new capacity for the production of machine
guns. Nevertheless, we took advantage of what facilities were at hand;
and at once, in fact within a week after the declaration of war, began
placing orders for machine guns. The first of these orders came on
April 12, when we placed a contract with the Savage Arms Corporation
for 1,300 Lewis guns, which, as manufactured by that corporation, had
by this time been overhauled in design and much improved. This order
was subsequently heavily increased. On June 2 we placed an order with
the Marlin-Rockwell Corporation for 2,500 Colt guns, these weapons to
be used in the training of our machine-gun units.

In this connection the reader should bear continually in mind that
throughout the development of machine-gun manufacture we utilized
all existing facilities to the limit in addition to building up new
sources of supply. In other words, whenever concerns were engaged in
the manufacture of machine guns, whatever their make or type, we did
not stop the production of these types in these plants and convert the
establishments into factories for making other weapons; but we had them
continue in the manufacture in which they were engaged, giving them
orders which would enable them to expand their facilities in their
particular lines of production. Then when it became necessary for us
to find factories to build Browning guns and some of the other weapons
on which we specialized, we found new capacity entirely for this
additional production.

Since we sent to France the first American division of troops less than
three months after the declaration of war, they were necessarily armed
with the machine guns at hand, which in this case proved to be the
Benét-Mercié machine rifles.

Meanwhile the development of machine guns in Europe had been going on
at a rapid rate. The standard guns in use by the French Army were now
the Hotchkiss heavy machine gun and the Chauchat light automatic rifle,
both effective weapons. Upon the arrival of our first American division
in France the French Government expressed its willingness to arm this
division with Hotchkiss and Chauchat guns; and thereafter the French
facilities proved to be sufficient to equip our troops with these
weapons until our own manufacture came up to requirements.

The 1st of May, 1917, brought the tests recommended by the
investigation board, these tests continuing throughout the month. To
this competition were brought two newly developed weapons produced by
the inventive genius of that veteran of small-arms manufacture, John M.
Browning. Mr. Browning had been associated with the Army's development
of automatic weapons for so many years that he was peculiarly fitted to
produce a mechanism that could adapt itself to the quantity production
which our forthcoming effort demanded. Both the Browning heavy machine
gun and the Browning light automatic rifle which were put through these
tests in May had been designed with the view of enormous production
quickly attained, so that their simplicity of design was one of their
chief merits. After the tests the board pronounced these weapons the
most effective guns of their type known to the members. The Browning
heavy gun with its water jacket filled weighs 36.75 pounds, whereas
the Browning automatic rifle weighs only 15.5 pounds. These May tests
also proved the Lewis machine gun to be highly efficient. The board
recommended the production of large numbers of all three weapons;
the two Brownings and the Lewis. The board also approved the Vickers
gun, which weighs 37.50 pounds, and we accordingly continued it in

[Illustration: BROWNING MACHINE GUN, MODEL 1917.]


[Illustration: COLT MACHINE GUN, MODEL 1917, CALIBER .30.]

[Illustration: LEWIS MACHINE GUN, MODEL 1917, CALIBER .30.]

The first act of the Ordnance Department after this report had been
received was to increase greatly the orders for Lewis machine guns
with the Savage Arms Corporation, and the second to make preparation
for an enormous manufacture of Browning machine guns and Browning
automatic rifles. Mr. Browning had developed these weapons at the plant
of the Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Co., of Hartford, Conn.,
which concern owned the exclusive rights to both these weapons under
the Browning patents. This company at once began the development of
manufacturing facilities for the production of Browning guns. In July,
1917, orders for 10,000 Browning machine guns and 12,000 Browning
automatic rifles were placed with the Colt Co. It should be remembered
that the Colt Co. was in the midst of preparations for the production
of large numbers of Vickers machine guns; and the Government required
that the Browning manufacture should be carried on without interference
with the existing contracts for Vickers guns. This requirement
necessitated an enormous expansion of the Colt plant to take care of
its growing contracts for Browning guns. The concern prepared to make
the Browning automatic rifle, the lighter gun, at a new factory at
Meriden, Conn.

In its arrangements with the Colt Co. the Government recognized
that its future demands for Browning guns would be far beyond the
capacity of this one concern to supply. Consequently, for a royalty
consideration, the Colt Co. surrendered for the duration of the war,
its exclusive rights to manufacture these weapons, this arrangement
being approved by the Council of National Defense. Mr. Browning,
the inventor of the guns, was also compensated by the Government
for weapons of his invention manufactured during the war. In the
arrangement the Government acquired the right to manufacture during the
period of the emergency all other inventions that might be developed
by Mr. Browning--an important consideration, since at any time the
inventor might add improvements to the original designs or bring out
accessories that would add to the efficiency or effectiveness of the

It may also be added that throughout this period Mr. Browning's efforts
were constantly directed toward the perfection of these guns and the
development of new types of guns and accessories. His services along
these lines were of great value to the War Department.

When these necessary preliminary matters had been settled the Ordnance
Department made a survey of the manufacturing facilities of the United
States to determine what factories could best be set to work to produce
Browning guns and rifles, always with special care that no existing war
contracts, either for the allies or for the United States, be disturbed.

By September this survey was complete, and also by this time we had
definite knowledge of the rate of enlargement of our military forces
and their requirements for machine guns. We were ready to adopt the
program of machine-gun construction that would keep pace with our
needs, no matter what numbers of troops we might equip for battle.
As a foundation for the machine-gun program, in September, 1917, we
placed the following orders: 15,000 water-cooled Browning machine guns
with the Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co., of Bridgeport,
Conn.; 5,000 Browning aircraft machine guns with the Marlin-Rockwell
Corporation, of New Haven, Conn.; and 20,000 Browning automatic rifles
with the Marlin-Rockwell Corporation. In this connection it should
be explained that the Browning aircraft gun is essentially the heavy
Browning with the water-jacket removed. It was practicable to use it
thus stripped, because in aircraft fighting a machine gun is not fired
continuously, but only at intervals, and then in short bursts of fire
too brief to heat a gun beyond the functioning point.

At the same time these orders were placed the Winchester Repeating
Arms Co., of New Haven, Conn., was instructed to begin its preliminary
work looking to the manufacture of Browning automatic rifles; and less
than a month later, in October, an order for 25,000 of these weapons
was placed with this concern. Then followed in December an additional
order for 10,000 Browning aircraft guns to be manufactured by the
Marlin-Rockwell Corporation. A contract for Browning aircraft guns was
also given to the Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co.

Before the year ended the enormous task of providing the special
machinery for this practically new industry was well under way. The
Hopkins & Allen factory, at Norwich, Conn., had been engaged upon a
contract for military rifles for the Belgian government. Before this
order was completed the Marlin-Rockwell Corporation took over the
Hopkins & Allen plant and set it to producing parts for the light
Browning automatic rifles. Even this concern, however, could not
produce the parts in sufficient quantities for the Marlin-Rockwell
order, and the latter concern accordingly acquired the Mayo Radiator
factory, at New Haven, and equipped it with machine tools for the
production of Browning automatic-rifle parts. Such expansion was
merely typical of what went on in the other concerns engaged in our
machine-gun production. Immense quantities of new machinery had to
be built and set up in all these factories. But still the Ordnance
Department kept on expanding the machine-gun capacity. The New England
Westinghouse Co., of Springfield, Mass., in January, 1918, completed a
contract for rifles for the Russian government and was at once given
an order for Browning water-cooled guns. For reasons which will be
explained later, the original order for Browning aircraft guns, which
had been placed with the Remington Arms Co., was later transferred to
the New England Westinghouse Co. at their Springfield plant.



    This is the machine gun adopted by the French Army. This gun
        is of a heavy type, air-cooled, gas-operated, and fed from
        either a strip holding 30 cartridges or a metallic link
        belt. Its rate of fire is about 500 rounds per minute.]

[Illustration: VICKERS MACHINE GUN, MODEL 1915, CALIBER .30.]


As soon as our officers in France could make an adequate study of our
aircraft needs in machine guns, they discovered that in the three
years of war only one weapon had met the requirements of the allies
for a fixed machine gun that could be synchronized to fire through the
whirling blades of an airplane propeller. This was the Vickers gun,
which was already being manufactured in some quantity in our country,
and for which three months before we entered the war we had given an
order amounting to 4,000 weapons. On the other hand, the fighting
aircraft of Europe were also finding an increased need for machine guns
of the flexible type--that is, guns mounted on universal pivots, and
which could be aimed and fired in any direction by the second man, or
observer, in an airplane. The best gun we had for this purpose was the
Lewis machine gun.

For technical reasons that need not be explained here, the Vickers gun
was a difficult one to manufacture. The Colt Co., which was producing
these weapons, in spite of their long experience in the manufacture
of such arms and in spite of their utmost efforts, had been unable
to deliver the finished Vickers guns on time, either to the Russian
government or to this country. However, by expanding the facilities
of this factory to the utmost, by the month of May, 1918, the concern
achieved a production of over 50 Vickers guns per day. Doubtless,
because of these same difficulties, neither the British nor the French
governments had been able to procure Vickers guns as rapidly as they
expanded the number of their fighting aircraft, and consequently
when we entered the war we received at once a Macedonian cry from
the allies to aid in equipping the allied aircraft with weapons of
the Vickers type. An arrangement was readily reached in this matter.
Our first troops in France needed machine guns for use on the lines.
Our own factories had not yet begun the production of these weapons.
Accordingly, in the fall of 1917, we arranged with the French high
commissioner in this country to transfer 1,000 of our Vickers guns to
the French air service, receiving in exchange French Hotchkiss machine
guns for Gen. Pershing's troops.

Now while the demands of the allied service had brought forth only
the Vickers machine gun as a satisfactorily synchronized weapon, we,
shortly after our entry into the war, had succeeded in developing two
additional types of machine guns which gave every promise of being
satisfactory for use as fixed synchronized guns on airplanes. One of
these, of course, was the heavy Browning gun, stripped of its water
jacket; but because this was a new weapon, requiring an entirely new
factory equipment for its production, the day when Brownings would
begin firing at the German battle planes was remote, indeed, as time is
reckoned in war.

On the other hand, our inventors had been improving a machine gun
known as the Marlin, which was, in fact, the old Colt machine gun,
Mr. Browning's original invention, but now of lighter construction
and with a piston firing action instead of a lever control. In the
face of considerable criticism at the time, we proposed to adapt this
weapon to our aircraft needs as a stop-gap until Brownings were coming
from the factory in satisfactory quantities. We took this course
because we were prepared to turn out quantities of the Marlin guns
in relatively quick time. As has been said, the Marlin resembled the
Colt. The Marlin-Rockwell Corporation was already tooled up for a large
production of Colt guns, and this machinery with slight modifications
could be used to produce the Marlin.

We decided upon this course shortly after the declaration of war, and
there followed a severe engineering and inventive task to develop a
high-speed hammer mechanism and a trigger motor which would adapt the
gun for use with the synchronizing mechanism. But then occurred one of
those surprising successes that sometimes bless the efforts of harassed
and hurried executives at their wits' end to meet the demand of some
great emergency. The improvements added to the Marlin gun eventually
transformed it in unforeseen fashion into an aircraft weapon of such
efficiency that not only our own pilots but those of the French air
forces as well were delighted with the result.

When it was proposed to adapt the Marlin gun for synchronized use on
airplanes, the Ordnance Department detailed officers to cooperate with
the Marlin company in its efforts. For technical reasons of design the
original gun apparently had little or no adaptability to such use. Many
new models were built only to be knocked to pieces after the failure of
some feature to perform properly the work for which it was designed.
Nevertheless the enthusiasm of the company for its project could not be
chilled, and it continued the development until the gun finally became
a triumph in gas-operated aircraft ordnance.

In the latter part of August we were using the Marlin gun at the front,
and cablegram after cablegram told us of the surprisingly excellent
performances of this weapon in actual service. It is sufficient here
to quote one of these messages from Gen. Pershing, dated February 23,


    This was the first automatic machine gun to be developed. It
    is of the heavy type, recoil operated, water cooled, and belt
    fed. The gun is capable of sustained fire for long periods of
    time provided its water supply is properly maintained, and is
    adaptable to indirect barrage fire. It is used by the British
    and U. S. forces and in modified form by the Germans.]




    A fixed synchronized gun developed from the Colt gun solely
    for aircraft use. It is of the heavy type, gas operated, air
    cooled, and belt fed. It is the only gas-operated gun which has
    been successfully synchronized and has been found to give the
    closest grouping of shot in synchronized fire which has ever
    been obtained with any gun.]


    Marlin aircraft guns have been fired successfully on four trips
    13,000, 15,000 feet altitude, and at temperature of minus 20°
    F. On one trip guns were completely covered ice. Both metallic
    links and fabric belts proved satisfactory.

(Cartridges are fed into the fixed aircraft guns inserted in belts made
of metallic links which disintegrate as the guns are fired.)

On November 2, 1918, just before the armistice was signed, Gen.
Pershing cabled as follows, in part:

    Marlin guns now rank as high as any with pilots, and are
    entirely satisfactory.

The French government tested the Marlin guns and declared them to be
the equal of the Vickers. In order to meet the ever-increasing demands
of the Air Service for machine guns capable of synchronization, the
original order for 23,000 Marlin guns, placed in September, 1917,
with the Marlin-Rockwell Corporation, was afterwards increased to
38,000. Along in 1918 the French tried to procure Marlins from this
country, but by that time the Browning production was reaching great
proportions, and the equipment at the Marlin plant was being altered to
make Brownings.

The original order for Lewis guns, placed with the Savage Arms
Corporation, had contemplated their use by our troops in the line; but
when it became evident that the available manufacturing capacity of the
United States would be strained to the utmost to provide enough guns
for our airplanes, we diverted the large orders for Lewis guns entirely
to the Air Service. This action was confirmed by cabled instructions
from Gen. Pershing. For this flexible aircraft work the weapon was
admirably adapted.

To the machine-gun tests, May, 1917, the producers of the Lewis gun
brought an improved model, chambered for our own standard .30-caliber
cartridges, instead of for the British .303 ammunition, with some 15
modifications in design in addition to those which had been presented
to us before, and some added improvements in construction and in the
metallurgical composition of its materials. From our point of view,
this new model Lewis was a greatly improved weapon. The fact should be
stated here that the Lewis gun, as so successfully made for the British
service by the Birmingham Small Arms Co., had never been procurable by
the United States, even in a single sample for test.

The Lewis accordingly became the standard flexible gun for our
airplanes. The Savage Arms Corporation was able to expand its
facilities to fulfill every need of our Air Service for this type of
weapon, and therefore we made no effort to carry the manufacture of
Lewis guns into other plants. Before 1917 came to an end the Savage
company was delivering the first guns of its orders.

During the difficulties on the Mexican border the United States secured
from the Savage Arms Co. several hundred Lewis guns made to use British
ammunition. In order to be sure that the guns would be properly used,
experts from the factory were sent out to instruct the troops who
were to receive the guns. Ordnance officers also went out on this
instruction work and established machine-gun schools along the border.
The troops did not find the guns entirely satisfactory, in spite of
expert instruction that they received from men from the factory. The
trouble with the guns at this time was due to the fact that the company
making them in the United States had been engaged in the manufacture
of machine guns for a short time only and had run into several minor
difficulties in the design and manufacture, difficulties which caused
considerable trouble in operating the guns in the field, and which
were subsequently corrected in the 15 changes mentioned above. The
machine-gun schools which were established on the border taught not
only the mechanism of the Lewis gun, but also those of the other types
of guns with which the various troops were armed. The first thing that
these schools developed was the fact that much of the trouble which
had been encountered in machine guns was undoubtedly due to the fact
that our soldiers were unfamiliar with the operation of the weapons. In
fact, at that time we had few experts in the operation of any make of
machine guns.

Soon after the establishment of machine-gun schools on the border it
became apparent that the system of instruction devised by our ordnance
officers had gone a long way toward overcoming the difficulties which
the Army had encountered in the use of machine guns. The advantage
of these schools was so marked that on the outbreak of the war with
Germany the Ordnance Department established a machine-gun school at
Springfield Armory. The first class of this school consisted of a
large number of technical graduates from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and other such schools. These men were employed as
civilians, and were taught the mechanism of machine guns in a
theoretical way in as thorough a manner as could possibly be done,
and were given an opportunity to fire the guns and find out for
themselves just what troubles were likely to occur. Many of these men
were afterwards commissioned as officers in the Ordnance Department
and were sent to the various cantonments throughout the United States
to establish schools of instruction in the mechanism of the various
machine guns.

After this class of civilians had been graduated from the Springfield
school, a number of training-camp candidates were instructed and
were afterwards commissioned. When the full success of this school
was realized, it was enlarged and expanded, and it instructed not
only civilians and training-camp candidates, but also officers of
the Ordnance Department, who were trained as armament officers,
instructors, etc. Later the school was still further expanded to
include a large class of enlisted men for duty as armorers. In all,
over 500 officers were instructed at the Springfield school.

When the war with Germany ceased, the graduates of the Springfield
Armory machine gun school were found in almost every line of endeavor
connected with arms, ammunition, and kindred subjects.

Now, let us look at the first results of the early effort in
machine-gun production. Within a month after the first drafted troops
reached their cantonments we were able to ship 50 Colt guns from the
Marlin-Rockwell Corporation to each National Army camp, these guns to
be used exclusively for training our machine-gun units. Before another
30 days passed we had added to the machine-gun equipment of each camp
20 Lewis guns of the ground type, and 30 Chauchat automatic rifles
which we bought from the French. (The Lewis ground gun was almost
identical with the aircraft type, except that its barrel was surrounded
by an aluminum heat radiator for cooling, a device not needed on the
guns of airplanes because of the latter's shorter periods of fire.)
Also, in the autumn of 1917 we were able to issue to each National
Guard camp a training equipment consisting of 30 Colt machine guns, 30
Chauchat automatic rifles, and some 50 to 70 Lewis ground guns.

At the beginning of 1918 our machine-gun manufacture was well under
way. Such was the industrial situation at this time: the Savage
Arms Corporation was producing Lewis aircraft machine guns of the
flexible type; the Marlin-Rockwell Corporation was manufacturing large
quantities of Marlin aircraft machine guns of the synchronizing type;
the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. was building Vickers
machine guns of the heavy, mobile type; and a number of great factories
were tooling up at top speed for the immense production of Browning
guns of all types soon to begin. Meanwhile we kept increasing our
orders as rapidly as conditions warranted.

By May, 1918, the first 12 divisions of American troops had reached
France. They were all equipped with Hotchkiss heavy machine guns
and Chauchat automatic rifles--both kinds supplied by the French
government. During May and June, 11 American divisions sailed, and
the heavy machine-gun equipment of these troops was American built,
consisting of Vickers guns. For their light machine guns these 11
divisions received the French Chauchat rifles in France. After June,
1918, all American troops to sail were supplied with a full equipment
of Browning guns, both of the light and heavy types. Part of these
Brownings were issued to the troops before they sailed, and the rest
upon their arrival in France.

The Savage Arms Corporation built nearly 6,000 Lewis guns of the
ground type before diverting their manufacture to the aircraft type
exclusively. On May 11, 1918, this concern had built 16,000 Lewis guns
for the American Government, of which more than 10,000 were for use
on airplanes. By the end of July the company had turned out 16,000
aircraft Lewis guns, not to mention 6,000 of the same sort which it had
built and supplied to the American Navy. By the end of September we had
accepted over 25,000 Lewis aircraft guns. On the date of the signing of
the armistice approximately 32,000 of these guns had been completed.

By the first of May, 1918, the Marlin-Rockwell Corporation had
turned out nearly 17,000 Marlin aircraft guns with the synchronizing
appliances. Thirty days later its total had reached 23,000. On October
1 the entire order of 38,000 Marlin guns had been completed, and the
company began the work of converting its plant into a Browning factory.

On May 1, 1918, the Colt Co. had delivered more than 2,000 Vickers guns
of the ground type. Before the end of July this output totaled 8,000,
besides 3,000 Vickers guns which were later converted to aircraft use.
In addition the Colt Co. had undertaken another machine-gun project
of which nothing has been said before. This concern had completed
manufacture of about 1,000 Vickers guns for the Russian government.
At this time the aviators at the front began using machine guns of
large caliber, principally against observation balloons and dirigible
aircraft. The allies had developed an 11-millimeter Vickers machine
gun for this purpose, which means a gun with a bore diameter of nearly
one-half inch. The Ordnance Department undertook to change these
Russian Vickers guns into 11-millimeter aircraft machine guns. This
undertaking was successfully carried through by the Colt Co., which
delivered the first modified weapon in July and had increased its
deliveries to a total of 800 guns by November 11, 1918.

When the fighting ceased the Colt Co. had delivered 12,000 heavy
Vickers guns and nearly 1,000 of the aircraft type. As was mentioned
before, a considerable quantity of Vickers ground guns had been
subsequently converted to aircraft use. The production of ground-type
Vickers ceased on September 12, 1918, by which date the manufacture
of Browning guns had developed sufficiently to meet all of our future
needs. Thereafter the Colt plant produced the aircraft types of Vickers
guns only. We shipped 6,309 Vickers ground guns overseas before the
armistice was signed, besides equipping six France-bound divisions of
troops with these weapons in this country, making a total of 7,653
American-built Vickers in the hands of the American Expeditionary
Forces. Later, we planned to replace these weapons with Brownings,
turning over the Vickers guns to the Air Service.

But America's greatest feat in machine-gun production was the
development of the Browning weapons. These guns, as has been noted,
were of three types: the heavy Browning water-cooled gun, weighing 37
pounds, for the use of our troops in the field; the light Browning
automatic rifle, weighing 15.5 pounds, and in appearance similar to the
ordinary service rifle, also for the use of our soldiers fighting on
the ground; and, finally, the Browning synchronized aircraft gun of the
rigid type, which was the Browning heavy machine gun made lighter by
the elimination of its water-jacket, speeded up to double the rate of
fire, and provided with the additional attachment of the synchronized
firing mechanism. Let us take up separately the expansion of the
facilities for manufacturing these types.

In the first place, the Colt Co., which owned the Browning rights,
in September, 1917, turned over to the Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
the task of developing the drawings and gauges for the manufacture of
Browning automatic rifles on a large scale. The latter concern did a
splendid job in this work. Early in March, 1918, the Winchester Co. had
tooled up its plant and turned out the first Browning rifles. These
were shipped to Washington and demonstrated in the hands of gunners
before a distinguished audience of officers and other Government
officials, and their great success assured the country that America had
an automatic rifle worthy of her inventive and manufacturing prestige.
By the first of May the Winchester Co. had turned out 1,200 Browning

The Marlin-Rockwell Corporation attained its first production of
Browning rifles in June, 1918, by which time the Winchester Co. had
built about 4,000 of them. Before the end of June the Colt Co. added
its first few hundreds of Browning rifles to the expanding output.
By the end of July the total production of Browning rifles had
reached 17,000, produced as follows: 9,700 by Winchester; 5,650 by
Marlin-Rockwell; and 1,650 by Colt's. Two months later this total had
been doubled--the exact figure being 34,500 Browning rifles--and on
November 11, 1918, when the flag fell on this industrial race, the
Government had accepted 52,238 light Browning rifles. Of these in round
numbers the Winchester Co. had built 27,000; Marlin-Rockwell, 16,000;
and Colt's, 9,000.

But these figures give only an indication of the Browning rifle
program as it had expanded up to the time hostilities ceased. When the
armistice was signed our orders for these guns called for a production
of 288,174, and still further large orders were about to be placed. As
an illustration of the size which this manufacture would have attained,
we had completed negotiations with one concern whereby its factory
capacity was to be increased to produce 800 Browning rifles every 24
hours by June of 1919. After the armistice was signed we canceled
orders calling for the manufacture of 186,000 Browning automatic rifles.

Of the 48,082 of these weapons sent overseas, 38,860 went in bulk on
supply transports, while the rest constituted the equipment of 12
Yankee divisions which carried their automatic rifles with them.

The Colt Co. itself developed the drawings and gauges for the quantity
manufacture of the Browning gun of the ground type. It will be
remembered that the New England Westinghouse Co. was the first outside
concern to begin the manufacture of these weapons. The New England
Westinghouse Co. received its orders in January, 1918, and within four
months had turned out its first completed guns, being the first company
to deliver these weapons to the Government. By the first of May it had
delivered 85 heavy Brownings.

By the middle of May the Remington Co. came into production of the
heavy Brownings. The Colt Co., which was required to continue its
production of Vickers guns, was also retarded by the duty of preparing
the drawings for the other concerns who had contracted to make heavy
Brownings; and this factory, the birthplace of the Browning gun,
was not able to produce any until the end of June. By this time the
Westinghouse Co. had turned out more than 2,500 heavy Brownings, and
Remington over 1,600.

By the end of July the production of Browning machine guns at all
plants had reached the total of 10,000; and two months later 26,000
heavy Brownings were in the hands of the Government. In the following
six weeks this production was enormously increased, the total receipts
by the Government up to November 11 amounting to about 42,000 heavy
Browning guns. In round numbers Westinghouse produced 30,000 of these,
Remington 11,000, and Colt about 1,000.

We shipped in all 30,582 heavy Brownings to the American Expeditionary
Forces, 27,894 going on supply ships and the rest in the hands of 12
divisions of troops.

These shipments actually put in France before the armistice was signed
enough heavy Brownings to equip completely all the American troops
on French soil. However, at the time these supplies were arriving
the fighting against the retreating German Army was at its height,
and there was no time for the troops on the line to exchange their
British-built and French-built machine guns for Brownings, nor to
replace their Chauchat automatic rifles with light Brownings, of which
there was also an ample supply in France.

A report of the Chief Ordnance Officer, American Expeditionary Forces,
as of February 15, 1919, shows that, except for antiaircraft use,
Vickers and Hotchkiss machine guns with troops had been almost entirely
replaced by heavy Brownings on that date, and that Chauchat automatic
rifles had been replaced by light Brownings.





When the armistice was signed we had placed orders for 110,000 heavy
Brownings and were contemplating still further orders. We later reduced
these orders by 37,500 guns.

Because the Marlin aircraft gun had performed so satisfactorily, and
because our facilities for the manufacture of this weapon were large,
the production of the Browning aircraft guns had not been pushed to the
limit, which latter action would have interfered with the production
of the Marlin gun at a time when it was most essential to obtain an
immediate supply of fixed synchronized aircraft guns. Only a few
hundred Browning aircraft guns had been completed before the close
of the fighting. In its tests and performances this weapon had been
speeded up to a rate of fire of from 1,000 to 1,300 shots per minute,
which far surpassed the performances of any synchronized gun then in
use on the western front.

By the spring of 1918 it became evident that we would require a special
machine gun for use in our tanks. Several makes of guns were considered
for this purpose and finally discarded for one reason or another. The
ultimate decision was to take 7,250 Marlin aircraft guns which were
available and adapt them to tank service by the addition of sights,
aluminum heat radiators, and handle grips and triggers. The rebuilding
of these guns at the Marlin-Rockwell plant when the armistice was
signed was progressing at a rate that insured the adequate equipment of
the first American-built tanks.

Meanwhile the Ordnance Department undertook the production of a
Browning tank machine gun. This gun was developed by taking a
heavy Browning water-cooled gun, eliminating the water jacket and
substituting an air-cooled barrel of heavy construction, and adding
hand grips and sights. The work was begun in September, 1918, and
the completed model was delivered by the end of October. Before the
armistice was signed five sample guns had been built, demonstrated at
the Tank Corps training camps, and unanimously approved by the officers
of the Tank Corps designated to test it. After a test in France, the
report stated: "The gun is by far the best weapon for tank use that
is now known, and the Department is to be congratulated upon its
development." An order for 40,000 Browning tank guns was given to the
Westinghouse Co. This concern, already equipped for the manufacture of
heavy Browning guns, was scheduled to start its deliveries in December,
1918, and to turn out 7,000 tank guns per month after January 1, 1919.
After the signing of the armistice, however, the order was cut down to
approximately 1,800 guns. By March 27, 1919, the company had delivered
500 Browning tank guns, and the order for the remaining 1,300 was
thereafter canceled.

After the entrance of the United States in the war the armies on both
sides developed a new type of machine-gun fighting, which consisted in
indirect firing, or laying down barrages of machine-gun bullets. This
required the development of special tripods, clinometers for laying
angles of elevation, and other special equipment; and speedy progress
was being made in the quantity production of this matériel when the war
came to an end.

In a complete machine-gun program not only must the guns themselves
be built, but they must be fully equipped with accessories, such as
tripods, extra magazines, carts for carrying both guns and ammunition,
feed belts of various types, belt-loading machines, observation
and fire control instruments, and numerous other accessories the
manufacture of which is absolutely essential but usually unseen by the
public. The extent of our work in accessories is indicated by a few
approximate figures of deliveries up to the signing of the armistice:
nonexpendable ammunition boxes, 1,000,000; expendable ammunition
boxes, 7,000; expendable belts, 5,000; nonexpendable belts, 1,000,000;
belt-loading machines, 25,000; water boxes, 110,000; machine-gun carts,
17,000; ammunition carts, 15,000; tripods, 25,000.

The aircraft machine guns also required numerous accessories, some of
them highly complicated in their manufacture. This special equipment
consisted in part of special mounts for the guns, synchronizing
attachments, metallic disintegrating link belts, electric heaters to
keep the guns warm at the low temperatures at the high altitudes of the
aviator's battle field, and many other smaller items.

Not only our own forces but the allied armies as well were enthusiastic
about the Browning guns of both types, as soon as they had seen them
in action. The best proof of this is that in the summer of 1918 the
British, Belgian, and French Governments all made advances to us as
to the possibility of the United States producing Browning automatic
rifles for their respective forces. On November 6, a few days before
the end of hostilities, the French high commissioner requested that we
supply 15,000 light Browning rifles to the French Army. We would not
make this arrangement at the time because we thought it inadvisable to
divert any of our supplies of these guns from our own troops until the
spring of 1919, when we expected that our capacity for making light
Brownings would exceed the demands of our own troops. Our demand for
the lighter guns, incidentally, was far greater than we had originally
expected it to be. As soon as the Browning rifle was seen in action the
General Staff of our Expeditionary Forces at once increased by 50 per
cent the number of automatic rifles assigned to each company of troops,
and we were manufacturing to meet this augmented demand when the war
ended. By spring of 1919 we expected to be furnishing light Brownings
to the British and French Armies as well as to our own.



[Illustration: GERMAN 08/15 (SPANDAU) MACHINE GUN.]

Both types of Browning guns proved to be unqualified successes in
actual battle, as numerous reports of our Ordnance officers overseas
indicated. The following report from an officer, in addition to
carrying historical information of interest to those following our
machine-gun development, is typical of numerous other official
descriptions of these weapons in battle use:

    The guns [heavy Brownings] went into the front line for the
    first time in the night of September 13. The sector was quiet
    and the guns were practically not used at all until the
    advance, starting September 26. In the action which followed,
    the guns were used on several occasions for overhead fire,
    one company firing 10,000 rounds per gun into a wood in which
    there were enemy machine-gun nests, at a range of 2,000 meters.
    Although the conditions were extremely unfavorable for machine
    guns on account of rain and mud, the guns performed well.
    Machine-gun officers reported that during the engagement the
    guns came up to the fullest expectations and, even though
    covered with rust and using muddy ammunition, they functioned
    whenever called upon to do so.

    After the division had been relieved, 17 guns from one company
    were sent in for my inspection. One of these had been struck
    by shrapnel, which punctured the water jacket. All of the
    guns were completely coated with mud and rust on the outside,
    but the mechanism was fairly clean. Without touching them or
    cleaning them in any way, except to run a rod through the bore,
    a belt of 250 rounds was fired from each without a single
    stoppage of any kind.

    It can be concluded from the try-out in this division that the
    gun in its operation and functioning when handled by men in the
    field is a success.

The Browning automatic rifles were also highly praised by our officers
who had to use them. Although these guns received hard usage, being
on the front for days at a time in the rain and when the gunners had
little opportunity to clean them, they invariably functioned well.

On November 11 we had built 52,238 Browning automatic rifles in this
country. We had bought 29,000 Chauchats from the French. Without
providing replacement guns or reserves, this was a sufficient number
to equip over 100 divisions with 768 guns to the division. This meant
light machine guns enough for a field army of 3,500,000 men. In heavy
machine guns at the signing of the armistice we had 3,340 of the
Hotchkiss make, 9,237 Vickers, and 41,804 Brownings, or a total of
54,627 heavy machine guns--enough to equip the 200 divisions of an army
of 7,000,000 men, not figuring in reserve weapons.

The daily maximum production of Browning rifles reached 706 before
our manufacturing efforts were suddenly stopped, and that of Browning
heavy machine guns 575. At the peak of our production a total of 1,794
machine guns and automatic rifles of all types was produced within a
period of twenty-four hours.

Based upon our output in July, August, and September, 1918, we were
producing monthly 27,270 machine guns and machine rifles of all types,
while the average monthly production of France was at this time 12,126
and that of Great Britain 10,947.

In total production between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, we
had turned out 181,662 machine guns and machine rifles, as against
229,238 by France and 181,404 by England in that same period.

One of the important features which contributed to the success of the
machine-gun program was the cordial spirit of cooperation which the
War Department met from the machine-gun manufacturers. Competitive
commercial advantages weighed not at all against the national need,
and the Department found itself possessed of a group of enthusiastic
and loyal partners with whom it could attack the vast problem of
machine-gun supply. Without these partners and this spirit, the problem
could not have been solved. The United States, starting almost from
the zero point, developed in little more than a year a machine-gun
production greater than that of any other country in the world,
although some of those countries had been fighting a desperate war for
three years and building machine guns to the limit of their capacity.

    _Acceptances of automatic arms, by months, in United States and
              Canada on United States Army orders only._

                     |      |                   1918
                     |      +------+------+------+------+------+------
                     |  To  |      |      |      |      |      |
                     | Jan. |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |  1.  |  Jan.|  Feb.|  Mar.|  Apr.|  May.| June.
    _Ground machine  |      |      |      |      |      |      |
         guns._      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning heavy     |      |      |      |      |    12|   922| 2,620
  Vickers field      | 2,031| 1,021|   951| 1,386| 1,341| 1,208| 1,349
  Colt               | 2,500|      |      |      |      |      |   305
  Lewis field        | 2,209|   291|      |      |      |      |
  Lewis caliber .303 |   750|      |      |      |   300|      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
   _Aircraft machine |      |      |      |      |      |      |
         guns._      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning           |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Marlin             |    12| 3,134| 3,850| 3,419| 5,750| 6,250|   219
  Lewis flexible     |     6|   540| 1,085| 1,568| 1,333| 2,629| 4,342
  Vickers caliber .30|      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Vickers 11-mm      |      |      |      |      |      |      |    72
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
     _Tank machine   |      |      |      |      |      |      |
        guns._       |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning           |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Marlin             |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  _Automatic rifles._|      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning light     |      |      |    15|   548|   363| 1,822| 3,876
        Total        | 7,508| 4,986| 5,901| 6,921| 9,099|12,831|12,783

                     |                   1918                  |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     | July.|  Aug.| Sept.|  Oct.|  Nov.|  Dec.|  Total.
    _Ground machine  |      |      |      |      |      |      |
         guns._      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning heavy     | 4,225| 9,182| 8,838|14,639| 6,654| 9,516|  56,608
  Vickers field      | 1,565|   789|   381|   103|      |      |  12,125
  Colt               |    11|      |      |      |      |      |   2,816
  Lewis field        |      |      |      |      |      |      |   2,500
  Lewis caliber .303 |      |      |      |      |      |      |   1,050
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
   _Aircraft machine |      |      |      |      |      |      |
         guns._      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning           |      |      |      |   211|   363|     6|     580
  Marlin             | 6,356| 7,269| 1,691|    50|      |      |  38,000
  Lewis flexible     | 4,338| 5,595| 3,973| 5,857| 3,792| 4,142|  39,200
  Vickers caliber .30|      |      |   307|   575|   373| 1,221|   2,476
  Vickers 11-mm      |   263|    95|   254|   117|   161|   276|   1,238
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
     _Tank machine   |      |      |      |      |      |      |
        guns._       |      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning           |      |      |      |      |     3|     1|       4
  Marlin             |      [25]103| [25]9[25]316[25]460[25]582[25]1,470
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  _Automatic rifles._|      |      |      |      |      |      |
                     |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  Browning light     | 8,196|12,517| 6,896|13,687|11,368|10,672|  69,960
        Total        |24,954|35,447|22,340|35,239|22,714|25,834| 226,557

[25] Modified from aircraft, not included in total.



Although in the 19 months of American belligerency in the great war
we had sent to France upward of two million soldiers, each rifleman
among them as he stepped aboard his transport carried his own gun. This
weapon, which was to be his comrade and best friend in the perilous
months to come, was an American rifle, a rifle at least the equal of
any in use by soldiers of other nations, a rifle manufactured in an
American plant. It may have been one of the dependable Springfield
rifles. More likely, it was a modified 1917 Enfield, built from a
design British in fundamental character, but modified for greater
efficiency by American ordnance officers after the actual entry of the
United States in the great struggle. When it is considered that even
a nation of such military genius as France, especially skilled as she
was in the construction of military weapons, was three years developing
her full ordnance program, even though working at top speed, the rifle
production of the United States stands out as one of the feats of the

The story of the modified 1917 Enfield, which was the rifle on which
the American Expeditionary Forces based their chief dependence, is
an inspiring chapter in our munitions history. To get this weapon we
temporarily forsook the most accurate Army rifle the world had ever
seen and straightway produced in great quantities another one, a new
model, that proved itself to be almost, if not quite, as serviceable
for the kind of warfare in which we were to engage. It is the story of
triumph over difficulties, of American productive genius at its best.

America, since the days of Daniel Boone a nation of crack shots, was
naturally the home of good rifles. Hence, perhaps, it is not surprising
that the United States should be the nation to produce the closest
shooting military rifle known in its day. This was the United States
rifle, model of 1903, popularly called the "Springfield."

The Springfield rifle had superseded in our Army the Krag, which we
had used in the Spanish-American War. In that conflict the Spanish
Army used a rifle of German design, the Mauser. Our ordnance officers
at that time considered the Krag to be a more accurate weapon than the
Mauser. Still we were not satisfied with the Krag, and, after several
years of development, in 1903 we brought out the Springfield, the most
accurate and quickest firing rifle that had ever come from an arsenal.

There was no questioning the superiority of the Springfield in point
of accuracy. Time after time we pitted our Army shooting teams against
those of the other nations of the earth and won the international
competitions with the Springfield. We won the Olympic shoot of 1908
over England, Canada, France, Sweden, Norway, Greece, and Denmark.
Again, in 1912, we won the Olympic shoot against England, Sweden, South
Africa, France, Norway, Greece, Denmark, Russia, and Austria-Hungary.
In 1912 the Springfield rifle, in the hands of Yankee marksmen, won the
Pan American match at Buenos Aires, and in 1913 it defeated Argentina,
Canada, Sweden, and Peru. In all of these matches the Mauser rifle was
fired by various teams; but the Springfield never failed to defeat this
German weapon, which it was to meet later in the fighting of the great

Altogether the Springfield rifle defeated the military rifles of 15
nations in shooting competitions prior to the war, and in 1912, at
Ottawa, an American team firing Springfields set marksmanship records
for 800 yards, 900 yards, and 1,000 yards that have never been broken.
Much is to be said for the men behind these guns, but due credit must
be given to the rifles that put the bullets where the marksmen aimed.

Such was the history of this splendid arm when the United States neared
the brink of the great conflict. But as war became inevitable for
us and we began to have a realization of the scale on which we must
prosecute it, our ordnance officers studying the rifle problem became
persuaded that our Army could not hope to carry this magnificent weapon
to Europe as its chief small-arms reliance. A brief examination of the
industrial problem presented by the rifle situation in 1917 should make
it clear even to a man unacquainted with machinery and manufacturing
why it would be humanly impossible to equip our troops with the rifle
in developing which our ordnance experts had spent so many years.

The Model 1903 rifle had been built in two factories and only two--the
Springfield Armory, Springfield, Mass., and the Rock Island Arsenal
at Rock Island, Ill. Our Government for several years prior to 1917
had cut down its expenditures for the manufacture of small arms and
ammunition. The result was that the Rock Island Arsenal had ceased its
production of Springfields altogether, while the output of rifles from
the Springfield Armory had been greatly reduced.

This meant that the skilled artisans once employed in the manufacture
of Springfield rifles had been scattered to the four winds. When in
early 1917 it became necessary to speed up the production of rifles
to the limit in these two establishments those in charge of the
undertaking found that they could recover only a few of the old,
trained employees. Yet even when we had restaffed these two factories
with skilled men their combined production at top speed could not begin
to supply the quantity of rifles which our impending Army would need.
Therefore, it was obviously necessary that we procure rifles from
private factories.

Why, then, was not the manufacture of Springfields extended to the
private plants? Some ante bellum effort, indeed, had been made looking
to the production of Springfields in commercial plants, but lack of
funds had prevented more than the outlining of the scheme.

Any high-powered rifle is an intricate production. The 1917 Enfield
is relatively simple in construction, yet the soldier can dismount
his Enfield into 86 parts, and some of these parts are made up of
several component pieces. Many of these parts must be made with great
precision, gauged with microscopic nicety, and finished with unusual
accuracy. To produce Springfields on a grand scale in private plants
would imply the use of thousands of gauges, jigs, dies, and other
small tools necessary for such a manufacture, as well as that of great
quantities of special machines. None of this equipment for Springfield
rifle manufacture had been provided, yet all of it must be supplied to
the commercial plants before they could turn out rifles.

We should have had to spend preliminary months or even years in
building up an adequate manufacturing equipment for Springfields,
the while our boys in France were using what odds and ends of rifle
equipment the Government might be able to purchase for them, except for
a condition in our small-arms industry in early 1917 that now seems to
have been well-nigh providential.

Among others, both the British and the Russian Governments in the
emergency of 1914 and 1915 had turned to the United States to
supplement their sources of rifle supply while they, particularly the
British, were building up their home manufacturing capacity. There
were five American concerns engaged in the production of rifles on
these large foreign orders when we entered the war. Three of them were
the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., of New Haven, Conn.; the Remington
Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co., of Ilion, N. Y.; and the Remington
Arms Co. of Delaware at its enormous war-contract factory at Eddystone,
Pa., later a part of the Midvale Steel & Ordnance Co. These concerns
had developed their manufacturing facilities on a huge scale to turn
out rifles for the British Government. By the spring of 1917 England
had built up her own manufacturing facilities at home, and the last of
her American contracts were nearing completion.

Here, then, was at hand a huge capacity which, added to our Government
arsenals, could turn out every rifle the American Army would require,
regardless of how many troops we were to put in the field.

But what of the gun that these plants were making--the British Enfield
rifle? As soon as war became a certainty for us the Ordnance Department
sent its best rifle experts to these private plants to study the
British Enfield in detail. They returned to headquarters without
enthusiasm for it; in fact, regarding it as a weapon not good enough
for an American soldier.

A glance at the history of the British Enfield will make clear some of
our objections to it. Until the advent of the 1903 Springfield, the
German Mauser had occupied the summit of military-rifle supremacy. From
1903 until the advent of the great war these two rifles, the Mauser
and the Springfield, were easily the two leaders. The British Army
had been equipped with the Lee-Enfield for some years prior to the
outbreak of the great war, but the British ordnance authorities had
been making vigorous efforts to improve this weapon. The Enfield was at
a disadvantage principally in its ammunition. It fired a .303-caliber
cartridge with a rimmed head. From a ballistic standpoint this
cartridge was virtually obsolete.

In 1914 a new, improved Enfield, known as the Pattern '14, was brought
out in England, and the British Government was on the point of
adopting it when the great war broke out. This was to be a gun of .276
caliber and was to shoot rimless, or cannelured, cartridges similar
to the standard United States ammunition. The war threw the whole
British improved Enfield project on the scrap heap. England was no
more equipped to build the improved Enfields than we were to produce
Springfields in our private plants. The British arsenals and industrial
plants and her ammunition factories were equipped to turn out in the
quantities demanded by the war only the old "short Enfield" and its
antiquated .303 rimmed cartridges.

Now England was obliged to turn to outside sources for an additional
rifle supply, and in the United States she found the three firms named
above willing to undertake large rifle contracts. Having to build up
factory equipment anew in the United States for this work, England
found that she might as well have the American plants manufacture
the improved Enfield as the older type. To produce the 1914 Enfield
without change in America and the older-type Enfield in England would
complicate the British rifle-ammunition manufacture, since these
rifles used cartridges of different sizes and types. Accordingly, the
British selected the improved Enfield for the American manufacture, but
modified it to receive the .303 rimmed cartridges.

This was the gun, then, that we found being produced at New Haven,
Ilion, and Eddystone in the spring of 1917. The rifle had many of the
characteristics of the 1903 Springfield, but it was not so good as
the Springfield in its proportions, and its sights lacked some of the
refinements to which Americans were accustomed. Yet even so it was
a weapon obviously superior to either the French or Russian rifle.
The ammunition which it fired was out of the question for us. Not
only was it inferior, but, since we expected to continue to build the
Springfields at the Government arsenals, we should, if we adopted the
Enfield as it was, be forced to produce two sizes of rifle ammunition,
a condition leading to delay and unsatisfactory output. The rifle had
been designed originally for rimless ammunition and later modified;
so it could be modified readily back again to shoot our
standard .30-caliber Springfield cartridges.

It may be seen that the Ordnance Department had before it three courses
open, any one of which it might take. It could spend the time to
equip private plants to manufacture Springfields, in which case the
American rifle program would be hopelessly delayed. It could get guns
immediately by contracting for the production of British .303 Enfields,
in which case the American troops would carry inferior rifles with
them to France. Or, it could take a relatively brief time, accept the
criticism bound to come from any delay, however brief such delay might
be and however justified by the practical conditions, and modify the
Enfield to take our ammunition, in which case the American troops would
be adequately equipped with a good weapon.

The decision to modify the Enfield was one of the great decisions of
the executive prosecution of the war--all honor to the men who made it.

The three concerns which had been manufacturing the British weapons
conceded that it should be changed to take the American ammunition.
Each company sent to the Springfield Armory on May 10, 1917, a model
modified rifle to be tested. The test showed the weapons still to be
unsatisfactory, principally because they had not been standardized.
Standardization was regarded as an essential for two reasons, one of
them a matter of practical tactics in the field and the other relating
to production speed.

To begin with, the soldier on the battle field is his own rifle
repairman. His unit usually has on hand a supply of weapons damaged
or out of commission for one reason or another. If, therefore, any
part of the soldier's rifle is broken or damaged, he can go to the
stock of unused guns on hand and take from another rifle the part
which he requires; and it will fit his gun, provided there has been
standardization in the rifle manufacture at home. But if the guns have
not been standardized and each weapon is a filing and tinkering job
in the assembly room of the factory, then the soldier in the field is
not likely to be able to find a part that will fit on his gun; and his
rifle, if damaged, goes out of commission. Or, if he finds a part which
fits but does not fit perfectly, his gun may break as he fires it, and
he himself may suffer serious injury.

In the second place, standardization is essential to great speed in
production. If one plant producing rifles encounters a shortage in
any of the parts of the gun, it can send to another plant and secure
a supply of these parts, a favorable condition in manufacture that
is impossible if the weapon has not been standardized. The value of
standardization in speeding up manufacture, however, is best shown in
the actual records of rifle production during the war. The fastest
mechanic in any of the three Enfield factories before 1917 had set an
assembly record of 50 rifles in one working day for the British gun.
After we had standardized the Enfield the high assembly record was 280
rifles a day, while the assemblers in the plants averaged 250 rifles a
day per man when the work was well started.

The Enfields sent to the Springfield Armory test were not standardized
at all, but were largely hand fitted. Little or no attempt had been
made to obtain interchangeability of parts among the rifles turned out
by the three plants. Even the bolt taken from one company's rifle would
not enter the receiver of another company's.

The Ordnance Department was confronted with the dilemma of approving
and issuing a weapon pronounced unsuitable by its own experts and thus
obtaining speedy production, or of delaying until interchangeability
was established. It chose the latter course.

On July 12 a second set of rifles had been tested. These came more
nearly up to our ideas of standardization, but were still not entirely
satisfactory. Nevertheless we decided to go ahead with production and
improve the standardization as we went along. The Winchester and Ilion
plants elected to start work on that understanding, but Eddystone
preferred to wait for the final requirements. Ilion afterwards decided
to postpone production until the final specifications were adopted.
It would have been well if the same course had been followed at the
Winchester plant, for word came later from Europe not to send over
rifles of Winchester manufacture of that period. The final drawings
of the standardized and modified Enfield did not come from the plants
until August 18. Six days later the thousands of dimensions had been
carefully checked and finally approved by the ordnance officers, and
after that production started off in earnest.

The wisdom of adopting the Enfield rifle and modifying it to meet our
requirements instead of extending the manufacture of Springfields
was almost immediately apparent, for in August, almost as soon as
the final drawings were approved, the first rifles were delivered to
the Government. This was possible because the modifications which we
adopted did not require any fundamental changing of machinery.

The principal equipment of these plants was in place and ready to begin
manufacturing Enfields at once; and while the changes in the rifle were
under discussion, the manufacturers were producing their gauges and
small tools as each modification was decided upon.

While we did not succeed in attaining, nor did we attempt to attain,
in fact, complete standardization and interchangeability of the parts
of the Enfields, we did all that was practicable in this direction,
several tests showing that the average of interchangeability was about
95 per cent of the total parts.

Meanwhile we were building up the working staffs of the Rock Island
Arsenal and Springfield Armory and speeding the production of
Springfields. Before the war ended the Rock Island Arsenal, which was
making spare parts for Springfields, reached an output equaling 1,000
completed rifles a day, while the Springfield Armory attained a high
average of 1,500 assembled rifles a day in addition to spare parts
equaling 100 completed rifles daily.

The Eddystone plant finished its British contracts on June 1,
Winchester produced its last British rifle on June 28, and Ilion on
July 21, 1917. Winchester delivered the first modified Enfields to us
on August 18, Eddystone on September 10, and Ilion about October 28.

The progress in the manufacture was thereafter steadily upward.
During the week ending February 2, 1918, the daily production of
military rifles in the United States was 9,247, of which 7,805 were
modified Enfields produced in the three private plants, and 1,442 were
Springfields built in the two arsenals. The total production for that
week was 50,873 guns of both types, or nearly enough for three Army
divisions. In spite of the time that went into the standardization of
the Enfield rifle, all troops leaving the United States were armed with
American weapons at the ports of embarkation.

Ten months after we declared war against Germany we were producing in
a week four times as many rifles as Great Britain had turned out in
a similar period after 10 months of war, and our production was then
twice as large in volume as Great Britain had attained in the war up
to that time. By the middle of June, 1918, we had passed the million
and one-half mark in the production of rifles of all sorts, this figure
including over 250,000 rifles which had been built upon original
contracts placed by the former Russian government.

The production of Enfields and Springfields during the war up to
November 9, 1918, amounted to a total of 2,506,307 guns. Of these
312,878 were Springfield rifles produced by the two Government
arsenals. We had started the war with a reserve of 600,000 Springfield
rifles on hand, and in addition stored in our armories and arsenals
were 160,000 Krags. These latter had to be cleaned and repaired in
large part before they could be used. From the Canadian Government we
purchased 20,000 Ross rifles. The deliveries of Russian rifles totaled
280,049. This gave us a total equipment of 3,575,356 rifles. Since
approximately one-half of the soldiers of an army as actually organised
carry rifles, the number of rifles procured in all by the Ordnance
Department was sufficient to arm both for fighting and for training an
army of 7,000,000 men, disregarding reserve and maintenance rifles.

The Enfield thus became the dominant rifle of our military effort. With
its modified firing mechanism it could use the superior Springfield
cartridges with their great accuracy. The Enfield sights, by having the
peep sight close to the eye of the firer, gave even greater quickness
of aim than the Springfield sights afforded. In this respect the
weapon was far superior to the Mauser, which was the main dependence
of the German Army. All in all to a weapon that made scant appeal
to our ordnance officers in a few weeks we added improvements and
modifications that made the 1917 Enfield a gun that for the short-range
fighting in Europe compared favorably with the Springfield and was to
the allied cause a distinct contribution which America substantially
could claim to be her own.

Standardization not only made possible the ultimate speed with which
our rifles were produced but, together with the care of the Government
in purchasing raw materials and in drawing contracts, it saved a great
deal of money in the cost of these weapons. The British had been paying
approximately $42 apiece for Enfields produced in the United States.
The modified Enfields cost the Government approximately $26 each.
Thus in the total production of 2,202,429 modified Enfields, we saved
$37,441,293 compared with what this weapon had cost in the past.

Both the Springfield and the 1917 Enfield rifle possessed advantages
of accuracy and speed of fire over the German Mauser. It is true that
the Mauser fired a heavier bullet than that of our standard ammunition
and sent it with somewhat greater velocity; but at the longer
fighting ranges the Mauser bullet is not so accurate as the United
States bullet. Due to its peculiar shape, the Mauser bullet is apt to
tumble end over end at long ranges--"key-holing," the marksmen call
it--particularly when the wind blows across the range. Such tumbling
causes a bullet to curve as a baseball thrown by a good pitcher,
destroying its accuracy.

Early in our fighting with Germany we captured Mauser rifles and
hastened to compare them with the Springfields and modified Enfields.
We found in the American rifles a marked superiority in the rapidity
of fire, the quickness and ease of sighting, and in the accuracy of
shots fired. The accuracy was due not only to our standard Springfield
ammunition, but also to the greater mechanical accuracy in the finish
of the chamber and bore of the American rifles. The rapidity of fire
of the American guns was due to the position and shape of the bolt
handle, which is the movable mechanism on the rifle with which the
soldier ejects a spent shell and throws in a fresh one.

How we developed this bolt handle is an interesting story in itself. In
1903, when we brought out the first Springfield rifle, we decided to
abandon the old carbine which had been carried by our Cavalry regiments
and, by making a rifle with a comparatively short barrel, furnish a
gun which could be used by both Infantry and Cavalry. The original
bolt handle of the Springfield, like the one on the present Mauser,
had projected horizontally from the side of the chamber. It was found
that this protuberance did not fit well in the saddle holster of the
cavalryman, but jammed the side of the rifle against the leather of
the holster, with frequent injury to the rifle sight. For this primary
reason the rifle designers bent the bolt handle down and back. This
modification incidentally brought the bolt handle much nearer to the
soldier's hand as he fingered the trigger than it had been before. The
Enfield design had carried this development even farther, so that the
bolt handle was practically right at the trigger, and the rifleman's
hand was ready to pull the trigger the instant after it had thrown in a
new cartridge.

Let us see what effect this design of the bolt handle had in the recent
war. The Mauser still clung to the old horizontal bolt handle well away
from the trigger grip. Some of our best riflemen practiced with the
captured Mausers and, firing at top speed with them, could not bring
the rate of shooting anywhere near up to the marks set by the Enfields
and Springfields. One enthusiast has even maintained that the speed
of the Mauser is not over 50 per cent of that of the 1917 American
rifle, but this may be an underestimate. On such a basis the result was
that under battle conditions with equal numbers of men on a side the
Americans had in effect two rifles to the Germans one.

To put it another way, by bending back the bolt handle we had placed
two men on the firing line where there was only one before; but the
added man required no shelter, nor any clothing, nor rations, nor
water, nor pay. Although he sometimes needed repairing, he did not get
sick, nor did he ever become an economic burden nor draw a pension.
His only added cost to the Government was an increased consumption of

When American troops were in the heat of the fighting in the summer
of 1918, the German government sent a protest through a neutral
agency to our Government asserting that our men were using shotguns
against German troops in the trenches. The allegation was true; but
our State Department replied that the use of such weapons was not
forbidden by the Geneva Convention as the Germans had asserted.
Manufactured primarily for the purpose of arming guards placed over
German prisoners, these shotguns were undoubtedly in some instances
carried into the actual fighting. The Ordnance Department procured
some 30,000 to 40,000 shotguns of the short-barrel or sawed-off type,
ordering these from the regular commercial manufacturers. The shell
provided for these guns each contained a charge of nine heavy buckshot,
a combination likely to have murderous effect in close fighting.

Such was the rifle record of this Government in the war. The Americans
carried into battle the best rifles used in the war, and America's
industry produced these weapons in the emergency at a rate which armed
our soldiers as rapidly as they could be trained for fighting. Success
in such a task looked almost impossible at the start; but that it was
attained should forever be a source of gratification to the American

                  _Rifle production to Nov. 9, 1918._

  Months.            |Eddystone.|Winchester.| Ilion.|Spring-|  Rock  | Total.
                     |          |           |       | field | Island |
                     |          |           |       |Armory.|Arsenal.|
  Before August, 1917|          |           |       | 14,986|   1,680|   16,666
  Aug. 1, 1917 to    |          |           |       |       |        |
  Dec. 31, 1917      |   174,160|    102,363| 26,364| 89,479|  22,330|  414,696
                     |          |           |       |       |        |
         1918        |          |           |       |       |        |
  January            |    81,846|     39,200| 32,453| 23,890|   7,680|  185,069
  February           |    98,345|     32,660| 39,852|  6,910|   2,460|  180,227
  March              |    68,404|     42,200| 49,538|    120|     420|  160,682
  April              |    87,508|     43,600| 36,377|  2,631|        |  170,116
  May                |    84,929|     41,628| 54,477|  3,420|     550|  185,004
  June               |   104,110|     34,249| 52,995|  6,140|     619|  198,113
  July               |   135,080|     35,700| 60,413| 14,841|   2,038|  248,072
  August             |   106,595|     20,030| 65,144| 27,020|   1,597|  220,386
  September          |   110,058|     31,550| 58,027| 29,770|   3,813|  233,218
  October            |   100,214|     33,700| 53,563| 35,920|   3,256|  226,653
  Nov. 1-9, 1918     |    30,659|      9,100| 16,338| 10,500|     808|   67,405
      Total          | 1,181,908|    465,980|545,541|265,627|  47,251|2,506,307

    NOTE.--Eddystone, Winchester, and Ilion plants turned out
    the United States rifle, caliber .30, model 1917, popularly
    known as the Enfield, while the Springfield Armory and the
    Rock Island Arsenal produced the United States rifle, caliber
    .30. model 1903, popularly known as the Springfield rifle. The
    months marked by a drop in the production at Springfield and at
    Rock Island were months in which the components manufactured
    were not assembled but were used for spare parts.

MODEL 1917.]

MODEL 1917.]



MODEL 1905.]


MODEL 1917.]

[Illustration: AUTOMATIC PISTOL, CALIBER .45, MODEL 1911.]



The American pistol was one of the great successes of the war. For
several years before the war came the Ordnance Department had been
collaborating with private manufacturers to develop the automatic
pistol; but none of our officers realized until the supreme test came
what an effective weapon the Colt .45 would be in the hand-to-hand
fighting of the trenches. In our isolation we had suspected, perhaps,
that the bayonet and such new weapons as the modern hand grenade had
encroached upon the field of the pistol and revolver. We were soon to
discover our mistake. In the hands of a determined American soldier the
pistol proved to be a weapon of great execution, and it was properly
feared by the German troops.

We had long been a nation of pistol shooters, we Americans, but not
until the year 1911 did we develop a pistol of the accuracy and
rapidity of fire demanded by our ordnance experts. The nations of
Europe had neglected this valuable arm almost altogether, regarding it
principally as a military ornament which only officers should carry.
The result of Europe's neglect was that the small-caliber revolvers of
the Germans and even of the French and English were toys in comparison
with the big Colts that armed the American soldiers.

America owed the Colt .45 to the experiences of our fighters in
the Philippines, and to the inventive genius of John Browning of
machine-gun fame. In the earlier Philippine campaigns our troops used
a .38-caliber pistol. Our soldiers observed that when the tough
tribesmen were hit with these bullets and even seriously wounded they
frequently kept on fighting for some time. What was needed was a hand
weapon that would put the adversary out of fighting the instant he
was hit, whether fatally or not. We therefore increased the caliber
of the automatic pistol to .45 and slowed down the bullet so that it
tore flesh instead of making a clean perforation. These improvements
gave the missile the impact of a sledge hammer, and a man hit went down
every time.

Moreover, in this development great improvement had been made in the
accuracy of the weapon, the 1911 Colt being the straightest-shooting
pistol ever produced in this country. Even the best of the older
automatics and revolvers were accurate only in the hands of expert
marksmen. But any average soldier with average training can hit what
he shoots at with a Colt. The improvements in the automatic features
brought it to the stage where it could be fired by a practiced man 21
times in 12 seconds. In this operation the recoil of each discharge
ejects the empty shell and loads in a fresh one.

Only a few men of each infantry regiment carried pistols when our
troops first went into the trenches. But in almost the first skirmish
this weapon proved its superior usefulness in trench fighting. Such
incidents as that of the single American soldier who dispersed or
killed a whole squad of German bayoneteers which had surrounded him
struck the enemy with fear of Yankee prowess with the pistol. The
"tenderfoot's gun," as the westerners loved to call it, had come to its

By midsummer of 1917 the decision had been made to supply to the
infantry a much more extensive equipment of automatic pistols than had
previously been prescribed by regulations--to build them by hundreds of
thousands where we had been turning them out by thousands. In February,
with war in sight, realizing the limitations of our capacity then for
producing pistols, the Colt automatic being manufactured exclusively by
the Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Co. at Hartford, Conn., and
for a limited period by the Springfield Armory, we took up with the
Colt Co. the proposition of securing drawings and other engineering
data which would enable us to extend the production of this weapon to
other plants. This work was in progress when in April, 1917, it was
interrupted by the military necessity for calling upon every energy we
had in the production of rifles.

In order to supplement the pistol supply, although the Colt automatic
was the only weapon of this sort approved for the Army, the Secretary
of War authorized the Chief of Ordnance to secure other small arms,
particularly the double-action .45-caliber revolver as manufactured by
both the Colt Co. and the Smith & Wesson Co. These revolvers had been
designed to use the standard Army caliber-.45 pistol cartridges. The
revolver was not so effective a weapon as the automatic pistol, but
it was adopted in the emergency only to make it possible to provide
sufficient of these arms for the troops at the outset.

At the start of hostilities the Colt Co. indicated that it could tool
up to produce pistols at the rate of 6,000 per month by December, 1917,
and could also furnish 600 revolvers a week beginning in April. As soon
as funds were available we let a contract to the Colt Co. for 500,000
pistols and 100,000 revolvers, and to the Smith & Wesson Co. one for
100,000 revolvers. Although these contracts were not placed until
June 15, in the certainty that funds would eventually be available
both concerns had been working on the production of weapons on these
expected contracts for many weeks.

When the order came from France to increase the pistol equipment, in
addition to efforts to increase production at the plants of the two
existing contractors we made studies of numerous other concerns which
might undertake this class of manufacture. The proposal to
purchase .38-caliber revolvers as a supplementary supply was abandoned
for the reason that any expansion of this manufacture and of that for
the necessary ammunition would be at the expense of the ultimate output
of .45s and ammunition therefor.

In December, 1917, the Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co. was
instructed to prepare for the manufacture of 150,000 automatics, Colt
model 1911, at a rate to reach a maximum production of 3,000 per day.
Considerable difficulty was experienced in obtaining the necessary
drawings and designs, because the manufacture of these pistols at
the Colt Co. plant had been largely in the hands of expert veteran
mechanics, who knew tricks of fitting and assembling not apparent in
the drawings. The result was that the drawings in existence were not
completely representative of the pistols. Finally complete plans were
drawn up that covered all details and gave interchangeability between
the parts of pistols produced by the Remington Co. and those by the
Colt Co., which was the goal sought.

During the summer of 1918 in order to fill the enormously increased
pistol requirements of the American Expeditionary Forces, contracts for
the Colt automatic were given to the National Cash Register Co., at
Dayton, Ohio; the North American Arms Co., Quebec; the Savage Arms Co.,
Utica, N. Y.; Caron Bros., Montreal; the Burroughs Adding Machine Co.,
Detroit, Mich.; the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, Conn.;
the Lanston Monotype Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; and the Savage Munitions
Co., San Diego, Calif.

All of these concerns, none of which had ever before produced
the .45-caliber pistol, were proceeding energetically with their
preparations for manufacture when the armistice came to cancel their
contracts. No pistols were ever obtained from any except the Colt's
Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. and the Remington Arms-Union
Metallic Cartridge Co.

Difficulty was experienced in securing machinery to check the walnut
grip for the pistols, and to avoid delay in production the Ordnance
Department authorized the use of Bakelite for pistol grips in all the
new plants which were to manufacture the gun. Bakelite is a substitute
for hard rubber or amber, invented by the eminent chemist Dr. Baekeland.

At the outbreak of the war the Army owned approximately
75,000 .45-caliber automatic pistols. At the signing of the armistice
there had been produced and accepted since April 6, 1917, a total of
643,755 pistols and revolvers. The production of pistols was 375,404
and that of revolvers 268,351. In the four months prior to November
11, 1918, the average daily production of automatic pistols was 1,993
and of revolvers 1,233. This was at the yearly production rate of
approximately 600,000 pistols and 370,000 revolvers. These pistols were
produced at an approximate cost of $15 each.

        _Production of pistols and revolvers to Dec. 31. 1918._

                 |        Pistols.        |       Revolvers.      |
                 +-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+-------+ Total
                 |       |       |        |       |       |       |pistols
                 |       |Reming-| Total  |       |Smith &| Total |  and
                 | Colt. |  ton  |pistols.| Colt. |Wesson.|revolv-|revolv-
                 |       |U.M.C. |        |       |       |  ers. |  ers.
  Apr. 6 to Dec. | 58,500|       |  58,500| 20,900|  9,513| 30,413| 88,913
      29, 1917   |       |       |        |       |       |       |
  January, 1918  | 11,000|       |  11,000|  8,700|  7,500| 16,200| 27,200
  February, 1918 | 14,500|       |  14,500|  8,800|  8,550| 17,350| 31,850
  March, 1918    | 21,300|       |  21,300| 11,800| 12,400| 24,200| 45,500
  April, 1918    | 22,400|       |  22,400| 10,400| 10,650| 21,050| 43,450
  May, 1918      | 35,000|       |  35,000| 11,100| 12,150| 23,250| 58,250
  June, 1918     | 37,800|       |  37,800| 11,100| 14,250| 25,350| 63,150
  July, 1918     | 39,800|       |  39,800| 11,600| 11,555| 23,155| 62,955
  August. 1918   | 40,400|       |  40,400| 11,300| 13,358| 24,658| 65,058
  September, 1918| 32,100|    640|  32,740| 11,100| 12,650| 23,750| 56,490
  October, 1918  | 42,300|  3,881|  46,181| 13,500| 16,675| 30,175| 76,356
  November, 1918 | 45,800|  4,102|  49,902| 11,900| 12,660| 24,560| 74,462
  December, 1918 | 24,600|  4,529|  29,129|  9,500| 11,400| 20,900| 50,029
      Total      |425,500| 13,152| 438,652|151,700|153,311|305,011|743,663



Prior to the war with Germany the Ordnance Department, in
providing .30-caliber ammunition for our Army rifles and machine guns,
had thought in terms of millions and had placed its ammunition orders
on that scale. But when hostilities were at hand and steel and walnut
were being assembled into rifles to arm the indefinitely increasing
millions of Yankee soldiers that we would send and keep on sending to
Europe until victory was ours, small-arms ammunition stepped out of the
million class and became an industry whose units of production were
reckoned by the billion.

The war increased the human strength of the American Army approximately
thirty times. That ratio of increase was carried over into a production
of ammunition for rifles and machine guns. The story of ammunition
in the war is the story of a three-billion output forced from a
hundred-million capacity. In this effort we find another of those
frequent industrial romances which the war produced in America; for,
when called upon to do more than an industrial possibility, as we
regarded such things in 1917, the contriving executive and organizing
ability and the skillful hands of the ammunition industry made good.

Our .30-caliber ammunition capacity in the United States prior to the
war was about 100,000,000 cartridges per year. We actually produced in
the war period the huge total of 3,507,023,300 small-arms cartridges.
Pushed at feverish haste, such expansion naturally recorded its
mistakes and its failures; but none of these was fatal or irremediable.
The fact will always remain that a difficult art was enlarged in time
to take care of every demand of the American Army for small-arms
ammunition, and that no military operation on our part was held up by
lack of this ammunition. Hence it is submitted that the production
of small-arms cartridges was one of the genuine achievements of our
Ordnance Department.

Let us consider first the production of the .30-caliber service
ammunition, which may be regarded as the standard product of the
ammunition industry. This was the ammunition used in our two service
rifles, the Springfield or United States model of 1903 and the United
States model of 1917, which is a modification of the British rifle,
pattern 1914, and in most of the machine guns which we fired in
France, although we used the 8-millimeter cartridge with the Chauchat
machine rifle. When the war broke out we had on hand approximately
200,000,000 rounds of .30-caliber cartridges. Most of these had been
manufactured by the Government at the Frankford Arsenal, which was,
in fact, practically the only plant in the United States equipped to
produce this ammunition in any appreciable quantities.

For some years prior to the war, however, the Government had adopted
the policy of encouraging the manufacture of Army ammunition in private
plants. This was done by placing with various concerns small annual
orders for this type of ammunition. These orders were usually in the
neighborhood of 1,000,000 rounds each. The purpose of such orders,
insignificant as they were, was to scatter throughout the principal
private ammunition factories the necessary jigs, fixtures, gauges, and
other tooling required in the production of cartridges for Army rifles
and machine guns. These small orders might also be expected to educate
the operating forces of the private plants in this manufacture. By this
means the Government hoped to have in an emergency a nucleus of skill
and equipment which could be quickly expanded to meet war requirements.

As a further means of stimulating interest in this peace-time
undertaking the Ordnance Department conducted each year a sort of
competition among the private manufacturers of small-arms ammunition.
The output of each factory accepting the Government orders was tested
for proper functioning and accuracy; and those cartridges which won in
this competition were used as the ammunition shot in the national rifle
matches. Thus the winning concern could use its achievement in its

But these educational efforts on the part of the Government failed
to create a capacity that was anywhere near to being adequate to
meet the demands of such a war as that into which we were plunged
in the year 1917. We had built up no large reserves of ammunition,
and the orders placed with private manufacturers had been so small
that they had resulted in virtually no factory preparation at all
for great quantity production. To all practical purposes the entire
ammunition manufacturing capacity of .30-caliber cartridges in 1917 was
encompassed within the walls of the Frankford Arsenal.

There was, however, in the ammunition industry a fortunate condition
existing when we entered the war. For some time numerous American
concerns had been working on the manufacture of cartridges for both the
British and the French Governments. The cartridges being turned out
under these contracts were not suitable for our use, being of different
caliber than those taken by American weapons, and this meant that the
machinery in existence could not be converted to the production of
American ammunition without radical and time-consuming alteration of
tools, etc. However, cartridges are cartridges, regardless of their
size; and the manufacture which was supplying France and England had
resulted in educating thousands of mechanics and shop executives in the
production of ammunition. Consequently, when we went into the war, we
had the men and the skill ready at hand; we needed only to produce the
tools and the machinery in addition to the raw materials.

Yet this in itself was a problem. How should we meet it? Three courses
seemed to be possible for the Government. In the first place, we could
build from the ground up an immense Government arsenal having an annual
capacity of 1,000,000,000 rounds, or ten times that of the great
Frankford Arsenal. Or we could interest manufacturers in a project of
building a private cartridge factory capable of producing 1,000,000,000
rounds per year. Both of these methods were predicated on the
assumption that the existing cartridge factories had their hands full
with orders. The third plan was to place our cartridge demands with the
existing ammunition plants and let them increase their facilities to
take care of our orders.

As soon as the early orders had been given and all available capacity
had been set going, this problem engaged the study and attention of
the Ordnance Department. In the early fall of 1917 a meeting of the
manufacturers of small-arms ammunition was held in Washington to
discuss the matter. Principally on account of the difficulties in
providing a trained working force for a new Government arsenal or
private plant, the opinion was unanimous that the existing concerns
should expand in facilities and trained personnel to handle the
cartridge project. Out of this meeting grew the American Society of
Manufacturers of Small Arms and Ammunition. Thereafter until the close
of the war this society or its committees met about once every two
weeks to discuss problems arising in the work. The officers of the
Ordnance Department in charge of the ammunition project attended all
of these meetings. The result of such cooperation was gratifyingly
shown not only in the standardization of manufacturing processes in the
various plants but also in the output of cartridges.

The success of this effort is best shown in the production figures
in the period from April, 1917, to November 30, 1918. In that time
the United States Cartridge Co. turned out 684,334,300 rounds of our
caliber-.30 service ammunition; the Winchester Repeating Arms Co.,
468,967,500 rounds; the Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co.,
1,218,979,300; the Peters Cartridge Co., 84,169,800; the Western
Cartridge Co., 48,018,800; the Dominion Arsenal, 502,000; the Frankford
Arsenal, 76,739,300; and the National Brass & Copper Tube Co.,

This production record to some extent was made possible by a leniency
on the part of the Ordnance Department which we had not displayed
before the war. When we could take plenty of time in ammunition
manufacture our specifications for cartridges were extremely rigid. It
soon became apparent that if we adhered to our earlier specifications
we would limit the output of cartridges. It was found in a joint
meeting of ordnance officers and ammunition manufacturers that certain
increased tolerances could be permitted in our specifications without
affecting the serviceability of the ammunition. Consequently new
specifications for our war ammunition were drawn, enabling the plants
to get into quantity production much more quickly than would have been
possible if we had not relaxed our prewar attitude.

The ordinary service cartridge consists of a brass cartridge case, a
primer, a propelling charge of smokeless powder, and a bullet made with
a jacket or envelope of cupronickel inclosing a lead slug or core.
Cupronickel is a hard alloy of copper and nickel. Steel would be the
ideal covering for a bullet because of its cheapness and availability,
but steel has not been used because it is liable to rust and to destroy
the delicate rifling of the gun barrel. Cupronickel is a compromise,
being strong enough to hold the interior lead from deforming, but not
so hard as to wear down excessively the rifling in the gun barrel.

Even as we entered the war the long continued fighting in Europe had
created a shortage in cupronickel, and by the time the armistice came
it was apparent that this shortage would soon become so acute that we
would have to find a substitute for cupronickel. This shortage had
already occurred in Germany, where the enemy ordnance engineers had
produced a bullet incased in steel which in turn was clothed with a
slight covering of copper. The soft copper coating kept the steel
from injuring the gun barrel. We ourselves were experimenting with
copper-coated steel bullets when peace came, and would have been
prepared to furnish a substitute had cupronickel failed us.

Some of the earliest ammunition sent to our forces in France developed
a tendency to hang fire and to misfire; and a liberal quantity of
it, amounting to six months' production of the Frankford Arsenal,
was condemned and withdrawn from use. This matter was aired fully in
the newspapers at the time it occurred. It developed that the faulty
ammunition had been produced entirely in the Frankford Arsenal and that
the cause of the trouble was the primer in the cartridge.

The primer in a cartridge performs the same function that the flint
did on the old-fashioned squirrel guns--it touches off the explosive
propellant charge. But whereas the flint sent only a spark into the
powder, the modern primer produces a long, hot flame.

The primers in the ammunition manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal
had given ordinarily satisfactory results in 12 years of peace-time
use. The flame charge in this primer contained sulphur, potassium
chlorate, and antimony sulphide. Produced under normal conditions, with
plenty of time for drying, this primer was satisfactory. But sulphur
when oxidized changes to an acid extremely corrosive to metal parts,
and oxidized primers are liable not to function perfectly. Heat and
moisture accelerate the change of sulphur to acid; and if there happens
to be bromate in the potassium chlorate of the priming charge, the
change is even more rapid.

An investigation of the Frankford Arsenal showed that these very
elements were present. Because of the haste of production of
cartridges, too much moisture had been allowed to get into the
arsenal dry houses. The potassium chlorate was also found to contain
appreciable quantities of bromate.

The condition was remedied by adopting another primer composition. And
then, to play doubly safe, the Government specifications were amended
to prevent the use of potassium chlorate containing more than 0.01 per
cent of bromate.

However, this condemned ammunition was but a trifling fraction of the
total output or even of the production then going on. The primers
used by the various private manufacturers of ammunition functioned

While we were not rigid in our specifications for the bulk of the
service ammunition, in one respect we were most meticulous, and this
was in respect to the ammunition used by the machine guns mounted on
our airplanes. For these weapons we created an A-1 class of
service .30-caliber cartridges, since it was highly important that
there be no malfunctioning of ammunition in the air. Every cartridge of
this class had to be specially gauged throughout its manufacture. This
care resulted in a slower production of airplane cartridges than that
of those for use on the ground, but we always had enough for our needs.

Until we went to war with Germany our Army had known only the cartridge
firing the hard-jacketed lead bullet. But we entered a conflict in
which several novel sorts of small-arms projectiles were in familiar
use; and it became necessary for us to take up the manufacture of these
strange missiles at once. These included such special types as tracer
bullets to indicate the path of fire in the air, incendiary bullets for
setting on fire observation balloons, hostile planes, and dirigible
airships, and, finally, armor-piercing bullets for use against armor
plate with which airplanes and tanks are equipped. We had developed
none of these in this country before the war, except that in the
Frankford Arsenal our designers had done some little experimental work
with armor-piercing ammunition, in fact carrying it to the point of an
efficient design.

One of the first acts of the Ordnance Department was to send an officer
to visit the ammunition factories of France and England to study
the methods of manufacturing these special types of bullets. These
friendly nations willingly gave us full information at first hand with
respect to this complicated manufacture, which we were thus enabled to
begin in September, 1917. Special machinery was required for loading
the tracer bullet and also for producing the incendiary projectile.
We adopted British practice for both of these. We ourselves were well
equipped to begin the production of armor-piercing bullets, for which
we had previously solved the problems of design; yet the production of
metals to be used in this missile required some further experimental
work. By February, 1918, however, our production of armor-piercing
bullets was well under way and by the time the war came to an end we
had produced nearly 5,000,000 of them.

The tracer bullet which we manufactured contained a mixture of barium
peroxide and magnesium and in flight burned with the intensity of
a calcium light. These bullets were principally used by machine
gunners of aircraft, since in the air it is impossible to tell where
machine-gun projectiles are going unless there is some device enabling
the gunner to see the trajectory of the bullets. This is done by
inserting tracer bullets at intervals in the belts of cartridges fed
into the machine gun. The common conception of a tracer bullet is one
that leaves a trace of smoke in its flight; whereas the truth is that
our tracer and the British tracer were practically smokeless, the
gunner observing the direction of aim by following the bright lights
of the tracer bullets with his eye. These lights were plainly visible
in the brightest sunlight. Although the slight quantity of the flaming
mixture burned but a few seconds, it was sufficient to trace the flight
for 500 yards or more from the muzzle of the machine gun.

The tracer bullet consisted of a cupronickel shell, the nose of which
contained a leaden core to balance the bullet properly. The rear
chamber of the bullet held a cup containing the mixture of barium
peroxide and magnesium. The rear end of the bullet was left slightly
open, and through this opening the mixture was ignited by the hot flame
of the propelling powder discharge.

An entirely different principle was used in the construction of the
incendiary bullet. This bullet was also incased in cupronickel; but the
incendiary chemical, which was phosphorus, was contained in a chamber
in the nose of the bullet. A serrated plug held the phosphorus in its
chamber, and behind this plug was a solid plug of lead coming flush
with the base of the bullet and soldered thereto. On one side of the
missile was a hole drilled through the cupronickel into one of the
grooves of the serrated plug. This hole was stopped by a special kind
of solder. The heat of friction developed in the infinitesimal space of
time while the projectile was passing through the gun barrel served the
double purpose of melting out the solder from the hole and igniting
the phosphorus within the chamber. Thereafter the centrifugal force of
the revolving bullet whirled the burning phosphorus out through the
unplugged hole. Seen in the air the fire of the phosphorus could not be
discerned, but the burning chemical threw off considerable smoke, so
that the eye of the gunner could follow the blue spiral to its mark.
Our incendiary bullet had an effective range of 350 yards, after which
distance the phosphorus was burned out.





Equally interesting was the construction of the armor-piercing bullet.
Heavy and solid as the jacketed lead bullet used in our service guns
seems to be, when fired against even light armor plate it leaves only
a small mark upon its objective. As soon as the cupronickel jacket
strikes the armor plate it splits and the lead core flattens out and
flies into fragments. The armor plate may not even be dented by this
impact. Yet change the core of this missile from lead to hardened steel
and an entirely different result is produced. Our armor-piercing bullet
was made with a cupronickel jacket for the sake of the gun barrel. The
inner side of this jacket was lined with a thin coat of lead which was
made thicker in the nose of the bullet. Finally a core of specially
heat-treated steel completed the construction of the projectile. When
this missile is fired against armor plate the jacket splits and the
lead lining virtually disappears from the impact, but the pointed steel
core keeps on and bores a hole through the plate as it might through
soft wood.

The production figures show the degree of success which we attained
in the manufacture of this special ammunition. Up to November 30,
1918, the E. I. du Pont de Nemours Co. had produced 6,057,000 tracer
cartridges of .30 caliber and 1,560,000 incendiary cartridges of
the same size. The Frankford Arsenal turned out 22,245,000 tracer
cartridges of this size, 14,148,000 incendiary cartridges, and
4,746,900 armor-piercing cartridges. We placed an additional order for
armor-piercing projectiles with the Dominion arsenals, which delivered
to us 1,980,000 of such cartridges.

We also set out to develop new manufacturing facilities for the
production of this special aircraft ammunition. Excellent tracer
bullets were produced by the National Fireworks Co., of West Hanover,
Mass., and that company was getting into a satisfactory production
stride when the armistice was signed. The Hero Manufacturing Co.,
of Philadelphia, Pa., also was turning out an approved incendiary
bullet when peace came. These various special bullets were loaded in
cartridges at the Frankford Arsenal.

When the fighting ceased we were working on the development
of armor-piercing bullets that would also be incendiary; and
armor-piercing bullets that would also contain a tracing mixture. It
was thought that bullets of these types would be particularly valuable
for aircraft use. While we had done considerable experimenting along
both lines, no satisfactory types had yet been developed.

There was another class of small arms for which we also had to produce
ammunition on a war scale. Our automatic pistols and revolvers
demanded .45-caliber ball cartridges. In normal times the Frankford
Arsenal had been almost our sole producer of these cartridges, and it
had attained an annual output of approximately 10,000,000 rounds of
them. This quantity was nowhere nearly adequate for our war needs,
especially after the decision to equip our troops much more numerously
with pistols and revolvers than had formerly been the case.

Consequently it was necessary for us to develop additional
manufacturing facilities for .45-caliber ammunition. We did this by
placing orders with some of the same manufacturers who were developing
the .30-caliber production. Because it was necessary for us to give
preference always to the rifle and machine-gun ammunition, the
manufacture of pistol cartridges was not carried through as rapidly as
some other phases of the ammunition program. However, a satisfactory
output was reached in time to meet the immediate demands of our forces
in the field, and this production was expanding and keeping ahead
of the increased needs for this sort of cartridges. The total war
production of .45-caliber ammunition by the various factories was as

  United States Cartridge Co.                       75,500,000
  Winchester Repeating Arms Co.                     46,446,800
  Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co.      144,825,700
  Peters Cartridge Co.                              55,521,000
  Frankford Arsenal                                 12,349,200

Early in 1918 our Air Service field forces saw the need of a machine
gun of larger caliber than the quick-firing weapons in general use. The
flying service of the principal allies had developed an 11-millimeter
machine gun for use in attacking the captive balloons of the enemy.
This gun fired a projectile only slightly less than one-half inch in
diameter. To meet this new demand our Ordnance Department found at the
Colt factory about 1,000 Vickers machine guns which were being built on
order for the former Russian Government. The department took over these
guns and modified them to take 11-millimeter ammunition, and that step
made it necessary for us to produce machine-gun cartridges for these
new weapons.

We at once developed a modified French 11-millimeter tracer incendiary
cartridge, which in later use proved to be highly satisfactory. In
an experimental order the Frankford Arsenal turned out about 100,000
of these cartridges, while at the time the armistice was signed the
Western Cartridge Co. was prepared to produce this class of ammunition
on a large scale.


    The top row shows the development of the primer cup and
    anvil. The second and third rows show the development in the
    manufacture of the cartridge case. The fourth and fifth rows
    show the development in the manufacture of the bullet jacket
    and the lead slug that fits into the jacket and finally the
    finished cartridge. The bottom row shows the development in the
    manufacture of the cartridge clip.]


    In the belts, the bullets in black cases are loaded with tracer
    ammunition, those with black noses with incendiary ammunition,
    those having a ring just above the bullet casing with
    armor-piercing ammunition, while the rest are ordinary service

Certain American concerns before April, 1917, had been producing
8-millimeter ammunition for the French government for use in its
machine guns. When we entered the war our Ordnance Department found
it necessary to continue the manufacture of these cartridges for the
machine guns obtained from the French. Up to November 30, 1918, a total
of 269,631,800 rounds had been produced under our supervision. These
cartridges were manufactured by the Western Cartridge Co. and by the
Remington Arms Co. at its Swanton plant.

How well and amply we were producing ammunition for our machine
guns and rifles is indicated by the fact that our average monthly
production, based upon our showing in July, August, and September,
1918, was 277,894,000 rounds as against a monthly average for Great
Britain of 259,769,000 rounds and for France of 139,845,000.

Our total production of machine-gun and rifle ammunition during the
19 months of warfare was 2,879,148,000 rounds, while in that period
England produced 3,486,127,000 rounds and France 2,983,675,000, but
it must be remembered that they had been keyed up to that voluminous
production by three years of fighting and that our monthly production
rate indicated we would soon far surpass them in quantities.

The following table shows how our total production of ammunition for
all small arms, including machine guns, rifles, pistols, and revolvers,
grew month by month during the war:

  Nov. 30, 1917             156,102,792
  Dec. 31, 1917             351,117,928
  Jan. 31, 1918             573,981,712
  Feb. 28, 1918             760,485,688
  Mar. 31, 1918           1,021,610,956
  Apr. 30, 1918           1,318,298,492
  May 31, 1918            1,616,142,052
  June 30, 1918           1,958,686,784
  July 31, 1918           2,306,999,284
  Aug. 31, 1918           2,623,847,546
  Sept. 30, 1918          2,942,875,786
  Oct. 31, 1918           3,236,396,100
  Nov. 30, 1918           3,507,023,300
  Dec. 31, 1918           3,741,652,200
  Jan. 31, 1919           3,940,682,744



Like many of the other war implements produced by the Ordnance
Department for use in France, the weapons employed in fighting from
the trenches were entirely novel to American industry; and in the
production of them we find the same story of the difficulties in the
adoption of foreign designs, of the development of our own designs, of
the delays encountered and mistakes made in equipping a new industry
from the ground up, but, finally, of the triumphant arrival at quantity
production in a marvelously brief time, considering the obstacles which
had to be overcome.

When the movements of armies in the great war ceased and they were
held in deadlock in the trenches, the fighters at once began devising
weapons with which they could kill each other from below ground. For
this purpose they borrowed from the experience of man running back to
time immemorial. They took a leaf from the book of the Roman fire-ball
throwers and developed the hand grenade beyond the point to which
it had been brought in the European warfare of the last century.
They called upon an industry which had once existed solely for the
amusement of the people, the fireworks industry, for its golden rain
and rainbow-hued stars for signals with which to talk to each other by
night. Other geniuses of the trenches took empty cannon cartridges and,
setting them up as ground mortars, succeeded in throwing bombs from
them across No Man's Land into the enemy ranks. They even for a time
resurrected the catapult of Trojan days, although this device attained
no great success. But from all such activities new weapons of warfare
sprang, crude at first, but later refined as only modern science and
manufacture could perfect them.

America entered the war when this development of ordnance novelties
had reached an advanced state. It became necessary for us, then, to
make a rapid study of what had been done and then go ahead with our own
production either from foreign designs or with inventions of our own.

To this end in April, 1917, a few days after we declared war with
Germany, the Trench Warfare Section was organized within the Ordnance
Department and given charge of the production of these novelties. The
section did not entirely confine itself to trench-warfare materials,
since one of its chief production activities was concerned with the
manufacture of the various sorts of bombs to be dropped from airplanes.
Also, at the start of its existence it had charge of the production of
implements for fighting with poison gas and flame. Although in large
part this phase of its work was taken away from it in the summer of
1917 and was later placed under the jurisdiction of the newly organized
Chemical Warfare Service, the Trench Warfare Section continued to
conduct certain branches of gas-warfare manufacture, in particular
the production of the famous Livens projectors of gas and also the
manufacture of the portable toxic-gas sets for producing gas clouds
from cylinders.

All in all, the Trench Warfare Section was charged with the
responsibility of producing some 47 devices, every one of them new to
American manufacture and some extremely difficult to make. The backbone
of the program consisted of the production of grenades, both of the
hand-thrown and the rifle-fired variety, trench mortars, trench-mortar
ammunition, pyrotechnics of various sorts, and bombs for the airplanes,
with their sighting and release mechanisms.

In the production of these new devices there arose a new form of
cooperation between Government and private manufacturers under the
tutelage of the Trench Warfare Section. The manufacturers engaged in
the production of various classes of these munition novelties joined
in formal associations. There was a Hand Grenade Manufacturers'
Association, under the capable leadership of William Sparks, president
of the Sparks-Withington Co., of Jackson, Mich.; the Drop Bomb
Manufacturers' Association, headed by J. L. Sinyard, president of A.
O. Smith Corporation, Milwaukee; the Six-inch Trench-mortar Shell
Manufacturers' Association, R. W. Millard, president of Foster-Merriam
Co., Meriden, Conn.; the Rifle Grenade Manufacturers' Association,
under the leadership of F. S. Briggs, president of the Briggs &
Stratton Co., Milwaukee, Wis.; and the Livens Projector Manufacturers'
Association. A similar association of manufacturers engaged in army
contracts existed in the production of small-arms ammunition; but in
no other branch of the Ordnance Department was the development of such
cooperation carried on to the extent of that fathered by the Trench
Warfare Section.

The existence of these associations was of inestimable benefit
in securing the rapid development, standardization for quantity
manufacture, and production of these strange devices. Each association
had its president, its other officers, and its regular meetings. These
meetings were attended by the interested officers of the Trench Warfare
Section. In the meetings the experiments of the manufacturers and the
short-cut methods developed in their shops were freely discussed;
and, if modifications of design were suggested, such questions were
thrashed out in these meetings of practical technicians, and all of the
contractors simultaneously received the benefits.

The Trench Warfare Section produced its results under the handicap of
being low in the priority ratings, many other items of ordnance being
considered in Washington of more importance than the trench-fighting
materials and therefore entitled to first call upon raw materials and
transportation. In the priority lists the leader of 47 trench-warfare
articles, the 240-millimeter mortars, stood twenty-second, and the
others trailed after.


The first of the trench-warfare weapons with which the rookie soldier
became acquainted was the hand grenade, since this, at least in its
practice or dummy form, was supplied to the training camps in this
country. To all intents and purposes the hand grenade was a product
of the war against Germany, although grenades had been more or less
used since explosives existed. All earlier grenades had been crude
devices with only limited employment in warfare, but in the three years
preceding America's participation in the war the grenade had become a
carefully built weapon.

The extent of our production of hand grenades may be seen in the fact
that when the effort was at its height 10,000 workers were engaged
exclusively in its manufacture. The firing mechanism of the explosive
grenades which we built was known as the Bouchon assembly. In the
production of this item 19 of every 20 workers were women. In fact no
other item in the entire ordnance field was produced so exclusively by
women. Incidentally, at no time during the war was there a strike in
any grenade factory.

For a long time in the trenches of France only one type of hand grenade
was used. This was the so-called defensive grenade, built of stout
metal which would fly into fragments when the interior charge exploded.
As might be expected, such a weapon was used only by men actually
within the trenches, the walls of which protected the throwers from the
flying fragments. But, as the war continued, six other distinct kinds
of grenades were developed, America herself contributing one of the
most important of them; and during our war activities we were engaged
in manufacturing all seven.

The defensive, or fragmentation, type grenade was the commonest,
most numerous, and perhaps, the most useful of all of them. Another
important one, however, was that known as the offensive grenade, and
it was America's own contribution to trench warfare. The body of the
offensive grenade was made of paper, so that the deadly effect of it
was produced by the flame and concussion of the explosion itself. It
was quite sure to kill any man within 3 yards of it when it went off,
but it was safe to use in the open offensive movements, since there
were no pieces of metal to fly back and hit the thrower.

A third development was known as the gas grenade. It was built of sheet
metal, and its toxic contents were effective in making enemy trenches
and dugouts uninhabitable. A fourth, a grenade of similar construction,
was filled with phosphorus, instead of gas, and was known as the
phosphorus grenade. This grenade scattered burning phosphorus over
an area 3 to 5 yards in diameter and released a dense cloud of white
smoke. In open attacks upon machine-gun nests phosphorus grenades were
thrown in barrages to build smoke screens for the attacking forces.

As a fifth class there was a combination hand and rifle grenade, a
British device adopted in our program. The sixth class of grenades
was known as the incendiary type. These were paper bombs filled with
burning material and designed for use against structures intended to
be destroyed by fire. Finally, in the seventh class were the thermit
grenades, built of terneplate and filled with a compound containing
thermit, which develops an intense heat while melting. Thermit grenades
were used principally to destroy captured guns. One of them touched off
in the breech of a cannon would fuse the breech-block mechanism and
destroy the usefulness of the weapon.

All of these grenades except the incendiary grenades used the same
firing mechanism, and the incendiary grenade firing mechanism was the
standard one modified in a single particular.

The earliest American requirement in this production was for defensive
grenades, of the fragmentation type. Our first estimate was that we
would need 21,000,000 of these for actual warfare and 2,000,000 of the
unloaded type for practice and training work. But, as the war continued
and the American plans developed in scale, we saw we would require a
much greater quantity than this; and orders were finally placed for a
total of 68,000,000 live grenades and over 3,000,000 of the practice

By August 20, 1917, the Trench Warfare Section had developed the design
and the drawings for the defensive grenade. The first contract--for
5,000 grenades--was let to the Caskey-Dupree Co. of Marietta, Ohio.
This concern was fairly entitled to such preference, because the
experimentation leading up to the design for this bomb was conducted
almost entirely at its plant in Marietta.

Next came an interesting industrial development by a well-known
American concern which had previously devoted its exclusive energy to
the production of high-grade silverware, but which now, as a patriotic
duty, undertook to build the deadly defensive grenades. This was the
Gorham Manufacturing Co. of Providence, R. I. This firm contracted to
furnish complete, loaded grenades, ready for shipment overseas, and was
the only one to build and operate a manufacturing and loading plant.
Elsewhere contracts were let for parts only, these parts to converge
at the assembling plants later; and such orders were rapidly placed
until by the middle of December, 1917, various industrial concerns were
tooling up for a total production of 21,000,000 of these missiles.

The grenade which these contractors undertook to produce was an
American product in its design, although modeled after grenades already
in use at the front. Its chief difference was in the firing mechanism,
where improvements, or what were then thought to be improvements, had
been installed to make it safer in the hands of the soldier than the
grenades then in use at the front. This firing mechanism with its
pivoted lever was, in fact, a radical departure from European practice.
The body of this grenade was of malleable iron, and the grenade
exploded with a force greater than that of any in use in France.

The remodeling of factories, the building of machines, and the
manufacture of tools for this undertaking, pushed forward with
determined speed, was completed in from 90 to 120 days, and by
April almost all of the companies had reached the stage of quantity

And then, on May 9, 1918, came a cablegram from the American
Expeditionary Forces that brought the entire effort to an abrupt halt.
The officers of the American Expeditionary Forces in no uncertain
terms condemned the American defensive grenade. The trouble was that
in our anxiety to protect the American soldier we had designed a
grenade that was too safe. The firing mechanism was too complicated.
In the operation required to touch off the fuse five movements were
necessary on the part of the soldier, and in this the psychology of
a man in battle had not been taken sufficiently into consideration.
The well-known story of the negro soldier who, in practice, threw his
grenade too soon because he could feel it "swelling" in his hand,
applies to most soldiers in battle. In using the new grenade the
American soldier would not go through the operations required to fire
its fuse. Cases came to light, too, showing that in the excitement of
battle the American soldier forgot to release the safety device, thus
giving the German an opportunity to hurl back the unexploded grenade.

As the result of this discovery all production was stopped in the
United States and the ordnance engineers began redesigning the
weapon. The incident meant that 15,000,000 rough castings of grenade
bodies, 3,500,000 assembled but empty grenades and 1,000,000 loaded
grenades had to be salvaged, and that on July 1, 1918, the production
of live fragmentation grenades in this country was represented by
the figure zero. Some of the machinery used in the production of the
faulty grenades was useless and had to be replaced by new, while the
trained forces which had reached quantity production in April had to
be disbanded or transferred to other work while the design was being

By August 1 the new design had been developed on paper and much of the
new machinery required had been produced and installed in the plants,
which were ready to go ahead immediately with the production. It is
a tribute to the patriotism of the manufacturers who lost time and
money by this change that little complaint was heard from them by the

In the production of hand grenades the most difficult element of
manufacture and the item that might have held up the delivery of
completed mechanisms was the Bouchon assembly. There was an abundant
foundry capacity in the United States for the production of gray-iron
castings for grenade bodies, and so this part of the program gave
no anxiety. The Bouchon assembly threatened to be the choke point.
In order to assure the success of defensive-grenade production, the
Precision Castings Co. of Syracuse, N. Y., and the Doehler Die Castings
Co. of Toledo, Ohio, and Brooklyn, N. Y., worked their plants 24 hours
a day until they had built up a reserve of Bouchons and screw plugs and
removed all anxiety from that source. The total production of Bouchons
eventually reached the figure 64,600,000.

The first thought of the Ordnance Department was to produce grenades
by the assembling and quantitative method; that is, by the production
of parts in various plants and the assembling of those parts in other
plants. But, due to delay in railway shipments and difficulties due
to priorities, it was discovered that this method of manufacture,
however adaptable it might be to other items in the ordnance program,
was not a good thing in grenade production; and when the war ended the
tendency was all in the direction of having the assembly contractors
produce their own parts either by purchase from subcontractors or by
manufacture in their own plants.

The orders for the redesigned grenades called for the construction of
44,000,000 of them. So rapidly had the manufacturers been able to reach
quantity production this time that a daily rate of 250,000 to 300,000
was attained by November 11, 1918, and by December 6, less than a month
after the fighting stopped, the factories had turned out 21,054,339
defensive grenades.

It should be remembered that the great effort in ordnance production
in this country was directed toward the American offensive expected on
a tremendous scale in the spring of 1919. Had the war continued the
fragmentation grenade program, in spite of the delays encountered in
its development, would have produced a sufficient quantity of these

Special consideration is due the following-named firms for their
efforts in developing the production of defensive grenades:

  Caskey-Dupree Co., Marietta, Ohio.
  Spacke Machine & Tool Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
  Stewart-Warner Speedometer Co., Chicago, Ill.
  Miami Cycle & Manufacturing Co., Middletown, Ohio.
  American Radiator Co., Buffalo, N. Y.
  International Harvester Co., Chicago, Ill.
  Doehler Die Castings Co., Brooklyn, N. Y.
  Precision Castings Co., Syracuse, N. Y.

The American offensive grenade was largely the production of the Single
Service Package Corporation of New York, both in the development of
its design and in its manufacture. The body of this grenade was built
of laminated paper spirally wound and waterproofed by being dipped
in paraffine. The top of this body was a die casting, into which the
firing mechanism was screwed. Practically no changes were made in the
design of this weapon from the time it was first produced, and the
production record is an excellent one.

Our earliest thought was that we would need some 7,000,000 of these
grenades and orders for that quantity of bodies were placed in January
and March, 1918, with the Single Service Package Corporation. Then it
became necessary to discover factories which could produce the metal
caps. The orders for these were first placed with the Acme Die Castings
Co. and the National Lead Casting Co. for 3,375,000 castings from each
concern. But these companies failed to make satisfactory deliveries,
and in May, 1918, a contract for 5,000,000 caps was let to the Doehler
Die Castings Co. which reached quantity production in August. After
that the Single Service Package Corporation, the chief contractor,
forged ahead in its work and on November 11 was producing the bodies
for offensive grenades at the rate of 55,000 to 60,000 daily. By
December 6, 1918, the Government had accepted 6,179,321 completed
bodies. The signing of the armistice brought to an end a project to
build 17,599,000 additional grenades of this type.

The production of gas grenades offered some peculiar difficulties.
We set out at first to produce 3,684,530 of them. By January, 1918,
the engineers of the Ordnance Department had completed the plans and
specifications for the American gas grenade, and on February 12, an
order for 1,000,000 of them was placed with the Maxim Silencer Co., of
Hartford, Conn.

The gas grenades were to be delivered at the filling plants complete
except for the detonator thimbles, which seal both gas and phosphorus
grenades and act as sockets for the firing mechanism. It was seen
that the construction of these thimbles might be a choke point in the
construction of grenades of both types, and orders were early placed
for them--1,500,000 to be delivered by the Maxim Silencer Co. and an
equal quantity by the Bassic Co., of Bridgeport, Conn. On December 6,
1918, these concerns had produced 1,982,731 detonator thimbles.

The body of the gas grenade is built of two sheet-metal cups welded
together to be gas-tight. Since, when we started out on this
production, we did not know what kind of gas would be used or at what
pressure it would be held within the grenade, we set the specifications
to make grenade bodies to hold an air pressure of 200 pounds. The
welding of the cups frequently failed to hold such pressure, so that
the rejections of gas-grenade bodies under this test ran as high as
50 per cent. But in June, 1918, the gas for the grenades had been
developed, and we were thereupon able to reduce the pressure of the
standard test to 50 pounds. Under such a test the bodies readily passed

In September, 1918, we let additional contracts for gas
grenades--500,000 to the Evinrude Motor Co., of Milwaukee; 500,000 to
the John W. Brown Manufacturing Co., of Columbus, Ohio; and 400,000 to
the Zenite Metal Co., of Indianapolis.

On November 11 gas grenade bodies were being produced at the rate of
22,000 per day, and the total production up to December 6 was 936,394.

The phosphorus grenade was similar to the gas grenade in construction.
The plans and specifications for this weapon were ready in January,
1918. In February the following contracts were let: Metropolitan
Engineering Co., Brooklyn, N. Y., 750,000; Evinrude Motor Co.,
Milwaukee, 750,000; Zenite Metal Co., Indianapolis, 500,000. On
December 6, 1918, these concerns had delivered a total of 521,948
phosphorus grenade bodies.

The difficulties which had been experienced in the production of gas
grenades were repeated in this project. The Evinrude Co. was especially
quick in getting over the obstacles to quantity production. The
Metropolitan Engineering Co. was already engaged with large orders for
adapters and boosters in the heavy-gun ammunition manufacture for the
Ordnance Department and found that the order for phosphorus grenades
conflicted to a considerable extent with its previous war work. The
matter was thrashed out in the Ordnance Department, which gave the
priority in this plant to the adapters and boosters, with the result
that this firm was able to make only a small contribution to the total
production of phosphorus grenade bodies.

The development of thermit grenades was still in the experimental
stage when the armistice was signed. There was no actual production
in this country of grenades of this character. In October, however,
the development of the grenade in design had reached a stage where we
felt justified in letting a contract for 655,450 die-casting parts to
the Doehler Die Castings Co., at its Toledo plant, and for an equal
number of bodies with firing-mechanism assemblies to the Stewart-Warner
Speedometer Corporation at Chicago.

The incendiary grenade not only did not get out of the development
stage, but even a perfected model was regarded as of doubtful value by
the officers of the American Expeditionary Forces. Nevertheless, the
Chemical Warfare Service was of the opinion that such a grenade should
be worked out, and an order for 81,000 had been given to the Celluloid
Co., of Newark, N. J. Experimental work was progressing satisfactorily
when the armistice was signed.

When the war ended, we were adapting to American manufacture a
combination hand and rifle phosphorus grenade, borrowed from the
English. The body of this grenade was built of terneplate and it had a
removable stem, so that it could be thrown by hand or fired from the
end of a service rifle. The American Can Co. built 1,000 of these to
try out the design and strengthen the weak features.

         Article.        |  Completed to  | Completed to |Sent overseas.
                         |  Nov. 8, 1918. |Feb. 1, 1919. |
  Dummy hand grenade     |        415,870 |      415,870 |
  Practice hand grenade  |      3,605,864 |    3,605,864 |
  Defensive hand grenade |     17,477,245 |   25,312,794 |    516,533
  Offensive hand grenade |      5,359,321 |    7,000,000 |    173,136
  Gas hand grenade       |        635,561 |    1,501,176 |    249,239
  Phosphorus hand grenade|        505,192 |      521,948 |    150,600
  Thermit hand grenade   |                |              |
    NOTE.--In above figures all grenades are unloaded with the
    exception of those sent overseas, which were loaded.


In the construction of our rifle grenades there was another unfortunate
experience due to a faulty design. The rifle grenade fits in a holder
at the muzzle of an ordinary service rifle. When the rifle is fired
the bullet passes through a hole in the middle of the grenade, and
the gases of the discharge following the bullet throw the grenade
approximately 200 yards. Any man within 75 yards of an exploding rifle
grenade is likely to be wounded or killed. The rifle grenade is used
both as a defensive and offensive weapon, since the firer is well out
of range of the exploding missile.

In developing a rifle grenade for American manufacture our engineers
adopted the French Viven-Bessiere type. The French service ammunition
is larger than ours, and it was therefore necessary to design our
grenade with a smaller hole. But in the anxiety to produce this weapon
in the shortest time possible the models were not sufficiently tested,
and no consideration was taken of the difference in design between
a French bullet and an American bullet. The result was that the
French grenade did not function well with our ammunition, due to the
splitting of the Springfield bullet as it passed through the grenade.
The result was that in May, 1918, several months after the manufacture
of this grenade had been in progress, the entire undertaking was
canceled pending the development of new designs; and 3,500,000
completed grenades had to be salvaged.




[Illustration: V. B. RIFLE GRENADE, LIVE, MARK 1.]



The original contract for rifle grenades had been let to the
Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co. of Pittsburgh. This called
for the production of all parts by the Westinghouse Co. and the
assembling of them in the Westinghouse plant to the number of 5,000,000
grenades. But there was such a diversity of material employed in the
manufacture of rifle grenades that succeeding contracts were let for
parts and for assembling separately.

After the rifle grenade had been redesigned new contracts were let
for a total of 30,115,409 of them. In August, a few weeks later, the
daily production of these grenades in the various plants had reached
a total of 130,000 and by the end of October the daily production was
250,000. The goal toward which this production was aiming was the
expected spring offensive of the American Expeditionary Forces in 1919.
We should have met this event adequately because, while only 685,200
American rifle grenades had actually been shipped overseas when the
fighting ceased, we had 20,000,000 of them ready for loading at that
time and the production was already heavy and constantly increasing.

Special consideration is due the following-named firms for their
efforts in developing the production of rifle grenades:

  Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co., Pittsburgh, Pa.
  Briggs & Stratton Co., Milwaukee, Wis.
  Holcomb & Hoke, Indianapolis, Ind.
  Stewart-Warner Speedometer Corporation, Chicago, Ill.
  Cutler-Hammer Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee, Wis.
  American Radiator Co., Buffalo, N. Y.
  Link-Belt Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
  Doehler Die Castings Co., Brooklyn, N. Y.


America entered the war nearly two years after the Germans had made
their first gas attack. In those intervening months gas warfare had
grown to be a science in itself, requiring special organizations with
each army to handle it.

The employment of toxic gas had developed along several lines. The
original attack by the Germans upon the mask-less Canadians at Ypres
had been in the form of a gas cloud from projectors, these latter being
pressure tanks with nozzle outlets. For some time the Germans continued
the use of gas solely by this method. Retaliation on the part of the
allies quickly followed. However, the employment of gas cloud attacks
involved great labor of preparation and was absolutely dependent
upon certain combinations of weather conditions. In consequence, the
launching of a gas attack in this form could not be timed with regard
to other tactical operations. Therefore the allies were put to the
necessity of developing other means of throwing toxic gases, and this
they did by inclosing the gas in shell shot from the big guns of the
artillery, in grenades thrown by hand from the trenches, and--most
effectively of all--by the agency of an ingenious invention of the
British known as the Livens projector.

The Livens projector was deadly in its effect, since it could throw
suddenly and in great quantity gas bombs, or drums, into the enemy's
ranks. It is notable that although the British used this device with
great success throughout much of the latter period of the war, and
though the French and Americans also adopted it and used it freely,
the Germans were never able to discover what the device was that
threw such havoc into their ranks, nor were they ever able to produce
anything that was similar to it. The Livens projector remained a deep
secret until the close of hostilities, and the Government offices in
Washington, where the design was adapted to American manufacture, and
the American plants producing the parts, were always closely guarded
against enemy espionage.

Without going into details of the construction of the Livens projector
it may be said that it was usually fired by electricity in sets of 25
or multiples thereof. The drums, which were cylindrical shell about
24 inches long and 8 inches in diameter, were ejected from long steel
tubes, or barrels, buried in the ground resting against pressed-steel
base plates. At the throwing of an electric switch a veritable rain
of these big shell, as many as 2,500 of them sometimes, with their
lethal contents, would come hurtling down upon the enemy. The Livens
projectors could throw their gas drums nearly a mile.

The projector was entirely a new type of munition for our manufacturers
to handle. The Trench Warfare Section of the Ordnance Department
took up the matter late in 1917 and by May, 1918, had designed the
weapon for home manufacture. Early in June the contracts were allotted
for barrels and gas drums, or shell. The production of barrels was
exclusively in the hands of the National Tube Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa.,
and the Harrisburg Pipe & Pipe-Bending Co., of Harrisburg, Pa. These
companies reached the production stage in August, 1918, and completed
about 63,000 barrels before the armistice was signed. Their respective
plants reached a daily production rate of approximately 600 barrels per

Somewhat later in the spring of 1918 the contracts for base plates, on
which the barrels rest when ready for firing, muzzle covers, and for
various other accessories were closed. Over 100,000 base plates were
produced by the Gier Pressed Steel Co., of Lansing, Mich., and the
American Pulley Co., of Philadelphia, Pa. The Perkins-Campbell Co.,
of Philadelphia, built the muzzle covers, 66,180 of them. Cartridge
cases were manufactured by Art Metal (Inc.), of Newark, N. J., and the
Russakov Can Co., of Chicago, the former producing 288,838 and the
latter 47,511.


Vertical cross section as laid in the ground ready for firing at 45°


The Ensign-Bickford Co., of Simsbury, Conn., produced 334,300 fuses for
Livens shell; the Artillery Fuse Co., of Wilmington, Del., assembled
26,000 firing mechanisms; the E. I. du Pont Co., at its Pompton Lakes
(N. J.) plant, manufactured 20,000 detonators, and 487,350 detonators
were produced by the Aetna Explosives Co., at Port Ewan, N. Y.; while
the American Can Co., at Lowell, Mass., assembled 256,231 firing

Shear wire pistols were used in the operation of the Livens projector.
The Edison Phonograph Co., of Orange, N. J., produced 181,900 of these,
and the Artillery Fuse Co., of Wilmington, Del., 11,747. The adapters
and boosters of the shell were all built by the John Thompson Press, of
New York. The Waterbury Brass Goods Co., of Waterbury, Conn., made the
fuse casing. Adapters and boosters to the number of 334,500 were turned
out by the former, and 299,900 fuse casings by the latter.

The manufacture of gas drums for the projectors was delayed for some
time because of difficulties in welding certain parts of the drums.
Acetylene and arc welding processes were tried out, and a good many
shell were made by such welding; but the lack of expert welders for
these processes, and the rejections of shell due to leakage in the
welded joints, caused the manufacturer to turn to fire welding, the
process for which had been developed by the Air-tight Steel Tank Co.,
of Pittsburgh, Pa. At the time the armistice was signed the welding
problem had been overcome and the production was going forward at a
rate to meet the requirements of the expected fighting in the spring of
1919. The shell delivered were produced as follows:

By the Federal Pressed Steel Co., of Milwaukee, Wis., 5,609; by the
Pressed Steel Tank Co., also of Milwaukee, 20,536; by the Air-tight
Steel Tank Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa., 600; by the National Tube Co., of
Pittsburgh, 27,098; by the Truscon Steel Co., of Youngstown, Ohio,
19,880. The entire Livens shell program, as it existed in November,
1918, called for the production of 334,000 shell.


The production of trench mortars was not only an important part of our
ordnance program but it was an undertaking absolutely new to American
experience. Not only did we have to produce mortars, but we had to
supply them with shell in great quantities, this latter in itself an
enterprise of no mean proportions.

Some seven different types of mortars were in use when we came into the
war. Our ordnance program contemplated the manufacture of all seven
of them, but we actually succeeded in bringing only four types into
production. These four were the British Newton-Stokes mortars of the
3-inch, 4-inch, and 6-inch calibers, and the French 240-millimeter
mortar, which had also been adopted by the British. As usual in the
adoption of foreign devices, we had to redesign these weapons to make
them adaptable to American shop methods. We encountered much difficulty
throughout the whole job, largely because of insufficient information
furnished from abroad, and because in spite of this handicap we had
to produce mortars and ammunition that would be interchangeable with
French and British munitions stocks.

The first one of these weapons which we took up for production here
was the 3-inch Newton-Stokes. The first contract for the manufacture
of mortars of this size was placed with the Crane Co., of Chicago, on
November 8, 1917, for 1,830 mortars. This concern at once arranged with
the Ohio Seamless Tube Co., of Shelby, Ohio, for the drawing of steel
tubes for the mortar barrels. This latter concern, however, was already
handling large contracts for the Navy and for the aircraft program,
and these operations took priority over the mortar contracts. But the
Crane Co. took advantage of the interim to build the accessories for
the weapons--the tripods, clinometers, base plates, and tool boxes.
In the spring of 1918 the company received the first barrel tubes and
began producing completed weapons. But when these mortars were sent to
the proving ground the test-firing deformed the barrels and broke the
metal bases. Finally it was decided that the propelling explosive used
was not a suitable one for the purpose. Another was substituted. The
new propellant permitted as great a range of fire without damage to the
mortar in firing.

The Crane Co. was eventually able to reach a production of 33 of the
3-inch mortars a day, and up to December 5, 1918, it had built 1,803
completed weapons, together with the necessary tools and spare parts.
In the early fall of 1918 an additional contract for 677 of these
mortars was placed with the Crane Co. and another for 2,000 mortars of
this size with the International Harvester Co., of Chicago. Neither of
these two latter contracts ever came to the production stage.

A few days after the original contract for 3-inch mortars was let the
Trench Warfare Section took up the matter of producing ammunition for
these weapons. Two sorts of shell were to be required--live shell
filled with high explosive and practice shell made of malleable
iron. The original program adopted in November, 1917, called for the
production of 5,342,000 live shell for the 3-inch mortars and 1,500,000
practice shell.





The plan was adopted of building these shell of lap-welded, 3-inch
steel tubing, cut into proper lengths. The contracts for the finished
machined and assembled shell were placed with the General Motors
Corporation at its Saginaw (Mich.) plant, with H. C. Dodge (Inc.),
at South Boston, Mass., and with the Metropolitan Engineering Co.,
of Brooklyn, N. Y. In order to facilitate production, the Government
agreed to furnish the steel tubing. For this purpose it ordered from
the National Tube Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa., 1,618,929 pieces of steel
tubing, each 11 inches in length, and from the Allegheny Steel Co.,
at Brakenridge, Pa., 2,332,319 running feet of tubing. These tube
contracts were filled by the early spring of 1918.

The railroad congestion of February and March, 1918, held up the
delivery of tubing, but the assembly plants utilized the time in
tooling up for the future production. All the plants thereafter soon
reached a quantity production, the General Motors Corporation in
particular tuning up its shop system until it was able to reach a
maximum daily production in a 10-hour shift of 35,618 completed shell.

The casting of malleable iron bodies for the practice shell of this
caliber was turned over to the Erie Malleable Iron Co., of Erie, Pa.,
and to the National Malleable Castings Co., with plants at Cleveland,
Chicago, Indianapolis, and Toledo. The former concern cast 196,673
bodies and the latter 1,015,005. The Gorham Manufacturing Co., of
Providence, R. I.; the Standard Parts Co., of Cleveland, Ohio; and
the New Process Gear Corporation, of Syracuse, N. Y., machined and
assembled the practice shell. When the armistice was declared, these
three contracts were approximately seven-tenths complete.

We were dissatisfied with our 3-inch shell, for the reason that they
tumbled in air and were visible to the eye. The French had developed a
mortar shell on the streamline principle which was invisible in flight
and had twice the range of ours. Had the war continued the Trench
Warfare Section would have produced streamline shell for mortars.

The second mortar project undertaken was the manufacture of the
240-millimeter weapon. This was the largest mortar which we produced,
its barrel having a diameter of approximately 10 inches. It proved to
be one of the toughest nuts to crack in the whole mortar undertaking.
The British designs of this French weapon we found to be quite unsuited
to our factory methods, and for the sake of expediency we frequently
modified them in the course of the development. The total contracts
called for the production of 938 mortars.

It was obvious that the manufacture of this and of other larger mortars
would fall into three phases. The forging of barrels, breechblocks,
and breech slides was a separate type of work, and we allotted the
contracts for this work to the Standard Forging Co., of Indiana Harbor,
Ind. The machining of these parts to the fine dimensions required by
the design was an entirely separate phase of manufacturing, and we
placed this work with the American Laundry Machine Co., of Cincinnati.
Still a third class of work was that of assembling the completed
mortars, and this contract went to the David Lupton Sons Co., of
Philadelphia, who also engaged to manufacture the metal and timber
bases and firing mechanisms. These big mortars had to have mobile
mountings, and the contract for the mortar carts we placed with the
International Harvester Co., of Chicago. These contracts were signed in
December, 1917.

The Lupton plant had difficulty in securing the heavy machinery
it needed for this and for other mortar contracts, its machinery
being held up by the freight congestion. Early in 1918 the American
Expeditionary Forces advised us to redesign the 240-millimeter mortar
to give it a stronger barrel. Consequently all work was stopped until
this could be done. The first mortars of the new design to be tested
were still unsatisfactory with respect to the strength of the barrels;
and as a consequence the Standard Forging Co. urged that nickel steel
be substituted for basic open-hearth steel as the material for the
barrels. This change proved to be justified.

There was also trouble at the shops of the American Laundry Machine
Co., its equipment not having the precision to do machining of the
type required in these weapons. Accordingly a new machining contract
was made with the Symington-Anderson Co., of Rochester, N. Y., which
concern was eventually able to reach a production of 20 machined
barrels per week.

In all we produced 24 of the 240-millimeter mortars in this country.
Certain of the parts were manufactured up to the total requirements
of the contracts, but others were not built in such numbers. The
International Harvester Co. built all 999 carts ordered.

The production of shell for these big mortars was another difficult
undertaking. After consultation with manufacturers we designed shell of
two different types. One of these was a shell of pressed plates welded
together longitudinally; and a contract for the production of 283,096
of these was placed with the Metropolitan Engineering Co. The other
form was that of two steel hemispheres welded together. The Michigan
Stamping Co., of Detroit, undertook to build 50,000 of these.

These shell contracts were placed in December, 1917. The Michigan
Stamping Co. had to wait five months before it could secure and install
its complete equipment of machinery. It was September before all of
the difficulties in the Detroit plant's project could be overcome and
quantity production could be started. The concern eventually, before
and after the signing of the armistice, built 9,185 shell of this type
at a maximum rate of 56 per day.

Greater promise seemed to be held forth by the Metropolitan Engineering
Co.'s project to build shell of pressed-out plates, electrically
welded. The Government undertook to furnish the steel plates for this
work and secured from the American Rolling Mills Co., of Middletown,
Ohio, a total production of 6,757 tons of them. The Metropolitan
Engineering Co. had great difficulty in perfecting a proper welding
process; and the concern lost a great deal of money on the contract,
yet cheerfully continued its development without prospect of recompense
in order that we might have in this country the knowledge of how to
build such shell. In all, including production after the armistice was
signed, the Metropolitan Engineering Co. built 136,189 shell bodies of
this size at a maximum rate of 987 per day.

During the summer of 1918 a single-piece shell body of the
240-millimeter size, produced by a deep-drawing process, was worked
out. A contract for 125,000 of them was given to the Ireland & Matthews
Manufacturing Co., of Detroit, Mich. The armistice brought this
contract to an end before it had produced any shell of this new and
most promising type.

Early in 1918 we received the first samples of the 6-inch trench
mortar. By April all the plans were ready for American production.
Again this work was divided by types. The National Tube Co., of
Pittsburgh, contracted to build 510 rough forgings of mortar barrels
at its Christy Park plant. The Symington-Anderson Co. undertook to
machine these barrels. The David Lupton Sons Co. agreed to assemble the
mortars, as well as to produce the metal and timber bases for them.

The first machined barrels reached the Lupton plant in June and
found bases ready for them. But, as the assembling was in progress,
the American Expeditionary Forces cabled that the British producers
of mortars had changed their designs, and that we must suspend our
manufacture until we also could adopt the changes. The altered plans
reached us some weeks later; yet, nevertheless, we were able to make
good our original promise to deliver 48 of the 6-inch Newton-Stokes
mortars at the port of embarkation in October, 1918.

Meanwhile we had increased the contracts by an additional requirement
of 1,577 mortars of this size. The National Tube Co. eventually
reached a maximum daily production of 60 barrel forgings. The
Symington-Anderson Co. machined the barrels finally at a 33-per-day
clip. As many as 11 proof-fired guns per day came from the David Lupton
Sons Co.

An interesting fact in connection with the production of shell for the
6-inch mortars is that they were built principally by American makers
of stoves. The 6-inch mortar-shell bodies were of cast iron instead
of steel, and thus were adaptable to manufacture in stove works. Each
shell weighed 40 pounds without its explosive charge. Such shell were
used at the front for heavy demolition purposes.

The contracts for these shell were placed in March, 1918. The Trench
Warfare Section was immediately called upon to secure favorable
priority for the pig iron required for this purpose. The various
stove works did not have the necessary machinery for building these
shell, and so a special equipment in each case had to be built. At the
tests the first castings which came through the foundry were found to
leak, and this required further experiments in the design, holding up
production until July, 1918.

Because of the many troubles encountered in this work the various stove
makers in the summer of 1918 formed an association which they called
the Six-inch Trench-mortar Shell Manufacturers' Association. This
association held monthly meetings and its members visited the various
plants where shell castings were being made. The United States Radiator
Corporation, the Foster-Merriam Co., and the Michigan Stove Co., were
especially active in improving methods for making these shell.

The various concerns producing 6-inch mortar shell and the amounts
turned out were as follows:

  Foster Merriam Co., Meriden, Conn.               33,959
  U. S. Radiator Corporation, Detroit, Mich.      240,700
  Globe Stove & Range Co., Kokomo, Ind.            17,460
  Rathbone, Sard & Co., Albany, N. Y.              97,114
  Michigan Stove Co., Detroit, Mich.              100,000

The following concerns shortly before the armistice was signed received
contracts for the production of 6-inch mortar shell, orders ranging in
quantity from 50,000 to 150,000, but none of these concerns started

  Wm. Crane Co., Jersey City, N. J.
  Frontier Iron Works, Buffalo, N. Y.
  Henry E. Pridmore, (Inc.), Chicago, Ill.
  Best Foundry Co., Bedford, Ohio.
  McCord & Co., Chicago, Ill.

It was not until July, 1918, that the plans were ready for the 4-inch
Newton-Stokes trench mortars. The American Expeditionary Forces
estimated that they would require 480 of these weapons. A total of
500 drawn barrel tubes was ordered from the Ohio Seamless Tube Co.,
of Shelby, Ohio. This concern was able to ship one-fifth of its order
within 10 days after receiving it. The barrels were sent to the Rock
Island Arsenal for machining. The Crane Co., of Chicago, held the
contract for building the bases, tripods, spare parts, and tools, and
also for the assembling of the completed mortars. This factory was
already equipped with tools for this work, since it had been building
similar parts for 3-inch mortars. Consequently, the Crane Co., in
August, almost within a month of receiving its contract, was producing
completed 4-inch mortars and sending them to the Rock Island Arsenal
for proof firing. The Ohio Seamless Tube Co. reached a high daily
production of 83 barrel forgings per day; the Rock Island Arsenal, 10
machined barrels per day; and the Crane Co., 19 assembled mortars per



We planned to build only smoke shell and gas shell for the 4-inch
mortars. Large contracts for various parts of these shell were placed
and the enterprise was gaining great size when the armistice was
declared, but no finished smoke shell and only a few gas shell for
4-inch trench mortars had been produced. The contracts for the smoke
shell were let in October, 1918, and work had not started further
than the procurement of raw material before the armistice came. A
large number of contractors expected to produce the parts for the
4-inch gas shell, and considerable of the raw materials were actually
produced; but only one of the machining and assembling contractors, the
Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co., actually completed any of these shell, and
production at this plant did not start until December 5, 1918.

      _Production of trench mortars and trench-mortar ammunition._

                            TRENCH MORTARS.
                               |  Completions to  | Completions to  | Shipped
        Character.             |  Nov. 11, 1918.  |  Feb. 1, 1919.  | overseas.
  3-inch                       |             1,609|            1,830|       843
  4-inch                       |               444|              778|
  6-inch                       |               368|              500|        48
  240-millimeter (9.45 inches) |                29|               30|
                       TRENCH-MORTAR AMMUNITION.
                               |   Completions    |  Completions    | Shipped
        Character.             |   to Nov. 11     |   to Feb. 1     | overseas
                               | 1918 (unloaded). |1919 (unloaded). | (loaded).
                               |    _Rounds._     |    _Rounds._    | _Rounds._
  3-inch live                  |   3,136,275      |   3,741,237     |  157,785
  3-inch practice              |     607,178      |     782,340     |
  4-inch gas                   |                  |         212     |
  4-inch smoke                 |                  |                 |
  6-inch live                  |     292,882      |     492,404     |
  240-millimeter (9.45 inches) |      67,829      |     131,124     |


Another extensive project in the trench-warfare program was the
manufacture of the so-called toxic gas sets. Each set consisted of
a one-man portable cylinder equipped with a nozzle and a firing
mechanism. Each set was ready for firing as soon as it was placed in

In August, 1918, the toxic-gas-set project was taken up by the
Trench Warfare Section. Contracts for cylinders were awarded to the
Ireland-Matthews Manufacturing Co., of Detroit, Mich., who produced
13,642 cylinders, and to the American Car & Foundry Co. at its Milton,
Pa., plant, which concern turned out 11,046 cylinders.

The Pittsburgh Reinforcing, Brazing & Machine Co. produced 9,765 valves
for the cylinders in two months after receiving the contract. The Yale
& Towne Manufacturing Co., of Stamford, Conn., which received the
contract for nozzles on September 5, 1918, manufactured 20,501 of them
before the armistice was signed; and J. N. Smith & Co., of Detroit,
Mich., who did not receive their contract until September 26, built
3,252 nozzles before the fighting stopped. The Liquid Carbolic Co.,
of Chicago, and the Ruud Manufacturing Co., of Pittsburgh, had the
contracts for the firing mechanism; but none of these was produced
because at the time the armistice was signed the firing mixture to be
used with the cylinders had not been developed.

In connection with the production of materials for gas warfare the
Ordnance Department also designed several types of containers for the
shipment of poison gas, these including not only the portable cylinders
but larger tanks and even tank cars.


A few years ago, when we allowed the adventurous American boy to blow
off his fingers and hands by the indiscriminate use of explosives
in celebrating the Nation's birthday, we had an extensive fireworks
industry in this country. But the spread of the sane Fourth reform
had virtually killed this manufacture, so that when we entered the
war there were only three or four plants in the United States making
fireworks. These concerns kept the trade secrets closely guarded.
However, as we approached the brink of hostilities it was evident we
would have to build up a large production capacity for the pyrotechnics
demanded by the various new types of fighting which had sprung into
existence since 1914. Fireworks were extensively used principally for
signaling at night and as an aid to aviators in the dark.

One of the men to foresee this need was Lewis Nixon, who had long been
in the public eye and was known especially for his advocacy of an
American merchant marine. He organized a pyrotechnics concern known as
the Nixon Fulgent Products Co., built a plant at Brunswick, N. J., and
was ready to talk business with the Government when the war began.

Also there had long been in existence that perennial delight of
children and adults alike known as Paine's Fireworks, whose spectacular
exhibitions are familiar to most city dwellers in the United States.
This concern had its own manufacturing plant, which was ready to expand
to meet Government war requirements.

In addition, two other concerns of the formerly declining industry were
ready to increase their facilities and produce pyrotechnics for war
purposes. These were the Unexcelled Manufacturing Co., of New York, and
the National Fireworks Co., of West Hanover, Mass. The four concerns
proved to be able to meet every war requirement we had.

Prior to the war some few military pyrotechnics had been procured
by the Signal Corps, the Coast Artillery, the Engineer Corps, and
also by the Navy; but on September 27, 1917, the design of all Army
pyrotechnics was centralized in the Trench Warfare Section.

Much experimentation was necessary before specifications could be
prepared, since the entire fire-signaling field had long been in
confusion. We had made our own designs and were proceeding with
production in the spring of 1918, when the American Expeditionary
Forces made the positive recommendation that the entire French program
of pyrotechnics be adopted by the United States. This meant a fresh
start in the business, but nevertheless pyrotechnic devices were
developed to meet all of our needs. These devices included signal
rockets, parachute rockets, signal pistols and their ammunition,
position and signal lights, flares, smoke torches, and lights to be
thrown by the V. B. discharger, the French device attached to the end
of the rifle in which a rifle grenade fits.

At the outset of our efforts we started to build signal rockets,
position lights, rifle lights, signal lights, and lights for use with
the Very signal pistol. The Very signal pistol, which we adopted first,
had the caliber of a 10-gauge shotgun, and its cartridges resembled
shotgun shells in appearance, although containing Roman candle balls of
various colors instead of leaden shot. The orders from abroad in the
spring of 1918 changed the caliber of the Very pistol to 25 millimeters
and brought into our requirements some 16 different styles of star
and parachute cartridges. In addition to these, there were required
about 20 styles of star and parachute cartridges for the French V.
B. discharger. The recommendations from France brought in 13 new
styles of signal rockets, as well as smoke torches, wing-tip flares
for airplanes, parachute flares for lighting the ground under bombing
airplanes, and also 12 styles of cartridges for a new 35-millimeter
Very pistol for the use of aviators.

After we received these instructions there was great uncertainty here
as to the quantity of each item that should be produced; and this
matter was not settled until August 5, 1918, when an enormous program
of requirements was issued. At first it seemed that the Government
itself must build new factories to take care of these needs, but a
careful examination showed that the existing facilities could be
expanded to take care of the production. The placing of contracts in
this undertaking was under way when the armistice stopped the work.

The following table indicates the size of the pyrotechnic undertaking
and also what was accomplished. All of this production came from the
plants of the four companies which have been named. In addition to
the fireworks themselves, accessories were produced by a number of
other concerns. The Japan Paper Co., New York City, manufactured and
imported from Japan approximately 3,000,000 paper parachutes. The
Remington Arms Co., New Haven, Conn., built about 2,500,000 10-gauge
signal-pistol cartridges, except for the stars they contained.
The Empire Art Metal Co., College Point, N. Y., produced nearly
2,000,000 Very pistol cartridge cases. The Winchester Repeating Arms
Co., Bridgeport, Conn., supplied nearly 5,000,000 primers for these
cartridges. Rose Bros. & Co., Lancaster, Pa., produced 65,600 silk
parachutes for Very cartridges. Cheney Bros., South Manchester, Conn.;
D. G. Dery (Inc.), Allentown, Pa.; Stehli Silk Corporation, New York
City; Sauquoit Silk Co., Philadelphia; Lewis Roessel & Co., Hazleton,
Pa.; Schwarzenback-Huber Co., New York City; and the Duplane Silk
Corporation, Hazleton, Pa., produced a total of 1,231,728 yards of silk
for parachutes to float airplane flares. The parachutes themselves for
the airplane flares, a total of 28,570 of them, were manufactured by
the Duplane Silk Corporation; Folmer-Clogg Co., Lancaster, Pa.; and
Jacob Gerhardt Co., Hazleton, Pa. The Edw. G. Budd Manufacturing Co.,
Philadelphia, built 41,020 metal cases for the airplane flares.

         Articles.                | Ordered.  | Completed to  | Completed to
                                  |           | Nov. 8, 1918. | Feb. 1, 1919.
  Signal rockets                  |   615,000 |    437,101    |    544,355
  Position lights                 | 2,072,000 |  1,187,532    |  1,670,070
  Rifle lights                    |    55,000 |     55,000    |     55,000
  Signal lights                   | 3,110,000 |  2,661,008    |  2,710,268
  V. B. cartridges                | 1,215,000 |    110 000    |    673,200
  Very cartridges, 25-millimeter  |   300,000 |               |
  Smoke torches                   |   500,000 |     31,000    |    188,102
  Wing-tip flares                 |   112,000 |     70,000    |    100,865
  Airplane flares                 |    50,083 |      2,100    |      8,000

We also contracted for the production of many thousands of Very signal
pistols. Before the original program was canceled the Remington Arms
Co. had produced 24,460 of the 10-gauge pistols in contracts calling
for a total output of 35,000.

In August, 1918, we let contracts for 135,000 of the 25-millimeter
pistols and for approximately 30,000 of the 35-millimeter pistols. The
A. H. Fox Gun Co. completed 4,193 of the smaller pistols and the Scott
& Fetzger Machine Co. turned out 7,750 of them. Other concerns which
had taken contracts but had not come into production when the armistice
was signed were the National Tool & Manufacturing Co., the Doehler Die
Castings Co., the Hammond Typewriter Co., and Parker Bros.

Considerable experimental work of an interesting nature was carried out
looking toward the development of incendiary devices. Three types of
flame projectors, flaming bayonets, an airplane destroyer, incendiary
darts, and the smoke knapsack were among the projects undertaken.
Owing in large measure to changes in requirements by the American
Expeditionary Forces none of these devices was actually turned out on
any considerable scale.



The miscellaneous ordnance equipment of the American soldier in the
recent war--that is, articles which he carried with him and which added
to his comfort, his safety, or his efficiency as a fighter--while in
many respects identical with the equipment used by our troops for many
years, at the same time contained several novelties.

In the novelty class were helmets and armor. There is a widespread
impression that helmets and body armor passed away with the invention
of gunpowder and because of that invention. This impression is not
at all true. Body armor came to its highest development long after
gunpowder was in common use in war. The sixteenth century witnessed the
most extensive use of armor; yet at that time guns and pistols formed
an important part of the equipment of every army, and even a weapon
which is generally fancied to be ultramodern, the revolver, had been

The fact is that not gunpowder but tactics caused the decline of armor.
Not that armor was unable to stop many types of projectiles shot from
guns, but that its weight hampered swift maneuvering, caused it to be
laid aside by the soldier. The decline of armor may be said to date
from the Thirty Years' War. The armies in that period, and particularly
that of the Swedes, began making long marches for surprise attacks,
and the body armor of the troops was found to be a hindrance in such
tactics. Thereafter armor went out of fashion.

Yet it never completely disappeared in warfare. Gen. Rochambeau is said
to have worn body armor at the siege of Yorktown. Great numbers of
corselets and headpieces were worn in the Napoleonic wars. The corselet
which John Paul Jones wore in his fight with the Serapis is preserved
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Japanese army was
mailed with good armor as late as 1870. Breastplates were worn to some
extent in the Civil War in the United States, and an armor factory was
actually established at New Haven, Conn., about 1862. In the museum
at Richmond, Va., is an equipment of armor taken from a dead soldier
in one of the trenches at the siege of that city. There was a limited
use of armor in the Franco-Prussian War. Some of the Japanese troops
carried shields at Port Arthur. Helmets were worn in the Boer War. A
notorious Australian bandit in the eighties for a long time defied
armed posses to capture him because he wore armor and could stand off
entire squads of policemen firing at him with Martini rifles at close

Thus it can not be said that armor, in coming into use again in the
great war, was resurrected; it was merely revived. In its static
condition during most of the four-year period, the war against Germany
was one in which armor might profitably be used. This opportunity could
scarcely be overlooked, and indeed it was not. Everybody knows of the
helmets that were in general use; yet body armor itself was coming into
favor again, and only the welcome but unexpected end of hostilities
prevented it, in all probability, from becoming again an important part
of the equipment of a soldier.

As a consequence of the attenuated but persistent use of armor by
soldiers during the past two centuries and of the demand of the
aristocratic for helmets and armor as ornaments, the armorer's trade
had been kept alive from the days of Gustavus Adolphus to the present.
The war efforts of the United States in 1917 and 1918 demanded a wide
range of human talents and special callings; but surely the strange and
unusual seemed to be reached when in the early days of our undertaking
the Engineering Division of the Ordnance Department sought the services
of expert armorers.

Through the advice of the National Research Council, which had
established a committee of armor experts, the Ordnance Department
commissioned in its service Maj. Bashford Dean, a life-long specialist
in armor, curator in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an institution
which, learning of the Government's need, at once placed at its
disposal its wonderful specimens of authentic armor, its armor repair
shop where models could at once be made, and the services of Maj.
Dean's assistant there whom he had brought from France, Daniel Tachaux,
one of the few surviving armorers, who had inherited lineally the
technical side of the ancient craft.

It may be said that there were but two nations in the great war which
went to the Middle Ages for ideas as to protective armor--ourselves
and Germany. The Germans, who applied science to almost every phase of
warfare, did not neglect it here. Germany at the start consulted her
experts on ancient armor and worked along lines which they suggested.
The German helmet used in the trenches was undoubtedly superior to any
other helmet given a practical use.

The first helmets to be used in the great war were of French
manufacture. They were designed by Gen. Adrien, and 2,000,000 of them
were manufactured and issued to the French Army. These helmets were the
product of hasty pioneer work, but the fact that they saved from 2 to 5
per cent of the normal casualties of such a war as was being fought at
once impelled the other belligerents to adopt the idea. Great Britain,
spurred by the necessity of producing quickly a helmet in quantity,
designed the most simple helmet to manufacture, which could be pressed
out of cold metal.


[Illustration: AVIATOR'S HELMET.]


When America entered the war she had, naturally, no distinctive helmet;
and the English type, being easiest to make, was adopted to fill the
gap until we could design a more efficient one ourselves. Consequently
400,000 British helmets were bought in England and issued to the
vanguard of the American Expeditionary Forces. Our men wore them,
became accustomed to them, and came to feel that they were the badge of
English-speaking troops. The British helmet thus became a habit with
our men, one difficult to change, a fact which mitigated against the
popularity of the more advanced and scientific models which we were to
bring out.

Now, the British helmet possessed some notable defects. It did
not afford a maximum of protective area. The center of gravity
was not so placed as to keep the helmet from wobbling. The lining
was uncomfortable and disregarded the anatomy of the head. It was
vulnerable at the concave surface where bowl and brim joined.

It is not an astonishing circumstance that some of the earlier helmets
worn by the men-at-arms of the days of knighthood possessed certain
of these same defects, notably, that they were apt to be top-heavy
and uncomfortable. Only by centuries of constant application and
improvement were the armorers of the Middle Ages able to produce
helmets which overcame these defects and which embodied all of the
principles of defense and strength which science could put into them.
The best medieval helmets stand at the summit of the art. It was the
constant aim of the modern specialist, aided by the facilities of the
twentieth century industries, to produce helmets as perfect technically
as those rare models which are the pride of museums and collectors.

Certainly in one respect we had the advantage of the ancients in that
we have nowadays at our disposal the modern alloy-steels of great
resistance. An alloy of this kind having a thickness of 0.036 of an
inch is able to stop at a distance of 10 feet a jacketed, automatic
pistol ball, .45 caliber, traveling at the rate of 600 feet a second.
This was important not only from the standpoint of helmet production,
but from the further inference that body armor of such steel might
still be profitably used. The records of the hospitals in France show
that 7 or 8 of every 10 wounded soldiers were wounded by fragments of
shell and other missiles which even thin armor plate would have kept
out. The German troops used body armor in large numbers, each set
weighing from 19 to 24 pounds. In this country we believed it possible
to produce body armor which would not be difficult to carry and which
would resist the impact of a machine-gun bullet at fairly close range.

The production of helmets, however, was our first concern; and in order
to be sure of a sufficient quantity of these protective headpieces,
we adopted the British model for production in the United States and
went ahead with it on a large scale. For the metal we adopted after
much experimentation a steel alloy with a high percentage of manganese.
This was practically the same as the steel of the British helmet. Its
chief advantage was that it was easy to work in the metal presses
in existence and it required no further tempering after leaving the
stamping presses. Its hardness, however, wore away the stamping tools
much more quickly than ordinary steel sheets would do.

While we adopted the British helmet in design and substantially in
metal used, we originated our own helmet lining. The lining was woven
of cotton twine in meshes three-eighths of an inch square. This web,
fitting tightly upon the wearer's head, evenly distributed the weight
of the two-pound helmet, and in the same way distributed the force of
any blow upon the helmet. The netting, together with small pieces of
rubber around the edge of the lining, kept the helmet away from the
head, so that even a relatively large dent could not reach the wearer's

It is an interesting fact that the linings for the American helmets
were produced by concerns whose ordinary business was the manufacture
of shoes. There were 10 of these companies taking such contracts. Steel
for the helmet was rolled by the American Sheet & Tin Plate Co. The
helmets were pressed and stamped into shape by seven companies which
had done similar work before the war. These concerns were:

          Contractor.                                     Delivered.

  Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia           1,150,775
  Sparks, Withington Co., Jackson, Mich.                     473,469
  Crosby Co., Buffalo, N. Y.                                 469,968
  Bossett Corporation, Utica, N. Y.                          116,735
  Columbian Enameling & Stamping Co., Terre Haute, Ind.      268,850
  Worcester Pressed Steel Co., Worcester, Mass.              193,840
  Benjamin Electric Co., Des Plaines, Ill.                    33,600
      Total                                                2,707,237

The metal helmets and the woven linings were delivered to the plant
of the Ford Motor Co. at Philadelphia, where they were painted and
assembled. The helmets were painted in the olive-drab shade for
protective coloring. While on dull days such objects could not be
discerned at a great distance, in bright weather their rounded surfaces
might catch and reflect sunbeams, thus betraying the positions of their
wearers. To guard against this, as soon as the helmets were treated to
a first coat of paint fine sawdust was blown upon the wet surface. When
this had dried, another coat of paint was applied, and a nonreflective,
gritty surface was thus produced.


[Illustration: American Helmet. Experimental Model No. 2.]

[Illustration: American Helmet No. 8. (Visor up.)]




We began receiving substantial quantities of finished helmets by the
end of November of the first year of the war. On February 17, 1918,
practically 700,000 had been shipped abroad or were ready for shipment
at the ports of embarkation. Later in the spring of 1918, when we began
sending men to France much beyond our earlier expectations, the orders
for helmets were greatly expanded. In July the total orders reached
3,000,000, in August 6,000,000, and in September 7,000,000. This would
give us enough to meet all requirements until June, 1919.

When the armistice was signed the factories were producing more than
100,000 helmets every four days, and were rapidly approaching the time
when their daily output would be 60,000. The Government canceled all
helmet contracts as soon as the fighting ceased, having received up to
that time a total of 2,700,000 of them.

While this manufacture was going on we were developing helmets of our
own. Major Dean went to France to collect information dealing with
the actual needs of the service and to present numerous experimental
models of helmets for the comment and criticism of the General Staff.
In numerous cases these models were accepted for manufacture here in
experimental lots.

In all we developed four models which seemed to have merits
recommending their adoption. The first distinctive American helmet was
known as model No. 2. The Ford Co. at Detroit pressed about 1,200 of
these helmets. The helmet, however, was similar in appearance to the
German helmet, and for that reason was disapproved by the American
Expeditionary Forces.

Helmet model No. 3 was of a deep-bowl type, but it was rejected
when the Hale & Kilburn Co., of Philadelphia, after a great deal of
experimentation, found that the helmet was too deep for successful
manufacture by pressing.

Model No. 4 was designed by the master armorer of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. It was also found too difficult to manufacture.

Helmet No. 5 was strongly recommended by American experts, but was not
accepted by the General Staff. It was designed by the armor committee
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with the Engineering
Division of the Ordnance Department. Hale & Kilburn undertook to
manufacture these helmets, which were to be painted, assembled, and
packed by the Ford Motor Co. at its Philadelphia plant. Various
component parts of the helmet were sublet in experimental quantities to
numerous manufacturers.

The No. 5 helmet, complete, weighed 2 pounds, 6½ ounces. It combined
the virtues of several types of helmets. It gave a maximum of
protection for its weight. It was comparatively easy to produce. This
helmet, with slight variations, was later adopted as the standard
helmet of the Swiss Army. The latest German helmet, it is interesting
to note, was approaching similar lines.

We also produced helmets for special services--one with a visor to
protect machine gunners and snipers, and another, known as model 14,
for aviators, it being little heavier than the leather helmet which
airmen wore in the war and twenty times as strong a defense for the
head. A third special helmet, known as model 15, was for operators
of tanks. It was provided with a neck guard of padded silk to stop
the lead splash which penetrated the turret of the tank. The Ordnance
Department turned out 25 of these in 10 days and sent them by courier
to France for a test.

The Germans issued body armor only to troops holding exposed positions
under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire; but such use was distinctly
valuable, as was shown by captured German reports.

The Engineering Division of the Ordnance Department developed a body
defense including a light front and body plate, these together weighing
9½ pounds. One lot of 5,000 sets was manufactured by the Hale & Kilburn
Corporation. The linings of these plates were of sponge rubber, and
they were made by the Miller Rubber Co., of Akron, Ohio. All of these
sets were shipped abroad for testing; but the report was not favorable,
as the American soldier did not wish to be hampered with armor. He
had learned to wear his helmet, but he had yet to be convinced of the
practical value of body armor.

We developed a heavy breast plate with thigh guards, weighing 27
pounds, which stopped machine gun bullets at 150 yards. An experimental
lot of these were completed in 26 days by the Mullins Manufacturing
Co., of Salem, Ohio. These were also shipped abroad for test.

A few defenses for arms and legs were prepared which, although light in
weight, would protect the wearer from an automatic-pistol ball at 10
feet. About 70 per cent of the hospital cases in France were casualties
caused by wounds in the arms and legs. These defenses, however, were
rejected on account of their impeding to a certain degree the movements
of the wearer.

Our development in armor also produced an aviator's chair weighing 60
pounds. It would protect the pilot from injury from below and from the
back, withstanding armor-piercing bullets fired at a distance of 50
yards. Since the piercing of the gas mask canister by a bullet might
result in the death of the soldier by admitting gas directly into the
breathing system of his mask, the Ordnance Department designed an
armored haversack for the gas mask and its canister, this haversack
incidentally serving as a breast defense.


Another large ordnance operation was the production of bayonets for
the service rifles. The British bayonet had proved to be highly
satisfactory in the war; and, since it was already designed to fit the
Enfield rifle, which we had adopted for our own, we took the British
bayonet as it was and, with only one slight alteration, set out to
produce it in this country.

The Government found both the Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge
Co. at its Bridgeport, Conn., works, and the Winchester Repeating Arms
Co. building these bayonets for the English Government. The latter's
bayonet needs by 1917 were being well supplied by home manufacture,
and this permitted us to buy approximately 545,500 bayonets which had
already been manufactured for the British.

The Ordnance Department at once started out these two concerns on
contracts for bayonets for the American Government, Remington with
total orders for 2,820,803 bayonets and Winchester with orders for
672,500. Remington delivered in all 1,565,644 bayonets and Winchester
395,894. This was a total of 1,961,500 bayonets.

The total production of 1917 rifles was about 2,520,000. These
figures indicate that we were short over 500,000 bayonets at the time
hostilities ceased; and as a matter of fact this shortage had already
become acute, especially in the training camps.

The bayonets had not come as rapidly as we had expected, because to
produce them at the rate originally planned would have interfered
with the more essential production of rifles by these same companies.
Accordingly in 1918 additional contracts for bayonets were made.
Landers, Frary & Clark, of New Britain, Conn., engaged to manufacture
500,000 bayonets, and the National Motor Vehicle Co., 255,000. These
latter contracts, however, were suspended after the armistice was
signed. The additional orders had made it certain that there would be
no bayonet shortage by the spring of 1919.

While this production was under way we were also manufacturing bayonets
for the model 1903 Springfield rifle. The Springfield Armory produced
347,533 of these and the Rock Island Arsenal 36,800. In addition the
Springfield Armory delivered 50,000 bayonet blades as spare parts.

We not only had to provide bayonets but also the scabbards to hold
them in. The scabbard of the 1917 bayonet was of simple manufacture
and there were no difficulties in securing sufficient quantities. The
Jewell Belt Co. delivered 1,810,675 of them; Graton & Knight delivered
1,669,581; while the Rock Island Arsenal produced 3,000. This gave us
a total of 3,480,000 scabbards, a quantity greatly in excess of the
production of either bayonets or rifles.

A new weapon which had come into use during the great war as part of
the soldier's individual equipment was the trench knife. The question
of making such knives was taken up by the Government with various
manufacturers throughout the country and they were given a general
idea of what was required and, in conjunction with the Ordnance
Department, were requested to develop details. The design submitted
by Henry Disston & Sons, of Philadelphia, received the most favorable
consideration. This knife was manufactured and known as model 1917. It
was a triangular blade 9 inches long. The triangular blade was deemed
the most efficient because of the ease with which it would pierce
clothing and even leather. This knife was slightly changed as regards
handle and given a different guard to protect the man's knuckles,
and was known as model 1918. These knives were sent abroad in large
quantities to be used by the American Expeditionary Forces. Landers,
Frary & Clark produced 113,000 of these knives and the Oneida Community
(Ltd.), Oneida, N. Y., 10,000.

On June 1, 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces made an exhaustive
test, comparing the various trench knives used abroad. The four knives
tested were as follows; United States, model 1917; Hughes; French; and
British knuckle knife. These tests were made to determine the merits of
the different knives as to the following points:

  (_a_) Serviceability--ability to carry in hand and function other

  (_b_) Quickness in action.

  (_c_) If the soldier were knocked unconscious, would knife drop
  from hand?

  (_d_) Suitability to carry in hand when crawling.

  (_e_) Probability of being knocked out of hand.

  (_f_) Weight, length, shape of blade.

  (_g_) Shape of handle.

It was found that the model 1917, although a satisfactory knife, could
be improved. Therefore the trench knife known as Mark I was developed
partially by the American Expeditionary Forces and partially by the
Engineering Division of Ordnance. This knife was entirely different
from the model 1917, having a flat blade, metal scabbard, and a
cast-bronze handle. It was a combination of all the good points of all
the knives used by the foreign armies.

The Government placed orders for 1,232,780 of the new knives.
Deliveries were to have begun in December, but before that time peace
had come and the orders had been reduced to 119,424. The new model
knives were to have been manufactured by A. A. Simons & Son, Dayton,
Ohio; Henry Disston & Son, Philadelphia; Landers, Frary & Clark, and
the Oneida Community (Ltd.). All contracts were canceled except the one
with Landers, Frary & Clark.



[Illustration: WIRE CUTTER (ONE HAND).]

[Illustration: FRENCH WIRE CUTTERS.]


    AT 10,000 VOLTS.]


Another new article in the equipment of our soldiers was the trench
periscope, a device enabling a man to look over the edge of the trench
without exposing himself to fire. The ordinary periscope was merely
a wooden box 2 inches square and 15 inches long, with an inclined
mirror set at each end. Production was commenced in October, 1917, by
two companies, and 81,000 were delivered by the middle of January.
In August, 1918, an additional lot of 60,000 was ordered, but the
deliveries of these were slow.

An even simpler periscope was merely a mirror about three inches long
and an inch and a half wide which could be placed on a bayonet or a
stick and set up over the trench so that it gave a view of the ground
in front. A total of 100,000 of these was delivered before the end of
July, 1918, and 50,000 additional ones before November. Further facts
about periscopes are set down in the chapter in this report relating to
sights and fire-control apparatus.

At the beginning of the war all textile equipment, such as cartridge
belts, bandoleers to carry ammunition, haversacks, pack carriers,
pistol holsters, canteen covers and similar material were supplied in
woven material. Only two concerns in this country could manufacture
articles of this quality. They were the Mills Woven Cartridge Belt
Co., Worcester, Mass., and the Russell Manufacturing Co., Middletown,
Conn. Although these two concerns practically doubled their output and
worked day and night to supply the material, the demand was too great,
and belts and carriers were designed to be stitched and sewn and not
woven. Equipment made in this manner is inferior to the woven article.
However, the Mills Woven Cartridge Belt Co. produced approximately
3,200,000 of these articles and the Russell Manufacturing Co.,
1,500,000. Large producers of the stitched and sewn material were the
Plant Brothers Co., Boston, Mass.; R. H. Long Co., Framingham, Mass.;
L. C. Chase Co., Watertown, Mass.

For the Browning automatic rifle and the Browning machine gun there
were specially designed belts and bandoleers. The rifleman had his
own special belt, and his first and second assistants had their own
individual belts, and the assistants also had two bandoleers each, one
right and one left, which were carried across their shoulders. These
were manufactured in quantities by the following manufacturers:

  R. H. Long Co., Framingham, Mass.      175,000
  Plant Bros., Boston, Mass.              75,000
  L. C. Chase Co., Watertown, Mass.       20,000

Many small articles of textile equipment were produced in immense
quantities. There were approximately four and a half million canteen
covers produced prior to November 1. Large contracts were placed with
the following concerns: Perkins-Campbell Co., Cincinnati, Ohio; Brauer
Bros., St. Louis, Mo.; L. C. Chase Co., Watertown, Mass.; Miller-Hexter
Co., Cleveland, Ohio; Powers Manufacturing Co., Waterloo, Iowa; R. H.
Long Co., Framingham, Mass.; Bradford Co., St. Joseph, Mich.; Galvin
Bros., Cleveland, Ohio; Progressive Knitting Works, Brooklyn, N. Y.

Approximately four and a half million haversacks were produced and
delivered prior to November 1, 1918. Large manufacturers producing
these were as follows: Canvas Products Co., St. Louis, Mo.; Rock
Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Ill.; Plant Bros., Boston, Mass.; Simmons
Hardware Co., St. Louis, Mo.; R. H. Long Co., Framingham, Mass.;
Liberty, Durgin (Inc.), Haverhill, Mass.; Wiley, Bickford & Sweet,
Hartford, Conn.

It is impossible here to enumerate the entire range of ordnance
munitions produced, outside of the development of guns and their
ammunition; but their manufacture, in orders that ordinarily amounted
to the millions of individual pieces, engaged the activities of a large
number of manufacturers of the United States.

The Government ordered about 1,200,000 axes to be used in trench
operations, of which 661,690 were delivered. Bags of all sorts for
horse feed, grain, rations, and supplies totaled in their deliveries
about 2,250,000. The Government received 809,541 saddle blankets;
about 3,750,000 carriers for entrenching shovels, axes, and picks;
nearly 4,450,000 covers for the breech locks of rifles; over 1,000,000
currycombs; 76,230 lariats; 727,000 entrenching picks; nearly 4,750,000
first-aid pouches, and over 2,000,000 pouches for small articles;
234,689 Cavalry saddles; 134,092 Field Artillery saddles; 15,287 mule
saddles; 482,459 saddle bags; nearly 1,800,000 entrenching shovels;
2,843,092 spur straps; 70,556 steel measuring tapes each 5 feet long.

These figures selected at random from thousands of miscellaneous items
indicate to some extent the scale on which America went into the war.

The old model 1910 American wire cutter, although efficient in times
past, was not capable of cutting specially constructed manganese wire
which the Germans used. Therefore it became necessary for this country
to develop a better cutter. A meeting of the plier manufacturers of the
country was called and the question was put before them. The spirit of
cooperation of the American manufacturers was evident, inasmuch as over
90 per cent of the manufacturers attended the meeting.















[Illustration: MEAT CAN, MODEL 1918.]

[Illustration: CANTEEN, MODEL 1910.]

[Illustration: _PACK CARRIER, MODEL OF 1910._



[Illustration: CONDIMENT CAN, MODEL 1910.]

[Illustration: KNIFE, MODEL 1910.]

[Illustration: FORK, MODEL 1910.]

The model submitted by Kraeuter & Co., Newark, N. J., was adopted and
5,000 were manufactured and sent to France. Although this was the best
cutter developed in this short time, it was evident that it was not
the right article, and the Engineering Division of Ordnance continued
experimenting to make a more satisfactory one. In this connection a
one-hand wire cutter was developed by the William Schollhorn Co., of
New Haven, Conn. This cutter was a very efficient and satisfactory
article, and, although it was never adopted by the American Army during
the war, it is worthy of consideration. The American Expeditionary
Forces eventually sent back drawings and sample of the French wire
cutter, which was developed abroad and known as model 1918. This was a
large, two-handed cutter. Production was started. The article was found
difficult to manufacture, but the manufacturers undertook it with a
will and production was well under way when the armistice was signed.

The mess equipment of the soldier included the following items: meat
can, condiment can, canteen and cup, knife, fork, and spoon. These
articles were practically the same as the Army had always used, with
one exception--the meat can. Advice was received from the American
Expeditionary Forces that the meat cans in which the soldiers' food
was placed by the cooks of the various organizations were not large
enough to hold the portions that the American doughboys needed when
they were fighting at the front. Although production was well under way
with various American manufacturers on the old model, a new model can
was designed which was half an inch deeper. The American manufacturers
immediately, with a great deal of trouble to themselves, changed their
dies and tools and manufactured a new meat can which was larger than
the old. Thousands of cans were turned out daily.

                           _Production data._

                            CONDIMENT CANS.
                   Contractor.                 | Contract.  |  Completed
                                               |            |     and
                                               |            | delivered.
  American Can Co., New York City              |  3,553,940 |  3,553,940
  Tin Decorating Co., Baltimore, Md.           |  2,003,640 |  2,003,640
  Gotham Can Co., Brooklyn, N. Y.              |    500,000 |    500,000
  Total                                        |  6,057,580 |  6,057,580
                              BACON CANS.
  Sturgis & Burns, Chicago                     |  2,303,800 |  1,731,000
  Landers, Frary & Clark, New Britain, Conn.   |    534,360 |    534,360
  Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Ill.       |  1,658,000 |  1,358,570
  Wisconsin Metal Products Co., Racine, Wis.   |     50,000 |     50,000
  Acklin Steel Co., Toledo, Ohio               |    250,000 |    250,000
  Cleveland Metal Products Co., Cleveland, Ohio|    300,000 |     21,750
  Whittaker, Glessner Co., Wheeling, W. Va.    |    500,000 |    131,880
      Total                                    |  5,596,160 |  4,077,560
                               MEAT CANS.
  Aluminum Co. of America, Pittsburgh          |  3,385,955 |  3,385,955
  Landers, Frary & Clark, New Britain, Conn.   |  3,000,000 |  3,000,000
  J. W. Brown & Co., Columbus, Ohio            |    641,945 |    641,945
  Wheeling Stamping Co., Wheeling, W. Va.      |    940,812 |    940,812
  Edmunds & Jones Co., Detroit, Mich.          |    138,360 |    138,360
  Rock Island Arsenal                          |    138,862 |    138,862
      Total                                    |  8,245,934 |  8,245,934
  Aluminum Co. of America, New York            |  3,470,000 |  3,470,000
  Landers, Frary & Clark                       |  2,862,150 |  2,862,150
  Aluminum Goods Co., Manitowoc, Wis.          |  2,370,000 |  2,370,000
  J. W. Brown Co.                              |    861,471 |    861,471
  Buckeye Aluminum Co., Wooster, Ohio          |    776,014 |    776,014
  Rock Island Arsenal                          |    361,000 |    361,000
      Total                                    | 10,700,635 | 10,700,635
  American Cutlery Co., Chicago                |  2,865,910 |  2,865,910
  Landers, Frary & Clark                       |  7,286,550 |  7,286,550
  Rock Island Arsenal                          |    527,600 |    527,600
  International Silverware Co.                 |    473,000 |    473,000
  Hinckley Manufacturing Co.                   |    130,000 |    130,000
      Total                                    | 11,283,060 | 11,283,060
  R. Wallace & Co.                             |  8,585,000 |  8,585,000
  Wallace Bros.                                |    367,810 |    367,810
  Rock Island Arsenal                          |    200,000 |    200,000
  Charles Parker Co., Meriden, Conn.           |    810,000 |    810,000
  Wm. B. Durgin Co., Concord, N. H.            |    500,000 |    500,000
      Total                                    | 10,462,810 | 10,462,810
  R. Wallace & Co.                             |  8,037,600 |  8,037,600
  National Enameling & Stamping Co.            |    906,400 |    906,400
  Wm. B. Durgin Co.                            |    500,000 |    500,000
  Charles Parker Co.                           |    902,000 |    902,000
      Total                                    | 10,346,000 | 10,346,000





When the United States entered the war against Germany in 1917 there
was no phase of her forthcoming industrial effort from which so much
was expected as from the building of airplanes and equipment for aerial
warfare; yet there was no phase of the immense undertaking in which
the United States was so utterly unprepared. In many other branches of
the work of providing matériel for a modern army, however inadequately
acquainted America might be with the developments which had gone on
in Europe since 1914, yet she had splendid resources of skill and
equipment which could quickly turn from the pursuits of peace to the
arts attending warfare. But there was no large existing industry in the
United States which could turn easily to the production of airplanes,
since such airplanes as were known in Europe in 1917 had never been
built in the United States.

It seems difficult now for us to realize how utterly unlearned we were,
both in official and technical quarters, in the design, the production,
or the use of aeronautical equipment in those early days of 1917. Here
in America mechanical flight had been born; but we had lived to see
other nations develop the invention into an industry and a science
that was a closed book to our people. In the three years of warfare
before American participation, the airplane had been forced through a
whole generation of normal mechanical evolution. Of this progress we
were aware only as nontechnical and distant observers. Such military
study of the progress as we had conducted was casual. It had, in fact,
brought to America scarcely a single basic fact on which we could build
our contemplated industry.

When the United States became a belligerent no American-built airplane
had ever mounted a machine gun or carried any other than the simplest
of necessary instruments. Such things as oxygen apparatus, electrically
heated clothing for aviators, radio-communication with airplanes,
landing and bombing flares, electric lighting systems for planes,
bomb-dropping devices, suitable compasses, instruments for measuring
height and speed, and the like--in short, all the modern paraphernalia
that completes the efficiency of combat airplanes--these were almost
entirely unknown to us.

The best of the prewar activities of America in this line had produced
some useful airplane engines and a few planes which the countries then
at war were willing to use only in training of aviators.

Within the Army itself there was small nucleus of skill around which
could be built an organization expert and sophisticated. We had in
the official files no adequate information as to sizes, capacities,
and types of planes or engines, or character of ordnance, armament,
or aeronautical appliances demanded by the exacting service in which
our young birdmen were soon to engage. Even the airplanes on order
in April, 1917 (over 350 of them), proved to be of such antiquated
design that the manufacturers of them, in the light of their increased
knowledge of war requirements a few months later, asked to be released
from their contracts.

Nor was there in the United States any industry so closely allied to
airplane manufacture that its engineers and designers could turn from
one to the other and take their places at once abreast of the progress
in Europe. There was little or no engineering talent in the United
States competent to design fully equipped military aircraft which could
compete with Europe. Our aircraft producers must first go to France
and England and Italy, and ground themselves in the principles of a
new science before they could attempt to produce their own designs
or even before they could be safe in selecting European designs for
reproduction in this country.

The first consideration of the whole program by the Joint Army and
Navy Technical Board indicated a figure of 22,000 as the number of
airplanes, including both training and battle types, which should be
furnished for the use of the Army during the 12 months following July
1, 1917. This figure represented the determination of America to play
a major part in aerial warfare. It was not possible for the board to
realize at that time all of the problems which would be encountered,
and the figures indicated confidence in the ability of the industrial
organizations of the United States to meet a difficult situation,
rather than an exact plan under which such production might be

It is probable that it was not fully realized that the production of
this program, with the proper proportion of spare parts required for
military operations, meant the manufacture of the equivalent of about
40,000 airplanes.

Without an industry then, and with little knowledge or understanding
of the problems of military aerial equipment, we faced the task
of securing the equivalent of 40,000 airplanes in 12 brief months
beginning July, 1917.

In one respect we were in a degree prepared in professional skill
and mechanical equipment to go ahead on broad lines. This was in the
matter of producing engines. The production of aviation engines in
America had, indeed, been comparatively slight, but in the automobile
industry had been developed a vast engine-building capacity. The detail
equipment of automobile shops was not entirely suited to aviation
engines, but, nevertheless, it furnished the basis for the future
successful production of the Liberty engine and the other engines
called for by the air program.



America succeeded, once the requirements were known, in producing the
various accessories of aerial warfare. It was necessary first to learn
from foreign sources what these accessories were and how they should
be built; but as a rule it was possible to adapt American production
resources to the problem, and the difficulties experienced were rather
those of determining requirements and the exact adaptation of the
various articles to specific airplanes.

The achievements of America in aircraft production during the war
period may be summarized as follows:

In our 19 months of warfare we outdid any one of the belligerent
nations in Europe in the production of airplanes in its first 19 months
of intensive production. In our second year of war we nearly equaled
the record of England in her third.

At the end of the effort, after our designers had saturated themselves
in the science and were abreast of the developments of Europe, they
produced several typical American airplanes which gave promise of being
superior to any that Europe was turning out.

We created one of the three or four best airplane engines, if not
the best of all, that the world had seen, and produced it in great
quantities. We took a standard but complicated aero-engine from Europe
and not only duplicated it in quantity here but turned out a finer
product than the original French makers had been able to obtain with
their careful and more leisurely methods.

In the steel cylinders of all the aero-engines we built was a capacity
for producing some seven or eight million horsepower, an energy
equivalent to one-fifth of the commercially practicable water power of
the United States. The Liberty engines built could alone do the work of
the entire flood of Niagara and have a million horsepower to spare.

In three years of warfare the allies had been able to develop only a
single machine gun that could be successfully synchronized to fire
through a revolving airplane propeller. In 12 months of actual effort
America produced two others as good, both susceptible of factory
quantity production.

We developed new airplane cameras. We carried to new stages the science
of clothing aviators. We developed in quantity the wireless airplane
telephone that stilled in the ears of the pilot the bedlam of wind and
machine guns and engine exhaust and placed him within easy speaking
radius of his ground station and his commander in the air.

We built balloons at a rate to supply more than our own needs.

When the shortage of linen threatened the entire airplane output of
the nations opposing Germany, we developed cotton wing fabric that not
only substituted for linen, but proved to be better; and in producing a
liquid filler to make this fabric wind-tight we established on a large
scale an entirely new chemical industry in the United States.

Such were the high points in the history of America's aircraft
production for war. The details of the developments which led to these
results are set forth on the following pages.


12, 1918.

Picture taken at Love Field, Tex., from an airplane.]



Sketchy and incomplete as was our knowledge of airplane construction in
the early days of 1917, it was no more hazy than our notion of how many
planes to build. What would constitute overwhelming superiority in the

As an indication of the rapidity with which history has moved, it
may be stated that in January and February of 1917 the Signal Corps
discussed the feasibility of building 1,000 planes in a year of
construction. This seems now to us a ridiculously low figure to propose
as representative of American resources, but in the early weeks of 1917
the construction of a thousand airplanes appeared to be a formidable
undertaking. In March, when war was inevitable, we raised this number
to 2,500 planes within 12 months; in April, when war was declared, we
raised it again to 3,700.

But once we were in the war, through the exchange of military missions
our designers were taken into the confidence of the aviation branches
of the French, British, and Italian Armies and shown then for the
first time a comprehensive view of the development of the war plane,
both what had been done in the past and what might be expected in the
future. As a result our Joint Army and Navy Technical Board in the
last week of May and the early part of June, 1917, recommended to the
Secretaries of War and the Navy that a building program be started at
once to produce the stupendous total of 19,775 planes for our own use
and 3,000 additional ones, if we were to train foreign aviators, or
approximately 22,000 in all. This was a program worthy of America's
industrial greatness. Of these proposed planes, 7,050 were for training
our flyers, 725 for the defense of the United States and insular
possessions, and 12,000 for active service in France.

Such was the task assigned to an industry that in the previous 12
months had manufactured less than 800 airplanes, and those consisting
principally of training planes for foreign governments.

The expanding national ambition for an aircraft industry was also shown
by the mounting money grants. On May 12 Congress voted $10,800,000 for
military aeronautics. On June 15 an appropriation of $43,450,000 was
voted for the same purpose. Finally on July 24, 1917, the President
signed the bill appropriating $640,000,000 for aircraft. This was the
largest appropriation ever made by Congress for one specific purpose,
and this bill was put through both Houses within the period of a little
more than a week.

The figure 22,000, however, scarcely indicates the size of this
undertaking, as we were to realize before long. We little understood
the infinite complications of fully equipping battle planes. Lacking
that invaluable experience which Europe had attained in three years of
production, we had no practical realization of the fact that for each
100 airplanes an equivalent of 80 additional airplanes must be provided
in spare parts. In other words, an effective fighting plane delivered
in France is not one plane, but it is one plane and eight-tenths of
another; which means that the program adopted in June, 1917, called
for the production in 12 months of not 22,000 airplanes but rather the
equivalent of 40,000 airplanes.

Let us set down the inventory of the Government's own resources for
handling this project.

The American Air Service, which was then part of the Signal Corps, had
had a struggling and meager existence, working with the old pusher
type of planes until in 1914 an appropriation of $250,000 was made
available for the purchase of new airplanes and equipment. Shortly
after this appropriation was granted, five officers were sent to the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a course in aeronautics. When
the war broke out in Europe in August, 1914, these men constituted the
entire technically trained personnel of the Air Service of the United
States. By April 6, 1917, we had 65 officers in the Air Service, an
enlisted and civilian personnel of 1,330, two flying fields, and a few
serviceable planes of the training type.

This equipment may be compared with that of Germany, France, and
England at the time they went to war. Germany is believed to have had
nearly 1,000 airplanes in August, 1914; France had about 300; and
England barely 250. America's 224, delivered up to April 6, 1917, were
nearly all obsolete in type when compared with the machines then in
effective service in France.

No sooner had the United States embarked upon the war than the agents
of the European manufacturers of airplanes descended upon the Aircraft
Board in swarms. France and Italy had both adopted the policy of
depending upon the private development of designs for their supplies
of airplanes, with the result that the builders of each country had
produced a number of successful types of flying machines and an even
greater number of types of engines. On the assumption that the United
States would adopt certain of these types and build them here, the
agents for the Sopwiths, the Capronis, the Handley-Pages, and many
others proceeded to demonstrate the particular excellences of their
various articles. Out of this confusion of counsel stood one pertinent
fact in relief--the United States would have to pay considerable
royalties for the use of any of these European devices.

As to the relative merits of types and designs, it was soon apparent
that no intelligent decision could be reached in Washington or anywhere
but in Europe. Because of our distance from the front and the length
of time required to put the American industrial machine into operation
on a large scale, it was necessary that in advance we understand types
and tendencies in aircraft construction, so that we might anticipate
aircraft development in such special designs as we might adopt.
Otherwise, if we accepted the types of equipment then in use in Europe,
by the time we had begun producing on a large scale a year or so later
we would find our output obsolete and out of date, so rapidly was the
aircraft art moving.

Consequently, in June the United States sent to Europe a commission of
six civilian and military experts, headed by Maj. R. C. Bolling, part
of whose duties was to advise the American War Department as to what
types of planes and engines and other air equipment we should prepare
to manufacture. Also, in April the Chief of the Signal Corps had cables
sent to England, France, and Italy, requesting that aviation experts be
sent at once to this country; and shortly after this we dispatched to
Europe more than 100 skilled mechanics to work in the foreign engine
and airplane plants and acquire the training that would make them the
nucleus of a large mechanical force for aircraft production in this

But while these early educational activities were in progress, much
could be done at home that need not await the forthcoming reports
from the Bolling mission. We had, for instance, in this country
several types of planes and engines that would be suitable for the
training fields which were even then being established. The Signal
Corps, therefore, bent its energies upon the manufacture of training
equipment, leaving the development of battle aircraft to come after we
should know more about that subject.

It was evident that we could not equip an airplane industry and furnish
machines to our fliers abroad before the summer of 1918; and so we
arranged with France for this equipment by placing orders with French
factories for 5,875 planes of regular French design. These were all to
be delivered by July 1, 1918.

In the arrangement with the French factories we agreed to supply
from the United States a great deal of the raw materials for these
machines, and the contract for furnishing these supplies was given to
J. G. White & Co. of New York City. This concern did a creditable job,
shipping about 5,000,000 feet of lumber, much necessary machinery, and
a multitude of items required in the fabrication of airplanes, all to
the value of $10,000,000.

The total weight of the shipments on this contract was something like
23,000 tons, this figure including 7,500 tons of lumber. The other
tonnage consisted of tubing of steel, brass, copper and aluminum;
sheets of steel, copper, lead, and aluminum; as well as bar steel, tool
steel, structural steel, ball bearings, crank shafts, turnbuckles,
radiator tubes, wire, cable, bolts, nuts, screws, nails, fiber cloth,
felt, and rubber. All of this was in addition to approximately 1,000
machine tools, such as motors, lathes, and grinders.

The orders for French planes were divided as follows: 725 Nieuport
training planes, 150 Spad training planes, 1,500 Breguet service
planes; 2,000 Spad service planes; and 1,500 New Spad or Nieuport
service planes. The decision between the New Spad or Nieuport service
planes was to be made as soon as the New Spad could be tested. These
planes were to be delivered in specified monthly quantities increasing
in number until the total of 1,360 planes should be placed in our
hands during the month of March, 1918, alone. The contracts were to be
concluded in June with the delivery of the final 1,115 planes. We also
contracted for the manufacture of 8,500 service engines of the Renault,
Hispano and Gnome makes, all of these to be delivered by the end of

When the armistice ended the fighting, we had produced a total of
11,754 airplanes in America, together with most of the necessary spare
parts for about one-third of them.

While a large part of the American airplanes built in the war period
were of the training type rather than the service, or battle, type,
nevertheless it was necessary that we have a large equipment of
training planes in order to prepare the swiftly expanding personnel
of the Air Service for its future activity at the front. The nations
associated with us in the war, however, had produced their training
equipment prior to our participation as a belligerent, and at the time
we entered the war the French, British, and Italians were producing
only enough training planes to maintain their training equipment and
were going in heavily with the rest of their airplane industries for
the production of service planes.

With these considerations in mind, the reader may make an interesting
comparison of British and American plane production, the British
figures being for both the British Army and the British Navy, whereas
the American figures are for the American Army alone. In the following
table of comparison the British figures are based on the Lockhart
Report of November 1, 1918:

     _Comparative rate of airplane production--British and United
                             States Army._

                           |  British  |  United
       Calendar year.      |  Army and |  States
                           |   Navy.   |   Army.
  1915, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31  |    2,040  |        20
  1916, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31  |    6,000  |    [26]83
  1917, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31  |   14,400  | [27]1,807
  1918, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31  |   30,000  |[28]11,950

[26] Experimental.

[27] 1,476 built in last seven months only.

[28] Inclusive of 135 secured by Engineering Department. American
total 12,837 if October production had continued through November and

Broadly stated, and without reference to types of planes produced,
these figures mean that the United States in her second year of the war
produced for the American Army alone almost as many airplanes as Great
Britain in her third year of the war built for both her army and navy.
In October, 1918, factories in this country turned out 1,651 planes,
which, without allowing for the monthly expansion in the production,
was at the rate of 20,000 planes per year. Assuming no increase in the
October rate of production, we would have attained the 22,000 airplanes
in 23 months after July 1, 1917, the date on which the production
effort may be said to have started. Our production of fighting planes
in the war period was 3,328.

On the day the armistice was signed we had received from all sources
16,952 planes. Of these 5,198 had been produced for us by the allies.
We had 48 flying fields, 20,568 Air Service officers, and 174,456
enlisted men and civilian personnel. These figures do not mean that we
had more than 17,000 planes on hand at that time, because the mortality
in airplanes is high from accidents and ordinary wear and tear.


Once we had started out on this enterprise we soon discovered that the
production of airplanes was something more than a mere manufacturing
job. With almost any other article we might have made our designs,
given orders to the factories, and rested in the security that in
due time the articles would be forthcoming. But with airplanes we
had to create the industry; and this meant not only the equipping of
factories, but the procurement and sometimes the actual production of
the raw materials.

For instance, the ideal lubricant for the airplane motor is castor
oil. When we discovered that the supply of castor oil was not nearly
sufficient for our future needs, the Government itself secured from
Asia a large quantity of castor beans, enough to seed more than 100,000
acres in this country and thus to provide for the future lubrication
for our motors. This actual creation of raw materials was conducted on
a much larger scale in the cases of certain other commodities used in
airplane construction, particularly in the production of lumber and
cotton and in the manufacture of the chemicals for the "dope" with
which the airplane wings are covered and made air-tight.

An airplane must have wings and an engine with a propeller to make it
go; and, like a bird, it must have a tail to make it fly straight and
a body (fuselage) to hold all together. Part of the tail (the rudder)
moves sideways and steers the airplane from left to right; part moves
up and down (the elevators) and makes the airplane go up or down,
and parts of the wings (the ailerons) move up and down and make the
airplane tip from side to side. All of these things must be connected
to the controls in the hands of the pilot. The front edges of the
wings are raised above the line of flight; and when the propeller
driven by the engine forces the wings through the air, the airplane is
lifted and flies.

All of the airplanes built for the United States during the war were
tractor biplanes. In a plane of the tractor type the propeller is in
front and pulls the machine. The biplane is so called because it has
two planes or wings, one above the other. The biplane has been the most
largely used of all types in war for two reasons: first, the struts
and wires between the planes form a truss structure, and this gives
the needed strength; and second, there is less danger of enemy bullets
wrecking a biplane in the air because its wing support is greater than
that of the monoplane or single-winged machine.

Since the airplane can lift only a limited weight, every part of the
mechanism must be as light as possible. An airplane engine weighs from
2 to 3 pounds per horsepower, whereas an automobile motor weighs from
8 to 10 pounds per horsepower. The skeleton of the airplane is made of
wood, mostly spruce, with sheet-steel fittings to join the wood parts
together, and steel wires and rods to make every part a truss. This
skeleton is covered with cloth, and the cloth is stretched and made
smooth by dope.

Wood, sheet steel, wire, cloth, varnish--these are the principal
components of an airplane. As raw materials they all seem easy to
obtain in America. And so they are in peace times and for ordinary
purposes. But never before had quality been so essential in an American
industry, from the raw material up to the finished product--quality
in the materials used, and quality in the workmanship which fashions
the parts. But combined with this quality we were forced to produce in
quantities, bounded only by our own physical limitations, and these
quantities must include not only the materials for our own air program
but also some of the principal raw materials used by the airplane
builders in France and England, specifically, all of the spruce which
the allies would require and, later, much of the wing fabric and dope
for their machines.

Quite early it was apparent to us that we had on our hands a problem
in spruce production which the Government itself must solve, if the
airplane undertaking were not to fail at the outset. When we entered
the war linen was exclusively used for the covering of wings; and it
developed almost immediately that the United Kingdom was practically
the sole source of linen. But the Irish looms could not begin to
furnish us with our needs for this commodity. Later on came up the
question of supplying dope and castor oil. Finally, during the last
months of the war, it became necessary for us to follow up the
production of all classes of our raw material, particularly in working
out a suitable supply of steel tubing. But our great creative efforts
in raw materials were confined to spruce, fabric, and dope.

The lumber problem involved vast questions of an industrial and
technical character. We had to conduct a campaign of education in
the knowledge of aircraft requirements that reached from the loggers
themselves in the woods to the sawmill men, to the cut-up plants, and
then followed through the processes of drying and sawing to the proper
utilization of the lumber in the aircraft factories.

In working out these problems, while we drew heavily upon the
experience in Europe, yet we ourselves added our own technical skill
to the solution. The Signal Corps was assisted by the forest products
laboratory at Madison, Wis., and by the wood section of the inspection
department of the Bureau of Aircraft Production. The United States
Forest Service contributed its share of technical knowledge. At the end
of the war we considered that our practice in the handling of aircraft
lumber was superior to that of either France or England.


Each airplane uses two distinct sorts of wood--first, the spruce or
similar lumber for the wing beams or other plane parts; and second,
mahogany, walnut, or other hardwoods for propellers. In each case the
Army production authorities were involved both in securing the lumber
and in educating manufacturers to handle it properly.

In an ordinary biplane there are two beams for each lateral wing,
eight beams to the plane. These form the basis of strength for the
wings. Because of the heavy stresses put upon the airplanes by battle
conditions, only the most perfect and straight-grained wood is suitable
for these beams. All cross-grained or spiral-grained material, or
material too coarse in its structure, is useless.

Spruce is the best of all woods for wing beams. Our problem was to
supply lumber enough for the wing beams, disregarding the other parts,
as all other wood used in the manufacture of planes could be secured
from cuttings from the wing-beam stock. At the beginning we built each
beam out of one piece of wood; and this meant that the lumber must be
extra long, thick, and perfect. Until we learned how to cut the spruce
economically we found that only a small portion of the lumber actually
logged was satisfactory for airplanes. An average sized biplane uses
less than 500 feet of lumber. In the hands of skilled cutters this
quantity can be worked out of 1,000 feet of rough lumber. But in the
earlier days of the undertaking as high as 5,000 feet of spruce per
plane were actually used because of imperfections in the lumber, lack
of proper inspection at the mills, and faulty handling in transit and
in the factories.

We also used certain species of fir in building training planes. This
wood is, like spruce, light, tough, and strong. The only great source
of supply of these woods was in the Pacific Northwest, although there
was a modest quantity of suitable timber in West Virginia, North
Carolina, and New England.

While at first we expected to rely upon the unaided efforts of the
lumber producers, labor difficulties almost immediately arose in the
Northwest to hinder the production of lumber. The effort, too, was
beset with difficulties of a physical nature, since the large virgin
stands of spruce occurred only at intervals and often at long distances
from the existing railroads. By the middle of October, 1917, it became
evident that the northwestern lumber industry unaided could not
deliver the spruce and fir; and the Chief of Staff of the Army formed
a military organization to handle the situation. On November 6, 1917,
Col. Brice P. Disque took command of the Spruce Production Division
of the Signal Corps, this organization later being transferred to the
Bureau of Aircraft Production.

When Col. Disque went into the Northwest he found the industry in
chaotic condition. The I. W. W. was demoralizing the labor forces. The
mills did not have the machinery to cut the straight-grained lumber
needed and their timber experts were not sufficiently skilled in the
selection and judging of logs to secure the maximum footage. The whole
industry was organized along lines of quantity production and desired
to avoid all high quality requirements insisted upon by the Government.

One of the first acts of the military organization was to organize a
society called the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, the "L. L. L.
L.," to offset the I. W. W. propaganda, its platform being, no strikes,
fair wages, and the conscientious production of the Government's
requirements. On March 1, 1918, 75,000 lumbermen and operators agreed
without reservation to give Col. Disque power to decide all labor
disputes. The specifications for logs were then standardized and
modified as far as practicable to meet the manufacturers' needs. We
arranged financial assistance that they might equip their mills with
the proper machinery. We instituted a system of instruction for the
personnel. Finally, the Government fixed a price for aircraft spruce
that stabilized the industry and provided against delays from labor

While these basic reforms were being instituted our organization had
energetically taken up the physical problems relating to the work.
We surveyed the existing stands of spruce timber, built railroads
connecting them with the mills, and projected other railroads far
into the future. We began and encouraged logging by farmers in small
operations. By these and other methods employed, the efficiency of this
production effort gradually increased.

In all, we took 180,000,000 feet of aircraft lumber out of the
northwestern forests. To the allies went 120,000,000 feet; to the
United States Army and Navy, 60,000,000 feet.




Yet when we had resolved the difficulties in the forests only part of
the problem had been met. Next came the intricate industrial question
of how to prepare this lumber for aircraft use. We possessed little
knowledge as to the proper methods of seasoning this timber. The vast
majority of woodworking plants in this country, such as furniture and
piano makers, had always dried lumber to the end that it might keep its
shape. We now were faced with the technical question of drying lumber
so as to preserve its strength. The forest products laboratory worked
out a scientific method for this sort of seasoning. Incidentally they
discovered that ordinary commercial drying had seldom been carried on
scientifically. The country will receive a lasting benefit from this
instruction carried broadcast over the industry.

In the progress of our wood studies we discovered a method of splicing
short lengths of spruce to make wing beams and in the later months of
the production used these spliced beams exclusively at a great saving
in raw materials. The use of laminated beams would probably have become
universal in another year of warfare.


The flying surfaces of an airplane are made by stretching cloth over
the frames. When we came into war it was supposed that linen was the
only common fabric with sufficient strength for this use, and linen
was almost exclusively used by the airplane builders, although Italian
manufacturers were trying to develop a cotton fabric. Of the three
principal sources of flax, Belgium had been cut off from the allies,
Russia was isolated entirely after the revolution there, and Ireland
was left as the sole available land from which flax for airplane linen
could be obtained.

As late as August, 1917, England assured us that she could supply all
of the linen that would be needed. It rapidly became evident that
England had underestimated our requirements. An average airplane
requires 250 yards of fabric, while some of the large machines
need more than 500 yards. And these requirements do not take into
consideration the spare wings which must be supplied with each
airplane. This meant a demand for millions of yards put upon the Irish
supply, which had no such surplus above allied needs.

For some time prior to April 6, 1917, the Bureau of Standards at
Washington had been experimenting with cotton airplane cloths. Out of
the large variety of fabrics tested several promising experimental
cloths were produced. The chief objection to cotton was that the dope
which gave satisfactory results on linen failed to work with uniformity
on cotton. Therefore, it became apparent that if we were to use cotton
fabric, we should have to invent a new dope.

Two grades of cotton airplane cloth were finally evolved--A, which
had a minimum strength of 80 pounds per inch, and B, with a minimum
strength of 75 pounds per inch. Grade A was later universally adopted.
This cloth weighed four and one-half ounces per square yard.

We placed our first orders for cotton airplane fabric in September,
1917--orders for 20,000 yards--and from that time on the use of linen
decreased. By March of 1918 the production of cotton airplane cloth
had reached 400,000 yards per month. In May the production was about
900,000 yards; and when the war ended this material was being turned
out at the rate of 1,200,000 yards per month. Starting with a few
machines, our cotton mills had gradually brought 2,600 looms into the
enterprise, each loom turning out about 120 yards of cloth in a week.
A total of 10,248,355 yards of cotton fabric was woven and delivered
to the Government--over 5,800 miles of it, nearly enough to reach from
California to France. The use of cotton fabric so expanded that in
August, 1918, we discontinued the importations of linen altogether.

There was, however, danger that we would be limited in our output
of cotton fabric if there were any curtailment in the supply of the
long-staple sea-island and Egyptian cotton of which this cloth is
made. To make sure that there would be no shortage of this material
the Signal Corps in November, 1917, went into the market and purchased
15,000 bales of sea-island cotton. This at all times gave us an
adequate reserve of raw material for the new fabric.

Cotton proved to be not only an admirable substitute for linen but even
a better fabric than the original cloth which had been used. No matter
how abundant the supply of flax may be, it is unlikely that linen will
ever again be used in large quantities for the manufacture of airplane

Thus, as the airplane situation was saved by the prompt action of
the Signal Corps in organizing and training the spruce industry, so
again its decision to produce cotton fabric and its prompt action in
cornering the necessary cotton supply made possible the uninterrupted
expansion of the allied aviation program.

The wings of an airplane must not only be covered with fabric, but
the fabric must be filled with dope, which is a sort of varnish. The
function of the dope is to stretch the cloth tight and to create on
it a smooth surface. After the dope is on the fabric the surface is
protected further by a coat of ordinary spar varnish.

We found in the market two sorts of dope which were being furnished
to airplane builders of all countries by various chemical and varnish
manufacturers. One of these dopes was nitrate in character and was
made from nitrocellulose and certain wood-chemical solvents including
alcohol. This produced a surface similar to that of a photographic
film. The other kind of dope had an acetate base and was made from
cellulose-acetate and such wood chemical solvents as acetone.

The nitrate dope burned rapidly when ignited but the acetate type was
slow burning. Thus in training planes not subject to attack by enemy
incendiary bullets the nitrate dope would be fairly satisfactory,
but in the fighting planes the slow-burning acetate dope was a vital
necessity. Up to our participation in the war the dopes produced in the
United States were principally nitrate in character.

It was evident that we should make our new dope acetate in character
to avoid the danger of fire. But for this we would require great
quantities of acetone and acetate chemicals, and a careful canvass of
the supply of such ingredients showed that it would be impossible for
us to obtain these in anything like the quantities we should require
without developing absolutely new sources of production.

Already acetone and its kindred products were being absorbed in large
quantities by the war production of the allies. The British Army was
absolutely dependent upon cordite as a high explosive. Acetone is the
chemical basis of cordite; and therefore the British Army looked with
great concern upon the added demand which the American aviation program
proposed to put upon the acetone supply.

We estimated that in 1918 we would require 25,000 tons of acetone in
our dope production. The British war mission in this country submitted
figures showing that the war demands of the allies, together with their
necessary domestic requirements, would in themselves be greater than
the total world production of acetone.

There was nothing then for us to do but to increase the source of
supply of these necessary acetate compounds; and this was done by
encouraging, financially and otherwise, the establishment of 10 large
chemical plants. These were located in as many towns and cities,
as follows: Collinwood, Tenn.; Tyrone, Pa.; Mechanicsville, N. Y.;
Shawinigan Falls, Canada; Kingsport, Tenn.; Lyle, Tenn.; Freemont, Mo.;
Sutton, W. Va.; Shelby, Ala.; and Terre Haute, Ind.

But it was evident that before these plants could be completed the
airplane builders would be needing dope; and therefore steps were taken
to keep things going in all the principal countries fighting Germany
until the acetate shortage could be relieved. In December, 1917, we
commandeered all the existing American supply of acetate of lime, the
base from which acetone and kindred products are made. Then we entered
into a pool with the allied governments to ration these supplies of
chemicals, pending the era of plenty. Our agency in this pool was the
wood-chemical section of the War Industries Board, whereas the allies
placed their demands in the hands of the British war mission. These two
boards allocated the acetate chemicals among the different countries
according to the urgency of their demands. Since it was evident there
might be financial losses incurred as the result of the commandeering
order or in the project of the new Government chemical plants, the
British war mission agreed that any deficit should be shared equally
by the American and British Governments. It was also agreed we should
not have any advantage in prices paid for acetates of American origin.
Under this arrangement we were able to produce 1,324,356 gallons of
fabric dope during the period of hostilities, without upsetting any of
the European war-production projects. Had the war continued, the output
from the 10 chemical plants in which the Government was a partner
would have cared for all American and allied requirements, allowing
the production of private plants to go exclusively for the ordinary
commercial purposes.


The actual building of the airplanes gave a striking example of the
value of previous experience, either direct or of a kindred nature, in
the quantity production of an article. What airplanes we had built in
the United States--and the number was small, being less than 800 in
the 12 months prior to April, 1917--had been entirely of the training
type. These had been produced principally for foreign governments.
But this slight manufacture gave us a nucleus of skill and equipment
that we were able to expand to meet our own training needs almost as
rapidly as fields could be equipped and student aviators enlisted. The
training-plane program can be called a success, as the final production
figures show. Of the 11,754 airplanes actually turned out by American
factories, 8,567 were training machines. This was close to the 10,000
mark set as our ambition in June, 1917.

There are two types of training planes--those used in the primary
instruction of students and those in the advanced teaching, the latter
approaching the service planes in type. The primary plane carries
the student and the instructor. Each occupant of the fuselage has
before him a full set of controls which are interconnected so that the
instructor at will can do the flying himself, or correct the student's
false moves, or allow the student to take complete charge of the
machine. These primary planes fly at the relatively slow speed of 75
miles per hour on the average and require engines so reliable that they
need little attention.

For our training planes we adopted the Curtiss JN-4, with the Curtiss
OX-5 engine, and as a supplementary equipment the Standard Aero
Corporation's J-1 plane, with the Hall-Scott A-7-A engine. Both of
these planes and both engines had been previously manufactured here.
The Curtiss equipment, which was the standard at our training camps,
gave complete satisfaction. The J-1 plane was later withdrawn from use,
partly because the plane itself was not liked, partly because of the
vibration resulting from this Hall-Scott engine, it having only four
cylinders, and partly because of the uncertainty of the engine in cold


This machine has a dual control and is used solely for training


An American designed training plane.]

It was evident that at the start we must turn our entire manufacturing
capacity to the production of training planes, since we would need
these first in any event, and we were not yet equipped with the
knowledge to enable us to make intelligent selections of service types.

In taking up the manufacturing problem the first step was to divide
the existing responsible airplane plants between the Army and Navy,
following the general rule that a single plant should confine its work
to the needs of one Government department only. There were, of course,
exceptions to this rule. This division gave to the Army the plants of

  Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Corporation, Buffalo, N. Y.
  Standard Aircraft Corporation, Elizabeth, N. J.
  Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation, Ithaca, N. Y.
  Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif.
  Sturtevant Aeroplane Co., Boston, Mass.

The factories which fell to the Navy were those of the--

  Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Corporation, Buffalo, N. Y.
  The Burgess Co., Marblehead, Mass.
  L. W. F. (Lowe, Willard & Fowler) Engineering Co., College
    Point, Long Island.
  Aeromarine Engineering & Sales Co., New York.
  Gallaudet Aircraft Corporation, New York.
  Boeing Airplane Co., Seattle, Wash.

Of these concerns, Curtiss, Standard, Burgess, L. W. F., Thomas-Morse,
and Wright-Martin were the only ones which had ever built more than 10

These factories were quite insufficient in themselves to carry out the
enterprise. Therefore it became necessary to create other airplane
plants. Two new factories thereupon sprang into existence under
Government encouragement. The largest producer of automobile bodies was
the Fisher Body Co., at Detroit, Mich. The manufacture of automobile
bodies is akin to the manufacture of airplanes to the extent that each
is a fabrication of accurate, interchangeable wood and sheet-steel
parts. The Fisher organization brought into the enterprise not only
machinery and buildings but a skilled organization trained in such
production on a large scale.

At Dayton, Ohio, the Dayton-Wright Airplane Corporation was created.
With this company was associated Orville Wright, and its engineering
force was built up around the old Wright organization. A number of
immense buildings which had been recently erected for other purposes
were at once utilized in this new undertaking.

As an addition to these two large sources of supply, J. G. White &
Co. and J. G. Brill & Co., the well-known builders of street cars,
formed the Springfield Aircraft Corporation at Springfield, Mass. Also
certain forward-looking men on the Pacific coast created in California
several airplane plants, some of which ultimately became satisfactory
producers of training planes.

At this point in the development we were not aware of the great
production of spare parts that would be necessary. Yet we did
understand that there must be a considerable production of spares;
and in order to take the burden of this manufacture from the regular
airplane plants, and also to educate other factories up to the point
where they might undertake the construction of complete airplanes, we
placed many contracts for spare parts with widely scattered concerns.
Among the principal producers of spares were the following:

  The Metz Co., Waltham, Mass.
  Sturtevant Aeroplane Co., Jamaica Plains, Mass.
  Wilson Body Co., Bay City, Mich.
  West Virginia Aircraft Corporation, Wheeling, W. Va.
  The Rubay Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
  Engel Aircraft Co., Niles, Ohio.
  Hayes-Ionia Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.

For a long time the supply of spare parts was insufficient for the
needs of the training fields. This was only partly due to the early
lack of a proper realization of the quantity of spares that would be
required. The production of spares on an adequate scale was hampered
by numerous manufacturing difficulties incident to new industry of
any sort in shops unacquainted with the work, and by a lack of proper
drawings for the parts.

As to the training planes themselves, with all factories in the
country devoting themselves to this type exclusively at the start, the
production soon attained great momentum. The Curtiss Co. particularly
produced training planes at a pace far beyond anything previously
obtained. The maximum production of JN-4 machines was reached in March,
1918, when 756 were turned out.

Advanced training machines are faster, traveling at about 105 miles per
hour; and they carry various types of equipment to train observers,
gunners, photographers, and radio men. For this machine we adopted the
Curtiss JN-4H, which was substantially the same as the primary training
plane, except that it carried a 150-horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine. We
also built a few "penguins," a kind of half airplane that never leaves
the ground; but this French method of training with penguins we never
really adopted.

The finishing school for our aviators was in France, where the training
was conducted in Nieuports and other fighting machines.

In July, 1918, we reached the maximum production of the advanced
training machines, the output being 427. As the supply of primary
training planes met the demands of the fields, the production was
reduced, since the original equipment, kept up by only enough
manufacture to produce spares and replacement machines, would suffice
to train all of the aviators that we would need.

The actual production of training planes by months was as follows:

             | Primary | Advanced
             | training| training
             | planes, |  planes,
             |  SJ-1,  | JN-4 and
             |  JN-4D, | 6H, S-4B
             | Penguin.|and C, E-1,
             |         |   SE-5.
     1917    |         |
  April      |         |
  May        |         |
  June       |       9 |
  July       |      56 |
  August     |     103 |
  September  |     193 |
  October    |     340 |
  November   |     331 |       1
  December   |     423 |      20
             |         |
     1918    |         |
  January    |     700 |      29
  February   |     526 |     199
  March      |     756 |     178
  April      |     645 |      81
  May        |     419 |     166
  June       |     126 |     313
  July       |     236 |     427
  August     |     296 |     193
  September  |     233 |     132
  October    |     212 |     320
  November   |     186 |     297
  December   |     162 |     259
    Total    |   5,952 |   2,615


It was not until we took up the production of fighting, or service,
airplanes that we came into a full realization of the magnitude of the
engineering and manufacturing problems involved.

We had perhaps a dozen men in the United States who knew something
about the designing of flying machines, but not one in touch with
the development of the art in Europe or who was competent to design
a complete fighting airplane. We had the necessary talent to produce
designs and conduct the manufacture of training planes; but at the
outset, at least, we were unwilling to attempt designs for service
planes on our own initiative. At the beginning we were entirely guided
by the Bolling mission in France as to types of fighting machines.

In approaching this, the more difficult phase of the airplane problem,
our first act was to take an inventory of the engineering plants in
the United States available for our purposes. With the Curtiss Co.
was Glenn Curtiss, a leader of airplane design, and several competent
engineers. The Curtiss Co. had been the largest producers in the United
States of training machines for the British and had had the benefit
of assistance from British engineers, and so possessed more knowledge
and experience to apply to the service-plane problem than any other
company. For this reason we selected this plant to duplicate the French
Spad plane, the story of which undertaking will be told further on.

Orville Wright, the pioneer of flying, was not in the best of health,
but was devoting his entire time to experimental work in Dayton.
Willard, who had designed the L. W. F. airplane and was then with the
Aeromarine Co.; Chas. Day, formerly with the Sloane Manufacturing
Co., and then with the Standard Aero Corporation; Starling Burgess,
with the Burgess Co., of Marblehead, Mass.; Grover C. Loening, of the
Sturtevant Co.; and D. D. Thomas, with the Thomas-Morse Co., were all
aviation engineers on whom we could call. One of the best experts of
this sort in the country was Lieut. Commander Hunsaker, of the Navy. In
the Signal Corps we had Capt. V. E. Clark, who was also an expert in
aviation construction, and he had several able assistants under him.

The Burgess factory at Marblehead, the Aeromarine plants at Nutley
and Keyport, N. J., and the Boeing Airplane Co. at Seattle were to
work exclusively for the Navy, according to the mutual agreement,
taking their aeronautical engineers with them. This gave the Army the
engineering resources of the Curtiss, Dayton-Wright, and Thomas-Morse

Quite early we decided to give precedence in this country to the
observation type of service plane, eliminating the single-place fighter
altogether and following the observation planes as soon as possible
with production of two-place fighting machines. This decision was based
on the fact, not always generally remembered, that the primary purpose
of war flying is observation. The duels in the air that occurred in
large numbers, especially during the earlier stages of the war, were
primarily to protect the observation machines or to prevent observation
by enemy machines.

The first service plane which we put into production and which proved
to be the main reliance of our service-plane program was the De
Haviland-4, which is an observation two-place airplane propelled by a
Liberty 12-cylinder engine. As soon as the Bolling mission began to
recommend types of service machines, it sent samples of the planes thus
recommended. The sample De Haviland was received in New York on July
18, 1917. After it had been studied by various officers it was sent
to Dayton. It had reached us without engine, guns, armament, or many
other accessories later recommended as essential to a fighting machine.
Before we could begin any duplication the plane had to be redesigned to
take our machine guns, our instruments, and our other accessories, as
well as our Liberty engine.

The preliminary designing was complete, and the first American-built De
Haviland model was ready to fly on October 29, 1917.

Figure 11 does not tell quite the complete story of De Haviland
production, since in August and September, 204 De Haviland planes which
had been built were shipped to France without engines and were there
knocked down to provide spare parts for other De Havilands in service.
These 204 machines, therefore, do not appear in the production total.
Adding them to the figures above, we find that the total output of De
Haviland airplanes up to the end of December, 1918, was in number 4,587.


    Engine, Liberty 12-cylinder, 400-horsepower. Weight, empty,
    2,391 pounds. Weight, full load, 3,582 pounds. Ground speed
    is 124.7 miles per hour. Speed at 10,000 feet, 117 miles per
    hour. Speed at 15,000 feet, 113 miles per hour. 10,000 feet is
    reached in 14 minutes with full load. Ceiling, 19,500 feet.]


This is the American development of the British DH-4.]


                              FIGURE 11.


  Jan.      0
  Feb.      9
  Mar.      4
  Apr.     15
  May.   ===== 153
  June.  =========== 336
  July.  ================ 480
  Aug.   ==== 128
  Sept.  ===================== 653
  Oct.   ==================================== 1097
  Nov.   ================================== 1036
  Dec.   =============== 472]

The production of the model machine only served to show us some of
the problems which must be overcome before we could secure a standard
design that could go into quantity production. Experimental work on the
De Haviland continued during December, 1917, and January and February,
1918. The struggle, for it was a struggle, to secure harmony between
this English design and the American equipment which it must contain
ended triumphantly on the 8th day of April, 1918, when the machine
known as No. 31 was completely finished and established as the model
for the future De Havilands. The characteristics of the standard
American De Haviland-4 were as follows:

  Endurance at 6,500 feet full throttle, 2 hours 13 minutes.
  Endurance at 6,500 feet half throttle, 3 hours 3 minutes.
  Ceiling, 19,500 feet.
  Climb to 10,000 feet (loaded) 14 minutes.
  Speed at ground level, 124.7 miles per hour.
  Speed at 6,500 feet, 120 miles per hour.
  Speed at 10,000 feet, 117 miles per hour.
  Speed at 15,000 feet, 113 miles per hour.
  Weight, bare plane, 2,391 pounds.
  Weight, loaded, 3,582 pounds.

Endurance here means the length of time the fuel supply will last. The
ceiling is the maximum altitude at which the plane can be maneuvered in
actual service. Ground level means only far enough above the ground to
be clear of obstructions.

The first De Havilands arriving in France were immediately put
together, such remediable imperfections as existed were corrected
then and there, and the machines were flown to the training fields.
The changing and increasing demands of the service indicated the
advisability of certain changes of design. The foreign manufacturers
had brought out a covering for the gasoline tanks, making them nearly
leak-proof, even when perforated by a bullet. In the first De Havilands
the location of the principal gas tanks between the pilot and the
observer was not the best arrangement in that the men were too far
apart from each other so that, if the machine went down, the pilot
would be crushed by the gas tank. Also the radius of action was not
considered to be great enough, even though the later machines of this
type carried 88 gallons of gasoline.

As a result the American aircraft designers brought out an improved De
Haviland known as the 9-A. This carried a Liberty-12 engine; and the
main differences between it and the De Haviland-4 were new locations
for pilot and tanks, their positions being changed about, increased
gasoline capacity, and increased wing surface. The machine was a
cleaner, more finished design, showed slightly more speed, and had a
greater radius of action than the De Haviland-4 which it was planned to
succeed. We ordered 4,000 of these new machines from the Curtiss Co.,
but the armistice cut short this production.

The difficulties in the way of producing new service planes on a great
scale without previous experience in such construction is clearly shown
in the attempts we made to duplicate other successful foreign planes.
On September 12, 1917, we received from the aviation experts abroad a
sample of the French Spad. We had previously been advised to go into
a heavy production of this model and had made arrangements for the
Curtiss Co. at Buffalo to undertake the work. This development was well
under way when in December a cablegram was received from Gen. Pershing
advising us to leave the production of all single-place fighters to
Europe. As a result we canceled the Spad order, and after that we
attempted to build no single-place pursuit planes.



This plane was developed in the United States.]

At the time this course seemed to be justified. The day of the single
seater seemed to be over. The lone occupant of the single seater can
not keep his attention on all directions at once; and as the planes
grew thicker in the air, the casualties among flyers increased.

But the development of formation flying restored the single-place
machine to favor. The formation had no blind spot, thus removing the
principal objection to the single seater. The end of the war found the
one-man airplane more useful than ever.

Our concentration here, however, was upon two-place fighters. On August
25, 1917, we received from abroad a sample of the Bristol fighting
plane, a two-seat machine. The Government engineers at once began
redesigning this machine to take the Liberty-12 engine and the American
ordnance and accessories. The engine which had been used in the Bristol
plane developed 275 horsepower. We proposed to equip it with an engine
developing 400 horsepower.

The Bristol undertaking was not successful. The fact that later in the
airplane program American designers successfully developed two-seater
pursuit planes around the Liberty-12 engine shows that the engine
decision was not the fault in the Bristol failure. There were repeated
changes in the engineering management of the Bristol job. First the
Government engineers alone undertook it; then the Government engineers
combined with the drafting force of the airplane factory; finally the
Government placed on the factory the entire responsibility for the job,
without, however, permitting the manufacturer to correct any of the
basic principles involved. All in all, the development of an American
Bristol was most unsatisfactory, and the whole project was definitely
abandoned in June, 1918.

The fundamental difficulty in all of these attempts was that we
were trying to fit an American engine to a foreign airplane instead
of building an American airplane around an American engine. It was
inevitable that this difficulty should arise. We had skill to produce a
great engine and did so, but for our earliest models of planes for this
engine we relied upon the foreign models until we were sufficiently
advanced in the art to design for ourselves. We were successful in
making the adaptation only in the case of the De Haviland and then only
after great delay.

But eventually we were to see some brilliantly successful efforts to
design a two-place fighter around the Liberty-12. We had need of such
a mechanism to supplement the De Haviland observation-plane production
and make a complete service-plane program.

On January 4, 1918, Capt. Lepere, a French aeronautical engineer,
who had formerly been with the French Government at St. Cyr, began
experimental work on a new plane at the factory of the Packard
Motor Car Co. By May 18 his work had advanced to a stage where the
Government felt justified in entering into a contract with the Packard
Co. to provide shop facilities for the production of 25 experimental
planes under Capt. Lepere's direction. The result of these efforts
was a two-place fighting machine built around a Liberty engine. From
the start this design met with the approval of the manufacturer and
engineers because of its clean-cut perfection.

The performance of the Lepere plane in the air is indicated by the
following figures:

  R. P. M. = revolutions made|         Climb.     |      Speed.
   by propellers in a minute.|                    |
           Altitude.         |   Time.   |R. P. M.|  Miles  |R. P. M.
                             |           |        | an hour.|
                             |_min. sec._|        |         |
  Ground                     |   0    0  |  1,500 |   136   |  1,800
  10,000 feet                |  10   35  |  1,520 |   132   |  1,740
  15,000 feet                |  19   15  |  1,500 |   118   |  1,620
  20,000 feet                |  41       |  1,480 |   102   |  1,550

Here at last was a machine that performed brilliantly in the air and
contained great possibilities for quantity production, because it
was designed from the start to fit American manufacturing methods.
We placed orders for 3,525 Lepere machines. None of the factories,
however, had come into production with the Lepere on November 11, 1918.
Seven sample machines had been turned out and put through every test.
It was the belief of those in authority that at last the training
and technique of the best aeronautical engineers of France had been
combined with the Liberty, probably the best of all aerial engines; and
it was believed that the spring of 1919 would see the Yankee fliers
equipped with American fighting machines that would be superior to
anything they would be required to meet.

Nor were these expectations without justification. The weeks and months
following the declaration of the armistice and extending through to
the spring of 1919 were to witness the birth of a whole brood of new
typically American designs of airplanes of which the Lepere was the
forerunner. In short, when the armistice brought the great aviation
enterprise to an abrupt end, the American industry had fairly caught
that of Europe, and America designers were ready to match their skill
against that of the master builders of France, Great Britain, Italy,
and the central powers.

The Lepere 2-seated fighter was quickly followed by two other Lepere
models--one of them, known as the Lepere C-21, being armored, and
driven by a Bugatti engine, and the other a triplane driven by two
Liberty engines and designed to be a day bomber. Then the first
American designed single-seat pursuit planes began making their
appearance--the Thomas-Morse pursuit plane, its 164 miles an hour
at ground level, making it the fastest airplane ever tested by our
Government, if it were not the speediest plane ever built; the
Ordnance Engineering Corporation's Scout, an advanced training plane;
and several others. In two-seater fighting planes there was the Loening
monoplane, an extremely swift and advanced type. There were several
other new two-seaters designed experimentally in some instances and
some of them giving brilliant promise.


This is one of the new distinctively American planes.]


Perhaps the severest and most exacting critic of aviation material is
the aviator who has to fly the plane and fight with the equipment at
the front. Brig. Gen. William Mitchell, then a colonel, was sent to
France in 1917. He became in succession chief of the air service of
the First Army Corps, chief of the air service of the First Army, and
finally chief of the air service of the American group of armies in
France. He commanded the aerial operations at the reduction of the St.
Mihiel salient, where he gained the distinction of having commanded
more airplanes in action than were ever assembled before under a single
command. At St. Mihiel there were 1,200 allied planes in action,
including, with our own, French, English, and Italian planes.

Gen. Mitchell, therefore, is a high authority as to the relative merits
of air equipment from the airman's standpoint. In the spring of 1919,
after a thorough investigation of the latest types of American planes
and aerial equipment at the Wilbur Wright Field at Dayton, he sent to
the Director of Air Service, Washington, D. C., the following telegram
under date of April 20, 1919:

    I recommend the following airplanes in the numbers given be
    purchased at once: 100 Lepere 2-place corps observation, 50
    Loening 2-place pursuit, 100 Ordnance Engineering Corporation
    1-place pursuit, 100 Thomas-Morse 1-place pursuit, 50 USD9-A
    day bombardment, 700 additional Hispano-Suiza 300-horsepower
    engines, 2,000 parachutes. All of the above types are the equal
    of or better than anything in Europe.


Now, let us see some of the specifications and performances of these
new models. The USD9-A, being the redesigned and improved De Haviland
4, may be given a place as a latest model. It is a two-place bombing
plane of the tractor biplane type, equipped with a Liberty 12 engine
and weighing 4,872 pounds, loaded with fuel, oil, guns, and bombs, and
with its crew aboard. With this weight its performance record in the
official tests at Wilbur Wright Field in Dayton was as follows:

  Speed (miles per hour):

      At ground                121.5.
      At 6,500 feet            118.5.
      At 10,000 feet           115.5.
      At 15,000 feet            95.5.


      To 6,500 feet, time       11 minutes 40 seconds.
      To 10,000 feet, time      19 minutes 30 seconds.
      To 15,000 feet, time      49 minutes.

  Service ceilings (feet)       14,400.

The Lepere C-11, a tractor biplane equipped with a Liberty 12 engine,
Packard make, weighing with its load aboard 3,655 pounds, performed as
follows in the tests at the Wilbur Wright Field:

  Speed (miles per hour):
      At ground                                  136.
      At 6,500 feet                              130.
      At 10,000 feet                             127.
      At 16,000 feet                             118.
      To 6,500 feet, time                        6 minutes.
      To 10,000 feet, time                       10 minutes 35 seconds.
      To 15,000 feet, time                       19 minutes 15 seconds.
  Service ceiling (feet)                         21,000.
  Endurance at full speed at ground (hours)      2.5.

The Lepere carries two Marlin guns synchronized with the propeller and
operated by the pilot and two Lewis guns operated by the observer. A
total of 1,720 rounds of ammunition is carried.

The Loening monoplane, a tractor airplane equipped with an
Hispano-Suiza 300-horsepower engine and representing, loaded, a gross
weight of 2,680 pounds, its military load including two Marlin and two
Lewis machine guns, performed as follows at the Wilbur Wright Field:

  Speed (miles per hour):
      At ground                                  143.5.
      At 6,500 feet                              138.2.
      At 10,000 feet                             135.
      At 15,000 feet                             127.6.
      To 6,500 feet, time                        5 minutes 12 seconds.
      To 10,000 feet, time                       9 minutes 12 seconds.
      To 15,000 feet, time                       18 minutes 24 seconds.
  Service ceiling (feet)                         18,500.

The Ordnance Scout with a Le Rhone 80-horsepower engine, weighing,
loaded, 1,117 pounds, is an advanced training plane. In its official
test at Wilbur Wright Field it performed as follows:

  Speed (miles per hour):
      At 6,500 feet                              90.
      At 10,000 feet                             83.7.
      At 15,000 feet                             69.8.
      To 6,000 feet, time                        8 minutes 30 seconds.
      To 10,000 feet, time                       17 minutes 40 seconds.
      To 14,000 feet, time                       43 minutes 20 seconds.

The Thomas-Morse MB-3 pursuit plane, a tractor biplane equipped with
an Hispano-Suiza 300-horsepower engine, weighing, including its crew
but without military load, 1,880 pounds, in unofficial tests at Wilbur
Wright Field, performed as follows:

  Speed, at ground level (miles per hour)        163.68.
  Climb, to 10,000 feet                          4 minutes 52 seconds.



The Thomas-Morse pursuit plane is armed with two Browning machine guns
synchronized with the propeller and carries 1,500 rounds of ammunition.

Uncertain as we were originally as to types of pursuit and observation
planes to produce in this country, we were still more uncertain
as to designs of night-bombing machines. These relatively slow
weight-carrying planes were big and required the motive power of two or
three engines, with the complications attendant upon double or triple
power plants. They really presented the most difficult manufacturing
problem which we encountered. Until the summer of 1918 there were only
two machines of this type which we could adopt, the Handley-Page and
the Caproni. We put the Handley-Page into production, not because it
was necessarily as perfect as the Caproni, but because we could get
the drawings for this machine and could not get the drawings for the
Caproni, owing to complications in the negotiations for the right to
construct the Italian airplane.

We were not entirely satisfied with the decision to build
Handley-Pages, because the ceiling, or maximum working altitude which
could be attained by this machine, was low; and, 12 months later, when
we were in production, we might find the Handley-Pages of doubtful
value because of the ever-increasing ranges of antiaircraft guns.

We secured a set of drawings, supposed to be complete, for the
Handley-Page in August, 1917; but twice during the following winter
new sets of drawings were sent from England, and few, if any, of
the parts as designed in the original drawings escaped alteration.
The Handley-Page has a wing spread of over 100 feet. Therefore, it
was evident from the start that such machines could not have the
fuselage, wings, and other large parts assembled in this country for
shipment complete to Europe. We decided to manufacture the parts in
this country and assemble the machines in England, the British air
ministry in London having entered into a contract for the creation of
an assembling factory at Oldham, England, in the Lancashire district.
When it is realized that each Handley-Page involves 100,000 separate
parts, the magnitude of the manufacturing job alone may be somewhat
understood. But after they were manufactured, these parts, particularly
the delicate members made of wood, had to be carefully packed so as to
reach England in good condition. The packing of the parts was in itself
a problem.

We proposed to drive the American Handley-Pages with two Liberty 12
engines in each machine. The fittings, which were extremely intricate
pieces of pressed steel work, were practically all to be produced by
the Mullins Steel Boat Co. at Salem, Ohio. Contracts for the other
parts were placed with the Grand Rapids Airplane Co., a concern which
had been organized by a group of furniture makers at Grand Rapids, Mich.

All of the parts were to be brought together previously to ocean
shipment in a warehouse built for the purpose at the plant of the
Standard Aero Corporation at Elizabeth, N. J. The Standard Aero
Corporation was engaged under contract to set up 10 per cent of the
Handley-Page machines complete in this country. These were to be used
at our training fields.

Again, in the case of the Handley-Page, the engineering details proved
to be a serious cause of delay. We found it difficult to install the
Liberty engines in this foreign plane. When the armistice cut short
operations, 100 complete sets of parts had been shipped to England, and
seven complete machines had been assembled in this country.

None of the American-built Handley-Page machines saw service in France.
There had been great delay in the construction of the assembling
plant in England, and the work of setting up the machines had only
started when the armistice was signed. The performance table of the
Handley-Page shows its characteristics as follows:

  Speed at ground level, 97 miles per hour.
  Climb to 7,000 feet, 18 minutes 10 seconds.
  Climb to 10,000 feet, 29 minutes.
  Ceiling 14,000 feet, 60 minutes.

On its tests 390 gallons of gasoline, 20 gallons of oil, and 7 men were
carried, but no guns, ammunition, nor bombs.

After a long delay, about January 1, 1918, tentative arrangements had
been made with the Caproni interests looking toward the production of
Caproni biplanes in this country. These machines had a higher ceiling
and a greater speed than the Handley-Page. Capt. d'Annunzio with 14
expert Italian workmen, bringing with him designs and samples, came to
this country and initiated the redesigning of the Caproni machine to
accommodate three Liberty engines. The actual production of Caproni
planes in this country was limited to a few samples which were being
tested when the armistice was signed. The factories had tooled up for
the production, however, and in a few months Capronis would doubtless
have been produced in liberal quantities.

The performance of the sample planes in two tests is shown by the
following figures:

                        |        Test 1.        |        Test 2.
  Speed at ground level | 100 miles per hour    | 103.2 miles per hour.
  Climb to 6,500 feet   | 16 minutes 18 seconds | 14 minutes 12 seconds.
  Climb to 10,000 feet  | 33 minutes 18 seconds | 28 minutes 42 seconds.
  Climb to 11,200 feet  | 49 minutes            |
  Climb to 13,000 feet  |                       | 46 minutes 30 seconds.




As we had produced fighting planes built around the Liberty motor,
so, too, in the night-bombing class American invention, with the
experience of several months of actual production behind it, was able
to bring out an American bombing plane that promised to supersede all
other types in existence. This machine was designed by Glen L. Martin
in the fall of 1918. It was a night-bomber equipped with two Liberty
12-cylinder engines. The Martin spread of 75 feet gave it a carrying
capacity comparable with that of the Handley-Page. Its speed of 118
miles an hour at ground level far exceeded that of either the Caproni
or Handley-Page, and it was evident that its ceiling would be higher
than that of the Caproni, the estimated ceiling of the Martin being
18,000 feet. The machine never reached the state of actual quantity
production, but several experimental models were built and tested.
Being built around its engine it reflected clean-cut principles of
design, and its performances in the air were truly remarkable for a
machine of its type. The following table shows the results of the
preliminary tests of the Martin bomber:

                        |        Test 1.        |        Test 2.
  Speed at ground level | 113.3 miles per hour  | 118.8 miles per hour.
  Climb to 6,500 feet   | 10 minutes 45 seconds | 7 minutes.
  Climb to 10,000 feet  | 21 minutes 20 seconds | 14 minutes.
  Climb to 15,000 feet  |                       | 30 minutes 30 seconds.
  Total weight          | 9,663 pounds          | 8,137 pounds.

The total delivery of airplanes to the United States during the period
of the war was 16,952. These came from the following sources: United
States contractors, 11,754; France, 4,881; England, 258; Italy, 59.


                              FIGURE 12.

                     U. S. SQUADRONS AT THE FRONT.

           A squadron is equipped with from 15 to 25 planes.

  Apr. 30, 1918.     3  ===
  May 31, 1918.     12  ============
  June 30, 1918.    13  =============
  July 31, 1918.    14  ==============
  Aug. 31, 1918.    26  ==========================
  Sept. 30, 1918.   32  ================================
  Oct. 31, 1918.    43  ===========================================
  Nov. 11, 1918.    45  =============================================]

Estimates of aircraft strength on the front were always uncertain, due
to variations in the estimates of the number of planes in a squadron.
The standing of the United States in aeroplanes at the front is
indicated in the estimate of the American Air Service as of November
11, 1918. The figures of this estimate are as follows:

  France          3,000
  Great Britain   2,100
  United States     860
  Italy             600
      Total       6,560

These figures represent fighting planes equipped ready for service,
but do not include replacement machines at the front or in depots or
training machines in France.


                              FIGURE 13.


  U. S. planes lost to enemy.            ============== 271
  Enemy planes lost to U. S. forces[29]  ======================== 491

[29] Confirmed losses; in addition there were 354 unconfirmed.]

The actual strength of the central powers in the air is at this time
not definitely known to us. Such figures as we have are viewed with
suspicion because of the two methods of observation in reporting an
enemy squadron. This may be 24 planes to a squadron, that number
representing the planes in active service in the air. But each squadron
had a complement of replacement planes equalling the number of active
planes, so that the squadron could be listed with 48 planes.

However, as some indication of the relative air strengths of the
central powers we have a report from the chief of the Air Service
of the American Expeditionary Forces showing that on July 30, 1918,
Germany had 2,592 planes on the front and Austria 717.


The gross weight of this machine is 9,663 pounds. It can be equipped
with five Lewis machine guns. Its ground speed is 113 miles an hour and
its service ceiling is 12,800 feet. It climbs to a height of 6,500 feet
in 10 minutes 45 seconds and to 10,000 feet in 21 minutes 20 seconds.]




The Liberty engine was America's distinctive contribution to the war
in the air, and her chief one. The engine was developed in those first
chaotic weeks of preparation of 1917, when our knowledge of planes,
instruments, and armament as then known in Europe was still a thing of
the future. The manufacture of engines for any aeronautical purpose
was one which we might approach with confidence. We possessed in the
United States motor engineering talent at least as great as any in
Europe, while in facilities for manufacture--in plants which had built
our millions of automobile engines--no other part of the world could
compare with us. Therefore, while waiting word from Europe as to the
best type of wings, fuselages, instruments and the like, we went ahead
to produce for ourselves a new, typically American engine which would
uphold the prestige of America in actual battle.

Many Americans have doubtless wondered why we built our own engine
instead of adopting one or more of the highly developed European
engines then at hand; and no doubt our course in this vital matter
has sometimes been set down to mere pride in our ability and to an
unwillingness to follow the lead of other nations in a science in
which we ourselves were preeminent--the science of building light
internal-combustion engines. But national pride, aside from giving us
confidence that our efforts in this direction would be successful, had
little other weight in the decision. There were other reasons, and
paramount ones, reasons leading directly from the necessity for the
United States to arrive at her maximum aerial effort in a minimum of
time, that irresistibly compelled the aircraft production organization
to design a standard American engine. Let us examine some of these

If there was anything to be observed from this side of the Atlantic
with respect to the tendencies of aircraft evolution in Europe it was
that the horsepowers of the engines were continually increasing, these
expansions coming almost from month to month as newer and newer types
and sizes of engines were brought out by the European inventors. It
was evident to us that there was not a single foreign engine then in
use on the western front that was likely to survive the test of time.
Each might be expected to have its brief day of supremacy, only to be
superseded by something more modern and more powerful.

Yet time was an element to which in this country we must give grave
consideration. To produce in quantities such as we were capable of
producing would ordinarily require a year of maximum industrial effort
to equip our manufacturing plants with the machines, tools, and skilled
workmen necessary for the production of parts. The finished articles
would under normal circumstances begin coming in quantity during the
second year of our program. It would have been fatal to "tool up" our
plants for the manufacture of equipment that would be out of date by
the time we began producing it a year later.

The obvious course for the United States to adopt, not only with
engines but with all sorts of aeronautical equipment, was to come into
the manufacturing competition not abreast with European progress but
several strides ahead of it, so that when we appeared on the field it
would be with equipment a little in advance in type and efficiency of
anything the rest of the world had to offer.

This factor of time was a strong element in the decision to produce
a standard American engine, since with the possible exception of the
Rolls-Royce there was no engine in Europe of sufficient horsepower and
proved reliability to guarantee that it would retain its serviceability
for the necessary two years upon which we must reckon. There was no
other course that we could safely adopt.

But there were other conditions that influenced our conclusion. We
believed that we could design and produce an engine much more quickly
and with much better results than we could copy and produce any
approved foreign model. This proved to be true in actual experience.
Along with the production of Liberty engines we went into the quantity
manufacture of a number of European engines in this country; and the
experience of our engineers and factory executives in this work was
anything but pleasant. Among others we produced in American factories
the Gnome, the Hispano-Suiza, Le Rhone, and the Bugatti engines.

Now European manufacture of mechanical appliances differs from ours
largely in the degree to which the human equation is allowed to
enter the shop. In continental practice much of the metallurgical
specifications and also of the details of mechanical measurements,
limits of requisite accuracy, variations which can be allowed, etc.,
are not put on paper in detail for the guidance of operators, but are
confided to the recollections of the individual workmen. A machine
comes in its parts to the assembly room of a foreign factory, and
after that it is subject to adjustments on the part of the skilled
workmen before its operation is successful. It must be tinkered with
before it will go, so to speak. Nothing of the sort is known in an
American factory. When standard parts come together for assembly the
calibrations must have been so exact that the machine will function
perfectly when it is brought together; and assembling becomes mere
routine. Thus when we came to adopt foreign plans and attempt to adapt
them to our practices, we encountered trouble and delay.

Thirteen months were required to adapt the Hispano-Suiza 150-horsepower
engine to our factory methods and to get the first engine from
production tools, while eight months were similarly spent in producing
the Le Rhone 80-horsepower engines. Both of these engines had been
in production in European factories for a long time, and we had the
advantage of all the assistance which the foreign manufacturers could
give us.

These experiences merely confirmed the opinions of American
manufacturers that the preparations for the production of any aviation
engine of foreign design--if any such suitable and adequate engine
could be found--would require at least as much time as to design
and tool up for the production of an American engine. When to this
was added the necessity of waiting for several weeks or months for
a decision on the part of our aviation authorities, either in the
United States or in Europe, as to which of the many types of engines
then in use by the allies should be put into production here,
procuring and shipping to this country suitable samples, drawings,
and specifications, negotiating with foreign owners for rights to
manufacture, etc., there was but one answer to be made on this score,
and that was to design and build an all-American engine.

Another factor in the decision was that of our distance from France,
a fact making it necessary for us to simplify as much as possible
the problem of furnishing repair parts. At the time we entered the
war the British air service was using or developing 37 different
makes of engines, while France had 46. Should we be lured into any
such situation it might have disastrous results, if only because of
the difficulties of ocean transportation. Germany was practically
concentrating upon not more than 8 engines. The obvious thing for us
to do was to produce as few types of engines as possible, thus making
simpler the problem of manufacturing repair parts and shipping them to
the front.

With these considerations in mind, the Equipment Division of the
Signal Corps in May of 1917 determined to go ahead with the design and
production of a standard engine for the fighting forces of the aviation
branch of the Army. In the engineering field two men stood out who
combined in themselves experience in designing internal-combustion
engines which approached nearest to combat engines, with experience
also in large quantity production.

J. G. Vincent, with the engineering staff of the Packard Motor
Car Co., had for approximately two years been engaged in research
work, developing several types of 12-cylinder aviation engines of
approximately 125 to 225 horsepower, which, however, were not suitable
for military purposes because of their weight per horsepower. This
work had resulted in the acquirement of a large amount of data and
information which would be invaluable in the design of such an engine
as the one proposed; and also had resulted in the upbuilding of an
efficient experimental organization. He had also had wide experience in
designing internal-combustion motors for quantity production.

E. J. Hall, of the Hall-Scott Motor Car Co., for eight years had
been developing and latterly producing several types of aeronautical
engines, which he had delivered into the service of several foreign
governments, including Russia, Norway, China, Japan, Australia, Canada,
and England. He had also completed and tested a 12-cylinder engine of
300 horsepower, which, however, was of too great weight per horsepower
to be suitable in its form at that time for military purposes. He had
thus acquired a large experience and fund of information covering
the proper areas and materials for engine parts, and proper methods
of tests to be applied to such engines, and in addition he had
general experience in quantity production. All of this information
and experience was of invaluable assistance not only in designing
the new engine, but in determining its essential metallurgical and
manufacturing specifications.

These two men were thus qualified in talent and in practice to lay down
on paper the lines and dimensions of the proposed engine, an engine
that would meet the Army's requirements and still be readily capable
of prompt quantity production. They had in their hands the power to
draw freely upon the past experience and achievement of practically the
entire world for any features they might decide to install in the model
power plant to be produced. And this applied not only to the patented
features of American motors, but also of foreign engines; for each man
had exhaustively studied the leading European engines, including the
Mercedes upon which Germany largely pinned her faith up to the end of
the war.

With respect to American motor patents, an interesting situation had
arisen in the automobile industry. The leading producers of motor cars
were in an association which had adopted an arrangement known as the
cross-licensing agreement. Under this agreement all patents taken out
by the various producers (with a few exceptions) were thrown into a
pool upon which any producer at will was permitted to draw without
payment of royalties.

A similar arrangement was adopted with respect to the Liberty engine,
except that the Government pledged itself to pay an agreed royalty for
the use of patents. Thus the engineers designing the engine might reach
out and take what they pleased regardless of patent rights. The result
was likely to be a composite type embracing the best features of the
best engines ever built. Theoretically, at least, a super-engine ought
to result from such an effort.

The ideal aviation engine should produce a maximum of power with a
minimum of weight; it must run at its maximum power during a large
proportion of its operating time, a thing that an automobile motor
seldom, if ever, does for more than a few minutes at a time; and it
should consume oil and fuel economically to conserve space and weight
on the airplane.

Such was the problem, the design of an engine to meet these
requirements, that confronted these two engineers when they were called
to Washington and asked to undertake the work.

There have been so many versions of the story of how the Liberty engine
was designed and produced in its experimental models that it is fitting
that the exact history of those memorable weeks should be set down here.

The engine was put on paper in the rooms occupied by Col. E. A. Deeds
at the Willard Hotel in Washington. Col. Deeds had been the man of
broad vision who, by taking into consideration the elements of the
problems enumerated above, determined that America could best make her
contribution to the aviation program by producing her typically own
engine. He had proposed the plan to his associate, Col. S. D. Waldon,
who had thereupon studied the matter and agreed entirely with the plan.
The two officers persuaded Messrs. Hall and Vincent to forego further
efforts on their individual developments and to devote their combined
skill and experience to the creation of an all-American engine.
The project was further taken up with the European authorities in
Washington, and it was supported unanimously.

In these conferences it was decided to design two lines of combat
engines. Each should have a cylinder diameter of 5 inches and a piston
stroke 7 inches long; but one type should have 8 cylinders and the
other 12. The 8-cylinder engine should develop 225 horsepower, as
all the experts believed then, in May, 1917, that such a motor would
anticipate the power requirements as of the spring of 1918, while the
12-cylinder engine should develop 330 horsepower, as it was believed
that this would be the equal of any other engine developed through 1919
and 1920. Every foreign representative in Washington with aeronautical
experience agreed that the 8-cylinder 225-horsepower engine would be
the peer of anything in use in the spring of 1918; yet, so rapidly
was aviation history moving that inside of 90 days it became equally
clear that it was the 12-cylinder engine of 330 horsepower, and not the
8-cylinder engine, upon which we should concentrate for the spring of

With these considerations in mind Messrs. Hall and Vincent set to work
to lay out the designs on paper. With them were Col. Deeds and Col.
Waldon, the officers to insist that nothing untried or experimental be
incorporated in the engines, the engineers to direct their technical
knowledge by this sine qua non. The size of the cylinders, 5 by 7
inches, was adopted not only because the Curtiss and the Hall-Scott
Companies, the largest producers of aviation engines in the United
States, had had experience with engines of this size, but also because
a new and promising French engine, the Lorraine-Dietrich, had just made
its appearance in experimental form, and it was an engine approximately
of that size.

On May 29, 1917, Messrs. Vincent and Hall set to work. Within two or
three days they had outlined the important characteristics of the
engine sufficiently to secure--on June 4--the approval of the Aircraft
Production Board and of the Joint Army and Navy Technical Board to
build five experimental models each of the 8 cylinder and the 12
cylinder sizes.

The detail and manufacturing drawings of the two engines were made
partly by the staff of the Packard Motor Car Co., under Mr. O. E.
Hunt, and partly by an organization recruited from various automobile
factories and put to work under Mr. Vincent at the Bureau of Standards
at Washington. Due credit must here be given to Dr. S. W. Stratton, the
director of that important governmental scientific bureau. The Liberty
engine pioneers woke him up at midnight and told him of their needs.
He promptly tendered all the facilities of the Bureau of Standards,
turning over to the work an entire building for use the following
morning. Thereafter Dr. Stratton gave the closest cooperation of
himself and his assistants to the work.

While the detail drawings were being made, the parts for the 10 engines
were at once started through the tool rooms and experimental shops of
various motor car companies. This work centered in the plant of the
Packard Co., which gave to it its entire energy and wonderful faculties.

Every feature in the design of these engines was based on thoroughly
proven practice of the past. That the engine was a composite is shown
by the origin of its various parts:

Cylinders: The Liberty engine derived its type of cylinders from the
German Mercedes, the English Rolls-Royce, the French Lorraine-Dietrich,
and others produced both before and during the war. The cylinders were
steel inner shells surrounded by pressed-steel water jackets. The
Packard Co. had developed a practical production method of welding
together the several parts of a steel cylinder.

Cam shafts and valve mechanism above cylinder heads: The design
of these was based on the general arrangement of the Mercedes and
Rolls-Royce, and improved by the Packard Motor Car Co. for automatic
lubrication without wasting oil.

Cam-shaft drive: The general type as used on the Hall-Scott, Mercedes,
Hispano-Suiza, Rolls-Royce, Renault, Fiat, and others.





Angle between cylinders: In the Liberty the included angle between
the cylinders is 45°. This angle was adopted to save head resistance,
to give greater strength to the crank case, and to reduce periodic
vibration. This decision was based on the experience of the Renault and
Packard engines.

Electric generator and ignition: The Delco system was adopted, but
specially designed for the Liberty to provide a reliable double

Pistons: The die-cast aluminum-alloy pistons of the Liberty were based
on development work by the Hall-Scott Co. under service conditions.

Connecting rods: These were of the forked or straddle type as used on
the DeDion and Cadillac automobile motors and also on the Hispano-Suiza
and other aviation engines.

Crank shaft: A design of standard practice, every crank pin operating
between two main bearings, as in the Mercedes, Rolls-Royce, Hall-Scott,
Curtiss, and Renault.

Crank case: A box section carrying the shaft in bearings clamped
between the top and bottom halves by means of long through bolts, as in
the Mercedes and Hispano-Suiza.

Lubrication: The system of lubrication was changed, this being the only
change of design made in the Liberty after it was first put down on
paper. The original system combined the features of a dry crank case,
such as in the Rolls-Royce, with pressure feed to the main crank-shaft
bearings and scupper feed to the crank-pin bearings, as in the
Hall-Scott and certain foreign engines. The system subsequently adopted
added pressure-feed to the crank-pin bearings, as in the Rolls-Royce,
Hispano-Suiza, and other engines.

Propeller hub: Designed after the practice followed by such well-known
engines as the Hispano-Suiza and Mercedes.

Water pump: The conventional centrifugal type was adapted to the

Carburetor: The Zenith type was adapted to the engine.

As the detailed and manufacturing drawings were completed in Washington
and Detroit they were taken to various factories where the parts for
the first engine were built.

The General Aluminum & Brass Manufacturing Co., of Detroit, made the
bronze-back, babbitt-lined bearings.

The Cadillac Motor Car Co., of Detroit, made the connecting rods, the
connecting-rod upper-end bushings, the connecting-rod bolts, and the
rocker-arm assemblies.

The L. O. Gordon Manufacturing Co., of Muskegon, Mich., made the cam

The Park Drop Forge Co., of Cleveland, made the crank-shaft forgings.
These forgings, completely heat treated, were turned out in three
days, because Mr. Hall gave the Cleveland concern permission to use the
Hall-Scott dies.

The Packard Motor Car Co. machined the crank shafts and all parts not
furnished or finished elsewhere.

The Hall-Scott Motor Car Co., of Berkeley, Calif., made all the bevel

The Hess-Bright Manufacturing Co., of Philadelphia, made the ball

The Burd High-Compression Ring Co., of Rockford, Ill., made the piston

The Aluminum Castings Co., of Cleveland, made the die-cast alloy
pistons and machined them up to grinding.

The Rich Tool Co., of Chicago, made the valves.

The Gibson Co., of Muskegon, Mich., made the springs.

The Packard Co. made all the patterns for the aluminum castings, which
were produced by the General Aluminum & Brass Manufacturing Co., of

The Packard Motor Car Co. used many of its own dies in order to obtain
suitable drop forgings speedily, and also made all necessary new dies
not made elsewhere.

As these various parts were turned out they were hurried to the tool
room of the Packard Co., where the assembling of the model engines was
in progress.

Before the models were built, however, extraordinary precautions had
been taken to insure that the mechanism would be as perfect as American
engineering skill could make it. The plans as developed were submitted
to H. M. Crane, the engineer of the Simplex Motor Car Co. and of the
Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, who had made a special study of
aviation engines in Europe, and who for upward of a year had been
working on the production of the Hispano-Suiza 150-horsepower engine
in this country. He looked the plans over, and so did David Fergusson,
chief engineer of the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co. Many other of the best
experts in the country in the production of internal-combustion motors
constructively criticized the plans, these including such men as Henry
M. Leland and George H. Layng, of the Cadillac Motor Car Co., and F. F.
Beall and Edward Roberts, of the Packard Car Co.

When the engineers were through, the practical production men were
given their turn. The plane and engine builders examined the plans
to make sure that each minute part was so designed as to make it
most adaptable to quantity production. The scrutiny of the Liberty
plans went back in the production scale even farther than this; for
the actual builders of machine tools were called in to examine the
specifications and to suggest modifications, if necessary, that would
make the production of parts most feasible in machine tools either of
existing types or of easiest manufacture.

Thus scrutinized and criticized, the plans of the engine were the
best from every point of view which American industrial genius could
produce in the time which was available. It was due to this exhaustive
preliminary study that no radical changes were ever made in the
original design. The Liberty engine was not the materialization of
magic nor the product of any single individual or company, but it was a
well-considered and carefully prepared design based on large practical
aviation-engine experience.

On July 4, 1917, the first 8-cylinder liberty engine was delivered in
Washington. This was less than six weeks after Messrs. Hall and Vincent
drew the first line of their plans. The same procedure was even then
being repeated in the case of the 12-cylinder engine. By the 25th day
of August the model 12-cylinder liberty had successfully passed its
50-hour test. In this test its power ranged from 301 to 320 horsepower.

As an achievement in speed in the development of a successful new
engine this performance has never been equaled in the motor history of
any country. No successful American automobile motor was ever put in
production in anything under a year of trial and experimentation. We
may well believe that in the third year of war the European aviation
designers were working at top speed to improve the motive power of
airplanes; yet in 1917 the British war cabinet report contains the
following language:

    Experience shows that as a rule, from the date of the
    conception and design of an aero engine, to the delivery of the
    first engine in series by the manufacturer, more than a year

But America designed and produced experimentally a good engine in six
weeks and a great one in three months, and began delivering it in
series in five months. This was due to the fact that we could employ
our best engineering talent without stint, to the further fact that
there were no restrictions upon our use of designs and patents proved
successful by actual experience, and to the fact that the original
engine design produced under such conditions stood every expert
criticism and test that could be put upon it and emerged from the trial
without substantial modification.

As soon as the first Liberty models had passed their official tests
plans were at once made to put them in manufacture.

The members of the Aircraft Production Board chose for the chief of
the engine production department Harold H. Emmons, an attorney and
manufacturer of Detroit, Mich., who, as a lieutenant in the Naval
Reserve Force, was just being called by the Navy Department into active

The production of all aviation engines, for both Army and Navy, was
in his hands throughout the rest of the war. He placed orders for
100,993 aviation engines of all types, which involved the expenditure
of $450,000,000 and more of Government funds. Of these 31,814 were
delivered ready for service before the signing of the armistice. The
United States reached a daily engine production greater than that of
England and France combined.

In August, 1917, it was intended to manufacture both engines, the
8-cylinder and the 12-cylinder, and an agreement was reached with the
Ford Motor Co. of Detroit to produce 8-cylinder Liberty engines to
the number of 10,000. But before this contract could be signed the
increasing powers of the newest European air engines indicated to our
commission abroad that we should concentrate our manufacturing efforts
upon the 12 alone, that being the engine of a power then distinctly
in advance in the rapid evolution of aviation engines. The engine
production department, therefore, entered into contracts for the
construction of 22,500 of the 12-cylinder Liberties, and the first of
these contracts was signed in August, a few days after the endurance
tests had demonstrated that the 12-cylinder engine was a success.

Of this number of Liberty engines the Packard Motor Car Co. contracted
to build 6,000; the Lincoln Motor Co., 6,000; the Ford Motor Co.,
5,000; Nordyke & Marmon, 3,000; the General Motors Corporation (Buick
and Cadillac plants), 2,000; while an additional contract of 500
engines was let to the Trego Motors Corporation.

Early in the liberty engine project it became apparent that one of
the great stumbling blocks to volume production would be the steel
cylinder, if it were necessary to machine it out of a solid or
partially pierced forging such as is used for shell making. This
problem was laid before Henry Ford and the engineering organization of
the Ford Motor Co., at Detroit, and they developed the unique method
of making the cylinders out of steel tubing. One end of the tube was
cut obliquely, heated, and in successive operations closed over and
then expanded into the shape of the combustion chamber, with all bosses
in place on the dome. The lower end was then heated and upset in a
bulldozer until the holding-down flange had been extruded from the
barrel at the right place. By this method a production of 2,000 rough
cylinders a day was reached.

The final forging was so near to the shape desired that millions of
pounds of scrap were saved over other methods, to say nothing of an
enormous amount of labor thus done away with. The development of this
cylinder-making method was one of the important contributions to the
quantity production of Liberty engines.





It was evident that in the actual production of the Liberty engine
there would continually arise practical questions of manufacturing
policy that might entail modifications of the manufacturing methods,
while our aviation authorities in Europe could be expected to advance
suggestions from time to time that might need to be embodied in
the mechanism. Consequently it was necessary to create a permanent
development and standardization administration for the Liberty engine.
Nor could this supervision be located in Washington, because of the
extreme need for haste, but it must exist in the vicinity of the plants
doing the manufacturing.

For this reason the production of the Liberty engine was centered
in the Detroit manufacturing district, since in this district was
located the principal motor manufacturing plant capacity of the United
States. James G. Heaslet, formerly general manager of the Studebaker
Corporation and an engineer and manufacturer of wide experience, was
installed as district manager. The problems incident to the inspection
and production of the Liberty engine were placed in charge of a
committee consisting of Maj. Heaslet (chairman); Lieut. Col. Hall, one
of the designers of the engine; Henry M. Leland; C. Harold Wills, of
the Ford Motor Co.; and Messrs F. F. Beall and Edward Roberts, of the
Packard Motor Car Co. With them were also associated D. McCall White,
the engineer of the Cadillac Motor Co., and Walter Chrysler, of the
Buick Co.

The creation of this committee virtually made a single manufacturing
concern of the several, previously rival, motor companies engaged in
producing the Liberty engine. To these meetings the experts without
reservation brought the trade secrets and shop processes developed in
their own establishments during the preceding years of competition.
Such cooperation was without parallel in the history of American
industry, and only a great emergency such as the war with Germany could
have brought it about. But the circumstance aided wonderfully in the
development and production of the Liberty engine.

Moreover, the Government drew heavily upon the talent of these great
manufacturing organizations for meeting the special problems presented
by the necessity of filling in the briefest possible time the largest
aviation engine order ever known. Short-cuts that these firms might
have applied effectively to their own private advantage were devised
for the Liberty engine and freely turned over to the Government. The
Packard Co. gave a great share of its equipment and personnel to the
development. The most conspicuous success in the science of quantity
production in the world was the Ford Motor Co., which devoted its
organization to the task of speeding up the output of Liberty engines.
In addition to the unique and wonderfully efficient method of making
rough engine cylinders out of steel tubing, the Ford organization also
perfected for the Liberty a new method of producing more durable and
satisfactory bearings. Messrs. H. M. and W. C. Leland, whose names
were indissolubly linked with the Cadillac automobile, organized and
erected the enormous plant of the Lincoln Motor Co. and equipped it
for the production of the Liberty, at a total expense of approximately

Balanced against these advantages brought by highly trained technical
skill and unselfish cooperation were handicaps such as perhaps no
other great American industrial venture had ever known. In the first
place, an internal-combustion engine with cylinders of a 5-inch bore
and pistons of a 7-inch stroke--the Liberty measurements--was larger
than the automobile engines then in use in this country. This meant
that while we apparently had an enormous plant--the combined American
automobile factories--ready for the production of Liberty engines,
actually the machinery in these plants was not large enough for the
new work, so that new machinery therefore must be built to handle this
particular work. In some cases machinery had to be designed anew for
the special purpose.

To produce every part of one Liberty engine something between 2,500
and 3,000 small jigs, tools, and fixtures are employed. For large
outputs much of this equipment must be duplicated over and over again.
To provide the whole joint workshop with this equipment was one of the
unseen jobs incidental to the construction of Liberty engines--unseen
by the general public, that is--yet it required the United States
to commandeer the capacity of all available tool shops east of the
Mississippi River and devote it to the production of jigs and tools for
the Liberty engine factories.

Then there was the question of mechanical skill in the factories.
It soon developed that an automobile motor is a simple mechanism
compared with an intricate aviation engine. The machinists in ordinary
automobile plants did not have the skill to produce the Liberty engine
parts successfully. Consequently it became necessary to educate
thousands of mechanics, men and women alike, to do this new work.

It was surprising to what extent unfriendly influence in the United
States, much of it probably of a pro-German character, cut a figure
in the situation. This was particularly true in the supply factories
furnishing tools to the Liberty engine plants. Approximately 85 per
cent of the tools first delivered for this work were found to be
inaccurate and incorrect. These had to be remade before they could
be used. Such tools as were delivered to the Liberty plants would
mysteriously disappear, or vital equipment would be injured in unusual
ways; in several instances cans of explosives were found in the coal
at power plants; fire-extinguishing apparatus was discovered to be
rendered useless by acts of depredation; and from numerous other
evidences the builders of Liberty engines were aware that the enemy had
his agents in their plants.

Difficulty was also experienced in the production of metals for the new
engines. The materials demanded were frequently of a much higher grade
than the corresponding materials used in ordinary automobile motors.
Here was another unseen phase of development which had to be worked out
patiently by the producers of raw materials.





Difficulties in transportation during the winter of 1917-18 added their
share to the perplexing problems of the engine builders, while at times
the scarcity of coal threatened the complete shutdown of some of the

Under such obstacles the engine-production department forced the
manufacture of the Liberty engine at a speed never before known in
the automotive industry. In December, 1917, the Government received
the first 22 Liberty engines of the 12-cylinder type, durable and
dependable, a standardized, concrete product, only seven months after
the Liberty engine existed merely as an idea in the brains of two
engineers. These first engines developed a strength of approximately
330 horsepower, and this was true also of the first 300 Liberty engines
delivered, these deliveries being completed in the early spring of 1918.

When the Liberty engine was designed our aviation experts believed that
330 horsepower was so far in advance of the development of aero engines
in Europe that we could safely go ahead with the production of this
type on a quantity basis. But again we reckoned without an accurate
prophetic knowledge of the course of engine development abroad. We
were building the first 300 Liberty engines at 330 horsepower when
our aviation reports informed us from overseas that an even higher
horsepower would be desirable. Therefore our engineers "stepped up"
the power of the Liberty 12-cylinder engine to 375 horsepower. Several
hundred motors of this power were in process of completion when again
our observers in France advised us that we could add another 25
horsepower to the Liberty, making it 400 horsepower in strength, and
be sure of leading all of the combatant nations in size and power of
aviation engines during 1918 and 1919. This last step, we were assured,
was the final, definite one. But to anticipate possible extraordinary
development of engines by other nations, our engineers went even
further than the mark advised by our overseas observers and raised the
power of the Liberty engine to something in excess of 400 horsepower.

This enormous increase over the original power of the Liberty engine
required changes in the construction, notably in increasing the
strength of practically all of the working parts, including the crank
shaft, the connecting rods, and the bearings. The change also resulted
in making scrap iron of a large quantity of the jigs and special tools
employed in making the lighter engines. A still further change had to
come in the character of some of the steel used in some of the parts,
and this went back to the smelting plants, where new and better methods
of producing steel and aluminum for the Liberty engine had to be

Thus while there were no fundamental changes in the design of the
engine, the increase of its power required a considerable readjustment
in the engine plants. Yet so rapidly were these changes made that on
the first anniversary of the day when the design of the Liberty engine
was begun--May 29, 1918--the Signal Corps had received 1,243 Liberty
engines. In this achievement motor history was written in this country
as it had never been written before.

From a popular standpoint it may seem that the Liberty engine was
radically changed after its inception, but such an assertion is
entirely unwarranted; for in the fundamental thing, the design, there
was but one change made after the engine was laid down on paper in May,
1917, namely, in the oiling system. The original Liberty engine was
partially fed with oil by the so-called scupper system, whereas this
later was changed to a forced feed under compression. The scupper feed
worked successfully, but the forced feed is foolproof and was therefore
installed upon the advice of the preponderance of expert criticism.

It is also true that in working out certain practical manufacturing
processes some of the original measurements were altered. But this is a
common experience in the manufacture of any internal-combustion engine,
and alterations made for factory expediency are not regarded as design
changes, nor are they important.

The delivery of 22 motors in December of 1917 was followed by the
completion of 40 in January, 1918. In February the delivery was 70. In
March this jumped to 122; then a leap in April to 415; while in May
deliveries amounted to 620.

The quantity production of Liberties may be said to have started in
June, 1918, one year after the engine's conception in Washington. In
that month 1,102 motors of the most powerful type were delivered to the
service. In July the figure was 1,589; in August, 2,297; in September,
2,362. Then in October came an enormous increase to the total of 3,878
Liberty engines. During the month before the armistice was signed the
engine factories were producing 150 engines a day.

In all, up to November 29, 1918, 15,572 Liberty engines were produced
in the United States. In the disposal of them the American Navy
received 3,742 for its seaplanes; the plants manufacturing airplanes
in this country took 5,323 of them; 907 were sent to various aviation
fields for training purposes; to the American Expeditionary Forces in
France, in addition to the engines which went over installed in their
planes, we sent 4,511 Liberty engines; while 1,089 went to the British,
French, and Italian air services.

Some of the earliest Liberties were sent to Europe. In January, 1918,
we shipped 3 to our own forces in France. In March we sent 10 to the
British, 6 to the French, and 5 to the Italians. By June 7 the English
tests had convinced the British air minister that the Liberty engine
was in the first line of high powered aviation engines and a most
valuable contribution to the allied aviation program. The British
air minister so cabled to Lord Reading, the British ambassador in
Washington. Again on September 26 the British air ministry reported
that in identical airplanes the Liberty engine performed at least
as well as the Rolls-Royce engine. Birkight, who designed the
Hispano-Suiza engine in France, declared that the Liberty engine was
superior to any high-powered aviation engine then developed on the
Continent of Europe.



                               FIGURE 14.


  Jan.      40 =
  Feb.      70 =
  Mar.     122 ==
  Apr.     415 ======
  May.     620 =========
  June.   1102 =================
  July.   1589 ========================
  Aug.    2297 ==================================
  Sept.   2362 ===================================
  Oct.    3878 ==========================================================
  Nov.    3056 ==============================================
  Dec.    2437 =====================================]

A more concrete evidence of the esteem in which this American creation
was held by the European expert lies in the size of the orders which
the various allied Governments placed with the United States for
Liberty engines. The British took 1,000 of them immediately and
declared that they wished to increase this order to 5,500 to be
delivered by December 31, 1918. The French directed inquiries as to
the possibility of taking one-fifth of our complete output of Liberty
engines. The Italians also indicated their intention of purchasing
heavily for immediate delivery.

This increased demand for the engine had not been anticipated in our
original plans, as we had no idea that the allied Governments would
turn from their own highly developed engines to ask for Liberty engines
in such quantities. The original program of 22,500 engines was only
sufficient for our own Army and Navy requirements. As soon as the
foreign Governments, however, came in with their demands we immediately
increased the orders placed with all the existing Liberty engine
builders, and in addition contracted to take the entire manufacturing
facilities of the Willys-Overland Co. at its plants in Toledo and
Elyria, Ohio, and Elmira, N. Y. We also engaged the entire capacity of
the Olds Motor plant at Lansing, Mich. In addition we had subsequently
contracted for the production of 8,000 of the 8-cylinder engines. Thus
the number of engines which would have been delivered under contract,
if peace had not cut short the production, would have been 56,100
engines of the 12-cylinder type and 8,000 of the 8's.

The foreign Governments associated with us in the war against Germany
showered their demands upon us for great numbers of the American
engines, not only altogether because of the excellence of the Liberty,
but because partially their plane production exceeded their output of
engines. Mr. John D. Ryan, Director of Aircraft Production, verbally
agreed to deliver to the French 1,500 Liberty engines by December 31,
and further agreed to deliver motors to the French at the rate of 750
per month during the first six months of 1919. The British had already
received 1,000 Liberty motors, and this order was increased with Mr.
Ryan personally by several thousand additional engines to be delivered
in the early part of 1919. When the armistice was signed the Liberty
engine was being produced at a rate which promised to make it the
dominant motive power of the war in the air before many months had

The engine was originally named the "United States Standard 12-cylinder
Aviation Engine." In view of the service which it promised to render to
the cause of civilization, Admiral D. W. Taylor, the chief construction
officer of the Navy, suggested during the early part of the period of
production that the original prosaic name be discarded and that the
engine be rechristened the "Liberty." Under this name the engine has
taken its place in the history of the war as one of the most efficient
agencies which was developed and employed by this country.



The production of the Liberty engine so captured popular attention
that the public never fairly understood nor appreciated the extent of
another production enterprise on the part of those providing motive
power for our war airplanes. This was the supplementary manufacture
of aero engines other than those which bore the proud appellation of

Let the production figures speak for themselves. In those 19 months,
starting with nothing, we turned out complete and ready for service
32,420 aero engines. Of these thousands of engines less than
one-half--the exact figure being 15,572--were Liberty engines. The rest
were Hispano-Suizas, Le Rhones, Gnomes, Curtisses, Hall-Scotts, and
some others, a total of 16,848 in all--built largely for the training
of our army of the air.

This production would have been even more notable had the war
continued, for at the date of the signing of the armistice the United
States had contracted for the construction of 100,993 aircraft engines.
Of these 64,100 were to be Liberty engines, so that the total plan of
construction of engines other than the Liberty would have produced
about 37,000 of them. The total cost of carrying through the combined
engine project would have been in the neighborhood of $450,000,000.

While at the outbreak of the war American knowledge of military
aviation may have been meager, still it was evident from the start that
we would be able to go ahead with certain phases of production on a
huge scale without waiting for the precise knowledge of requirements
that would come only from an exhaustive study of the subject in
Europe. In the first place we knew that we must train our aviators.
For this purpose there was at the start no particular need of the
highly-developed machinery then in use on the western front. The
first aircraft requirement of the early training program was for safe
planes, regardless of their type, and motive power to drive them. Later
on, when we were better prepared, would come the training that would
afford our aviators experience with the fighting equipment. So at the
start there was no reason why we should not proceed at once with the
construction of such training machines as we knew how to build.

An aviation program for war falls into these two divisions--the
equipment required for training and that required for combat. While
our organization, particularly through the Bolling commission which we
had sent to Europe, was making a study of our combat requirements and
while we were pushing forward the design and production of the Liberty
engine, we forthwith developed on an ambitious scale the manufacture of
training planes and engines in this country.

The training of battle aviators, on the other hand, also separates
into two parts, the elementary training and the advanced training. The
elementary training merely teaches the cadet the new art of maintaining
himself in the air. Later, when he has mastered the rudiments of
mechanical flight, he goes into the advanced training, the training in
his fighting plane, where he requires equipment more nearly of the type
used at the front.

For the elementary training we had some good native material to start
with. The Curtiss Airplane Co. had been building training planes and
engines both for the English and Canadian air authorities. This was
evidently the most available American airplane for our first needs.
The Curtiss plane was known as the "JN-4" and it was driven by a
90-horsepower engine called the Curtiss "OX." In the production of this
equipment on the scale planned by the Signal Corps, the embarrassing
feature, the choke point, was evidently to be the manufacture of the
engine. The Curtiss plant at Buffalo for the manufacture of planes
could be quickly expanded to meet the Government demands; but the
Curtiss engine plant at Hammondsport, N. Y., could not develop the
production of "OX" engines up to our needs and at the same time
complete the orders which it was filling for the English and Canadian
air services.

Consequently, contracts were awarded to the Curtiss Co. for its
capacity in the production of "OX" engines, and then the American
aviation authorities came to an agreement with the Willys-Morrow plant
at Elmira, N. Y., for an additional 5,000 of these motors. Ordinarily
it would require from five to six months to equip a plant with the
large machine tools and the smaller mechanical appliances necessary for
such a contract as this. But the Willys-Morrow plant tooled up in three
months and was ready to start on the "OX" manufacturing job.

[Illustration: CURTISS ENGINE, MODEL OX-5.]



This is one of the successful rotary engines.]

If speed in production was required at any point in the aviation
development it was here in the manufacture of the elementary training
planes and engines. Without training material, no matter how many
aviation fields we set in order nor how many student aviators we
enlisted, the movement of our flying forces toward the front could not
even begin. And here entered an interesting engineering and executive
problem that had to be worked out quickly by those in charge of our
aircraft construction. If it were plotted on paper, the curve of
requirements for aircraft training material would climb swiftly to
its peak during the first six or eight months of the war and then
decline with almost equal swiftness until it reached a low level. In
other words, we must produce the great number of training machines in
the shortest time possible in order to put our thousands of student
aviators into the air at once over the training fields; but when
this training equipment had been brought up to initial requirements,
thereafter our needs in this direction could be met by only a small
production, since the rate of wastage of such material is relatively
low. Once our fields were fully equipped, the same apparatus could be
used over and over again as the war went on, with little regard to
the improvements of the type of battle planes, so that the ultimate
manufacture need be large enough only to keep this equipment in

It soon became evident that the production of Curtiss planes and
engines, even under the heavy contracts immediately placed, would
not be sufficient to take care of our elementary training needs; and
the aviation administration began looking around for other types of
aircraft that would fit into our plans. The experts in all branches
of war flying which the principal allied nations had sent to the
United States, warned us against the temptation to adopt many types
of material in order to secure a quick early production. If the
training equipment were not closely standardized in types, it would
result in confusion and delay, both in training the aviator to fly and
in preparing him for actual combat. Such had been the experience in
Europe; and we were now given the benefit of this experience, so that
we might avoid the mistakes which others had made. We were advised to
adopt a single type of equipment for each class of training; but if
that were not consistent with the demands for speed in getting our
service in the air, then at the most we should not have more than two
types either of planes or engines.

In the elementary training program it was evident that we could not
equip ourselves with a single type of plane, except at considerable
expense in time. Consequently we went ahead to develop another.

We found a training airplane being produced by the Standard Aero
Corporation and known as the "Standard-J." The company had been
developing this machine for approximately a year, and its plant could
be expanded readily to meet a large contract. For the engine to drive
this plane we adopted the Hall-Scott "A7A." This was a four-cylinder
engine. It had the fault of vibration common to any four-cylinder
engine, but it was regarded otherwise by experts as a rugged and
dependable piece of machinery. The Hall-Scott Co. was equipped to
produce this motor on an extensive scale, since at the time this
concern was probably the largest manufacturer of aviation engines
in the United States, with the possible exception of the Curtiss Co.
The engine had been used in airplanes built by the Standard Aero
Corporation, the Aero Marine Co., and the Dayton-Wright Co. Therefore
the Joint Army and Navy Technical Board recommended the Standard-J
plane and the Hall-Scott A7A engine as the elementary training
equipment to alternate with the Curtiss plane and engine.

The Government placed contracts with the Hall-Scott Co. for 1,250
engines, its capacity. But, since a large additional number would be
required, a supplementary contract for 1,000 A7A's was given to the
Nordyke & Marmon Co. The Hall-Scott Co. cooperated with this latter
concern by furnishing complete drawings, tools, and other production

When it came to the advanced training for our aviators, more highly
developed mechanical equipment was required. There must be two sorts
of this equipment. The advanced student must become acquainted with
rotary engines such as were used by the French and others to drive the
small, speedy chassé planes, while he must also come to be familiar
with the operation of fixed cylinder engines, possessing upwards of
100 horsepower. These latter were the engines in commonest use on
observation and bombing planes. For each type, the rotary and fixed, we
were permitted by our policy to have two sorts of engines in order to
get into production as quickly as possible, but not more than two.

Here again we had to survey the field of engine manufacture and select
closely, at the same time making in point of speed approximately as
good a showing as if we had adopted every engine with claims for our
consideration and had told manufacturers of them to produce as many as
they could.

In this case of rotary engines, our aviation representatives in Europe
advised the production here of Gnome and Le Rhone motors. There were
two models of the Gnome engine, one developing 110 horsepower and the
other 150. The Le Rhone engine produced 80 horsepower. The Bolling
commission had recommended that the Gnome 150 be used in some of our
combat planes.

In the spring of 1917 we were producing a few Gnome 110 horsepower
engines in this country. The General Vehicle Co. at some time
previously had taken a foreign order for these engines. But neither
the Gnome 150 nor the Le Rhone 80 had been built in the United States,
both of these having been developed and used exclusively in France.
The first recommendations from our observers in France advised us to
produce 5,000 of the more powerful Gnome 150's and 2,500 Le Rhone 80's.

The production of Gnome engines in this country forms a good
illustration of the manner in which aircraft requirements at the front
were constantly shifting, due to the rapid evolution of the science
of mechanical flight. Our officers did not hesitate to overrule their
previous decisions, if such a course seemed to be justified, even at
the cost of rendering useless great quantities of work already done
and material already produced. This has been shown in the case of the
Liberty engine. At the start we set out to build Liberty 8-cylinder
engines on a large scale, only to discontinue this work before it was
fairly started; but later on we again took up a Liberty 8-cylinder
project on almost as great a scale as had been planned originally.

So with the production of the heavy 150-horsepower Gnome engine. Our
European advisors were first of the opinion that we should go heavily
into this production. Consequently the equipment end of the Signal
Corps projected a program of 5,000 of the large Gnome engines. Such
a contract was entirely beyond the capacity of the General Vehicle
Co., which had been building the lighter Gnomes. So the Government
entered into negotiations with the General Motors Co. to assume the
greater burden of this undertaking. Under the pilotage of the aircraft
authorities, an agreement was reached for the industrial combination
of the General Motors Co. and the General Vehicle Co. The former
concern brought its vast resources and numerous factories into the
consolidation; while the latter furnished the only skilled knowledge
and experience there was in the United States in the art of making
rotary engines. This seemed to be a great step in our progress and an
achievement in itself; but just as the undertaking of the construction
of large Gnome engines was about to be started, events in Europe had
caused our observers there to revise their first judgment, and we
received cabled instructions recommending that we discontinue the
development of the Gnome 150.

The entire program for Gnome 150's was canceled, and thereafter the
General Vehicle Co., with its relatively small capacity, was called
upon to produce as many of the small Gnome 110's as it could. As a
matter of record the production of these engines amounted to 280 in

The Signal Corps found it difficult to induce manufacturers in this
country to undertake the construction of foreign designed engines at
all. The plans and specifications of mechanical appliances furnished
by foreign engineers and manufacturers are so different from ours
that trouble is invariably experienced in attempts to use them here.
Successful concerns in this country naturally hesitated to pick up
contracts on which they might fail and thus tarnish their reputations.
Our advisors in Europe were insistent that we should produce Le Rhone
engines in quantity in the United States, yet it was hard to find
any manufacturing concern willing to undertake such a development.
Nevertheless, the production of Le Rhone engines proved to be one of
the most successful phases of the whole aircraft program. Its story
illustrates the obstacles encountered in adapting a foreign device to
American manufacture, and it also shows how American production genius
can overcome these handicaps.

It was only after strenuous efforts on our part that the Union Switch
& Signal Co., of Swissvale, Pa., a member of the Westinghouse chain of
factories, was induced to take up the Le Rhone contract. This project
called for the production of 2,500 rotary Le Rhones of 80 horsepower
each. Let us see how the manufacturers took this totally unfamiliar
machine and went about it to reproduce it in this country.

One might think that it would be necessary only to take the French
drawings, change the metric system measurements to our own scale of
feet and inches, and proceed to turn out the mechanism. But it was not
so simple as that. We did receive the drawings, the specifications,
the metallurgical instructions and the like, but these we found to be
unreliable and unsatisfactory from our point of view. For instance,
according to the French instructions the metallurgical requirements
for the engine crank-shaft called for mild steel. This was obviously
incorrect; and if an error had crept into this part of the plans there
was no telling how faulty the rest of them might be. So from the
metallurgical standpoint alone this became a laboratory job of analysis
and investigation. A sample engine had been sent to us from France.
Every piece of metal in this engine was examined by the chemists to
determine its proper constituents, and from this original investigation
new specifications were made for the steel producers.

The drawings of the engine were quite unsatisfactory from the point
of view of American mechanics. They were found to be incorrect, and
there were not enough of them. Consequently this required another
study on the part of engineers and a new set of drawings to be made
up. All of this fundamental work monopolized the time of a large force
of draughtsmen and engineers for several months, working under the
direction of E. J. Hall and Frank M. Hawley. The engine could not be
successfully built without this preliminary study, yet this is a part
of manufacture of which the uninitiated have little knowledge.



The production of the Le Rhone engine might have been materially
delayed by these difficulties, except for the organizing ability of
the executives handling the contract. While the metallurgists were
specifying the steel of the engine parts and the engineers were
drafting correct plans, the factory officials, with the assistance
of the engine production division of the Air Service, were procuring
machinery and tooling up the plant for the forthcoming effort. By the
time this equipment was installed the plans were ready, the steel mills
were producing the proper qualities of metal, and all was ready for the
effort. The Gnome-Le Rhone factories in France sent one of their best
engineers, M. Georges Guillot, and he assisted in the work at the Union
Switch & Signal Co. So rapidly was the whole development carried out
that the first American Le Rhones were delivered to the Government in
May, 1918, considerably less than a year after the project was assumed
by the Union Switch & Signal Co., which concern had not received the
plans of the engine until September, 1917. By the time the armistice
was signed the company had delivered 1,057 Le Rhone engines. Subsequent
contracts had increased the original order to 3,900 Le Rhones, all of
which would have been delivered before the summer of 1919, had the
coming of peace not terminated the manufacture. Although France is
the home of the rotary aviation engine, M. Guillot has certified to
the Aircraft Board that these American Le Rhones were the best rotary
engines ever built.

When it came to the selection of fixed cylinder engines for our
advanced training program, all of the indications pointed to a single
one, the Hispano-Suiza engine of 150 horsepower. This was a tried
and true engine of the war, tested by a wealth of experience and
found dependable. France had used the engine extensively in both its
training and combat planes. In 1916 it had been brought to the United
States for production for the allies, and when we entered the war the
Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation was producing Hispano-Suizas in
small quantity. By the early summer of 1917, however, the motor had
fallen behind in the development of combat engines because of the
increasing horsepowers demanded by the fighting aces on the front, but
it was still a desirable training engine and could, if necessary, be
used to a limited extent in planes at the front.

The plane adopted by the American aircraft authorities for this
type of advanced training was known as the Curtiss "JN 4H." It was
readily adapted for the use of the Hispano-Suiza 150-horsepower
engine. Contracts for several thousand of these engines were placed
with the Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, and up to the signing
of the armistice 3,435 engines were delivered. Before we could start
the production of this engine it was necessary for the Government to
arrange with the Hispano-Suiza Co. for the American rights to build it,
this arrangement including the payment of royalties. Incidentally it
is interesting to note that royalty was the chief beneficiary of the
royalties paid by the American Government, King Alfonso of Spain being
the heaviest stockholder of the Hispano-Suiza Co.

Although our policy permitted us to produce a second training engine
of the fixed cylinder type, no engine other than the Hispano-Suiza was
taken up by us. A number presented their claims for consideration, but
they were one and all rejected. Among these were the Curtiss engines
"OXX" and "V." A few of both of these had been used by the Navy, but
neither one seemed to the Signal Corps to meet the requirements. The
Sturtevant Co. had developed a 135-horsepower engine and built a few of
them, while Thomas Bros., at Ithaca, N. Y., had taken the Sturtevant
engine and modified it in a way that they claimed improved it, although
the changes had not substantially increased the horsepower. This engine
was rejected on the ground that it was too low in horsepower to endure
as a useful machine through any considerable period of manufacture, and
also because it was too heavy per horsepower to accomplish the best

To sum it up, our training program was built around the above named
engines--the Curtiss "OX" and the Hall-Scott "A7A" for the elementary
training machines; the Gnome and Le Rhone, for the rotary engine
types of planes in the advanced training; and the Hispano-Suiza
150-horsepower, for the advanced training in fixed-cylinder-engine
machines. Between the dates of September 1, 1917, and December 19,
1918, we sent to 27 fields 13,250 cadets and 9,075 students for
advanced training. They flew a total of 888,405 hours and suffered
304 fatalities, or an average of 1 fatality for every 2,922.38 flying
hours. At one field the training fliers were in the air 19,484 hours
before there was 1 fatality; another field increased this record to
20,269 hours; while a third made the extraordinary record of 1 casualty
in 30,982 flying hours.

Although we do not possess the actual statistics, the best unofficial
figures show that the British averaged 1 fatality for each 1,000
flying hours at their training camps, the French 1 for each 900 flying
hours, while the Italian training killed 1 student for each 700 flying
hours. These figures are significant, although varying conditions in
the types of training programs may account to some extent for the wide
differences in numbers of casualties at American as compared with
allied training camps.

But while we were producing engines for the training airplanes, both
elementary and advanced, we were not staking our whole combat program
on the Liberty engine alone, although we expected that engine to be our
main reliance in our battle machines. Our organization, both at home
and abroad, was on the alert continually for other engines that might
be produced in Europe or the United States and which would be so far in
advance of anything in use by the air fighters in Europe in 1917 as to
justify our production of them on a considerable scale. One of these
motors which seemed to promise great results for the future was the
Rolls-Royce, which had even then, in 1917, taken its place at the head
of the British airplane engines.

Considerable difficulty was experienced in reaching a satisfactory
arrangement with the Rolls-Royce Co. We expected to duplicate this
engine at the plant of the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co., at Buffalo, N.
Y., but the British concern objected to this arrangement on the ground
that the Pierce-Arrow people were commercial competitors.

It was several months before we could agree on a factory and arrive at
a contract satisfactory to both sides. Meanwhile the Liberty engine
had scored its great success, and the expected enormous production of
Liberties tended to cool the enthusiasm of our aircraft authorities for
the Rolls-Royce, as it was evident that the Liberty itself would be as
serviceable and as advanced in type as the British product.

The Rolls-Royce Co. wished to manufacture here its "190," an engine
developing from 250 to 270 horsepower; and for this effort it was
prepared to send to the United States at once a complete set of jigs,
gauges, and all other necessary tooling of a Rolls-Royce plant. With
this equipment ready at hand the company expected to produce about 500
American-built Rolls-Royce engines before the 1st of July, 1918.

But so rapidly was the evolution of aircraft engines going ahead that
even during the time of these negotiations it became evident that
something more than 250 horsepower would soon be needed in the fighting
planes on the Western front. We therefore abandoned the Rolls-Royce
model 190 and started negotiations for the 270-horsepower engine, the
latest and most powerful one produced by the Rolls-Royce Co. But for
this engine the British concern could not furnish the tooling, which
would have to be made new in this country, and this would reduce the
schedule of deliveries. As a result no American-built Rolls-Royce
engine was ever made.

Another disappointing experience in attempting to produce a foreign
designed motor in this country was the project to bring the manufacture
of Bugatti engines to the United States. When our European aircraft
commission arrived in France, the first experimental Bugatti engine
had just made its appearance. It was apparently a long step in advance
of any other motor that had been produced. This French mechanism was
a geared 16-cylinder engine. It weighed approximately 1,100 pounds
and was expected to develop 510 horsepower. It seemed to be the motor
to supplement our own Liberty engine construction. Although heavier
than a Liberty, it was much more powerful. The first Bugatti engine
built in France was purchased by the Bolling commission and hurried to
the United States with the urgent recommendation that we put it into
production immediately and push its manufacture as energetically as we
were pushing that of the Liberty engine.

The Signal Corps acted immediately upon this advice and prepared
to proceed with the Bugatti on a scale that promised to make its
development as spectacular as that of the Liberty. The Duesenberg
Motor Corporation, of Elizabeth, N. J., was even then tooling up for
the production of Liberty engines. We took this concern from its
Liberty work and directed it to assume leadership in the production
of Bugattis. The Liberty engine construction had been centered in the
Detroit district. We now prepared to establish a new aviation engine
district in the East, associating in it such concerns as the Fiat Plant
at Schenectady, N. Y., the Herschell-Spillman Co., of North Tonawanda,
N. Y., and several others. For a time the expectation for the Bugatti
production ran almost as high as the enthusiasm for the Liberty engine,
but the whole undertaking ended virtually in failure, a failure again
due to the tremendous difficulty in adapting foreign engineering plans
to American factory production.

This was the story of it. In due time the sample Bugatti engine
arrived, and with it were several French engineers and expert
mechanics. But, once set up, the Bugatti motor would not function,
nor was it in condition to run; for, as we discovered, during its
test in France a soldier had been struck by its flying propeller. His
body had been thrown twice to the roof of the testing shed, and the
shocks had bent the engine's crank shaft. Then, too, we learned for
the first time that the design and development of this engine had not
been carried through to completion and that a great deal of work would
be required before the device could be put into manufacture. The tests
in France had developed that such a fundamental feature as the oiling
system needed complete readjustment, and this was only indicative
of the amount of work yet to be done on the engineering side of the
production. We did our best with this engine; but to redesign it and
develop it so that it could pass the severe 50-hour test demanded
by our Joint Army and Navy Technical Board was the work of months,
and after that the tooling up of plants had to be accomplished. The
American Bugatti was just getting into production when the armistice
was signed, a total of only 11 having been delivered.

As we have seen, we were already building several hundred Hispano-Suiza
150-horsepower engines for our training planes. Soon after the arrival
of our aircraft commission in France we were advised to go into the
additional manufacture of the latest Hispano-Suiza geared engine of
220-horsepower. Consequently the Washington office at once arranged
with the Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, which was building the
smaller Hispano-Suizas, to undertake the production of this newer
model also. The preparations for this manufacture had gone on in the
Wright-Martin plant for a considerable period of time when further
advice from Europe informed us that the Hispano-Suiza 220 was not
performing successfully on account of trouble with the gearing. This
fact, of course, canceled the new contract with the Wright-Martin
Co., the incident being another of those ups and downs with which the
undertaking was replete.

Along in the summer of 1918 the Hispano-Suiza designers in Europe
brought out a 300-horsepower engine. By this date the development
of military flying had made it apparent that engines of such great
horsepower could be used advantageously on the smaller planes. However,
the engine plants of the allied countries were already taxed to their
capacities by their existing contracts, and the demands of these
countries for high-powered engines could not be supplied unless we in
America could increase our manufacturing facilities even further.

In following out this ambition, we placed contracts for the production
of 10,000 Hispano-Suiza 300-horsepower engines. Of these, 5,000 were
to be built by the Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation. To enable this
company to fulfill the new contract we leased to it the plant owned by
the Government in Long Island City which had formerly been owned by
the General Vehicle Co. The other 5,000 of these engines were to be
built by the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co. at Buffalo. We also contracted
for the entire manufacturing facilities of the H. H. Franklin Co., of
Syracuse, N. Y., to aid both the Wright-Martin Corporation and the
Pierce-Arrow Co., in this contract. The first of these high-powered
Hispano-Suiza engines were expected to be delivered in January, 1919,
but this project, of course, was interrupted by the armistice.

To summarize the complete engine program of the aviation development,
the total contracts for engines provided for the delivery of 100,993
engines. These were divided as follows:

  OX                                  9,450
  A7A                                 2,250
  Gnome                                 342
  Le Rhone                            3,900
  Lawrence                              451
  Hispano-Suiza: 180-horsepower       4,500
  Hispano-Suiza: 150-horsepower       4,000
  Hispano-Suiza: 300-horsepower      10,000
  Bugatti                             2,000
  Liberty-12                         56,100
  Liberty-8                           8,000

The delivery of aviation engines of all types to the United States
Government, engines produced as part of our war program, were as
follows, by months:

  July, 1917              66
  August, 1917           139
  September, 1917        190
  October, 1917          276
  November, 1917         638
  December, 1917         596
  January, 1918          704
  February, 1918       1,024
  March, 1918          1,666
  April, 1918          2,214
  May, 1918            2,517
  June, 1918           2,604
  July, 1918           3,151
  August, 1918         3,625
  September, 1918      3,802
  October, 1918        5,297
      Total           28,509

The production by types was as follows to November 29, 1918:

  OX                 8,458
  Hispano-Suiza      4,100
  Le Rhone           1,298
  Lawrence             451
  Gnome                280
  A7A                2,250
  Bugatti               11
  Liberty           15,572

At the signing of the armistice the United States had produced about
one-third of the engines projected in its complete aviation program.

Of the output of training engines to November 29, 1918, the various
airplane plants took 9,069 for installation in planes, 325 (all of
these being Le Rhone rotaries) went to the American Expeditionary
Forces in France, 515 (all of which were Hispano-Suizas) were taken by
the Navy, a single A7A model was sent to one of the allied countries,
while 6,376 engines were sent directly to the training fields.

Of the combat engines produced to November 29, 1918 (which
classification includes all of the Liberties, the two more powerful
types of the Hispano-Suiza, and the Bugatti engine), 5,327 went to the
various airplane plants for installation in planes, 5,030 of them were
sent directly to the American Expeditionary Forces, 3,746 were turned
over to the Navy, 1,090 went to the several allied nations, and 941
were taken by the training fields.

The shipment of aviation engines to Europe, however, does not imply the
immediate use of them by our airplane squadrons at the front. In this
report shipment to the American Expeditionary Forces means the shipment
of engines from the American factories producing them. As a matter of
fact several months usually elapsed from the dispatch of an engine from
an American shop until it actually reached the Air Service in France,
and even then another month might be required to put the engine into
actual service. As a result, of the 5,000 and more aviation engines
sent to France by the American engine producers, outside of those
installed in their planes, less than 3,000 are recorded in the annals
of the American Expeditionary Forces as having been received by them up
to the end of December, 1918, the missing 2,000 being in that period
either somewhere in transit or in warehouses on the route to their

It is of interest to note what makes of foreign engines were used
by our airmen in the war operations. An appended table shows the
list of those received, their names, their rated powers, the numbers
received month by month, and the totals. The records of the American
Expeditionary Forces show that the squadrons in all received from all
sources 4,715 aviation engines up to the end of the year 1918, but
it should be borne in mind that this figure does not include more
than 2,000 engines, principally Liberties, recorded on this side of
the Atlantic as having been shipped to the Army abroad. Of the 4,715
engines noted as received, 2,710 were Liberties.

None of the foreign engines used by our pilots even approached
the Liberty in power. The nearest in power were a Renault and an
Hispano-Suiza, both rated at 300 horsepower.

      _Table of engines received from foreign sources in American
                    Expeditionary Forces monthly._

  Legend for Name and horsepower:
  A Hispano-Suiza 180
  B Hispano-Suiza 220
  C Hispano-Suiza 300
  D Renault 190
  E Renault 300
  F Le Rhone 80
  G Le Rhone 120
  H Clerget 120
  I Clerget 140
  J Salmson 230
  K Fiat 300
  L Gnome 150
  M Peugeot 230
  N Beardmore 160

   Name |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
   and  |Jan.|    |Mar.|    |May.|    |July.    |Sept.    |Nov.|    |Total.
  horse-|    |Feb.|    |Apr.|    |June.    |Aug.|    |Oct.|    |Dec.|
  power.|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    A   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |  8 |    | 11 |    |    19
    B   |    |    |    |  3 |    |    | 17 |164 |134 | 66 | 15 |    |   399
    C   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |  1 |    |    |    |     1
    D   |    |    |  4 |    |  4 |    | 18 |    |    |    |    |    |    26
    E   |    |    |    |    |    |  4 | 10 | 14 |  3 | 32 | 20 |    |    83
    F   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    | 10 | 19 | 85 |    |   114
    G   |    |    |    |  6 |    |  8 | 14 | 43 |    | 43 |    |    |   114
    H   |    |    |    |  3 |    |  6 | 12 |  8 |    | 14 | 29 |    |    72
    I   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    | 10 |    |    10
    J   |    |    |    |  4 |  6 |  2 | 23 | 95 | 92 | 92 |  8 |    |   322
    K   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    | 23 | 10 |150 |    |   183
    L   |    |    | 12 |    | 20 |    | 66 |    | 86 | 22 |200 |    |   406
    M   |    |    |    |    |    |  2 |    |    |    |    |    |    |     2
    N   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    | 14 |    |    |    14
  Total |    |    | 16 | 16 | 30 | 22 |160 |324 |357 |312 |528 |    | 1,765



On one of the early days in the great war a Russian aviator, aloft in
one of the primitive airplanes of that time, was engaged in locating
the positions of the enemy when he chanced upon a German birdman
engaged in a similar mission.

In those ancient times--for they seem ancient to us now, although less
than five years have elapsed--actual fighting in the air was unknown.
The aviators had no equipment for battle; indeed, it was doubtful
if the thought had occurred to either side to keep down the enemy's
aircraft by the use of armed force borne upon wings. In the first
months of aviation in the great war the fliers of both sides recognized
a sort of _noblesse oblige_ of the air, which, if it did not make for
actual friendship or fraternizing between the rival air services,
at least amounted to a respect for each other often evidenced by an
innocuous waving of hands as hostile flying machines passed each other.

But now the wounds of war had begun to smart; and when the Russian saw
the German flier going unhindered upon a work that might bring death
to thousands of soldiers in the Czar's army, a sudden rage filled his
heart, and he determined to bring down his adversary, even at the
cost of his own life. Maneuvering his craft, presently he was flying
directly beneath the German and in the same direction and was but
a short distance below his enemy's plane. Then, with a pull on his
control lever, the Russian shot his machine sharply upward, hoping
to upset the German and to escape himself. The result was that the
machines collided, and both crashed to the ground. This was probably
the first aerial combat of the war.

It seems strange to us to-day that the highly complicated and
standardized art of fighting with airplanes was developed entirely
during the great war and, indeed, was only started after the war had
been in progress for several months. Yet such was the case. At the
beginning of the war there was no such thing as armament in aircraft,
either of the offensive or defensive sort. It is true that a small
amount of experimentation in this direction had occurred prior to the
war and also in the early months of fighting, but it was not until the
summer of 1915 that air fighting, as it is so well known to the entire
world to-day, was begun.

In this country we had successfully fired a machine gun from an
airplane in 1912, while at the beginning of the war the French had a
few heavy airplanes equipped to carry machine guns. Yet in August,
1915, Maj. Eric T. Bradley, of the United States Air Service, but then
a flight sublieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps, frequently flew over
the lines hunting for Germans; and his offensive armament consisted of
a Lee-Enfield rifle or sometimes a 12-gauge double-barreled shotgun.

The aviators in those pioneer days usually carried automatic pistols,
but the danger to one side or the other from such weapons was slight,
owing to the great difficulty of hitting an object moving as swiftly as
an airplane travels. The earlier planes also packed a supply of trench
grenades for dropping upon bodies of troops. Another pioneer offensive
weapon for the airplane was the steel dart, which was dropped in
quantities upon the enemy's trenches. Great numbers of these darts were
manufactured in the United States for the allies, but the weapon proved
to be so ineffective that it had but a brief existence.

It is said that before the pilots carried any weapons at all the first
war aviators used to shoot at each other with Very pistols, which
projected Roman candle balls. The start of air fighting may be said to
have come when the Lewis machine guns were brought out for use in the
trenches. Presently these ground guns were taken into the planes and
fired from the observers' shoulders. Then for the first time war flying
began to be a hazardous occupation so far as the enemy's attentions
were concerned.

It was soon discovered that the machine gun was the most effective
weapon of all for use on an airplane, because only with rapid firers
could one hope to hunt successfully such swiftly moving prey as
airplanes. It had become patent to the strategists that it was of
supreme importance to keep the enemy's aircraft on the ground. Hence
invention began adapting the machine gun to airplane use.

The swiftest planes of all were those of the single-seater pursuit
type. It was obviously impossible for the lone pilot of one of these
to drop his controls and fire a machine gun from his shoulder. This
necessitated a fixed gun that could be operated while the pilot
maintained complete control of his machine, and such necessity was the
mother of the invention known as the synchronizing gear.

This ingenious contrivance, however, did not come at once. Most of the
war planes were of the tractor type; that is, that they had the engine
and propeller in front, this arrangement giving them better maneuvering
and defensive powers in the air than those possessed by planes with the
rear, pushing propellers. The first fixed machine gun was carried on
the upper plane of the biplane so as to shoot over the arc described
by the propeller. With the gun thus attached parallel to the line of
flight, the pilot needed only to point the airplane itself directly
at the target to have the gun trained on its objective. But such an
arrangement proved to be unsatisfactory. A single belt or magazine of
cartridges could, indeed, be fired from the gun, but there was no more
firing on that trip, because the pilot could not reach up to the upper
plane to reload the weapon.

So the fixed gun was brought down into the fuselage and made to fire
through the whirling propeller. At first the aviators took their
chances of hitting the propeller blades, and sometimes the blades
were armored at the point of fire, being sheathed in steel of a shape
calculated to cause the bullets to glance off. This system was not
satisfactory. Then, since a single bullet striking an unprotected
propeller blade would often shatter it to fragments, attempts were
made to wrap the butts of the blades in linen fabric to prevent this
splintering, and this protection actually allowed several shots to
pierce the propeller without breaking it.

This was the state of affairs on both sides early in 1915. The
French Nieuports had their fixed guns literally shooting through the
propellers, the bullets perforating the blades, if they did not wreck
them. As late as February, 1917, Maj. Bradley, who was by that time
a flight commander in the British service, worked a Lewis gun over
the Bulgarian lines with the plane propellers protected only by cloth

All of this makeshift operation of fixed machine guns was changed by
the invention of the synchronizing device. This is an appliance for
controlling the fire of the fixed gun so that the bullets miss the
blades of the flying propeller and pass on in the infinitesimal spaces
of time when the line of fire ahead of the gun is clear of obstruction.
The term "synchronizing" is not accurate, since that word implies
that the gun fires after each passage of a propeller blade across the
trajectory. Such is not the truth. The propeller revolves much more
rapidly than the gun fires. The device is also called an "interrupter,"
another inexact term, since the fire of the gun is not interrupted, but
only caused at the proper moments. Technicians prefer the name "gun
control" for this mechanism.

Who first invented the synchronizer is a matter of dispute, but all
observers agree that the Germans in the Fokker monoplanes of 1915 were
the first to use it extensively. Not until some time after this did
the allies generally install similar devices. Some have attributed the
original invention to the famous French flier, Roland Garros.

Two types of synchronizers were developed, one known as the hydraulic
type and the other as the mechanical. In operation they are somewhat
similar. In each case there is a cam mounted on the engine shaft so
that each impulse of the piston actuates a plunger. The plunger passes
on the impulses to the rest of the mechanism. In the mechanical control
the impulse is carried through a series of rods to the gun, causing
the latter to fire at the proper moments. In the hydraulic control the
impulse is transmitted through oil held at a pressure in a system of
copper tubes. The hydraulic synchronizer is known as the Constantinisco
control, commonly called the "C. C." after the military fashion of
using initials. This was the device copied for American planes in the

In April, 1917, we knew practically nothing about the use or
manufacture of aircraft guns. We had used airplanes at the Mexican
border, but not one of them carried a machine gun. The Lewis gun, which
is a flexible type of aircraft weapon pointed on a universal pivot by
the observer in a two-place plane, was being manufactured by the Savage
Arms Corporation for the British Government; but we had never made a
gun of the fixed type in this country, nor did we know anything about
the construction or manufacture of synchronizers.

One special requirement of the aircraft machine gun is that it must
be reliable in the extreme. It is bad enough to have a gun jam on the
ground, but in the air it may be fatal, for little can be done there
to repair the weapon. A jam leaves the gunner to the mercy of his
adversary, so in the production of aircraft armament there must be not
only special care in the manufacture of the guns, but the ammunition,
too, must be as perfect as human accuracy can make it. The cartridges
must be either hand-picked and specially selected from the run of
service ammunition, or else manufactured slowly and expressly for the
purpose, with minute gauging from start to finish of the process.

Another requirement for the aircraft gun is that it must function
perfectly in any position. On the ground a machine gun is fired
essentially in a horizontal position, but the airman dives and leaps in
his maneuvering and must be able to shoot at any instant.

Aircraft guns are subject to extreme variations of temperature, and so
they must be certain to function perfectly in the zero cold of the high
altitudes, regardless of the contraction of their metal parts.

Then, too, such guns must be able to fire at a much greater rate than
those of the ground service. Five hundred shots per minute is regarded
as sufficient for a ground gun, but aircraft guns have been brought
up to a rate of fire as high as 950 to 1,000 shots per minute. The
Browning aircraft gun, never used by us, but in process of development
when the armistice was signed, had been speeded up to 1,300 shots per
minute, with all shots synchronized to miss the blades of the propeller.

The rate of fire in the air can not be made too swift. Suppose an
airplane were flying past a long, stationary target, such as a
billboard, at the relatively slow speed of 100 miles an hour. Assume
on this plane a flexible machine gun aimed at the billboard at right
angles to the line of flight. If this is a fast machine gun, it may
shoot 880 times a minute, at which rate the shots will come so fast
that the explosions will merge into a continuous roar. Yet the bullets
fired at such a rate from a machine moving at even such low speed will
be spaced out along the billboard at intervals of 10 feet. But most
of the fighting planes traveled much faster than 100 miles per hour.
Thus it is entirely possible for two antagonists in the air to aim with
complete accuracy at each other and both to pass unscathed through
the lines of fire. The faster, therefore, the aircraft gun fired, the
better the chances of bringing down the enemy plane.

The Lewis gun, invented by Col. Lewis, of the United States Army, was
the weapon most generally used by the allies as the flexible gun for
their airplanes, operated on a universal mount which permitted it to
be pointed in any direction. The Lewis aircraft gun was the ground gun
modified principally by stripping it of the cooling radiator and by the
addition of a gas check to reduce the recoil. The Lewis was fed by a
drum magazine, a more desirable feed for flexible guns than any belt
system. The German flexible gun, the Parabellum, had the unsatisfactory
belt feed.

The Vickers gun was the only successful weapon of the fixed type
developed in the war before we became a belligerent. We were
manufacturing Vickers guns in the United States prior to April, 1917;
but when the Signal Corps faced the machine-gun problem, in September,
1917, it found that the Infantry branches of the Army had contracted
for the entire Vickers production in this country.

Accordingly, the equipment division of the Signal Corps, in the face
of marked opposition, took up the development of the Marlin gun as
an aircraft gun of the fixed type. This gun, however, proved to be
extraordinarily successful and was regarded by our Flying Service
and by the aviators of the allies to be the equal of the Vickers in
efficiency. Because of this development, when there came the need of
tank guns, in June, 1918, the Aircraft Board, which had succeeded the
Signal Corps as the director of aerial activities, was able to supply
7,220 Marlin machine guns within two weeks for this purpose.

The first order for Marlin guns was placed on September 25, 1917;
and over 37,500 of them had been produced before December, 1918.
The Marlin-Rockwell factory began producing 2,000 guns per month in
January, 1918, and increased this rapidly until as many as 7,000 guns
were built in one month. The Marlin gun shoots at the rate of 600
to 650 shots per minute and is fed by a belt of the disintegrating
metal-link type.

As to Lewis guns, which we adopted as our flexible weapon, more than
35,000 of them were delivered to the Air Service up to December, 1918.
In February, 1918, the Savage Arms Corporation built 1,500 of them,
increasing their monthly deliveries until in the month of October,
1918, they turned out 5,448 of these weapons. The Lewis gun which the
British had been using carried 47 cartridges in its magazine. A notable
accomplishment of the manufacture of Lewis guns for our use was to
increase the capacity of the magazine to hold 97 cartridges.

In our De Haviland-4 planes we installed two Marlin fixed guns, each
firing at the rate of 650 shots per minute, equipping the weapons with
Constantinisco controls to give the plane a maximum fire of 1,300 shots
per minute through the blades of a propeller whirling at a rate as
high as 1,600 revolutions per minute. Four fixed guns have also been
successfully fitted to one plane and timed so that none of the bullets
struck the propeller blades.

At the time the armistice was signed the rate of production of special
aircraft ammunition, a classification including tracer bullets,
incendiary bullets, and armor-piercing bullets, exceeded 10,000,000
rounds per month.

The original estimate for the quantity of ammunition our Flying Service
should have was later greatly increased because the squadrons at the
front began installing as many as four guns on a single observation

Although different aviators had their own notions about the loading of
ammunition belts, certain sequences in the use of the three types of
special ammunition were usually observed. First usually came the tracer
cartridge, which assists the gunner in directing his aim; then two or
three armor-piercing cartridges, relied upon to injure the hostile
engine or tap the gasoline tank; and finally one or two incendiary
cartridges to ignite the enemy's gasoline as it escaped, sending him
down in flames. Such a sequence would be repeated throughout the
ammunition belt or magazine container.

The belts for the fixed guns carry a maximum of 500 rounds of
cartridges. The belt which we furnished to our fliers at the front
was made of small metallic links fastened together by the cartridges
themselves. As the gun was fired and the cartridges ejected, the links
fell apart and cleared the machine through special chutes. The total
production of such belting in this country amounted to 59,044,755
links. Although the links are extremely simple in design, the great
accuracy required in their finish made production of them a difficult
manufacturing undertaking. The production and inspection of each link
involved over 36 separate operations. It actually cost more to inspect
belt links than to manufacture them.

We produced 12,621 British unit sights for airplane guns and sent 1,550
of them overseas. We also bought an adequate number of small electric
heaters to keep the gun oil from congealing in the cold of high

A novel undertaking for our photographic manufacturers was the
production of the so-called gun cameras which are used to train
airplane gunners in accuracy of fire. Target practice with a machine
gun in an airplane is dangerous to the innocent bystander; and it
was found to be impracticable, moreover, to tow suitable targets for
actual machine-gun fire. Consequently, quite early in the war, the air
services of the allies adopted the practice of substituting cameras for
the machine guns on the practice planes.

One of these gun cameras, invented by Thornton Pickard, of Altringham,
England, imitated in design a Marlin aircraft machine gun; and in
order to make a picture with it, the gunner must go through the same
movements that he would employ in firing a Marlin gun. Thus, if the gun
were pointed directly on the target, the target would appear squarely
in the center of the picture taken; and this showed the gunner's
accuracy as well as if he had fired cartridges from the actual weapon.

These gun cameras were of two sorts. One type took a single picture
each time the trigger was pulled. Those of the other sort took a number
of pictures automatically at a speed approximately that of the firing
of a machine gun. This latter type was much the same as a moving
picture camera, the resulting film being a string of silhouettes of the
target, each exposure showing whether the aim of the gunner was exact
at the instant the picture was taken.

In September, 1917, the Eastman Kodak Co. began the development of a
camera gun of the "burst" or automatic moving-picture type. After our
authorities had seen the model, the Navy ordered a number of them,
while the Air Service placed increasing orders for these instruments
until 1,057 had been produced and delivered to the Government by
November, 1918. This camera was not used in the fixed airplane guns,
but was designed to train the operators of the flexible Lewis gun. The
camera exactly replaced the ammunition magazine on a Lewis gun.

Of the single-shot gun cameras 150 were delivered during the
hostilities. This design was obtained from Canada and duplicated here.

The use of the so-called Bromotype paper in gun cameras was one of
the interesting phases of this development. As everyone acquainted
with photography knows, a picture is made ordinarily by exposing a
sensitized plate or film, developing the latter to make a negative,
then exposing sensitive print paper to the light that comes through the
negative, thus reversing the lights and shadows and creating a positive
in the exact semblance of the subject photographed. A concern in
Cleveland, Ohio, the Positype Co., produced Bromotype paper which could
be exposed directly in the camera, coming out of the developing process
as a positive without the intervention of a film or plate negative.

Bromotype paper is much more highly sensitized than ordinary print
paper, so that it may be adequately exposed in an instantaneous,
high-speed snapshot. The exposure is then developed in the ordinary way
in the dark room, the familiar negative image appearing on the surface
in the ruby light of the lantern. At this point the special developing
process enters. The paper negative, without being fixed, is immersed
in a bath of chemicals that dissolves away the sensitized surface that
has been oxidized by the light from the camera lens--that is, the
image--leaving on the paper only the unoxidized, or unexposed, parts of
the sensitization. The paper now presents an unbroken white surface.
It is then redeveloped by a special solution, and the picture in its
true values of light and shade thus comes into existence. The entire
development and finishing of this paper requires only 2½ to 3 minutes.

Under this system, of course, only one finished print of each exposure
can be made; but the airplane gunners needed only one print to show
their aim. Positype paper was thus admirably adapted for use in the
airplane gun cameras; and because of its cheapness and the simplicity
and rapidity of its use, it was rapidly supplanting film at the
training camps in this country when the armistice was signed.


The American production of bombs to be dropped from airplanes was not
started so soon as production in some of the other branches of ordnance
development, due to numerous difficulties encountered in working up
the design of this new matériel. Although aerial bombing was steadily
increasing in effectiveness and magnitude when hostilities ended, yet
this kind of fighting was a development that came relatively late in
the war; and the lack of perfected standards at the time this country
became a belligerent helped to impede our program.

Some of the bombs first designed and put into production were later
rejected by our forces in France, as they had become obsolete before
being shipped overseas. We managed to manufacture a great quantity of
unloaded bombs by the time the armistice was signed, enough, in fact,
to provide for the Army's needs during another year of warfare. These
had to be loaded with explosives before they were ready for use. We
lacked adequate facilities for loading bombs with explosives, although
these facilities were being provided rapidly when the war ended. The
result was that the thousands of completed American bombs remained
unloaded, while practically all the bombs used by our fliers in France
were of foreign manufacture.

Military science had had some small experience with aerial bombing
prior to the great war. Italian aviators had dropped bombs of an
ineffective sort during Italy's war in Africa. When Mexico was having
a civil war in 1914 American air-sailors of fortune on one side or the
other dropped bombs on troops from their planes.

In the great war the first nation to attempt bombing on any systematic
scale was Germany, who sent her Zeppelins over London and Paris
early in the conflict and released bombs upon the heads of the
helpless civilians. Yet this early and impressive effort was, in its
difficulties, out of all proportion to the actual damage done to the
city of London, largely due to the fact that Germany had not yet
produced effective aerial bombs. The frightful scenes and noises of a
bomb raid probably did more to reduce the morale in these early days
than the destruction caused by the exploding missiles.

It is an exceedingly difficult trick to drop a bomb from any
considerable altitude and hit what you are aiming at. The speed of the
airplane, its height above the ground, the shape of the bomb itself,
and the currents of air acting on the falling missile influence its
line of flight. The aviator approaching an enemy target drops the bomb
long before his airplane is directly above the object aimed at.

The line of the bomb's flight is a parabolic curve. The speed at which
the airplane travels at first propels the bomb forward, almost as if it
had been shot from a stationary gun. As the downward velocity of the
bomb increases very rapidly, it soon becomes so great in proportion to
velocity forward that the course of the missile bends sharply downward
until, as it nears the ground, it is falling nearly in a vertical
line. Hence, it becomes evident that accurate bomb dropping is an art
attained only by much practice on the part of the aviator.

The latest bombing machines were equipped with sights which enabled the
birdman to drop these deadly objects with greater accuracy than had
been possible earlier in the war. While some of the expert European
bombers scorned the new inventions in sights and preferred to continue
the use of makeshift sights which they themselves had invented and
installed on their planes, the average accuracy of bomb dropping was
considerably greater after bomb sights came into general use.

These sights were adjusted to height, air speed, and strength of wind.
When these adjustments had been made, the two sighting points were in
such position that, if the bomb were dropped when the target was in
line with them, an accurate hit would be registered.

We adopted a British sight, tested and found satisfactory by the
Royal Flying Corps, and known as the High Altitude Wimperis, and in
the United States as the Bomb Sight Mark I-A. On November 11, 1918,
American factories, working on contracts placed by the Ordnance
Department, had produced 8,500 of them. The job of turning out this
intricate mechanism was turned over to Frederick Pearce & Co.,
of New York City, in January, 1918. Later in the year additional
contracts were given to the Edison Phonograph Works and to the Gorham
Manufacturing Co. These contracts called for 15,000 sights. By
December 12, 1918, these concerns had completed a total of 12,700 of




[Illustration: AIRPLANE FLARE.]




    A 20-pound fragmentation bomb, made from a converted 3-inch
    artillery shell, carries 1½ pounds of explosives to be used
    against troops. Projection at nose causes burst to take place
    above ground.]

[Illustration: DROP BOMB, MARK III.]

Airplane bombs are shaped so as to offer the least possible resistance
to the air. They have fins on their tails to steady them lest they
tumble over and over. On the smaller types of bombing planes, such as
the De Haviland-4, the bombs were usually carried underneath the lower
wings or under the fuselage, hanging horizontally by hooks or fastened
by bands around the bodies of the bombs, according to their type. The
bombs were dropped by a quick-release mechanism operated by a small
lever within the fuselage. The production of these release mechanisms,
of which several types were made, was one of the troublesome jobs in
connection with the airplane bombing.

All bombs are carried on the planes either suspended under the wings or
fuselage of the plane or in a compartment in the fuselage. The manner
of carrying and the design of the release mechanism is determined by
the type of plane used. Since the weight-carrying capacity of the
planes is limited, release mechanisms must be designed with a view
to lightness as well as safety. These mechanisms are so designed
that the observer can release any desired number of bombs either as
a salvo or in a "trail fire," and the order of releasing must be so
arranged that the balance of the plane will be disturbed as little as
possible; that is, if bombs are carried under the wings they should be
released alternately from each wing. All bombs are fitted with a safety
mechanism which enables the observer to drop them either "armed" or
"safe," i. e., so that they will explode or not as desired. An occasion
might develop where the aviator would have to get rid of his bombs over
his own lines. These various points are all taken care of in the design
of the release mechanism and are controlled by the observer with an
operating-control handle placed in the observer's cockpit.

All of the bombs used by our fliers and by the fliers of the other
nations at war were of three distinctive types--demolition bombs,
fragmentation bombs, and incendiary bombs.

Our Ordnance Department built demolition bombs in five different
weights: 50 pounds, 100 pounds, 250 pounds, 500 pounds, and, finally,
the enormous bomb weighing 1,000 pounds--half a ton. The most
frequently used demolition bombs, however, were those of the 100-pound
and 250-pound sizes. The demolition bombs were for use against
ammunition dumps, railways, roads, buildings, and all sorts of heavy
structures where a high-explosive charge is desired. These bombs had a
shell of light steel which was filled with trinitrotoluol--T. N. T., as
it is more commonly known--or some other explosive of great destructive
power. The charge was set off by a detonator held apart from the
dangerous contents of the bomb by a pin. As the bomb was released by
the mechanism the pin was automatically drawn out, and the detonator
slid down into position so as to explode the bomb the instant it struck
its object.

The first contract let for drop bombs of any type was given to the
Marlin-Rockwell Corporation of Philadelphia in June, 1917. This
contract was for the construction of 5,000 heavy drop bombs of the
design known as the Barlow, and also for 250 sets of release mechanisms
for this bomb. We were able to go ahead with the production of this
bomb at this early date since it was the only one of which we had
completed designs and working drawings when we entered the war. In
November, 1917, this order was increased to 13,000, and in April, 1918,
to 28,000.

The Barlow bomb, however, was destined never to cut any figure in our
fighting in France. The production was slow, due to the necessity of
constant experimentation to simplify a firing mechanism which was
regarded as too complicated by the experts of the War Department.
Finally, in June, 1918, when 9,000 of these bombs and 250 sets of
release mechanisms had been produced, a cablegram came from the
American Expeditionary Forces canceling the entire contract.

Meanwhile, the final type of demolition bomb, known variously as the
Mark I, II, III, IV, V, or VI, depending upon its size, had been
developed here. In December, 1917, a contract for 70,000 of the size
known as Mark II, weighing 25 pounds, was given to the Marlin-Rockwell
Corporation. But in June the American Expeditionary Forces informed us
that this bomb would not be of value to the Air Service abroad because
of its small explosive charge, and the contract was cut down to 40,000
bombs, which number the Army could use in training its aviators. By the
end of November, 1918, bomb bodies of the Mark II size to the number of
36,840 had been completed.

By the end of March, 1918, we had developed here a series of demolition
bombs that promised to meet every need of our Air Service abroad in
projectiles of their class. We let contracts for the manufacture of
300,000 of the 50-pound Mark III size, these contracts being reduced
later to a total of 220,000. The manufacturers were the A. O. Smith
Corporation, an automobile parts concern of Milwaukee, Wis.; the
Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Co. of Philadelphia; and Hale & Kilburn
of Philadelphia. Six months later the A. O. Smith Corporation had
reached a production of 1,200 of these bombs a day, and completed their
contract in October. Both the other concerns also completed their
contracts in the autumn of 1918.


    The larger of these two bombs weighs 1,000 pounds and carries
    570 pounds of explosive. The smaller weighs 550 pounds and
    carries 280 pounds of explosive. They are both made with a
    heavy cast-steel nose and pressed metal rear body.]



The A. O. Smith Corporation had tooled up their factory so as to become
one of our largest producers of airplane bombs. In addition to the
contract already mentioned, during 1918 this concern received orders
for approximately 300,000 demolition bombs of the 100-pound (Mark I)
size. By November 11, 1918, they had turned out 153,000 of these and
had developed a capacity for building 7,000 drop bombs daily. Another
large manufacturer of drop bombs was McCord & Co., of Chicago, a
concern which in 1918 received orders for nearly 100,000 bombs of the
250-pound, 550-pound, and 1000-pound sizes. By the day the armistice
was signed this concern had produced 39,400 completed bombs. These
bombs were the heaviest and largest ones intended for use by our
service abroad.

The fragmentation bombs differ from the demolition bombs in that they
have thick metal walls and consequently smaller charges of explosive.
They throw showers of fragments like those of high-explosive artillery
shell. The demolition bombs contain, on the other hand, the maximum
possible amount of explosive and produce destruction by the force
of explosion. Fragmentation bombs always have instantaneous firing
mechanisms, while demolition bombs are usually provided with delayed
fuses, allowing them to penetrate the target before explosion.

The fragmentation bombs produced by the Ordnance Bureau were smaller
than the demolition type, the size most commonly used weighing 24
pounds. These bombs had thick cases and were constructed so that they
would explode a few inches above the ground. As the bombs reach a
velocity downward of over 500 feet per second, the mechanism had to
operate to an accuracy of less than one-thousandth of a second. They
were designed for use against bodies of troops.

The fragmentation bombs were a late development in this class of
work. The timing device to explode the bomb at the proper distance
from the ground was undertaken by three concerns. The contracts for
approximately 600,000 of these devices were let in July, 1918. The
John Thomson Press Co. of New York City completed its contract for
100,000 mechanisms by the end of October, 1918. The National Tool &
Manufacturing Co. of St. Louis completed its contract for 100,000
shortly after the armistice was signed. The Yale & Towne Manufacturing
Co., Stamford, Conn., which had contracted to build approximately
400,000 of these devices, had turned out 150,000 by the end of
November, 1918. Other concerns which manufactured various parts for
the fragmentation bombs were the American Seating Co. of Grand Rapids,
Mich., makers of school desks and seats, and the Dail Steel Products
Co. of Lansing, Mich.

Some idea of the quantity of fragmentation bombs in our program may
be gained from the fact that the contract for the Cordeau-Bickford
fuse used in the fragmentation bomb, let to the Ensign-Bickford Co. of
Simsbury, Conn., called for the manufacture of 550,000 linear feet of
fuse, or more than 100 miles of it. The contracts for fuse were placed
in August and September, 1918, and the Ensign-Bickford Co. finished up
the job on November 7, four days before the armistice was signed.

The Government discovered that 3-inch shell rejected for various
reasons could be re-machined and used to make these airplane
fragmentation bombs. The various arsenals had a large supply of them
in storage. In August and September, 1918, contracts were let to
large numbers of concerns to convert over 500,000 of these shell into
fragmentation bombs, and by November 30, nearly 21,000 of the new bombs
had been delivered.

These bombs, made from the 3-inch shell, as far as the machining of
the bodies is concerned were turned out in various quantities by the
following firms:

  Vermont Farm Machinery Co., Bellows Falls, Vt.
  Richmond Forgings Corporation, Richmond, Va.
  Bethlehem Steel Co., Bethlehem, Pa.
  Consolidated Car Heating Co., Albany, N. Y.
  S. A. Woods Machine Co., South Boston, Mass.
  Westfield Manufacturing Co., Westfield, Mass.
  Wheeling Mold & Foundry Co., Wheeling, W. Va.
  A. P. Smith Manufacturing Co., East Orange, N. J.
  Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, N. Y.
  Keystone Machine Co., York, Pa.
  McKiernan Terry Drill Co., Dover, N. J.

The nose-firing mechanism for these bombs was produced by the Yale
& Towne Manufacturing Co., Stamford, Conn.; the National Tool &
Manufacturing Co., St. Louis, Mo.; and the John Thomson Press Co., New
York City; while the rear cap stabilizer assemblies were produced by
the Dail Steel Products Co., Lansing, Mich., and the American Seating
Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.

The last item on the bomb program to come into production was the
fragmentation bomb Mark II-B, which was an exact copy of the British
Cooper bomb, the most effective bomb of this type in use by the allied
nations. Contracts for this bomb were not let until August 17, 1918,
to the Lycoming Foundry & Machine Co., of Williamsport, Pa., and the
Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co., of Detroit, Mich. The former company by
December 1 was producing these bombs at the rate of 500 per day and
the latter was just coming into quantity production the first week in


    Upper--Front view, showing operating tube connected to
    alternating cam in fuselage. Two Mark III demolition drop bombs
    (150 pounds) held by supporting straps; one bomb released,
    showing free supporting strap. Lower--Rear view, showing method
    of retaining stabilizer by tail clip with three Mark III
    demolition drop bombs.]


    Shows Mark X release trap (Cooper) mounted upon T-rails under
    wing of DH-4 plane. Bowden control wire and casing connected
    to fuselage. Two Mark II-B fragmentation bombs suspended--one
    arming vane retained, the other free.]

When the United States entered the war no satisfactory incendiary bombs
had yet been produced by any country, and consequently a long period
had to be given over to experimentation before quantity production
could be attained. We produced two types of incendiary bombs, the first
being of the scatter type, designed for use against light structures,
grain fields, and the like, and the second of the intensive type, for
use against large structures. Later on in our program we abandoned the
manufacture of the scatter type incendiary bombs on cable instructions
from abroad, as it was found that the wet climate made a bomb of
this type of little value. The American intensive bomb, while it had
not yet come up to our ideal and was in process of evolution during
its manufacture, nevertheless was regarded by our officers as more
effective than any other bomb of its type in existence, since it
produced a larger and hotter flame.

Our intensive incendiary bombs weighed about 40 pounds each and
contained charges of oil emulsion, thermit, and metallic sodium, a
combination of chemicals that burns with intense heat. These bombs were
used against ammunition depots or any structures of an inflammable
nature. The sodium in the charge was designed to have a discouraging
effect upon anyone who attempted to put out the fire of the burning
charge, since metallic sodium explodes with great violence if water is
poured upon it.

Of the scatter bombs we built 45,000 before abandoning the manufacture,
an action taken in September, 1918. When hostilities ceased we had out
contracts for 122,886 of the intensive bombs and about 86,000 of them
had been delivered ready for loading.

One of the large manufacturers of incendiary bombs was the
Conron-McNeal Co., of Kokomo, Ind., manufacturers of skates. The
company had to equip its plant with new machinery especially for
handling this novel manufacturing enterprise. In all, they produced
50,000 bombs and were turning them out at the rate of 400 per day
when the armistice was signed. This concern was the pioneer in the
manufacture, the subsequent contractors profiting by the experience of
the Conron-McNeal Co., and consequently being able to obtain quantity
production more quickly than the Kokomo plant had been able to reach
it. The Globe Machine & Stamping Co., of Cleveland, Ohio, built 30,000
bombs and 36,400 firing mechanisms before hostilities closed, and
eventually reached a production rate of 500 bombs and 1,000 firing
mechanisms per day. Parrish & Bingham, also of Cleveland, produced
13,000, and were turning them out at the rate of 400 daily when the
production was stopped. The C. R. Wilson Body Co., of Detroit, built
42,562 of the intensive bombs and reached a daily production of 500.
The New Home Sewing Machine Co., of Orange, Mass., manufactured 20,000
firing mechanisms for the scatter-type bombs.

One of the interesting phases of the bomb manufacturing program grew
out of the necessity for target practice for our aviators. For this
work we built dummy bombs of terra cotta, costing about a dollar
apiece. Instead of loading these bombs with explosive, we placed in
each a small charge of phosphorus and a loaded paper shotgun shell, so
that the bomb would eject a puff of smoke when it hit its object. The
aviators could see the smoke puffs and thereby determine the accuracy
of their aim.

The Gathmann Ammunition Co. of Texas, Md., was the first contractor
for dummy bombs, building 10,000, which were delivered in the spring
of 1918. In the spring and summer of 1918, the Atlantic Terra Cotta
Co., the New Jersey Terra Cotta Co., both of Perth Amboy, N. J., and
the Federal Terra Cotta Co. of Woodbridge, N. J., each built 25,000 of
these bombs. In September additional contracts for 50,000 dummy bombs
were given to each of these three concerns, while another contract for
25,000 went to the Northwestern Terra Cotta Co. of Chicago. By the end
of November these concerns had delivered nearly 34,000 of the 175,000
bombs contracted for, and were turning them out at the rate of 1,300
per day.

The Essex Specialty Co. manufactured 10,000 phosphorus rolls for dummy
bombs, and the Remington Arms-U. M. C. Co. supplied 10,000 shotgun
shells for the first bombs produced. Later the Remington Arms Co.
produced 100,000 shotgun shells for dummy bombs.


In four days of the final drive of the Yankee troops in the Argonne
district the American photographic sections of the Air Service made
and delivered 100,000 prints from negatives freshly taken from the air
above the battle lines. This circumstance is indicative of the progress
made by military intelligence from the days when a commander secured
information of the enemy's positions only by sending out patrols,
or from spies. The coming of the airplane destroyed practically all
possibility for the concealment by day of moving bodies of men or of
military works. Mere observation by the unaided eye of the airmen,
however, soon proved inadequate to utilize properly the vantage point
of the plane. The insufficient and often crude and inaccurate drawings
brought in by the airplane observer were early succeeded by the almost
daily photographing of the entire enemy terrain by cameras, which
recorded each minute feature far more accurately than the human eye
could possibly do. The airplane, to quote the common saying, had become
the eye of the Army, but the camera was the eye of the airplane.

This development in military information-getting from start to finish
was entirely the product and an evolution of the great war. When
the war broke out in 1914 there were no precedents for the military
photographer to go by, nor had any specialized apparatus ever been
designed by either side for this purpose. As a result the first crude
makeshifts were rapidly succeeded by more and more highly developed

At the outset of the war, before antiaircraft guns were brought
to efficiency, it was possible for the observation planes of the
British, the French, and the Germans to fly at low altitudes and take
satisfactory pictures with such photographic appliances as were then
in common use. But as the "Archies" forced the planes to go higher in
the air, special equipment had to be designed for longer distance work
under the adverse conditions of vibration and speed, such as exist on
airplanes. It is a tribute to the photographic technicians of the world
that they were able to produce at all times equipment to meet these
increasing demands.

[Illustration: TYPE DR-4, DE RAM CAMERA.]


[Illustration: TYPE L, 4 x 5 PLATE CAMERA.]


It includes a dark room, printing lantern, and light-generating plant.]

As the airplanes moved into higher altitudes, longer focus lenses
had to be employed, special dry plates developed, and special color
filters provided to overcome the haze created by humidity in the long
spaces between the cameras and the ground. When the war ended, cameras
were in common use taking photographs at an altitude of 4 miles with
such microscopic fidelity as to show even where a single soldier had
recently walked across a field.

The American Army came into the war almost innocent of any information
at all on the subject of war photography. Such technical information as
the allied nations had developed during the war had been most carefully
guarded from us and all other neutral countries, with the result that
what information we had was of a meager and conflicting sort.

Although in the early months of our participation in the war the
Signal Corps, which then had charge of all phases of aerial warfare,
made large purchases of motion-picture cameras, hand cameras, and
view cameras, it was not until the end of 1917 that our officers were
able to begin their real development of aerial photography. By this
time we had received much valuable information from the foreign high
commissions and samples of their earlier apparatus. Aerial photography
had become one of the leading activities of the air service. Thus
in April, 1917, the British service made 280,000 pictures at the
front, and a great part of all flying was done to secure photographs.
Moreover, the art was advancing at such a pace that practices in
approved use one week at the front appeared likely to become obsolete
the next, as new methods and new equipment superseded the old.

For years America had been second to none as a photographic country,
and it was to be expected that this country would make notable
contributions to the new science. It may indeed be wondered why, with
the experimental laboratories and the skilled technicians at our
command, we did not start at once to develop our own aerial designs
and equipment. Our officers, however, felt that such a course would
be likely to duplicate much of the work already done by the allied
countries, who stood ready then to furnish to us the results of their
experiences. While original research work might result in the invention
here of certain equipment of superlative merit, yet we would be sure,
in the course of such an undertaking, to adopt methods which had been
tried and discarded by the allies and which we ourselves would have to
discard when experience had proven them to be without value.

The information in our hands in December, 1917, showed that the
British system of air photography differed radically from that of the
French. The French cameras made a relatively large negative, 18 by 24
centimeters in dimension, on a glass plate. The magazines of the French
cameras held 12 plates, and extra magazines were carried in the plane.
These cameras were fitted with lenses of relatively long focus--20
inches. Three operations were necessary to make an exposure. The
photographer must change the plate, set the focal plane shutter, and
press the release. When the negatives were developed, fixed, washed,
and dried, prints were made by contact.

The British used a smaller-sized plate, 4 by 5 inches in size. Their
cameras were equipped with the only lenses available in England in
the early part of the war--lenses of relatively short focus, ranging
from 8 to 12 inches in this respect. Instead of making contact prints
from these plates, the British made enlargements, measuring 6½ by 8½
inches. In the earlier period of our development of aerial photographic
apparatus, we were in the same position as the British as regards
lenses. We had no adequate supply of long-focus lenses. Consequently we
followed the British designs of cameras and adopted the British system
almost explicitly in the training of aerial photographers.

It had been our first thought to use films to a great extent on
the front, since America was the country which had perfected the
photographic film, and was therefore, presumably, best equipped in
skill to adapt it to war uses. But plates had been used practically
exclusively by the British, the French, and the Italians; and it
appeared wisest to follow their experience at first, though all agreed
that film, with its small bulk and weight, would be greatly superior
for airplane use.

The Photographic Experimental Department of the Air Service, which was
organized in January, 1918, had as its major problems the design and
test of aerial cameras and all their parts and accessories. Equally
important with this problem was that of sensitive plates, papers,
color filters, and photographic chemicals. The corps of photographic
and optical experts, into whose hands these matters were placed,
early secured the active cooperation of the chief manufacturers
of photographic apparatus and materials in this country. In the
laboratories in Washington, D. C, Langley Field, Va., and Rochester, N.
Y., comprehensive development work was inaugurated, leading ultimately
to perfection of new designs of cameras and the development of plates
and other photographic materials equal or superior to any available

The first airplane camera which it was decided to put into production
in America was a close copy of the British type "L," which use had
proven to be one of the best mechanisms employed at the front. The
operation of this camera was semiautomatic, the operator having nothing
to do except to press the shutter-release to keep the camera at work.
The operating power was derived from a small windmill or air propeller
driven by the rush of air past the plane. The automatic mechanism
changed the plate and set the shutter after each exposure. Because of
the situation with respect to lenses these cameras were constructed
to use lenses of 8-inch to 12-inch focus, and the English 4 by 5
plate. Some 750 of these cameras were constructed. They played an
indispensable part in the training of nearly 3,000 aerial photographers
in this country. They were also used by our bombing squadrons at the

At the same time it was generally agreed that we should plan to follow
the French practice as soon as lenses of greater focal length could be
manufactured in this country. Increase in focal length was becoming
imperative, because aerial photographers were being compelled to
make exposures from much greater heights than in the earlier part of
the war. For the sake of those unacquainted with photography it may
be stated here that lenses of short focal lengths will not record
the details of objects a great distance away from the camera, the
longer-focus, rarer, and more expensive lenses being required for
distance work.

As a basis for the design of cameras of longer focus a sample of the
20-inch focus camera used by the French had been sent to this country
by the American Expeditionary Forces. The first camera authorized of
this focal length was similar in general character to this French
camera. It was constructed on the unit system, each part--shutter,
camera body, lens cone, and magazine--being of standardized dimensions.
It was understood that these standard dimensions were to be followed in
all subsequent cameras both in this country and in the countries of the

The idea constantly put before all designers of aerial cameras has been
that of the automatic type, in the use of which the observer or pilot
will have a minimum of work. Late in 1917 the Photographic Section of
the Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces, secured the rights
for the manufacture of an ingenious design of automatic plate camera
invented by Lieut. DeRam, of the French Army, and requested that this
be put in production. In this camera the magazine, which carries 50
plates, 18 by 24 centimeters in size, rotates between each exposure,
while the exposed plate is removed from the front of the pile and
carried to the back. After some study here of the incomplete model,
this camera was redesigned in such form as to fit it for methods of
American manufacture. It was made semiautomatic in operation; that is,
the work of the observer or pilot consisted merely in releasing the
shutter at will, a fresh plate always being in place. At the time of
the armistice 200 of these cameras were rapidly approaching completion.

Meanwhile experiments were actively pushed in the matter of the
utilization of film. Various difficulties and problems had to be solved
before film could be considered practical. Considerable time was
consumed in overcoming the peculiar static electrical discharges which
occur on film in cold, dry regions, such as in high mountains or the
upper atmosphere, and fog the sensitive surface by their light. The
film camera finally decided upon was based on a fundamental design by
the Folmer & Schwing organization of the Eastman Kodak Co.

This camera, known as the "K" type, carries a film on which 100
exposures, 18 by 24 centimeters in dimension, can be made at one
loading. The film is held flat by an ingenious device. The film strip
passes over a flat perforated sheet behind which a partial vacuum is
set up by a suction, or "Venturi," tube extending outside the body
of the airplane. The camera is entirely automatic, and is driven
either by a wind turbine of adjustable aperture or, in war planes, by
electric current from the heating and lighting circuit. The observer
in the airplane needs only to start the camera and regulate its speed
according to the speed with which the airplane is passing over the
ground below, and the camera thereafter will, of itself, take pictures
at such intervals as to map completely the terrain under observation.

In conjunction with the use of film in cameras came the question of
handling the film in the dark-room; that is, the ordinary manipulations
of developing, fixing, washing, and drying--a serious problem when the
large dimensions of the film, its length, and difficult characteristics
in handling are taken into consideration. This problem was attacked and
a film developing, handling, and drying machine was produced.

Some 200 of these automatic film cameras were on order at the close
of the war. Altogether over 1,100 airplane cameras of all types had
been and were about to be delivered when the armistice came. These
were built by the Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester; the Burke & James Co.,
Chicago; the G. E. M. Engineering Co., of Philadelphia; and Arthur
Brock, jr., of Philadelphia.

One of the most serious problems in aerial photography is the proper
mounting of the camera in the plane. Not only does the plane travel
at great speed, which makes necessary exceedingly short exposures and
therefore highly sensitive photographic materials, but the motor causes
a continuous vibration which, communicated to the camera itself, would
be fatal to obtaining sharp pictures.

The experimenters of the Air Service carried out a long, extensive,
and most interesting investigation at Langley Field to make clear the
whole question of preventing the vibration of the airplane camera. The
scientists worked out a method of making the camera itself record the
vibrations communicated to it by the plane when the box was not held by
a proper vibration-neutralizing suspension.

The plan adopted was to send up a camera thus mounted on an airplane,
focus it on a light on the ground below, open the shutter, and take a
time exposure from the swiftly-flying plane. The result, of course, was
a streak, or trail, written on the plate by the point of light below,
the jagged or wavy character of this trail indicating the vibrations of
the camera and determining the proper principles of a suitable mounting.

The first thought was to do this work at night, as the British had
done, when the light below would pierce the darkness distinctly. But
night flying is hazardous, and a better plan was called for. Nor would
the proposal to use an extremely strong light in broad daylight do,
because, while the light would indeed be photographed continuously
across the plate, so also would the surrounding ground, and the general
result would be a fogging or blurring of the outlines of the streak.

Finally the problem was solved by conducting the aerial experimental
work over woodland in the late afternoon. A strong, reddish light was
placed in the woods so as to be visible from above. The surrounding
green foliage supplied a frame of sufficient contrast to the light to
make its impression distinct on the plate. To emphasize the contrast,
the camera lens was covered with a reddish colored ray filter, and this
brought out sharply the outline of the streak.

These tests resulted in the design and production of new and unique
camera mountings which successfully stopped all vibrations of the

A problem on which it was necessary to have the closest cooperation
of the plane designers was that of installing the large 20-inch focus
cameras in the airplane. There is little room at best in a plane,
and the demands for armament, wireless, and bombing space all had to
receive attention. In the American service a distinct advance was made
in the design of a special plane intended primarily for photographic
reconnaissance. Several of these planes, which were the most completely
equipped for photographic purposes of any designed during the war, were
built and would have been put into quantity production in the late fall
of 1918.

Parallel with this development of apparatus went studies of the
sensitive materials and methods of photography from the air. Because of
the swift motion of the plane extremely short exposures are imperative.
Consequently, the most advanced technique of instantaneous photography
had to be applied. The cooperation of various plate manufacturers was
obtained, who brought out especially for the Government several new
plates which showed on test to be superior to any which had appeared
in the war on either side.

As an airplane rises higher and higher in the sky, the moisture
of the intervening atmosphere between the machine and the ground
creates a haze which makes aerial photography above a certain height
unsatisfactory and even impossible with the naked lenses as used on
the ground. The problem of finding the best means for piercing aerial
haze occupied the attention of a corps of experts working both in the
laboratory and in the field. The solution lay in the use of special
color filters of general yellow hue which obscured the bluish light
characteristic of haze. Filters of new materials specially adapted to
airplane use were made available as a result of this study.

Field equipment of quite new and special design for performing
photographic operations had to be designed and built. Among the most
interesting of these developments was the photographic truck or mobile
photographic laboratory. This consisted of a specially designed truck
and trailer containing all the equipment necessary for the rapid
production of prints in the field. The truck body was equipped with a
dynamo for furnishing the electrical current required for lights and
drying fans, while each unit was provided with an acetylene generator
for emergency use, if the electrical apparatus should break down. The
mobile dark room carried on the trailer of each unit was equipped with
tanks, enlarging camera, printing boxes, and other necessary apparatus.
In all, some 75 of these field laboratories were constructed.

While the development of apparatus and new materials was from a popular
standpoint in many ways the most interesting phase of the work of the
photographic scientists, nevertheless it should be remembered that the
great problem in this, as in all other fields of American endeavor, was
to produce the supplies in tremendous quantities. In October, 1918,
we shipped overseas 1,500,000 sheets of photographic printing paper,
300,000 dry plates and 20,000 rolls of film. We also sent 20 tons of
photographic chemicals. These were merely the principal items in the
consignment. Besides paper, plates and chemicals, the field force
required developing tents, trays, printing machines, stereoscopes, and
travelling dark rooms, to name only some of the principal items. Much
of the material already on the market was not suitable for the purpose,
a fact requiring the production of specially manufactured supplies.


It is interesting to consider that without fireworks, and particularly
some of the familiar forms of them used to celebrate the Fourth of
July, war flying would have lost much of its efficiency. Night flying
would have been well-nigh impossible, while day flying would have had
to invent substitutes for fireworks had the latter not been available.



[Illustration: AIRPLANE FLARE.]


The squadron fields near the front were kept as dark as possible at
night for obvious reasons. The first inkling that a squadron commander
might have of the approach of one of his aviators at night would be
the sudden appearance high in the air of a green or red or white
Roman-candle ball. This would be the signal inquiring if the landing
field were clear. A pyrotechnic star of a predetermined color, shot
from the ground, would answer the homing birdman; and, if the signal
were in the affirmative, he would descend through the sheer blackness,
unable to see clearly, yet confident that he would make his landing

As the plane neared the ground suddenly under one of the wings a flare
of dazzling power would commence to burn, for a few seconds flooding
the field with light. In that brief space of time the plane would have
made its landing, and soon field and quarters would again be obscured
under the protecting blanket of darkness.

Every service airplane at the front was equipped with one or more
signaling pistols. In appearance these weapons were more murderous than
the "gat" carried by a desperado of the movies, but, like the prize
bulldog with the undershot jaw, they were more deadly in looks than
in deeds. Their formidable-appearing cartridges were larger than the
shells used in shotguns, resembling the latter almost identically in
appearance; but every one of these shells contained only a Roman-candle
ball and a sufficient charge of powder to eject the star a good
distance into the air. The sound of the discharge was a mere whisper
of the shattering roar that might be expected from such a redoubtable
piece of ordnance. These aviation pistols were similar to the Very
signal pistols used in the trenches.

The stars shot were three colors, red, green and white, and the color
of a cartridge's star was painted on the end of the shell. This base
was also ridged with a different pattern for each color, so that the
aviator at night could feel with his fingers and tell the color of the
cartridge without seeing it.

Codes of numerous messages were worked out in different combinations
of these three colors. The stars were quite visible in broad daylight,
too, and were used for many signaling purposes. They indicated the
position of enemy troops or the presence of hostile aircraft, they
called for help from other airplanes, and they signaled squadron orders
when the machines were flying in formation.

But the signal pistol had a more sinister use. If the pilot were driven
down in enemy territory, it became his duty to destroy his machine. In
some cases the signal pistol was used effectively to set airplanes on
fire under such conditions. The pilot had only to open his gasoline
tank and fire a Roman candle ball into the escaping fluid. In other
cases when the aviator landed amid enemy troops he was able to hold
them at bay with his signal pistol until his plane was burned beyond
the possibility of salvage.

While we manufactured Very pistols in this country, all of those
actually used by our fliers in France were purchased abroad.

Night-flying is one of the most hazardous duties of the aviator, the
chief danger being in landing. The fields well back of the front were
usually brightly illuminated by flood lights at night, but those nearer
the enemy were left in darkness, as a rule, to protect them from the
attacks of hostile aircraft. The aviator at night can usually see the
ground faintly, but he is unable to make an accurate judgment of the
distance of his machine above the ground. This danger was greatly
alleviated when the wing-tip flares were invented. The wing-tip flare
consisted of a small cylinder of magnesium material in a metallic
holder, one flare being fitted under each lower wing of the plane. Each
flare was controlled by a push button in the pilot's cockpit. Pressure
on the button sent an electric spark into the magnesium and touched it

When the descending pilot at night judged that he was near the ground
he pushed one of the buttons. Immediately the flare ignited and burned
for about 50 seconds with the brilliant light of 20,000 candle power.
Being hidden by the wing, this light did not dazzle the eyes of the
aviator, but the reflection from the under surface of the wing lighted
up the field for an adequate distance in all directions.

Another important use of pyrotechnics occurred in those enterprises
known as night-bombing raids. Since both sides kept their vulnerable
ammunition dumps and their important buildings completely unlighted
at night, even though the night raider knew he was in the general
vicinity of his objective, hits from bombs dropped from aloft were
almost accidental. To enable the night bomber to see his target
the interesting piece of pyrotechnics known as the airplane flare
was invented. This was a great charge of magnesium light held in a
cylindrical sheet-iron case nearly four feet long and half a foot in
diameter, the exact dimensions being 46 inches by 5 inches. The flare
weighed 32 pounds. Within the cylinder was not only the magnesium stick
but also a silk parachute 20 feet in diameter. The entire cartridge
was attached to the airplane by a release mechanism similar to those
holding the drop-bombs.

When over his objective at night the pilot or observer touched a button
and the entire cartridge, iron case and all, dropped from the plane. A
pin wheel on the lower end of the case was instantly spun by the rush
of air, and the resulting power not only ignited the magnesium but at
the same time detonated a charge of black powder sufficient in force
to eject from the case the flare and its tightly rolled parachute. The
parachute immediately opened; and the burning flare descended slowly,
flooding a large area of the ground below with a light of 320,000
candlepower, this light burning for about 10 minutes.

Such a light not only enabled the bomber to drop his destructive
missiles accurately, but it was found by experience that it dazzled the
eyes of antiaircraft gunners below and made their aim inaccurate. The
light of this flare was so strong that it was possible for the airplane
above to obtain photographs of good detail on the darkest of nights.

We were just starting to produce these flares when the war ended. In
fact the actual production of pyrotechnic supplies in this country was
small, the American Expeditionary Forces depending almost exclusively
for these supplies upon French and British sources.


When the commander of an airplane squadron sends an aviator into the
high altitudes, he sends him into climate that much of the year is
colder and more severe than any known on earth, even at the North Pole.
Not only is the temperature of the air likely to be many degrees below
zero at the heights which war planes attained, but the flier must face
this bitter cold in the gale of wind that is never blowing less than
100 miles per hour.

Consequently when we trained a corps of aviators to fly at altitudes of
18,000 to 20,000 feet above the western front, it was necessary for us
to design and manufacture for them the warmest clothing ever made. They
were dressed more warmly than any Polar exploration party that ever set
forth, more warmly in fact than any other class of men in the world.
For we not only gave them the protection of all the fine wool, leather,
and fur that they could wear without hindering their movements, but in
addition we literally wrapped them in flexible electric heaters.

The first purchases of aviators' flying clothes were made by the
coordinated action of the Council of National Defense and the
Quartermaster's Department. It was soon apparent that the design of
such clothing was a special matter which the aviation authorities
themselves should control, and purchases thereafter were all made by
the Bureau of Aircraft Production. There were no standard styles at the
time, so it became necessary for us to develop our own equipment. This
development resulted in an output for the flier that became standard.

In moderate weather the flier wore upon his head a woolen hood, or
helmet, extending well down over the forehead to the eyes, and around
the neck to the shoulders. In cold weather, or for high-flight work,
this headgear was augmented by a silk helmet of double thickness,
having between its layers an electrically heated pad connected by
copper wire to the electric generator on the plane's engine. Outside of
this was worn a soft leather helmet lined with fur, extending down over
the back of the head, covering the ears and cheeks, and fastening under
the chin. Then the face was entirely covered with a leather face mask
lined with wool and having an opening for the eyes, over which were
worn a pair of goggles. When the pilot was also required to operate
the radio system, in place of the fur-lined helmet he wore the radio
helmet. This was of leather and resembled the other in appearance, but
it contained the receiver of the wireless telephone, enabling the flier
to hear what was spoken to him in an ordinary tone of voice several
miles away.

In addition to this equipment the aviator who went up to the great
heights wore the oxygen mask. This was of rubber, and, besides
supplying oxygen, it contained a transmitter, allowing him to speak as
well as to hear by wireless.

Over the body was worn a one-piece flying suit extending from the feet
to the throat, belted and buttoned tight at the ankles and wrists. The
outer material of this suit was waterproof, and when it was buttoned on
there were no gaps through which the air might penetrate. This suit was
lined throughout with fur.

It was a considerable problem to find a fur of extreme warmth with a
pelt strong enough to withstand rough usage and still not be too great
in bulk, and purchasable at a price not too extravagant. After the
furs of many beasts had been examined and tested, it was determined
that the hide and fur of a Chinese Nuchwang dog met these requirements
better than any other. We were making so many of these suits that we
required all of the dogskins we could get, not only in this country,
but in China. Merely the final purchase of these pelts before the
armistice was signed was for nearly 500,000 of them, and that many dogs
in an interior Chinese province gave up their lives that the American
aviation warfare might succeed.

With its waterproof outer surface and its furry lining, it might
seem that such a garment would be warm enough for any work. But the
aircraft authorities of the United States were not content until they
had installed between the fur and the outer covering thin, flexible,
electric-heat units connected by silk-covered wire with the dynamo
on the engine. Similar heating pads were placed in the gloves and
moccasins of the fliers.

On their hands, besides the electrically heated gloves, the fliers wore
gauntlets of muskrat fur, these extending well up the arms and being
of special design which allowed the fingers of each glove to remain in
a fur-lined pocket or to be withdrawn from the pocket without removing
the gloves from the hand. Over the electrically heated moccasins were
worn leather moccasins extending well up the calf of the leg and lined
with heavy sheep wool. These were fastened with straps and buckles.
Thus clad, our aviators were acknowledged generally to be the most
warmly and efficiently equipped of any at the front.

Besides these special garments for warmth, the fliers required many
other items of clothing, such as sweaters, leather coats, fur-lined
coats, helmets, and many styles of goggles.

The total cost of air clothing, provided or in course of manufacture
on November 11, 1918, was over $5,000,000. Some of the major items in
round numbers were 50,000 fur-lined flying suits (at $36.25), 100,000
leather helmets, an equal number of leather coats, costing anywhere
from $10 to $30 each, and over 80,000 goggles at $3.50 apiece.


Even to-day the veteran of the air squadron scoffs at the newfangled
outfits of oxygen masks and tanks carried in an experimental way on
some of the high-flying planes at the western front when hostilities
ceased. Nevertheless, had the war continued a few months longer, it
is probably true that the oxygen apparatus would have been included
in the indispensable equipment of every airplane in the front areas.
Such a development, had it occurred, would have been due largely to the
efforts of the American Aircraft Service.

Many aviators who have gone into high altitudes, fought there, and
lived to tell about it, doubt the necessity of oxygen-supplying
apparatus, since they themselves returned safely without it.
Nevertheless the experiments conducted by the Bureau of Aircraft
Production demonstrated conclusively that the flyer artificially
supplied with oxygen in the high altitudes is much more efficient than
one who is without it. These experiments were conducted in a room
which duplicated the conditions at high altitudes. At 19,000 feet the
pressure of the atmosphere is one-half the atmospheric pressure at sea
level. The lack of pressure in itself causes no appreciable physical or
mental reaction; but the reduced pressure at 19,000 feet means that in
a given amount of air there is only one-half the oxygen that there is
in a similar amount at sea level. The lack of oxygen is serious.

Experienced aviators were placed in an air-tight chamber under the
observation of Government scientists. The air in this chamber was then
exhausted until it corresponded to the atmosphere at the 19,000 feet
level. The subjects were then set at small mechanical tests, such as
the pushing of certain buttons when different colored lights were
turned on, these tasks requiring a degree of mental concentration. In
this and similar tests it was discovered that not only do the subjects
lose accuracy in the attenuated air, but their movements become
conspicuously slower. In the parlance of the pilot they become "dopey."
More than one returning aviator has confessed to this feeling when at a
high altitude.

When the British analyzed their air casualties during the first year
of the war they found that 2 of each 100 fliers in the casualty list
were killed or hurt by the enemy, 8 of them owed their misfortune to
defects in the planes, while the other 90 came to the hospital or the
grave because of themselves, their carelessness or recklessness, their
physical failings, and all other things which may be summed up in the
human equation. A thorough study on the part of the British disclosed
the fact that practically all of the flying personnel was suffering
from what became known as oxygen fatigue, caused by flying so many
hours each day in altitudes where there was not enough oxygen to feed
the body properly.

Before the war broke out the aviation record was 26,246 feet above sea
level. In January, 1919, this record had been lifted nearly a mile, the
high point being an altitude of 30,500 feet. Early in the war pilots
at the 7,000 feet level could laugh at antiaircraft fire, and few
machines ever went above 10,000 feet. Thus with the first equipment the
"ceiling"--that is, the average high level to which every day flying
goes--was about 12,000 feet.

When the war closed, a pilot was not safe under the 15,000 feet level,
due to the development of antiaircraft guns, and the safest machine
had become that which could fly highest. The aviators were demanding a
working ceiling of 18,000 feet, and were obtaining it, too, from the
latest type of planes. It was evident that the reduced oxygen at this
ceiling was responsible for casualties among the fliers, and we could
expect the ceiling to be pushed even higher as antiaircraft guns became
more powerful. The need of oxygen equipment was plainly indicated.
Even at 18,000 feet the aviator relying upon the normal oxygen supply
at that altitude, while he may feel perfectly fit, is actually slow to
judge distances, to aim his guns, to fire them, and to maneuver his

The first oxygen apparatus was designed for the British Air Service
and was made at the plant of de Lestang in Paris. The demand for the
apparatus was so great that an automobile was constantly kept waiting
at the factory that as soon as each set was finished it could be rushed
straight to the front. The first British squadron which used oxygen
equipment reported that its men gave six times the service of any other
British squadron.

Our Air Service adopted the Dreyer oxygen apparatus, which was the
original device produced by the British. We found it to be a hand-made
appliance, but under our direction we adapted it to American methods of
manufacture. The British apparatus was built to supply oxygen to one
man only. We changed it to take care of two men. The model received
was too heavy; we reduced the weight. Finally we added improvements to
make it more efficient and reliable and redesigned it to meet American
factory methods.




Such an equipment has to be entirely automatic in its operation and as
reliable as human ingenuity can make it. The Dreyer device embodies
several instruments all of which must work perfectly under widely
varying conditions. In use its tanks will contain oxygen under pressure
ranging from 100 pounds to 2,250 pounds per square inch, yet the
mechanism must deliver the oxygen to the aviator at a constant rate
regardless of its tank pressure. Then the whole apparatus is subjected
to temperatures that may be as high as 80° above zero or as low as
30° below. It must function evenly in the atmospheric pressure at any
altitude up to 30,000 feet, delivering more oxygen as the atmosphere
thins. Such was the problem of manufacture. Yet, taking up the work
in January, 1918, we turned out six complete equipments by May 3,
1918, sending them overseas by special messenger for actual test on
the front. Twenty-eight days later we shipped 200 sets. By the end of
the war we had built 5,000 complete oxygen equipments. Of this number
3,600 had been sent to ports of embarkation awaiting shipment, and over
2,300 of these had been shipped overseas. In October we had reached a
production rate of 1,000 sets per month.

Some of the difficulties of this production may be read in the
description of the complicated character of the apparatus. The
equipment consists of a small tank or tanks, the pressure apparatus,
the tube leading from the reservoir, and finally the face mask
covering the mouth and nose. The mask has combined with it either the
interphone, a mechanism which cuts off the roar of the engine from
the ears of the passengers and allows the pilot and observer to talk
freely with each other, or in certain cases the receiver of the radio
telephone or telegraph.

The flow-regulating apparatus consists of five parts. In front of the
pilot is a high-pressure gauge to indicate the supply of oxygen in the
tank. In the tank there is a high-pressure valve with an upper chamber
which compensates for the temperature. There is also a shut-off valve,
hand operated, which can be set to provide a flow of oxygen to one
man, to two men, or to none at all. Then there is a regulating valve
operated by an aneroid barometer which adjusts the oxygen flow to the
altitude, the flow increasing as the machine goes higher. Finally in
the pilot's view there is a flow indicator consisting of a small fan
wheel which tells the aviator that the oxygen is actually flowing.

The mask presented a difficult problem, as it must be big enough to
contain the radio receivers and still enable the aviator to see and
work. Yet the mask must keep its adjustment in a gale of wind at least
100 miles per hour in velocity.

The actual use of the equipment on the front was just starting when the
armistice was signed. We sent across to France a special division of
experts to take charge of the installation of these equipments on the
planes. At the close of hostilities we required all military planes
flying above an altitude of 10,000 feet to be equipped with oxygen
apparatus. This class included day bombing, pursuit, and chassé planes,
and a certain number of night bombing planes, and Army and corps
observation planes.


    Upper picture shows bomb sight on De Haviland 4. Lower
    picture shows high-altitude bomb sight. Set from readings of
    instruments showing altitude and air speed. It indicates to the
    bomber the precise instant for release of the bomb in order to
    reach the target.]




Electrical science was called upon to furnish marvels and prodigies
indeed during the recent war as aids to the American arms, but in no
respect did it respond in more successful and spectacular fashion than
it did when asked to produce a wireless telephone system that would
make possible the transmission of human speech to and from moving
airplanes. It is doubtful if any other branch of science enlisted for
war work produced any instrument or mechanism so far in advance of what
was known before the war as the airplane wireless phone was in its

To be sure, we had the radio telephone some time before America entered
the war or even before the war broke out in Europe in 1914. Ever since
the scientists began experimenting with wireless electricity it has
been axiomatic that, at least theoretically, whatever you can do with
wires you can do without wires. And so following the development of
the wireless telegraph came the production of the wireless telephone,
and the invention had been so perfected in 1915 and 1916 that in the
United States Navy's official test at the Arlington Station, across
the Potomac River from Washington, human speech sent out by the
transmitters there was heard simultaneously at the Eiffel Tower in
Paris and at the Government's own wireless station in Hawaii.

But there is a vast difference between using the wireless telephone in
the quiet of the radio rooms aboard ship or in the shore stations and
using it amid the roar of the powerful engine propelling an airplane.
The equipment, too, that had been used on the ground was altogether too
cumbersome to go into the fuselage of an airplane.

As early as August, 1910, American genius had successfully accomplished
wireless telegraph transmission from airplane to ground, and in October
of the same year the idea of aerial fleet command by telephone was
conceived and plans for its development discussed by Army officers on
duty at the International Aviation Tournament at Belmont Park, Long
Island. In 1911 a message was successfully transmitted from an Army
airplane over a distance of 2 miles. In 1912 the Signal Corps had
increased the distance to 50 miles. Two years later, in the Philippine
Islands, a message had been successfully received on an airplane in
flight over a distance of 6 miles.

In 1915 the Aviation Section entered upon a definite plan of
development of aircraft wireless at the Signal Corps Aviation School,
San Diego, Calif. This plan was based upon the Belmont Park idea
and discussions, with the voice-commanded tactical air fleet as the
ultimate goal. The airplane had changed from the pusher to the tractor
type, with the noise of the motor of the latter driven back by the
blast of the propeller into the face of the aviator. The airplane
wireless problem was thus quite completely changed. Under these new
conditions, however, the development was entered upon, and it has since
been continuous. In October a spring-driven dictaphone was taken into
the air and a record of speech made in the noise of the motor. This was
contemporaneous with the successful long-range experiments in radio
telephony at Arlington, referred to above. A study of this dictaphone
record convinced the aviation officers that the idea of the radio
telephone for airplanes was entirely practicable. Experiments during
the fall and winter with various means of driving the wireless power
plant resulted in a decision to develop the air fan as a source of
power rather than the gear or belt system.

This development continuing through 1916, transmission by telegraph
from airplane was accomplished up to 140 miles, means for receiving
in the noise of the motor were worked out, and a message successfully
telegraphed between airplanes in flight. The radio telephone was under
construction, and in February, 1917, the voice was first transmitted by
telephone from airplane to ground. Like Alexander Graham Bell's first
wire telephone, the apparatus was crude. But the door was unlocked and
ready to be opened upon the new field of development.

When on May 22, 1917, Gen. Squier, the Chief Signal Officer of the
Army, called upon the scientists to develop at once an airplane
telephone, he was not only introducing them into what was to many of
them a new field, but he was asking them to produce what the science
of Europe had been unable to create in nearly three full years of
acquaintance with the successful ground system, although the needs
of airplane fighting demanded this invention as they demanded almost
nothing else.

It will thus be seen that when we began this development as a war
measure we had a considerable basis of experience to work upon. The
Army had established the foundation of operation on the airplane,
made a study of the tactical requirements, and knew what it wanted.
The Western Electric Co. in 1914 and 1915 had conducted extensive
experiments with the radio wireless telephone at a ground station
at Montauk, Long Island, and had played an important part in the
long-range experiments at the Arlington station. There had been
wireless voice communication before this time, but the apparatus and
systems perfected at Montauk set the standard on which all subsequent
development was built. The French Scientific Mission and other officers
of the allies had arrived and enabled us to check up what had been done
abroad and to confirm or modify our ideas of the tactical requirements.

At the conference with Gen. Squier in May was Col. Rees of the Royal
Air Force of Great Britain; Col. C. C. Culver, United States Army, then
a captain; and F. B. Jewett and E. B. Craft, respectively the chief
engineer and the assistant chief engineer of the Western Electric Co.

At this meeting Gen. Squier outlined the future of the part the
airplane was to play in the war, and pointed out how invaluable would
be a successful means of communication between battle planes when
flying in squadron formation. Mr. Jewett had received his commission as
a major in the Signal Corps, and he was ordered to take charge of the
work of developing radio communication for aircraft.

Capt. Culver had taken part in the 1910 experiments and discussions,
and since 1915 had been conducting the Army development of airplane
wireless at the aviation school at San Diego, Calif. He was detailed to
work with Maj. Jewett and his engineers, bringing to their assistance
the result of his experience and the point of view of the trained
military man and the aviator.

The first development was carried on in the laboratories of the Western
Electric Co. on West Street, in New York. Men and materials were
drafted from every department of the company, and the laboratories
were soon seething with activity. In a few weeks the first makeshift
apparatus was assembled, and the first practical test of a radio
phone on an airplane was made at Langley Field at Hampton, Va., less
than six weeks after the Signal Corps had given the go-ahead. Three
employees of the Western Electric Co. on that day established telephone
communication between an airplane in flight and the ground. A few days
later the first apparatus produced successful communication between
planes in the air.

It is not possible here to go into a technical description of the
wireless telephone. The most vital part of the apparatus, however, and
the essential factor in airplane wireless telephone communication is a
vacuum tube containing an incandescent filament, a wire mesh or grid,
and a metal plate. By means of electrical current the wire filament is
heated to incandescence. The tube has the property of receiving the
energy of the direct current of a dynamo and, through the medium of the
wireless antennæ, of throwing it out into space as a high-frequency
alternating current. Such is the sending tube. A modification of the
same tube picks up from the antennæ the high-frequency alternating
vibrations from another sending apparatus and transforms them into
direct current, carrying the sound waves of the human voice along with

The design of the radio apparatus itself was relatively simple for
the experts who had undertaken the work, for the company had already
developed some highly successful forms of vacuum tubes, and it was
an easy matter for these technicians to assemble tubes with the
necessary coils, condensers, and other apparatus of the transmitting
and receiving elements and produce a system of such small compass that
it could be carried on an airplane. But working this apparatus under
ordinary conditions in the quiet laboratories and in a swift-moving and
tremendously noisy airplane were two different propositions.

One of the first problems was to design a comfortable head set which
would exclude all undesirable noises and admit only the telephone talk.
A form of helmet was finally devised with telephone receivers inserted
to fit the ears of the pilot or observer. Cushions and pads adjusted
the receiver to the ears, and the helmet fitted close to the face so as
to prevent as far as possible the transmission of undesirable sounds
either through the ear passages or through the bony structure of the
head, these bones acting as a sort of sounding board. The designers
finally developed a helmet that solved this portion of the problem.

Not only was it necessary to exclude the roar of the engine and the
rattle of the machine gun from the ears of the men receiving the radio
communication, but it was also necessary to filter out these sounds
from the telephone transmitter. Every person who has ever shouted into
a telephone knows how sensitive the ordinary telephone transmitter is
to extraneous noises. It requires no wide stretch of the imagination
to hear in fancy how an ordinary transmitter would behave when beside
the exhaust of a 400-horsepower Liberty engine. A brilliant line of
experimentation conducted by one of the scientists at the laboratory
resulted in a telephone transmitter or microphone which possessed the
extraordinary quality of being insensitive to engine and wind noises
and at the same time highly responsive to the tones of the human voice.

With the receiver and the transmitter perfected the scientists thought
that the problem of airplane telephoning was solved; but nevertheless
three months of hard work were required before the entire system
could be adjusted and put in such shape that it might be considered a
practical device for everyday use.

The question of weight was of utmost importance, and a structure that
would adequately house and protect the delicate parts of the mechanism
from the vibration and jars of flying and landing and at the same time
not be too heavy for practical use on the plane was a difficult problem
in mechanical design. Day after day the inventors took the mechanism up
in flying machines and brought it back night after night for more work
in the laboratory.


[Illustration: EXTERIOR VIEW OF SAME.]

This was a period, however, of rapid progress. Officials appearing
on Langley Field from time to time witnessed informal demonstrations
of this development. In August Mr. Baker, Secretary of War, and Gen.
Scott, Chief of Staff, listened to a conversation being carried on
in the air, and some six weeks later Brig. Gen. Foulois witnessed
a similar demonstration and from the ground directed the movements
of the airplane in flight. The experimental apparatus had reached
such a state of efficiency that on October 16, at Langley Field,
communication by voice was carried on between airplanes in flight 25
miles apart and from airplane to ground over a distance of 45 miles.
By September cables had been sent abroad telling of the progress made
in this country on the development of this apparatus. Our officers
abroad were skeptical and could not believe that this country could
outdistance the scientists of the allies who had had three years of
war experience to draw upon. By October the designers had brought the
system to a perfection where they were willing to risk its use in
actual war flying, and Col. Culver took to the American Expeditionary
Forces in France several trunk-loads of the apparatus to acquaint those
abroad with what had been done and to test the apparatus under service
conditions. Meanwhile the development work continued in this country.
Early in December the operation of the apparatus was exhibited in an
official test at the Morraine Flying Field at Dayton, Ohio.

A large number of military and civilian officials not only of our own
country but of the allies had been invited to witness this test. It
must be remembered that at this time even those who had heard about
the progress being made were skeptical of the possibilities of the
successful adaptation of the radio telephone to airplane work. The
designers of aircraft never look with favor upon additional equipment
which may clutter up the machine with trailing wires and the like and
possibly compel alterations in standard lines. The pilots, also, do not
usually give a friendly reception to new equipment for their planes.

The exhibitors at Dayton planned to have two planes in the air at once,
so that the officials might listen in on their conversation at a ground
station located on the top of a hill near the flying field. By hard
work the inventors got their equipment installed, and just at dark
on the evening before the day of the trial one machine equipped with
wireless went up into the air and held successful communication with
the ground.

The next morning when the official party arrived the members viewed
the apparatus in the planes while the inventors explained what it was
expected to do. The visitors were then conducted to the station on
the hill, where those who were putting on the show had rigged up a
megaphone attached to the wireless receiver so that everyone could hear
without putting on a head set.

The attitude of some of the officials, particularly those from the
foreign nations who had had experience in war flying, was skeptical,
if not bored. The planes left the ground, and when the machines had
gone up so high that they were but specks in the sky the receiver began
emitting the premonitory noises that indicated that the men in the
planes were getting ready to perform. Suddenly out of the horn of the
loud-speaking receiver came the words: "Hello, ground station! This is
plane No. 1 speaking. Do you get me all right?"

Looks of amazement came over the faces of all those who had never heard
the wireless phone in operation before. Soon came the signal from plane
No. 2, and then the demonstration was on. Under command from the ground
the planes were maneuvered over much of that part of the country. They
were sent on scouting expeditions and reported what they saw as they
traveled through the air. Continuous conversation was carried on, and
finally, upon command, the planes came back out of space and landed as

From that moment there was nothing but enthusiasm in all quarters for
the radiophone upon airplanes. It was no longer a question whether
the device would work or was any good, but a question of how soon the
company could start manufacture and in what quantities the device could
be produced.

The demonstrations Col. Culver had been conducting in France began,
too, to bear fruit. Both the British and the French had developed
experimental apparatus by this time and this was examined and tested.
Then cablegrams began to arrive from abroad requisitioning the American
apparatus in large quantities--convincing evidence that it had greater
promise than any other.

But still difficulties were ahead, for at this stage the wireless
telephone consisted of a few experimental parts built by hand. It
remained a heavy task to standardize the equipment and perfect the
multitude of designs and drawings that must be in existence before
quantity manufacture could begin. All sorts of mechanical details
slighted in the experimenting and taken care of by makeshift devices
had to be worked out as practical manufacturing undertakings. It was
another case of day-and-night work to put the mechanism into condition
for production. The factory of the Western Electric Co. is in Chicago
but its drafting rooms and laboratories are in New York. As soon as any
detail was finally worked out the drawings were taken by messengers
and rushed to Chicago where the work of producing the manufacturing
tools had begun. Only the fastest passenger trains between New York and
Chicago were patronized in this part of the development.

As every detail was perfected it had to be checked by actual test in
the field, so that the company's engineers were almost constantly in
the air. One of these experts made 302 flights himself; and a total of
690 flights, of a combined duration of 484 hours, was required in the
experimental stage of the mechanism.

Immediately after the official trial in December the Government ordered
thousands of sets of the radio telephone. In spite of the enormous
detail involved in making ready for production, the first systems were
turned out early in 1918, well ahead of the delivery of the airplanes
in which they were to be used.

All through this development the designers had to confine their
activities within limits set by the producers of the aircraft. This in
itself created some puzzling problems. For instance, a constant current
of electricity must be supplied to heat the filaments of the vacuum
tubes and to operate the transmitter. A simple way to provide this
current would seem to be to connect a dynamo with the driving shaft
of the airplane engine, but the airplane constructors would not allow
any such connection with the engine. Current could be supplied from
storage batteries, but the planes were already loaded down with all the
gear they could carry, and the use of heavy batteries was out of the
question. Therefore it was the task of the phone designers to supply
a dynamo plant that would not add appreciably to the weight of the
plane. This was done by installing on the outside of the plane a wind
propeller, which was driven by the rushing air and had power enough to
turn the dynamo.

The dynamo must deliver a constant and unvarying voltage to the radio
phone, if its operation is to be possible, yet a wind propeller on
the airplane would be driven by air rushing by at speeds varying from
90 or 100 to 160 miles per hour, the latter figure being the speed
of a diving plane. This meant that the wind propeller, and hence the
armature of the dynamo, would revolve at a speed varying from 4,000
to 14,000 revolutions per minute. It would seem to be impossible to
procure current at a constant rate from a dynamo varying so widely
in its speed of operation; yet one of the experts engaged in this
enterprise solved the problem, and the dynamo thereafter performed
always in a most steady going and dependable manner.

Incidentally as a sort of by-product of the undertaking the special
transmitter and helmet may be employed as a means of communication
between the pilot and observer in a two-seated machine. When the helmet
is used for this purpose, the wireless is not employed at all, but
the head sets are connected by wires so that notwithstanding the fact
that one can not hear himself talk because of the noise on the plane
the pilot and observer can converse over the telephone with ease. Then
at any time by throwing a switch they can connect themselves with the
radio apparatus and talk with the men in another plane 3 or 4 miles
away or to their squadron headquarters on the ground.

One good result of the airplane telephone was to speed up the training
of aviators in this country and to make that training safer. But the
primary object of the wireless phone was to make it possible for the
leader of an air squadron at the front to control the movements of his
men in the air. For this purpose extra-long range was not required, and
the distance over which the machines could talk was purposely limited
to 2 or 3 miles so that the enemy could not overhear the conversation
except when the planes were actually engaged in fighting each other.

The Navy made use of the wireless telephone sets in the seaplanes, and
here the range of the equipment was made greater. The Navy also adopted
a modified form of the set for the 110-foot submarine chasers. The
subchasers hunted the submarines in packs, and by means of the radio
telephone the commanders of the boats kept in constant touch with each
other, thereby greatly increasing the effectiveness of their operations.

Altogether there were produced for the Army airplanes about 3,000
combined transmitting and receiving sets of the radio telephone and
about 6,500 receiving sets alone.



When Stephen Montgolfier and his brother Joseph, in November, 1782,
sent a sheep, a rooster, and a duck into the sky, lifted by a paper bag
inflated with hot air, these Columbuses of ballooning could scarcely
foresee the importance that their invention was to have in the great
war 135 years later. To the humble observation balloon in France rather
than to his dashing hero of a cousin, the airplane, must go the chief
credit for that marvelous accuracy which long-range artillery attained
during the great struggle.

The balloon itself was spectacular enough once its true character was
known. The fact that the American production of observation balloons
during our 19 months as a belligerent was a complete and unqualified
success makes the story of ballooning in France of particular interest
to the American reader.

After the animals of the Montgolfier barnyard had made their ascent,
two friends of the brothers, M. Pilatre de Rozier and Girond de
Villette, essayed to be the first human beings to take an aerial
flight, ascending to a height of 300 feet and returning to earth sound
of limb and body. Thereafter and until the great war in Europe the
balloon remained the awe of the circus and country fair grounds and
the delight of the handful of sportsmen who took up the adventurous
pursuit; but, except for a limited use of captive balloons in our Civil
War and in the siege of Paris, in 1870 and 1871, the balloon had no
important military use.

The hot-air balloon never could have become of great value to armies.
In the first place, it would descend when the balloon cooled off. This
defect was overcome by the use of lighter-than-air gas. Moreover, the
free balloon was subject to the whims of the breezes. To overcome this
characteristic the balloon must be fastened by a cable or propelled by
a portable engine. It was obvious, however, to military experts that a
stationary observation post anchored thousands of feet in the air would
be ideal in war operations; yet for all of this obvious need, until
the great war military science had perfected nothing better than the
spherical balloon. The spherical, anchored to a cable, bobbed aloft in
the gales and zephyrs as a cork does on the ocean waves. Although there
had been some experimentation with kite balloons before 1914, it was
not until the great war had been in progress for some months that the
principles of streamline shape were applied to the captive balloon; and
the kite balloon, the well-known "sausage," made its appearance, to be
the target for enemy aerial operations and the chief dependence of its
own Artillery.

The term "kite balloon" effectively describes the captive observation
balloon as we knew it in the war. It rides the air on the end of its
cable much in the manner of an ordinary kite, and some of the early
"sausages" even flaunted steadying tails such as kites carry. These
principles applied to the captive balloon gave to its observation
basket a stability unknown by the pioneer aeronauts under their
spherical bags.

In the first stages of the war the Artillery relied principally upon
airplanes for firing directions. But, while the airplane observers
could locate the targets fairly well, they frequently lost touch with
their batteries because of the difficulty of sending and receiving
wireless or visual signals upon their swiftly moving craft. This
disadvantage brought the captive balloon into use, gradually at
first, but before the end of the war on a scale which had practically
displaced the airplane as a director of gun fire. The balloon came to
be the very eye of the Artillery, which, thanks to the development of
this apparatus, reciprocated with an efficiency beyond anything known
before in the history of warfare.

Sitting comfortably aloft, the observer in the kite balloon basket
had the whole panorama of his particular station spread before him.
His powerful glasses could note accurately everything transpiring in
a radius of 10 miles or more. He was constantly in touch with his
batteries by telephone and not only could give by coordinated maps the
exact location of the target and the effect of the bursting shell, but
could and often did supply most valuable information of enemy troop
movements, airplane attacks, and the like. He was a sentinel of the sky
with the keen, long-range vision of the hawk. He played a part less
spectacular than the scout airplane with its free and dazzling flights,
but his duties were not less important.

Nor did he suffer from ennui during his period aloft. When a kite
balloon went up it became the subject of alert attention by the enemy,
because it was up there on hostile and damaging business. Long-range
high-velocity guns turned their muzzles on it, and planes swooped down
upon it from dizzy heights, seeking to pass through the barrier of
shell from antiaircraft guns and get an incendiary bullet through the
fabric of the gas bag, an eventuality which meant the ignition of the
highly inflammable hydrogen gas, the quick destruction of the balloon
and perhaps of the luckless occupants of the basket as well, unless
they could get away in their parachutes.

Only quick work could save the men in the basket in such a case. From
the time the gas leaped into flame until the explosion and fall of the
balloon there was an interval of rarely over 15 or 20 seconds. The
pilot of the airplane could dodge and slip away from the guns, but
not so the pilot of the kite balloon anchored to a windlass from 2 to
5 miles behind his own lines. He had to take what was coming to him
without means of defense. He must carry on his scientific calculations
unconcernedly and in his spare moments experience the questionable
pleasure of watching on some distant hill the flash of an enemy gun
trained upon him and then of waiting the 20 or 30 seconds for the
whizzing messenger to reach him, the while he pondered on the accuracy
of the enemy gunner's aim.

While the artillery on both sides paid considerable attention to the
observation balloons, the fact was that few of them were brought down
by direct shell hits. The diving airplane with its incendiary bullets
was a far more deadly enemy to the balloon than the ground artillery.
Certain pilots in all the air services made a specialty of hunting
sausages, the nickname given to kite balloons because of their shape.
In the 17 days between September 26 and November 11, 1918, our Army
lost 21 balloons, of which 15 were destroyed by enemy planes and 6
by enemy shell. But it may be noted that our aviators and artillery
exacted a toll of 50 German balloons in the same period and on the
same front. Of 100 balloons lost at the front, an average of 65 were
destroyed by enemy attacks and 35 by natural wear and tear.

The German general staff so strongly appreciated the work of the allied
kite balloons that in its system of rating aviators it ranked a balloon
brought down as the equal of one and one-half planes.

The average life of a kite balloon on an active sector of the western
front was estimated to be about 15 days. Some of them lived only a few
minutes. One American balloon passed unscathed through the whole period
of American activity on a busy sector. While ordinarily five or six
months of nonwar service will deteriorate the balloon fabric, there are
many cases of useful service longer than this.

When the war broke out Germany is said to have had about 100 balloons
of the kite type. France and England had few of them. The German
balloon was known as the Drachen. Its gas cylinder of rubberized cotton
cloth was approximately 65 feet long and 27 feet in diameter, the ends
being rounded. To give it a kite-like stability in the air a lobe,
which was a tube of rubberized fabric, of a diameter approximately
one-third of the diameter of the main balloon, was attached to the
underbody of the gas bag as a sort of rudder, which curved up around
the end of the balloon. This lobe was not filled with gas, but the
forward end of it was open so that when the balloon rose the breeze
filled the lobe with air. The inflated rudder then held the Drachen
in line. The lobe automatically met the emergency. In calm, windless
weather the balloon needed no steadying and the lobe was limp. Let the
gale blow, and the lobe inflated and held the nose of the Drachen into
the wind. As a further stabilizer three tailcups, with mouths open
to the breeze, were attached 10 feet apart on a line descending from
the rear of the balloon. In a strong wind these helped to keep the
contrivance from swinging.

The tail-cup was made of rubberized fabric, circular in shape, about 4
feet in diameter, and about 2 feet deep when inflated by the breeze. It
looked like an inverted umbrella, and was attached to the tail end of
the balloon for exactly the same purpose and with the same effect as
the tail attached to a kite.

The Drachen type of balloon was still in the experimental stage here
and in France and England when the Germans swept over Belgium. The
Drachen balloon was clumsy and relatively unstable in high winds, yet
its importance to the Artillery could not be ignored by the allies.
The results of its work daily became more apparent. The first effort
of the allies was to improve the Drachen to give it greater stability
and permit it to go to higher altitudes. While this work was going on,
Capt. Caquot, of the French Army, produced a kite balloon so superior
that it quickly superseded what had been in use. Germany clung to the
Drachen for a time, but finally abandoned it for the Caquot principles
of design.

The earlier balloons of the sausage type had been merely cylinders
with hemispherical ends. Now for the first time, in the Caquot model,
appeared a captive that was sharply stream lined. Stream lines are
lines so curved as to offer the least possible resistance to the medium
through which a mobile object, such as a yacht, an automobile, or an
airship, moves. The Caquot gas bag was 93 feet long, as compared with
the Drachen's 65 feet of length, yet its largest diameter was only
28 feet, being but a foot thicker than the pioneer German type. The
Caquot, as all balloons developed in the war, was made of rubberized
cotton cloth. Its capacity of 37,500 cubic feet of hydrogen gas lifted
the mooring cable, the basket, two observers, and the mass of necessary
equipment, and in good weather the balloon could ascend to a maximum
altitude of over 5,000 feet.

The principal innovation in the design of the Caquot balloon was the
location of the balloonette or air chamber within the main body of
the gas envelope. This chamber was in the forward instead of the rear
part of the bag and along the bottom of the envelope. It was separated
from the gas chamber by a diaphragm of rubberized cotton cloth, which
was sewn, cemented, and taped to the inner envelope somewhat below the
"equator" or median line from the nose to the tail of the gas bag.


This balloon is 93 feet long and 28 feet in diameter. Its gross lifting
power is 2,600 pounds.]



When a balloon of the Caquot type is fully inflated, the diaphragm
rests upon the underbody of the gas envelope, and there is no air in
the balloonette. Then, as the balloon begins to ascend, at the higher
levels the surrounding air pressure is reduced and the gas in the
balloon expands. This expansion would normally burst the envelope when
the balloon is at a high altitude, except for a safety valve which
pops at the danger point and relieves the pressure. Also, when the
balloon is anchored it gradually loses gas, since no fabric can be made
entirely gas-tight. A flabby balloon in a gale of wind is dangerous to
the men in the basket. This flabbiness might be expected to increase,
too, as the balloon was hauled down into the heavier air pressures.

It was to overcome this flabbiness that the interior balloonette was
first invented, but the new location not only accomplished this end but
increased the stability, lessened the tension on the cable and allowed
an almost horizontal position of the balloon itself. As the balloon
rises the wind blows into the bal