Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy Reveals Chrysler’s World War Two Contribution (Watch)

U.S. car maker Chrysler was a crucial manufacturer of tanks and vehicles for the US Army during World War Two.  Now, the story of how Chrysler supported the Allied war effort has been documented in a new short film lasting six minutes.

Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy has been made to commemorate the 75th anniversary of when wartime President Franklin Roosevelt gave his momentous speech over the radio to propagate support for democracy.

In his famous speech, Roosevelt said that U.S. allies in Europe needed valuable war supplies and military equipment so that they could continue to fighting off the Nazi invasion. At the time, America had not yet joined the war, since this was before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The short film shows what Chrysler’s wartime manufacturing and production line looked like, including trucks, tanks, parts for aircraft, weapons, ammunition, bombs, and other military supplies and equipment.  The need for tanks was so great that the U.S. government and Chrysler set about building a new production facility that took just over a year to build. Chrysler’s own historian, Brandt Rosenbusch, has documented the company’s wartime activities.

Throughout the war, Chrysler built M3 Grant tanks, which were then shipped to Europe to be used by British forces for fighting in North Africa. Later Chrysler superseded the M3 with the Sherman.

Other car manufacturers that joined the war effort included Fiat, which built military vehicles for the Italians. Fiat actually bought a controlling stake in Chrysler in 2009, and the company has now been renamed as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE