Speeding Up

OPM last week announced progress in U.S. defense: military aircraft production for the first six months of 1941 had increased 42% over the production of the preceding six months.

Like most figures, this one was too simple. Since a great slice of new military aircraft building at the end of 1940 was trainers—badly needed by the Air Forces but useless for combat—the figures behind this figure were more significant.

In the first half of 1941 U.S. aircraft factories had got going with a bang on fighting planes. Output of two-engined bombers was up 92%; single-engined dive-bombers and torpedo carriers, 146%;...

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