In December of 1941 when the United States of America was plunged into war, everyone knew their lives would never be the same. As men went off by the millions to fight against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany they left their homes for the greater good. But with so much of the population gone, how did this great nation not collapse into another economic decline?
Many attribute America’s victory in WWII was due to its well-established industrial complex, which could produce an overwhelming amount of resources to continue a war effort. Even Admiral Yamamoto of the Japanese Imperial Navy took note of this during his American travels and discouraged other military leaders from waging war with a nation to well-equipped for battle.
There were many factors that allowed America to fill the void of some 16 million men fighting overseas but mainly it was women in the workforce. Women found themselves in industrial roles building everything from weapons to machinery and keeping overseas units well-supplied.
Overspending could have caused American currency to decline in value so the system of war bonds was implemented and citizens bought them with great enthusiasm. This measure allowed money to stay in possession of the US Government and prevented overinflation.
Without these key factors, it is very well likely that the American economy could have collapsed. But thanks to the hard work of American citizens and careful planning on behalf of its leaders the country remained strong during the difficult fighting. The History Channel dives deeper into the war at home and keeping the American Industry alive to supply the war effort.