It was early in 1940 when the U.S. government approached Chrysler with its need to build military equipment on a massive scale to help the war effort in Europe. Nazi Germany was growing more powerful and president Franklin D. Roosevelt challenged America to help its allies. He said in a poignant speech over radio broadcast that the U.S. should become the “arsenal of democracy.”

At first, Chrysler concentrated on tanks, namely the M3 Grant. The government helped build an assembly plant in Warren, Michigan just outside Detroit. The large facility soon began building a newer model of tank, the M4 Sherman, by 1942. Then other machinery including trucks, deck guns for ships, and airplane parts followed.

It’s important to remember that most of Chrysler’s build-up happened before the U.S. ever entered the war, prompted by Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Before that point, much of the U.S. wanted to remain neutral in the war, only agreeing to help its allies with supplies.

However, once fully engaged in war on two fronts, the U.S. pulled itself out of the Great Depression by mass production on a scale not seen before or since. Chrysler alone built 25 percent of America’s tanks for the war effort, pumping out more than 25,000 units by the war’s end in 1945.

This short documentary of Chrysler’s war efforts is a wonderful bit of history that’s definitely worth your time.

Continue reading for the full story.


Press Release

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

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

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

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

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

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