No whiskey, no tires, no gas, but spies, lotsa spies! Here we go again!

Posted by on April 11, 2008

I can’t help but get a chuckle sometimes when folks today complain about the regulation of the government on our daily lives. Granted, they do have a point, but from my perspective, compared to daily life during the World War II, it’s nothing……

Imagine everyone today having ration cards, no cars being produced, few, if any, tires, and zero consumer goods except the bare minimums. It’s a different way of living that would be hard to return to. Ready to give up your stuff?

Me neither…..

In any event, let’s take a few minutes and a short look at the WPB, aka:

The War Production Board


During the war, this organization was responsible for organizing, tuning and converting industrial production from a strictly civilian economy to a war economy. This included ration controls, materials limitations and other facets of “total war”.



As an example of some of the situations seen during this time, William Manchester, in his work, The Glory And The Dream, states this fact about automobile production, which had been suspended in 1942:

“…By July 1944 only 30,000 autos were left–a three day peacetime supply…” (3)

That’s the whole country folks…..just 30,000!!

As law, automobile production had been suspended in 1942.



But moving beyond mere economics and on to more sinister things, did you know one of the administrators of the WPB was a Soviet spy? If you will remember my earlier post about Soviet infiltration during World War II, the Venona incidents, It all ties in here as well as with some additional players. One of them was Nathan Silvermaster.

If you take a few minutes to hit the links below, you can find some really great stuff. Some of it is tough to wade through, but ultimately, deep in knowledge.

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!


NARA (search for War Production Board)

Wikipedia: War Production Board

American Logistics In World War II (Google Books search)

Mobilizing US Industry in World War II (Google Books search)

Nathan Silvermaster (Wikipedia)

Infoplease: War Production Board



(1,2,4) Nara (seal link:

(3) Manchester, William. The Glory And The Dream. Boston: Little, Brown & Company.

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