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Torpedoes and the gun club: the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in World War II
This thesis examines the shift of torpedo production responsibilities from
military to civilian manufacturers as a case study in the use of civilian resources
during World War II. The existing structure of the U.S. Navy Bureau of
Ordnance failed to produce adequate torpedoes for the first two years of
American wartime activity. The Bureau therefore abandoned the existing
structure and shifted production to civilian contractors. This change occurred
within the broader context of civilian scientific and technica1 invo1vement in
military matters during World War II. The torpedo story illustrates one
organization's unintentional participation in this process.