It was 75 years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt called upon “the great arsenal of democracy” to help fight back against the Nazi regime during WWII. Without the help of this arsenal, which referred to America’s industrial power, the Allied victory in the war would not have been possible.
The strength of that industrial power was seen above all else in the automotive industry, particularly in Detroit, where factories began churning out tanks and planes instead of cars and trucks. Dealerships like Rothrock Chrysler didn’t sell as many cars during that time period, but millions in Europe benefited from the aid provided by the auto industry.
One of the biggest factories involved in this was the Detroit Arsenal located in suburban Warren, MI, designed by Albert Kahn, constructed by the government, and operated by Chrysler. The automaker applied its mass-production techniques to produce the government-designed tanks and was so successful that it singlehandedly outpaced the entire Third Reich’s tank production by over 5,000 units over the course of the war. Today, it serves as a major site for tank research and development for the U.S. Army.
In honor of this and of the Arsenal of Democracy’s 75th anniversary, Chrysler launched a new video commemorating Roosevelt’s speech. Check it out below.