The United States steel plants were humming at the beginning of the second world war, due to a growing auto industry, and a decent economy as the U.S. raced out of the Great Depression.

With that being said, how much did America's strong steel industry contribute to the Allied war effort during the Second World War, in terms of raw materials for tanks, vehicles, ammunition, airplanes, warships, land lease supplies, and other logistics?

Looking for statistics and economical data.

Research Materials that I studied:

  1. Wikipedia: History of the iron and steel industry in the United States
  2. Wikipedia: Military Production in WW II
  • 4
    Are you after numbers or something else?
    – Steve Bird
    Apr 10 at 13:38
  • 1
    For the record, the US was ‘racing’ out of the Great Depression because of war production.
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 10 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


A huge subject upon which much has been written and which would require considerable mining to even produce the barest meaningful statistical data. Without buying some obscure and expensive tomes, as a small sample of availability, may I suggest:

Report on Possible Steel Expansion Program as Requested by the President – September 24, 1941; Office of Production Management

Status of Steel Expansion Program - 10,000,000 Ton Increase in Capacity (AUTHORIZED SEPTEMBER 30, 1941); June 30, 1942

Production in 1942 – War Production Board

Production in 1944 – War Production Board

Industrial mobilization in the U.S.S.R. - Study of experience in industrial mobilization in World War II; Army Industrial College; Industrial College of the Armed Forces

Study of experience in industrial mobilization in World War II: organization for production control in World War II. A study of the follow-up and expediting function of the War Department 1939-1945; Army Industrial College (in 3 parts)

United States Army in World War II, statistics - Statistics and analysis of procurement during World War II, acquisition and distribution of resources.

International aid statistics, World War II; a summary of War Department lend lease activities reported through 31 December 1945

Comparison of the economic mobilization in World War II of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with that of the United States

War Industrial Facilities Authorized July 1940 – August 1945; Civilian Production Administration

Official Munitions Production of the United States 1940-1945; War Production Board

Report of Steel Division on Steel Expansion for War; War Production Board

Report to Congress on Disposal of Government Iron and Steel Plants and Facilities; Surplus Properties Administration, October 1945

More judicious googling could probably produce other gems.

  • 7
    I feel like this answer could be greatly improved by actually stating what information the linked websites contain
    – user65540
    Apr 11 at 11:36

For the UK at least, not insubstantial:

the available wartime steel supply was boosted by a dramatic increase in net steel imports. In the interwar period, the UK was typically a net exporter of steel but in each year between 1940 and 1945 it was a net importer, averaging two million tons per year (or 13.4 per cent of domestic steel production). This was achieved by both boosting imports and virtually ceasing exports. Imports increased from 1.3 million tons in 1939 to a peak of 3.05 million tons in 1941 and the main factor was undoubtedly American aid (for example, in 1942, 94 per cent of all steel imports came from the USA). (source)

  • 3
    And then all the things made of steel that were shipped…
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 11 at 1:17

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