Liberty Factory: The Untold Story of Henry Kaiser's Oregon Shipyards (Hardcover)

Liberty Factory: The Untold Story of Henry Kaiser's Oregon Shipyards By Peter Marsh Cover Image
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Churchill famously claimed that the only thing that had really frightened him during the war was the Battle of the Atlantic. Keeping open the lifeline between the US "arsenal of democracy" and the UK was essential to preparations for the invasion of Europe and in the final analysis this came down to building merchant ships faster than German U-boats could sink them. Crucial to this achievement was the British-designed "Liberty Ship," a simple cargo ship that could be built rapidly, combined with the untapped industrial potential of the U.S. that could build them in vast numbers. Undoubtedly the most important individual in the rapid expansion of U.S. wartime shipyard capacity was Henry Kaiser, a man with no previous shipbuilding experience but an entrepreneur of vision and drive. This book tells the story of how he established huge new yards using novel mass-production techniques in the most surprising location--Oregon, one of the least industrially developed areas of the US and one without an existing pool of skilled labor to draw on.

About the Author

Peter Marsh was born in Greenwich, right at the heart of Britain's maritime heritage, and was soon smitten with a love of small boats and sailing. For a while he combined a career in teaching with time spent boat-building, offshore racing and voyaging under sail, but a chance visit to the United States convinced him to sell his boat and emigrate. After traveling widely, he eventually settled in Portland and returned to a sailing life, exploring large parts of the Pacific Northwest in a boat he built himself. These adventures gave him the raw material for articles in regional boating magazines, his first published works. Success in this field led him into a career as a freelance journalist and he widened his scope to cover all aspects of local maritime interest from fishing to commercial shipping. In the course of this work he became friends with Larry Barber, the retired marine editor of the local newspaper, The Oregonian, and on Barber's death in 1996 he inherited his substantial archive of papers and photographs. It took some time to realize the value of what he had been given, but a visit to the D-Day beaches in Normandy led him to look more closely at Barber's wartime material. Slowly it became evident that the diaries and pictures recorded in unique detail the largely overlooked story of Oregon's massive contribution to the World War II shipbuilding effort. Peter has spent the last five years sorting, collating and editing the material, while also researching the background, and this book is the result.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781526783059
ISBN-10: 1526783053
Publisher: US Naval Institute Press
Publication Date: January 15th, 2021
Pages: 192
Language: English