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Forging Global FordismNazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the Contest over the Industrial Order$
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Stefan J. Link

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691177540

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691177540.001.0001

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War of the Factories

War of the Factories

(p.172) 5 War of the Factories
Forging Global Fordism

Stefan J. Link

Princeton University Press

This chapter evaluates how both regimes of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany put Fordism to use during World War II. William Werner's ascent to the commanding heights of Nazi Germany's wartime industrial complex illustrates how the state-led pursuit of mass production that began in the 1930s intensified under the conditions of total war. With greater force than before, the Nazi regime sought to bind industry to the war economy. The bureaucracy of the armaments began telling firms what to produce, how to produce, and whom to hire. Werner's career, then, sheds light on a crucial but little-explored realm of the Nazi war economy: the institutional interface that bridged the ministries and the shop floors. Like the Nazi war machine, the Soviet armaments industry had to find ways to achieve, in the words of William Werner, “higher output with fewer skilled workers.” How this worked can be illustrated by looking, once more, at Gaz.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fordism, World War II, William Werner, mass production, Nazi war economy, Nazi war machine, Soviet armaments industry, Gaz

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