Skip to main content

tv   Science and Warcraft from the Civil War to WWII  CSPAN  September 12, 2020 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT

5:00 pm
women. completede newly eisenhower memorial located in the u.s. -- watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. >> congressional research service is policy analyst daniel -- discussesthe science and war craft. the kluge center at the library of congress hosted this event and provided the video. entitled the origins of the military-industrial complex ,nd features dr. daniel ellis which is this year's staff
5:01 pm
fellow, a prestigious position. he has been using items to investigate the origins of the military-industrial complex through wartime and immediate postwar, meaning post-world war ii, evolution between scientific research, industry and national defense. advised congress on defense issues. i was a colleague of his at crs for several years, he did things in connection with things i knew, a whole range of things, defense production act, appropriations, and he does many more things at crs. degree in political science from george washington university, and as many of you know, he is the author of numerous reports on defense, trade and security. this project is the latest example of the work undertaken by staff fellows showcasing their knowledge and passion of their areas of expertise. gift left byd by a
5:02 pm
the late john w kluge. nearly 100 scholars passed through the center each year. it is our honor to have dan with us the bulk of the last year. please join me in welcoming dan. [applause] daniel: ok. thank you very much. how is this working? all right. this is an inquiry into the evolution of what president dwight d. eisenhower and his federal address to the nation on january 17, 1961 dubbed the military-industrial complex. iketly what i meant -- what meant by that term has been debated ever since. perceivedme it is a
5:03 pm
andance between the defense industrial base. on afically, we will focus world war ii temporary government agency created in 1940 and pass out of existence at the end of 1947. the office of scientific research and development. this year, i've been trying to answer some relatively narrow research questions. exist, why were those who studied it considered effective, and what are the legacies and echoes of osrd that we can here today? i o a great deal of thanks to many individuals who made this possible. scholars counsel, the
5:04 pm
then acting librarian of congress for appointing me to the position. the dedicated staff of the center itself. fellow fellows have wanted for nothing during our stays here. they include emily, travis, anastasia, mary lou, daniela, named,who must not be the new center director, john haskell. stars in this trauma are the fantastic resources at the library of congress itself. i wallowed in the library for a year and barely touched on its resources that are directly on my own small projects. there are the stacks and stacks of books maintained by the collections and services division under helena. the online catalogs that guide you through the treasures. ournal that stretch back decades. special mention is merited for two unique resources -- the most
5:05 pm
complete collection of technical reports prepared under contract to osrd, along with scientific intelligence on the european and pacific theaters of operation curated here by lawrence and his colleagues in the technical reports section. and, the personal papers collection and trusted to jeffrey flannery and the manuscripts division. theirwith some help from contemporaries at presidential libraries and archivists at harvard university and m.i.t. provided the material for which the study -- from which this study has come. the holdings of the library were highlighted by an inquiry received by marcus lawrence for technicalic osrd report wanted by another government agency. if there is a central figure to
5:06 pm
the story, it is dr. van eve or bush. -- vanever bush. a professor of electrical engineering at m.i.t. and cofounder of the company now known as raytheon, he was a dean of the school of electrical engineering and the institute vice president before he moved to the capital at the beginning of 1938 to take up erector ship of the carnegie institute of washington now known as the carnegie institute for science. during world war ii, he was appointed as chair of the national reports -- defense research committee, and was later part of the research and development, and was advisor to franklin roosevelt. influence, profound including the introduction of atomic weapons and the ensuing
5:07 pm
postwar relationship between the federal government and scientific research that has developed since 1945. today, government support for scientific research, especially at the most basic level, is taken for granted. this was not always the case. traditionally, what passed for scientific inquiry was supported by individual fortunes or wealthy sponsors. after the creation of the united states, even inquisitive, science minded chief executives found it difficult to expand support for american science beyond private philanthropy. primarily due to the strict reading of the constitution by states rights activists. there was no exquisite mandate to support science, so any federal supported to efforts
5:08 pm
such as the lewis and clark expedition, the founding of a geologicalvatory, or survey and mapping projects had to be justified under the constitution's article one, section eight, admonition to congress to for nations in several states and with the indian tribes. science had to be good for business. in the middle of all of this, a wealthy british chemist inadvertently through a constitutional hand grenade. james smithson, never married and without children, died in 1829, leaving his considerable estate to his nephew. likewise unmarried and without heirs, passed away himself in 1835. anticipated this -- anticipating this, smithson said that his next endowment would be placed in washington under the name of the smithsonian institution.
5:09 pm
congress relatedly accepted the request in 1838 and started seven years of haggling over what the ensuing institution should be. a library, university, museum or something else. its first secretary, joseph henry, steered it to becoming a center for scientific learning. the benefitsime, of scientific enhancements to the nation's dominant agriculture economy were becoming apparent, especially along the agriculture dominated frontier of the midwest. prodded by professor jonathan baldwin turner, a representative from vermont introduced the bill into congress in 1857 to grant tracks of federal land to the states for the purposes of establishing agricultural colleges. it passed both houses in 1859 was vetoed by president james buchanan on a strictly delineated constitutional
5:10 pm
grounds argument. the states rights argument soon resolved itself. the congressional delegations of the 11 seceded southern states absented themselves from washington, and the land-grant bill was reintroduced and enacted in 1862. now knowns what are as land-grant colleges. upon the outbreak of the civil war, all manner of inventors flocked to the capital to offer devices for the war effort. we have all heard stories about individuals showing up at the war and navy departments and even the white house, eager to demonstrate the effectiveness of their projects. it soon got so bad that the secretary of the navy appointed a permanent commission of three scientists to screen the flood of suggestions. at the same time, a group of three scientists, a geographer, a navygist and
5:11 pm
senatorer, persuaded wilson of massachusetts to introduce a bill that would put a new scientific community at the service of the federal government. to investigate, experiment and report on any subject when requested by a federal department. the bill was one among dozens enacted on the last day of a lame-duck session of the 37 congress, and it established the national academy of sciences. after 1865, american inventiveness turned away from war and toward congress and industry. development to the west promoted some agencies to investigate natural resources. the department of agriculture, commerce and labor, and national parks service. during this period. service upnment -- appeared during this period. military technology continued to
5:12 pm
advance among the european nations, particularly in .ermany, britain and france military aircraft, summaries, poison gas and the machine gun revolutionized airfare. when the u.s. entered the conflict in 1917, the country found it had to mobilize the entire economy and society for war, and that advance in science needed to be applied to weapon and industrial development. in the event, the conflict provided a number of lessons on how to not do it. neutrality before 1917 inhibited any pre-hostility preparation. to the extent they could, existing federal laboratories, including the newly created national advisory committee on aeronautics, nasa's predecessor, had scientific expertise but were oriented toward peacetime development. once the u.s. entered the war, they had no contact with the war
5:13 pm
or navy department. josephus daniel tried to replicate the civil war experience by asking thomas edison to head a naval consulting board of scientists and engineers to solicit suggestions for solving some of the navy's pressing problems such as submarine detection. other bodies set up through legislation and emergency powers include a council of national defense, which like other temporary wartime agencies, suffered from ill defined mission and authority. sciencesnal academy of was unable to assist organically, and suggested the president wilson that a national research council be established. organize authority, to more research outside of its membership. after the u.s. entry into the war, council on national defense brought the national research council under its wing as its research arm, and the naval consulting board as it's a board of inventions.
5:14 pm
departmentsitary favored direct control over the research that might affect this operation. there was no specific legal means for the army or navy to funnel appropriated funds to civilians for specific scientific work, therefore the principal means by which technology found its way into the war effort was through the temporary commissioning of scientists and engineers into the services themselves. thus, between the relatively disorganized efforts of the council on national defense, the federal civilian laboratories, technology and even industry could not hit its stride before the armistice of november 1918. the mobilization began as soon as guns fell silent. scientist surrendered commissions and the consulting board effectively ceased to exist. federal laboratories returned to peacetime pursuits, the national research council turned from organizing wartime scientific
5:15 pm
research to the promotion of civilian scientific societies and soon ceased to use any government funding. after the war, the naca continued a vigorous program of aeronautical research. the council of national defense had outlived its usefulness and was suspended in 1921. nevertheless, the naval consulting board recommended in 1916 that the navy create its own research facility. because various factions could not agree on a site for the facility, the naval research laboratory was not commissioned until 1926. all government science until now had been concentrated on natural sciences. the burgeoning industrial traditionaltaking agriculture and the advent of government planning in franklin roosevelt's new deal, with those
5:16 pm
the importance of the social sciences came to the fore. example, the national bureau of labor statistics and secretary of agriculture henry wallace. appointed a physicist and president of the massachusetts institute of technology in 1933 to head a science advisory board. funded by the rockefeller foundation, for there was no appropriation. studyard got scientist to various government bureaus. in the course of his limited life, the board suggested that the study of basic science underpinned all other research and should become an end in itself. it also proposed a new deal for science using government funds to support research at universities. tooton's plan approved ambitious and was resisted by another fdr appointed buddy, the national resources board, headed by fdr's uncle, frederick
5:17 pm
delano. ultimately it failed to gain sponsorship. military research during the war period was minimal. an anecdote might explain why. in 1934, a board headed by former secretary of war recommended strengthening army research and development above the equivalent of $74 million that it was in the early 1930's. the army general staff and chief of staff responded by concluding that the army needs large quantities of excellent equipment that has already been developed. andoutbreak of world war ii the high-technology weaponry immediately deployed gave the light of such an attitude, and some within the nations technology community responded. in large part, that took the response of a new national research defense community.
5:18 pm
the three individuals most responsible for its creation and effectiveness were vanever bush from the carnegie institute, a physicist and president of harvard university, and carl compton. they and others use the experience of world war i and compton's 1930's studies to develop a different organization for supporting the coming war effort. the lead individual was bush, who used his relationship with frederick delano to gain an audience in early 1940 with fdr's close advisor harry hopkins. he outlined an organization that can leverage the prestige of its central actors to become the interface between the existing university research organization and the war and navy departments , revising and using the existing authority of the council of national defense. he proposed a national defense committee created by the
5:19 pm
president within his office of emergency management under his special emergency powers that existed in 1940. the committee would be empowered to support research on the mechanisms of warfare except where those activities would or war andh the naca navy department. this ndrc would undertake its own research on warfare. direct statutory authority, it would be funded by the president's emergency funds made available to him by congress. hopkins persuaded fdr to meet with bush on june 16, 1940, and the president gave immediate approval. on ndrc eventually stood up 27th june, 1940. the organizers knew that the efforts of the previous war foundered in part because of the separation between military
5:20 pm
services and research organization. the committee included senior representation of both of the war and navy departments and bush reporting directly to the president, able to cultivate close relationships with the secretary of war and the secretary of the navy. scientific societies were represented by frank jewett, president of the national academy of sciences, who also happened to be the director of the laboratories, thus involving industry. ofway co., the commissioner patents, also on the committee along with carl compton. the navy was represented by a rear admiral, the director of the navy research lab. the army sent a brigadier general. up five divisions to break down world -- war research into manageable divisions. existing to
5:21 pm
laboratories for the development of products for the war. ndrc contracted with universities to establish purpose built research centers. m.i.t.'slaboratory was radiation laboratory that specialized in airborne radar and navigation systems. a soon became overloaded so second laboratory, the radio research lab, was created by harvard university to specialize in electronic countermeasures such as radar chaff. things soon got more complicated. reorganized into 23 separate subordinate organizations. it did not stop there, though. the council of national defense brought other organizations under its umbrella and it soon became apparent that the ndrc
5:22 pm
would be more effective if it expanded its mandate. 28, 1941, fdr signed an executive order establishing the office of scientific research and development, or os rd, and appointed bush as director. relevant itself to the government committees through its counsel, which included the assistant to the secretary of , the chair of the ndrc, the coordinator of research and development at the department of ,he navy, the chair of the naca and the chair of the newly established committee on medical research. because coordination with the british had been closed since close,inning of the --
5:23 pm
they established an office in predecessor,e cia getting involved in unconventional warfare. bush created a liaison with general donovan's organization. subordinate was the expanded ndrc, the committee on research which organized medicines such as penicillin and psychological studies, on what was called battle fatigue. servicese of field which assisted with the introduction of newly developed devices and techniques to combat command, in which the intelligence missions mentioned earlier. the obligatory office of the executive secretary that kept everything running. and several special suborganizations. three of these organizations are worthy of special note. a proximityveloped fuse, also called the variable time fuse.
5:24 pm
artillery shell to explode when it reached a specific distance from an object such as an airplane or the ground. its existence was considered so secret and so effective that it was forbidden to be used overland where it might fall into enemy hands. it saw its first use in the pacific aboard navy ships trying to deal with the, kazi threat, and in britain, where it shot down buzz bombs headed for london. only after direct intervention from bush and the joint chiefs of staff, was it permitted to be used in europe in the ground war, just in time to have a devastating effect on german troops during the battle of the bulge in 1944 and 1945. the s-1 executive committee was the manhattan project. most folks know that atomic weapons were created by the manhattan project under the command of major general leslie groves, but that is only part of
5:25 pm
the story. development of an atomic weapon was authorized by president roosevelt in 1940 under the in drc -- ndrc. the army was brought in in 1942 to manage the massive construction the effort needed. not until mid 1943 did the manhattan engineering district begin to assume control of the scientific contracts that constituted the research effort, through the s1 committee continue to support the scientific personnel. if you measure the program from initiation to the day of the first atomic device being dropped on hiroshima, the army ran the program some have the time. -- less than half of the time he did -- the time. during world war ii, more than 16 million americans served in uniform in a country that the numbered about 200 million. today, our active military
5:26 pm
numbers are less than 1 million and a country of about 380 million. in world war ii, money for projects was plentiful. but trained technical people were not. the services needed to bring in soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines at a quickening pace and eventually even the most highly skilled scientists were likely to be called up. the impact of the loss of just a few trained technical people could cripple research programs. so the agency committee on selective service and bush himself or heavily involved in securing draft deferments for personnel. let's turn to the practices that osrd and subordinates put in place. project initiation. a project could be initiated by a request from the services, war departmentsand navy , or by allies, the french, etc.
5:27 pm
, or by their own initiative. fortant in close liaisons the field offices and personnel through the research labs as they came back from the field kept everyone abreast of the current operations of the needs of those in combat. development and patent registration the lats will develop a project to a certain point and when patents became necessary to protect intellectual property, the practice was that the office of osrd itself would register the patents to the u.s. government. however, once done, those will be freely available for licensing at a charge to virtually anybody who wanted them. prototyping and initial production. bush turned physicists into engineers and they were all deeply involved in creating the devices and -- that theoretical approaches are created. if manufacturers were too
5:28 pm
involved in war work or the demand for a particular device was not going to exceed a couple hundred articles, they created the research construction company adjacent to m.i.t. to handle prototype and small-scale manufacturer -- manufacture. at the appropriate time, osrd handed off to services or industry. to continue large-scale manufacturing. finally, the office of field services provided what we would call today technical support to the military units who received the equipment. its constituent units explicitly avoided the fate of its predecessors such as the naval consulting board. within a month of the creation 1940, harry hopkins created a counsel in his department that acted as the world war ii screen for independent inventors,
5:29 pm
unaffiliated scientists and citizens at large, relieving what might have been a crushing weight on osrd. let's move on to show some examples of their work. the bazooka, for example. the dukw. creation thatrd was passed off to general motors for production. example is what you have all seen in wartime movies, the mine detector. the mine detector, handheld soldier carried mine detector in the field was also a development of one of the research centers at osrd. and of course, there was airborne radar and atomic weapons.
5:30 pm
during the war, osrd created a number of research centers. this is what they were and where they special -- where they were and what they specialized imputed -- specialized in. the university of chicago, innceton university ballistics, massachusetts institute of technology was radar. institute,raphic underwater sound. and so on and so forth. the number of contracts, the value of contracts converted into 2017 dollars stand as follows you'd some scholars -- as follows. that eliters say institutions in the northeast were favored by osrd, but if you
5:31 pm
look at nonindustrial contractors, they are scattered from coast-to-coast and i don't think there is much value to the allegation. also, industrial contractors would be contracted not only to conduct research but provide manufacturing. the research construction company was number two on that for the number of devices they created. ok, postwar scientific research. what happened after the war was over? osrd wound down almost immediately to be replaced by a permanent teddy -- permanent entity. bush's idea was we wanted to institutionalize the federal funding of basic scientific research, and this was the opportunity to do it. there was a consensus on the need for federally funded a sick scientific research but not on fundedm or mandate -- basic scientific research, but not on the form or mandate.
5:32 pm
created toere conceptualize what became the national science foundation. senatorone side and kilgore of west virginia on the other. bush was a classic technocrat. he wanted everything done by the merits of the individual project , including the organization that would be administering. kilgore was a dyed in the wool sureealer, wanting to make the entire country would benefit and the research will be socially relevant. in the end, president truman got into the act. essentially we had a trifecta. the original 19 46 proposal for the national science foundation, both bush and kilgore agreed that a research agency was necessary and the national sciences should be objective resorts -- research, edison should be researched, social
5:33 pm
science research not so much. bush was a natural scientist at heart even though he was an engineer. kilgore thought it was a great idea. geographic dispersion of support , bush did not care and kilgore did. applied research. bush did not want have anything to do with applied research because it would detract from the basic research mandate that was supposed to be at the heart of this. kilgore wanted to see some social benefit come out of this. his proposal included all of that. bush pressedhip, for private ownership of federally funded research and kilgore believed it should stay with the government. political control of the foundation, this would be the appointment of senior offices and oversight by congress. bush not so much. he wanted the technocrats to run the show. kilgore thought it was a good idea. and should it be independent of the executive agencies? both thought that was a great
5:34 pm
idea, much as osrd had been. what actually happened? no1946, there was legislation. the atomic energy creation -- commission was created. the office of naval research was created. the war department, realizing the value of scientific research, stood up a research and development division, and the war and navy departments between them established a joint research and development board, an advisory board with bush at the head, to advise the war and navy departments on research to be conducted. the senate managed to pass a compromised national science foundation bill but it did not go anywhere. the house sat on it. let's fast-forward to the next year. now we have a department of defense and therefore the joint research and development board was replaced by a research and development board that advised the secretary defense.
5:35 pm
billswere seven nsf introduced that year and one passed, but because of the lack of political control, the president vetoed the bill and osrd went out of existence at the end of the year. 1948, the air force created the office of air research and also got involved in the scientific research game. an amended will pass the senate but the house sat on it. nsf949, another amended bill passed the senate and the house took no action. in the meantime, part of the mandate of the office of naval research was to fund basic research science. as it turns out, the office of naval research became the primary funder of basic scientific research by the federal government during this period. created the air force the air research and develop in command, the house finally
5:36 pm
passed the senate bill passed the year before, and the president signed the bill establishing the national science foundation. in that five year gap, what we saw was the creation of a number of military, department of defense organizations for scientific research, and the -- had nobill created mandate for the national research foundation. a number of federal agencies can trace organizations back to the osrd. national science foundation, army research and evaluation command, air force office of scientific research, the defense there it -- threat reduction agency, and the national nuclear security administration, which is the custodian of the atomic stockpile. a number of research centers exist that can trace their origins back conceptually. haversities still
5:37 pm
dedicated research centers at them. here is a look at the current inventory. there is also an organization or complex of federally funded research and development corporations. finally, the department of energy's national laboratories are the direct descendents, in fact some of those are the survivors of the manhattan project. getting back to the research questions. why was there an osrd? in my opinion, timing had a lot to do with it. there was only 20 years between the end of world war i and u.s. involvement in world war ii. the lessons learned from world war i were still fresh and the people who learn those lessons
5:38 pm
were still in senior management. , the state ofy federal government and private industry was propitious. we were coming off of the end of the new deal at that wing and federal government had expanded a lot during the 1930's. it now might have had the capability of taking on the management of research and development efforts of this magnitude. also, the u.s. enjoyed a very robust industrial base at that point that could also respond. the individuals involved. fdr, it goes without saying. the triumvirate who were interested in the topic and had -- were imminently qualified to carry it through. and the need. technological war was evident and the u.s. found itself in 1939, 1940, far behind the state of military science in germany, britain and france. why was it so effective?
5:39 pm
the crux of the matter comes down to the fact that there was mindset --ere was a war on. there was a mindset that required collaboration and dedication. modelthe organizational chosen to manage the effort that was needed to support the war. what was the legacy? first and foremost was the u.s. monopoly on atomic weaponry that existed between 1945 in 1949. -- and 1949. that was a gift fdr was very cognizant of and harry truman also. second, the enduring relationship that came out of the war between the scientific and technical communities, the federal government in general and the defense department in particular and the industrial base it supported. but this came at a cost. theng the war, essentially training of technical personnel during world war ii was frozen.
5:40 pm
all effort went into what was available to prosecute the war effort and therefore there was very little training at the masters and doctorate level of scientific personnel and bush felt that very strongly. he put into the nsf legislation the ability to provide scholarships and graduate fellowships for scientific training of personnel after the war. but what is the legacy we don't hear? that perhaps we should. saw from thewe legacy organizations listed at the end of the presentation, all of the organizations listed are part of the federal government in one way or another. there is no independent voice. we found during world war ii that the independent research initiated by ndrc and osrd as part of the war effort provided real value to the services that they sometimes did not want to
5:41 pm
accept but found to be very effective. for example, the application of operational research, statistical analysis for strategy and tactics, something army and navy had not considered and were not interested in. it was effective against u-boats and other areas and theaters of war. w itself, they could not have cared less about an provedous truck but it extraordinarily effective after it was introduced in sicily in 1943. afterwards, president marshall -- excuse me, general marshall, army chief of staff, told the army corps master to -- quartermaster to congratulate troops on the development of the dukw even though they had nothing to do with it. the independent voice could be .ery effective and useful
5:42 pm
with that, i think you very much. [applause] you very much. [applause] >> [indiscernible] >> i wondered whether in terms of -- i am making this up as we go. for 10 years i've had the pleasure of doing business with you. i wonder whether there was a coincidence between the state of military art and the state of the physical sciences so that --
5:43 pm
where the physical sciences were about to go, they just happened the mesh. i'm thinking about military power was largely contained in very large, discrete objects that were lethal. if you happened to come up with a way to detect small numbers, that is not bad. we are now at a point where we are dealing with individuals and the state of physical and social sciences, it is not so clear how much leverage there is there. we tried the human trained teams and soften -- so on and so forth. doesn't seem to have a kind of leverage that the process you described did. i'm wondering, and i am just making this up as i go, but i'm wondering if it happened to be just the right point both in the state of the actual war and the state of the physical sciences that by god, it matched -- m
5:44 pm
eshed like hand in glove? daniel: thank you for the question. i can only guess, and in hindsight it looked like everything should have worked out that way, what a coincidence. i think if you look at the folks going through it, they did not think it was just a coincidence. they had to work very hard and think outside of a number of boxes to come up with things like the airborne radar, the vt fuse, magnetic anomaly detection. wonder -- i must defer the question but pose another one. , doest extent, i wonder the outside influence, the outside status, let's say, of something like ndrc, that
5:45 pm
promotes independent thinking, how much did that play into a specific number of devices? i suspect a significant number but you would have to do a lot of research to figure out. the way the cooperation worked, perhaps some soldier in the field would suggest something like a rocket propelled grenade. would say that's a good idea and development and handed off to industry. who gets credit? i give you an example of the atomic bomb. that was something that in bush's view is going to happen anyway. -- ad not require a level letter from albert einstein to fdr anything else. as soon as atomic fission was proven, the entire scientific immunity, funded by government or not, took off. they were looking to see is it feasible for there to be atomic fission and if so, what can we do with it?
5:46 pm
it was going to happen anyway. what bush did was he convinced fdr this is something we need to get in front of. along theow far germans were, because they discovered the thing. that became the manhattan project, something that would've eventually happened anyway. timing, as i noted, it is critical in life. 99% of success is showing up. but you have to be at the right place at the right time. anybody else? yes ma'am. >> thanks. first, a couple of questions, shorts. you said the department of defense was created when? daniel: 1947. the original title was department of national defense. >> perfect. my second quick question is what were the other countries you said the u.s. was
5:47 pm
technologically behind militarily? you said in 1939, 1940. you said germany, france, and -- daniel: britain. theain likes the claim atomic bomb and radar and stuff like that, but a lot of people were working on a lot of things at that point in time. so who gets credit? whoever had the loudest rest release, i get. >> my final question, i was curious how far we were behind those countries. if you could give examples. he spoke a little bit about the answer earlier -- you spoke a little bit about the answer earlier about germany. i was curious how far we were behind and any examples. daniel: i don't know how you would develop a metric for that, especially a statistically significant metric. but let's just say many of the ideas later developed until or devices -- into war devices
5:48 pm
originated elsewhere. we benefited greatly by the number of emigres from germany just before world war ii. they brought their knowledge with them. the brits, when they were getting their butt handed to them in 1940, they came to the u.s. and started pushing on us. some of their laboratory concepts that may be might have been helpful. for example, the heart of not only the microwave dinner but airborne radar. they brought over laboratory sample and we had to turn into something they can actually use in an airplane. the variable time fuse originally started a little bit as an idea someone in the u.k. had pitted we had to turn it -- had. we had to turn into something that survived being shot out of a cannon. devoted the had not
5:49 pm
thought to developing the groundwork for development, but once we got the ideas, we were very successful in turning them into something that made a difference on the battlefield. >> thank you. my question is, a lot of the devices you are talking about that were developed in the war period and even the decades after eventually filtered out into other civilian uses, like you just mentioned the microwave, etc. to what extent is that still happening and is there a pipelinebetween, that between what is developed in these military research settings out into civilian life and industry? daniel: i don't think there is a way to measure let's say the
5:50 pm
flow of the number of ideas but if you take a look at the funding, let's just say the funding that goes into research and development. on the department -- part of the federal government and private industry. we started the postwar period with the department of defense and war and navy departments kind of a and commercial entities -- up here and commercial entities down here. it was like this now. that's why you see soldiers in the field using smartphones, because they are smarter than anything dod can give them. dod has been conscious of that. over recent years, they have been trying very hard to build pathways to bring commercial technology back into defense and create pathways such that that can happen quickly, expeditiously and hopefully cheaply.
5:51 pm
there is a member of the audience you can address that specifically to after we finish. time for two more. over here, and then here. i did? ok. over here, and in the middle. thank you. you mentioned a lot of the bureaucratic characteristics of the osrd that contributed to its success -- independence, ability to initiate its own projects, working closely with the services. what lessons should the services take from that in the canterbury environment with the development of rapid pathways, prototyping funds, that they should carry forward to have those be less fragmented and more successful? daniel: trying to make it less fragmented implies you need a central organization governing it. of the the sapling
5:52 pm
number of organizations just within the department of defense devoted to research and therefore,, and until you get a strong, centralized authority in the department, you will always have fragmentation like that. was outsidee, osrd the government. existingcted with scientific organizations at universities so they did not move the scientists into the war or navy department, they left them at universities. they created spaces for them to work at their universities, and therefore they did not disrupt the programs that were ongoing. i think that contributed. you need a centralized authority to get a handle on that. i don't know if that is possible. and, minimal disruption to the existing status of the research environment that is ongoing. over here.
5:53 pm
mark wilson has written about the rather extensive lobbying that went on before the war and at the start of the war to make sure the defense production was concentrated in the private sector rather than the public sector. is wensequence of this had a lot of conversion of existing industrial plants for defense production rather than construction of new, perhaps government owned plants for defense production, or so is the argument. how is the research story you are telling related to this effort to make sure what was produced resulting from the research was predominantly produced in the private sector? daniel: first of all, i take a little bit of issue with the idea that the government did not build a massive
5:54 pm
industrial base in the war effort. they did. there were something called the defense plant corporation that was created in the early 1940's to do exactly that. they would build a facility, they would stock it with the necessary equipment and hire private industry to staff it. that's where you got defense plants, defense workers who were not federal employees but private corporation employees. but the liability for the physical plant lay with the government because they owned the place. 42 ining called plant palmdale, california, which was operated essentially by lockheed martin. the skunk works. that was a fairly funded, federally built plant in 1940 -- federally funded, federally built plant in 1940 operated by a contractor. -- the reason for
5:55 pm
the lobbying effort was because after world war i, the war and navy departments canceled outstanding war project -- contracts. the armistice took everyone by surprise. we were gearing up and a number of civilian corporations had converted to war production and the lights went out. there were lawsuits for the liability of the canceled contracts that extended well into world war ii. had the that, we defense plan corporation product, that scheme for industrial production. you can kind of see some of the same thing in the osrd in that they did it all by contract and contracted out to research centers at universities, some industry, but mostly universities. if they needed a temporary sort of research center, it would be built, and they would staff it from university staff. so that was kind of the same
5:56 pm
model. after the war, most of the research centers went away and were replaced over the years with other research centers dedicated to other purposes. thank you very much. [applause] tv,his is american history featuring events, interviews, archival films, and visits to college classrooms, museums and historic places. exploring our nation's past every weekend on c-span3. 1960,september, massachusetts democratic senator john f. kennedy and incumbent vice president richard nixon squared off in the first ever televised presidential debate. this debate, the first of four, took place in chicago. here is a preview food -- preview. >> senator, the vice president has said you are naive and at times immature.
5:57 pm
he has raised the question of leadership. why do you think people should vote for you instead of the vice president? --the vice president congress together. i have been in and out 14 years, the same giving of time he has the our experience in government is comparable. secondly, i think the question is, what are the programs we advocate? what is the party record we lead? i come out of the democratic party, which in this century has produced franklin roosevelt and harry truman. mr. nixon comes out of the republican party, nominated by it, and it is the fact that through most of the last 25 years, republican leadership has opposed federal aid for education, medical care for the aged, development of the tennessee valley, development of natural resources. i think mr. nixon is an effective leader of his party.
5:58 pm
i hope you would grant me the same. the question before us is which point of view and which party do we want to leave the united states? >> watch the full debate this sunday here on american history tv. every saturday, at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3, go inside a different college classroom and hear about topics ranging from the american revolution, civil rights and u.s. president to 9/11. >> thank you for your patience and logging into class. >> with most campuses closed due to the impact of coronavirus, watch professor transfer to a virtual setting to engage with students. >> gorbachev did most of the work to change the soviet union but reagan met him halfway. reagan encouraged him and reagan supported him. >> freedom of the press, i should mention, addison called it freedom of the use of the
5:59 pm
press and it is indeed freedom to print and publish things, not what we now refer to institutionally as the press. >> lectures in history on american history tv on c-span3, every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. lectures in history is also available as a podcast. find it where you listen to podcasts. >>, openedvil war'," elmira in july of 1864 after many union prisoners were at capacity. almost 3000 confederate pow's died at the camp from disease, exposure to the elements, from malnutrition during its one year in operation. next, derek next field, author of "hellmira: the union's most infamous pow camp of the civil talks about the conditions at the prison and some of the officers in charge. his talk was part of a symposium on the war in the east hosted by
6:00 pm
the emerging civil war blog. edna5 minutes, historians greene medford and vernon burton discuss the debate over removing confederate monuments and memorials in a talk posted by president lincoln's cottage. that 8 p.m. on lectures in history. eastern connecticut state university professor talks about the culture of congress in the antebellum era. hello and welcome to the emerging civil war symposium. >> our first bigger today is derek maxfield. he is an associate professor in batavia, new york, hometown of emory upton. he earned fame at the battle of spotsylvania courthouse. drerk has earned fame for his brand-new book as part of


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on