A key part of the Axis strategy was to win World War II before the Americans came in. All combatants realized once the Americans came in, their industrial might would overwhelm everyone. And overwhelm them, they did.
The United States entered World War II with an army smaller than Portugal’s. It was equipped with the bolt action 1903 Springfield. A late 19th century US Calvary man would recognize that technology.
The States fielded 16 million people in uniform during the course of the war around that very small military. Initially, there were not enough Springfields to train with, so the men trained with broomsticks. By the end of the war, most soldiers were equipped with the semi-automatic M-1 Garand rifle, if not something better. A British general expressed amazement at how the US seemed to be able to turn out fully trained and superbly equipped combat divisions as if on an assembly line. German soldiers could not get enough food and ammunition when their manufacturing base was less than a hundred kilometers from the front; knowing this, a captured German soldier being marched to the American rear realized the war was over when he saw a plane land from the States full of nothing but apple pies.
This was the spirit of the times in which the U.S.S. PC 552 was built, launched, and crewed. The ship entered the war in September 1942 and immediately began to battle German U-boats.
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