History Unplugged Podcast
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The Most Giant Leap in the Evolution of Modern Warfare was...the Jeep?

February 02, 2021
00:00 45:19
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The 1940-41 era was a bleak time in American history. The country was still in the midst of a recession within the Great Depression. Resources were limited. The German Army rolled out its powerful Blitzkrieg quick-strike capability and had begun to take over Europe. The American military knew war was coming, millions of lives would be at stake, and the future of democracy was hanging in the balance. In order to fight on equal ground, the Army realized they had to develop a vehicle for mobile warfare.”

They needed to replace the mule as a key transport for troops and weaponry across rough terrain,

In 1940, three companies competed to develop America’s first all-terrain, ¼-ton 4x4 vehicle, the Jeep, helping the allies emerge victorious in World War II. Paul R. Bruno, the author of The Original Jeeps, is the guest today. He discusses the true story of the challenges, emotions, strategy, and competition to design it, building a prototype in about 2 months. There were three competing companies, American Bantam Car Company, Willys-Overland Motors, and Ford Motor Company, all in pursuit of the sole-source government contract to build the Jeep.

Bruno adds, “What is truly amazing is that three firms produced prototype models, each overcoming unique challenges and circumstances to do so. Anyone who knows anything about manufacturing realizes it took a real production miracle to get that done on very short notice.”
“General George C. Marshall called the Jeep ‘America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare.’ President and General Dwight Eisenhower said the Jeep was a key tool that helped win the war.

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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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