The TWI Blog for the Training Within Industry Community of Practice

TWI Inspiration

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to London and Paris with my wife, our first outside of the U.S. and Canada.  On our trip we went on the tour of the Normandy Beaches which included the Memorial at Caen. At the Memorial they showed a movie about D-Day and I was struck by the sheer magnitude of the effort including the ships, planes and vehicles needed to support the effort. It brought alive all the words we read about how TWI made the war effort possible by increasing productivity among a workforce new to the workplace.  The sheer numbers involved in the invasion were daunting enough and then multiply that by the numbers of ships, tanks and planes in the Pacific and elsewhere and you begin to get an idea of the sacrifice needed to make this happen.  It also helped me to understand why, whenever we talk about TWI to the uninitiated, we can’t help but bring up how it began, in earnest, as way to bring war time production up to the levels needed with the workforce available. We are now facing a crisis in our economy, in manufacturing and in healthcare where, once again, if the commitment is made to improve productivity through training using TWI principles, there is no challenge we can’t meet.

Steve Grossman

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Comments on: "TWI Inspiration" (1)

  1. Steve’s thoughts when visiting Nomandy of the sheer magnitude of war supplies needed to support the Allied invasion coincides with my reading of a book by Rick Atkinson titled The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, page 450. The TWI Institute always makes reference to the number of ships and planes built in 1942-1943 that helped turn the tide of war, along with “a myriad of other materiel.” Thought you might you might be as interested in knowing what that “other materiel” is.

    “For every artillery shell fired at Anzio, for every bomb dropped or every Sherman tank lost at Cassino, two more seemed to levitate from the holds or arriving ships, winched out by gantry cranes and placed on rail cars, truck beds, or LST’s bound for the front. By now the American war machine had become the “prodigy of organization” so admired by Churchill and so dreaded by the German commanders. U.S. production totals in 1943 had included 86,000 planes, compared with barely 2,000 in 1939. Also: 43,000 tanks, 98,000 bazookas, a million miles of communications wire, 18,000 new ships and craft, 648,000 trucks, nearly 6 million rifles, 26,000 mortars, and 61 million pairs of wool socks. Each day, another 71 million rounds of small arms ammo spilled from U.S. munitions plants. In 1944 more of almost everything would be made. The nation’s conversion from a commercial to a military economy was as complete as it ever would be.“

    The battles for Anzio and Cassino described in Atkinson’s book eventually opened the road for the occupation of Rome as plans for the Normandy invasion were being finalized. Rosie the Riveter had a lot of brothers and sisters making good use of TWI across the country during that time that had a huge impact on that invasion. It is a very rewarding experience for me to now be part of the TWI family.

    Bob Wrona

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