Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy

75 years ago, on December 29th, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Arsenal of Democracy” aired. In the radio broadcast, FDR promises supplies to the Allies in their fight against Nazi Germany.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor would be less than a year later.

At the urging of FDR, American industry produced materials for the Allies. Manufacturing hubs like Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, and Detroit landed on the cusp of the effort to support democracy abroad.

In Warren, Michigan, Chrysler assembled tanks and often provided the United States access to their top engineers. When the men were drafted after Pearl Harbor, women sustained the workforce in the name of freedom. In recalling that history, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC released “Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy.” The short film chronicles the impact Chrysler Corporation had as one of the primary suppliers for the Allied front.

Narrated by FCA US historian Brandt Rosenbusch, the nearly six-minute feature gives an unprecedented look at the Chrysler Corporation’s wartime production, which included trucks and tanks; aircraft parts and components; guns, ammunition, rockets, and bombs; and a host of other goods vital to Allied operations.

FCA US has numerous employees who are either active military, reservists, or veterans. The automaker gives an annual monetary donation to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and provides support towards the construction of the World War II Memorial. FCA US is a financial supporter of the United Service Organizations (USO) and donates Jeep vehicles to selected operation package recipients.

Along with other figures in American industry, FCA US has played a vital role in keeping freedom and democracy alive. As we are celebrating the holiday season, that is something I am deeply thankful for.

*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of and resides in Detroit, Michigan.