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The Munitions of War Act - The First World War - August 1915

By August of 1915 the supply of munitions (bombs) to the troops on the front-line was becoming difficult to maintain at the required levels. A combination of the U-boat campaign in the North Atlantic and working practices that were not tuned into the war effort led to quantities of arms and armaments regularly falling short of those required to sustain prolonged bombardments on the Western Front and in the Eastern theatre's of war. The solution was to revolutionise the way that industry worked, to create a war based economy. The Munitions of War Act was one of the key pieces of legislation required to make this need become a reality.

Munitions - better known as 'bombs'.

As a result of the Act working conditions changed, routing of supplies was altered so that munitions factories and related industries had priority over non essential enterprises. The Act was met with fierce resistance in some areas. Many industrialists were unhappy at having their production lines switched to munitions production, whilst workers in some areas were less than enthusiastic about the conditions in which they were required to work and the low pay afforded by the government.

Ultimately the Act was a success as the armed forces continued to be supplied with munitions in increasing numbers: the armed forces of course increased there demands for munitions as large offensives were being planned, supply rarely met demand in these circumstances.


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