War effort


War effort

In politics and military planning, a war effort refers to a coordinated mobilization of society's resources—both industrial and human—towards the support of a military force. Depending on the militarization of the culture, the relative size of the armed forces and the society supporting them, the style of government, and the popular support for the military objectives, such war effort can range from a small industry to complete command of society.

Although many societies were retroactively perceived to be engaged in a war effort, the concept was not generally used until the 19th century, when the leaders of the French Revolution called for the "levée en masse" and a general mobilization of society to prevent monarchist forces from reclaiming control of the French government. The concept was subsequently adapted and used by Prussia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, especially during World War I and World War II. The term "war effort" was coined in conjunction with these efforts.

Although certain societies, especially nomadic raiders and mobile cavalry societies such as the Mongols, specialized in providing war effort-like support for their armies, the idea of a specialized "war effort" that diverted supplies, means of production, and people to military support came into general use only with the increased specialization of the industrial revolution. Previously, most military supplies were either common elements of the economy (food, clothing, horses, gunpowder) or specialized instruments produced only for war purposes by industries dedicated to the task (mainly weapons and vehicles). Crossover use of peacetime elements of society and economy for wartime uses became important due to scarcity of manpower (due to the large size of armies) and specialized materials used for war production (rubber, aluminum, steel, etc). The complex decisions involved in conversion to wartime use also necessitated organization and a bureaucracy; the term "war effort" was coined to describe these collective tasks. Implicit in the concept of "war effort" was that the entire society was expected to contribute in some way; this served the double purpose of improving morale as well as resource conservation.

External links

* Collection of Photographs of World War II [http://www.picture-history.com/war-effort-index-001.htm War Effort] in the United States


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • war effort — war .effort n [singular] things done by all the people in a country to help when that country is at war …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • war effort — war ,effort noun singular work that is done during a war, usually by people who are not fighting but are doing other things to help their country keep fighting …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • war effort — UK US noun [singular] work that is done during a war, usually by people who are not fighting but are doing other things to help their country keep fighting Thesaurus: veterans and civilianshyponym …   Useful english dictionary

  • war effort — attempt to succeed during battles in a war …   English contemporary dictionary

  • war effort — noun (singular) things done by all the people in a country to help when that country is at war …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • war effort — UK / US noun [singular] work that is done during a war, usually by people who are not fighting but are doing other things to help their country keep fighting …   English dictionary

  • war effort — /ˈwɔr ɛfət/ (say wawr efuht) noun the measures a country takes as a whole to support its troops at war, as by volunteering, or by raising money, food, or clothing for soldiers …   Australian English dictionary

  • War in Afghanistan (2001–present) — War in Afghanistan Part of the Afghan civil war and the War on Terror …   Wikipedia

  • War crimes of the Wehrmacht — are those carried out by traditional German armed forces during World War II. While the principal perpetrators of the Holocaust amongst German armed forces were the Nazi German political armies (the SS Totenkopfverbände and particularly the… …   Wikipedia

  • War of the Confederation — Date 1836–1839 Location Present day Bolivia and Peru Result United Restorative Army victory, dissolution of the confederation. Argentina fails to conquer Tarija …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.