The War of Munitions. How Great Britain Has Mobilised Her Industries


This 1917 poster, showing 14 vignettes of the British armaments industry and armed forces, provides detailed information about the mobilization of national human and industrial resources by Great Britain during World War I. It notes that there “are 2 ½ million persons engaged on Government work in Munition trades, of whom nearly half a million are women.” Figures are given regarding huge increases in the production of bombs, machine guns, ammunition, and heavy guns, and in the number of national arsenals. The poster also provides information about the growth and size of the armed forces: “In 1914 the British Army numbered 275,000. Since the outbreak of war more than five million men have been enrolled in the forces of the Crown.” Regarding the navy, it states: “To equip a sailor takes nearly eight times as many workmen as are required to provide a soldier with all he needs in the way of munitions. Since the outbreak of war the personnel of the British Navy has increased from 146,000 to 350,000.” The poster especially celebrates the “vast industrial army” of the country, stating, “The workshops of Britain are at war, and they will know no truce till victory is secure.”

Last updated: February 10, 2014