Albert Speer

Villain: Albert Speer

Plot: Diffusion of factories from urban centers which later influenced urban sprawl in North America. Speer  was a German architect who was Minister of Armaments and War Production for Nazi Germany during the second world war. Speer cleverly spread out the majority of German factories that produced arms. This was done to complicate bombing for the allies and ensured production could continue. If one factory was bombed there were several others somewhere else in the country that were continuing production. Furthermore Speer even fractured factories- so that the factories could produce only one product- space as a tactic during war. [1]

This dispersion influenced American and Canadian planning during the cold war. By studying German arms production during the WW2 the Allies realized the resiliency of spreading out factories for the German war effort. The study  was conducted by Operation analysis. [1]

According to Peter Galison

“Operations analysis” was essentially a methodical theoretical reconstruction of the interconnections that held together the German economy and war machine and that asked how it could be blown apart. Where, they asked, were its nodal points, the linchpins that, when pulled, would topple the economy, forcing the Nazi war machine to a halt?

Analyzing this whole process-that is, the effects of the bombing effort-was the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. By the end of the second world war the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey tactics were being used to analyze what the effects were of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima. From that the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey also analyzed what the effect of an Atomic Bomb would have on cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston and others. The U.S. Strategic Bombing Surveys’ research was valued during the cold war. As a result the President of the U.S. announced a national policy for industrial dispersion and the National Security Resources Board followed with a booklet entitled Is Your Plant a Target? Where they advocated for new plants to be dispersed as much as possible in order that they would be less vulnerable in case of a nuclear attack. They argued that space could protect soldiers in the field and space by multiplying targets ensure less vulnerability of any one concentration. [1]

Although there were many other factors that propelled urban sprawl in the latter half of the 20th century,  the original spatial tactics orchestrated by Speer during the second world war did contribute to it.  [1]

 

Albert Speer (died September 1981) German architect and National Socialist (Nazi) leader. A member of the Nazi party from 1931, he became its official architect after Hitler came to power.  Picture shows Albert Speer

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Image from “War against the Center” by Peter Galison

 

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Image of underground factory for Nazi airplanes. Some factories were even hidden during the War.

 

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Image from “War against the Center” by Peter Galison. Americans propose to disperse industry for security reasons during the cold war.

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Image from “War against the Center” by Peter Galison. Americans propose to disperse industry for security reasons during the cold war.

 

EPSON scanner image

 

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Some even proposed to spread out all the houses in the whole U.S. to reduce the amount of loss in the event of a nuclear attack.

 

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Image from “War against the Center” by Peter Galison. Americans propose to disperse industry for security reasons during the cold war.

 

Sources:

[1]Peter Galison, “War against the Center”,  Grey Room, No. 4 (Summer, 2001), pp. 5-33,  http://www.jstor.org/stable/1262556

Posted: December 13th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Albert Speer

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