, Michigan is the first plant ever built in the United States of America for the tanks mass production. The place was located in one of the Detroit suburbs, Warren. It was designed by one of the greatest architects of those times, Albert Kahn, under the Chrysler brand in 1940. However, it was owned by the US government. The place was not actually build to produce tanks only, but multiple forms of armament. It was supposed to help during World War II and turn into a peaceful production site once it ended. It used to spread over 113 acres.
The construction began in 1940 and was finished in 1941. Although the building implied new technologies and some of the latest equipments, Chrysler managed to deal with the construction in less than a year. It represented one of the fastest growing facilities ever recorded. The start was purely fulminating. Besides, its general purpose was simple. Considering the German power represented by the tanks, the United States government quickly figured out such a facility was not really a caprice or a defensive measure, but a necessity instead. It was part of the US attempt to increase the military power while preparing for World War II.
Throughout World War II, Detroit Arsenal managed to deal with almost 25000 tanks in just a few years. It represented more than 25% of the total tanks produced in the United States of America, therefore the efforts to raise this plant were not in vain. After World War II ended, the place got back to its original idea – a peaceful tank factory to increase the potential power of the USA, both defensively and offensively. However, it didn’t take too long before the production got on an emergency path again. The Korean War was just a trigger to boost the tank production. As this war reached to an end too, the production was ceased again. The army quickly figured out that it didn’t benefit from the right technologies to deal with this plant, therefore it passed it over to Chrysler again, in 1952.
The Chrysler Defense division was sold in 1982 to General Dynamics , famous for assembling the well known powerful M1 Abrams tanks. The new owner opened another plant in Ohio, in Lima. In 1996, Detroit Arsenal was closed and the production moved to Lima. Some of its parts were transferred to the civilian communities of Warren, the largest suburb of Detroit. The base is now brought back to memory and memorialized at the Michigan Historical Marker. Some of the parts that were not sold are still used as a military base, for a few training bases. They are usually used by the reserve troops in the area.
The workers nostalgically remember how useful and solid Detroit Arsenal was in its best times. The base was built to resist any incoming attacks and bombardments. In some parts, it had 1 m thick concrete walls. The roof was carefully designed to direct the incoming bombs away from the vital parts. In other words, nothing could destroy it.