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The French were furious. France, too, lacked oil fields in its home terriorites, and its politicians and imperial strategists saw Mesopotamia as a key resource for France's future industrial and military might. In the months after the armistice, nothing caused greater friction between the two allies than the oil question.

US President Wooddrow Wilson apparently intervened and only barely restrained them. Finally, in the secret San Remo Agreement of , the two rivals agreed to give Britain political control over all Mespoltamia, in return for France taking over the German quarter share in the Turkish Petroleum Company. All this before a drop of oil had been discovered in the disputed territory!

The French government was not satisfied with its secondary role in world oil, fearing the might of the big British and US companies. Further French legislation in referred to the company as an instrument to curtail "the Anglo Saxon oil trusts" and to develop Mesopotamian oil as a strategic resource of the French empire. The uneasy settlement between the British and the French did not end the great power dispute over Iraq's oil, however.

The United States government and US oil companies were furious at the Anglo-French agreement, which left nothing for them!

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Before the end of , following the companies' strategic prompting, the US press began to denounce the Anglo-French accord as "old-fashioned imperialism. Relations between Washington and London cooled swiftly and a young State Department legal advisor named Allen Dulles 3 drew up a memorandum insisting that the Turkish Petroleum Company TPC concession agreement with the dismembered Ottoman Empire was now legally invalid and would no longer be recognized by the United States. Soon London bowed to this transatlantic pressure and signaled that it was ready for a deal that would give the US a "fair" share.

In response, Washington told its major oil companies that they should act as a consortium in future negotiations. Thus began lengthy secret talks in London. No oil had yet been found, but prospects had brightened. In October , the British exploration team under D'Arcy hit a gusher, proving oil reserves in large quantities near Kirkuk in northern Iraq. With the implementation of the Lend-Lease Program in March, orders more than doubled. To meet the demands of this construction program, new yards were established on both coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Over the next four years, US shipyards would produce 2, Liberty Ships.

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Though Liberty Ships were constructed throughout the war, a successor class, the Victory Ship, entered production in Best known for building the Bay Bridge and the Hoover Dam , Kaiser pioneered new shipbuilding techniques. Operating four yards in Richmond, CA and three in the Northwest, Kaiser developed methods for prefabricating and mass-producing Liberty Ships. Components were built all across the US and transported to shipyards where the vessels could be assembled in record time.

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    Nationally, the average construction time was 42 days and by , three Liberty Ships were being completed each day. The speed at which Liberty Ships could be constructed allowed the US to build cargo vessels faster than German U-boats could sink them. Liberty Ships served in all theaters with distinction. Initially designed to last five years, many Liberty Ships continued to ply the seaways into the s.

    In addition, many of the shipbuilding techniques employed in the Liberty program became standard practice across the industry and are still used today. In regards to the physical plant of , storage facilities and several new administrative and shop buildings, including a five-story electrical shop, were under construction in Charlestown while ship repair and conversion facilities were expanded at the South Boston Naval Annex acquired shortly after World War I. Along the waterfront, piers were added, rebuilt, or extended, and the capacity for shipbuilding was dramatically increased with the construction of Shipways 2 and 3 the latter now referred to as Dry Dock 5.

    Additional ship repair facilities were acquired by the Navy in Chelsea and East Boston. In August , escort duty was extended to Iceland where the likelihood that American warships would be involved in combat had dramatically increased. On September 4, , the USS Greer became the first American vessel to use its weapons, dropping a pattern of depth charges after a German U-boat fired two torpedoes at the destroyer. A little more than a month later, on October 17, the destroyer USS Kearny was badly damaged by a torpedo that killed eleven of her crew.

    Damage control parties saved the vessel and she was subsequently brought into Boston Navy Yard for extensive repairs. That same day, it began construction of two destroyers while work continued on another six that were nearing completion.

    A day later, December 11, Germany declared war on the United States. The United States Navy would now be fighting a two ocean war.


    In the opening months of , the situation looked very grim for the United States and her allies as the German and Japanese military claimed vast territories throughout Europe, Asia and the Pacific. Simultaneously, sea lanes of communication in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific, were in danger of being cut off by the Axis powers.

    The United States Navy was fighting a two ocean war and needed more ships, including new types of vessels specifically designed for anti-submarine warfare and troop landings on distant beaches. Boston was a logical choice, since the yard had specialized in building destroyers DD for a decade. Slightly smaller than the Fletcher-Class Destroyers then under construction in Charlestown, these escorts required far less time to construct at roughly half the cost. They were designed to protect merchant ship convoys and to destroy enemy submarines with an array of armaments.

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    Tanks, vehicles loaded with ordnance and supplies, and the personnel to man them, could then be offloaded by means of bow doors and ramp. While the construction of new ships was extremely important, the overhaul and repair of vessels remained the top priority of Boston Navy Yard. The adjacent Dry Dock 4 and a floating dry dock handled other large combatants, auxiliaries, and transports.

    Overhauls involved all manner of maintenance and upgrade, required an average of eleven days at the shipyard. By the end of , vessels had been overhauled or repaired. Ship construction and repair at Boston Navy Yard peaked in , with the workforce reaching an all-time high of 50, employees, including a large number of women and minorities.