Ever since the car became a mass-manufactured item, the very same tools used to make cars have been turned to making weapons of war. Some of this is little more than methodological. After all, even gun factories use Henry Ford's assembly line concept. What changed in the 20th century was the size of machines needed. Especially before the jet age, the only manufacturers with the skills, resources, manpower and capacity to build large weapons of war were car manufacturers. Today, governments rely on companies like Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing and Raytheon to make military hardware, but for most of the 20th century and even to some extent today, governments call upon automakers to craft the weapons of war.
World War II saw governments from Japan to Russia mobilize their manufacturers to turn their plowshares to swords, creating some of the most iconic, ubiquitous and deadly weapons the world had ever seen. Some of these brands still bear the hallmarks of military service as part of their branding. Even luxury brands were involved in this all out war, supplying parts, engines and sometimes whole vehicles to their respective countries' militaries. President Roosevelt even took to calling these carmakers "The arsenal of democracy."
How well do you know the military history of the automotive industry? Take this quiz and find out.