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Planning in Practice
Essays in Aircraft Planning in War-Time

  • Date Published: March 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107617070


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About the Authors
  • Ely Devons (1913–67) was a British economist and statistician who made notable contributions to a variety of areas. Originally published in 1950, this book contains a study of the way in which the Ministry of Aircraft Production planned production during the Second World War. Based upon Devons' firsthand experience within the planning division of the Ministry, the text forms a highly personal record of the ways in which production was planned, incorporating criticisms and judgements where necessary. A linear historical perspective is avoided, in favour of a systematic approach focusing on various aspects of the production process in turn. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in British aircraft production and military history.

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… [this] book is an admirable chronicle of the personal reactions of an acute economic analyst to British wartime planning of aircraft production.' Sidney M. Robbins, Journal of Political Economy

    '… all planners who read [this book should become] more analytical of their own techniques and more conscious of the necessity for maximum interdepartmental understanding … Recommended reading for personnel dealing with requirements, productions, and logistical planning in general.' Ralph I. Williams, Military Affairs

    '… a masterly analysis of the limitations of statistical evidence … excellent and dispassionate analysis of a system of industrial control … we should be grateful to Professor Devons for such an illuminating study. It should enable us to treat the whole subject of planning with even greater confidence, knowledge and caution than we have hitherto treated it.' I. S. Lloyd, South African Journal of Economics

    'An able analysis and critique of the complex planning functions of Britain's Ministry of Aircraft Production during World War II … [The author] has approached his task with both intelligent objectivity and considerable, apparently warranted, candor … The reader cannot help being impressed by the extent to which the personal element can affect a complex organization of this sort … this book should interest businessmen, economists, and engineers.' William F. Vogel, Aeronautical Engineering Review

    '[The author's] detailed explanation of the way in which aircraft production was planned by the responsible Ministry during the war has been written because, as he believes, much of the experience then gained can be useful in peacetime planning.' Times Literary Supplement

    'This is an important book … Mr Devons's great service is to show with unusual detail and force what misallocation and waste of resources is likely to occur under planning; and that is when total war makes the overriding priorities few and obvious.' The Economist

    '… a book of quite unusual interest and importance … The author has set himself the task, which is rather different from that of the historian, of examining some of the fundamental problems of physical planning, as illustrated by the experience of M.A.P., and he has performed it with a high degree of distinction.' T. Wilson, The Manchester Guardian

    'Professor Devons, who was in charge of the Statistics branch of the Directorate-General of Programmes, Planning and Statistics in the Ministry of Aircraft Production from 1941 to 1943, and of the whole directorate from 1943 to 1945, gives the world the fruits of his experience as a planner … If it is true that in the last four years of the war we in M.A.P. made fewer mistakes on the whole than our opposite numbers on the other side, it was, I believe, in no small degree due to the work in those years of Professor Devons. If, as I hope, this book is now made compulsory reading for all those now planning our rearmament programme, his work may again help to prevent mistakes; and in war, cold or hot, it is the side which makes the fewest mistakes which wins.' F. W. Paish, Economica

    '[This book] is most excellently written … These eight essays … should do much in providing solutions to the more pressing problems of our time, if only those with the job to do will read them, digest them and act in the light of experience so well analysed.' The Aeroplane

    '[The author] offers some valuable criticisms and judgments.' British Book News

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107617070
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 203 x 133 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.28kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The place of the Ministry of Aircraft Production in aircraft planning
    2. The aircraft programme
    3. The assessment of productive capacity
    4. Planning the supply of components
    5. The engine programme
    6. Labour requirements
    7. Statistics and planning
    8. The problem of co-ordination
    Appendix. Supply and requirements of components in June 1944

  • Author

    Ely Devons

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