Yet, by October 1918 only 134 wooden steamships had been completed; another 263 were less than half finished. When Germany surrendered on November 11, none had crossed the Atlantic.
Congressional charges of ineptitude within the program soon followed. A Senate probe revealed that of the 731 wooden steamships contracted for, only 98 had been delivered. Of these, only 76 had carried cargo in trade. Charges flared that the vessels were badly designed, weakly constructed, poorly caulked, leaked excessively and were too small and expensive for long-distance cargo hauling.
Still, the ships continued to slide down the ways...
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