Even something as great-sounding as beating swords into plowshares. Timing is critical.
Bethlehem Steel, among other companies, had built a formidable arsenal, but after the [First World War] the government continued to impose heavy taxes on its machinery that had use only in wartime. In desperation Bethlehem offered to give the facilities to the government, which politely declined the offer. Rather than pour more money into unused equipment, Bethlehem brought in gigantic hammers and smashed the machines into scrap iron and steel to sell for whatever it would bring. …
A Call To Arms: Mobilizing America For World War II
The U.S. had no armaments industry to speak of in 1940, the year Hitler conquered France and put Britain on the ropes.