This broadly researched book describes World War II as a process driven by the need for fuel, which was necessary to run the engines of war. The authors maintain that the invasion of Russia was primarily motivated by Germany's failure to produce sufficient synthetic fuels, that Fascist Italy was almost entirely dependent on Germany for oil, and that while the Germans produced record numbers of weapons in the latter stages of the war the machines themselves were idled because of the lack of fuel.
Turning to the Pacific theater, Goralski and Freeburg reveal that before Pearl Harbor the Japanese undertook a worldwide campaign to buy as much crude oil as possible (actually trying to corner the market in U.S. aviation oil) and that the Dutch East Indies oil fields were the major strategic prize over which several important campaigns were fought.
In the concluding chapter the authors argue that oil and war are more inextricably linked today than ever before and go on to speculate ominously on the growing worldwide struggle for secure access to oil. Goralski wrote World War II Almanac; Freeburg is former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. Photos.
World War II and Oil...
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03 Mar 38: Oil is discovered in large quantities in Saudi Arabia
26 Sep 40: FDR imposes an embargo on the export of aviation fuel
01 Aug 41: US announces oil embargo against all aggressor nations
12 Jan 42: Dutch POWs executed for destruction of oil installations
25 Mar 42: Standard Oil pleads "no contest" over synthetic rubber
01 May 42: PLUTO pipeline under English Channel is tested
15 May 42: Gasoline rationing goes into effect in the eastern US
28 Jan 44: US, UK place oil embargo on Spain for supplying Germany
05 Mar 44: Gen Spaatz issues "Oil Plan" to bomb Germany's fuel
05 May 44: Spain stops exporting Tungsten to Germany for American oil
12 May 44: US 8th AF begins bombing oil production in Germany
12 Aug 44: PLUTO pipeline is laid across English Channel
16 Aug 45: Gasoline and fuel oil rationing comes to an end