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‘Blood and Oil. The Middle East in WW I’ and ‘Destroying Hitler’s Oil’



by
JOEL HAYWARD

When asked by his Allied captors in 1945 to what extent German military
strategy had been influenced at various stages by economic considerations,
Albert Speer, Hitler’s outstanding Armaments Minister, replied that in
the case of Operation BARBAROSSA the need for oil was certainly a
prime motive.’ Indeed, even during the initial discussions of his plan to
invade the Soviet Union, Hitler stressed the absolute necessity of seizing
key oilfields, particularly those in the Caucasus region, which accounted
for around 90 per cent of all oil produced in the Soviet Union. For example,
during a war conference at the Berghof on 31 July 1940, Hitler revealed to
high-ranking commanders his intention to shatter Russia ‘to its roots with
one blow’
2
After achieving the ‘destruction of Russian manpower’, he
explained, the German Army must drive on towards the Baku oilfield, by
far the richest of those in the Caucasus and one of the most productive in
the world.
Exploring the Allied attempts to destroy Hitler’s oil producing capabilities in World War Two. ‘Operation Tidal Wave’, which was an air attack by bombers of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on nine oil refineries around Ploie?ti, Romania on 1 August 1943 was just one of these missions
1877
C. Friedler and J.M. Crafts synthesize the first “synthetic“ hydrocarbons.
1913
Friedrich Bergius in Germany develops Hydrogenation process for production of synthetic oil from coal dust
1921
Standard Oil in USA produces one barrel of synthetic oil from one ton of shale rock
1921
Friedrich Bergius in Germany develops commercial process for hydrogenation of coal to synthetic oil
1925
In Germany Franz Fisher and Hans Tropsch develop Synthetic Oil industrial production process
1926
I.G. Farben acquired the patent rights to the Bergius hydrogenation process for production of synthetic oil from coal
1927
I.G. Farben‘s Leuna works start synthetic oil production
1929
Standard Oil of Indiana makes the first attempt at commercial development of synthetic hydrocarbons
Many gallons of synthetic oil were made by polymerization of different olefins.
1930-34
Union Carbide and Carbon Corp develop and investigate the applications of water soluble Polyalkylene Glycol (PAG)
1931
Nobel Prize for Chemistry:Friedrich Bergius & Carl Bosch
Invention and development of chemical high pressure methods (used for synthetic oil production)
1932
I.G. Farben investment into synthetic fuels production from coal
1936
Adolf Hitler in Germany starts Major synthetic fuels and oil program


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