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Q: Where did Nazi Germany get its Oil in WW2? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Where did Nazi Germany get its Oil in WW2?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 19 Sep 2004 00:15 PDT
Expires: 19 Oct 2004 00:15 PDT
Question ID: 403163
I understand that initially some of Germany's supplies came from:

a) Synthesisation from Coal
b) Baku
c) Rumania
d) Aruba (via Spain)

There may of course be other sources ...

At an early stage, Britain estimated that Germany only had 1 year's supply.

What was its annual requirement and where was it sourced?

Obviously, the sourcing would have changed consistent with the progress of events.

Any ideas?

(I seem to remember a WW2 movie, possibly 'Battle of the Bulge' where
towards the end the German tanks ran out of fuel.)
Subject: Re: Where did Nazi Germany get its Oil in WW2?
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 20 Sep 2004 04:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear probonopublico-ga, 

Another interesting question to research.  Some statistics on
production are available - it appears not all the records were
destroyed at the end of the war. The Allies were particularly keen to
seize the files as they were seeking to identify information on the
synthetic oil industry. German oil production  was targeted by the
Allies in 1944 /45, and reports on the effectiveness of the bombing
campaign linked below.

The first document is ?The Role of Synthetic Fuel In World War II
Germany - implications for today?? by Peter W. Becker (B.A., North
Texas State University; M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University) is Associate
Professor of History at the University of South Carolina.
This is a very comprehensive article, fully sourced, which will
provide some statistics and information you require.

The next document is from the United Kingdom?s Ministry of Fuel and
Power, which produced a report in 1947 on the German oil industry. The
index appears here:
Report on the Petroleum and Synthetic oil industry of Germany - index

This part of the report, starting at page 2, provides statistics on
crude production and finished products, and details German oil
production during the war.

The above documents came from a web site dedicated to the
Fischer-Tropsch process where coal was compressed into gas which was
mixed with hydrogen. From the same site, the documents below are
various Allied reports on their investigations at the end of the war.

Synthetic Oil Production in Germany, Interrogation of Dr. Butefisch,
British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee

Table II ? Total German production ? referred to by Dr. Butefisch

All of the interviews of Dr. Butefisch appear here

Report on German oil production, by R. Holroyd
"Most of the Rumanian/ Hungarian oil products were supplied direct to
the armed forces in the Eastern areas  [...] The total Rumanian crude
production was said to be roughly 6,000,000 tons/year. [...] German
oil production:  1,920,000 tons/yeare, some 8-900,000 came from the
Austrian fields, 6-700,000 tons/year from the Hanover district,
2000,000 tons/year from Heide and the remainder from Baden and the
Polish frontier area. The German crudes, particularly those from
Austria which contained only 5-7% petrol, were particularly good for
lubricating oil production"
Page 15 of pdf

Other references to the Report on the Investigation by Fuels and
Lubricants Teams at the I.G. Farbenindustrie A.G. Leuna Works,
Meresburg, Germany ? 1946

"Of the total oil production of 6,180,000 tons in 1943 from all
sources, 3,088,000 tons was from Bergius hydrogenation and only
368,000 tons was produced by the Fischer-Tropsch process."
PETROLEUM (LONDON). Synthetic Fuels in Germany. I. Introduction. Vol.
9, 1946, pp. 74, 93.

This document is described as The United States Strategic Bombing
Survey, Summary Report, (European War), September 30, 1945. It appears
on a personal web site, but appears to be genuine.

"The German oil supply was tight throughout the war, and was a
controlling factor in military operations. The chief source of supply,
and the only source for aviation gasoline, was 13 synthetic plants
together with a small production from three additional ones that
started operations in 1944. The major sources of products refined from
crude oil were the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania and the Hungarian
fields which together accounted for about a quarter of the total
supply of liquid fuels in 1943. In addition, there was a small but
significant Austrian and domestic production. The refineries at
Ploesti were attacked, beginning with a daring and costly low-level
attack in August 1943. These had only limited effects; deliveries
increased until April 1944 when the attacks were resumed. The 1944
attacks, together with mining of the Danube, materially reduced
Rumanian deliveries. In August 1944, Russian occupation eliminated
this source of supply and dependence on the synthetic plants became
even greater than before."

More appears on this page

Discussion on the effectiveness of Allied air raids with references to
oil production.

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you

Search stratgey
germany "oil production" 1939..1945

germany "oil" rumania synthetic 1939..1945

Request for Answer Clarification by probonopublico-ga on 20 Sep 2004 07:06 PDT
Hi, Answerfinder

It looks very impressive.

Very many thanks ... I will read it more closely later ... and do the necessary.

Many thanks


Clarification of Answer by answerfinder-ga on 21 Sep 2004 00:49 PDT
Many thanks for the tip. Next time, I'll try to find some rather more
exciting bedtime reading. This one is better than counting sheep.
(I've placed this here as a clarification so that it clears my
outstanding clarification request panel).
probonopublico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Hi, Again, Answerfinder

I enjoyed my bedtime reading last night.

Very many thanks.

All the Best


Subject: Re: Where did Nazi Germany get its Oil in WW2?
From: scriptor-ga on 19 Sep 2004 04:16 PDT
Yes, the movie you remember is indeed "Battle of the Bulge" ... and
what a horrible film that is! You can put a hundred layers of grey
paint on M47 Patton tanks - they will *never* become Tiger II panzers.
And God alone knows why they made that movie in Spain, in a landscape
that does not even vaguely resemble the Low Countries. Not to mention
the thousand other things that make that movie a perfect example for

Subject: Re: Where did Nazi Germany get its Oil in WW2?
From: probonopublico-ga on 19 Sep 2004 04:23 PDT
Hi, Scriptor

Many thanks for your comment ... 

I didn't know anything about the movie's lack of authenticity but
that's typical Hollywood.

Spain was probably the preferred location on grounds of cost and not
many folk can tell one tank from another.

Me? I was in a Tank Regiment (10th Royal Hussars) for a couple of
years and I even I couldn't tell one from another. Or even from a
water tank.

Subject: Re: Where did Nazi Germany get its Oil in WW2?
From: omnivorous-ga on 20 Sep 2004 08:52 PDT
Bryan --

Might I recommend that you go back and look through the book that you
recommended to me: "The Hitler/Hess Deception," Martin Allen.  The
book contains numerous references to flow of raw materials, especially
oil, though it lacks the quantifiable numbers that Answerfinder-GA's
response contains.

Somewhere in my reading during the past year there were specific
numbers for exactly what raw materials the Soviet Union provided under
the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August, 1939.  I went looking for them
yesterday but couldn't find them.  The source will probably pop into
my brain at some random time in the next 6 months, so don't stop
production of your latest play to wait for it!

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Where did Nazi Germany get its Oil in WW2?
From: probonopublico-ga on 20 Sep 2004 09:35 PDT
Wow. Omni, Many thanks.

I'll take another look at the Hitler/Hess book ... I've got so many!

If there were some other goodies in the Non-Aggression Pact, they have
eluded me. I was only aware of the 'Strictly Secret' protocol where
they carved up Poland, etc.

If you do recall it, it would be greatly appreciated.

All the Best


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