Without US support to Nazi Germany, the Third Reich would not have been able to wage war on the Soviet Union. Germany’s oil production was insufficient to wage a major military campaign. Throughout the war, the Third Reich relied on regular shipments of crude oil from US Standard Oil owned by the Rockefeller family.
The main producing countries in the early 1940s were: the United States (50% of global oil production), the Soviet Union, Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, and Romania.
Without a steady supply of oil, Germany would not have been able to conduct Operation Barbarossa which was launched on June 22, 1941. The invasion of the Soviet Union was intent upon reaching and taking control of the oil resources of the Soviet Union in the Caucasus and Caspian sea regions: the oil of Baku.
The Unspoken Question. Where did Germany get its oil from?
Prior the December 1941, Texas oil was shipped on a regular to Nazi Germany.
While Germany was able to transform coal into fuel, this synthetic production was insufficient. Moreover, Romania’s Ploesti oil resources (under Nazi control until 1944) were minimal. Nazi Germany largely depended on oil shipments from US Standard Oil.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) occurred barely six months after the launching of Operation Barbarossa (July 1941). The United States enters World War II, declaring war on Japan and the axis countries.
Trading with the Enemy legislation (1917) officially implemented following America’s entry into World War II did not prevent Standard Oil of New Jersey from selling oil to Nazi Germany. This despite the Senate 1942 investigation of US Standard Oil.
While direct US oil shipments were curtailed, Standard Oil would sell US oil through third countries. US oil was shipped to occupied France through Switzerland, and from France it was shipped to Germany:
“… for the duration of the Second World War, Standard Oil, under deals Teagle had overseen, continued to supply Nazi Germany with oil. The shipments went through Spain, Vichy France’s colonies in the West Indies, and Switzerland.”
It should be noted that a large share of Nazi Germany’s oil requirements was met by shipments out of Venezuela which at the time was a de facto US colony.
Venezuela’s US sponsored (War-time) president General Isaías Medina Angarita (May 1941 – October 1945) was there to protect US oil interests as well as “trade with the enemy” from the onset of America’s entry into World War II in December 1941:
John D. Rockefeller Jr. owned a controlling interest in the Standard Oil corporation, but the next largest stockholder was the German chemical company I. G. Farben, through which the firm sold $20 million worth of gasoline and lubricants to the Nazis. And the Venezuelan branch of that company sent 13,000 tons of crude oil to Germany each month, which the Third Reich’s robust chemical industry immediately converted into gasoline.
While Medina Angarita’s government pressured by Washington in the immediate wake of Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) remained officially neutral (de facto aligned with the US, while breaking its relations with Nazi Germany), oil shipments out of Venezuela to Germany were not discontinued. In a rather unusual twist (bordering on ridicule) Venezuela declared war on Germany in February 1945, when the war was almost over.
Without those oil shipments instrumented by Standard Oil and the Rockefellers, Nazi Germany would not have been able to implement its military agenda. Without fuel, the Third Reich’s eastern front under Operation Barbarossa would most probably not have taken place, saving millions of lives. The Western front including the military occupation of France, Belgium and The Netherlands would no doubt also have been affected.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt administration could have taken adopted severe sanctions against Standard Oil with a firm decision to enforce a blockade against Nazi Germany.
The US was not committed to peace: Washington’s unspoken objective was not only to destroy the Soviet Union, it also consisted in undermining Britain’s role as an imperial power.
Let us be under no illusions. Without the oil shipments instrumented by US Standard Oil and its subsidiaries, Nazi Germany’s imperial design could not have been undertaken.
You cannot wage a war without fuel.