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OIL found in Libya in 1940/41

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  • OIL found in Libya in 1940/41

    I was watching 'The World at War" episode @ North Africa--in it there is a segment during which both sides blamed the other for putting oil in water wells, when in fact, oil was seeping in from undergound.

    What if the Italians had discovered oil in Libya in 1940 or 41? What effect does this have on the war? Would Germany pour more resources into North Africa? Did the axis have the capability to exploit an oil discovery?

  • #2
    Building the petroleum infrastructure in Libya and tankering the oil back to Germany (or even to Italy) would have been tough.
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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    • #3
      well. in fact some ITalian survey did find oil in the early 1930's but deemed it was impractical to exploit then and also did not think there was so much of it.

      indeed, refineries would have been needed and that requires capital and expertise, which at the times Italy did not have.

      but oil was not the biggest issue in Libya, it was the lack of general supply and trucks, right?
      "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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      • #4
        Oil was HUGE for the Axis in the Med.

        Churchhill risked compromising Ultra to sink some oil tankers on there way to Tobruk during El Alamien.
        Also, the Italian Fleet was partly immobilized by the lack of fuel.

        Not to mention that fact that with oil, the Itialian economy might have been worth talking about.

        As far as expertise with refineries is concerned, why not let the Americans build one, like the Romanians did?

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        • #5
          Ex,

          Go back and note the time frame: 1940/41.

          The US was not going to try and build an oil refinery in the middle of a war zone.
          The Purist

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Parasocko View Post
            I was watching 'The World at War" episode @ North Africa--in it there is a segment during which both sides blamed the other for putting oil in water wells, when in fact, oil was seeping in from undergound.

            What if the Italians had discovered oil in Libya in 1940 or 41? What effect does this have on the war? Would Germany pour more resources into North Africa? Did the axis have the capability to exploit an oil discovery?
            An equally interesting point to make here, is that Admiral Darlan met with both the Germans & The Italians on 2 different occasions and told them that had he had the Oil & The Fuel with which to operate The Vichy French Navy he would have gone to war against England.

            Therefore, having that Oil would have been beneficial to some dgree to the Axis war movement.

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            • #7
              German could have not done the Bob & saved the fuel expended there & instead landed earlier in Libya, ( with 10 panzer divisions instead of 2), & ran straight through to northern Iran & had all the oil they needed.

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              • #8
                1940 or 1941 would be far too late. They can't do anything about it then. Except for maybe if discovered before May 1940, Mussolini decides to stay out of the war and profit by selling oil to both sides!

                Say the Italians discovered it in 1932. That gives them several years to build a refinery, expand ports etc. This in turn would likely give the Italian economy a boost and they would be able to afford more industrialization.

                However it won't help the Axis cause much. Even if the Axis did have a refinery in Tripoli, how long does anyone expect it to last once at war with England? It will be in range of naval gunfire. 15 inch shells will wreck that refinery.

                Even if by some miracle the Axis keep a refinery operating and have gasoline stockpiles in Tripoli it doesn't help them as they don't have the trucks to move the supplies forward.

                PF - once again you demonstrate that you have forgotten about the logistics element. That's unfortunate as it has been pointed out to you many times. First the axis don't have the trucks to move the supplies forward. They could barely supply the forces they had. Increasing the forces (+8 pz divs as you suggest) just means 8 divisions unable to move. Second the roads and rail networks in the middle east make it impossible to supply an army in Iran/Iraq from Egypt.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Duke William View Post
                  An equally interesting point to make here, is that Admiral Darlan met with both the Germans & The Italians on 2 different occasions and told them that had he had the Oil & The Fuel with which to operate The Vichy French Navy he would have gone to war against England.

                  Therefore, having that Oil would have been beneficial to some dgree to the Axis war movement.
                  Having oil in the ground doesn't put gasoline in your panzers or oil in the fuel bunkers of your warships. Those fields would have needed years to develop and refineries would need to be built. Lastly, a whole fleet of oil tankers would need to be launched. That all takes time and time was not on the side of the Axis Powers. Those fields were also on the wrong side of the Mediterranean, which through most of the was was a "British Patroled Lake."

                  Therefore, having that oil would not have made a whit of difference "to the Axis war movement."
                  "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                  • #10
                    PF - once again you demonstrate that you have forgotten about the logistics element.

                    Once again a false claim is pitched at PF. & once again, no link has been forwarded to support this never been proven point.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Purple fang View Post

                      Once again a false claim is pitched at PF. & once again, no link has been forwarded to support this never been proven point.
                      Proved in 'Supplying War' by Martin Van Creveld, specifically Ch.6 'Sirte to Alamein'. You could probably order it from your local library if you chose to.
                      Signing out.

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                      • #12
                        You mean the view forwarded by that author, not astablished fact. Unfortunately one view by one author does not meet any criteria for establishing fact. Many such examples of a VIEW forwarded by a given author analyzed by historians at a later date & found to be either incorrect or INCOPLETE exist all through history.

                        You'll have to do leagues better than that in other words. One view by a pre-selected author means little. I've said this before, Rommel would not have attempted to take Suez if he had not the fuel & trucks to do it. I'm sure he was in a better position to be "in the know" on this than either the above mentioned author or yourself.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
                          You mean the view forwarded by that author, not astablished fact. Unfortunately one view by one author does not meet any criteria for establishing fact. Many such examples of a VIEW forwarded by a given author analyzed by historians at a later date & found to be either incorrect or INCOPLETE exist all through history.

                          You'll have to do leagues better than that in other words. One view by a pre-selected author means little. I've said this before, Rommel would not have attempted to take Suez if he had not the fuel & trucks to do it. I'm sure he was in a better position to be "in the know" on this than either the above mentioned author or yourself.
                          Can I suggest that you read said chapter, examine the copious references he supplies (which include German studies made prior to Rommel's arrival) and the bibliography before casting aspersions in such a fashion. Creveld's studies are reinforced by work carried out by other historians such as John Ellis and Jon Latimer.
                          Signing out.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
                            PF - once again you demonstrate that you have forgotten about the logistics element.

                            Once again a false claim is pitched at PF. & once again, no link has been forwarded to support this never been proven point.
                            See http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...5&postcount=18

                            where I pointed out the logistics issue to you. I cited vanCreveld there.

                            Please read that book.

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                            • #15

                              Thank god the Italian did not find oil, I would not had the chance to reply, as it was then , they managed to exterminate one third of the Libyan population , hundreds of thousands fled the country and thousands have been sent to work in Italy free of charge
                              GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS

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