Inside Pan-Arabia

Inside Pan-Arabia

Inside Pan-Arabia

Inside Pan-Arabia

Excerpt

It was Lord Curzon who made the memorable statement after World War I that "the Allies floated to victory on waves of oil." This vivid and rather poetic phrase proved to be even more pertinent in World War II. Had it not been for the oil of Iraq and Iran, or the high-octane gasoline of the United States, our tanks and planes would certainly have not been able to turn back Rommel's panzers at Al-Alamain. That precious liquid made possible the colossal production of weapons in the United States, without which victory over the Axis would have been but a dream. Oil overcame the submarine menace; oil enabled us to carry Lend-Lease materials and equipment to the Russians at Stalingrad, and to land our invasion fleet on the North-African coast. Could there have been a D-day in Europe without the countless tanks and tankers filled with gasoline? Or would Fortress Europa have crumbled under the blows of our air-armada without the ample stocks of oil stored in the United States? And what was the magic fluid that made the superforts drone over Tokyo? Again and again -- oil.

Ever since Lord Fisher put the British fleet on an oil basis, petroleum has been a mighty factor in international politics, and very often a cause of discord among nations. Governments raced for foreign oil, for it turned out to be not only a source of handsome income but also the very life-blood of empires, so vitally needed for their national security.

The British were the first to realize the national and international importance of oil. Unlike Russia and the United States, they lacked oil within their own borders. After . . .

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