Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

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Sid Guttridge
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Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 29 Mar 2012 13:43

Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

I understand at least some was imported under an agreement with the USA in 1941. If so, was the oil from US production, or perhaps the Dutch West Indies?

If some did come from Allied sources, how was it controlled so that none was passed on to the Axis?

Cheers,

Sid

kgvm
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby kgvm » 06 Apr 2012 17:52

There was at least the "Shéhérazade" (13467 GRT) transporting 17101 t oil products from Baytown (Texas) to Casablanca. She left Baytown 10.05.41, but was stopped by a British cruiser 21.05.1941 (anybody knows by which ship?) and brought to Bermuda, arriving 24.05.41. 25.06.41 released with the order to go to Dakar instead of Casablanca she continued the voyage.

Orwell1984
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Orwell1984 » 06 Apr 2012 21:17

kgvm wrote:There was at least the "Shéhérazade" (13467 GRT) transporting 17101 t oil products from Baytown (Texas) to Casablanca. She left Baytown 10.05.41, but was stopped by a British cruiser 21.05.1941 (anybody knows by which ship?) and brought to Bermuda, arriving 24.05.41. 25.06.41 released with the order to go to Dakar instead of Casablanca she continued the voyage.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca ... OhG8aYUTpA
Above links to the Weekly Resume of the Naval, Military and Air Situation from 12 noon May 15th to 12 Noon May 22nd 1941 for the British War Cabinet.
Shéhérazade is mentioned on the first page as being stopped by HMS Diomede a Danae class light cruiser.
Here's a link to a brief newspaper article about the seizure.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 66,5116657
Brief history of Shéhérazade's fate. Sunk June 11, 1942 by U-158
http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?30466
http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/1789.html

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 07 Apr 2012 01:52

A more general answer is Standard Oil of the US was able to ship a certain amount to Vichy French controled territory from July 1940 through latter 1942. The US sought to retain a degree of influence with the Vichy government & some trade was continued until the eve of Operation Torch in late October 1942. This oil probablly was South American oil, perhaps with a smaller quantity from Texas.

The quantities were limited, and most was destined for the colonies, vs metropolitan France. The French provided documentation as where the oil was used, and in any case they had little incentive to violate the US terms and send it on to the Germans. That is not to say the Germans did not filch a little that got into their reach, but the French badly needed it themselves and were loathe to see the US cut them off entirely through giving much up to the kletomaniac nazis.

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Stanford9
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Stanford9 » 06 May 2018 00:13

Esso were passing oil and petrol products to Nazi Germany via Switzerland throughout the war. American banks such as Chase and vehicle manufacturers such as Ford and others such as ITT had more than a hand in keeping both Vichy France and Nazi Germany going. They traded using the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) which was in fact run by the Nazis with an American CEO.

See Charles Higham ”Trading With The Enemy” Delacourt Press 1983. It has been criticised for not being written in a ”more learned way” however, Higham’s research was deep and his findings have been more buried than disputed. He found plenty of documentary evidence that the American authorities and government knew full well what was going on.
www.Perilous-Moon.com

DavidFrankenberg
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby DavidFrankenberg » 09 May 2018 18:45

Sid Guttridge wrote:Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

I understand at least some was imported under an agreement with the USA in 1941. If so, was the oil from US production, or perhaps the Dutch West Indies?

If some did come from Allied sources, how was it controlled so that none was passed on to the Axis?

Cheers,

Sid

During the Occupation France stopped to use fuel for cars because its use was very restricted. Gaz or electricity were used instead of fuel.

You can check this book (in french) : Les véhicules de l'occupation (The cars under occupation) https://www.afgnv.info/attachment/720289/

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 14 May 2018 11:55

Hi David,

Thanks. That looks a fascinating book on an obscure subject.

The UK and many other country's adopted some of these expedients as well, though I suspect France had to go rather further.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Stanford9
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Stanford9 » 14 May 2018 16:30

It does look interesting. The least expensive I’ve spotted if you want it Sid is at ABEBooks.co.uk this is the link:

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/Sear ... =100121503
www.Perilous-Moon.com

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 16 May 2018 04:23

Stanford9 wrote:...
See Charles Higham ”Trading With The Enemy” Delacourt Press 1983. It has been criticised for not being written in a ”more learned way” however, Higham’s research was deep and his findings have been more buried than disputed. He found plenty of documentary evidence that the American authorities and government knew full well what was going on.


I've wondered if Hingham was working off of someone else research. He did not have much of a background in history writing.

Futurist
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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Futurist » 16 May 2018 05:17

Carl Schwamberger wrote:A more general answer is Standard Oil of the US was able to ship a certain amount to Vichy French controled territory from July 1940 through latter 1942. The US sought to retain a degree of influence with the Vichy government & some trade was continued until the eve of Operation Torch in late October 1942. This oil probablly was South American oil, perhaps with a smaller quantity from Texas.

The quantities were limited, and most was destined for the colonies, vs metropolitan France. The French provided documentation as where the oil was used, and in any case they had little incentive to violate the US terms and send it on to the Germans. That is not to say the Germans did not filch a little that got into their reach, but the French badly needed it themselves and were loathe to see the US cut them off entirely through giving much up to the kletomaniac nazis.

Are there any other Nazi-friendly countries whom the U.S. shipped oil to during World War II? I'm curious about this; after all, your information here is very interesting.

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Re: Where did Vichy France get its oil from over 1940-44?

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 19 May 2018 00:33

Spain, Portugal, Turkey, possiblly Bulgaria, possiblly Sweden, possiblly Switzerland. Standard Oil was active in Rumania in the 1930s & its employees were gradually withdrawn from 1939. I'm not sure when the last departed. Standard Oil may have been involved in the development of the Austrian oil deposits & not departed for a few years after the Anschlusss. I don't know if SO had any connection to Polands oil development. The Rockafeller family were accused of being pro Facist & slow to sever connections to Germany & Italy from 1940. there was also the 'Davis Oil Company' A one man operation financed by the Reichsbank this was a purchasing agency or brokerage. I don't think it possessed much in the way of physical assets. Its business was purchasing oil products on the open or spot market & reselling them to Germany or neutrals for shipment to Europe. In 1942 Davis the owner was arrested for violation of statutes accompanying the US DoW against Germany. He died in prison in 1943 awaiting trial.

British intelligence monitored or tried to, where what from the US went to in Europe. The NavCerts program that administered the blockade of Europe was part of the monitoring/intel gathering system too. The Brits turned up some evidence of resale of oil, and other critical items, by neutrals to Germans. They ramped up a lobbying effort in the US, putting pressure on for reduction of sales. Circa 1941 the Brits claimed German submarines were refueling from Standard Oil controlled tankers (possibly Panamanian flagged) in the neutral Portugues and Spanish Atlantic islands.

1939-1941 the Brits were busy in the US lobbying and gathering intel on residual US trade with Germany & Italy. This was successful as the German representatives in the neutral US found themselves increasingly restricted by new laws, investigations, and 'other methods'. The ability of the Brits to run at large in the US while the Germans were increasingly restricted was one of the many irritants behind Hitlers decision to declare war on the US.


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