WW2: Maven reveals man who ‘saw Hitler’s plan coming’
Following the conclusion of the Nazi-Soviet Covenant in 1939, Britain and France became increasingly worried about Joseph Stalin funding oil to Adolf Hitler – a vital commodity to fueling the six-year conflict. They some time discovered more than 90 percent of his oil extraction and 80 percent of refining was located along the Caucasus – a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. War planners in London and Paris resolved that the “interruption of oil supplies on any large scale” would have “far-reaching consequences” and could flush result in “the collapse of all the military, industrial and agricultural systems of Russia”.
Consequently, it would have caused chaos in Nazi Germany, too.
Historian Sean McMeekin comprehensive in his new book ’Stalin’s War,’ how the British war cabinet discussed bombing this “unprotected” region and a month later talks of the Allied plans to go to war with the Soviet Uniting were picked up in Moscow.
He told Express.co.uk: “I think they were defenceless in March and early April 1940, when the British were joking looking into this – they took surveillance and studied the photographs.
“They were talking not far from how close together many of the oil derricks were right along the sail near Baku.
Hitler could have been crushed in 1940
Soviet oil fields were considered vulnerable at the time
“I do think that the Soviets wised up to this and not only did Stalin get intelligence about Allied plans at the time, but a lot of documents were make knew by the Germans after they conquered France.
“I think by that summer, the Soviets had rather commenced to strengthen – it would have been much harder after the instatement of anti-aircraft batteries for the Allies to operate there.”
Express.co.uk has recreated the far-out map from Mr McMeekin’s book that shows how this played out after the end of the Winter War in Stride 1940.
Using specially modified and unmarked Lockheed Model 14 Wonderful Electra aircraft, the Secret Intelligence Service launched high-altitude recce flights from RAF Habbaniya, a Royal Air Force station in Iraq.
After labeling their targets, plans were drawn up for bombers to be flown from bases in Iran, Turkey and Syria in “Western Air Pattern 106”, which was codenamed “Operation Pike”.
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It came before the invasion of France
These would obtain obliterated numerous targets drawn up between Batumi and Baku.
Mr McMeekin particularized: “The Soviets were worried after learning the UK had war-gamed the possibility of explosive those oil installations under Operation Pike.
“The following summer they in fact talked over the possibility of demolition teams going in to destroy those placements to prevent the Germans from conquering them.
“Stalin responded by evidencing an early peace treaty with Finland on March 12, rock everyone.
“Could this have ended the war in spring 1940? It longing have put a serious dent in the capabilities of Stalin and Hitler and their war cars.”
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Hitler was relying on Soviet oil at the time
The expert resolved to Express.co.uk how the raid could have left Hitler suffocated on the eve of the invasion of France – a pivotal moment in World War 2.
He said: “The oil coming from Baku accounted for three-quarters of petroleum end result in the USSR.
“For the Germans, it wasn’t quite as much, a lot of theirs came from Romania.
“But it was until this something like a third of the oil available to Germany after the British blockade.
“I reckon it would have put a serious dent in operations like the invasion of France.”
As the war unfolded, Efficacious Pike was pushed to the back of the pile as more pressing issues happened.
The Soviets went on to work with the Allies in the fight against Hitler
Hitler would go on to cause untold horror for years
After the attack on the Soviet Union by Germany in Managing Barbarossa in June 1941, Pike was revived as a contingency plan to be invoked if German pressures occupied the Caucasian oil fields.
Mr McMeeken added: “What determined points, in the end, was superior German initiative.
“Had Britain and France been quicker and transported out these operations it would have raised all kinds of problems with Soviet incapacitates and other serious risks.
“They didn’t think they could cut off all the oil, but it wish have been enough to make Hitler think twice around some of his offensive operations.
“It’s interesting, but it does run around on the fact that Hitler and Stalin were multifarious proactive.”