Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The role of synthetic fuel in World War II Germany - implications for today by Dr. Peter W. Becker

Very interesting the text will appear on the pages of Air University Review, July-August 1981

 The role of synthetic fuel in World War II Germany and implications for today by Dr. Peter B. Becker
German Bf 109 refueling in Russia, 1941-1942
"The United States is faced with an acute energy problem. Our dependence on imported petroleum, which accounts for half of the country’s consumption, has caused rising balance of payments deficits that weaken the dollar and contribute to inflation. More worrisome in the long run for the future of this country is the realization that eventually most oil deposits, both foreign and domestic, will be depleted. This grim spectre is accompanied by a lack of control over foreign supplies, leaving us dependent on the goodwill and mercy of the oil-producing states.
There are, of course, other sources from which energy can be derived, sources such as nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, solar and thermal power, and the like. But for the foreseeable future they either present many environmental threats or are not yet sufficiently developed to replace our dependence on foreign oil supplies. A sensible energy policy for the time being no doubt would rely on many different sources of energy until a more efficient, effective, and safe method has emerged. Such an approach will include the production of synthetic fuel derived from coal. This method was first effectively used by the Germans during World War II, so an examination of Germany’s situation at that time could be instructive.

As a highly developed industrial state, Germany was dependent even in peacetime on external sources for an adequate supply of oil. Even though Germany’s 1938 oil consumption of little more than 44 million barrels was considerably less than Great Britain’s 76 million barrels, Russia’s 183 million barrels, and the one billion barrels used by the United States, in wartime Germany’s needs for an adequate supply of liquid fuel would be absolutely essential for successful military operations on the ground and, even more so, in the air.1 For Germany, it was precisely the outbreak of the war in 1939 and the concurrent termination of overseas imports that most endangered its ability to conduct mobile warfare.
German oil supplies came from three different sources: imports of crude and finished petroleum products from abroad, production by domestic oil fields, and syntheses of petroleum products from coal.
In 1938, of the total consumption of 44 million barrels, imports from overseas accounted for 28 million barrels or roughly 60 percent of the total supply. An additional 3.8 million barrels were imported overland from European sources (2.8 million barrels came from Romania alone), and another 3.8 million barrels were derived from domestic oil production. The remainder of the total, 9 million barrels, were produced synthetically. Although the total overseas imports were even higher in 1939 before the onset of the blockade in September (33 million barrels), this high proportion of overseas imports only indicated how precarious the fuel situation would become should Germany be cut off from them.2
At the outbreak of the war, Germany’s stockpiles of fuel consisted of a total of 15 million barrels. The campaigns in Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France added another 5 million barrels in booty, and imports from the Soviet Union accounted for 4 million barrels in 1940 and 1.6 million barrels in the first half of 1941. Yet a High Command study in May of 1941 noted that with monthly military requirements for 7.25 million barrels and imports and home production of only 5.35 million barrels, German stocks would be exhausted by August 1941. The 26 percent shortfall could only be made up with petroleum from Russia. The need to provide the lacking 1.9 million barrels per month and the urgency to gain possession of the Russian oil fields in the Caucasus mountains, together with Ukrainian grain and Donets coal, were thus prime elements in the German decision to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941.3
The smallest of the Russian oil fields at Maikop was captured in August 1942, and it was expected that the two remaining fields and refineries in Grozny and Baku also would fall into German hands. Had the German forces been able to capture these fields and hold them, Germany’s petroleum worries would have been over. Prior to the Russian campaign, Maikop produced 19 million barrels annually, Grozny 32 million barrels, and Baku 170 million barrels.4
Grozny and Baku, however, were never captured, and only Maikop yielded to German exploitation. As was the case in all areas of Russian production, the retreating forces had done a thorough job of destroying or dismantling the usable installations; consequently, the Germans had to start from scratch. In view of past experience with this type of Russian policy, such destruction was expected, and Field Marshal Hermann Göring’s staff had begun making the necessary preparations in advance. But a shortage of transport that was competing with military requirements, a shortage of drill equipment as well as drillers, and the absence of refining capacity at Maikop created such difficulties that when the German forces were compelled to withdraw from Maikop in January 1943 in order to avoid being cut off after the fall of Stalingrad, Germany had failed to obtain a single drop of Caucasian oil. Nevertheless, the Germans were able to extract about 4.7 million barrels from the Soviet Union, a quantity that they would have received anyway under the provisions of the friendship treaty of 1939.5
Even before the Russian prospects had come to naught, Romania had developed into Germany’s chief overland supplier of oil. From 2.8 million barrels in 1938, Romania’s exports to Germany increased to 13 million barrels by 1941,6 a level that was essentially maintained through 1942 and 1943.7 Although the exports were almost half of Romania’s total production, they were considerably less than the Germans expected. One reason for the shortfall was that the Romanian fields were being depleted. There were other reasons as well why the Romanians failed to increase their shipments. Foremost among these was Germany’s inability to make all of its promised deliveries of coal and other products to Romania. Furthermore, although Romania was allied with Germany, the Romanians wished to husband their country’s most valuable resources.8 Finally, the air raids on the Ploesti oil fields and refineries in August 1943 destroyed 50 percent of the Romanian refinery capacity. Aerial mining of the Danube River constituted an additional serious transportation impediment. Even so, Romanian deliveries amounted to 7 million barrels in the first half of 1944 and were not halted until additional raids on Ploesti had been flown in the late spring and summer of 1944.9
Even with the addition of the Romanian deliveries, overland oil imports after 1939 could not make up for the loss of overseas shipments. In order to become less dependent on outside sources, the Germans undertook a sizable expansion program of their own meager domestic oil pumping. Before the annexation of Austria in 1938, oil fields in Germany were concentrated in northwestern Germany. After 1938, the Austrian oil fields were available also, and the expansion of crude oil output was chiefly effected there. Primarily as a result of this expansion, Germany’s domestic output of crude oil increased from approximately 3.8 million barrels in 1938 to almost 12 million barrels in 1944.10 Yet the production of domestic crude oil never equaled in any way the levels attained by Germany’s other major supplier of oil, the synthetic fuel plants.
Inasmuch as natural oil deposits in Germany were so few, long before the war efforts had been made to discover synthetic methods of producing gasoline and oil. In view of the country’s wealth of coal, it was logical to look in this direction for a solution. Both coal and petroleum are mixtures of hydrocarbons, and the problem was how best and most efficiently to isolate these elements from the coal and transmute them into oil. By the time Hitler became chancellor in 1933, four methods of achieving this were either available or in early stages of perfection.
The first process produced benzol, a byproduct of coking. Benzol was used as a fuel in admixture with gasoline. The drawback to increased production of benzol was the fact that it was tied to the quantities of coke that were needed at any given time, and these in turn were determined by the production limits of crude iron.
The second method produced a distillate from lignite coal. Brown or soft coal was gently heated, and the tars and oil were then extracted and distilled into fuel. The end product was of such low quality, however, that only 10 percent could be used as gasoline, with the remaining 90 percent useful only as heating oil and diesel fuel.
A third formula, the Fischer-Tropsch process, was, at that time, still in the research and testing stage. Under this system, coal is compressed into gas which is mixed with hydrogen. By placing this mixture in contact ovens and adding certain catalysts, oil molecules are formed. Further treatment of this primary substance generates fuel, chiefly diesel oil.
Coking and distillation extracted oils and tars from coal, and additional cracking refined them into gasoline. The Fischer-Tropsch process and a fourth method, the hydrogenation process, changed coal directly into gasoline. As coal is a hydrocarbon containing little hydrogen and gasoline is a hydrocarbon with a high hydrogen content, the problem consisted of attaching hydrogen molecules to coal, thereby liquefying it. This was the basis of the hydrogenation process, which required high temperatures and high pressures. By 1933, this method had been thoroughly tested and was ready for large-scale practical application. The advantage of the hydrogenation method was that as primary material it could use the tars from the distillation of both lignite and bituminous coal (although the distillation of the latter was not possible on a large scale until 1943) as well as lignite and bituminous coal directly.11
When the Germans in the 1920s first began considering other sources of fuel, they did so for three reasons. First, the blockade during World War I had taught them how dependent they were on imports of a myriad of essential raw materials and how vulnerable this dependence made them. Second, because of the lost war and the ensuing economic difficulties, Germany was short of hard foreign exchange required for the purchase of foreign oil. And third, rumors were rampant in the world that proven reserves were about to run out. This last worry disappeared with new finds, but the second motive in particular, shortage of foreign exchange, remained and grew under Hitler. It was also Hitler’s determination to make Germany independent from outside sources.12 Furthermore, Germany’s leadership increasingly was concerned with the requirements of a war economy, and after 1938 these concerns occupied a substantial position. Prior to this time, five hydrogenation plants had been constructed, one of which was based on bituminous coal treatment. This plant, Scholven, was located in the Ruhr area; the other four plants at Leuna, Böhlen, Magdeburg, and Zeitz were located in central Germany, adjacent to lignite deposits. The total output of the plants in 1937 was 4.8 million barrels of various grades of petroleum fuels.13
In October 1936, the first of several plans for increased oil production was formulated. It envisioned a production of 36 million barrels of petroleum fuels by October 1938.14 The plan was twice revised, in May and again in December 1937, but the changes did not involve an increase in projected production. They were concerned chiefly with changes in the output mix, allowing for a hefty quantity of aviation fuel, with other types of fuel being reduced.15
To accommodate this increased production, the plants at Scholven and Zeitz were to be expanded, and four new hydrogenation plants were to be erected at Gelsenkirchen, Welheim, and Wesseling in the Ruhr and at Pölitz near Stettin on the Baltic Sea. The scheduled construction time for these projects was 18 months, a goal that turned out to be rather unrealistic. Even more unrealistic were the completion dates assigned to twelve Fischer-Tropsch plants with relatively low production goals; they were to be finished by 1 April 1938. By 1945 only nine of them were operational; they reached their maximum capacity in 1943 with less than 2.8 million barrels.16
Production goals were altered again in the summer of 1938 when Göring set up a new program whose completion was to coincide with the completion of rearmament in 1942-43, in keeping with the plans revealed by Hitler in his November 1937 conference. Greater armaments required larger amounts of fuel, and the so-called Revised Economic Production Plan of 1938 reflected the new needs. Göring called for the production in 1942-43 of almost 88 million barrels of various types of fuels and lubricants. But it was not long before it was realized that a program of such dimensions would require construction steel quantities that simply were not available in an already straitened economy. After several further revisions, the final one of January 1939 called for a production in 1943 of 68 million barrels. The quantities for all fuels were reduced except aviation gasoline, which was to be produced at 100 percent of the amounts provided in Göring’s plan of 1938.17
It was aviation gasoline that played the crucial role in the hydrogenation plant construction program. By the early 1930s, automobile gasoline had an octane reading of 40 and aviation gasoline of 75-80. Aviation gasoline with such high octane numbers could only be refined through a process of distillation of high-grade petroleum. Germany’s domestic oil was not of this quality. Only the lead additive tetraethyl could raise the octane to a maximum of 87. The license for the production of this additive was acquired in 1935 from the American holder of the patents, but without high-grade oil even this additive was not very effective.
Hydrogenation promised a way out. It allowed a gasoline with an octane reading of 60 to 72, and thus high antiknock properties, to be manufactured. With the aid of lead tetraethyl, the octane reading could be raised to 87. High octane gasoline was important, as its antiknock characteristics determined the compression ratio of an engine that used the fuel, and the compression ratio in turn determined the engine’s power.18
A breakthrough in gasoline production occurred in the United States in 1935 when it became technically possible to produce isooctane with a reading of 100 in large quantities. By 1939, both the American and English air forces had begun to use the improved gasoline, and their planes could then be equipped with correspondingly stronger engines. In Germany, also, a method had been discovered to manufacture such a high-test gasoline, but the process was much more complex, cumbersome, and expensive than the American method, which used different primary materials. Due to these difficulties in production, the Luftwaffe until the end of 1938 neglected to insist on the production of high-octane fuel. For this reason until 1945 the German Air Force had no fuel equal to that available in the English-speaking countries.19
How important the new aviation fuel was is demonstrated by the improved performance it made possible: 15 percent higher speed, a 1500-mile longer range for bombers, and an increased altitude of 10,000 feet. Göring attempted to make amends for the past neglect at the end of 1938 when he demanded that the 19 million barrels of aviation fuel included in the Revised Economic Production Plan be manufactured as high-test gasoline equivalent to the quality of isooctane.20
As it was, only two small test plants were in operation when the war broke out in 1939 with a total production of 63,000 barrels per year. The shortage of both steel and manpower had delayed the completion of the full construction program of hydrogenation plants. At the beginning of the war, seven plants were in operation, three were in advanced stages of construction, and two others were barely begun. With the exception of four plants for the production of high-octane aviation fuel, no other plants were established after September 1939.21
Even the completion of the plants under construction was not pushed as much as might have been possible. The delay resulted from the competition for essential raw materials, many of which needed to be channeled directly into armaments, and the optimistic forecasts by the High Command. With respect to the first reason, Germany’s armaments blanket was simply too thin when the war broke out and instead of broadening Germany’s armaments base it became necessary to supply the existing plants so that they could produce arms at an optimal rate.22 The second reason was based on Germany’s initial successes in the war. Estimated requirements for warfare proved to be highly inflated, and the booty acquired from the conquered countries caused stockpiles to be accumulated which, barring unforeseen circumstances, were regarded by the Armed Forces Economic Office as satisfactory through 1941.23 But the operations in Soviet Russia in 1941 and 1942 reduced stockpiles radically, and after the summer of 1942 the German armed forces and the German economy had to draw almost solely from direct production.24
When it was suggested that one of the meetings of the Central Planning Board be devoted to the fuel situation, Albert Speer cut the discussion short by stating: "We need only a very limited briefing. We know how bad the situation is."25 In fact, Speer was partially responsible for the grave fuel situation; soon after his appointment in February 1942 he had curtailed the overall construction program, including that of the hydrogenation plants. It seemed to him that because of the raw material shortages it was not practical to build plants that would be in operation only several years hence. Immediate needs had priority. Only toward the end of 1943 was an effort made once more to force the expansion of hydrogenation plants.26
Still, between 1938 and 1943, synthetic fuel output underwent a respectable growth from 10 million barrels to 36 million. The percentage of synthetic fuels compared to the yield from all sources grew from 22 percent to more than 50 percent by 1943. The total oil supplies available from all sources for the same period rose from 45 million barrels in 1938 to 71 million barrels in 1943.27
In spite of shortages and other difficulties, production and supply, although never reaching the amounts contemplated by Göring, presented no serious problems until the spring of 1944.28 This was accomplished by giving no claimant, including the armed forces, all of the fuel that he needed. A good example is the ruthless reduction in the allocation for civilian passenger cars. The only people permitted to operate a motor vehicle were doctors, midwives, policemen, and high government and party officials. Their total allocation was only 450,000 barrels per year. German agriculture was allotted 1.7 million barrels of fuel per year for 1941 and 1942. The farmers actually required more fuel in 1942 than in 1941 because so many horses had been requisitioned for the armed forces that it was necessary to operate more tractors.
In the spring of 1942, the Agency for Generators was established to effectuate the conversion of vehicles from liquid to solid fuels.29 A conversion to such fuels as wood chips, anthracite coal, lignite coal, coke, gas, and peat moss was expected to yield substantial savings in gasoline. During 1942, the saving amounted to 5 million barrels, and in 1943 it reached 8.2 million barrels.30 Thousands of cars and trucks were converted and equipped with devices shaped like water heaters, which graced trunks and truck beds.
Yet however great the savings were, they were insufficient in themselves to alter the perennial fuel shortage. In the autumn of 1942 there appeared to be only two ways in which fuel production could be enlarged. One was to secure the Russian oil fields, but as we have seen that expectation quickly evaporated; the other was to increase the number and output of hydrogenation plants. Such a plan was devised late in 1942, projecting an annual production of synthetic fuel of 60 million barrels by 1946.31 Yet when the effort was finally made toward the end of 1943, it was decidedly too late for any improvements. The onset of Allied air attacks on the hydrogenation plants in May 1944 foiled all expectations and sounded the death knell For the German war machine.
The first massive raid was flown on 12 May 1944 and directed against five plants. Other raids followed successively and continued into the spring of 1945. The severity of the raids was immediately recognized by the Germans. Between 30 June 1944 and 19 January 1945, Albert Speer directed five memoranda to Hitler which left no doubt about the increasingly serious situation. Speer pointed out that the attacks in May and June had reduced the output of aviation fuel by 90 percent. It would require six to eight weeks to make minimal repairs to resume production, but unless the refineries were protected by all possible means, coverage of the most urgent requirements of the armed forces could no longer be assured. An unbridgeable gap would be opened that must perforce have tragic consequences.32 Continued attacks also negatively influenced the output of automotive gasoline, diesel fuel, Buna, and methanol, the last an essential ingredient in the production of powder and explosives. If, Speer warned, the attacks were sustained, production would sink further, the last remaining reserve stocks would be consumed, and the essential materials for the prosecution of a modern technological war would be lacking in the most important areas.33
In his final report, Speer noted that the undisturbed repair and operation of the plants were essential prerequisites for further supply, but the experience of recent months had shown that this was impossible under existing conditions.34 Behind Speer’s warnings was his awareness that once production of fuels was substantially curtailed, once reserves and the fuel in the distribution system were depleted, the Germans would be finished and the end could be predicted with almost mathematical accuracy.35 In a way, Speer was merely echoing the prophetic utterance of Field Marshal Erhard Milch from the summer of 1943:
The hydrogenation plants are our most vulnerable spots; with them stands and falls our entire ability to wage war. Not only will planes no longer fly, but tanks and submarines also will stop running if the hydrogenation plants should actually be attacked.36A perfect example of this was the amount of aviation fuel allotted to the training of pilots. Toward the last nine months of the war, they were sent into combat with only one-third of the training hours actually required.37
What was left of the hydrogenation plants after the war barely survived for a few more years, if only for the mundane purpose of refining imported crude oil. By 1964, the oil boom in full swing, the plants ceased to be competitive. The technological lead once enjoyed by Germany was assumed by South Africa. Determined not to be at the mercy of unfriendly oil-producing states, the South African government decided to rely on conversion of coal to gasoline. In April 1980 the Republic of South Africa began to operate the second of three Fischer-Tropsch plants. They are the largest and only commercial oil-from-coal refineries in the world, and by 1985 they will supply half of the country’s fuel needs.38
The Germans also are back in the game. A pilot plant for the liquefaction of coal is being constructed in the Ruhr, and on becoming operational in the spring of 1981 it will have a capacity for converting 75,000 tons of coal annually into 157,000 barrels of light and medium oil and liquid gas. Early in 1980 the West German government approved an ambitious program involving the construction of 14 large plants for the liquefaction and gasification of coal, requiring the investment of $7 billion by 1993. By 1986 the Germans expect to satisfy 10 percent of their current gasoline needs in this fashion.39
This, of course, is a hopeful sign for the United States. With respect to foreign exchange, dependence on others, and more than adequate coal deposits at home, there exist some remarkable similarities between the United States today and the Germany of the 1930s and 1940s when it comes to synthetic fuel production.
It was the dearth of foreign exchange after World War I that motivated the Germans to search for alternative supplies of fuels; the current annual expenditure by the United States of $90 billion which alone creates our gigantic balance-of-payments deficit is a parallel phenomenon. While the dollar is still recognized and accepted as a principal currency—unlike the German mark after 1918—our huge payments for imported petroleum constitute a devastating hemorrhage of national substance, glut the foreign money markets with increasingly devalued dollars, and create inflation at home and indebtedness overseas. Just as Germany then and now was dependent on outside sources for its supply of liquid energy, so the United States today is forced to rely on foreign suppliers for approximately half its fuel needs. This dependence jeopardizes America’s ability to act free from intimidation and circumscription in matters of foreign policy. Economically, the latitude of OPEC to raise oil prices at will has immediate and, in the long run, intolerable implications for this country.
However, the vast coal deposits in the United States afford this country an incomparably better opportunity to become largely energy-independent than Germany with its coal, beds had in the 1930s and 1940s or even now. In contrast to this country, Germany’s coal reserves are virtually depleted, and what is left is difficult and costly to extract. The price of a ton of coal in Germany currently is $100, compared to $25 per ton in the United States.40
Different methods need to be applied in producing synthetic fuels, depending on the type of raw material used and the end-product desired. Whatever scientific-technical approach will ultimately be deemed preferable, there is no doubt that from a purely technological point of view this country can assure itself of adequate supplies of fuel in relatively short order.41 The actual problem is not one of technology so much as one of political responsibility, courage, will, and wisdom on the part of the administration and the United States Congress. The approval of a $20 billion synthetic fuel program by the United States Congress is a first, cautious step in the right direction. Anyone who might be appalled at the sums which need to be invested—the $20 billion is only part of a total of $88 billion to be expended for this purpose—need only remind himself, however, that at the present time we spend more than that total amount every year for imported petroleum.
A word of caution, though. The magnitude of the problem facing this country has another dimension that should not be underestimated. At the peak of their synthetic fuel production in 1943, when half of their economy and their armed forces ran on synthetic fuel, the Germans produced 36,212,400 barrels of fuel a year. At current rates of imported fuel alone, that quantity in this country would last all of four and one-half days!

University of South Carolina

1. United States Strategic Bombing Survey, The Effects of Strategic Bombing on the German War Economy (Washington, 1945), p. 73. Hereafter cited as USSBS.
2. Ibid., pp. 73-74.
3. W. Tomberg. "Wehrwirtschaftliche Erkenntnisse von 5 Kriegsjahren," (November 1944), pp. 58, 61; see also Speer’s remarks in Imperial War Museum, FDC 1, Interrogation of Albert Speer, 5th Session, May 30, 1945, p. 3.
4. Remarks by Professor Hettlage, economic adviser to Speer, on the condition of the war economy, November 7, 1942.
5. Dieter Petzina, Autarkiepolitik im Dritten Reich: Der nationalsozialistische Vierjahresplan (Stuttgart, 1968), pp. 143-44.
6. USSBS, p. 74.
7. Zentrale Planung, 20th Meeting, October 29, 1942, pp. 15, 7; Tomberg, p. 59.
8. Zentrale Planung, 37th Meeting, April 22, 1943, p. 45.
9. USSBS, p. 75.
10. Wolfgang Birkenfeld, Der synthetishe Treibstoff 1933-1945 (Göttingen, 1964), p. 217. It is interesting to note that without Austria, West Germany’s crude oil production after a brief hiatus in 1945 and 1946 began to rise again in 1947 and by 1959 had reached 32 million barrels, a figure which doubtless would have appeared astronomical to Hitler and Speer.
11. Ibid., pp. 12-16.
12. Petzina, p. 36.
13. Birkenfeld, p. 225.
14. Ibid., p. 82.
15. Ibid., p. 230.
16. Ibid., pp. 197-210.
17. Ibid., pp. 113-14, 120-25, 231,
18. Ibid., pp. 60-64.
19. Ibid., pp. 70-74.
20. Ibid., pp. 121-25.
21. Ibid., pp. 138-40.
22. Aide-memoire by General Georg Thomas, July 6, 1942.
23.Georg Thomas, Geshichte der deutschen Wehr- und Rüstungswirtschaft (1918-1943/45), edited by Wolfgang Birkenfeld, Schriften
des Bundesarchivs, Nr. 14 (Boppard am Rhein, 1966), pp. 179, 250, 253.
24. Birkenfeld, Treibstoff, p. 156.
25. Zentrale Planung, 20th Meeting, October 29, 1942, p. 8.
26. Zentrale Planung, Ergebnisse der 56. Sitzung der Zentraien Planung, April 5, 1944, p. 3.
27. USSBS, p. 74.
28. Tomberg, p. 61.
29. Zentrale Planung, 20th Meeting, October 29, 1942, pp. 10-14.
30. Ibid., pp. 17-18.
31. Ibid., p. 51.
32. Albert Speer, "Erste Hydrier-Denkschrift vom 30.Juni 1944."
33. Albert Speer, "Dritte Hydrier-Denkschrift vom 30. August 1944."
34. Albert Speer, "Fünfte Hydrier-Denkschrift vom 19, Januar 1945."
35. Imperial War Museum, FDC 1, Report 26, Interrogation of Albert Speer; The Effects of the Allied Bombing of Germany, July 18, 1945.
36. Zentrale Planung, 37th Meeting, April 22, 1943, p. 42.
37. USSBS, Over-all Report (European War), Washington, September 30, 1945, p. 21.
38. Der Spiegel, March 17, 1980, pp. 169-72.
39. Chicago Tribune, April 21, 1980, Section 5, p. 7.
40. Ibid.
41. A team of scholars at Texas A&M University is currently studying the surviving records of the German synthetic fuel processes with a view toward determining which aspects can be utilized for American purposes.
Author’s note: All documents come from the German Federal Archives, Koblenz, with the exception of those labeled Imperial War Museum (IWM), London.


Peter W. Becker (B.A., North Texas State University; M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University) is Associate Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He is the aurthor of a number of articles on political and economic subjects and has translated several volumes of church history. Dr. Becker is currently finishing a manuscript on the German war economy of World War II.

The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University. "

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