How much oil was Germany able to secure after its invasion of France in 1940 from the French oil stockpiles? Was this a significant amount that allowed for further Operations, e.g. during Barbarossa or was it a small amount that could be ignored?


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Hayward (1995) says that the amount of oil products captured in the 1940 campaigns overall was something greater than the 12 million barrels consumed by them, including "250,000 tons of aviation fuel [...] captured during the French campaign.".

However Toprani (2019) is a bit more conservative:

The émigré petroleum economist Walter Levy assessed Germany’s consumption between September 1939 and June 1941 at 13.5 million bbl—one-quarter of the annual prewar figure. Levy surmised that Germany may even have “came out ahead of the game,” since he estimated that German forces captured twenty million bbl in France and the Low Countries. The actual haul was, in fact, much smaller. According to Whitehall, the Germans acquired 550,000 tons of oil in Norway, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium. As for France, contemporaries assumed it had large reserves. This was true for nickel—the Germans made off with a one-year supply—but not oil. Germany only secured 800,000 tons from Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France, not including supplies captured in the field. In fact, considerable quantities of fuel were destroyed during the fighting. One million tons—one-fourth of German production—was destroyed before capture. This is not to say the Germans left empty-handed—they captured many of France’s refineries intact—only that their haul would not provide much relief.

Note that the amount "captured in the field" was not the same (and presumably much less) than the amount "secured" (by gaining control of refineries). The figure of 800,000 tons is less than 5.5 million barrels according to a web-based calculator.


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