WW2 Oil production worker's passport - Our Passports
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  • WW2 British Palestine passport
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WW2 Oil production worker’s passport

1944 British Palestine issue.

 

Assisting in the war-effort was vital, for all sides, during World War Two. Be it for the Axis of for the Allies, each side attached great importance to its civilian’s participation in the effort to win the war and assist the army and its advances in the different fronts.

 

Each side made use of petrol, oil fields and refineries during the war. For Nazi Germany and its axis partners they made use of oil that was located, for example, at Ploiești (Romania), which was a major source for its war production usage. Hitler even tried to capture the oil fields in the Caucasus, in what was named as the “Battle of the Caucasus”. The Germans did manage to make some progress in this effort, but after the Soviets broke out of Stalingrad, they put the Axis on the defenses causing them to withdraw troops from their original effort to try even reaching the fields in Azerbaijan (in 1942 Hitler ordered the capture of the Soviet oil fields of Baku – ” Operation Edelweiss”). By 1943, the Germans abandoned any real attempt to capturing and putting into use the oil fields in those regions. They were on the defensive and eventually on the run at the end. In addition, the Germans had established many companies that worked on the synthetic oil production as well, and those too came under the allied carpet bombing missions of WW2. Examples of such important plants can be found in the Ruhland-Schwarlheide (Braunkohlen Benzin AG (Brabag)), Western Poland Pölitz near the area of Szczecin (Stettin in German) where concentration camp inmates were put into work, Bochum Ruhr benzene plant, the Recklinghausen installations and more.

 

Oil Campaign of World War II

Oil Campaign chronology of World War II

 

As for the Allies, they made use of the oil fields in the Middle East, such as in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran.

The passport that will be discussed bellow is connected to the above mentioned topic.

 

In the early stages of the war, 1941, the Allies launched Operation Countenance, in order to secure the oil fields of Iran and that they do not fall into the hands of the Axis or put into use for them. Lasting for a short period of time from August 25th to September 17th, it was seen as the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Persia (Empire of Iran). Though Iran was neutral, the Allies feared that its monarch Rezā Shāh was friendly to the Axis cause. Thus, in order to ensure the constant supply of oil to the Soviet cause as well, they launched the operation on August which led to his ousting and his younger son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, placed instead of him.

 

British Mandate passport number 175436 was issued on June 1st 1944 in Jerusalem to Wolf Blachowicz, occupation was “fitter”. The passport is rather interesting because it does not have the “usual” visas inside: Normally, when one finds such passports they would have the regular pre-war visas for Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, Italy and even the UK; were as post-war samples would normally have Middle Eastern visas for Egypt, Syria or Lebanon. Here we find a passport that has rare visas for Iraq and Iran (!), and being issued during the war period makes it extra special indeed. Apparently, according to the visas issued to him by the Iraqi & Iranian diplomatic legations in Palestine (!) it is stated that it is for a worker working at the Anglo-Iranian oil company (مستخدم لدى شركة النفط الايرانية الانجليزية) as indicated in the visa on page 9.

 

We can find attractive visas issued at Jerusalem by the Iraqi and Iranian consulates. Return or transit visas issued at Khorramshahr (Iran) by the Iraqi and British consulate as well. He transited via Syria in 1945, very close to its independence from France, and arriving back to Palestine on January 7th via the “Daughters of Jacob Bridge” border crossing up north.

 

Smaller image source: Wikipedia.

 

I hope you enjoy the images.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Kaplan
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