But what if Hitler had gone a different route? What if he had put off his eastern expansionist ideas and just concerned himself with getting the oil he needed to continue the war? Some of the largest oil fields in the world are located in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As of the spring of 1941, these were all in Allied hands. Starting in September of 1940, however, Italy, under Hitler's fellow Axis dictator, Benito Mussolini, invaded British Egypt from Libya and Greece from Albania. Mussolini's campaigns were not totally successful and Hitler was forced to send troops to help secure those areas. While this might have been an annoyance to Hitler at the time, the conquest of Greece could have been used as a springboard for further adventures into the Middle East. If he had taken the same number of divisions he had used to invade the Soviet Union and had advanced instead into Syria or Turkey and then on into Iraq, he might have captured the petroleum facilitates with little difficulty.


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