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Blood, Oil, and the Axis: The Allied Resistance Against a Fascist State in Iraq and the Levant, 1941

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In spring 1941, with the Allies on their heels on all fronts of WWII, a pro-German faction of Iraqi officers offered that country’s vast oil supply to Hitler in exchange for helping it take over Iraq. That oil supply was sufficient to provide for all the needs of the seemingly unstoppable Axis war machine. On top of that, the Vichy French overlords of neighboring Syria agreed to collaborate with the Germans by providing airstrips and fuel for the Luftwaffe en route to fight beside their new Iraqi partners.

In Blood, Oil, and the Axis, John Broich tells the fast-paced story of the improvised response launched by an unlikely coalition of Allied units from around the globe and their race to counteract this dire threat before the Axis could consolidate power in Iraq and the Levant.

Broich tells his tale through the eyes of memorable figures like a young American who rejected hiscountry’s isolationism to fight the fascists years before Pearl Harbor; Freya Stark, a famous travel writer turned government agent; Roald Dahl, who flew a Hurricane fighter over Syria before becoming a children’s writer; and fighters from India, Jordan, and Iraq itself. Taking the reader on a tour of cities and landscapes grimly familiar to today’s reader—from a bombed-out Fallujah to Baghdad to Damascus—Blood, Oil, and the Axis is poised to become the definitive chronicle of the Axis’s menacing play for Iraq and the Levant in 1941 and the extraordinary alliance that confronted it.

365 pages, Hardcover

First published May 7, 2019

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John Broich

3 books16 followers

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