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The Middle East was of great strategic importance to World War II. Vast reserves of oil are found throughout the Middle East, particularly the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq. The modern offensive war utilizes tanks, jeeps, and airplanes. All of these weapons of war demand the use of petroleums that are found in this region of the world. The loss of the supplies of oil could ground the armies of the conflict to a grinding halt.
The supply of oil was even more vital to the Axis Powers of Germany and Japan. The United States and the Soviet Union were fully capable of meeting their own petroleum needs if necessary. No such oil reserves existed in Japan and Germany. Early in the war, Hitler had an agreement with Stalin to secure oil from Russia. Britain was able to secure oil through its colonial possessions in southwest Asia.
Because the Allies secured the cities of Southwest Asia, the tide of the war would change significantly. The Soviet Union, which had supplied the Axis with oil resources earlier in the conflict, was now at war with Germany. The Axis powers were now in a vulnerable position and could not significantly wage a war of offense.
After the conclusion of the war, the cities of southwest Asia would still be of great strategic importance as domestic consumption was in high demand in the United States. Oil was also and important commodity as a fuel for the militarism that existed during the Cold War. The capture of the region of Middle East by the Allies of World War II still plays an important role on world economics and politics.
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