German grand strategy during World War II included making Europe independent of oil imported from sources controlled by the United Kingdom, the United States, and the USSR. The first step was to wrest control of oilfields. Producing and distributing the oil, however, required the creation of a company capable of replacing the evicted British, American, and Soviet suppliers. Therefore, in 1941, ... [Show full abstract] the Third Reich established the Continental Oil Company. Analysis of the company’s foundation and operations sheds light on the objectives of the Third Reich, including the postwar economic development of Axis Europe and the extension of German hegemony beyond the USSR into the Middle East.