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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 119–133 | Cite as

The wartime ‘special relationship’? From oil war to Anglo-American Oil Agreement, 1939–1945

  • Fiona VennEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article examines the nature of the Anglo-American relationship with regard to oil diplomacy during the Second World War, a period often described as the epitome of the so-called ‘special relationship’. It reflects on the fraught relations between the British and US Governments regarding control over foreign oil concessions before 1939 in the so-called ‘oil war’, and considers whether the negotiation of an Anglo-American Oil Agreement in the closing stages of the War may be interpreted as indicative of a ‘special relationship’. Through an examination of government records on both sides of the Atlantic, it concludes that both governments were instead motivated by self-interest and a desire to protect or extend their nationals’ oil interests, particularly in the Middle East.

Keywords

Anglo-American oil Second World War 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryEssex UniversityEssexUK

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