Oil was the single most essential commodity of World War II. Each battle, every human life lost, each refugee displaced, every choice decided on by leaders was made over oil. Synthetic oil was the life blood of Nazi Germany. The only reason Hitler attacked Stalin was oil. Hitler could have invaded the Middle East and North Africa for the regions oil. Hitler could have used those resources to defeat Russia. Japan attacked the Philippines for oil. Japan attacked the United States over an oil embargo. Every war has been over land. After oil became a precious commodity, every war fought was over land with oil reserves.