Outstanding German historian Andreas Hillgruber says the Reich had the following priorities in the attack on the USSR:
"1. Defeating the USSR over three, at the most four, months, with basic goals being achieved in the first month. Such estimates implied moving the main part of the infantry divisions from the Eastern Front in early August and of the motorized and tank units in early September to fulfill new objectives…
"2. Autumn 1941 - A pincer movement in three directions: from the Caucasus to Iran, from Bulgaria through Turkey to Syria and Iraq, from Libya through Egypt, Suez and Palestine. Establishing bases for an operation in Afghanistan from where a threat could be posed to India, the heart of the British Empire.
"3. If possible, May 1941 - a strike by the Japanese on the south to occupy Singapore and invite danger to India from the east.
"4. The same autumn 1941 - occupation of Gibraltar (with or without the consent of Franco), blockade of the Mediterranean in the west, then establishment of a German bastion in north-western Africa directed at America."
As far back as 1940 Admiral Reder proposed to Hitler his "Mediterranean strategy" for Baku oil and the Middle East - to press the advance on the British, take control of the sea and go to the oil, and then to the USSR from Iran.
In his book Twilight of the Sea Gods Tadeusz Tuleya wrote that Grossadmiral Reder, already concerned about the lack of oil, was ready to play for high stakes - the Persian oil fields. He foresaw that the occupation of Egypt and the Suez Canal would put the Mediterranean in German hands and lead the Germans to the Middle East where they could join the attacking Japanese. This would sound the death knell for the Allies' sea power.
"The Fuehrer demanded a rapid advance through Africa and Egypt to Arabia. Here, the troops of Rommel operating in North Africa and the task force that had to pass through Bulgaria and Turkey were to meet, forming pincers. Then a second pair of pincers was to be made by uniting the two first groups with the third one moving through the Trans-Caucasus. This was the way the Germans planned to do away with French and English possessions in the Middle East.
"At the same time another plan was drawn up consisting of the occupation of the Caucasian oilfields and moving to the Iran-Iraq border. The occupation of the Northern Caucasus was to be realized as early as November 1941, and the occupation of the whole Caucasus in June of the next year. Then the troops were to move to the region of Tabriz and finally make for Iraq in July or September 1942. Three routes were supposed, the Black Sea coast, the Georgian Military Highway and along the Caspian to Derbent."
On 3 January, 1942 Hitler said in a conversation with the Japanese ambassador to Berlin, Osima, that he "is not planning yet to conduct offensives in the centre of the front". His aim is "the offensive in the southern part of the front". Then Hitler added that he had "decided to resume the offensive towards the Caucasus as soon as the weather became more propitious. This primary direction is of great importance. We must reach the oil regions, Iran and Iraq." Col-Gen Ruoff, the commander of the 17th field army, invited the Japanese military attach? to the blown up bridge across the Don on 24 July, 1942, and pointing towards Bataysk, said, "The gates to the Caucasus are open. The time is near when the German forces and the forces of the Emperor of Japan will meet in India!" Doctor of Military Science, Professor, Army General Vladimir Lobov says, "We can take the presence of our troops in Iran in different ways. But firstly this was the result of the treaty between the USSR and Iran of 1921, and secondly we had a corresponding agreement with England and the USA. Our Allies were afraid of not only Iran but the whole Middle East region getting into the hands of the Germans. And the Middle East means oil. Which is the main reason for everything…" He is echoed by Professor of the Foreign Intelligence Academy, Lieutenant General in retirement Vadim Kirpichenko, "Hitler's plans really included moving the troops to India through Iran and Afghanistan after the occupation of Moscow, thereby striking a crucial blow in the struggle with England…"
"Watching the unfolding war between the USSR and Germany", President Eisenhower said in his memoirs, "we found it difficult to determine how long Russia would stand and whether it would it be able to resist the German army at all. Business circles in the USA together with the British were seriously concerned at that time about the raw material resources of India, the oil of the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and about the Middle East and Near East in general."
Memos of the American and British Joint Chiefs of Staff stressed that "our forces in the Middle East are to cover the most important oil reserves in Iraq and Iran not letting the Germans pass to the bases of the Indian Ocean. The loss of the Middle East will cause the immediate fall of Turkey which will open a way to the Caucasus for Germany and sever the southern route through Iran that supplies the Russians."
This was the dominating plan for the Germans.
After the occupation of Baku and thereby the fall of the USSR the Germans would have seized Iranian oilfields as well, and through a domino effect the Middle Eastern oilfields would have been occupied too, which would have completed the Germans' pincer operation. (See Map 1)
IF THE PINCER MOVEMENT HAD BEEN SUCCESSFUL, WITH AN ANNUAL PRODUCTION OF 50 OR 60 MILLION TONNES OF OIL (THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE GERMANS WOULD HAVE RAISED THE PRODUCTION LEVEL IN THESE REGIONS TO THESE FIGURES IN A YEAR OR 18 MONTHS), THE NOTORIOUS BERLIN-ROME-TOKYO AXIS WOULD NOT HAVE FEARED THE USA.
HAD HITLER MANAGED TO CARRY OUT THE PINCER OPERATION, THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY WOULD HAVE TAKEN A DIFFERENT COURSE - A HORRIBLE ONE!
Stalingrad was both the first and the final battle on the territory of the USSR directed at Germany's pincer operation for global oil. Much if not all was settled in Stalingrad!