Mark Gregory

Why did the UK have poor quality fuel in the 1940's

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I was reading about compression and it stated that the fuel in the Uk was of poor quality . Why ?

 


Because of the poor quality of the petrol (gasoline) in the UK at the time, British car and motorcycle manufacturers alike produced engines with relative low compression ratios. 

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Destruction caused by WWII?  The Germans certainly weren’t making life too easy for them at that time.

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Petrol was heavily rationed during the war (and afterwards). Only certain people and sectors could get it. So cars were laid up, or taken by the army, or they found fuel somewhere. There are many photos of contraptions to make fuel (gas) on the car out of chicken droppings, pig droppings and so on. Stories are legion of conversions to run on lighting kerosene.

 

Remember also that GB was completely broke as well as broken after the war. Fuel had to be cheap for them to afford it so it was the lowest octane that would work. My wife tells me rationing continued on many items into the '50s.

 

Why were they broke? They borrowed huge amounts from the US - look up lend-lease. It took them 50+ years to pay it back. I believe Germany and Japan were given support, but not Britain.

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Because the government was in charge of it. Wartime rationing lasted until 1954 on some items. Petrol rationing until 1950.  During this time all petrol stations sold "pool" petrol. It was all the same, all the same low octane and low quality. All petrol had to be imported and paid for with hard currency at a time the country was starving for hard currency. Whoever was in charge decided to stretch the dollars by buying the cheapest petrol available.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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Spinneyhill's comments regarding US support for Germany and lack of same for Great Britain, are completely at odds with the facts. While the Marshall Plan was initiated and overseen on site in Europe by the US, the amount of the loans, and the manufacturing aid that was required by each European nation, was decided by each nation. It's true that prior to the initiation of the ERP (Marshall Plan) the US had already contributed about 6% of it's GNP to reconstruction, but all of the countries of Europe shared in the aid. This is coupled with the fact that the three signers of the Versailles agreement, at the end of WWI, chose to forgive their share of  Germany's debt, at the end of WWII.  All of the victorious allied nations chose not to repeat the punitive mistakes made after the first war. It must be remembered that estimates of 70% or German housing had been destroyed, in addition to most of it's manufacturing capacity. By enabling a rapid reconstruction of the  infrastructure the process was able to fend off more human misery, and political chaos. Any complaints today about the program, seem to be a revisionist view of history. 

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More an ignorant view of history. I was not aware GB got a lot of aid after the war in the way Germany did.

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To me it sounds like an ambiguous statement by the author. What is his name. I will try to avoid his articles.

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The UK actually produced lots of oil during WW2 from oil wells drilled by Americans in Sherwood Forest. 100 octane fuel was needed for aircraft and the US knew how to make it quickly. England also used a secret pipeline under the English Channel to supply even more. I believe the UK just preferred to make lousy fuel after the war and claim they didn’t have much. The Sherwood oilfield and the pipeline remained a secret for years. I believe the oilfield produced well into the sixties or early seventies and were run by BP in the later years.

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Actually Japan during WW2 didn’t have great fuel either which was good for us. After the war, when Japanese fighter planes were brought back to the US for testing, most proved superior to US fighters when using the US high octane av gas. Even the spitfire didn’t come alive until using US 100+ octane av gas. Most countries just didn’t produce good octane fuel at those times. They didn’t produce it for their fighter aircraft nevermind their ground vehicles.

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At the end of WWII, Britain was broke and deeply in debt. They didn't get the Marshall Plan largess in the same way others in Europe did but did get a loan from the US at 2% for a 60 year term. They finished paying it off in December 2006.

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I thought all the post WWII money went to South Korea to prove democracy was better than communism. Parity between the North and South countries was the last item on the table. I think they did the same thing between East and West Germany. There I go, thinking on the dark side of history again.

Bernie

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What would spend your money fixing? Good quality gas, electricity, sewers, water, roads, housing or ?????  

Don’t forget that country had been bombed for years. The infrastructure was a mess. Yes they needed gas to rebuild but poor quality gas still worked so money went into other priorities. It must have worked as BP is one of the giants in the industry. Ask the people along the gulf. 

Dave S 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)

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I believe they had a serious housing shortage after the war when all the servicemen and women came home. This would also be the case in other countries fought in. The first priority was to house and feed everybody. NZ did very well: they took all the meat, butter and wool we could produce.

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My Great Uncle did a lot of postwar home building in the Chicago area. Learning from his mistakes, my Grandfather warned me never to bury money in 30 or 50 gallon drums.

 

A family's accrued knowledge can be quite helpful at times.

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Britain may not have got a lot of aid after the war but sure got plenty during the war. Canada produced more trucks during the war than the whole Axis combined and most of them went to the British army. Canada like New Zealand sent ship loads of food. Churchill even requested that Canada reopen distilleries closed for the war, and supply 50,000 cases of whiskey per year for the officers' mess.

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On 5/26/2018 at 5:04 PM, Mark Gregory said:

I was reading about compression and it stated that the fuel in the Uk was of poor quality . Why ?

 


Because of the poor quality of the petrol (gasoline) in the UK at the time, British car and motorcycle manufacturers alike produced engines with relative low compression ratios. 

 

WHERE DID YOU THINK ETHANOL GOT IT'S START?

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9 minutes ago, Doug Novak said:

 

WHERE DID YOU THINK ETHANOL GOT IT'S START?

 

As a internal combustion fuel? In the early 1800s, long before WW2. For other uses it has been around for far longer.

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