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 Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015

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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Mon 30 Jul 2018, 17:35

Britain Introduces New Measures to Conserve Fuel

Britain meanwhile undertook yet another round of measures to try and reduce fuel consumption.  A campaign was launched from January 1942 to reduce fuel used for retail deliveries; the slogan was ‘Carry Your Shopping Home’.  From 1st March all issues of fuel to goods vehicle operators were linked to specific tasks and it was then illegal to use that vehicle for any other task.  The well-known composer and singer Ivor Novello was sent to prison for four weeks for using petrol not for the purpose intended.  

The relationship between the public concern over the fuel situation and the loss of tankers to U-boats is perhaps best illustrated in the controversial drawing by the cartoonist Zec.  This appeared in the 6th March 1942 edition of the Daily Mirror, it was intended to be an attack on profiteering and illustrate how wasting fuel could have grave consequences in terms of lives lost.  However, many in the government, including the Prime Minister, were infuriated considering it to be suggesting the petrol companies were profiteering at the expense of British lives.  The 1943 film The San Demetrio tells the story of a tanker struggling to deliver its fuel to Britain during the Battle of the Atlantic.  Having finally reached port safely the captain commented “That ought to be enough to take quite a few race-goers to Newmarket.”  Three men from Burton on Trent were to be fined £1200 for hiring a taxi to attend the races, although not at Newmarket but at Doncaster.

During the summer of 1942 there were further cut backs in bus and coach services.   In anticipation of the ending of the basic petrol ration for private motor cars, it was cut and there was a media campaign against its continuation.  It was declared in one newspaper that ‘The further restriction on the private use of petrol will be warmly welcomed by public opinion’.   Finally, on 1st July 1942, the basic ration for private motor vehicles ended.   Some people were able to claim a ‘domestic allowance’ if they lived in rural areas for activities such as attending a hospital, shopping, taking children to school or even for attending church.  However, only around 40,000 vehicles qualified for the ‘domestic allowance’ and the ending of the ‘basic ration’ reduced consumption by 180,000 tons a year, more than had been expected.   Following the ending of the basic ration, police would regularly raid race meetings to quiz drivers as to how they had acquired the petrol they had used to attend the meetings.   Overall, private petrol consumption was cut from 823,000 tons in 1940 to 301,000 tons in 1943.

Another cost saving measure undertaken was the reuse of waste lubricating oil, although its effects was nowhere near the public perception of what it would achieve.  Supplies of heating oils for buildings not directly aiding the war effort were cut, as were supplies of paraffin to dealers.   In certain areas it was just not possible to cut civil use, for example the amount of land used for growing crops had increased from thirteen million acres in 1938 to eighteen million.  As a result the number of tractors had also increased from 53,000 to 120,000 and ninety percent of them used paraffin as a fuel.  However, it was also clear that farmers, in order to save on petrol, were using their tractors for activities for which they would normally have used petrol driven vehicles.  A campaign was undertaken to try and reduce paraffin consumption by tractors by ten percent.  However, it was not enough just to cut civil usage for military requirements were increasing.

Sources
  D.J.Payton-Smith: Oil – A Study of War-time Policy and Administration
  The Times 13 March 1942.
  N.Longmate: How We Lived Then 
  Juliet Gardener: Wartime Britain 1939 – 1945
  Angus Calder: The People’ War: Britain 1939 – 1945
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Tue 07 Aug 2018, 08:57

The PLUTO Pipeline Myth

To the extent that the government pipeline network became publicly known after the war and still is known, it is most likely to be with regards to the PLUTO cross-channel pipelines laid in 1944.  The author was contacted in the 2000s by a national organisation with regards to a storage depot near the Stanlow refinery in the Wirral.  The organisation assumed that the depot had originally been built as part of the PLUTO pipeline network.  In fact the depot had been built in the 1950s and had nothing to do PLUTO.

It would probably be also true to state that the perception of those who have heard of PLUTO is that it was a great success and that the Normandy invasion might not have succeeded without it.  This perception was started almost immediately after the end of the war in Europe when the secret of the PLUTO pipelines was made public.  For example, Henley Cables ran an advert referring to ‘Operation “PLUTO” the petrol pipe-lines that made V.E. possible’.  Captain Hutching, Senior Naval Officer Commanding Force “PLUTO” wrote to all members of Force “PLUTO” advising them that they had ‘contributed not a little to the final victory’.  The Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower descibed it as ‘second only in daring to the Mulberry artificial harbours’.  
  
This view has scarcely changed over time.  For example the message from Sir Winston Churchill at the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the laying of the PLUTO pipelines described it as being ‘crowned by complete success’.  In 1995 Lord Prior in his introduction to Adrian Searle’s book on the PLUTO pipelines, wrote that ’possibly because a pipe-line is essentially a prosaic object, largely unseen and uninspiring to the eye – unlike, for example, the floating prefabricated Mulberry harbours - PLUTO has perhaps not received its due recognition in the context of our wartime victory.’   An online article on PLUTO based on information provided by Captain F.A.Roughton  states ‘Soon after D Day, a continuous flow of petrol to meet the heavy demands of the liberation armies and air fleets was maintained by the ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.’   From an obituary in The Times in 2004 'Frank Stone played a crucial role in the construction of Pluto the principal means by which the allied armies and air forces were kept supplied as the campaign unfolded.'  A BBC Hampshire news item on 8th June 2010 described PLUTO as a ‘key contribution to victory in World War II’.  The BBC interviewed the then Chairman of the Bembridge Heritage Society , who, according to the BBC, declared “If PLUTO had not worked, there is a chance we wouldn’t have won.”

For the reality of the contribution of the PLUTO pipelines to the success of the invasion of Normandy and Victory in Europe, one needs to consider how much fuel was actually delivered by PLUTO at the various key changes of the invasion.  This is set out in the list below:


6th June 1944 D Day 

27th June United States forces capture Cherbourg 0 tons

18th to 20th July British and Canadian Forces capture Caen 0 tons

25th to 30th July United States forces breakout from Normandy 0 tons

20th/21st August Closing of the Falaise Gap 0 tons

25th August Liberation of Paris 0 tons

4th September British forces reach Antwerp in Belgium 0 tons

17th September Start of Operation Market Garden, Paratroopers land at Nijmegan and Arnhem in the Netherlands 0 tons

It was not until 22nd September 1944, three and half months after D-Day that gasoline first flowed through PLUTO,  by which times the allies had reached the Netherlands.  The question then is as to why the common perception of PLUTO is so at odds with the reality and why did PLUTO not achieve that perception?
 
Tim
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 16 Aug 2018, 22:56

Tim, will comment tomorrow...too late this evening...and the wife a crack in the hipbone, in fact the hipsocket...adding to the workload at home..she has not to lean on that hip...but we had already a wheelchair from before...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Sat 18 Aug 2018, 22:59

Tim,


"Britain Introduces New Measures to Conserve Fuel"
thanks for another interesting message about measures to conserve fuel in 1942.
I did first research for your second message about the operation PLUTO and wanted to ask wherefore that stood, as I didn't find it on the first sight in your messages, but during my research I found it all.
But then returning to this message I wanted to make the comparison with Belgium during the occupation about fuel, but didn't find that much as fuel had to be used in cars our trucks and that was easely to track down by the occupier and those Belgians working with them, and also the  normal police, which wasn't pleased with the black market, which was on the back of the poor and of the city population, which had less access to benefits of the more rural surroundings...get entangled in all this during the rest of the evening...
And yes a lot of black market even at the risk of dead penalty...and after 1942 with the requisition of workers for Germany, obliged work "service?" the mix between resistance movement, black marketeers and straight criminals was a thin line...as it is all in Dutch and French it is even not worth a thread as to make summaries in English for me...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Sat 18 Aug 2018, 23:13

@Tim of Aclea wrote:
The PLUTO Pipeline Myth

To the extent that the government pipeline network became publicly known after the war and still is known, it is most likely to be with regards to the PLUTO cross-channel pipelines laid in 1944.  The author was contacted in the 2000s by a national organisation with regards to a storage depot near the Stanlow refinery in the Wirral.  The organisation assumed that the depot had originally been built as part of the PLUTO pipeline network.  In fact the depot had been built in the 1950s and had nothing to do PLUTO.

It would probably be also true to state that the perception of those who have heard of PLUTO is that it was a great success and that the Normandy invasion might not have succeeded without it.  This perception was started almost immediately after the end of the war in Europe when the secret of the PLUTO pipelines was made public.  For example, Henley Cables ran an advert referring to ‘Operation “PLUTO” the petrol pipe-lines that made V.E. possible’.  Captain Hutching, Senior Naval Officer Commanding Force “PLUTO” wrote to all members of Force “PLUTO” advising them that they had ‘contributed not a little to the final victory’.  The Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower descibed it as ‘second only in daring to the Mulberry artificial harbours’.  
  
This view has scarcely changed over time.  For example the message from Sir Winston Churchill at the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the laying of the PLUTO pipelines described it as being ‘crowned by complete success’.  In 1995 Lord Prior in his introduction to Adrian Searle’s book on the PLUTO pipelines, wrote that ’possibly because a pipe-line is essentially a prosaic object, largely unseen and uninspiring to the eye – unlike, for example, the floating prefabricated Mulberry harbours - PLUTO has perhaps not received its due recognition in the context of our wartime victory.’   An online article on PLUTO based on information provided by Captain F.A.Roughton  states ‘Soon after D Day, a continuous flow of petrol to meet the heavy demands of the liberation armies and air fleets was maintained by the ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.’   From an obituary in The Times in 2004 'Frank Stone played a crucial role in the construction of Pluto the principal means by which the allied armies and air forces were kept supplied as the campaign unfolded.'  A BBC Hampshire news item on 8th June 2010 described PLUTO as a ‘key contribution to victory in World War II’.  The BBC interviewed the then Chairman of the Bembridge Heritage Society , who, according to the BBC, declared “If PLUTO had not worked, there is a chance we wouldn’t have won.”

For the reality of the contribution of the PLUTO pipelines to the success of the invasion of Normandy and Victory in Europe, one needs to consider how much fuel was actually delivered by PLUTO at the various key changes of the invasion.  This is set out in the list below:


6th June 1944 D Day 

27th June United States forces capture Cherbourg 0 tons

18th to 20th July British and Canadian Forces capture Caen 0 tons

25th to 30th July United States forces breakout from Normandy 0 tons

20th/21st August Closing of the Falaise Gap 0 tons

25th August Liberation of Paris 0 tons

4th September British forces reach Antwerp in Belgium 0 tons

17th September Start of Operation Market Garden, Paratroopers land at Nijmegan and Arnhem in the Netherlands 0 tons

It was not until 22nd September 1944, three and half months after D-Day that gasoline first flowed through PLUTO,  by which times the allies had reached the Netherlands.  The question then is as to why the common perception of PLUTO is so at odds with the reality and why did PLUTO not achieve that perception?
 
Tim

Tim thanks for this survey.

As I didn't know where PLUTO stood for I wanted to aks you about it, but started a quick research on the "internet" and found it immediately. But in the meantime found this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pluto
And from this link:


  1. ^ Tim Whittle: Fueling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network p1 and p84 2017. ISBN 9780992855468
  2. Jump up ^ Searle, Adrian (2004). PLUTO : pipe-line under the ocean (2nd ed.). Shanklin, Isle of Wight: Shanklin Chine. ISBN 0-9525876-0-2
  3. Jump up ^ Sir Donald Banks: Flame over Britain p197
  4. Jump up ^ Tim Whittle: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network p79 to 80 2017. ISBN 9780992855468
  5. Jump up ^ Tim Whittle: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network p84 2017. ISBN 9780992855468







Kind regards from Paul.
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Yesterday at 07:56

Hi Paul

after my book was published, I became a Wikipedia editor and I corrected some of the entry for PLUTO and referenced my book.  I also virtually entirely rewrote the entry for the pipeline network which was mostly incorrect with references both to my book and the sources I had used.

Below is the link to it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLH_Pipeline_System

I have also edited other Wikipedia entries adding information on storage depots to entries on various places in the UK.  I have rather put this on hold at the moment but will resume when I have finished my studies for this year.

Concerning the origin of the word PLUTO, this is from my book:

The most well-known code associated with the whole project is however that of PLUTO.  It is widely accepted that this was an acronym for ‘Pipe-Line (sic) under the Ocean’, but according to the Official History it was ‘PipeLine Under Water Transportation of Oil’.   However, Sir Donald Banks noted that when product finally flowed through PLUTO he received a telegram from the Quarter-Master General declaring ‘Well done the King of the Underworld’ referring to Pluto, god of the underworld.   Additionally, one of the ships used in the PLUTO project was given the name HMS Persephone after the queen of the underworld.  Given that both acronyms rely on the unnecessary hyphenation of pipeline,  it seems most likely that the project was originally code named Pluto after the god of the Underworld.  An acronym of Pipeline Underwater Transportation of Oil  was then given but widely substituted by the somewhat less tongue tripping but also less accurate ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.  Later on the name PLUTO became to be associated with the Disney character Pluto and this is reflected in the Pluto cartoon taken from Bank’s book and still later from other related codenames associated with the whole project.

regards

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Yesterday at 23:05

@Tim of Aclea wrote:
Hi Paul

after my book was published, I became a Wikipedia editor and I corrected some of the entry for PLUTO and referenced my book.  I also virtually entirely rewrote the entry for the pipeline network which was mostly incorrect with references both to my book and the sources I had used.

Below is the link to it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLH_Pipeline_System

I have also edited other Wikipedia entries adding information on storage depots to entries on various places in the UK.  I have rather put this on hold at the moment but will resume when I have finished my studies for this year.

Concerning the origin of the word PLUTO, this is from my book:

The most well-known code associated with the whole project is however that of PLUTO.  It is widely accepted that this was an acronym for ‘Pipe-Line (sic) under the Ocean’, but according to the Official History it was ‘PipeLine Under Water Transportation of Oil’.   However, Sir Donald Banks noted that when product finally flowed through PLUTO he received a telegram from the Quarter-Master General declaring ‘Well done the King of the Underworld’ referring to Pluto, god of the underworld.   Additionally, one of the ships used in the PLUTO project was given the name HMS Persephone after the queen of the underworld.  Given that both acronyms rely on the unnecessary hyphenation of pipeline,  it seems most likely that the project was originally code named Pluto after the god of the Underworld.  An acronym of Pipeline Underwater Transportation of Oil  was then given but widely substituted by the somewhat less tongue tripping but also less accurate ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.  Later on the name PLUTO became to be associated with the Disney character Pluto and this is reflected in the Pluto cartoon taken from Bank’s book and still later from other related codenames associated with the whole project.

regards

Tim


Tim, thank you very much for the link and for the explanation of the word PLUTO...

And now I see why Wiki, as a first entry before more in depth research, is so interesting, if competent people like you are correcting the errors of the subject...go on with your contributions in this thread, I learned a lot of them...

Kind regards from Paul.
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