During WW2 Germany made great use of synthetic fuel – this was based on its extensive deposits of bituminous and brown coal and was manufactured mainly by two processes: Bergius Hydrogenation (developed in 1926) and Fischer-Tropsch (developed in 1923). The Bergius process involved splitting the complex molecules of coal and then forcing hydrogen into them under high pressure to produce liquid oil molecules. In the Fischer-Tropsch process, molecules of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, obtained by breaking up coal with steam, were used to form oil molecules. The Bergius hydrogenation was the most important and by 1944 was producing about 47% of all Germany’s oil products including nearly 100% of its aviation fuel so its not surprising that Germany’s war effort stated to fall apart when the Allied bombers started to repeatedly hit oil targets instead on attacking for a few weeks then moving on. To date, whenever I’ve read anything on German synthetic fuels, it has only seemed to mention its use in aircraft and ground transport – is there any reason why it doesn’t seem to be mentioned as a fuel in ships? During the battle of the Atlantic, the U-boats were sinking tankers quicker than they could be built – did Britain look at synthetic fuel as the Germans did – its unlikely the Lufwaffe could have ever mounted attacks in the magnitude required to halt synthetic oil production. The same goes for Japan and Italy – both have their own coal deposits, not as extensive as German ones but possibly enough to cause problems for the allies.