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World War II - The Arctic Convoys on The Murmansk Run

Updated on February 7, 2013

HMS Kite Memorial

This Memorial was placed in the Public Gardens at Braintree, Essex. This ship was lost with all hands while escorting a convoy to Murmansk, WW 2
This Memorial was placed in the Public Gardens at Braintree, Essex. This ship was lost with all hands while escorting a convoy to Murmansk, WW 2 | Source

What Were The Arctic Convoys in World War II?

These ocean-going convoys were part of the Allied efforts to transport strategic war materials by means of the Merchant Navy. As such, they were a part of the Battle of the Atlantic which started in 1939 and lasted until the end of the War in 1945. (See my previous article on the Battle of the Atlantic)

Another name for these specific convoys is that of Russian Convoys, because their main objective was to reach the northern ports of Soviet Russia, at Archangel and Murmansk. They also became known as the Murmansk Convoys, or the Murmansk Run.

The Arctic Ocean

This map shows the Arctic Ocean where the various convoys sailed during WW2. Just round from the northern tip of Norway it is possible to see the two Soviet ports, Archangel and Murmansk
This map shows the Arctic Ocean where the various convoys sailed during WW2. Just round from the northern tip of Norway it is possible to see the two Soviet ports, Archangel and Murmansk | Source

Some Preliminary Facts for Understanding The Arctic Convoys

  • Germany began to build up her naval power some years before WW2 actually started.


  • The main efforts were centered on building submarines (known as U-boats) and also very large battleships.


  • Amongst the most famous battleships were the two “Bismarck Class” ships, the KMS Bismarck and the KMS Tirpitz. Both were truly gigantic, at that time the Allies did not have anything that could compete in size.


  • There were several other famous German ships, all heavily armed. They were to be feared for their size, firing power and speed.


  • In April 1940, at the beginning of WW2, Germany overran Norway, and in this way acquired many protected bays and fjords in which to hide away these powerful surface raiders.


  • Initially these ships raided the merchant ship convoys causing great destruction.


  • However, Bismarck was sunk in May 1941, as an aftermath of the Battle of the Denmark Strait. HMS Hood was also lost in this Battle. There were 115 survivors from the Bismarck and only 03 from the Hood.


  • Following in quick succession, the next month Germany attacked the Soviet Union (June 1941).


  • The next month, August 1941, saw the start of the Arctic Convoys to the Soviet Union. They continued until the end of the War in 1945.


A Map of the Battle of the Denmark Strait

This is a map showing the Battle of the Debmark Strait, where HMS Hood was lost and which led to the sinking of the Bismarck
This is a map showing the Battle of the Debmark Strait, where HMS Hood was lost and which led to the sinking of the Bismarck | Source

The Arctic Convoys

These convoys sailed from the United Kingdom and Iceland to northern ports in the Soviet Union - primarily to Arkhangelsk (Archangel) and Murmansk, both in modern-day Russia.

They were not as numerous as those that were crossing the Atlantic from Canada to the West coast of Britain, but it was still a vast undertaking. About 1500 merchant ships delivered vital supplies to the Soviet Union, escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the US Navy. It was a bitter experience, with many merchant ships lost and 16 Royal Navy warships also destroyed. Nazi Germany also lost numerous battle ships, a total of about 30 U-boats and a large quantity of aircraft.

The convoys were planned to sail monthly, but due to the special characteristics of the daytime and nighttime cycles in the Arctic Ocean, the crossings were suspended during the midsummer months when there was permanent daylight; they did sail during the winter months when the sun never rises and there is constant darkness. This added to the dangers, as there was a high risk of ship-to-ship collision.

Of necessity these convoys had to sail around the northern tip of Norway, and as this country was dominated by Nazi Germany, there they would be met by an enormous concentration of German U-boats, surface raiders and aircraft.

The ships could not stop for any reason, so they could not pick up survivors or make repairs. Each delivery was an epic achievement, and the most used expression to describe this undertaking, was to classify it as “impossible”

Arms for Russia!

A painting depicting the campaign of Arms for Russia
A painting depicting the campaign of Arms for Russia | Source

What About The KMS Tirpitz?

The loss of the mighty Bismarck was a great blow to the Nazi plans. It was also a great achievement for Allied propaganda and morale.

To avoid any more similar disasters, the Nazi High Command decided to safeguard the Tirpitz by transferring her to Norway. The ship deployed in January, 1942, and went first to Trondheim, where she would start her career as the central ship of a “fleet-in-being” the technical term for this strategy.

A few days later, Tirpitz moved to close by Faettenfjord, where she was moored next to a cliff that would protect her from air attacks; she was also camouflaged with trees and branches.

For the rest of the period until she was finally sunk in 1944, this mighty battleship was able to tie up numerous Allied ships of war that were badly needed in other theaters of war, and she managed this just by the threat of her presence on the coasts of Norway.

Tirpitz was not static during this period, the ship was moved several times to nearby locations and protected fjords, and also initiated several sorties out into the high seas. Her main strength was just to be present, and her movements had strategic effects on the Arctic Convoys.

Map of Scandinavia, showing Norway and the northern ports in Russia

This map shows a close-up of the Scandinavian peninsula. You can see the northern tip of Norway, and also Archangel and Murmansk are shown on the coast of Russia, just round to the right.
This map shows a close-up of the Scandinavian peninsula. You can see the northern tip of Norway, and also Archangel and Murmansk are shown on the coast of Russia, just round to the right. | Source

HMS Ulysses a Famous Book Based on the Murmansk Run!

H.M.S. Ulysses
H.M.S. Ulysses

One of the most famous books to come out of World War II. Also considered a classic of naval action literature. This is an all time favorite.

Amazon is offering a paperback version and a Kindle version

This book is said to be inspired by the fate of Convoy PQ 17.

 

Notable Convoys

The Convoys were all named according to a code system, usually formed by two letters and a number. The exception was the very first convoy, which carried the code-name “Dervish”. This particular convoy, which was formed by six merchant ships, arrived successfully to Russia with no losses.

During 1941 the following convoys sailed for the Soviet ports: PQ 1, PQ 2, PQ 3, PQ 4, PQ 5, PQ 6, PQ 7a and PQ 7b. The returning convoys were: QP 1, QP 2, QP 3 and QP 4.

All these convoys managed the crossing with a low level of losses. Historians have since decided that this was due to the fact that Germany was convinced that the Soviet Union would fall to their blitzkrieg tactics, and therefore did not expend much effort in attacking the convoys.

This situation changed in 1942, when Germany stepped up the attacks on the convoys, causing a much higher loss of lives, ships and war materials.

The most well known Convoy was PQ17, a really tragic undertaking. This Convoy sailed from Iceland on June 27th, 1942. It has been described as the most valuable Convoy organized to that date, its cargo was worth about $700 million and the equipment that was being transported was enough to equip an army of 50,000 troops.

The intelligence received at the Admiralty in London reported that the German battleships, including the Tirpitz, were making ready to leave their anchorages in Norway and could be expected to intercept Convoy PQ17.

With what was later considered a very controversial decision, on July 4th the Admiralty ordered the Allied escort ships to change course and proceed to intercept the German surface fleet.

The Convoy was ordered to scatter and in effect, the Merchant ships were abandoned to their own resources, which were pitifully small. The defenseless ships were then picked off one by one by U-boats. Out of the initial 35 ships that sailed from Iceland, only 11 arrived to the Soviet Union. The losses were horrendous!

The appalling truth was that the German battleship force never really left the coast of Norway, the ships merely changed places to another anchorage. Thus the strategy of exploiting the threat of the Tirpitz without actually risking the ship was completely successful, to the detriment of the efforts of the Allied Navy.

Perhaps to counteract this terrible defeat Convoy PQ18 departed in September of 1942, accompanied by a really enormous escort.

This time, the 27 transport ships, with an escort of more than 30 military ships plus tankers and trawlers, arrived safely to the Soviet Union. The thousands of tons of cargo that were delivered was equivalent to the entire amount of cargo that had been transported in 1941.

PQ18 was the last Convoy to use the code letters PQ. The code was changed for reasons of safety.

A Painting of the Battle of Barents Sea

This painting shows the sinking of the German ship Friedrich Eckoldt after being attacked by HMS Sheffield
This painting shows the sinking of the German ship Friedrich Eckoldt after being attacked by HMS Sheffield | Source

Success at the Battle of the Barents Sea

The year 1943 started with a great success! In the first days of January, Convoy JW51b was attacked by a surface fleet of German battleships, including the cruiser Hipper and the pocket battleship Luetzow.

In a very confused naval action that was later known as the Battle of the Barents Sea, the Allied escort drove off the German attackers. Al 14 Merchant ships of the Convoy arrived safely in the Soviet Union.

Hitler is said to have been infuriated by the outcome of this Battle, because a strong German naval fleet failed and was defeated by a British escort of cruisers and destroyers (less powerful ships). The order was given to dismantle the big warships and to concentrate on the submarine warfare. Eventually, the surface ships were not scrapped, but their actions were much reduced after this date.

HMS Sheffield Sailing Under Ice

This scene was common during the Murmansk Run. This is HMS Sheffield, covered in ice. The conditions were really terrible!
This scene was common during the Murmansk Run. This is HMS Sheffield, covered in ice. The conditions were really terrible! | Source

The Battle of the North Cape

In December 1943, the German battleship Scharnhorst with an escort of destroyers initiated actions against Convoy JW55b. However, the German destroyers missed the convoy, and Scharnhorst was sunk by a combined effort of HMS Duke of York and her escorts. The Merchant ships all arrived safely to the Soviet ports.

A Large and Beautiful Fjord on the Coast of Norway

A really impressive fjord in Norway! Very secluded and protected!
A really impressive fjord in Norway! Very secluded and protected! | Source

And What of the Tirpitz?

This mammoth ship remained at anchor on the coast of Norway, practically immobilized by the patrols of the Allied Navy, and also by the lack of fuel to move her enormous machines. She was also hampered by the Nazi High Command’s decision to rely more on the U-boats.

Several attacks were organized with the purpose of finally sinking this mammoth of war.

In October 1942, the British Navy attempted to attack Tirpitz by means of two “Chariot” torpedoes structured for frogmen to guide towards a target. However, this mission failed badly, due to the rough seas on that date.

The next important effort was the use of midget submarines in September 1943. Ten of these vessels were employed in an attempt o damage not only the Tirpitz, but also the Scharnhorst and the Luetzow.

Two of these midgets were lost on the way to Norway, and of the 8 that remained, 2 were actually able to attach the powerful mines they carried to the bottom of the ship. Most of the crews of these midgets died in this attack, but the mines did extensive damage to the ship.

Contrary to expectations, the Nazi High Command decided to repair the Tirpitz to make her operational once again. These repairs lasted until the end of March, 1944.

British intelligence reported that the huge ship was due to initiate sea trials on the first days of April. One day prior to the launching of these trials, the ship was once again attacked, this time by an air strike. More than 40 dive-bombers, carrying armor-piercing bombs and accompanied by fighter planes, caught the Tirpitz by surprise. The attack scored at least 15 direct hits, causing serious damage and many casualties. The Tirpitz was once again non-operational.

And once again, the order was given to repair her! Bad weather obliged the Allies to cancel all air strikes against her and by June, 1944, she was again ready to go to sea, although she would not participate in a sea battle again.

In August the weather improved, and several air strikes were carried out, but the damage this time was superficial, and the raids were hampered by fog.

In October the raids were taken over by the RAF using Lancaster bombers and the powerful Tallboy bombs, designed to penetrate heavy armor. Some hits were scored that were repaired once again. By this time, Germany had a serious fuel shortage, and it was becoming too difficult to keep moving the Tirpitz

The final attack was in November 1944, again with the use of the Tallboy bombs. On the 12th of that month, the various hits by these high power bombs caused the ship to flood and to acquire a severe list. As the flooding increased, the mighty Tirpitz finally rolled over and settled upside down into the sea bed.

The Arctic Convoys were at last free of the menace of the “fleet-in-being” lead by the mammoth of the northern seas.

The Tirpitz Under Attack!

The Tirpitz under attack by the Fleet Air Arm bombers. There is a small speed launch rushing to get away and leaving a visible wake, on the left of the battleship, in the center of the picture- This action was in April 1944
The Tirpitz under attack by the Fleet Air Arm bombers. There is a small speed launch rushing to get away and leaving a visible wake, on the left of the battleship, in the center of the picture- This action was in April 1944 | Source

The Role of Intelligence

At the time that the Murmansk Convoys started up, Britain was making big efforts to crack the German Naval encoding systems. The Intelligence Center set up at Bletchley Park was developing an expert team with the main intent of breaking the German Enigma Codes that were based on the use of the very advanced Enigma machine.

The strategic information gained by Great Britain through the study of Enigma was code-named ULTRA and was considered to be extremely secret.

ULTRA played an important part in the over-all good results of the Arctic Convoys, especially in the planning of the movements of the Convoy and the supporting Navy warships.

The interception and sinking of the Scharnhorst in the Battle of the North Cape was a direct result of communication intercepts that were decoded at Bletchley Park.

(See my previous article on the Enigma Codes).

Tirpitz capsized!

The Tirpitz has capsized! This was the result of the last attack by RAF bombers, using Tallboy bombs. This attack was in November, 1944
The Tirpitz has capsized! This was the result of the last attack by RAF bombers, using Tallboy bombs. This attack was in November, 1944 | Source

Books Inspired by the Arctic Convoys

The most well known writers of these topics came from different Allied countries. Four writers would appear to be the most significant, and in order of publication dates, they were, respectively, a Scotsman (Alistair MacLean) in 1946, a Norwegian (Per Hansson) in 1967, a Dutchman (Jan de Hartog) in 1967 and a Russian (Valentin Pikul) in 1973

Of these four, the most well-known is undoubtedly Alistair MacLean. His book, HMS Ulysses, is recognized as one of best naval action stories of all time, equal to The Cruel Sea, another unforgettable epic.

At present MacLean’s work seems to be difficult to find, but Amazon is offering a Kindle version that looks very interesting. There is also a paperback version at the same source.

I personally have read this book about four times, and would probably read it again if I had the opportunity. I most heartily agree with some of the Reviews that accompany the Amazon page for this book.

Some of the terms expressed there are as follows:

  • “A brilliant piece of descriptive writing”


  • “I didn’t want to put the book down”


  • “The characters are extremely well developed”


  • “The men are truly real”


  • “A classic in naval literature”

There are many more expressions like those above; you can read them by entering the link for Amazon on this Hub.

Final Comments

The participants in the Arctic Convoys were not only fighting against a resourceful enemy, they were also fighting the terrible seas and the freezing temperature of the area they sailed through. They were brave men, all of them!

The fact that the Merchant Navy seamen were all civilians, never fails to stun me, I’m very thankful that my seagoing family from Liverpool did not get assigned to the Murmansk Run.


© 2012 joanveronica (Joan Robertson)


A Beautiful and Very Protected Fjord in Norway

This beautiful scene shows one of the many fjords on the coast of Norway, well protected by the cliffs that surround it.
This beautiful scene shows one of the many fjords on the coast of Norway, well protected by the cliffs that surround it. | Source

A Secluded Fjord on the Coast of Norway

A secluded fjord in Norway surrounded by high cliffs and very protected
A secluded fjord in Norway surrounded by high cliffs and very protected | Source

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You have done it once again, Joan! An impeccable job of research and detailing a part of the war. I learn more about this war from you than any books I have read. Great job my friend.

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Billy, so nice to have your support! I enjoy the research on these topics, I've learnt so much more than what I knew before I started writing. It just gets more and more fascinating! And one topic leads to another, so I still have a lot more to write about. Thanks once again, and I'll see you around!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Excellent article about that part of the war! You have also added fantastic pictures! I am especially impressed with the HMS Sheffield, covered in ice; it must have been terrible for those sailors! They were indeed courageous men!

      Voted up and awesome!

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi there, many thanks for your visit and comment, it is greatly appreciated! Yes indeed, that convoy route was terrible, that's exactly what inspired Alistair MacLean's novel HMS Ulysses, which I have read and re-read over and over. I just can't believe the hardship they went through! Thanks again, and I will see you around!

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Another outstanding article about a part of WWII most people doesn't know exists. I liked your point that perhaps the worst enemy seamen from from any nation had was the Arctic weather itself.

      Isn't it unique that the north pole is a sea surrounded by land, while the south pole is land surrounded by sea.

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi there JC! So happy for your visit and comment. I found your comment very supportive, and also I will agree about your remark, I have often wondered about the difference between North and South Pole myself. I seem to remember from University lectures,that the body of land at the South Pole influences the way the Earth is tilted at this present time, because it acts as a counterweight, or something lke that. Therefore it influences the seasons, the weather and a whole pile of other factors. Not too sure about this though, maybe we should look it up! So thanks again and have a good day!

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      I am glad you wrote about it. Very good hub. Thank you!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. Thank you for sharing this bit of history. Didn't know about these convoys and it was a very fascinating read. Great pics and all. Passing this on.

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Pavlo, so happy to have your visit and your comment! This is around where you live, isn't it! Beautiful places, but very harsh, I should imagine. Thanks for your support, and have a good day!

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Gipsy, many thanks for visiting and commenting! I agree, the Murmansk Run is not a favorite topic with history buffs, in spite of the famous book, HMS Ulysses. Maybe it´s because the area is so harsh?

      Thanks for the share and have a good day!

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Very well done, joan! The bravery of the merchantmen is astonishing, especially knowing that going overboard was almost certain death, regardless of how good a swimmer they were. The Tirpitz certainly fulfilled its strategic role as a fleet in being. It seems German navies in both world wars were "fleets in being", too outnumbered to actually go head-to-head, but far too powerful to ignore. Being a fleet in being, however, is very demoralizing for the sailors involved.

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi UH, so nice to have you visit again! I liked your opinions about the fleet-in-being, I actually read some documents about how terribly boring it was to serve on the Tirpitz, always at anchor or getting repaired! It was this obsession with things being big! Just look at the most important ceremonial and official buildings in Germany corresponding to the Nazi period, they are all huge! However, their size did not help them too much, I think! See you around, and thanks again!

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      May be it is not so close to my place but the stories about Arctic convoys were popular in the former USSR. Lots of books were published and some films were made as well. I still feel myself an ex-USSR citizen and do care much about WW2 events . Shared!

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi again Pavlo! So nice to read your comment. What I really meant about being "around" your area, was that I was thinking you would know about the weather conditions, probably much more than what I do! Your comment about the USSR was very interesting, I'm glad you added it. It is difficult to know just what tone to use when refering to the USSR at the present date. I have been mentally striving to remain as neutral as possible. So thanks for the visit and the share!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Another outstanding post on the war, Joan. You can't get this information in books today. THanks for sharing and highlighting these important events.

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi teaches, many thanks for the visit and the comment! I know you must be very busy with your Ap.course, writing away like mad! So it's nice of you to take the time to come and read this Hub! About the information, it is not easy to find, collect and structure something readable, but I like it, those generations deserve all the recognition they can get! Thanks again and all the best!

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Hey Joan, just wanted to touch base with you and everyone else, to wish them the very best season of Lent. In the short time since joining Hub Pages, networking with you and many others has been both encouraging and edifying. So, thanks for the comments and stories!

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi jcresslet, this was such a nice surprise! A lovely comment and a lovely message! Thank you so much and all the best on Hubpages!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      this is great joan, so interesting and detailed, I have learned more reading this than I have learned in years, and believe me my mum told me loads, she was in the airforce so I heard a lot of the stories, lol! wonderful info, voted up!

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Nell, thanks for the visit, the comment and the vote! I do envy you the information provided by your Mum, that era is so fascinating! And I agree, the Murmansk Run is not so well known! I will try to write the next Hub soon! Have a good day!

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 3 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Joan,

      An excellent well written and researched article on a subject of great heroism rather overlooked by other events.

      Voted up, awesome and interesting.

      kind regards Peter

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Peter, so happy for your visit and comment! You are so right about the heroism and being overlooked. Most importantly, once again a high percentage of the casualties were civilians, who not only died due to enemy action, but also due to illness such as tuberculosis and the like.

      The whole venture was a horror from beginning to end, I think. Thanks again, and I'll be seeing you around.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Bloody Hell... excuse my French but this is incredible... The second I saw your title and started reading, I thought: "HMS Ulysses" by Alistair MacLean. The novel is one of the best I have ever read, not just one of the best of its type. You got it... Your coverage is incredible, your detail unbelievable of this vital point in the British (Free World) War Effort, I'm completely blown away... What impresses me most? Your consistent knowledge of factual rather than speculative information............

    • joanveronica profile image
      Author

      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Gordon, so happy for your visit and comment! And especially for your opinions as to the quality of my research and use of historical facts. I'm a Math teacher, my training is all about detail and precision, and I really don't know how to do anything different. I have not worked in Math for a long time now, but the training is still there. This is both useful and a sort of curse, as it makes demands on me. But I wouldn't have it any other way, really. And I'm happy to have found another admirer of that novel, such a fantastic read! Thanks again for your visit and comment, they are very heartwarming!

    • profile image

      TealRose 20 months ago

      Well! Last night I found the Hub piece about the Artic Convoys by Peter Geekie and this morning .. I found this one ! I commented on yesterday's find, as my Father in Law, who now lives with us in nothern Portugal aged 90, going on 50 lol was in the Artic Convoys! In fact ... he was on the 'Shiny Sheff' ie HMS Sheffield that you have pictured above (as a Royal Marine ) and was at the sinking of the Sharnhorst.

      Yesterday too I was doing some English conversation with two 15 yr old boys and this was our subject, and Dusty my FIL talked with them about the convoys (and the rest of his war in Sri Lanka and fighting in the jungles against the Japanese) and showed them his medals and the photos of the HMS Sheffield, along with photos of my daughter, who went to St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh last November to accept the Medal of Ushakov from Russia. That was his third from Russia, and is one of the highest medals given out. The Russians are still very thankful for these men, and had tears in their eyes when giving it to my daughter, telling her how this is taught in all Russian schools to this day .. and it was hoped the same was true of Britain. Unfortunately my daughter had to tell the gentlemen that no, it wasn't.

    • profile image

      Leona Thomas 19 months ago

      Hi Joan - enjoyed your page. As for this topic, it is one I have come to only quite recently as my father was on the Russian Arctic Convoys and earlier this year I had his memoirs accepted by a publisher and it has caused quite a media frenzy upon publication. It is called 'Through Ice and Fire: A Russian Arctic Convoy Diary 1942' - it is on Amazon, as well as in bookshops, etc. Maybe you might enjoy reading that one too as it is very much seen through his eyes. He got one Ushakov medal before he passed away in 2000 but we got his Arctic Star medal posthumously in 2013. See the page for the book on Facebook - more images and info. www.facebook.com/Through-Ice-and-Fire-1548403998772009/timeline/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

      Best wishes, Leona

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