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Arctic Convoys 1941-1945

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Arctic Convoys 1941-1945.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Richard Woodman(Author)

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For the last four gruelling years of the war, the Western Allies supplied arms and ammunition to Soviet Russia. These supplies were essential to the Russian war effort, and so the Germans were determined to cut them off. Allied merchant ships ran the gauntlet of the icy Barents Sea, outflanked by German bases in Norway, from where bombers, surface warships and U-boats could attack without warning. Each delivery of arms was an epic achievement. In fact an eminent British historian described it as undertaking the impossible.;Under pressure from both Stalin and Roosevelt, Churchill compelled the hardpressed British navy to fight convoy after convoy through to Murmansk and Archangel, with considerable loss in a campaign which was war a l'outrance, where the sinking of a single 10,000-ton freighter was the equivalent, in terms of material destroyed, of a land battle. It was the Arctic that saw the last concentration of the U-boats, driven from their former French bases; the Arctic that saw the last Royal Naval ship sunk in European waters; and the Arctic that saw the greatest defeat of a convoy in modern history. It was a theatre dominated by the weather: fog, storm-force winds and the ever-present numbing cold. Accretions of ice could, and did, deprive ships of their stability and cause them to capsize, while either the Arctic gloom or the midnight sun mocked embattled men haggard with exhaustion.;The debacle of PQ17, the surface actions, the U-boat attacks and running air battles culminating in the final destruction of the Scharnhorst are fully covered, but so too are the personal angle and the perspective of the long-suffering merchant ships and their crews, together with the political implications. The author, himself a professional seaman, has carried out a major and comprehensive review of naval operations in the Arctic which, ironically for Britain and the United States, left Stalin's Russia the dominating power in postwar Europe.

'A tribute to those who served on the vital convoys to North Russia...as complete a book on the subject as you are likely to find'. (The Review - NHCRA)Woodman explains how it was done and why, according to him, it was so necessary. (The Good Book Guide)

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Book details

  • PDF | 528 pages
  • Richard Woodman(Author)
  • John Murray; 1st edition (24 Mar. 1994)
  • English
  • 10
  • History

Read online or download a free book: Arctic Convoys 1941-1945

 

Review Text

  • By Rod on 13 February 2013

    The recent publicity regarding the long overdue Artic Convoy Medal made me decide to purchase this book. My father served on the Russian Convoys (he was an officer on the rescue ship Copeland on Convoy PQ18) and although he told me a little about the conditions I wanted to read a fuller story. I thought the book excellent and gave me the background I wanted.

  • By Wingate on 22 November 2007

    This is a detailed and well researched look at the 2nd World War convoys to the Soviets.It is at its best when describing the attacks made on the convoys particularly the infamous PQ17.However the author,as a former sailor,decides to use seagoing phraseology which is difficult to understand.I think that if he was going to use the phraseology of the sea it would have been useful to include a glossary of terms.So at certain times this book can become hard going.

  • By Capt.. Michael F. Kelly on 21 August 2009

    Very good account of the Arctic convoys with a good insight into both MN and Naval veiwpoints as well as the political pressures. Having read many accounts of individual actions in this theatre from varying points of veiw - this gives a balanced overveiw of the campaign. Well worth reading, certainly appealed to me as a retired seafarer

  • By Allan on 3 January 2014

    If you want to know what it was like from the view point of a Merchant Seaman on convoy during WW2. Then read this book. It gives full detail of what these brave, and neglected, men did in bringing their precious cargos to this country and Russia. Todays youth will never be able to comprehend the scale of their bravery,risks and the high costs in life these merchant Seamen had to endure under terrible conditions. Their bravery does not deserve to be rapidly sailing into the distant past. Though reading this book will bring alive the horrors that was practicaly an every day encounter for these men and their fully laden ships. Yes it is thick book. Then again the stories told can not be condensed into a pointless paragraph or two.

  • By David Lloyd on 3 January 2012

    Recommended. A fine narrative history of the convoys by which Britain and the US supplied Stalin's Russia. This is a naval campaign like no other. It presented the Royal Navy with its most difficult sustained strategic, tactical and logistic challenge of WW2. The convoys traversed over a thousand miles from Iceland or Scotland, skirting the long German held coast of Norway, past remote Bear Island, to the hell holes of Murmansk or Archangelsk in northern Russia. The seas were swept by storms so violent they could rip open the turret of a cruiser; the water so cold it killed after a few minutes immersion; encrusting ice could render weapons inoperable or capsize a ship from topweight; in summer ships were subject to the possibility of air attack for near 24 hours a day; and in winter ships had to keep station in perpetual night. The convoy route ran far from British naval bases and aircover and close under the nose of German U-Boats, battleships and cruisers, and aircraft, based in Norway.The campaign was one of high drama; massed attacks by German torpedo bombers, desperate and celebrated destroyer actions, the savaging of a large convoy (PQ17) deserted by its escorts by order of the Admiralty, and the last battleship action fought by the Royal Navy. The first convoy sailed in August 1941, just 2 months after Hitler invaded Russia, and they continued until 1945. They had a symbolic and political importance as Britain and the US sought to hold Stalin from making a separate peace with Germany. After the allies wrested superiority from the Germans in the Atlantic in 1943 the main weight of the U-Boats moved to the Arctic and targeted escorts with frequent use of accoustic torpedoes.The book strikes a good readable balance; the sequence and cause of events is clear and backed by comprehensive and interesting detail with much of the latter in useful footnotes. The author has drawn on much unpublished memoir material. This is a balanced and scholarly account; notably in the treatment of the events and key sources for the tragic and controversial PQ17 convoy. There is also an excellent chapter on conditions in the Russian ports with a frank discussion of the morale of the allied merchant and warship crews in the primitive and paranoid circumstances of Stalin's Russia. These chapters are worth the price alone. There is also an excellent set of maps. Suitable for the generalist and enthusiast alike.For compelling accounts and memoirs of this intruiging campaign see PQ17 Convoy to Hell - the survivors' Story by Paul Lund and Harry Ludlam; Coxswain in the Northern Convoys, or My Sea Lady.

  • By buyright,. on 8 December 2013

    iv bought, and given this book as a present to a very good friend of mine, who was in the royal navy d.e.m.s. during the second world war,and that he had sailed to Russian, and back as well as well as sailing in the artic in convoys a number of times .too, so this book will take him down memory lane, once again and it will give him some thing to read over the Christmas festivities,This book came polythene wrapped , it was nice and clean, and in good condition, and also delivered before time, by royal mail ,all in all a very good service all round, from the supplier, amazon and royal mail, too,.


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