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Arctic Convoys

Campaign Name : Arctic Convoys

Date(s) : 21 August 1941 - 30 May 1945

Part of : Second World War , Atlantic Naval operations ,


Support for the Soviet Union in its fight against Germany was seen as strategically very important by both Churchill and Rosevelt. The first convoy sailed in August 1941 and the last returned to the Clyde in May 1945. The largest contingent of merchant ships was American registered. A total of 4 million tons of supplies were carried among which were at least 5,000 tanks and 7,000 aircraft. Given the hazardous nature of the undertaking; within range of enemy submarines, land based aircraft and major surface warships as well as the ice, winds and fogs, the campaign met with a high level of success only 7.5% of cargoes were lost. The cost to the Royal Navy, who supplied almost all the escorts and who had operational control was: two cruisers, six destroyers, one frigate, two sloops, two corvettes, four minesweepers. A Polish submarine was also lost.

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