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Review for Churchill's Arctic Convoys

Author/Director : William Smith

Format : Book

A destroyer came across a lifeboat from a cargo ship which had been sunk about a week before. Nine men managed to get into it but when found eight had died from exposure and the ninth just barely survived. Part of the gritty truth about the Arctic convoys with similar repeats throughout the book. Every convoy and many single voyages are described some meriting more detail than others.
The reference in the title to Churchill highlights the political nature of the enterprise. This led to some quite foolhardy risks which without the political drive would not have been taken. Losses in naval and civilian ships and men were significant some to air attack some to submarines but most tragically some to the Arctic weather. One fact which I read with surprise was of a Russian ship crewed entirely by women.
There are two useful maps, a super set of photographs and eighteen tables making a lot of information clearly available for analysis.
The Arctic convoys tend to lie on the periphery of general reading about the Second World war William Smith’s book deserves to be front and centre if only to honour the men and women whose story he has told.
We highly recommend this book.

Published by : Pen & Sword Maritime, 2022
ISBN : 978 1 39907 229 8

Review last updated : 2022-09-29 11:37:18

See also : other "World War 2" reviews