🎧 80th Anniversary of the First Arctic Convoy
🎧 Dan Snow's History Hit • 24m
As the Soviet Union reeled from the shock of the German invasion in 1941 it asked for aid from Britain and its allies and the arctic convoys was a key part of the response. Desperate to keep the Soviets in the war and fighting the Nazi war machine Winston Churchill agreed to deliver massive amounts of material aid. Massive naval and merchant fleet operations carried material through the frigid waters north of Norway from Britain to Murmansk. This was an extremely perilous journey though and one that Churchill described as “the worst in the world”. The weather was frequently abysmal with ships covered in ice or totally exposed by the midnight sun, the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine had almost constant access to the convoy route and some of Germany's most powerful surface units, as well as submarines, lay in wait for the convoys. But, despite the difficulties and setbacks, the bravery of the merchantmen and their naval counterparts enabled many millions of tonnes of vital war supplies to be delivered to the Soviet Union and help keep its war effort alive. Dan is joined by Nick Hewitt, Head of Collections and Research at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, to remember the vital work of the Arctic Convoys.
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