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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive & readable history of WW2s most intriguing naval campaign
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...
Published on 3 Jan 2012 by David Lloyd

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars rough seas
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...
Published on 22 Nov 2007 by Wingate


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars rough seas, 22 Nov 2007
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This review is from: Arctic Convoys: 1941-1945 (Paperback)
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.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive & readable history of WW2s most intriguing naval campaign, 3 Jan 2012
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David Lloyd (Perth, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arctic Convoys: 1941-1945 (Paperback)
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.
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Arctic Convoys: 1941-1945
Arctic Convoys: 1941-1945 by Captain Richard Woodman (Paperback - 26 April 2004)
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