Monday, November 14, 2011

Convoys II.

This is coolbert:

The Arctic convoys - - success!

Those Arctic convoys sailing from Icelandic and British ports, carrying war munitions to the Soviet Union during the Second World War [WW2] are most remembered for the PQ 17 convoy? More than half of the ships in the convoy sunk, disastrous consequences - - defeat on this ONE occasion being remembered more than those many more instances where "goals met", not without pain, no gain without pain, but nonetheless, those number of convoys making the passage to Murmansk or Archangel relatively unscathed an achievement of marked proportions!

Surely when taken in totality the convoys must be considered a success?

Given the record of sailings, those numbers of ships running the German "gauntlet" and delivering their cargo unscathed is rather impressive. The allies did a good job of pushing the convoys through regardless of danger and peril, both during the OUTWARD BOUND VOYAGE AND THE RETURN VOYAGE!!

From Beesly and the book "Very Special Intelligence" we have these figures:

"From August 1941 to May 1945, 42 convoys totalling 813 ships set out for North Russia from Iceland or Great Britain. Three-three ships returned without completing the voyage due to stress of weather or other causes. Of the remaining 780, 60 were sunk by the enemy, but 720 arrived safely at their destinations. The remaining 36 returning convoys lost 27 ships."

Please note that merchant vessels lost both during outward bound missions and return voyages! A gauntlet having to be run regardless of direction!

The destruction of convoy PQ 17 ALONE resulting in the sinking of twenty-four merchant ships, a considerable percentage of those vessels total lost during the almost four full years of arctic convoy sailings!

For your free download of the David Irving book: "The Destruction of Convoy PQ.17" go here!

This book available for free download in either the original [1968] or updated [2009] version.

 "WE HAVE uploaded two versions of this book. The original 1968 edition . . . and a more recent (2009) updated and revised edition, incorporating code breaking and other new materials"

Given the context of inclement weather combined with persistent and almost frenzied German attack [the gauntlet], that number of ships arriving safely at destination [but with one exception] compared to those lost indicates and suggests to me predominantly again success rather than failure. You the devoted reader to the blog make your own calculations.


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