This is coolbert:
Arctic convoys - - cargo!
It cannot be said of the western allied powers they were stingy in their shipments of war munitions to the Soviets!
For merely the ill-fated PQ.17 convoy ALONE we have an idea of what quantities and types of armaments were sent via the arctic route, albeit a convoy of ships that for the most part did not complete the voyage, more than half sunk!
From the David Irving book: "The Destruction of PQ.17":
"What a cargo for the Russians! What a prize for the enemy! Seven hundred million dollars’ worth of armaments – 297 aircraft, 594 tanks, 4,246 lorries and gun carriers, and over 156,000 tons of general cargo besides – enough to equip an army of fifty thousand men if it ever arrived in Russian ports."
Considering that there were: "42 convoys totalling 813 ships" it would seem reasonable to assume that enough war munitions were shipped during the entire length of the war THROUGH THE ARCTIC ALONE TO EQUIP A SOVIET ARMY OF TWO MILLION MEN!!
Vital war munitions from this one route alone! Recall that two other routes [Persian Corridor and trans-Pacific] also existed and were in simultaneous use throughout the duration of the war.
Many of those merchant vessels also carrying very hazardous cargo, flammable or highly explosive. War munitions not merely gear but "stuff" that can go "bang" in a big way!
American merchant ships those crews paid: "extravagantly paid ($500 a month plus danger-money)" [for the time that was considerable money for a skilled or semi-skilled or even unskilled worker!]! And every penny earned!