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Routes of Foreign Aid Overview

Last Updated: September 02, 2014

The Northern (Arctic) Route


The Northern Convoys

  • West to East only

ConvoyDate/Place of DepartureDate/Place of ArrivalNumber of ShipsNumber of LossesCargo
PQ0
»Dervish«
August 12, 1941, LiverpoolAugust 31, 1941, Archangel7
PQ1September 29, 1941, Hvalfjord/IcelandOctober 11, 1941, Archangel11first 20 tanks
PQ2October 13, 1941, LiverpoolOctober 30, 1941, Archangel6
PQ3November 9, 1941, Hvalfjord/IcelandNovember 22, 1941, Molotovsk/Bakaritsu8200 tanks, AT guns
PQ4November 17, 1941, Hvalfjord/IcelandNovember 28, 1941, Archangel8
PQ5November 27, 1941, Hvalfjord/IcelandDecember 13, 1941, Archangel7
PQ6December 8, 1941, Hvalfjord/IcelandDecember 20, 1941, Murmansk8
Arrived in 1941466 tanks (259 Valentine, 187 Matilda, 20 Tetrarch), 330 Universal Carrier, 320 APC
PQ7ADecember 26, 1941, Hvalfjord/IcelandJanuary 12, 1942, Murmansk21 sunk69 "Matilda", 39 "Valentine"
17 M-3
60 armored vehicles
PQ7BDecember 31, 1941, Hvalfjord/IcelandJanuary 11, 1942, Murmansk9
PQ8January 8, 1942, Hvalfjord/IcelandJanuary 17, 1942, Archangel81 damaged, 1 sunk53 "Matilda", "Valentine" and M-3, 50 armored vehicles,
PQ9February 1, 1942, Reykjavik/IcelandFebruary 10, 1942, Murmansk10292 tanks
336 armored vehicles
32 37mm and 40 mm AA guns
PQ10January 26, 1942, Loch EweJanuary 31, 1942, Hvalfjord/Iceland joining PQ9
PQ11February 14, 1942, KirknessFebruary 22, 1942, Murmansk13
PQ12March 1, 1942, Reykjavik/IcelandMarch 11, 1942, Murmansk17160 tanks, 180 APC, 24 guns, hundreds of trucks
PQ13March 10, 1942, Loch EweMarch 31, 1942, Murmansk195 sunk, 1 damaged173 tanks
134 APC
PQ14March 26, 1942, ObanApril 19, 1942, Murmansk81 sunk50 M3 »Lee«
PQ15April 10, 1942, ObanMay 5, 1942, Murmansk263 sunk
PQ16May 21, 1942, Reykjavik/IcelandMay 30, 1942, Murmansk367 sunk, 1 returned
147 tanks, 770 trucks
321 tanks
2507 trucks
Arrived until July 1, 19422314 tanks, 1550 Universal Carrier
PQ17June, 27, 1942, Reykjavik/IcelandJuly, 9-28, 1942, Archangel3924 sunk164 tanks (430 lost)
896 Trucks (3350 lost)
PQ18September, 2, 1942, Loch EweSeptember, 21, 1942, Archangel4413 sunk
JW51ADecember 15, 1942, Loch EweDecember, 25, 1943, Murmansk16
JW51BDecember 22, 1942, Loch EweJanuary, 4, 1943, Murmansk15202 tanks
2046 Vehicles
JW52January 17, 1943, Loch EweJanuary 27, 1943, Murmansk15168 tanks
JW53February 15, 1943, Loch EweFebruary 27, 1943, Murmansk296 returned
JW54ANovember 15, 1943, Loch EweNovember 24, 1943, Murmansk19
JW54BNovember 22, 1943, Loch EweDecember 3, 1943, Archangel15
JW55ADecember 12, 1943, Loch EweDecember 22, 1943, Archangel19
JW55BDecember 20, 1943, Loch EweDecember 30, 1943, Archangel19
JW56AJanuary 12, 1944, Loch EweJanuary 28, 1944, Murmansk203 sunk
JW56BJanuary 22, 1944, Loch EweFebruary 1, 1944, Murmansk17
JW57January 20, 1944, Loch EweJanuary 28, 1944, Murmansk43
JW58March 27, 1944, Loch EweApril 4, 1944, Murmansk50118 M4A2, 73 APC, 102 tractors
JW59August 15, 1944, Loch EweAugust 25, 1944, Murmansk34
JW60September 15, 1944, Loch EweSeptember 23, 1944, Murmansk31
JW61October 20, 1944, Loch EweOctober 28, 1944, Murmansk30
JW61AOctober 31, 1944, LiverpoolNovember 6, 1944, Murmansk2
JW62November 29, 1944, Loch EweDecember 7, 1944, Murmansk31
JW63December 30, 1944, Loch EweJanuary 8, 1945, Murmansk38
JW64February 3, 1945, Clyde of AnchorageFebruary 15, 1945, Murmansk281 damaged
JW65March 11, 1945, Clyde of AnchorageMarch 21, 1945, Murmansk261 damaged, 2 sunk
JW66April 16, 1945, Clyde of AnchorageApril 25, 1945, Murmansk27
JW67May 12, 1945, Clyde of AnchorageMay 20, 1945, Murmansk26

Sources :

  • Suprun, »Lend-Lease and the Northern Convoys«
  • Smith, »Russian Convoys 1941-45«
  • Lawson, »Ships in Arctic Convoys«
  • Arnold Hague, »The Allied Convoy System 1939-45«

Cargo, arrived at Murmansk 1942-1945
  • in pcs.

Cargo1942194319441945total
Tanks18557708896564170
Self-propelled Guns1333136
Tank engines8014571241537
Armoured Cars, All-Wheel-Drives, Carriers907311991038
Power Plant Carriers6161
Tractors54222276
Tank Repair Workshops8441062
Trailer M-9 20106696
Diesel Engines64235571870
Petrol Engines2348243261384
40mm and 37mm Guns47338248633

Excerpt of »LEND-LEASE AND THE NORTHERN CONVOYS« by Sergey Kovalyov


In the early months of the war when the Soviet Union had it the hardest, the northern route bore the bulk of the lend-lease deliveries.

Toward the end of November 1941, the first batch of [U.S.] lend-lease deliveries -

  • 79 light M-3 tanks,
  • 59 Curtis fighter planes,
  • about 1,000 trucks and
  • over 2,000 tons of barbed wire
- arrived in the Soviet ports of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.

Great Britain followed suit with

which joined in the October and November 1941 defense action right away.

Before the end of 1942, polar convoys crossed the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea and then steamed along the edge of the Barents Sea arctic ice.
In December 1942, they ceased stopping over off Iceland for refueling.
Upon leaving British ports, they would head up north, skirt an enormous minefield between Scotland and Iceland and then turn south and proceed straight to Murmansk or Arkhangelsk by way of Medvezhy Island.

Upon their arrival in Murmansk, the transports were unloaded, and escort ships refueled in Vaenga Bay from a tanker on round-the-clock duty there.
It was only from the year 1943 that escort ships started drawing upon the Polyarny base resources.

Arkhangelsk was a larger port than Murmansk and better equipped for accepting and handling war supplies.
However, the White Sea froze over in mid-December and could stay closed to navigation until the end of May.

Altogether, 41 convoys of 738-811 transports arrived within the Arctic Circle over the war years, bringing 4.2 million tons of supplies to Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.
Murmansk alone received

The Soviet side dispatched to the West 726 transports as part of 36 Allied convoys carrying about 1.5 million tons of Soviet exports (such as strategic materials - manganese, chromium, asbestos, platinum).

At sea, Nazis [Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine] managed to sink 38 Soviet and 77 Allied transports plus 18 British men-of-war, with 7.5% of the supplies carried by Russia-bound polar convoys lost (as against the Atlantic convoy loss average of 0.7%).



Last Updated: September 02, 2014

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