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Arctic convoys of World War II

Arctic convoys of World War II
View from the cruiser   as she sails on convoy duty through the waters of the Arctic Ocean. In the background are merchant ships of the convoy. The image was taken during the twilight of the arctic winter-the short time each day that the sun is seen during winter near the pole. In the foreground is the silhouette of a lookout using a telescope.
Military Conflict
ConflictArctic convoys of World War II
DateAugust 1941 May 1945
LocationNorwegian Sea and Arctic Ocean
United Kingdom
United States
Nazi Germany
85 merchant vessels
16 warships
4 warships
30 submarines

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The Arctic convoys of World War II travelled from the United Kingdom and North America to the northern ports of the Soviet Union-Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945 (although there were two gaps with no sailings between July and September 1942, and March and November 1943). About 1400 merchant ships delivered vital supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program, escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and the U.S. Navy. Eighty-five merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships (two cruisers, six destroyers, eight other escort ships) were lost. The Nazi German Kriegsmarine lost a number of vessels including one battleship, three destroyers and at least 30 U-boats as well as a large number of aircraft.

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1941 :
Dervish sailed from Hvalfjörður, Iceland 21 August 1941; arrived Archangel, August 31
PQ 1 sailed from Hvalfjörður, Iceland 29 September; arrived Archangel October 11 QP 1 departed Archangel September 28, 1941; arrived Scapa Flow October 10
PQ 2 sailed from Liverpool, 13 October; arrived Archangel October 30
PQ 3 sailed from Hvalfjörður, Iceland, 9 November; arrived Archangel November 22 QP 2 departed Archangel November 3; arrived Kirkwall November 17
PQ 4 sailed from Hvalfjörður, Iceland, 17 November; arrived Archangel November 28
PQ 5 sailed from Hvalfjörður, Iceland, 27 November; arrived Archangel December 13 QP 3 departed Archangel November 27; dispersed, arrived December 3
PQ 6 departed Hvalfjörður December 8; arrived Murmansk December 20

1942 :
PQ 7a departed Hvalfjörður December 26; arrived Murmansk January 12 QP 4 departed Archangel December 29; dispersed, arrived January 9, 1942
PQ 7b departed from Hvalfjörður December 31; arrived Murmansk January 11
PQ 8 departed Hvalfjörður January 8; arrived Archangel January 17 QP 5 departed Murmansk January 13; dispersed, arrived January 19
Combined PQ 9 and PQ 10 departed Reykjavík February 1; arrived Murmansk February 10 QP 6 departed Murmansk January 24; dispersed, arrived January 28
PQ 11 departed Kirkness February 14; arrived Murmansk February 22 QP 7 departed Murmansk February 12; dispersed, arrived February 15
PQ 12 departed Reykjavík March 1; arrived Murmansk March 12 QP 8 departed Murmansk March 1; arrived Reykjavík March 11
PQ 13 departed Reykjavík March 20; arrived Murmansk March 31 QP 9 departed Kola Inlet March 21; arrived Reykjavík April 3
PQ 14 departed Oban March 26; arrived Murmansk April 19 QP 10 departed Kola Inlet April 10; arrived Reykjavík April 21
PQ 15 departed Oban April 10; arrived Murmansk May 5 QP 11 departed Murmansk April 28; arrived Reykjavík May 7
PQ 16 departed Reykjavík May 21; arrived Murmansk May 30 QP 12 departed Kola Inlet May 21; arrived Reykjavík May 29
PQ 17 departed Reykjavik June 27; dispersed, arrived July 4 QP 13 departed Archangel June 26; arrived Reykjavík July 7
(August sailing postponed) (August sailing postponed)
PQ 18 departed Loch Ewe September 2; arrived Archangel September 21: first convoy with aircraft carrier escort (HMS Avenger) QP 14 departed Archangel September 13; arrived Loch Ewe September 26
(PQ cycled terminated ) QP 15 departed Kola Inlet November 17 arrived Loch Ewe November 30
Operation FB sailings by independent unescorted ships (QP cycled terminated )
JW 51A departed Liverpool December 15; arrived Kola Inlet December 25
JW 51B departed Liverpool December 22; arrived Kola Inlet January 4, 1943: see Battle of the Barents Sea RA 51 departed Kola Inlet December 30; arrived Loch Ewe January 11, 1943

1943 :
JW 52 departed Liverpool January 17; arrived Kola Inlet January 27 RA 52 departed Kola Inlet January 29; arrived Loch Ewe February 9
JW 53 departed Liverpool February 15; arrived Kola Inlet February 27 RA 53 departed Kola Inlet March 1; arrived Loch Ewe March 14
(cycle postponed through summer) (cycle postponed through summer)
JW 54A departed Liverpool November 15; arrived Kola Inlet November 24 RA 54A departed Kola Inlet November 1; arrived Loch Ewe November 14
JW 54B departed Liverpool November 22; arrived Archangel December 3 RA 54B departed Archangel November 26; arrived Loch Ewe December 9
JW 55A departed from Liverpool December 12, 1943; arrived Archangel December 22 RA 55A departed Kola Inlet December 22; arrived Loch Ewe January 1, 1944
JW 55B departed Liverpool December 20; arrived Archangel December 30: see Battle of the North Cape RA 55B departed Kola Inlet December 31; arrived Loch Ewe January 8, 1944

1944 :
JW 56A departed Liverpool January 12; arrived Archangel January 28
JW 56B departed Liverpool January 22; arrived Kola Inlet February 1 RA 56 departed Kola Inlet February 3; arrived Loch Ewe February 11
JW 57 departed Liverpool February 20; arrived Kola Inlet February 28 RA 57 departed Kola Inlet March 2; arrived Loch Ewe March 10
JW 58 departed Liverpool March 27; arrived Kola Inlet April 4 RA 58 departed Kola Inlet April 7; arrived Loch Ewe April 14
(escorts only to Murmansk) RA 59 departed Kola Inlet April 28; arrived Loch Ewe May 6
(cycle postponed through summer) (cycle postponed through summer)
JW 59 departed Liverpool August 15; arrived Kola Inlet August 25 RA 59A departed Kola Inlet August 28; arrived Loch Ewe September 5
JW 60 departed Liverpool September 15; arrived Kola Inlet September 23 RA 60 departed Kola Inlet September 28; arrived Loch Ewe October 5
JW 61 departed Liverpool October 20; arrived Kola Inlet September 28 RA 61 departed Kola Inlet November 2; arrived Loch Ewe November 9
JW 61A departed Liverpool October 31; arrived Murmansk November 6 RA 61A departed Kola Inlet November 11; arrived Loch Ewe November 17
JW 62 departed Loch Ewe November 29; arrived Kola Inlet December 7 RA 62 departed Kola Inlet December 10; arrived Loch Ewe December 19
JW 63 departed Loch Ewe December 30; arrived Kola Inlet January 8, 1945 RA 63 departed Kola Inlet January 11; arrived Loch Ewe January 21

1945 :
JW 64 departed from Clyde February 3; arrived Kola Inlet February 15 RA 64 departed Kola Inlet February 17; arrived Loch Ewe February 28
JW 65 departed from Clyde March 11; arrived Kola Inlet March 21 RA 65 departed Kola Inlet March 23; arrived Loch Ewe April 1
JW 66 departed from Clyde April 16; arrived Kola Inlet April 25 RA 66 departed Kola Inlet April 29; arrived Clyde May 8
JW 67 departed from Clyde May 12; arrived Kola Inlet May 20 RA 67 departed Kola Inlet May 23; arrived Clyde May 30

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