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View Full Version : Inconsistency with Arctic convoys



Foehammer-1
03-24-2007, 10:42 AM
I was hunting Arctic convoys for a while now, and then it hit me. Most ships are American, and some are British. Now, that's the way it really was historically. However, historically, there were also a couple Russian ships with every PQ or JW convoy, mostly cargo ships, but some tankers as well. Russian polar merchant fleet was quite developed before the war, and I really don't think they all floated idly in port... Polar convoys are still fun to sink, but it now bugs me that there are no hammer-and-sickle flagged ships in there.... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Kaleun1961
03-24-2007, 11:58 AM
That's because Commander Fritz has destroyed them already. Haven't seen him round these parts for a while. I do recall he had a real hate-on for Commies.

geoffwessex
03-24-2007, 12:55 PM
It's also because the Russians don't appear to have sailed with the convoys - there's an excellent database of convoys - PQs and JWs - HERE (http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/russian/index.html?home.htm%7Erumain) and I can't find many Russian ships amongst them. (except JW53)

I understand that the Soviets just about obliterated the Allied convoys from their history after the war - and there's certainly no Memorial to the ships and men at Murmansk.

It's also taken 60 years for British Merchant seamen to get recognition in the form of a medal for their sacrifices. Those brave men (and their American, Canadian and Norwegian comrades) were seriously short-changed post-war.

Foehammer-1
03-24-2007, 01:03 PM
I got nothing against the brave Norwegians and the rest of the sailors. BUT, as long as I recall, PQ 16-18 had a few Russian ships. I know for sure a transport called Stariy Bolshevik, transport Izhora, tanker Azerbaidjan, and two more ships that I forgot the names of.... There were more, according to that database of yours... A pity we don't see them

geoffwessex
03-24-2007, 01:49 PM
I stand corrected - I must have been reading that site too quickly. No mention of a Canadian ship at all but 56 Russian ships, the third highest nationality after American and British.... These are the ships, though many made multiple sailings:

America (Am) ... 292
Belgium (Bel) ... 1
Britain (Br) ... 184
Holland (Du) ... 5
Honduras (Hon) ... 2
Norway (Nor) ... 11
Panama (Pan) ... 29
Poland (Pol) ... 1
Russia (Ru) ... 56

Looks like an intersting website, though - I'll have a more thorough read.

klcarroll
03-24-2007, 02:27 PM
It's also taken 60 years for British Merchant seamen to get recognition in the form of a medal for their sacrifices. Those brave men (and their American, Canadian and Norwegian comrades) were seriously short-changed post-war.

It's a sad comment on Allied policies, but the established rule was that the Merchant Sailor's pay stopped when the ship sank: ...so any time spent drifting in a lifeboat in arctic waters was strictly your own.

I am amazed at how many of those guys were rescued from horrible conditions, .....only to ship out at the next available opportunity: ...I salute them!

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Foehammer-1
03-24-2007, 05:04 PM
A not very well-known fact in the Western countries... Out of those 56 Russian ships most were armed, like the others. However, Russian sailors were men, while most or all guns were equipped by women. Women worked in the ship's infirmary, did some of the loading and unloading, carried shells to the guns and were gunning down torpedo bombers. As a result a huge percentage of casualties on Russian ships not sunk were women, since they worked on deck, exposed to airborne machineguns, as well as friendly fire. Up to this day, there is no monument to these brave souls.....