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Allied Arctic Convoys Of World War II

During World War II, between 1941 and 1945, 78 Allied Arctic convoys brought more than 4 million tons of provisions and munitions to the U.S.S.R. These deliveries played a crucial role in the Soviet war effort. More than 1,400 merchant ships and naval vessels participated in the convoys to the ports of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk in Arctic Russia, which Winston Churchill once described as “the worst journey in the world.” Besides braving frozen seas and harsh weather conditions, the sailors also had to contend with attacks from German dive bombers and U-boat torpedoes. Altogether, more than 100 convoy ships had perished by the time the war ended and more than 3,000 lives were lost. (13 PHOTOS)

An "Arms For Russia" propaganda poster from World War II
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An "Arms For Russia" propaganda poster from World War II

Escorts and merchant ships at the Icelandic port of Hvalfjord before setting sail for Russia in July 1942.
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Escorts and merchant ships at the Icelandic port of Hvalfjord before setting sail for Russia in July 1942.

A motorboat from the "HMS Trumpeter" is assisted through ice by a Russian naval tug upon the British ship's arrival at Kola Inlet near Murmansk.
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A motorboat from the "HMS Trumpeter" is assisted through ice by a Russian naval tug upon the British ship's arrival at Kola Inlet near Murmansk.

A Fairey Albacore airplane with wings folded warms up before taking off on a three-hour patrol to protect a combined British and American convoy to Russia.
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A Fairey Albacore airplane with wings folded warms up before taking off on a three-hour patrol to protect a combined British and American convoy to Russia.

The view from the bridge of the Royal Navy cruiser "HMS Sheffield" as she battles heavy seas while escorting a convoy to Russia in February 1943.
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The view from the bridge of the Royal Navy cruiser "HMS Sheffield" as she battles heavy seas while escorting a convoy to Russia in February 1943.

The destroyer "HMS Opportune" in rough Arctic seas while accompanying a convoy near Russia.
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The destroyer "HMS Opportune" in rough Arctic seas while accompanying a convoy near Russia.

Able Seaman Thomas B. Day standing on the ice-encrusted deck of the "HMS Belfast" in November 1943.
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Able Seaman Thomas B. Day standing on the ice-encrusted deck of the "HMS Belfast" in November 1943.

A motorboat from the "HMS Trumpeter" works its way through ice after the carrier's arrival at Kola Inlet.
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A motorboat from the "HMS Trumpeter" works its way through ice after the carrier's arrival at Kola Inlet.

A convoy of merchant ships passes through pack ice en route to Russia in 1943. An escort destroyer can be seen in the background.
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A convoy of merchant ships passes through pack ice en route to Russia in 1943. An escort destroyer can be seen in the background.

Crew members of the "HMS Victorious" move torpedoes while taking part in an operation to cover a Russian convoy.
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Crew members of the "HMS Victorious" move torpedoes while taking part in an operation to cover a Russian convoy.

An underwater detonation erupts next to the "HMS Ashanti" in September 1942. 
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An underwater detonation erupts next to the "HMS Ashanti" in September 1942. 

Ice forms on a signal projector on the cruiser "HMS Sheffield" on an Arctic convoy to Russia.
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Ice forms on a signal projector on the cruiser "HMS Sheffield" on an Arctic convoy to Russia.

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