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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

THE 'CONVOYS' OF THE NORTH

MURMANSK RUN
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Of all convoy runs, Atlantic or Pacific, there is one that has become wardroom and fo’castle legend wherever men of the sea gather to sway yarns. It has been told and retold by those that lived through to tell it. And the men that had been on it are considered a little higher in the echelon of veterans - whether they be the brass hats of the escort ships, or the humblest merchant seaman tending boilers in rusty old teakettles that could scarcely keep pace in the convoy parade. It is the “Murmansk Run.”


Men - and boys - who had never seen salt spray in there lived returned for on Murmansk Run seasoned veterans of both the sea and the war.

German armies were at the gates of Moscow by the end of 1941. Relief, in American war supplies, simply had to get through to the Soviet forces. The shortest practicable route was over the Arctic Circle and around the North Cape of Norway down to the port of Murmansk, or into the White Sea to Archangel. But bitter weather and a ruthless, vigilant enemy combined to make this the most dangerous of all wartime voyages.
 
This is a somewhat personal accounding of an Armed Guard unit 'doing their thing' on a North Atlantic convoy run...what they encountered, how they dealt with it....all the way from the seasoned merchant man to the seasoned sailor of the Armed Guard ...it paints a picture of the how ugly it was...and the laughs inbetween ....
 
If you'd care to read the 10 or so pages of this voyage.. of which I'm sure you'll not be disappointed....just click on this title: MURMANSK RUN  and it will take you right to the article.
 
Hope you enjoy the read
 
Bud Shortridge