Scots Roots


Arctic Convoys at Loch Ewe
December 28, 2015, 9:56 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , ,

Arctic Convoys 1During World War II, Loch Ewe in Wester Ross, on the west coast of Scotland, was used as a convoy collecting point for the North Atlantic Fleet. It’s a natural deep water sea loch that links to the Atlantic Ocean via a relatively narrow mouth which made it easier to protect.

Anti-aircraft batteries near the entrance guarded the loch from air attack and a boom net stretching from shore to shore along with a mine defence system helped to shield the vessels in the loch from German U-boats.

Arctic Convoys 2The North Atlantic Fleet sailed from 1941 to 1945 from the UK to the North Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel to aid Russian Allies. Merchant ships containing supplies and ammunition were escorted by British Royal Naval ships and aircraft carriers. These goods were vital to the war effort as Russia was completely blockaded by German forces.

More than four million tons of supplies – including tanks, aircraft, trucks, tractors, telephone wire, railway engines, fuel, medicine, metal and other raw materials – were delivered to the Russians over this period.

There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945, 19 of them departing from Loch Ewe.

Arctic Convoys 385 merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships were lost and over 3,000 young men perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

The last convoy sailed from Loch Ewe on the 30th December 1944.

A memorial commemorating those who lost their lives on the Arctic convoys was unveiled by the Russian Convoy Club at Cove on 11 September 1999.

The loch is still used today as a refuelling station for NATO vessels.

Arctic Convoys 4

Arctic Convoys 5

 

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[…] To continue reading the post, visit Arctic Convoys at Loch Ewe. […]

Pingback by Scotland’s Convoy Site | Roots to the Past

Beautiful images. My family lost a great uncle in the Arctic Convoys; drowned in March 1942 when his ship the Shera iced over in the Barents Sea with the loss of all but three crewmen. I’m not sure if his convoy left from Loch Ewe, but I would like to think that this beautiful place was his last memory of his native Scotland.

Comment by Su Leslie




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