In Arkhangelsk began celebrations devoted to the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first allied convoy codenamed “Dervish”. In celebration of the anniversary was attended by the protagonists: the veterans of the countries – allies of the USSR, the last sea “Dear bombs” – so called by the participants of the Northern convoys this route Lend-Lease, padded in Arkhangelsk 75 years ago, the first caravan of Iceland and the UK
guests of honor festivities UK Queen’s daughter, Elizabeth II, Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence brought a gift Archangel “Arctic star” – a state award of Great Britain, which is awarded for service in the polar convoys
Photo: press service RVIO
The United Kingdom became the largest among foreign guests in Arkhangelsk and arrived seven veterans – participants of allied convoys with accompanying persons and more than forty musicians of the brass band of the Royal Marines
«and he answered and said.” You ship convoy, we reached hence, it proved you all “- the words of a song Alexander Rosenbaum” flagship march “, written on behalf of the ship convoy, talk about the problem of military convoys during the war: not war, and to bring their vehicles to their destination
Photo: press service RVIO
– This is a great and heroic page in the history of the war, showing how the world can unite in the global threat, – says Dmitry Shparo traveler. – From Alaska by Chukotka flew American planes, and the Barents Sea to the northern ports of the Soviet Union under the protection of British warships were northern convoys, which we somehow know little.
The convoy codenamed “Dervish” arrived in Arkhangelsk August 31, 1941. It was one of the few convoys that took the name of a particular word. Follow him convoys were called PQ. These two letters were the initials P.Q. officer Edwards of the operational management of the British Admiralty, who led the caravan sent.
«Dervish” consisted of six vessels were taken to the port of the most important strategic cargo, including 3.8 thousand. depth charges and magnetic mines, 15 “Hurricane” fighters, auxiliary vessel “Oldersdeyl “fuel, and 10 thousand. tonnes of rubber, 1.5 m shaped shoes, tin, wool, tools and equipment.
All these goods were sent under the Lend-Lease – was the name of an American government program, which allows any country to supply ammunition, equipment and food. First, the Lend-Lease was in England, China and France. The Soviet Union joined the program after four months.
– When the program was extended to the Soviet Union, there was a question of which way to direct loads – says the researcher of the department of history of the region of Murmansk regional museum Valery Yagupova. – There are three ways: through the ports of the Far East, through Iran or the Barents Sea. The first two were the most secure, but also the longest: the goods was about 75 days. Therefore we chose the third, the shortest, the most dangerous way – through Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.
– 75 years since the arrival of the first convoy “Dervish” in Arkhangelsk – is a symbolic date for all sailors who participated in the Arctic passages. It is the bitterness of loss, the test cold and sea winds, the joy of meeting with friends – said the veteran of the Arctic convoys Samuel William Taylor (Great Britain)
At first convoys reached quickly and easily.. In a short time there and went back to 11 caravans. Germany hoped that win quickly, and did not pay attention to the northern delivery. We brought equipment, military aircraft in wooden boxes, food and even buttons. Back ships returned loaded with our same raw materials and mineral resources. Lend-lease was not in charity: for deliveries in the years of the war, Russia was paying until recently.
When the Germans realized that in vain do not pay attention to the northern path the convoy, they stepped up military bases in Norway and came up with a special tactic of wolf packs, ships groups preying on caravans.
The convoys began to suffer heavy losses. The tragic events of the novel is devoted to Valentin Pikul “The Story of the deceased convoy PQ-17.”
– Foreigners had the habit: barely a ship scheduled to injury – they immediately turned back or change to whole ships and flooded the ship with the help of the military – said Valery Yagupova. – Our sailors have acted differently. They saved the ship until the last forces. An example of such courage – the ship “Old Bolshevik”, caught fire after the German attack. He threw everything but the Russian sailors were, extinguished the ship, a caravan caught up and brought the goods at the destination port.
The Soviet veteran Taras Goncharenko involved in the festivities, recalls walking into a convoy to the “old Bolsheviks»
-. When the Germans began to raid, we have been tacked but one bomb still fell into the first hold. We tore off the “nose”, lost the gun with the team. He came up to us English corvette and offered to take us on board. But we have not abandoned the ship, put out the fire, repaired the steering broke and alone in Murmansk, – said the veteran.
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The historians are still arguing how important was this Maritime assistance in war. Someone says that the northern convoys ferried to the Soviet Union, only 4% for the front right of military cargo. Others hold the view of Alexander Mikoyan, who oversaw the 1942 northern convoys and celebrating their great contribution to the outcome of the war.
The same view is shared by the Russian military-historical society. Historians believe that the North decides the outcome of the Second World War.
Photo: press service RVIO
– The experience of the Lend-Lease became a unique example of the consolidation of countries, a tool that can be used today to combat the global scourge – terrorism and the impact of disasters, – told “Izvestiya” executive director of the Russian military-historical society Vladislav Kononov.
What is the impact this and other help in the outcome of the war and how to hasten the victory will say researchers at an international conference in Arkhangelsk, which is included in the program of commemorative events.