About : Project, The Convoys, True Lives, Newsletters

The Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project

Welcome to the website for the planned Russian Arctic Convoy Museum. The importance of highlighting the legacy of the WWII Russian Arctic Convoys is central to the project. It is to the memory of all of these brave men who sailed on the convoys, and the many (over three thousand men) who lost their lives, that the local communities around Loch Ewe in the North West Highlands of Scotland are planning a Museum.

If you wish to know more about the project, then sign up to our e-newsletter (our first edition was in August 2011). This will keep you updated on the progress of the project and on our fundraising efforts. Pass on details of our website to your friends and contacts as we want to be in contact with as many people as possible who are interested in our project. All of this will help us to create a website and Museum that are as accurate and informative as possible and a fitting legacy to those who took part in this remarkable part of history.

The Convoys

The North Atlantic Fleet sailed from 1941 to 1945 from the UK to North Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel to aid Russian Allies. The Russian Convoys were called ‘the Suicide Missions’ by many of those men who sailed on them. Merchant ships with supplies and ammunition were escorted by British Royal Naval ships and aircraft carriers. These supplies were vital to the war effort as German forces had Russia completely blockaded.

During the war young men of 18 were drafted into the forces and some lads in the Merchant Navy were only 16 years old. With German u-boats and aircraft intent on stopping supplies to Russia many ships were lost and over 3,000 young men perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, their bodies never to be recovered.

Supplies came initially solely from British sources with a greatly increasing quantity from America from January 1942. Allied supplies transported to Russia included 7,411 aircraft, 4,932 anti-tank guns and 5,218 tanks. For Prime Minister Winston Churchill, these supplies were a vital demonstration of Allied solidarity. He did however call the Arctic Convoys The Worst Journey in the World

With a total of 78 Convoys to Russia, Loch Ewe in Wester Ross, Scotland was where 19 of the convoys departed, a further 23 left from Liverpool, The Clyde (Glasgow), Oban and Reykjavik (Iceland). From Russia to the UK there were 36 convoys.

The Men of The Convoys

We now have a collection of stories and memories from Veterans and Families of those who did not return from the war (please click on the picture below for more information). If you would like to add your memories please contact webmaster@racmp.co.uk

Our Newsletters