Great World War II Battles in the Arctic

Great World War II Battles in the Arctic

Great World War II Battles in the Arctic

Great World War II Battles in the Arctic

Synopsis

This is the compelling story of the most exciting and decisive battles fought under harsh Arctic conditions during the Second World War. Each battle is described in detail, with discussions of the various weapons and strategies that led to victory or defeat, and an analysis of how the battle affected the overall course of the war. The failure of early attempts to supply the Soviets with vital materiel would eventually give rise to tensions among the Allies that would continue long after the end of the war, and would ultimately lead to the Cold War. Despite the fears of many men on both sides that they were being sacrificed for political expediency, their brave and heroic actions became an integral part of the war effort for each coalition.

Excerpt

The Arctic is a cold, barren, and lonely world where the sea crushes man's feeble attempts to master it. Here the darkened horizon of the "Midnight Sun" makes reduced visibility a problem for as much as half the year, and the tedium and sense of isolation can depress the hardiest of souls. The seemingly endless darkness from mid-November to midJanuary reduces aerial operations, often leaving ships without air reconnaissance or rescue. Men who must take their ships to sea in these harsh conditions face mountainous waves that tower above their decks, then roar down to smash them about like tiny pieces of driftwood in a foamy maelstrom. Funnels buckle, boats are smashed and knocked loose from their chocks, bridges are crushed out of shape, and men are swept overboard, their cries unheard in the howling fury. The violent waves hurl men against steel bulkheads, smashing bones like kindling. Ships are swept apart as all semblance of formation is lost, and escorts grope blindly for their charges, their convoys scattered over hundreds of miles of pathless sea. Cooking is impossible in the tumult, and the relentless misery of seasickness also ensures that little eating is done.

During World War II, the brutality of modern mechanized war was added to the rigors of man's eternal struggle against the sea. In the face of repeated German attempts to stop them, the Allies fought against appalling odds to maintain the flow of munitions to the beleaguered Soviet Union. No story about these Arctic convoys is complete without first looking at the effects this brutal environment had upon the men and ships committed to battle there.

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