Forgotten Sacrifice: The Arctic Convoys of World War II

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Overview

The words "Murmansk Run" conjure visions of ice-laden ships and thoughts of freezing to death in seconds. For five long years, thousands of men and women fought ferociously in the coldest corner of hell on earth. Some fought for survival, some struggled to help others survive, and some sought to crush their enemies. The Arctic Convoys were war without mercy. If man-made death didn't get you, the Arctic's weapons of ice and cold would. These natural weapons killed regardless of whose side you were on or how just ...

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Forgotten Sacrifice: The Arctic Convoys of World War II

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Overview

The words "Murmansk Run" conjure visions of ice-laden ships and thoughts of freezing to death in seconds. For five long years, thousands of men and women fought ferociously in the coldest corner of hell on earth. Some fought for survival, some struggled to help others survive, and some sought to crush their enemies. The Arctic Convoys were war without mercy. If man-made death didn't get you, the Arctic's weapons of ice and cold would. These natural weapons killed regardless of whose side you were on or how just was your cause. No one escaped unscathed. Author Mike Walling captures the convoy's bitter essence in Forgotten Sacrifice.

The story launches in October 1939, when Germany and the Soviet Union began diplomatic maneuvering. The action accelerates with Winston Churchill's decision in 1941 to provide supplies to Soviet forces battling the German invasion. From this point until the closing days of WWII in spring 1945, an unremitting sea battle raged within the confines of the always-lethal, ever-shifting Arctic ice pack and the savage Scandinavian coastline. Nearly 4.5 million tons of supplies were moved in 77 convoys over the course of 5 years in order to help the Soviet war effort. The Allies fought to keep the sea lanes open to Murmansk while the Germans were determined to slaughter every ship which dared to make the attempt. By the end of the convoys, 98 ships had been lost. Forgotten Sacrifice reveals a timeless tale of determination, heroism, sacrifice, and the strength of the human spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If the Nazis didn't get you, the weather would in this truly hellish front: the icy U-boat and Luftwaffe-patrolled lend-lease lifeline to Russia."
--Gene Santoro, World War II (November/December 2012)

"...through this book I definitely had gained a renewed sense of appreciation for the thousands upon thousands of civilian seamen who had contributed to the war effort, many of whom passed into history without ever receiving their due recognition."
--Peter C. Chen, World War II Database (October 2012)

"...tells the complete story of the Allied forces' Arctic Convoys and the role they played in helping Russia repel the Germans. It uses literally hundreds of oral histories from eyewitnesses and veterans of the convoys plus original research in the Russian Naval archives at Murmansk to retell a campaign that has received relatively little in-depth focus in the chronicles of World War II, and is a top pick for any military history holding."
--James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review (January 2013)

"This volume fills in a part of history little known to the average student of the Second World War and is important in the wider knowledge of that time."
- Richard Mataka, www.mataka.org

"Relying on anecdores from the written accounts of crewmen who served on board the merchantmen and their naval escorts, Walling provides readers with unforgettable snapshots of the horrendous experiences they faced during cobat in ... frigid waters."
- Naval History magazine (June 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849087186
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 705,934
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael G. Walling is author of several books, including Bloodstained Sea, the 2005 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature. An internationally recognized World War II expert, Walling is a contributing author to the U.S. Naval Institute's Naval History Magazine and has appeared on The History Channel and PBS as an aviation and naval expert. After graduating from Montclair State College with a BA in Biology, Walling served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years as a commissioned officer and a senior petty officer. He has spent more than 45 years collecting stories from veterans from World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, and Iraq as well as those of pilots, merchant seaman, and civilian personnel with NATO and EUFOR in the Balkans. His research has included visits to London; Sarajevo; Baska Voda, Croatia; Halifax, Nova Scotia; St. John's, Newfoundland; and New Orleans.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 5

Chapter 1 Briefing 9

Chapter 2 Skirmishing August 1941-Mareh 1942 37

Chapter 3 Arctic Shooting Gallery March 1942 63

Chapter 4 Fateful Voyages April-June 1942 87

Chapter 5 White Nights May 1942 121

Chapter 6 Apocalypse June-July 1942 151

Chapter 7 Task Forces July-September 1942 181

Chapter 8 An Autumn in Hell September-December 1942 213

Chapter 9 German Götterdämmerung December 1942-May 1945 245

Chapter 10 A Few Final Words 270

Resources 273

About the Author 278

Index 280

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Unique Subject Recommended

    Sometimes astonishingly brutal reporting of a piece of military history not often reported. The account is detailed and highly informational.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2014

    A WWII Theater of Operation Rarely Described

    Very interesting written history of North Atlantic convoy operations during WWII assembled by rigorous research and study of official records and oral history of British, Russian, German, Norwegian and British participation during said years. A truly stunning account of action in this part of of the frozen Atlantic Ocean. Extremely stunning and heart-rending account. Hard to put down.

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  • Posted May 16, 2014

    Good Book

    Very informative--another aspect of WWII I had little knowledge of. easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    GRIMMS CAGE

    Solitary from the restpostpostpostpostpost

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted September 11, 2014

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    Posted April 23, 2014

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    Posted April 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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