The cruisers HMS Belfast, HMS Dido and HMS Scylla in heavy seas as an Arctic convoy Ocean Escort during World War Two. Although these three cruisers hardly served alongside each other during World War Two, each was representative of their class so this was created as an atmospheric picture.
The Arctic Convoys and Loch Ewe
During 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.
The 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.
For more information on Royal Navy Arctic Convoys go to www.russianarcticconvoymuseum.co.uk
Read more about HMS Belfast service history here.