Eighty years ago, in July 1942 the Allies suffered one of their most notorious losses of World War 2. The Merchant ship convoy PQ 17, carrying supplies to Russia was attacked in the Arctic seas by German aircraft and submarines. Out of 34 merchant ships in the convoy only 11 made it safely to Russia.
The incident has become symbolic of the suffering and endurance of those involved in the Arctic convoys.
In this episode we revisit the events of July 1942 as well as the wider naval war in the Arctic, in order to put PQ17 in context. How typical were the losses to PQ17? Just how effective was the German campaign against the convoys to Russia? And what part did intelligence from Bletchley Park play in these events?
As usual we are joined by Bletchley Park’s Research Historian Dr David Kenyon to tell us more.
Very special thanks go to Owen Moogan for voicing our archival documents.
Featuring the following contributors from our Oral History Archive:
Image: HMS Victorious on escort duty. Mick Chalkley (Fleet Air Arm 1939-45)
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