Hitler invaded Russia on 22nd June, 1941, and by the end of December of that year, Russian losses were believed to be of the order of 5 to 7 million, with a further 3 to 5 million prisoners of war, and almost 22,000 tanks, and 33,000 guns destroyed. Lord Beaverbrook, and Averell Harriman, led a fact finding mission to Moscow on the 11th of September, 1941, to decide how Russia could be assisted by supplying materiels of war.
The subsequent agreement signed with Russia spawned the Russian convoys, and, in fact, Churchill had anticipated Russia's plight, and on his personal orders, the Admiralty despatched P Q 1, the first Russian convoy on tIle 29th of September, 1941. It carried 450 aircraft, 22,000 tons of rubber, 3 million pairs of boots, plus wool, tin, lead, jute, and aluminium.
This submarine caught on the surface by a Coastal Command Hudson, on the 28th of August, 1941, was located about 80 miles South of Iceland, it was captured intact. Eventually it was renamed H.M.S. "Graph," and went to sea again with a British crew.
President Roosevelt and Britain
Although the world in general, and the United States in particular, were unaware of the impending attack by Japan on Pearl Harbour on the 7th. of December, 1941, Roosevelt was moving closer to total support of Britain, and her Allies. In an Armistice Day speech on the 11th of November, 194 I, he said, "The people of America, believe that liberty is worth fighting for, and if they are obliged to fight, they will fight eternally to hold it."
Japan enters the war
The unheralded Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on the 7th. of December, 1941, resulted in the United States declaring war on both Japan and Germany. The die was thus cast for the final victory, both in the Pacific, and in Europe.
1942, Another difficult year
The year did not start well for our Merchant Ship losses, in February, 154 ships with a tonnage of 679,532 tons were sunk, in March, the largest number of ships to be sunk in any one month of W.W.2, numbered 273, totalling 834,164 tons. This tonnage lost was exceeded in June, with 834,196 tons of shipping sunk with all their valuable cargoes, but the actual number of ships lost, was in fact less than in March.
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