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"Forgotten Sacrifice" by Mike Walling
The Arctic Convoys of World War II

Hitler called Norway the “Zone of Destiny” for Nazi Germany because convoys from Churchill's Britain and Roosevelt's United States supplied Stalin’s Soviet Russia with critical equipment and foodstuffs during the darkest days of the German invasion.

The words “Murmansk Run” conjure visions of ice laden ships and thoughts of freezing to death in seconds. Formally this was the Arctic Convoy run where primarily battles were fought between three countries: Britain, the Soviet Union, and Germany.

For five years, thousands of men and women from those countries and their allies fought ferociously in the coldest corner of hell on earth. Some fought for survival, some to help others survive while many fought to crush the others. It was 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.

Tens of books and hundreds of articles have been published about the Arctic convoys. However, no single work captures the conflict’s bitter essence − an essence distilled from men’s fear, anger, killing lust, courage, self-sacrifice, and agonizing death, mixed with bloodstained, oil tainted water from the Arctic Sea.

For the first time, this essence is captured and served to the reader in a book seemingly made from crystalline Arctic Sea ice yet actually composed of survivors’ memories and, sometimes, memories left behind by those who didn’t survive.

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.