Britain and Russia remember those lost on Arctic Convoys in WWII

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Pictured are the British and Russian wreaths side-by-side on the quarterdeck of Belfast to mark the naval losses suffered by both nations on Arctic Convoys during WW2.

On Tuesday (8 December) aboard WWII Light Cruiser HMS Belfast, Rear Admiral Ian Lower, the Royal Navy’s Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy), and Russian Defence Attaché to the UK, Colonel Maxim Elovik placed wreaths side-by-side beneath Belfast’s battle honours board on the quarterdeck of Belfast to mark the naval losses suffered by both nations on Arctic Convoys during WW2.

HMS Belfast was severely damaged by a magnetic mine whilst patrolling the North Sea early in the war.

When re-joining the fleet in 1942 she was still the largest and most powerful cruiser in the Royal Navy and most importantly she was equipped with the most advanced radar systems. She was immediately called into action and played a crucial role in protecting the arctic convoys, Russia’s supply route throughout the war.

Most notably in her role during the Battle of North Cape which saw the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst and the loss of all but 36 of her 1,963 crew.

HMS Belfast remained protecting the arctic convoys until 1944 when she spent five weeks supporting the D-Day landings and reportedly fired one of the first shots on D-Day itself.

Photo Credit: PO Photo Dave Jenkins UK MOD

Captions: Harland Quarrington

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