After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Britain and its Allies sent convoys of supplies through the Arctic to the Soviet ports of Murmansk and Archangel. Between 1941–45, over four million tons of supplies under the Lend-Lease program, including tanks, aircraft, trucks, tractors, fuel and engines, and general necessities such as food, boots and soap, were transported in 78 convoys. It was a dangerous route, taking between ten and fifteen days each way, and the Germans launched regular patrols from their bases on the northern edge of Norway. The sailors battled storms, gales, packed ice and freezing conditions; in summer they struggled with the additional risk of being visible in the midnight sun. The convoys demonstrated the Allied commitment to the Soviet Union, yet some 3,000 sailors died on the treacherous Arctic route.
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