Memorial Register 22, The Tower Hill Memorial Introduction to the Register, names of those of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who fell during WW2

fresh opportunities before full coastal patrols and convoy systems could be put into operation the U-boats left the convoy routes and concentrated on American coastal waters. As counter-measures by die United States increased ineffectiveness the submarines moved southward to the Caribbean the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of Brazil. Losses of merchant ships during the second half of 1942 were particularly serious. In August of that year the enemy resumed his attempt to cut the convoy routes to and from the United Kingdom and several heavy attacks were made on convoys. The highest losses in any month during the whole war were in November 1942. As 1943 went on however more very long-range aircraft became available equipped with improved apparatus for the detection of submarines and the Bay of Biscay in particular became the graveyard of many submarines. Attacks on convoys were frustrated and became fewer. During the early part of 1944 the number of sub­marines sunk in a month often exceeded the number of merchant ships sunk and for the whole of that year the total British allied and neutral merchant tonnage lost by submarine attack was only a little higher than the loss in the one month of November 1942. So effective were the measures taken against them that submarines were notable to threaten seriously the landings in France in June 1944 and the subsequent supplies and reinforcements. From the autumn of 1944 the threat against Atlantic convoys whilst in deep waters was virtually at an end. The proportion of losses in the Atlantic directly due to aircraft attack was naturally small although German very long range aircraft played apart in guiding U-boats to their quarry. The Russian Convoys After the entry of Russia into the war in June 1941 Britain and the United States supplemented Russian production by sending great quantities of supplies of all kinds. The two routes whereby these supplies could be sent to Russia were by the way of the Cape of Good Hope and the Persian Gulf or round the North Cape. The latter route to the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel was particularly vulnerable to attack by aircraft submarines and surface vessels since for a considerable distance it passed within range of enemy-occupied Norway. Moreover the winter weather conditions were among the worst to be encountered anywhere and in summer the perpetual day­light increased the danger from observation and successful attack. A historian writes: “Nowhere was courage shown under conditions of such prolonged strain seemingly adverse odds and intense climatic discomfort as on the convoy routes to North Russia ”.5
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