Russians say thanks to HMS Belfast for Arctic convoy—70 years on

The Russian ambassador has been on board HMS Belfast to say ‘thanks’ to naval veterans now all in their eighties for the Arctic convoys they ran during the Second World War.

The Belfast, moored in the Pool of London near Tower Bridge as a permanent floating naval museum, regularly took part in the ‘mad dash’ to the Arctic port of Murmansk during the Second World War.

The treacherous Royal Navy convoys supplied food, raw materials and ammunition to help the Soviet Union maintain the eastern front against the invading Germans, facing constant U-boat attack as well as ice so thick and heavy it could sink a battleship.

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko was greeted yesterday by the Duke of Kent and the British veterans to celebrate the 66th anniversary of Victory in Europe.

Victory was declared in the Soviet Union on May 9, 1945, a day after Britain and the West celebrated—the Russians continue marking the end of war a day behind the rest of us.