Archangel Remembers the Arctic Convoys:1941 - 1945
Archangel recently completed several days of remembrances and studies of the Arctic Convoys of World War Two.
The Commemorations focused not only on the first Convoy (DERVISH) which arrived in Archangel 80 years ago on August 31, 1941 but also on the many Arctic Convoys that followed throughout the War.
This year on August 28, the Archangel Regional Museum of Local Lore held a video conference "Hands Across the Seas" that focused on the sailors and ships of the Convoys. The conference was moderated by Professor Valentina Golysheva and included presenters from a number of nations. The honored speaker was Arnold Wilkinson, a British pilot who flew Swordfish torpedo bombers in the defense of Arctic Convoy RA-62 in December 1944.
On August 29 of this year, the Archangel Regional Government held a mixed online and in-person "Forum to the Glory of the Navy and the Fatherland" that also focused on the Convoys and Allied
cooperation. The Forum featured video messages from the Mayors of several Sister Cities
and included such a message from Westbrook's Mayor Michael Foley (see photo left). In addition, a video was shown of the Arctic Convoy Memorial Service held here in Maine that was organized by Maine fire and rescue professionals (see link below).
On August 30 and 31 of this year, the Northern Arctic Federal University in Archangel held an online academic conference "Lend-Lease and the Arctic Convoys". Presenters included professors and historians from Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Archangel and also diplomatic representatives from the U.K. and Norway.
Of course, also on August 31 of this year, solemn ceremonies were held at Archangel's Eternal Flame on the Embankment of the Northern Dvina River. Russian Naval ships were anchored nearby as the Russian flight demonstration team "Swifts" flew MIG-29 fighter jets overhead.