10 Aug 1941

Arctic Ocean
  • The 1,238-ton Soviet patrol vessel Tuman was on patrol in the Barents Sea north of Murmansk, Russia when she encountered the three German destroyers Z-4 Richard Beitzen, Z-10 Hans Lody, and Z-16 Friedrich Eckoldt near Kildin Island. Tuman reported the sighting over radio, then laid down a smoke screen for evasive action. The German destroyers closed in within 5 nautical miles and damaged Tuman with 11 direct hits before they were driven off by Soviet coastal guns. 37 officers and men escaped from the sinking vessel as the German destroyers withdrew; 15 were killed, including the commanding officer Lieutenant L. Shestakov and the commissar. ww2dbase [Barents Sea | HM]
1 Mar 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • The Soviet trawler RT-19 Komintern, built in 1930, while fishing off the Gusinaia Banka, Berrants Sea, was most probably torpedoed by German submarine U-436 (Kapitänleutnant Günther Seibicke) and sunk, northeast of Cape Teriberskij, Russia. ww2dbase [Barents Sea | HM]
7 Mar 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • The 2,815-ton Russian passenger-cargo vessel Ijora went missing near the Kola Inlet. It was reported to have been sunk by the German destroyer Friedrich Ihn during operations against Convoy QP-8. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | HM]
29 Mar 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • German destroyer Z26 sank Panamanian ship Bateau of Allied convoy PQ-13 in the Barents Sea shortly after 0000 hours; 37 were killed, 6 survived. At 0943 hours, British cruiser HMS Trinidad spotted Z26 along with Z24 and Z25, hitting Z26 with gunfire; at 1024 hours, HMS Trinidad was hit by a torpedo that she fired and circled around, killing 31. At 1032 hours, British destroyer HMS Eclipse continued the attack, hitting Z26 with 6 more shells; at 1120 hours, Z24 and Z25 coordinated an attack on HMS Eclipse, hitting her with two shells, killing 23. Shortly after, Z26 sank from the heavy damage. 243 of those aboard Z26 were killed, 96 survived; 88 of the survivors were picked up by Z24 and Z25, while German submarine U-376 picked up the remaining 8. HMS Trinidad was given temporary repairs in Murmansk, Russia and sailed for home on 13 May 1942. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | CPC, HM]
30 Mar 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • German submarine U-585 probably struck one of the many mines that drifted from the German defensive barrage Bantos-A in the Barents Sea on this day. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | HM]
5 Apr 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • German submarine U-585 was posted as missing after she failed to report her position in the Barents Sea. All 44 aboard were lost. ww2dbase [Barents Sea | HM]
3 May 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • Six He 111 aircraft of German Luftwaffe unit I./KG 26 from the airfield at Bardufoss, Norway attacked Allied convoy PQ-15 between North Cape and Bear Island (Bjørnøya), sinking ships Botavon (20 were killed), Jutland, and Cape Corso (all 50 aboard were killed) at 0127 hours; the convoy recorded 3 German aircraft shot down, but KG 26 records showed only 1 loss. At 2230 hours, another air attack came upon PQ-15, damaging the ship Cape Palliser while one Ju 88 aircraft was shot down; the arrival of Soviet Pe-3 aircraft drove off the rest of the German attackers. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | CPC]
27 May 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • He 111 bombers of German Luftwaffe unit I./KG 26 and Ju 88 dive bombers of KG 30 attacked Allied convoy PQ-16 southeast of Bear Island (Bjørnøya), Norway in multiple waves. The first attack arrived over PQ-16 at 0320 hours, causing no damage. At 1100 hours, US freighter City of Joliet suffered a near miss. At 1310 hours, US freighter Alamar was hit by two bombs and was abandoned 20 minutes after with all aboard surviving. At 1315 hours, US ship Mormacsul was sunk by 1 bomb hit and 3 near misses; 3 were killed, 45 survived. At 1410 hours, British catapult aircraft merchantman Empire Lawrence was sunk after receiving 5 hits; 25 were killed. In the afternoon, Russian ship Stari Bolshevik, British ship Empire Baffin, and Polish destroyer Garland were damaged by German attacks, followed by US ship City of Joliet being damaged after being struck by a crashing German dive bomber (she would be abandoned at the end of the day). At 1945 hours, British merchant ship Empire Purcell was hit by 2 bombs and was abandoned. Finally, at 1950 hours, British merchant ship Lowther Castle was hit by a torpedo from a I./KG26 He 111 bomber and sank. I./KG 26 recorded the loss of two crews on this day. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | CPC]
4 Jul 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • Allied convoy PQ-17 was attacked by 24 He 111 aircraft of German Luftwaffe unit I./KG 26 about 60 miles north of Bear Island (Bjørnøya), Norway, fatally damaging US freighter Christopher Newport which would later be scuttled by a British submarine (3 were killed, 47 survived); at 1930 hours, another attack wave came upon the convoy, causing no damage; at 2020 hours, the convoy was attacked by 25 aircraft, sinking British freighter Navarino, sinking US freighter William Hooper (3 were killed, 55 survived), and damaging Soviet tanker Azerbaijan; at 2100 hours, believing that German battleships might be in the area, PQ-17 was ordered to scatter and the convoy escorts were withdrawn. Sailing in the opposite direction, QP-13 broke up to two convoys, one of which ran into a minefield; several ships struck mines and sank (British minesweeper HMS Niger (149 were killed), freighter Hybert, freighter Heffron, freighter Massmar (17 were killed), and Soviet passenger ship Rodina (several family members of Soviet diplomats were killed)), and several others were damaged (civilian commodore's ship American Robin, freighter Exterminator, and freighter John Randolph); HMS Hussar was able to lead the survivors out of the minefield. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | AC, CPC]
5 Jul 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • The scattered Allied convoy PQ-17 was hunted down by German submarines and aircraft piecemeal throughout the day; British freighter Empire Byron (by U-703 at 0827 hours; 7 were killed, 63 survived), civilian commodore J. C. K. Dowding's ship River Afton (by U-703 at 2102 hours; 26 were killed, 38 survived)), British ship Earlston (by U-334 at 1747 hours; all 52 aboard survived), Washington, Bolton Castle, Paulus Potter (abandoned after Ju 88 attack; carrying 34 tanks, 15 aircraft, 103 trucks, and 2,250 tons of general goods; 51 crew, 14 gunners, and 11 passengers took to boats), Pan Kraft, US ship Carlton (by U-88 at 1015 hours; 3 were killed, 42 survived), Fairfield City, Daniel Morgan (by U-88 at 2252 hours; 3 were killed, 51 survived), Peter Kerr, British fleet oiler Aldersdale (fatally damaged by aircraft and abandoned), British rescue ship Zaafaran, and Honomu (by U-456 at 1431 hours; 13 were killed, 28 survived) were all destroyed. Meanwhile, Allied convoy QP-13 was sailing in the opposite direction; British minesweeper HMS Niger, in escort, entered a British minefield due to navigation error, struck a mine, and sank 10 miles north of Iceland at 2240 hours, killing 149; the 36 merchant ships of the convoy, following Niger's lead, also entered the minefield; 5 merchant ships would sink, 1 would sustain damage. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | CPC, HM]
13 Jul 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • The floating wreck of Dutch merchant steamer Paulus Potter, damaged by German air attack 8 days prior, was discovered by German submarine U-225. The ship was a member of Allied convoy PQ-17. The second officer and two crew boarded the deserted ship and made an attempt to get her under way. However, the flooding in the engine room was too deep and after taking food, cigarettes and other useful material including a heavy chest from the bridge, they returned to the submarine. The chest contained the confidential papers pertaining to the convoy codes and positions which the Dutch in their haste had forgotten to throw overboard. U-225 then torpedoed and sank the Dutch merchant. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | CPC, HM]
13 Sep 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • Allied convoy QP-14 departed Arkhangelsk, Russia with 15 merchant ships and two rescue ships under the civilian commodore J. C. K. Dowding; it was escorted by two anti-aircraft vessels, two destroyers, four corvettes, three minesweepers, and three trawlers under British Royal Navy Captain J. F. Crombie. Elsewhere, Allied convoy PQ-18 sailed in the opposite direction; PQ-18 would be subjected to repeated attacks all day. The first casualty occurred at 0855 hours when U-408 and U-589 sank Soviet freighter Stalingrad (hit by three torpedoes; 21 were killed) and US tanker Oliver Ellsworth 150 miles northwest of Bear Island (Bjørnøya), Norway; these two ships were on the outside starboard column of PQ-18. At 1500 hours, 6 Ju 88 aircraft attacked without success. At 1530 hours, 30 Ju 88 dive bombers of German Luftwaffe unit III./KG 26 and 55 He 111 bombers of I./KG 26 attacked, sinking the ships Wacosta (scoring a direct hit with a torpedo before the torpedo entered water), Empire Stevenson, Macbeth, Gregonian (US ship; 28 were killed, 27 survived), Sukhona (Russian ship), Afrikaner (Panamanian ship), Empire Beaumont, and John Penn at the cost of only 5 aircraft. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | CPC]
26 Dec 1943

Arctic Ocean
  • Norwegian destroyer Stord closed to within 400 yards of the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst to fire a spread of torpedoes at Scharnhorst's starboard side. ww2dbase [Battle of the North Cape | Stord | Barents Sea | DS]
3 Apr 1944

Arctic Ocean
  • Aircraft from HMS Activity and HMS Tracker sank German submarine U-288 in the Barents Sea. ww2dbase [Activity | Barents Sea | CPC]
20 Mar 1945

Arctic Ocean
  • In the afternoon, German submarine U-968 attacked convoy JW-65 near the mouth of the Kola Inlet and reported a destroyer and a Liberty sunk and another Liberty ship damaged. In fact, the sloop HMS Lapwing (U-62; Commander J. A. Binnie, Rtd, RN) of the 7th Escort Group and the Liberty ship Thomas Donaldson were sunk. The sixty-one survivors of the sloop were rescued by the destroyer HMS Savage (G 20). The Thomas Donaldson, carrying 7,679 tons of general cargo, including 6,000 tons of ammunition, foodstuffs and locomotives and tenders as deck cargo was the twentieth ship as convoy formed into one column to enter Kola Inlet and was hit at 1315 hours on the starboard side by one torpedo about 20 miles from the mouth of Kola Inlet. The torpedo struck the engine room, killed one officer and two crewmen on watch below and destroyed the engines. Due to her dangerous cargo the master ordered the crew of eight officers, 34 crewmen and 27 armed guards to abandon ship after 10 minutes. Most left in the two port lifeboats and a raft and were picked up by the corvette HMS Bamborough Castle (K 412) while others jumped overboard and were picked up by HMS Oxlip (K 123). One man died after being rescued. The master and eight crew members remained aboard and were later taken off by HMS Honeysuckle (K 27), which took the ship in tow toward Kola Inlet. At 1630 hours, a Soviet tug took over the tow but the Thomas Donaldson sank stern first at 1745 hours, one-half miles from Kilden Island. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Barents Sea | HM]
30 Apr 1945

Arctic Ocean
  • The frigate, HMS Goodall, became the last ship to be sunk in the war against Germany when she was torpedoed by submarine U-286 in the Barents Sea with heavy loss of life returning from escorting a Russian convoy. ww2dbase [Barents Sea | AC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939