Arctic Airmen: The RAF in Spitsbergen and North Russia, 1942 by Ernest Schofield, Roy Conyers Nesbit

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By Ernest Schofield, Roy Conyers Nesbit

In 1942 a Catalina team of 219 Squadron, established within the Shetlands, used to be chosen to hold out a chain of best mystery operations, together with a flight to the North Pole. They have been made even as a Norwegian excursion to Spitzbergen to maintain the Germans out of the world. The flights have been over 24 hours lengthy and reached the bounds of human patience within the severe chilly. Later, the Squadron supplied conceal for the Russian convoys. Ernest Schofield used to be the navigator at the team and retained the logs. those have been amazing missions and on 21 September one ended with a Ju88 assault and tragedy: "The pilot's cockpit used to be dulled with smoke. Tim was once falling from his seat... We gave him a shot of morphia, for what aid it will possibly have been..."

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Germany’s 20 Leningrad During the Second World War annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland in 1938 following the Munich Conference, to which Stalin was not invited, alarmed the Kremlin by raising suspicions that Britain and France, in pursuing politics of appeasement vis-à-vis Germany, were content to let Hitler drive eastward. 8 On 24 July 1938, German airmen photographed all parts of the city and focused their lenses in particular on the sea canal, the harbor, and the Kronstadt naval base, which was located about fifteen miles west of Leningrad in the Gulf of Finland.

Once the pivotal battle for Stalingrad took shape in September 1942, neither side made Leningrad a top priority. Germany lacked the means to renew an offensive to take Leningrad, and although the Lake Ladoga supply route was fortified and the Red Army pierced the blockade south of the lake so that a makeshift rail line could be extended to the city in February 1943, Soviet supply to the Leningrad sector proved insufficient to liberate Leningrad until January 1944. We have tried to summarize succinctly yet comprehensively the crucial events of Leningrad’s war experience in Chapter 1 and to situate them between the transformations and upheavals of the late 1930s and the postwar Leningrad Affair.

Almost from the moment that the Bolsheviks came to power, they relied heavily on forced allocation, or mobilization, of materials and personnel to meet their goals. War Communism helped carry the Communists to victory in the Civil War, although in 1921 it gave way to the less coercive New Economic Policy. During the first Five Year Plan and the collectivization of agriculture, which commenced in 1928–29, the USSR built a command economy, in which the state gained control of almost all of the means of agricultural and industrial production.

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