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In World War II, why was the ratio of killed to wounded of the Royal Navy twice that of the US Navy?

In World War II, why was the ratio of killed to wounded of the Royal Navy twice that of the US Navy?

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Casualty numbers for Navy personnel killed and wounded in WWII cited by Wikipedia (for the Royal Navy) and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (for the US Navy) show a big difference in the ratio of killed to wounded.

Royal Navy----killed 50,758----wounded 14,663----ratio killed to wounded 3.46

US Navy-------killed 62,614----wounded 37,778----ratio killed to wounded 1.66

The numbers cited may, of course, not be wholly accurate but for the above ratio numbers to be similar would mean a huge error somewhere; this seems unlikely as neither source indicates the figures are 'guesstimates' (someone could have been sloppy but the numbers have not been rounded up/down, and the US stats match those cited on this World War II casualties page).

Among the possible explanations for this I've thought of are:

  1. The efficiency and availability of search & rescue. Were British vessels more likely to be sunk when no other ships were around to pick up survivors?
  2. The age (and thus construction quality?) of vessels. Were Royal Navy ships, on average, older than US ships and thus more likely to sink quickly?
  3. The way in which vessels were sunk (i.e. torpedo, aerial attack, naval gunfire, mines).

What factor or factors account for the Royal Navy killed to wounded ratio being more than twice that of the US Navy?

One has to consider the situation the two navies were in.

The Royal Navy operated heavily in the north Atlantic on convoy duty and in conflict with German naval forces, and took a lot of casualties, from loss of warships to the RN gun crews on merchant ships. That area is extremely cold; a person thrown into the water without benefit of a survival suit or lifeboat will die of hypothermia very quickly, 10 minutes to a few hours, depending on the temperature. This was especially true of the Murmansk convoys, which skirted the Arctic Circle. Going into the water without a lifeboat or raft there was pretty much a death sentence.

The US Navy took the bulk of its casualties in the central Pacific, a tropical climate, where the temperature is considerably higher. Survivors of a sinking could last for days, when they would start dying from lack of fresh water… a much longer window of opportunity for rescue. They did face one peril not found in the north Atlantic: shark attack. It is estimated that sharks may have killed up to 500 survivors of the USS Indianapolis sinking, so those waters weren't entirely safe.

The combat situation also was quite different.

In convoy duty, the convoy would not stop for a ship sinking - they'd make easy targets for submarines. There was a single rescue ship at the back of the convoy that did pick up what survivors it could find, usually a small ship not meriting a torpedo. In the case of the Hood, the only other British ship was the Prince of Wales, and it was beating a retreat as it had been damaged and was now alone. It is likely that more than three sailors survived the Hood's magazine explosion, but a combination of cold water and no one to rescue them immediately did in the rest. The crew of the Bismarck met a similar fate - after it's sinking, a report of a U Boat periscope caused the British ships to break off rescue efforts, and consequently a lot of the Bismarck crew that survived the sinking perished.

In the Pacific, much of the action was by air attack. Once the attacking planes had left, the remaining ships had ample opportunity to conduct rescue operations without interference from an opposing force.

Even in the ship on ship actions, such as the fierce conflicts around Guadalcanal, the fleets broke off contact quickly, with the Japanese ships clearing out before daylight would bring dive bombers. This gave time and opportunity to conduct rescue operations without interference.

So the weather and combat situation was quite different where the two navies conducted the bulk of their operations. The Royal Navy operated in a situation that would cause more deaths, from both weather and combat conditions.

Since we are talking of two different sources, we do not know whether their interpretation is the same, specially regarding to wounded men. Light wounds might not be counted in the Royal Navy in the same way that US Navy. Another potential explanation is that UK had more deaths in the beginning of the war, while US had them later, when medical attention was better.

If we check total data from all service branchs we might see the following from wikipedia:

UK deaths: 383,700
UK wounded: 376,239
US deaths: 407,300
US wounded: 671,801

As we can see, the ratio is different for both countries, hence we can't say that the difference was only in the naval branches, US had always more wounded. Hence the ships are not related to the statistics.

The U.S. ships were more sturdily built, with water tight compartments, and took longer to sink. So even when they did sink, there was more time for the crew to escape. U.S. ships had better watertight compartments, and did a better job of preventing enemy shells from reaching the storage areas for bombs, torpedoes, ammunition, and other explosives.

One (bad) example for the British was the HMS Hood. It broke apart and sank in three minutes when shells from the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen landed among her ammunition stores. There were only three survivors out of 1417 crew. On the other hand, U.S. ships like the Lexington and Yorktown took hours to sink; most of their crews were rescued and lived, some wounded. There were only about 300 U.S. casualties in the whole Battle of Midway, and likewise about 650 in the Battle of the Coral Sea, despite the loss of a carrier in each battle. The Yorktown had 141 fatalities, one tenth of the total on the Hood.

In World War II, why was the ratio of killed to wounded of the Royal Navy twice that of the US Navy? - History

By Thomas R. Cagley

General George S. Patton, Jr., once said, “An army is like a piece of cooked spaghetti. You can’t push it, you have to pull it after you.” He was referring to commanders being leaders as he had little use for commanders that were not out in front of their units. This attitude was the norm for American commanders in WWII, and the amazement is not that a few dozen general officers were lost, but that U.S. armed forces did not lose more!

Leaders being out front or is not a unique military concept, nor exclusively that of the United States. Since the earliest days of recorded warfare, the good leaders have always been at the forefront of battle.

Some nations have a unique concept of control over military leadership. This was especially evident in the Soviet Union in the years before the onset of World War II. During the war, Hitler not only directed military battles, but controlled the general officer corps to an incredible, and as it turned out, disastrous degree.

“Angels of Okinawa”: The F4U Corsair

One of the best fighters of World War II, the F4U Corsair tormented the Japanese from Guadalcanal until the end of the war.

Aircraft from the World War II era, more often than not, grab the imagination and attention of people more so than today’s aircraft. There is something amazing about hearing a radial engine screaming down out of the sky and pulling up at the last possible second. However, some aircraft stand out from the pack and the F4U Corsair is one of those planes. Powered by a Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp 18-cylinder engine producing over 2000 horsepower, the Corsair could not only fly faster than 400 miles per hour, she was the first US single engine fighter to do so. It was not just fast, but also incredibly deadly, armed with six .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns. The Corsair compiled an 11:1 kill ratio during World War II. Over 12,000 Corsairs were produced for the United States and her allies.

While initially designed as a carrier aircraft, problems with landings forced the Corsair to land-based duty with the US Marine Corps. Instead of carrier duty being a lost opportunity, land-based duty was a match made in heaven. Beginning in February 1943 in the skies over Guadalcanal and the Solomons, the Corsair quickly established itself as not just a deadly fighter in air to air combat, but also as a powerful fighter-bomber armed with 2000-pound bombs, rockets, and later, napalm. Probably the most famous US Marine Squadron to fly the Corsair was Marine Fighting Squadron 214, better known as the “Black Sheep”. Under the command of Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, VMF-214 shot down or destroyed 203 Japanese planes from August 1943 to January 1944.

A US Marine Corsair ready for takeoff from an Essex-class carrier on February 27, 1945. Gift In Memory of Charles Ives, 2011.102.452

A Corsair testing rocket assisted takeoff from an aircraft carrier in September 1944. Gift In Memory of Charles Ives, 2011.102.450

A F4U-4 Corsair in flight over the United States in July 1945. Gift In Memory of Isaac "Ike" Bethel Utley, 2012.019.692

Unit photograph of US Marine Fighting Squadron VMF-214, better known as “The Black Sheep” under command of Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. Gift In Memory of Henry "Hank" Bourgeois, 2013.643.025

F4U-1 Corsair at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. Courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command.

US Marine Corsair firing a full load of rockets at Japanese positions on Okinawa. Courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command.

While the Corsair was finding its way as a land-based fighter in the Pacific with the Marines, the plane was also flying with the Royal Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force. It was the Royal Navy who finally figured out the Corsairs landing issues with carriers, and in late 1944, the plane finally started operating from American aircraft carriers. Corsair squadrons operating from US flight decks would prove to be critical in combating the Japanese kamikaze threat. It was at Okinawa the Corsair was given the nickname “Angels of Okinawa” due to their success against Japanese aircraft.

By the end of the war, the Corsair flew over 64,000 sorties, shot down over 2,000 enemy aircraft, and only lost 189 planes in action to the enemy. The Corsair had the lowest loss rate in the Pacific War for an aircraft. However, the end of World War II was not the end of service for the Corsair. It went on to fight in the Korean War with the Americans, and it was not until the late 1970s that the aircraft was finally out of front-line service in foreign air forces. During its time in service, the Corsair established itself as a rugged and powerful aircraft feared by adversaries. Its mystique has not dimmed with time, and it is still one of the most beloved American planes from World War II.

Yes, the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden was lawful

In a January 25th op-ed posted on Bloomberg, Yale Law professor Stephen Carter raised issues about the lawfulness of the raid by U.S. Navy SEALS that killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011.

Professor Carter suggested that legality turned on “whether the mission orders were to capture or to kill” Bin Laden, and indicated concern about the propriety of the raid “if the mission orders were indeed to kill.” There is no reason for his fretting: the raid was fully legal.

To be clear, an otherwise lawful wartime mission is not rendered improper simply because the orders call for the killing of an individual combatant who is properly targetable under the law of armed conflict . Allow me to explain why.

The context of Professor Carter’s op-ed was a January 25 th decision by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which affirmed a grant of summary judgement against Judicial Watch. That organization sought the release of five legal opinions rendered by various government attorneys about the Bin Laden raid. Carter said the decision “seems” to be the right interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act.

I agree with Professor Carter on that point (and will discuss it a bit more below), but right now I want to clarify any issues about the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and the raid. Specifically, the professor appears to think that killing an individual combatant in an armed conflict is an illicit “assassination.” That’s a misunderstanding.

Application of the law of armed conflict

Let’s get the basics out of the way. Not every terrorist is targetable under LOAC (sometimes called International Humanitarian Law or IHL) which is limited to conflicts of sufficient scope and intensity and scope to warrant treatment under a “war” legal regime. Other terrorists are covered by international human rights law (IHRL), which is essentially a law enforcement legal construct. (Geoff Corn and his co-authors have an excellent chart – found here – in their text, The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Approach, which compares and contrasts the two legal frameworks).

At one time, there was some dispute as to whether LOAC could ever apply to non-state actors like terrorists, but since 9/11 that is no longer much of a controversy. In any event, the U.S. has long taken the positon that it is in an armed conflict with Al-Qaeda (see here and here), and it’s been reiterated by the current administration.

Consequently, the best view of the law today is that non-state terrorists who are members of organized armed groups engaged in continuous combat operations (in a conflict of sufficient scope and intensity to trigger LOAC applicability) are lawfully subject to targeting, just as members of traditional militaries are. This means they can be attacked virtually anytime and anywhere. (Don’t confuse policy restraints with what the law might actually permit.) There was – and is – little question as to centrality of Bin Laden to Al Qaeda’s operations, and documents seized in the raid confirm his role.


In 1989 Hays Parks, then a Department of Defense official, wrote the definitive memorandum regarding the legal meaning of “assassination.” I very much encourage you to read the full text, but I’ll give you a few highlights.

Parks was opining on the application of Executive Order 12333’s prohibition on assassination, and explained that:

Peacetime assassination…would seem to encompass the murder of a private individual or public figure for political purposes, and in some cases…also require that the act constitute a covert activity, particularly when the individual is a private citizen. Assassination is unlawful killing, and would be prohibited by international law even if there was no executive order proscribing it.

But Parks drew a careful distinction between such slayings, and the killing of an individual combatant in wartime. He points out:

[C]ombatants are legitimate targets at all times, regardless of their duties or activities at the time of attack. Such attacks do not constitute assassination unless carried out in a “treacherous” manner, as prohibited by article 23(b) of the Annex to the 1907 Hague IV. While the term treacherous has not been defined, as previously noted it is not regarded as prohibiting operations that depend upon the element of surprise, such as a commando raid or other form of attack behind enemy lines.

Parks cites the many examples of lawful wartime killings of individuals, including the World War II operation that resulted in the death of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who masterminded the attack on Pearl Harbor. In short, no credible case can be made that the killing of Bin Laden was an unlawful “assassination.”

Cross-border operation

Additionally, in the immediate aftermath of the raid, there was some controversy about the fact that it took place in Pakistan without the permission or even advance notification of that government. In this instance the U.S. relied upon the legal concept applicable to nations who are “unwilling or unable” to take effective action against threatening actors within their borders who present threats to Americans. In such situations the U.S. reserves the right to use force against such threats, notwithstanding the sovereignty of the national involved.

In a sense, Pakistan conceptually had the physical ability to have taken action against Bin Laden, but the fact is that he resided there undisturbed for years. Here’s how former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta explained the reason for not involving the Pakistanis:

“The problem we had is, with the Pakistanis, is, when we would alert them as to targets that we were going after, the Pakistanis would usually tip off the people we were going after, and they were gone. And so we decided we just can’t trust them… “

Thus, a conclusion that Pakistan was “unable” to effectively take action against Bin Laden is warranted. For its part, the UN Security Council expressed no reservations about the infringement on Pakistani sovereignty, but rather said it “welcomes the news on 1 May 2011 that Osama bin Laden will never again be able to perpetrate such acts of terrorism, and reaffirms that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or group.”

Though controversy about the “unwilling or unable” norm still exists generally, at least insofar as to its application in the particular factual circumstances of the Bin Laden raid, the weight of opinion is clearly supportive .

Hors de combat?

Some people also questioned the need for the raiders to kill Bin Laden, charging that he was hors de combat as a result of his being shot. As the International Committee of the Red Cross puts it, you can’t attack “anyone who is defenseless because of unconsciousness, shipwreck, wounds or sickness.” But merely being wounded doesn’t necessarily render someone hors de combat indeed, the annals of military history are filled with episodes where very badly wounded individuals continued to fight.

The facts do matter. In Bin Laden’s case it had been widely anticipated that he would have a suicide vest or ready access to other rigged explosives. As one of the SEALS related to CBS News in 2012 (emphasis added):

Scott Pelley: When you say you engaged him, what do you mean?

Scott Pelley: You shot him?

Scott Pelley: He’s still moving?

Mark Owen: A little bit. But you couldn’t see his arms. Couldn’t see his hands. So, he could’ve had something. Could’ve had a hand grenade or something underneath his chest.

Scott Pelley: So, after Osama bin Laden is wounded, he’s still moving. You shot him twice?

Mark Owen: A handful of times. (Color added.)

In short, in the Bin Laden raid there was no violation of the proscription against attacking those hors de combat. In this connection it’s important to know, as the DoD Law of War Manual puts it in paragraph, that the law of armed conflict does not “require that enemy combatants be given an opportunity to surrender before being made the object of attack.” This means that even if the mission was to kill Bin Laden instead of trying to capture him, it would not have been unlawful for that reason.

Professor Carter also references the $25 million reward the U.S. government had offered for information leading to Bin Laden’s capture (it was never paid). As a law of armed conflict matter, the DoD Law of War Manual points out in paragraph that it’s “forbidden to place a price on the head of enemy persons or to offer a reward for enemy persons “dead or alive.’” However, it also adds (correctly) that:

[T]his rule would not prohibit offering rewards for the capture of unharmed enemy personnel generally or of particular enemy personnel. Similarly, this rule does not prohibit offering rewards for information that may be used by combatants to conduct military operations that attack enemy combatants. (Emphasis added citations omitted).

There is no evidence the sort of reward offered in the Bin Laden case was a prohibited one.

The Court of Appeals decision

Finally, as promised above, here is a little on the Court of Appeals decision that sparked Professor Carter’s op-ed in the first place. It did not in any way get into the substance of the propriety of the Bin Laden raid as we’ve been discussing. Rather, it exclusively addressed the issue as to whether or not the legal opinions by government lawyers concerning the raid ought to be released.

The court held that “the memoranda responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request are protected from disclosure under the presidential communications privilege in Exemption 5.” It explained:

Exemption 5 protects “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums . . . that would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency [.]” 5 U.S.C. § 552(b) (5) see NLRB v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 421 U.S. 132, 149 (1975). It covers the presidential communications privilege, the deliberative process privilege, and the attorney client privilege. See Loving v. Dep’t of Def., 550 F.3d 32, 37 (D.C. Cir. 2008).

The Court of Appeals later pointed out:

The Supreme Court has long recognized that “[a] President and those who assist him must be free to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way many would be unwilling to express except privately.” United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 708 (1974) (Nixon I). The Court has conceived of the presidential communications privilege as “fundamental to the operation of Government and inextricably rooted in the separation of powers under the Constitution” because it “relates to the effective discharge of a President’s powers[.]” Id. at 708, 711. 7 The privilege protects “the public interest in candid, objective, and even blunt or harsh opinions in Presidential decision making.” Id. at 708. The Court concluded these considerations “justify[] a presumptive privilege for Presidential communications.”

Here, the extraordinary decision confronting the President in considering whether to order a military strike on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan cries out for confidentiality, and the district court’s application of the presidential communications privilege rested on consideration of the appropriate factors.

This is the right decision (although it does appear that much of the substance of those opinions has already been leaked to the press). Still, it behooves government – and especially the President – to have government lawyers writing opinions with frankness and candor. This is especially so when the legal advice is needed on an urgent basis, and there isn’t time to craft it for public consumption. Of course, transparency is vitally important for democracy, and leaders need to be held accountable for their decisions, but let’s not chill the ability of advisors – legal or otherwise – to give their best, pre-decisional advice.

Still, as we like to say at Lawfire®, check the facts, assess the law and the arguments, anddecide for yourself!

World War II Database

ww2dbase To better maintain a pressure on the eastern border of Germany, the Soviet Union demanded a great amount of war supplies from the Anglo-Americans, which were readily supplies. While some goods were delivered via eastern Russia and through Persia, the most efficient route was by sea to the two far northern Russian ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. The first Anglo-Soviet link-up of naval forces took place on 31 Jul 1941 when Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny made rendezvous with British minelayer HMS Adventure near the Gorodetski lighthouse at the entrance to the White Sea in northern Russia. Before a month's time, Soviet destroyers were escorting in the first supply convoy, uniquely codenamed Dervish, into the Dvina River, which led to Arkhangelsk. Starting in Sep 1941, the convoys were codenamed in numerical sequence, with the prefix "PQ" denoting supply-laden convoys sailing from Iceland (with a few from Scotland, United Kingdom), and "QP" denoting returning convoys, either sailing in ballast or with passengers (generally survivors of sunken merchant ships, British servicemen, and Soviet diplomats). Sailing through the northern waters was not an easy task, as the waters of the Barents Sea as well as the neighboring Norwegian Sea and Kara Sea were known for unpredictable storms. The cold temperature in the arctic region also posed a risk in that sea splashes slowly formed a layer of ice on the decks of ships, which over time, if not tended to, could weigh so much that ships would become top-heavy and capsize. Of course, given the state of war, the German military also posed a great danger by means of surface warships, submarines, and aircraft. The threats, natural or otherwise, endangered the merchant ships throughout the entire length of the supply route. British destroyer HMS Matabele and Soviet trawler RT-68 Enisej of convoy PQ-8 were sunk by German submarine U-454 at the mouth of the Kola Inlet near the very end of their trip, British whaler HMS Sulla of PQ-9 capsized from ice build-up three days into her journey in the Norwegian Sea, while PQ-15 suffered the loss of three merchant ships on 2 May 1942 to German torpedo bomber attacks north of Norway.

ww2dbase Of the PQ and QP series of convoys, PQ-17 suffered particularly heavy losses. It had an inauspicious start when a ship became grounded upon leaving Hvalfjörður north of Reykjavik, Iceland while another became damaged by floating ice in the Denmark Strait. The remaining 33 merchant ships, supported by a tanker and escorted by the usual array of destroyers, anti-aircraft vessels, corvettes, minesweepers, and trawlers were attacked by large formations of German torpedo bombers while two heavy cruisers, Lützow and Admiral Scheer, with supporting destroyers set sail to intercept. To deal with the surface threat, PQ-17 was ordered to scatter and the escorts ordered to return to Iceland, and the resulting small groups of merchant ships were picked off along the way for the next week. By the time the first of the PQ-17 merchant ships began to arrive at Arkhangelsk, 24 of them, about 60% of the convoy, were lost. 64,000 metrics tons of war goods went to the bottom of the sea with them. The heavy losses of PQ-17 were criticized, but convoying through this northern route would continue, albeit paused for the remainder of the summer of 1942, waiting for daylight hours to shorten. When the Soviets complained of this pause, a special convoy of US and UK warships were dispatched to deliver some goods in Jul and Aug.

ww2dbase While PQ-17 stood out as one of the more disastrous missions, many of the other 77 arctic convoy missions suffered losses as well, including the later JW and RA series of convoys that ran between Dec 1942 and the end of the European War in May 1945. In total, 104 Allied merchant ships were sunk with the arctic convoys, along with 18 warships 829 merchant mariners and 1,944 navy personnel were killed aboard them. The Soviet Union lost 30 merchant ships and an unknown number of personnel. In the attempt to disrupt the convoys, the Germans lost 5 surface warships, 31 submarines, and many aircraft.

ww2dbase The direct impact of these convoys was in the realm of supply and logistics, but they played a role in shaping the military strategy of the Battle of the Atlantic as well. Realizing the need to eliminate this source of supply of tanks, aircraft, ammunition, and other weapons and equipment for the Soviet forces, German Navy (Kriegsmarine) and German Air Force (Luftwaffe) had to deploy significant portions of their strengths in Norway to intercept these convoys, including major surface warships such as, but not limited to, Tirpitz, Lützow, and Admiral Scheer (and thus an array of escorting destroyers and supply ships) and aircraft, all of which could otherwise be used in battles raging on elsewhere in Europe. British and American navies had to make similar military commitments as well, at a time when trans-Atlantic convoys, the Pacific War, and the invasion of North Africa all competed for air and naval resources.

ww2dbase Sources:
Michael Walling, Forgotten Sacrifice

Last Major Update: Nov 2012

Arctic Convoys Interactive Map

Arctic Convoys Timeline

31 Jul 1941 Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny made rendezvous with British minelayer HMS Adventure near the Gorodetski lighthouse at the entrance to the White Sea in northern Russia.
1 Aug 1941 British minelayer HMS Adventure arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia and delivered a supply of naval mines.
8 Aug 1941 Soviet destroyer Valerian Kuibyshev made rendezvous with British submarine HMS Tigris off northern Russia.
21 Aug 1941 The first Allied Arictic convoy, codenamed Dervish, set sail from Hvalfjörður, Iceland for Arhangelsk, Russia.
22 Aug 1941 Soviet passenger ship Pomorie hit a mine and sank in the White Sea in northern Russia 60 were killed, 20 survived.
30 Aug 1941 Soviet destroyers Grozny, Oritsky, and Kuibyshev escorted the Allied convoy Dervish into the Dvina River and on to Arkhangelsk, Russia. Crewmen of the merchant ships of this first Allied convoy to arrive in Arkhangelsk reported poor cooperation from the Soviets. No stevedores were found so the crewmen attempted to unload the cargo themselves, only to be stopped by Soviet armed guards because they did not have the proper passes to step onto the shore the situation was only improved after the arrival of higher ranking Soviet officers later in the day.
28 Sep 1941 Allied convoy QP-1, which was consisted of 14 British and Soviet merchant ships escorted by British cruiser HMS London and four minesweepers, departed Arkhangelsk, Russia at about 1200 hours for Britain.
29 Sep 1941 Allied convoy PQ-1 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland.
9 Oct 1941 Allied convoy QP-1 arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
10 Oct 1941 Allied convoy QP-1, which was consisted of 14 British and Soviet merchant ships escorted by British cruiser HMS London and four minesweepers, from Arkhangelsk, Russia arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
11 Oct 1941 Allied convoy PQ-1, consisted of 11 merchant ships escorted by 7 British warships, arrived in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
13 Oct 1941 Allied convoy PQ-2 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
30 Oct 1941 Allied convoy PQ-2 arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia.
3 Nov 1941 Allied convoy QP-2 departed Arkhangelsk, Russia.
16 Nov 1941 Allied convoy PQ-3 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland in stormy weather.
17 Nov 1941 Allied convoy QP-2 arrived at Kirkwall, Scotland, United Kingdom and convoy PQ-4 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland.
20 Nov 1941 One of the ships of Allied convoy PQ-3 struck an iceberg and another developed mechanical problems both were turned back toward Iceland.
22 Nov 1941 Allied convoy PQ-3 crossed the Arctic Circle west of Norway. Later in the same day, German Stuka dive bombers attacked the convoy without success two dive bombers were lost during the mission.
27 Nov 1941 Allied convoy QP-3 departed Arkhangelsk, Russia and convoy PQ-5 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland.
28 Nov 1941 Allied convoy PQ-4 arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia.
3 Dec 1941 Dispersed ships of Allied convoy QP-3 began to arrive in Allied waters.
8 Dec 1941 Allied convoy PQ-6 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland.
10 Dec 1941 Russian ship Kuzbass and tug Arcos, Stragglers of Allied convoy QP-3, were found by Soviet ice breaker Fyodor Litke, rescue ship Squall, and Soviet patrol ship SKR-19 at 0900 hours.
13 Dec 1941 Allied convoy PQ-5 arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia.
17 Dec 1941 British minesweepers HMS Hazard and HMS Speedy, in escort of Allied convoy PQ-6 30 miles north of Cape Gorodetski in northern Russia, were attacked by German destroyers Z23, Z24, Z25, and Z27 Speedy was hit 4 times (2 were killed) and was forced to turn back.
20 Dec 1941 Allied convoy PQ-6 arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
26 Dec 1941 Allied convoy PQ-7a departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland. Russian ship Kuzbass, straggler of Allied convoy QP-3, arrived at Iokanka, Russia under tow by Soviet icebreaker Fyodor Litke.
29 Dec 1941 Allied convoy QP-4 departed Arkhangelsk, Russia.
31 Dec 1941 Allied convoy PQ-7b departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland.
2 Jan 1942 German submarine U-134 sank British freighter Waziristan of Allied convoy PQ-7A Waziristan was already damaged by German aircraft at the time of this attack all 47 aboard were killed.
8 Jan 1942 Allied convoy PQ-8 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland.
9 Jan 1942 Dispersed ships of ALlied convoy QP-4 began to arrive in Allied waters.
11 Jan 1942 Allied convoy PQ-7b arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
12 Jan 1942 Allied convoy PQ-7a arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
13 Jan 1942 Allied convoy QP-5 departed Murmansk, Russia.
15 Jan 1942 USS Wichita collided with US freighter West Nohno and British trawler HMS Ebor Wyke and was grounded near Hrafneyri Lighthouse in poor weather in northern Russia.
16 Jan 1942 At Murmansk, HMS CUMBERLAND, Embarked Foreign Secretary, Sir Stafford Cripps, for return passage to UK and escorted return Convoy QP5 from Murmansk, Russia with HM Destroyers ICARUS and TARTAR.
17 Jan 1942 German submarine U-454 attacked Allied convoy PQ-8 20 miles off the Kola Inlet in northern Russia at 2221 hours, sinking British Tribal-class destroyer HMS Matabele (under Commander A. C. Stafford 236 were killed, 2 survived), sinking Soviet trawler RT-68 Enisej, and damaging British merchant ship Harmatris (civilian convoy commodore's flagship). Later in the day, surviving ships of PQ-8 arrived in Murmansk, Russia.
19 Jan 1942 Dispersed ships of Allied convoy QP-5 began to arrive in Allied waters.
19 Jan 1942 HMS Cumberland resumed Home Fleet duties after arrival from Murmansk, Russia.
24 Jan 1942 Allied convoy QP-6 departed Murmansk, Russia.
25 Jan 1942 British merchant ship Harmatris, the civilian convoy commodore's flagship of Allied convoy PQ-8, damaged by German submarine U-454 on 17 Jan 1942, arrived at Kola in northern Russia in tow by two tugs.
28 Jan 1942 Dispersed ships of Allied convoy QP-6 began to arrive in Allied waters.
1 Feb 1942 Allied convoys PQ-9 and PQ-10 departed Reykjavík, Iceland together.
7 Feb 1942 Allied convoy PQ-11 departed Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
10 Feb 1942 Allied convoys PQ-9 and PQ-10 arrived at Murmansk, Russia together.
12 Feb 1942 Allied convoy QP-7 departed Murmansk, Russia.
14 Feb 1942 Allied convoy PQ-11 departed Kirkwall, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Feb 1942 Dispersed ships of Allied convoy QP-7 began to arrive in Allied waters.
22 Feb 1942 Allied convoy PQ-11 arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
1 Mar 1942 Allied convoy PQ-12 departed Reykjavík, Iceland and convoy QP-8 departed Murmansk, Russia.
3 Mar 1942 Soviet transport Kiev fell out of Allied convoy PQ-12 in poor weather.
4 Mar 1942 Light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Captain A. W. Clarke, RN) was mined off Iceland. She was under repair until Jul 1942.
6 Mar 1942 Merchant ship El Occidente and Soviet anti-submarine whaler Stefa fell out of Allied convoy PQ-12 in poor weather.
7 Mar 1942 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.
8 Mar 1942 German battleship Tirpitz and escorting destroyers got as close as 60 miles from Allied convoy PQ-12 but poor weather prevented the Germans from realizing this fact. German destroyer Friedrich Ihn, however, did catch sight of old Russian coal-burning merchant ship Izhora (commanded by Vasily Belov), a straggler of the convoy, and promptly sank her at 1715 hours only 1 person survived this sinking. In the evening, Admiral Otto Ciliax turned his fleet back toward its home port.
9 Mar 1942 British anti-submarine whaler HMS Shera, escorting Allied convoy PQ-12, capsized possibly due to being top-heavy from heavy ice build-up and having low levels of fuel, although the weather was not particularly bad on this date only 3 of those aboard survived the sinking.
10 Mar 1942 Soviet transport Kiev and merchant ship El Occidente, both of which fell out of Allied convoy PQ-12 several days prior, arrived at Iokanka, Russia.
11 Mar 1942 Merchant ship Sevaples fell out of Allied convoy PQ-12 in poor weather. Allied convoy QP-8 arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland.
12 Mar 1942 Allied convoy PQ-12 arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
13 Mar 1942 Merchant ship Sevaples and Soviet anti-submarine whaler Stefa, both of which fell out of Allied convoy PQ-12 several days prior, found each other while at sea as Sevaples was being attacked by a German aircraft Stefa shot down the German attacker.
14 Mar 1942 Adolf Hitler ordered the German naval and air forces to focus on hitting the Allied Arctic convoys.
21 Mar 1942 Allied convoy PQ-13, consisted of 19 merchant ships, set sail from Reykjavík, Iceland, with 1 destroyer and 5 trawlers in escort.
22 Mar 1942 Allied convoy QP-9, consisted of 19 merchant ships, departed Murmansk, Russia with cruiser HMS Nigeria, destroyer HMS Offa, and 2 minesweepers in close escort.
24 Mar 1942 Minesweeper HMS Sharpshooter, escorting Allied convoy QP-9, spotted German submarine U-655 in a distance she forced the submarine to surface by depth charges, rammed, and sank her all 47 aboard U-655 were killed.
25 Mar 1942 Allied convoy PQ-9 ran into a storm west of Norway ice accumulated on British whaler/minesweeper HMS Sulla (FY1874), causing her to gain too much top weight, eventually capsizing her all 21 aboard were killed.
26 Mar 1942 Allied convoy PQ-14 departed Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom.
28 Mar 1942 In the morning, German submarine U-209 attacked Polish ship Tobruk of Allied convoy PQ-13 with all torpedoes missing the target the convoy escorts counterattacked with depth charges with similar dismal results. Later in the day, German aircraft attacked the same convoy and sank British ship Empire Ranger and damaged Panamanian merchant ship Raceland (which would eventually sink at 2230 hours). In the evening, German destroyers Z24, Z25, and Z26 departed Kirkenes in far northern Norway to hunt for ships of the PQ-13 61 of Empire Ranger's survivors were rescued by German destroyer Z24 at 2245 hours, but many other survivors died in the freezing water.
29 Mar 1942 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.
30 Mar 1942 German submarines U-209 and U-376 attacked British Induna of Allied convoy PQ-13 at 0552 hours (41 survived the sinking, but 11 would die in the freezing water and 2 more would die in the hospital after being rescued) U-209's attack failed, but U-376 would sink Induna at 0807 hours 38 were killed, 28 survived. At 1035 hours, U-456 and U-435 also attacked the convoy, stopping US transport Effingham 2 were killed, 41 survived (some of the survivors would die of exposure before being rescued) the transport was scuttled by U-435 at 1219 hours.
30 Mar 1942 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.
31 Mar 1942 Surviving ships of Allied convoy PQ-13 began to arrive at Murmansk, Russia after several attacks by German destroyers, submarines, and aircraft.
3 Apr 1942 Allied convoy QP-9 arrived at Reykjavik, Iceland without any losses. At Murmansk, Russia, German aircraft sank British merchant ship Empire Starlight, British merchant ship New Westminster City, and Polish merchant ship Tobruk Soviet ship was also damaged in the attack.
8 Apr 1942 Allied convoy PQ-14 departed Reykjavík, Iceland it was consisted of 24 merchant ships, escorted by 2 minesweepers and 3 anti-submarine trawlers.
10 Apr 1942 Allied convoy PQ-14 found itself scattered shortly after dawn after a stormy night 16 ships decided to return to Iceland while 8 ships sailed on for Russia. On the same day, Allied convoy QP-10 departed Murmansk, Russia it was consisted of 16 merchant ships, escorted by 5 destroyers, 3 corvettes, 1 minesweeper, and 2 trawlers QP-10 was almost immediately detected by German aircraft. Far to the west, PQ-15 departed Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom.
11 Apr 1942 German Ju 88 aircraft attacked Allied convoy QP-10, damaging ship Stone Street and sinking British ship Empire Cowper (19 were killed) a heavy snow storm prevented the Germans from launching another air attack on the Arctic convoy.
13 Apr 1942 German submarines attacked Allied convoy QP-10 150 miles north of Norway U-436 sank Russian merchant ship Kiev at 1300 hours (6 were killed, 62 survived), and U-435 sank Panamanian ship El Occidente at 1329 hours (20 were killed, 21 survived).
14 Apr 1942 A German Fw 200 Condor aircraft located Allied convoy QP-10 at dawn 20 Ju 88 aircraft attacked at 0600 hours, damaging the rudder of British freighter Harpalion (she would be scuttled shortly after) at the cost of 4 aircraft shot down.
15 Apr 1942 Allied convoy PQ-14, how down to 6 cargo ships and 2 tankers, was spotted by a German BV 138 flying boat. Later in the day, Fw 200 Condor aircraft relieved the BV 138 aircraft in keeping track of this convoy. They called in several air attacks, but none of them succeeded in sinking any ships.
16 Apr 1942 German submarine U-403 fired 5 torpedoes at Allied convoy PQ-14 and made 2 hits on the civilian commodore's ship Empire Howard 200 miles north of Norway at 1245 hours 29 were killed, 37 survived. Many of victims were killed by depth charges meant to hit U-403. Captain W. H. Lawrence of merchant ship Briarwood took over the civilian commodore role as his predecessor E. Rees was also killed.
17 Apr 1942 Soviet destroyers Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchy were transferred from Allied convoy QP-10 to convoy PQ-14 at 0430 hours.
19 Apr 1942 The 7 surviving ships of Allied convoy PQ-14 arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
21 Apr 1942 Allied convoy QP-10 arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland.
26 Apr 1942 Allied convoy PQ-15, consisted of 24 merchant ships, 1 fleet auxiliary oiler, and 2 icebreakers departed Reykjavík, Iceland for Murmansk, Russia with 4 destroyers, 1 corvette, 3 minesweepers, 4 trawlers, 1 catapult aircraft merchantman, and 1 anti-aircraft ship in escort.
28 Apr 1942 Allied convoy PQ-15, which had departed Iceland two days prior, was joined by British battleship HMS King George V, American battleship USS Washington, British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious, 5 cruisers, 12 destroyers, and 4 submarines for its journey toward Murmansk, Russia the convoy was spotted by German aircraft 200 miles northwest of Tromsø, Norway. On the same day, returning convoy QP-11 departed Kola Inlet in northern Russia it was consisted of 13 merchant ships and was escorted by 6 destroyers, 4 corvettes, 1 trawler, and 4 minesweepers.
29 Apr 1942 4 minesweepers departed from the close escort force of Allied convoy QP-11 off northern Russia later on the same day, the convoy was spotted by a German Ju 88 aircraft.
30 Apr 1942 A German Fw 200 Condor aircraft spotted Allied convoy PQ-15 250 miles southwest of Bear Island, Norway.
1 May 1942 Four Ju 88 aircraft attacked Allied convoy QP-11 at 0540 hours 150 miles southeast of Bear Island, Norway all torpedoes missed. At 1345 hours, German destroyers Z7 Hermann Schoemann, Z24, and Z25 were sighted the first round of the exchange of torpedoes by QP-11 and the Allied escorts at 1407 hours all missed, but a shortly after British destroyer HMS Amazon was hit by gunfire and Russian freighter Tsiolkovsky was sunk by torpedo. Through 1742 hours, the German destroyed attempted to close in five more times, but they were not successful they broke off after 1742 hours to pursue HMS Edinburgh in the direction of Murmansk, Russia. Elsewhere, six German Ju 88 bombers attacked Allied convoy PQ-15 west of Norway at 2200 hours without success, losing one aircraft in the process.
2 May 1942 British destroyer HMS St Albans and minesweeper HMS Seagull, while escorting Allied convoy PQ-15, attacked an ASDIC contact 200 miles northwest of Tromsø, Norway at 1950 hours. As the target surfaced, she turned out to be Polish submarine Jastrzab, which suffered serious damage and 5 killed. The submarine was written off and scuttled shortly after the 35 survivors were taken off. On the same day, German torpedo bombers attacked PQ-15, sinking freighters Cape Corso, Jutland, and Botavon.
3 May 1942 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.
4 May 1942 Soviet destroyers Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchy made rendezvous with Allied convoy PQ-15.
5 May 1942 Soviet patrol ship Rubin, Soviet patrol ship Brilliant, British minesweeper Harrier, British minesweeper Niger, and British minesweeper Gossamer set sail from Polyarny, Russia they made rendezvous with Allied convoy PQ-15 in the Kola Inlet at 2300 hours.
7 May 1942 Allied convoy QP-11 arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland at 0700 hours.
13 May 1942 HMS Trinidad departed Murmansk, Russia, escorted by 4 destroyers.
14 May 1942 A German Fw 200 Condor aircraft discovered Trinidad off northern Russia at 0730 hours at 1852 hours, two BV 138 aircraft relieved the Fw 200 aircraft in shadowing the cruiser at 2200 hours, a wave of aircraft attacked and damaged the cruiser.
15 May 1942 Damaged by German aircraft two hours prior on the previous date, the abandon ship order was given by the captain of HMS Trinidad at 0000 hours at 0120 hours, she was scuttled by a torpedo from HMS Matchless north of Russia.
21 May 1942 Allied convoy QP-12 departed Murmansk, Russia it was consisted of 17 merchant ships, escorted by 1 catapult aircraft merchantman, 6 destroyers, 4 trawlers, and 1 anti-aircraft vessel. From the other end of the Arctic convoy route, PQ-16 departed Reykjavík, Iceland with 35 merchant ships, 1 minesweeper, and 4 trawlers.
23 May 1942 The close escort force for Allied convoy PQ-16 was reinforced by 4 corvettes, 2 submarines, and 1 anti-aircraft vessel.
24 May 1942 British trawler HMS Retriever broke away from Allied convoy PQ-16 and returned for Iceland.
25 May 1942 German He 111 torpedo bombers and Ju 88 bombers attacked Allied convoy PQ-16 475 miles northeast of Iceland one He 111 was shot down by a British Hurricane fighter. To the east, German Fw 200, Bv 138, and two Ju 88 aircraft successively shadowed QP-12 starting at 1400 hours British catapult aircraft merchantman Empire Moon launched her Hurricane fighter which shot down a Ju 88 aircraft but Flying Officer John Kendal would die when his parachute failed to open in time after he bailed out. At 1910 hours, 6 German Ju 88 and 7 He 111 aircraft attacked QP-12, damaging US freighter City of Joliet.
26 May 1942 German submarine U-703 attacked Allied convoy PQ-16 780 miles northeast of Iceland at 0259 hours, sinking US merchant ship Syros (two torpedo hits, detonating cargo of ammunition) 9 were killed, 30 survived (but 2 of the survivors would later die from exposure). 8 German He 111 and 3 Ju 88 aircraft also attacked PQ-16, but they failed to cause any damage.
27 May 1942 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.
28 May 1942 Allied convoy PQ-16 encountered heavy fog but managed to remain with each other by keeping eyes on fog buoys towed by the ship immediately in front of each trailing ship.
29 May 1942 Allied convoy QP-12 arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland. To the east, PQ-16 sailed in the opposite direction. As PQ-16 neared Murmansk, Russia, they were joined by Soviet destroyers Grozny, Sokrushitelny, and Kuibyshev at 1150 hours and then 6 British destroyers several hours later. At 2200 hours, the convoy broke into two groups, one sailing for Murmansk and another sailing for Arkhangelsk further east. At 2330 hours, the Murmansk group came under attack by 18 German aircraft and the Arkhangelsk group by 15 German aircraft no ships were sunk, and several aircraft on both sides were shot down, including one piloted by Double Hero of the Soviet Union Boris Safonov, killing him.
30 May 1942 21 ships of the Allied convoy PQ-16 arrived in the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia at 1600 hours.
1 Jun 1942 8 ships of the Allied convoy PQ-16 arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia. On the same day, German Ju 88 bombers attacked the harbor at Archangelsk, sinking the ship Steel Worker and damaging Soviet submarine ShCh-404.
14 Jun 1942 German Admiral Otto Schniewind issued the order to commence Operation Rösselsprung ("Knight's Move") in turn German warships Tirpitz, Admiral Hipper, Lützow, and 12 destroyers departed from their home ports toward the Barents Sea.
24 Jun 1942 Five German Ju 88 bombers attacked Allied shipping at anchor in the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia starting at 0908 hours, sinking British minesweeper HMS Gossamer at 0921 hours (23 were killed, 12 were wounded).
27 Jun 1942 Allied convoy PQ-17 under Commodore J. C. K. Dowding sailed from Hvalfjord, north of Reykjavik, Iceland, where it had assembled. One ship grounded on leaving harbour and another was damaged by ice in the Denmark Strait, so the convoy that set course for Arkhangelsk, Russia comprised 33 ships plus a tanker, escorted by six destroyers, two anti-aircraft ships, four corvettes, three minesweepers, four trawlers and two submarines which it was hoped would discourage enemy attacks. On the same date, convoy QP-13 set sail from Arkhangelsk, Russia it was consisted of 35 merchant ships and was escorted by 3 destroyers, 1 minesweeper, 4 corvettes, 1 anti-aircraft vessel, and 2 trawlers.
28 Jun 1942 The British Royal Navy Home Fleet (carrier HMS Victorious, battleship HMS Duke of York, with cruisers and destroyers), reinforced by US battleship USS Washington, departed from Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom to provide distant cover for Allied convoy PQ-17 sailing from Iceland to Arkhangelsk, Russia.
29 Jun 1942 Allied convoy QP-13 was spotted by a German Fw 200 aircraft.
1 Jul 1942 German submarine U-456 and a German Bv 138 aircraft spotted Allied convoy PQ-17 in the Barents Sea and began shadowing it.
2 Jul 1942 6 German aircraft attacked Allied convoy PQ-17 but was driven off without causing any damage.
3 Jul 1942 German pocket battleship Lützow, pocket battleship Admiral Scheer, and six destroyers departed from Narvik, Norway to intercept Allied convoy PQ-17 in the Barents Sea en route, Lützow and three destroyers ran aground. The group was detected by the British and the Soviets, leading to the dispatching of 9 British and 7 Soviet submarines to intercept the German fleet en route, Soviet submarines D-3 and M-176 hit German naval mines and sank.
4 Jul 1942 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.
5 Jul 1942 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.
6 Jul 1942 German submarine U-255 sank US ship John Witherspoon 1 was killed, 49 survived. German aircraft sank US ship Pan Atlantic. Both ships were of Allied convoy PQ-17, traveling in the Barents Sea.
7 Jul 1942 German submarine U-457 sank abandoned British fleet oiler RFA Alderdale of Allied convoy PQ-17 with her deck gun in the Barents Sea. In the same area, U-355 sank British ship Hartlebury (8 were killed, 52 survived, but only 20 would remain alive before being rescued) also of PQ-17. U-255 also attacked PQ-17 ships, sinking US ship Alcoa Ranger (all 40 aboard survived).
7 Jul 1942 Allied convoy QP-13 arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland.
8 Jul 1942 German submarine U-255 sank US ship Olopana of Allied convoy PQ-17 at 0100 hours 7 were killed, 34 survived).
9 Jul 1942 German Ju 88 bombers attacked Allied convoy PQ-17 in the Barents Sea at 2000 hours, damaging Panamanian freighter El Capitan (all 67 aboard survived), US freighter Hoosier (all 53 aboard survived), US Liberty Ship Samuel Chase, and rescue ship Zamalck 4 German aircraft were shot down in the attack.
10 Jul 1942 German submarine U-251 sank Panamanian freighter El Capitan and German submarine U-376 sank US ship Hoosier, both of Allied convoy PQ-17, in the Barents Sea.
11 Jul 1942 Allied convoy PQ-17, after losing 24 of the 33 vessels, finally arrived in ports in northern Russia, delivering 64,000 tons of war goods it was the worst convoy loss of the war, with some 430 tanks, 210 aircraft, 3,350 lorries and jeeps and 100,000 tons of materials lost at the hands of repeated German attacks. Joseph Stalin, suspicious of the western powers, believed that the British were unwilling to provide the Soviets with large amounts of goods and had made up the heavy losses.
13 Jul 1942 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.
20 Jul 1942 British steam merchant Empire Tide arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia and disembarked the survivors of Dutch merchant steamer Paulus Potter and US merchant steamer Washington.
24 Jul 1942 Allied convoy PQ-17 arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia. Also arriving Arkhangelsk were destroyers HMS Marne, HMS Martin, HMS Middleton, and HMS Blankney, carrying ammunition and other war supplies.
27 Jul 1942 German submarine U-601 bombarded the Soviet polar station Malye Karmakuly near Belushya Bay in the Novaya Zemlya islands, Russia. Several buildings and one seaplane were destroyed.
1 Aug 1942 German submarine U-601 received orders to go into the Kara Sea as a part of Operation Wunderland. En route, she would sink Soviet transport Krestyanin with one torpedo, killing 7.
8 Aug 1942 German submarine U-601 entered the Kara Sea as a part of Operation Wunderland.
13 Aug 1942 USS Tuscaloosa, USS Rodman, USS Emmons, and HMS Onslaught departed Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom with ammunition, aircraft parts, and other war goods for the Soviet Union.
15 Aug 1942 German aircraft detected an Allied westbound convoy in the Kara Sea.
16 Aug 1942 Soviet ocean tug Komsomelets, ocean tug Nord departed Chabarovo on the shore of Yugorsky peninsula in northern Russia, with barge P4 (328 people on board, most of whom were penal construction workers), lighter Sh-500, and tug Komiles in tow.
17 Aug 1942 German submarine U-209 spotted Soviet ocean tug Komsomelets and ocean tug Nord at 0700 hours east of the Yugorsky Peninsula in northern Russia the two tugs were towing barge P4, lighter Sh-500, and tug Komiles. U-209 immediately shelled Komsomelets and fired a torpedo at P4, which missed. At 0800 hours, U-209 shelled Komiles, forcing her crew to abandon ship. At 0810, U-209 shelled and sank Sh-500. Shortly after, U-209 fired another torpedo at P4 305 were killed (most of whom were penal construction workers), 23 survived.
19 Aug 1942 German submarine U-209 attempted to approach Belushya Guba in the Novaya Zemlya islands in northern Russia, but was spotted by Soviet motor boat Poliarny, minesweeper T-39, and minesweeper T-58, which drove off U-209.
20 Aug 1942 USS Tuscaloosa, USS Rodman, USS Emmons, and HMS Onslaught, carrying war goods for the Soviet Union, were spotted by German aircraft.
23 Aug 1942 USS Tuscaloosa, USS Rodman, USS Emmons, and HMS Onslaught arrived at Vaenga Bay near Murmansk, Russia they disembarked personnel of two RAF Bomber Command squadrons, torpedoes, ammunition, and medical supplies.
24 Aug 1942 USS Tuscaloosa, USS Rodman, USS Emmons, and HMS Onslaught departed Murmansk, Russia. HMS Marne, HMS Martin, HMS Middleton, and HMS Blankney departed Arkhangelsk, Russia. Both groups of Allied warships were sailing for Iceland some of them carried Soviet diplomats and survivors of various sunken or damaged merchant ships. At 2002 hours, German minelayer Ulm, which had departed Narvik, Norway at 0400 hours earlier on the same day, was attacked by HMS Onslaught, HMS Marne, and HMS Martin Marne was hit twice in the engagement (4 were killed), but the British ships were able to sink Ulm at 2235 hours 132 were killed, 54 survived (30 to 40 of whom were captured by the British).
2 Sep 1942 Allied convoy PQ-18 departed Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom it was supported by two tankers and one rescue ship and was escorted by two anti-aircraft vessels, three destroyers, four corvettes, and four trawlers.
8 Sep 1942 A German aircraft detected Allied arctic convoy PQ-18 late in the day, but it would lose track of the convoy due to heavy fog.
9 Sep 1942 The escort force of Allied convoy PQ-18 was joined by Rear Admiral Robert Burnett's force including escort carrier HMS Avenger and several small warships.
12 Sep 1942 German aircraft re-established contact with Allied convoy PQ-18 at 1320 hours. At 2100 hours, German submarine U-88 attacked PQ-18 400 miles north of Norway U-18 was instead counterattacked and sunk by depth charges from British destroyer HMS Faulknor, killing all 46 aboard.
13 Sep 1942 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.
14 Sep 1942 German submarine U-457 attacked Allied convoy PQ-18 20 miles south of Spitzbergen, Svalbard, Norway destroyer HMS Impulsive detected U-457's approach, but she failed to deter the attack U-457 fatally damaged British tanker Atheltemplar at 0400 hours (3 were killed, 58 survived but 16 would die of wounds later the floating burning wreck would be sunk by U-408 at 1430 hours). Shortly after, U-589 attempted to attack, but was sunk by destroyer HMS Onslow and a Swordfish aircraft from escort carrier HMS Avenger (all 44 aboard were killed). At 1235 hours, about 20 German He 111 torpedo bombers of I./KG 26 attacked in failure with 11 of them shot down. Shortly after, 12 Ju 88 attacked, again losing 11 aircraft without scoring any hits. A third round of 25 aircraft (He 111 of I./KG 26 and Ju 88 of III./KG 26) attacked, sinking US ship Mary Luckenbach (189 were killed, 1 survived detonation of her cargo of ammunition on board damaged nearby US ship Nathanael Greene and US ship Wacosta) at the cost of 9 aircraft lost. Finally, at 1430 hours, the final wave of 20 German aircraft attacked, scoring no hits and losing one aircraft.
15 Sep 1942 Soviet destroyers Gremyashchy, Sokrushitelny, Uritsky, and Kuibyshev joined Allied convoy PQ-18.
16 Sep 1942 British destroyer HMS Impulsive (escorting Allied convoy PQ-18) sank U-457 with depth charges 200 miels northeast of Murmansk, Russia, killing all 45 aboard. Later in the day, some of the warships escorting PQ-18 transferred to convoy sailing in the opposite direction QP-14.
18 Sep 1942 12 German He 111 torpedo bombers attacked Allied convoy PQ-18 at the entrance of the Kola Inlet, Russia, sinking US ship Kentucky (all aboard survived) at the cost of 3 aircraft shot down.
19 Sep 1942 The 28 surviving merchant ships of Allied convoy PQ-18 reached the Dvina River near Arkhangelsk, Russia.
20 Sep 1942 German submarine U-435 sank British minesweeper HMS Leda of Allied convoy QP-14 180 miles west of Spitsbergen, Norway at 0631 hours 14 were killed, 66 survived. At 1815 hours, U-255 sank US freighter Silver Sword of QP-14 1 was killed, 63 survived. At about 1900 hours, escort carrier HMS Avenger and cruiser HMS Scylla were detached from QP-14 to head back to base. At 1955 hours, U-703 damaged British destroyer HMS Somali also of QP-14 47 were killed, 67 survivors were taken off, and 80 survivors remained aboard as she was taken in tow by destroyer HMS Ashanti.
21 Sep 1942 German submarine U-606 approached Allied convoy QP-14 between Greenland and Jan Mayen Island, Norway at 1114 hours but was driven off by a Norwegian-piloted British Catalina aircraft U-606 fought back and shot down the aircraft. To the east, convoy PQ-18 arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia.
22 Sep 1942 German submarine U-435 attacked Allied convoy QP-14 50 miles west of Jan Mayen Island, Norway at 0718 hours, sinking US merchant ship Bellingham (all 75 aboard survived), British merchant ship Ocean Voice (civilian commodore J. C. K. Dowding's ship all 89 aboard survived), and British fleet oiler RFA Grey Ranger (6 were killed, 33 survived).
24 Sep 1942 HMS Somali (Lieutenant Commander C. D. Maud) broke apart and sank while under tow by HMS Ashanti 185 miles north of Iceland 77 were killed, 35 survived.
26 Sep 1942 Allied convoy QP-14 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
29 Oct 1942 US freighter Richard H. Alvey and British freighter Empire Galliard departed Iceland in Operation FB.
30 Oct 1942 Russian freighter Dekabrist, US freighter John Walker, and British freighter Empire Gilbert departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland in Operation FB.
31 Oct 1942 US freighter John H. B. Latrobe and British freighter Chulmleigh departed Iceland in Operation FB.
1 Nov 1942 US freighter Hugh Williamson and British freighter Empire Sky departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland in Operation FB.
2 Nov 1942 German submarine U-586 sank British freighter Empire Gilbert of Operation FB southwest of Jan Mayen island, Norway at 0118 hours 60 were killed, 3 survived. In Iceland, US Liberty ship William Clark and British freighter Empire Scott departed they were also of Operation FB.
3 Nov 1942 British freighter Daldorch departed Iceland in Operation FB.
4 Nov 1942 German submarine U-354 damaged US Liberty ship William Clark of Operation FB off Jan Mayen island, Norway at 1333 hours at 1400 hours, U-354 struck again and sank William Clark (31 were killed, 61 survived). Russian freighter Dekabrist, also of Operation FB, was attacked by German Ju 88 aircraft, suffering fatal damage (she would sink shortly after east of Spitzbergen, Norway). During the day, British freighter Briarwood departed Iceland in Operation FB.
5 Nov 1942 British freighter Chulmleigh of Operation FB got stuck on a reef off Norway at 2300 hours.
6 Nov 1942 British freighter Chulmleigh of Operation FB, stuck on a reef off Norway, was abandoned by her crew at 0400 hours at 1558 hours, German submarine U-625 found Chulmleigh and destroyed her with gunfire. At 2224 hours, U-625 found British freighter Empire Sky, also of Operation FB, and sank her south of Spitzbergen, Norway at 2224 hours, killing all 60 aboard.
7 Nov 1942 German destroyer Z27 sank Soviet ship Donbass 49 were kiled, 16 survived and captured by the Germans.
17 Nov 1942 Allied convoy QP-15 departed Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia. It was consisted of 28 freighters and was escorted by one anti-aircraft vessel, five minesweepers, four corvettes, and two destroyers.
20 Nov 1942 While escorting Allied convoy QP-15, a severe storm severed the stem of Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny, killing six men. Most of the officers abandoned ship before the crewmen the captain was shot for cowardice and the executive officer was sent to a penal battalion. The same storm also seriously damaged Soviet destroyer Baku.
21 Nov 1942 Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny, which was disabled on the previous day after a severe storm tore off its stem, sank. The skeleton crew of 16 men which remained aboard was lost.
22 Nov 1942 While escorting Allied convoy QP-15, Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny foundered after sustaining damage in heavy weather.
23 Nov 1942 German submarine U-625 sank British freighter Goolistan at 0145 hours shortly after, U-601 sank Russian merchant ship Kuznets Lesov all 82 people aboard the two ships were killed.
30 Nov 1942 Ships of Allied convoy QP-15 began to arrive at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
3 Dec 1942 All remaining ships of Allied convoy QP-15 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Dec 1942 Allied convoy JW-51A departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom it was consisted of 16 freighters and was escorted by seven destroyers and four smaller warships.
20 Dec 1942 Ships of Allied convoy JW-51A began to arrive at Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
22 Dec 1942 Convoy JW-51B departed from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom for Murmansk, Russia it was consisted of 14 freighters and was escorted by six destroyers, two corvettes, one minesweeper, and two trawlers under the command of Captain Robert Sherbrooke British cruisers of Force R covered the convoy from a distance.
25 Dec 1942 All ships of Allied convoy JW-51A arrived in the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia this convoy suffered no losses.
26 Dec 1942 Allied convoy JW-51B was hit by a major storm about half way between Bear Island and Jan Mayen island north of Norway five ships lost contact with the convoy.
30 Dec 1942 Allied convoy RA-51 departed Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia. To the west, German submarine U-354 detected Allied convoy JW-51B Admiral Erich Raeder ordered Lützow, Admiral Hipper, and six destroyers to sortie from Altafjord, Norway to intercept.
4 Jan 1943 Allied convoy JW-51B arrived in the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
11 Jan 1943 Allied convoy RA-51 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
17 Jan 1943 Allied convoy JW-52 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
24 Jan 1943 12 German aircraft were launched to attack Allied convoy JW-52 only three of them found and attacked the convoy, and all three were shot down.
27 Jan 1943 Allied convoy JW-52 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
29 Jan 1943 German submarine U-255 sank Soviet cargo ship Ufa south of Bear Island, Norway at 0622 hours. To the east, Allied convoy RA-52 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
3 Feb 1943 German submarine U-255 sank US freighter Greylock of Allied convoy RA-52 all 70 aboard survived.
9 Feb 1943 Allied convoy RA-52 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Feb 1943 Allied convoy JW-53 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
27 Feb 1943 Allied convoy JW-53 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
1 Mar 1943 Allied convoy RA-53 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia it was consisted of 30 freighters and was escorted by 31 warships.
5 Mar 1943 German submarine U-255 sank freighter Executive (9 were killed, 51 survived) and damaged freighter Richard Bland of Allied convoy RA-53 at 0924 hours shortly after, 12 German He 111 aircraft attacked the convoy, but none of them were able to break through the escort screen.
7 Mar 1943 US Liberty Ship J. L. M. Curry of Allied convoy RA-53 broke in two in a storm.
9 Mar 1943 German submarine U-586 sank US merchant ship Puerto Rican of Allied convoy RA-53 northeast of Iceland 61 were killed, 1 survived.
10 Mar 1943 German submarine U-255 sank freighter Richard Bland of Allied convoy RA-53 61 were killed, 1 survived.
11 Mar 1943 The destroyer HMS Harvester, flagship of the escort group B3, escorting convoy HX-228, stopped and picked up survivors from the American Liberty ship William C. Gorgas which had been sunk by German submarine U-757. The destroyer returned to the convoy and sighted German submarine U-444 which dived but was forced to the surface by depth charges. Harvester then rammed the submarine and the two vessels became locked for a while. The submarine then pulled away but was again rammed, this time by the French corvette FFL Aconit (K 58), and sank. The badly damaged British destroyer could not make way and was soon hit by two torpedoes from German submarine U-432. The ship sank quickly and seven officers, 136 crew and 39 survivors were lost. The French corvette then returned to the scene and sank U-432 with depth charges and ramming. She then picked up four crewmen from U-444, 20 from U-432 plus 60 from the Harvester, including 12 from the American Liberty ship. The 5,001-ton Norwegian steam merchant Brandt County was also sunk in the attack on convoy HX-228. Brandt County was carrying 5330 tons of general cargo, a large amount of carbide and 670 tons of ammunition. She was hit by one torpedo, which ignited her load of carbide. Of the five men on the bridge, three managed to get to the lifeboat and the other two died. Three of the four men in the engine room died and the fourth was unable to stop the engine but managed to get on deck. Among the dead were also eight military passengers. The 24 survivors abandoned ship in one lifeboat and when it was about 200 metres away the flames reached the cargo of explosives. The Brant County disappeared in a huge explosion, which sent pieces of metal and other debris in the air. The survivors were picked up after 30 minutes by the British steam merchant Stuart Prince. One of them was badly burned and died shortly thereafter. At 0215 hours German submarine U-590 joined in the attack and reported a ship sunk, in actual fact one torpedo hit the 5,464-ton British cargo ship Jamaica Producer the ship was able to continue and get to port where she was repaired and returned to service in May 1943.
14 Mar 1943 Allied convoy RA-53 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
24 Jul 1943 German submarine U-703 was ordered to go to Hopen island, Norway to pick up stranded Russian sailors (from Russian freighter Dekabrist which was sunk many months prior).
25 Jul 1943 German submarine U-703 arrived at Hopen island, Norway and picked up four survivors of Russian freighter Dekabrist, including the skipper Beliaev.
27 Jul 1943 German submarine U-255 sank Soviet survey ship Akademik Shokalski off Novaya Zemlya archipelago in northern Russia.
21 Aug 1943 German submarine U-354 pursued an Allied convoy off northern Russia to no success.
31 Aug 1943 German submarine U-703 arrived at Narvik, Norway and dropped off four survivors of Russian freighter Dekabrist.
18 Sep 1943 German submarine U-711 shelled the Soviet wireless telegraph station at Pravdy in northern Russia.
24 Sep 1943 German submarine U-711 shelled the Soviet wireless telegraph station at Blagopoluchiya in northern Russia.
30 Sep 1943 A wolfpack consisted of German submarines U-703, U-601, and U-960 attacked Soviet convoy VA-18 near the Sergey Kirov Islands in the eastern Kara Sea and sank freighter Arhangelsk.
1 Oct 1943 In the Kara Sea off northern Russia, German submarine U-703 sank freighter Sergei Kirov of Soviet convoy VA-18 and U-960 sank escort vessel T-42.
7 Oct 1943 German submarine U-703 rescued survivors of sunken Russian freighter Dekabrist.
9 Oct 1943 German submarine U-703 arrived at Harstad, Norway and dropped off two survivors of Russian freighter Dekabrist.
1 Nov 1943 Allied convoy RA-54A departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
14 Nov 1943 Allied convoy RA-54A arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Nov 1943 Allied convoy JW-54A departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
22 Nov 1943 Allied convoy JW-54B departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
24 Nov 1943 Allied convoy JW-54A arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
26 Nov 1943 Allied convoy RA-54B departed Arkhangelsk, Russia.
3 Dec 1943 Allied convoy JW-54B arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia.
9 Dec 1943 Allied convoy RA-54B arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
12 Dec 1943 Allied convoy JW-55A departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
22 Dec 1943 Allied convoy JW-55A arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia and convoy RA-55A departed Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
30 Dec 1943 Allied convoy JW-55B arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia.
31 Dec 1943 Allied convoy RA-55B departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
1 Jan 1944 Allied convoy RA-55A arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
8 Jan 1944 Allied convoy RA-55B arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
12 Jan 1944 Allied convoy JW-56A departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom it was consisted of 20 freighters and was escorted by 2 cruisers and 9 destroyers.
15 Jan 1944 Allied convoy JW-56A sailed into a storm off the Faroe Islands it was redirected to Akureyri, Iceland for shelter.
21 Jan 1944 Allied convoy JW-56A continued her journey from Akureyri, Iceland.
22 Jan 1944 Allied convoy JW-56B departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
25 Jan 1944 German submarine U-278 sank US freighter Penelope Barker (16 were killed, 56 survived) and U-360 damaged destroyer HMS Obdurate which was forced to leave the escort force of the Allied arctic convoy.
26 Jan 1944 German submarine U-716 sank US freighter Andrew G. Curtin of Allied convoy JW-56A 3 were killed, 68 survived. U-360 damaged British freighter Fort Bellingham (convoy civilian commodore's ship), which was later sunk by U-957 36 were killed, 35 survived.
28 Jan 1944 Allied convoy JW-56A arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia.
30 Jan 1944 German submarine U-278 fatally damaged Allied arctic convoy escort HMS Hardy HMS Venus scuttled HMS Hardy after the damaged destroyer was abandoned.
1 Feb 1944 Allied convoy JW-56B arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
3 Feb 1944 Allied convoy RA-56 departed at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
11 Feb 1944 Allied convoy RA-56 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
20 Feb 1944 Allied convoy JW-57 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. It was consisted of 42 merchant ships, was supported by 2 tankers and 1 rescue ship, and was escorted by 4 corvettes (and later reinforced with destroyers and frigates).
23 Feb 1944 A British Swordfish aircraft sank German submarine U-713 near Allied convoy JW-57 all 50 aboard were killed.
25 Feb 1944 A British Catalina aircraft sank German submarine U-601 near Allied convoy JW-57 all 51 aboard were killed. At 2055 hours the British destroyer HMS Mahratta (G 23) (Lieutenant Commander E. A. F. Drought, DSC, RN) was hit by a G7es acoustic torpedo from German submarine U-990 about 280 miles from the North Cape, Norway, while escorting the stern sector of convoy JW-57. The destroyer exploded and sank within minutes. HMS Impulsive (D 11) (Lieutenant Commander P. Bekenn, RN) and HMS Wanderer (D 74) (Lieutenant Commander R. F. Whinney, DSC, RN) were quickly on the scene to pick up survivors, but only 16 survivors could be recovered from the freezing waters. The commander, ten officers and 209 ratings lost their lives.
28 Feb 1944 Allied convoy JW-57 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
2 Mar 1944 Allied convoy RA-57 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
10 Mar 1944 Allied convoy RA-57 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
27 Mar 1944 Allied convoy JW-58 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
31 Mar 1944 Aircraft from ships Beagle and Tracker in Allied convoy JW-58 sank German submarine U-355 in the Arctic Sea.
4 Apr 1944 Allied convoy JW-58 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
7 Apr 1944 Allied convoy RA-58 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
14 Apr 1944 Allied convoy RA-58 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
28 Apr 1944 Allied convoy RA-59 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
6 May 1944 Allied convoy RA-59 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
8 Aug 1944 Soviet convoy BD-5 departed Arkhangelsk, Russia, escorted by 3 trawlers.
12 Aug 1944 German submarine U-365 sank Russian freighter Marina Raskova and Soviet trawler T-114 of Soviet convoy BD-5 in western Kara Sea off northern Russia a total of 362 were killed and 256 survived.
15 Aug 1944 Allied convoy JW-59 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom it was consisted of 33 freighters.
25 Aug 1944 Allied convoy JW-59 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
28 Aug 1944 Allied convoy RA-59A departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
5 Sep 1944 Allied convoy RA-59A arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Sep 1944 Allied convoy JW-60 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
23 Sep 1944 Allied convoy JW-60 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
28 Sep 1944 Allied convoy RA-60 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
5 Oct 1944 Allied convoy RA-60 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
20 Oct 1944 Allied convoy JW-61 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
28 Oct 1944 Allied convoy JW-61 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
31 Oct 1944 Allied convoy JW-61A departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
2 Nov 1944 Allied convoy RA-61 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
6 Nov 1944 Allied convoy JW-61A arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
9 Nov 1944 Allied convoy RA-61 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
11 Nov 1944 Allied convoy RA-61A departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
17 Nov 1944 Allied convoy RA-61A arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
29 Nov 1944 Allied convoy JW-62 departed Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
7 Dec 1944 Allied convoy JW-62 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
10 Dec 1944 Allied convoy RA-62 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
19 Dec 1944 Allied convoy RA-62 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
30 Dec 1944 Allied convoy JW-63 departed Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
8 Jan 1945 Allied convoy JW-63 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
11 Jan 1945 Allied convoy RA-63 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
21 Jan 1945 Allied convoy RA-63 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
3 Feb 1945 Allied convoy JW-64 departed Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Feb 1945 Allied convoy JW-64 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
17 Feb 1945 Allied convoy RA-64 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
28 Feb 1945 Allied convoy RA-64 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
11 Mar 1945 Allied convoy JW-65 departed Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom.
20 Mar 1945 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.
21 Mar 1945 Allied convoy JW-65 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
23 Mar 1945 Allied convoy RA-65 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
1 Apr 1945 Allied convoy RA-65 arrived at Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom.
16 Apr 1945 Allied convoy JW-66 departed Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom.
25 Apr 1945 Allied convoy JW-66 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
29 Apr 1945 Allied convoy RA-66 departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
8 May 1945 Allied convoy RA-66 arrived at Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom.
12 May 1945 Allied convoy JW-67 departed Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom.
20 May 1945 Allied convoy JW-67 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
23 May 1945 Allied convoy RA-67, the last outgoing Allied arctic convoy, departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia.
30 May 1945 Allied convoy RA-67, the last returning Allied arctic convoy, arrived at Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom.

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D-Day Casualties: Total Axis and Allied Numbers

Allied figures for D-Day casualties are contradictory, and German figures will necessarily remain inexact. Historian Stephen Ambrose cites 4,900 Allied troops killed, missing, and wounded.

  • The First U.S. Army, accounting for the first twenty-four hours in Normandy, tabulated 1,465 killed, 1,928 missing, and 6,603 wounded. The after-action report of U.S. VII Corps (ending 1 July) showed 22,119 casualties including 2,811 killed, 5,665 missing, 79 prisoners, and 13,564 wounded, including paratroopers.
  • Canadian forces at Juno Beach sustained 946 casualties, of whom 335 were listed as killed.
  • Surprisingly, no British figures were published, but Cornelius Ryan cites estimates of 2,500 to 3,000 killed, wounded, and missing, including 650 from the Sixth Airborne Division.
  • German sources vary between four thousand and nine thousand D-Day casualties on 6 June—a range of 125 percent. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s report for all of June cited killed, wounded, and missing of some 250,000 men, including twenty-eight generals.

By early July the Allied armies had captured 41,000 German troops while sustaining 60,771 casualties, including 8,975 dead. French losses in the Normandy campaign have been calculated at fifteen thousand civilian dead.

The total number of casualties that occurred during Operation Overlord, from June 6 (the date of D-Day) to August 30 (when German forces retreated across the Seine) was over 425,000 Allied and German troops. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties:

  • Nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces
  • 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces.
  • Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces)
  • 125,847 from the US ground forces.

The losses of the German forces during the Battle of Normandy can only be guested. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000 prisoners of war (not included in the 425,000 total, above). During the fighting around the Falaise Pocket (August 1944) alone, the Germans suffered 90,000 losses, including prisoners.

Recounting the Casualties at the Deadly Battle of Khe Sanh

A U.S. Marine watches over bodies awaiting transport near Khe Sanh.

The 1968 Battle of Khe Sanh was the longest, deadliest and most controversial of the Vietnam War, pitting the U.S. Marines and their allies against the North Vietnamese Army. Both sides have published official histories of the battle, and while these histories agree the fighting took place at Khe Sanh, they disagree on virtually every other aspect of it.

In an unconventional war without conventional frontlines, statistics became the most critical measure of progress. The most controversial statistic in Vietnam was the number of killed in action (KIA) claimed by each side. If a battle tallied a sufficiently favorable body count ratio, American commanders declared victory, as they did after Khe Sanh. A closer look at the Khe Sanh body count, however, reveals anything but a straightforward matter of numbers.

Khe Sanh is a village located near the Laotian border and just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separated North and South Vietnam. As early as 1962, the U.S. Military Command–Vietnam (MACV) established an Army Special Forces camp near the village. The Americans wanted a military presence there to block the infiltration of enemy forces from Laos, to provide a base for launching patrols into Laos to monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and to serve as a western anchor for defense along the DMZ.

In 1966 the Marines built a base adjacent to the Army position, and organized their combat activities around named operations. By early 1967, the Marine position was reinforced to regimental strength. On April 20, Operation Prairie IV began, with heavy fighting between the Marines and NVA forces. The next operations were named Crockett and Ardmore.

Beginning in October 1967, the Communists greatly increased their forces in the Khe Sanh area to total two infantry divisions, two artillery regiments and an armored regiment. These forces, including support troops, totaled 20,000 to 30,000. The Marine garrison was also reinforced, and on November 1, 1967, Operation Scotland began. The Marine Corps casualty reporting system was based on named operations and not geographic location. Consequently, and unknown at the time, Operation Scotland became the starting point of the Battle of Khe Sanh in terms of Marine casualty reporting.

By the middle of January 1968, some 6,000 Marines and Army troops occupied the Khe Sanh Combat Base and its surrounding positions. Khe Sanh was situated on Route 9, the major east-west highway. Because of washed-out bridges and heavy enemy activity, however, the only way for Americans to get to Khe Sanh was by helicopter or airplane.

During the darkness of January 20-21, the NVA launched a series of coordinated attacks against American positions. At 0330 hours, soldiers of the NVA 6th Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 325C Division, attacked the Marines on Hill 861. Among the dead Marines was 18-year-old Pfc Curtis Bugger. About two hours later, an NVA artillery barrage scored a hit on the main ammunition dump at Khe Sanh Combat Base, killing Lance Corp. Jerry Stenberg and other Marines. At about 0640 hours the NVA 7th Battalion, 66th Regiment, 304th Division, attacked the Huong Hoa District headquarters in Khe Sanh village. This fighting was heavy, involving South Vietnamese militia as well as U.S. Army MACV advisers and Marines attached to a Combined Action Company platoon. That afternoon, as a rescue force was dispatched to the village, Army Lt. Col. Joseph Seymoe and other soldiers died when their helicopter was attacked.

The monumental Battle of Khe Sanh had begun, but the January 21 starting date is essentially arbitrary in terms of casualty reporting. Five Marines were killed on January 19 and 20, while on reconnaissance patrols. The Marine defense of Khe Sanh, Operation Scotland, officially ended on March 31.

On April 6, a front-page story in The New York Times declared that the siege of Khe Sanh had been lifted. According to the official Marine Corps history of the battle, total fatalities for Operation Scotland were “205 friendly KIA.” The Marines recorded an actual body count of 1,602 NVA killed but estimated the total NVA dead at between 10,000 and 15,000. Time magazine, in an April 12, 1968, article titled “Victory at Khe Sanh,” reported General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, after flying into Khe Sanh by helicopter, declaring: “We took 220 killed at Khe Sanh and about 800 wounded and evacuated. The enemy by my count suffered at least 15,000 dead in the area.”

As journalist Robert Pisor pointed out in his 1982 book, The End of the Line: The Siege of Khe Sanh, no other battle of the entire war produced a better body count or kill ratio than that claimed by the Americans at Khe Sanh. Westmoreland echoed this judgment in his memoirs, and, using exactly the same figures, concluded that the North Vietnamese had suffered a most damaging and one-sided defeat. Senior Marine Corps General Victor Krulak agreed, noting on May 13 that the Marines had defeated the North Vietnamese and “won the battle of Khe Sanh.” Over time, these KIA figures have been accepted by historians. They produced a body count ratio in the range between 50:1 and 75:1. By comparison, according to another Army general, a 10:1 ratio was considered average and 25:1 was considered very good.

But Pisor also pointed out that “205 is a completely false number.” One had to meet certain criteria before being officially considered KIA at Khe Sanh. It was not sufficient to simply be an American military person killed in the fighting there during the winter and spring of 1967-68.

Only those killed in action during Operation Scotland, which began on November 1, 1967, and ended on March 31, 1968, were included in the official casualty count. On January 14, Marines from Company B, 3rd Recon Battalion, were moving up the north slope of Hill 881 North, a few miles northwest of Khe Sanh Combat Base. When an enemy rocket-propelled grenade killed 2nd Lt. Randall Yeary and Corporal Richard John, although these Marines died before the beginning of the siege, their deaths were included in the official statistics. The NVA used Hill 881 North to launch 122mm rockets at the Marines during the siege. On Easter Sunday, April 14, the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines (3/26), assaulted Hill 881 North in order to clear the enemy firing positions. Lima Company finally seized the hill after overcoming determined NVA resistance. Unlike the Marines killed in the same place in January, since Operation Scotland had ended, the four Lima Company Marines who died in this attack on Hill 881 North were excluded from the official statistics.

Seven miles west of Khe Sanh on Route 9, and about halfway to the Laotian border, sat the U.S. Army Special Forces camp at Lang Vei. Khe Sanh had long been responsible for the defense of Lang Vei. Shortly after midnight on February 7, a large NVA force, reinforced with tanks, attacked the camp. Its mission was to destroy the Special Forces and their Vietnamese allies and to ambush any reinforcements coming from Khe Sanh. The Marines, fearing an ambush, did not attempt a relief, and after heavy fighting the camp was overrun. Ten American soldiers were killed the rest managed to escape down Route 9 to Khe Sanh. Those 10 deaths were also left out of the official statistics.

The American military presence at Khe Sanh consisted not only of the Marine Corps Khe Sanh Combat Base, but also Forward Operating Base 3, U.S. Army (FOB-3). Many American casualties were caused by the 10,908 rounds of rockets, artillery and mortars the North Vietnamese fired into the base and hill positions. Army deaths at FOB-3, however, were not included in the official statistics either.

The Operation Scotland tactical area of responsibility (TAOR) was limited to the area around Khe Sanh along Route 9 in western Quang Tri province. On March 6, two U.S. Air Force C-123 cargo airplanes departed Da Nang Air Base en route to Khe Sanh. At 1530 hours the first C-123, with 44 passengers and a crew of five, began to land. Enemy artillery rounds slammed into the runway. The tower at Khe Sanh instructed the pilot to take evasive action and go around for another approach. While climbing, the C-123 was struck by several bursts of heavy machine gun and recoilless rifle fire. The plane, piloted by Lt. Col. Frederick J. Hampton, crashed in a huge fireball a few miles east of Khe Sanh, killing all aboard. Since the Marines on board were not yet officially attached to the 26th Marine Regiment, their deaths were not included in the official Khe Sanh count, nor were the several other deaths associated with aircraft crashes. Had the plane been shot down departing Khe Sanh, the casualties would have been counted.

Besieged, Khe Sanh could only be resupplied by air. MACV therefore initiated an operation to open Route 9 to vehicle traffic. Operation Pegasus, begun the day after Scotland ended, lasted until April 15. The Pegasus force consisted of the Army 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) plus the 1st Marine Regiment. Setting out from Ca Lu, 10 miles east of Khe Sanh, Pegasus opened the highway, linked up with the Marines at Khe Sanh, and engaged NVA in the surrounding area. Operation Pegasus casualties included 59 U.S. Army and 51 Marine Corps dead. They too were left out of the official Khe Sanh casualty count.

On April 15, Operation Pegasus ended and Operation Scotland II began. The Marines at Khe Sanh Combat Base broke out of their perimeter and began attacking the North Vietnamese in the surrounding area. The Army’s 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), with more than 400 helicopters under its control, conducted airmobile operations deeper into enemy-controlled areas. The fighting was heavy. An additional 413 Marines were killed during Scotland II as of the end of June 1968. Operation Scotland II continued until the end of the year, resulting in the deaths of 72 more Marines. None of the deaths associated with Scotland II are included in the official count. Historian Ronald Spector, in the book After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam, noted that American casualties in the 10 weeks after the start of Operation Pegasus were more than twice those officially reported during the siege.

The deaths of U.S. Air Force personnel, estimated between five and 20, are also omitted. The official figure of 205 KIA only represents Marine deaths in the Operation Scotland TAOR—that is, Marines killed in proximity to the Khe Sanh Combat Base during the period from November 1, 1967, to March 31, 1968. Scotland was a 26th Marine Regiment operation, so only the deaths of Marines assigned to the regiment, and attached supporting units, were counted. This time period does not particularly coincide with the fighting rather, it dates from before the siege began and terminates before the siege (and the fighting) ended. The distinctions between Operations Scotland, Pegasus and Scotland II, while important from the command perspective, were not necessarily apparent to individual Marines. For them, the battle started when the North Vietnamese attacks began in January. Fighting around Khe Sanh was continuous. For example, I served with a Marine heavy mortar battery at Khe Sanh during the siege. But only by checking my service record while writing this article did it become evident that I had participated in all three operations.

Upon closer analysis, the official figure does not accurately portray even what it purports to represent. According to Ray Stubbe, a U.S. Navy chaplain during the siege and since then the most significant Khe Sanh historian, the 205 figure is taken only from the records of the 26th Marine Regiment. Stubbe examined the command chronologies of the 1st and 2nd battalions, 26th Marines, plus the after-action reports of the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines 1st Battalion, 9th Marines 1st Battalion, 13th Marines and more than one dozen other units, all present at Khe Sanh under 26th Marine operational control. These combined sources report a total of 354 KIA. Unlike the official figures, Stubbe’s database of Khe Sanh casualties includes verifiable names and dates of death.

On June 19, 1968, another operation began at Khe Sanh, Operation Charlie, the final evacuation and destruction of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The Marines withdrew all salvageable material and destroyed everything else. The NVA continued shelling the base, and on July 1 launched a company-sized infantry attack against its perimeter. Two Marines died. NVA casualties were more than 200. The base was officially closed on July 5. Marines stayed in the area, conducting operations to recover the bodies of Marines killed previously. On July 10, Pfc Robert Hernandez of Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was manning an M-60 machine gun position when it took a direct hit from NVA mortars. Hernandez was killed. Ten more Marines and 89 NVA died during this period. They were not included in the official Khe Sanh counts.

On July 11, the Marines finally left Khe Sanh. This is the battle’s end date from the North Vietnamese perspective. The NVA 304th Division’s history notes that on “9 July 1968, the liberation flag was waving from the flag pole at Ta Con [Khe Sanh] airfield.” On July 13, 1968, Ho Chi Minh sent a message to the soldiers of the Route 9–Khe Sanh Front affirming “our victory at Khe Sanh.”

The Khe Sanh battlefield was considerably more extensive from the North Vietnamese perspective than from that of the U.S. Marine Corps, both geographically and chronologically. The NVA’s main command post was located in Laos, at Sar Lit. Battlefield boundaries extended from eastern Laos eastward along both sides of Route 9 in Quang Tri province, Vietnam, to the coast. Taking a larger but more realistic view, the Khe Sanh campaign resulted in a death toll of American military personnel that approached 1,000.

The official, public estimate of 10,000 to 15,000 North Vietnamese KIA stands in contrast to another estimate made by the American military. On April 5, 1968, MACV prepared an “Analysis of the Khe Sanh Battle” for General Westmoreland. The report, originally classified as secret, noted that intelligence from many sources indicated conclusively that the North Vietnamese had planned a massive ground attack against the base. The attack was to have been supported by armor and artillery. Due to severe losses, however, the NVA abandoned its plan for a massive ground attack. The losses—indicating that the enemy suffered a major defeat—were estimated at 3,550 KIA inflicted by delivered fires (i.e., aerial and artillery bombardment) and 2,000 KIA from ground action, for a total of 5,550 estimated North Vietnamese killed in action as of March 31.

Ray Stubbe has published a translation of the North Vietnamese history of the siege at Khe Sanh. According to this history, originally classified as secret, the battle deaths for all major NVA units participating in the entire Highway 9–

Khe Sanh Front from January 20 until July 20, 1968, totaled 2,469.

Ho Chi Minh’s oft-quoted admonition to the French applied equally to the Americans: “You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.” The calculation by Stubbe that approximately 1,000 Americans died on the Khe Sanh battlefield is especially compelling, given that Stubbe’s numbers are accompanied by names and dates of death. Since the official duration of the battle ends even earlier than the termination of the siege itself, a wider definition of the Khe Sanh battlefield to include Operations Scotland, Pegasus and Scotland II also seems reasonable. The official statistics yield a KIA ratio of between 50:1 and 75:1 of North Vietnamese to U.S. military deaths. The figures of 5,500 NVA dead and 1,000 U.S. dead yield a ratio of 5.5:1.

It is difficult to support the claim of an overwhelming American victory at Khe Sanh based solely on the ratios derived from the official casualty count. In fact, neither side won a resounding victory. The NVA surrounded Khe Sanh in an attempt to force the Marines to break out of their fighting positions, which would make it easier to engage and destroy them. If that failed, and it did, they hoped to attack American reinforcements along Route 9 between Khe Sanh and Laos. Operation Pegasus forces, however, were highly mobile and did not attack en masse down Route 9 far enough west of Khe Sanh for the NVA, by then dispersed, to implement their plan.

The Marines knew that their withdrawal from Khe Sanh would present a propaganda victory for Hanoi. On June 28, a Communist spokesman claimed the Americans had been forced to retreat and that Khe Sanh was the “gravest tactical and strategic defeat” for the U.S. in the war. It was the only time Americans abandoned a major combat base because of enemy pressure.

Strategically, however, the withdrawal meant little. The new anchor base was established at Ca Lu, a few miles down Route 9 to the east. Mobile combat operations continued against the North Vietnamese. U.S. reconnaissance forces continued to monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Marines and their allies at Khe Sanh engaged tens of thousands, and killed thousands, of NVA over a period of many weeks. Indeed, had enemy forces not been at Khe Sanh, they could have joined the NVA and VC who occupied Hue, a much more important strategic target. The Marines fought long, hard and well at Khe Sanh, but they sacrificed in much greater numbers than has been acknowledged by official sources.

Marine Khe Sanh veteran Peter Brush is Vietnam Magazine’s book review editor. For additional reading, see: Valley of Decision: The Siege of Khe Sanh, by John Prados and Ray W. Stubbe and the official Marine Corps history, The Battle for Khe Sanh, by Moyers S. Shore II.

This article was written by Peter Brush and originally published in the June 2007 issue of Vietnam Magazine. For more great articles, subscribe to Vietnam magazine today!

Army Roll of Honour, 1939–1945

Search the Army Roll of Honour for details of British Army casualties in the Second World War (WO 304) on findmypast ( £ ).

British Army casualty lists, 1939–1945

Search the daily British Army casualty lists (WO 417) on ( £ ). These cover British Army officers, other ranks and nurses. They state the individuals’ rank, service number, date of becoming a casualty, type of casualty and sometimes the unit/battalion number within which the individual served.

The term ‘casualty’ covers anyone in the British Army who was killed, wounded, missing, or was a prisoner of war.

Royal Navy registers of reports of deaths on ships (1893–1950)

Download, for free, digital microfilm copies of indexes to registers of reports of deaths on Royal Navy ships in ADM 104/102–108 and the respective registers themselves in ADM 104/109–118 and ADM 104/122–139. The registers include name, age and rank of each seaman, the ship on which they were serving at the time of their death, with the date, place and cause of their death.

Royal Navy registers of killed and wounded (1854–1911 and 1914–1929)

Download, for free, digital microfilm copies of the Royal Navy registers of killed and wounded 1854–1911 and 1914–1929 in ADM 104/144–149. Indexes to these records for 1915–1929 are in ADM 104/140–143. The registers include name, age and rank of seamen, the ship on which they were serving and the date, place and circumstances of their injury or death.

Shipping and Seamen Rolls of Honour, 1914–1918 and 1939–1945

Search the Shipping and Seamen Rolls of Honour for details of people who died or were declared ‘missing presumed dead’ in the service of the merchant marine fleets during the First and Second World Wars (BT 339) on ( £ ).

Indexes to deaths in the armed forces, 1796–2005

Search indexes to registers of deaths in the armed forces on findmypast ( £ ). The death certificates themselves can be obtained from the General Register Office.

French and Belgian death certificates for British military personnel, 1914–1919

Search for French and Belgian death certificates for British and Commonwealth soldiers and airmen who died outside the immediate war zone (RG 35/45-69) on BMD Registers ( £ ). They are written in French or Flemish and not all records have survived.

Maritime war deaths, 1794–1964

Search selected maritime war deaths ( £ ) on by name. The online collection includes records series BT 334 which cover First and Second World war and ADM 242, ADM 184/43–54 and CUST 67/74 which cover the First World War period.

Royal Navy First World War Lives at Sea database

Search the Royal Navy First World War Lives at Sea database by name, service number and numerous other criteria. The database is continually being updated, and by the expected completion date of November 2018, it will contain information relating to all the Royal Navy officers and ratings that served in the First World War.

The database is being compiled largely from records held at The National Archives and there is no charge for access. It is a joint project between The National Archives, The National Maritime Museum and the Crew List Index Project with the help of a global team of volunteers.

Civilian War Dead, 1939–1945

Search or browse the list of 66,375 civilians killed in the Second World War on Ancestry ( £ ), Commonwealth War Graves Commission or Genuki (for Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire).

The list was taken from the Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour and includes deaths on board ship and deaths abroad, including civilian deaths in prison camps. The original is held at Westminster Abbey.

In World War II, why was the ratio of killed to wounded of the Royal Navy twice that of the US Navy? - History

Above Photo: Allen Burney of Des Moines waves a Veterans for Peace flag during a protest at the Iowa Air National Guard base Monday in Des Moines. The .protesters were rallying against the use of drones to carry out military strikes. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by an accelerated “war on terrorism.”

But we must continue our efforts to develop understanding and compassion in the world. Hopefully, this article will assist in doing that by addressing the question “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” This theme is developed in this report which contains an estimated numbers of such deaths in 37 nations as well as brief explanations of why the U.S. is considered culpable.

The causes of wars are complex. In some instances nations other than the U.S. may have been responsible for more deaths, but if the involvement of our nation appeared to have been a necessary cause of a war or conflict it was considered responsible for the deaths in it. In other words they probably would not have taken place if the U.S. had not used the heavy hand of its power. The military and economic power of the United States was crucial.

This study reveals that U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars. The Korean War also includes Chinese deaths while the Vietnam War also includes fatalities in Cambodia and Laos.

The American public probably is not aware of these numbers and knows even less about the proxy wars for which the United States is also responsible. In the latter wars there were between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.

But the victims are not just from big nations or one part of the world. The remaining deaths were in smaller ones which constitute over half the total number of nations. Virtually all parts of the world have been the target of U.S. intervention.

The overall conclusion reached is that the United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.

To the families and friends of these victims it makes little difference whether the causes were U.S. military action, proxy military forces, the provision of U.S. military supplies or advisors, or other ways, such as economic pressures applied by our nation. They had to make decisions about other things such as finding lost loved ones, whether to become refugees, and how to survive.

And the pain and anger is spread even further. Some authorities estimate that there are as many as 10 wounded for each person who dies in wars. Their visible, continued suffering is a continuing reminder to their fellow countrymen.

It is essential that Americans learn more about this topic so that they can begin to understand the pain that others feel. Someone once observed that the Germans during WWII “chose not to know.” We cannot allow history to say this about our country. The question posed above was “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” The answer is: possibly 10,000.

Comments on Gathering These Numbers

Generally speaking, the much smaller number of Americans who have died is not included in this study, not because they are not important, but because this report focuses on the impact of U.S. actions on its adversaries.

An accurate count of the number of deaths is not easy to achieve, and this collection of data was undertaken with full realization of this fact. These estimates will probably be revised later either upward or downward by the reader and the author. But undoubtedly the total will remain in the millions.

The difficulty of gathering reliable information is shown by two estimates in this context. For several years I heard statements on radio that three million Cambodians had been killed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. However, in recent years the figure I heard was one million. Another example is that the number of persons estimated to have died in Iraq due to sanctions after the first U.S. Iraq War was over 1 million, but in more recent years, based on a more recent study, a lower estimate of around a half a million has emerged.

Often information about wars is revealed only much later when someone decides to speak out, when more secret information is revealed due to persistent efforts of a few, or after special congressional committees make reports

Both victorious and defeated nations may have their own reasons for underreporting the number of deaths. Further, in recent wars involving the United States it was not uncommon to hear statements like “we do not do body counts” and references to “collateral damage” as a euphemism for dead and wounded. Life is cheap for some, especially those who manipulate people on the battlefield as if it were a chessboard.

To say that it is difficult to get exact figures is not to say that we should not try. Effort was needed to arrive at the figures of 6six million Jews killed during WWI, but knowledge of that number now is widespread and it has fueled the determination to prevent future holocausts. That struggle continues.

The author can be contacted at [email protected]



The U.S. is responsible for between 1 and 1.8 million deaths during the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, by luring the Soviet Union into invading that nation. (1,2,3,4)

The Soviet Union had friendly relations its neighbor, Afghanistan, which had a secular government. The Soviets feared that if that government became fundamentalist this change could spill over into the Soviet Union.

In 1998, in an interview with the Parisian publication Le Novel Observateur, Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to President Carter, admitted that he had been responsible for instigating aid to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan which caused the Soviets to invade. In his own words:

“According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.” (5,1,6)

Brzezinski justified laying this trap, since he said it gave the Soviet Union its Vietnam and caused the breakup of the Soviet Union. “Regret what?” he said. “That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?” (7)

The CIA spent 5 to 6 billion dollars on its operation in Afghanistan in order to bleed the Soviet Union. (1,2,3) When that 10-year war ended over a million people were dead and Afghan heroin had captured 60% of the U.S. market. (4)

The U.S. has been responsible directly for about 12,000 deaths in Afghanistan many of which resulted from bombing in retaliation for the attacks on U.S. property on September 11, 2001. Subsequently U.S. troops invaded that country. (4)

An indigenous armed struggle against Portuguese rule in Angola began in 1961. In 1977 an Angolan government was recognized by the U.N., although the U.S. was one of the few nations that opposed this action. In 1986 Uncle Sam approved material assistance to UNITA, a group that was trying to overthrow the government. Even today this struggle, which has involved many nations at times, continues.

U.S. intervention was justified to the U.S. public as a reaction to the intervention of 50,000 Cuban troops in Angola. However, according to Piero Gleijeses, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University the reverse was true. The Cuban intervention came as a result of a CIA – financed covert invasion via neighboring Zaire and a drive on the Angolan capital by the U.S. ally, South Africa1,2,3). (Three estimates of deaths range from 300,000 to 750,000 (4,5,6)

Argentina: See South America: Operation Condor

Bangladesh: See Pakistan

Hugo Banzer was the leader of a repressive regime in Bolivia in the 1970s. The U.S. had been disturbed when a previous leader nationalized the tin mines and distributed land to Indian peasants. Later that action to benefit the poor was reversed.

Banzer, who was trained at the U.S.-operated School of the Americas in Panama and later at Fort Hood, Texas, came back from exile frequently to confer with U.S. Air Force Major Robert Lundin. In 1971 he staged a successful coup with the help of the U.S. Air Force radio system. In the first years of his dictatorship he received twice as military assistance from the U.S. as in the previous dozen years together.

A few years later the Catholic Church denounced an army massacre of striking tin workers in 1975, Banzer, assisted by information provided by the CIA, was able to target and locate leftist priests and nuns. His anti-clergy strategy, known as the Banzer Plan, was adopted by nine other Latin American dictatorships in 1977. (2) He has been accused of being responsible for 400 deaths during his tenure. (1)

Also see: See South America: Operation Condor

Brazil: See South America: Operation Condor

U.S. bombing of Cambodia had already been underway for several years in secret under the Johnson and Nixon administrations, but when President Nixon openly began bombing in preparation for a land assault on Cambodia it caused major protests in the U.S. against the Vietnam War.

There is little awareness today of the scope of these bombings and the human suffering involved.

Immense damage was done to the villages and cities of Cambodia, causing refugees and internal displacement of the population. This unstable situation enabled the Khmer Rouge, a small political party led by Pol Pot, to assume power. Over the years we have repeatedly heard about the Khmer Rouge’s role in the deaths of millions in Cambodia without any acknowledgement being made this mass killing was made possible by the the U.S. bombing of that nation which destabilized it by death , injuries, hunger and dislocation of its people.

So the U.S. bears responsibility not only for the deaths from the bombings but also for those resulting from the activities of the Khmer Rouge – a total of about 2.5 million people. Even when Vietnam latrer invaded Cambodia in 1979 the CIA was still supporting the Khmer Rouge. (1,2,3)

Also see Vietnam

An estimated 40,000 people in Chad were killed and as many as 200,000 tortured by a government, headed by Hissen Habre who was brought to power in June, 1982 with the help of CIA money and arms. He remained in power for eight years. (1,2)

Human Rights Watch claimed that Habre was responsible for thousands of killings. In 2001, while living in Senegal, he was almost tried for crimes committed by him in Chad. However, a court there blocked these proceedings. Then human rights people decided to pursue the case in Belgium, because some of Habre’s torture victims lived there. The U.S., in June 2003, told Belgium that it risked losing its status as host to NATO’s headquarters if it allowed such a legal proceeding to happen. So the result was that the law that allowed victims to file complaints in Belgium for atrocities committed abroad was repealed. However, two months later a new law was passed which made special provision for the continuation of the case against Habre.

The CIA intervened in Chile’s 1958 and 1964 elections. In 1970 a socialist candidate, Salvador Allende, was elected president. The CIA wanted to incite a military coup to prevent his inauguration, but the Chilean army’s chief of staff, General Rene Schneider, opposed this action. The CIA then planned, along with some people in the Chilean military, to assassinate Schneider. This plot failed and Allende took office. President Nixon was not to be dissuaded and he ordered the CIA to create a coup climate: “Make the economy scream,” he said.
What followed were guerilla warfare, arson, bombing, sabotage and terror. ITT and other U.S. corporations with Chilean holdings sponsored demonstrations and strikes. Finally, on September 11, 1973 Allende died either by suicide or by assassination. At that time Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State, said the following regarding Chile: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” (1)

During 17 years of terror under Allende’s successor, General Augusto Pinochet, an estimated 3,000 Chileans were killed and many others were tortured or “disappeared.” (2,3,4,5)

Also see South America: Operation Condor

China An estimated 900,000 Chinese died during the Korean War. For more information, See: Korea.

One estimate is that 67,000 deaths have occurred from the 1960s to recent years due to support by the U.S. of Colombian state terrorism. (1)

According to a 1994 Amnesty International report, more than 20,000 people were killed for political reasons in Colombia since 1986, mainly by the military and its paramilitary allies. Amnesty alleged that “U.S.- supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit abuses in the name of “counter-insurgency.” (2) In 2002 another estimate was made that 3,500 people die each year in a U.S. funded civilian war in Colombia. (3)

In 1996 Human Rights Watch issued a report “Assassination Squads in Colombia” which revealed that CIA agents went to Colombia in 1991 to help the military to train undercover agents in anti-subversive activity. (4,5)

In recent years the U.S. government has provided assistance under Plan Colombia. The Colombian government has been charged with using most of the funds for destruction of crops and support of the paramilitary group.

In the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba on April 18, 1961 which ended after 3 days, 114 of the invading force were killed, 1,189 were taken prisoners and a few escaped to waiting U.S. ships. (1) The captured exiles were quickly tried, a few executed and the rest sentenced to thirty years in prison for treason. These exiles were released after 20 months in exchange for $53 million in food and medicine.

Some people estimate that the number of Cuban forces killed range from 2,000, to 4,000. Another estimate is that 1,800 Cuban forces were killed on an open highway by napalm. This appears to have been a precursor of the Highway of Death in Iraq in 1991 when U.S. forces mercilessly annihilated large numbers of Iraqis on a highway. (2)

Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)

The beginning of massive violence was instigated in this country in 1879 by its colonizer King Leopold of Belgium. The Congo’s population was reduced by 10 million people over a period of 20 years which some have referred to as “Leopold’s Genocide.” (1) The U.S. has been responsible for about a third of that many deaths in that nation in the more recent past. (2)

In 1960 the Congo became an independent state with Patrice Lumumba being its first prime minister. He was assassinated with the CIA being implicated, although some say that his murder was actually the responsibility of Belgium. (3) But nevertheless, the CIA was planning to kill him. (4) Before his assassination the CIA sent one of its scientists, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, to the Congo carrying “lethal biological material” intended for use in Lumumba’s assassination. This virus would have been able to produce a fatal disease indigenous to the Congo area of Africa and was transported in a diplomatic pouch.

Much of the time in recent years there has been a civil war within the Democratic Republic of Congo, fomented often by the U.S. and other nations, including neighboring nations. (5)

In April 1977, Newsday reported that the CIA was secretly supporting efforts to recruit several hundred mercenaries in the U.S. and Great Britain to serve alongside Zaire’s army. In that same year the U.S. provided $15 million of military supplies to the Zairian President Mobutu to fend off an invasion by a rival group operating in Angola. (6)

In May 1979, the U.S. sent several million dollars of aid to Mobutu who had been condemned 3 months earlier by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations. (7) During the Cold War the U.S. funneled over 300 million dollars in weapons into Zaire (8,9) $100 million in military training was provided to him. (2) In 2001 it was reported to a U.S. congressional committee that American companies, including one linked to former President George Bush Sr., were stoking the Congo for monetary gains. There is an international battle over resources in that country with over 125 companies and individuals being implicated. One of these substances is coltan, which is used in the manufacture of cell phones. (2)

Dominican Republic

In 1962, Juan Bosch became president of the Dominican Republic. He advocated such programs as land reform and public works programs. This did not bode well for his future relationship with the U.S., and after only 7 months in office, he was deposed by a CIA coup. In 1965 when a group was trying to reinstall him to his office President Johnson said, “This Bosch is no good.” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Mann replied “He’s no good at all. If we don’t get a decent government in there, Mr. President, we get another Bosch. It’s just going to be another sinkhole.” Two days later a U.S. invasion started and 22,000 soldiers and marines entered the Dominican Republic and about 3,000 Dominicans died during the fighting. The cover excuse for doing this was that this was done to protect foreigners there. (1,2,3,4)

In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. This incursion was launched the day after U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia where they had given President Suharto permission to use American arms, which under U.S. law, could not be used for aggression. Daniel Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the UN. said that the U.S. wanted “things to turn out as they did.” (1,2) The result was an estimated 200,000 dead out of a population of 700,000. (1,2)

Sixteen years later, on November 12, 1991, two hundred and seventeen East Timorese protesters in Dili, many of them children, marching from a memorial service, were gunned down by Indonesian Kopassus shock troops who were headed by U.S.- trained commanders Prabowo Subianto (son in law of General Suharto) and Kiki Syahnakri. Trucks were seen dumping bodies into the sea. (5)

El Salvador

The civil war from 1981 to1992 in El Salvador was financed by $6 billion in U.S. aid given to support the government in its efforts to crush a movement to bring social justice to the people in that nation of about 8 million people. (1)
During that time U.S. military advisers demonstrated methods of torture on teenage prisoners, according to an interview with a deserter from the Salvadoran army published in the New York Times. This former member of the Salvadoran National Guard testified that he was a member of a squad of twelve who found people who they were told were guerillas and tortured them. Part of the training he received was in torture at a U.S. location somewhere in Panama. (2)

About 900 villagers were massacred in the village of El Mozote in 1981. Ten of the twelve El Salvadoran government soldiers cited as participating in this act were graduates of the School of the Americas operated by the U.S. (2) They were only a small part of about 75,000 people killed during that civil war. (1)

According to a 1993 United Nations’ Truth Commission report, over 96 % of the human rights violations carried out during the war were committed by the Salvadoran army or the paramilitary deaths squads associated with the Salvadoran army. (3)

That commission linked graduates of the School of the Americas to many notorious killings. The New York Times and the Washington Post followed with scathing articles. In 1996, the White House Oversight Board issued a report that supported many of the charges against that school made by Rev. Roy Bourgeois, head of the School of the Americas Watch. That same year the Pentagon released formerly classified reports indicating that graduates were trained in killing, extortion, and physical abuse for interrogations, false imprisonment and other methods of control. (4)

The CIA began to destabilize Grenada in 1979 after Maurice Bishop became president, partially because he refused to join the quarantine of Cuba. The campaign against him resulted in his overthrow and the invasion by the U.S. of Grenada on October 25, 1983, with about 277 people dying. (1,2) It was fallaciously charged that an airport was being built in Grenada that could be used to attack the U.S. and it was also erroneously claimed that the lives of American medical students on that island were in danger.

In 1951 Jacobo Arbenz was elected president of Guatemala. He appropriated some unused land operated by the United Fruit Company and compensated the company. (1,2) That company then started a campaign to paint Arbenz as a tool of an international conspiracy and hired about 300 mercenaries who sabotaged oil supplies and trains. (3) In 1954 a CIA-orchestrated coup put him out of office and he left the country. During the next 40 years various regimes killed thousands of people.

In 1999 the Washington Post reported that an Historical Clarification Commission concluded that over 200,000 people had been killed during the civil war and that there had been 42,000 individual human rights violations, 29,000 of them fatal, 92% of which were committed by the army. The commission further reported that the U.S. government and the CIA had pressured the Guatemalan government into suppressing the guerilla movement by ruthless means. (4,5)

According to the Commission between 1981 and 1983 the military government of Guatemala – financed and supported by the U.S. government – destroyed some four hundred Mayan villages in a campaign of genocide. (4)
One of the documents made available to the commission was a 1966 memo from a U.S. State Department official, which described how a “safe house” was set up in the palace for use by Guatemalan security agents and their U.S. contacts. This was the headquarters for the Guatemalan “dirty war” against leftist insurgents and suspected allies. (2)

From 1957 to 1986 Haiti was ruled by Papa Doc Duvalier and later by his son. During that time their private terrorist force killed between 30,000 and 100,000 people. (1) Millions of dollars in CIA subsidies flowed into Haiti during that time, mainly to suppress popular movements, (2) although most American military aid to the country, according to William Blum, was covertly channeled through Israel.

Reportedly, governments after the second Duvalier reign were responsible for an even larger number of fatalities, and the influence on Haiti by the U.S., particularly through the CIA, has continued. The U.S. later forced out of the presidential office a black Catholic priest, Jean Bertrand Aristide, even though he was elected with 67% of the vote in the early 1990s. The wealthy white class in Haiti opposed him in this predominantly black nation, because of his social programs designed to help the poor and end corruption. (3) Later he returned to office, but that did not last long. He was forced by the U.S. to leave office and now lives in South Africa.

In the 1980s the CIA supported Battalion 316 in Honduras, which kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of its citizens. Torture equipment and manuals were provided by CIA Argentinean personnel who worked with U.S. agents in the training of the Hondurans. Approximately 400 people lost their lives. (1,2) This is another instance of torture in the world sponsored by the U.S. (3)

Battalion 316 used shock and suffocation devices in interrogations in the 1980s. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves. Declassified documents and other sources show that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy knew of numerous crimes, including murder and torture, yet continued to support Battalion 316 and collaborate with its leaders.” (4)

Honduras was a staging ground in the early 1980s for the Contras who were trying to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. John D. Negroponte, currently Deputy Secretary of State, was our embassador when our military aid to Honduras rose from $4 million to $77.4 million per year. Negroponte denies having had any knowledge of these atrocities during his tenure. However, his predecessor in that position, Jack R. Binns, had reported in 1981 that he was deeply concerned at increasing evidence of officially sponsored/sanctioned assassinations. (5)

In 1956 Hungary, a Soviet satellite nation, revolted against the Soviet Union. During the uprising broadcasts by the U.S. Radio Free Europe into Hungary sometimes took on an aggressive tone, encouraging the rebels to believe that Western support was imminent, and even giving tactical advice on how to fight the Soviets. Their hopes were raised then dashed by these broadcasts which cast an even darker shadow over the Hungarian tragedy.“ (1) The Hungarian and Soviet death toll was about 3,000 and the revolution was crushed. (2)

In 1965, in Indonesia, a coup replaced General Sukarno with General Suharto as leader. The U.S. played a role in that change of government. Robert Martens,a former officer in the U.S. embassy in Indonesia, described how U.S. diplomats and CIA officers provided up to 5,000 names to Indonesian Army death squads in 1965 and checked them off as they were killed or captured. Martens admitted that “I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.” (1,2,3) Estimates of the number of deaths range from 500,000 to 3 million. (4,5,6)
From 1993 to 1997 the U.S. provided Jakarta with almost $400 million in economic aid and sold tens of million of dollars of weaponry to that nation. U.S. Green Berets provided training for the Indonesia’s elite force which was responsible for many of atrocities in East Timor. (3)

Iran lost about 262,000 people in the war against Iraq from 1980 to 1988. (1) See Iraq for more information about that war.

On July 3, 1988 the U.S. Navy ship, the Vincennes, was operating withing Iranian waters providing military support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. During a battle against Iranian gunboats it fired two missiles at an Iranian Airbus, which was on a routine civilian flight. All 290 civilian on board were killed. (2,3)

A. The Iraq-Iran War lasted from 1980 to 1988 and during that time there were about 105,000 Iraqi deaths according to the Washington Post. (1,2)

According to Howard Teicher, a former National Security Council official, the U.S. provided the Iraqis with billions of dollars in credits and helped Iraq in other ways such as making sure that Iraq had military equipment including biological agents This surge of help for Iraq came as Iran seemed to be winning the war and was close to Basra. (1) The U.S. was not adverse to both countries weakening themselves as a result of the war, but it did not appear to want either side to win.

B: The U.S.-Iraq War and the Sanctions Against Iraq extended from 1990 to 2003.

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and the U.S. responded by demanding that Iraq withdraw, and four days later the U.N. levied international sanctions.

Iraq had reason to believe that the U.S. would not object to its invasion of Kuwait, since U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, had told Saddam Hussein that the U.S. had no position on the dispute that his country had with Kuwait. So the green light was given, but it seemed to be more of a trap.

As a part of the public relations strategy to energize the American public into supporting an attack against Iraq the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. falsely testified before Congress that Iraqi troops were pulling the plugs on incubators in Iraqi hospitals. (1) This contributed to a war frenzy in the U.S.

The U.S. air assault started on January 17, 1991 and it lasted for 42 days. On February 23 President H.W. Bush ordered the U.S. ground assault to begin. The invasion took place with much needless killing of Iraqi military personnel. Only about 150 American military personnel died compared to about 200,000 Iraqis. Some of the Iraqis were mercilessly killed on the Highway of Death and about 400 tons of depleted uranium were left in that nation by the U.S. (2,3)

Other deaths later were from delayed deaths due to wounds, civilians killed, those killed by effects of damage of the Iraqi water treatment facilities and other aspects of its damaged infrastructure and by the sanctions.

In 1995 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. reported that U.N sanctions against on Iraq had been responsible for the deaths of more than 560,000 children since 1990. (5)

Leslie Stahl on the TV Program 60 Minutes in 1996 mentioned to Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And – and you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think is worth it.” (4)

In 1999 UNICEF reported that 5,000 children died each month as a result of the sanction and the War with the U.S. (6)

Richard Garfield later estimated that the more likely number of excess deaths among children under five years of age from 1990 through March 1998 to be 227,000 – double those of the previous decade. Garfield estimated that the numbers to be 350,000 through 2000 (based in part on result of another study). (7)

However, there are limitations to his study. His figures were not updated for the remaining three years of the sanctions. Also, two other somewhat vulnerable age groups were not studied: young children above the age of five and the elderly.

All of these reports were considerable indicators of massive numbers of deaths which the U.S. was aware of and which was a part of its strategy to cause enough pain and terror among Iraqis to cause them to revolt against their government.

C: Iraq-U.S. War started in 2003 and has not been concluded

Just as the end of the Cold War emboldened the U.S. to attack Iraq in 1991 so the attacks of September 11, 2001 laid the groundwork for the U.S. to launch the current war against Iraq. While in some other wars we learned much later about the lies that were used to deceive us, some of the deceptions that were used to get us into this war became known almost as soon as they were uttered. There were no weapons of mass destruction, we were not trying to promote democracy, we were not trying to save the Iraqi people from a dictator.

The total number of Iraqi deaths that are a result of our current Iraq against Iraq War is 654,000, of which 600,000 are attributed to acts of violence, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. (1,2)

Since these deaths are a result of the U.S. invasion, our leaders must accept responsibility for them.

Israeli-Palestinian War

About 100,000 to 200,000 Israelis and Palestinians, but mostly the latter, have been killed in the struggle between those two groups. The U.S. has been a strong supporter of Israel, providing billions of dollars in aid and supporting its possession of nuclear weapons. (1,2)

Korea, North and South

The Korean War started in 1950 when, according to the Truman administration, North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25th. However, since then another explanation has emerged which maintains that the attack by North Korea came during a time of many border incursions by both sides. South Korea initiated most of the border clashes with North Korea beginning in 1948. The North Korea government claimed that by 1949 the South Korean army committed 2,617 armed incursions. It was a myth that the Soviet Union ordered North Korea to attack South Korea. (1,2)

The U.S. started its attack before a U.N. resolution was passed supporting our nation’s intervention, and our military forces added to the mayhem in the war by introducing the use of napalm. (1)

During the war the bulk of the deaths were South Koreans, North Koreans and Chinese. Four sources give deaths counts ranging from 1.8 to 4.5 million. (3,4,5,6) Another source gives a total of 4 million but does not identify to which nation they belonged. (7)

John H. Kim, a U.S. Army veteran and the Chair of the Korea Committee of Veterans for Peace, stated in an article that during the Korean War “the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy were directly involved in the killing of about three million civilians – both South and North Koreans – at many locations throughout Korea…It is reported that the U.S. dropped some 650,000 tons of bombs, including 43,000 tons of napalm bombs, during the Korean War.” It is presumed that this total does not include Chinese casualties.

Another source states a total of about 500,000 who were Koreans and presumably only military. (8,9)

From 1965 to 1973 during the Vietnam War the U.S. dropped over two million tons of bombs on Laos – more than was dropped in WWII by both sides. Over a quarter of the population became refugees. This was later called a “secret war,” since it occurred at the same time as the Vietnam War, but got little press. Hundreds of thousands were killed. Branfman make the only estimate that I am aware of , stating that hundreds of thousands died. This can be interpeted to mean that at least 200,000 died. (1,2,3)

U.S. military intervention in Laos actually began much earlier. A civil war started in the 1950s when the U.S. recruited a force of 40,000 Laotians to oppose the Pathet Lao, a leftist political party that ultimately took power in 1975.

Also See Vietnam

Between 8,000 and 12,000 Nepalese have died since a civil war broke out in 1996. The death rate, according to Foreign Policy in Focus, sharply increased with the arrival of almost 8,400 American M-16 submachine guns (950 rpm) and U.S. advisers. Nepal is 85 percent rural and badly in need of land reform. Not surprisingly 42 % of its people live below the poverty level. (1,2)

In 2002, after another civil war erupted, President George W. Bush pushed a bill through Congress authorizing $20 million in military aid to the Nepalese government. (3)

In 1981 the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza government in Nicaragua, (1) and until 1990 about 25,000 Nicaraguans were killed in an armed struggle between the Sandinista government and Contra rebels who were formed from the remnants of Somoza’s national government. The use of assassination manuals by the Contras surfaced in 1984. (2,3)

The U.S. supported the victorious government regime by providing covert military aid to the Contras (anti-communist guerillas) starting in November, 1981. But when Congress discovered that the CIA had supervised acts of sabotage in Nicaragua without notifying Congress, it passed the Boland Amendment in 1983 which prohibited the CIA, Defense Department and any other government agency from providing any further covert military assistance. (4)

But ways were found to get around this prohibition. The National Security Council, which was not explicitly covered by the law, raised private and foreign funds for the Contras. In addition, arms were sold to Iran and the proceeds were diverted from those sales to the Contras engaged in the insurgency against the Sandinista government. (5) Finally, the Sandinistas were voted out of office in 1990 by voters who thought that a change in leadership would placate the U.S., which was causing misery to Nicaragua’s citizenry by it support of the Contras.

In 1971 West Pakistan, an authoritarian state supported by the U.S., brutally invaded East Pakistan. The war ended after India, whose economy was staggering after admitting about 10 million refugees, invaded East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and defeated the West Pakistani forces. (1)

Millions of people died during that brutal struggle, referred to by some as genocide committed by West Pakistan. That country had long been an ally of the U.S., starting with $411 million provided to establish its armed forces which spent 80% of its budget on its military. $15 million in arms flowed into W. Pakistan during the war. (2,3,4)

Three sources estimate that 3 million people died and (5,2,6) one source estimates 1.5 million. (3)

In December, 1989 U.S. troops invaded Panama, ostensibly to arrest Manuel Noriega, that nation’s president. This was an example of the U.S. view that it is the master of the world and can arrest anyone it wants to. For a number of years before that he had worked for the CIA, but fell out of favor partially because he was not an opponent of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. (1) It has been estimated that between 500 and 4,000 people died. (2,3,4)

Paraguay: See South America: Operation Condor


The Philippines were under the control of the U.S. for over a hundred years. In about the last 50 to 60 years the U.S. has funded and otherwise helped various Philippine governments which sought to suppress the activities of groups working for the welfare of its people. In 1969 the Symington Committee in the U.S. Congress revealed how war material was sent there for a counter-insurgency campaign. U.S. Special Forces and Marines were active in some combat operations. The estimated number of persons that were executed and disappeared under President Fernando Marcos was over 100,000. (1,2)

South America: Operation Condor

This was a joint operation of 6 despotic South American governments (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) to share information about their political opponents. An estimated 13,000 people were killed under this plan. (1)

It was established on November 25, 1975 in Chile by an act of the Interamerican Reunion on Military Intelligence. According to U.S. embassy political officer, John Tipton, the CIA and the Chilean Secret Police were working together, although the CIA did not set up the operation to make this collaboration work. Reportedly, it ended in 1983. (2)

On March 6, 2001 the New York Times reported the existence of a recently declassified State Department document revealing that the United States facilitated communications for Operation Condor. (3)

Since 1955, when it gained its independence, Sudan has been involved most of the time in a civil war. Until about 2003 approximately 2 million people had been killed. It not known if the death toll in Darfur is part of that total.

Human rights groups have complained that U.S. policies have helped to prolong the Sudanese civil war by supporting efforts to overthrow the central government in Khartoum. In 1999 U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) who said that she offered him food supplies if he would reject a peace plan sponsored by Egypt and Libya.

In 1978 the vastness of Sudan’s oil reservers was discovered and within two years it became the sixth largest recipient of U.S, military aid. It’s reasonable to assume that if the U.S. aid a government to come to power it will feel obligated to give the U.S. part of the oil pie.

A British group, Christian Aid, has accused foreign oil companies of complicity in the depopulation of villages. These companies – not American – receive government protection and in turn allow the government use of its airstrips and roads.

In August 1998 the U.S. bombed Khartoum, Sudan with 75 cruise míssiles. Our government said that the target was a chemical weapons factory owned by Osama bin Laden. Actually, bin Laden was no longer the owner, and the plant had been the sole supplier of pharmaceutical supplies for that poor nation. As a result of the bombing tens of thousands may have died because of the lack of medicines to treat malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases. The U.S. settled a lawsuit filed by the factory’s owner. (1,2)

Uruguay: See South America: Operation Condor

In Vietnam, under an agreement several decades ago, there was supposed to be an election for a unified North and South Vietnam. The U.S. opposed this and supported the Diem government in South Vietnam. In August, 1964 the CIA and others helped fabricate a phony Vietnamese attack on a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Tonkin and this was used as a pretext for greater U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (1)

During that war an American assassination operation,called Operation Phoenix, terrorized the South Vietnamese people, and during the war American troops were responsible in 1968 for the mass slaughter of the people in the village of My Lai.

According to a Vietnamese government statement in 1995 the number of deaths of civilians and military personnel during the Vietnam War was 5.1 million. (2)

Since deaths in Cambodia and Laos were about 2.7 million (See Cambodia and Laos) the estimated total for the Vietnam War is 7.8 million.

The Virtual Truth Commission provides a total for the war of 5 million, (3) and Robert McNamara, former Secretary Defense, according to the New York Times Magazine says that the number of Vietnamese dead is 3.4 million. (4,5)

Yugoslavia was a socialist federation of several republics. Since it refused to be closely tied to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, it gained some suport from the U.S. But when the Soviet Union dissolved, Yugoslavia’s usefulness to the U.S. ended, and the U.S and Germany worked to convert its socialist economy to a capitalist one by a process primarily of dividing and conquering. There were ethnic and religious differences between various parts of Yugoslavia which were manipulated by the U.S. to cause several wars which resulted in the dissolution of that country.

From the early 1990s until now Yugoslavia split into several independent nations whose lowered income, along with CIA connivance, has made it a pawn in the hands of capitalist countries. (1) The dissolution of Yugoslavia was caused primarily by the U.S. (2)

Here are estimates of some, if not all, of the internal wars in Yugoslavia. All wars: 107,000 (3,4)

Bosnia and Krajina: 250,000 (5) Bosnia: 20,000 to 30,000 (5) Croatia: 15,000 (6) and

1.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.135.

4.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.76

6.The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, Posted at 15 October 2001,

7.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.5

1.Howard W. French “From Old Files, a New Story of the U.S. Role in the Angolan War” New York Times 3/31/02

2.Angolan Update, American Friends Service Committee FS, 11/1/99 flyer.

3.Norman Solomon, War Made Easy, (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) p. 82-83.

4.Lance Selfa, U.S. Imperialism, A Century of Slaughter, International Socialist Review Issue 7, Spring 1999 (as appears in Third world Traveler www.

5. Jeffress Ramsay, Africa , (Dushkin/McGraw Hill Guilford Connecticut), 1997, p. 144-145.

6.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.54.

Argentina : See South America: Operation Condor

2.Jerry Meldon, Return of Bolilvia’s Drug – Stained Dictator, Consortium,

Brazil See South America: Operation Condor

2.David Model, President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Bombing of Cambodia excerpted from the book Lying for Empire How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face, Common Courage Press, 2005, paper

3.Noam Chomsky, Chomsky on Cambodia under Pol Pot, etc.,http//

1.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 151-152 .

1.Parenti, Michael, The Sword and the Dollar (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1989) p. 56.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 142-143.

3.Moreorless: Heroes and Killers of the 20th Century, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte,

4.Associated Press,Pincohet on 91st Birthday, Takes Responsibility for Regimes’s Abuses, Dayton Daily News 11/26/06

5.Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000), p. 18.

China: See Korea

1.Chronology of American State Terrorism, p.2

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 163.

3.Millions Killed by Imperialism Washington Post May 6, 2002)

4.Gabriella Gamini, CIA Set Up Death Squads in Colombia Times Newspapers Limited, Dec. 5, 1996,

5.Virtual Truth Commission, 1991

Human Rights Watch Report: Colombia’s Killer Networks–The Military-Paramilitary Partnership).

1.St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture – on Bay of Pigs Invasion

Democratic Republic of Congo (Formerly Zaire)

1.F. Jeffress Ramsey, Africa (Guilford Connecticut, 1997), p. 85

4.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p 158-159.

9.William D. Hartung and Bridget Moix, Deadly Legacy U.S. Arms to Africa and the Congo War, Arms Trade Resource Center, January ,

Dominican Republic

1.Norman Solomon, (untitled) Baltimore Sun April 26, 2005
Intervention Spin Cycle

3.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 175.

4.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.26-27.

2.Matthew Jardine, Unraveling Indonesia, Nonviolent Activist, 1997)

4.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 197.

5.US trained butchers of Timor, The Guardian, London. Cited by The Drudge Report, September 19, 1999.

El Salvador

1.Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003, (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 152-153.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 54-55.

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p. 66-67.

3.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.2-13.

4.Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003 (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 162.

5.Douglas Farah, Papers Show U.S. Role in Guatemalan Abuses, Washington Post Foreign Service, March 11, 1999, A 26

2.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p 87.

3.William Blum, Haiti 1986-1994: Who Will Rid Me of This Turbulent Priest,

1.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 55.

2.Reports by Country: Honduras, Virtual Truth Commission

3.James A. Lucas, Torture Gets The Silence Treatment, Countercurrents, July 26, 2004.

4.Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson, Unearthed: Fatal Secrets, Baltimore Sun, reprint of a series that appeared June 11-18, 1995 in Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, School of Assassins, p. 46 Orbis Books 2001.

5.Michael Dobbs, Negroponte’s Time in Honduras at Issue, Washington Post, March 21, 2005

1.Edited by Malcolm Byrne, The 1956 Hungarian Revoluiton: A history in Documents November 4, 2002

2.Editorial, Indonesia’s Killers, The Nation, March 30, 1998.

3.Matthew Jardine, Indonesia Unraveling, Non Violent Activist Sept–Oct, 1997 (Amnesty) 2/7/07.

4.Sison, Jose Maria, Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia, p. 5.

5.Annie Pohlman, Women and the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966: Gender Variables and Possible Direction for Research, p.4,

6.Peter Dale Scott, The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967, Pacific Affairs, 58, Summer 1985, pages 239-264.

7.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.30.

1.Geoff Simons, Iraq from Sumer to Saddam, 1996, St. Martins Press, NY p. 317.

3.BBC 1988: US Warship Shoots Down Iranian Airliner )

Iran-Iraq War

1.Michael Dobbs, U.S. Had Key role in Iraq Buildup, Washington Post December 30, 2002, p A01

U.S. Iraq War and Sanctions

1.Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time (New York, Thunder’s Mouth), 1994, p.31-32

4.Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, (South End Press Cambridge MA 2000). p. 175.

5.Food and Agricultural Organizaiton, The Children are Dying, 1995 World View Forum, Internationa Action Center, International Relief Association, p. 78

6.Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, South End Press Cambridge MA 2000. p. 61.

7.David Cortright, A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions December 3, 2001, The Nation.

U.S-Iraq War 2003-?

1.Jonathan Bor 654,000 Deaths Tied to Iraq War Baltimore Sun , October 11,2006

Israeli-Palestinian War

2.Chronology of American State Terrorism

1.James I. Matray Revisiting Korea: Exposing Myths of the Forgotten War, Korean War Teachers Conference: The Korean War, February 9, 2001http://www.truman/

2.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 46

3.Kanako Tokuno, Chinese Winter Offensive in Korean War – the Debacle of American Strategy, ICE Case Studies Number 186, May, 2006

4.John G. Stroessinger, Why Nations go to War, (New York St. Martin’s Press), p. 99)

5.Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, as reported in Answers.com

7.S. Brian Wilson, Who are the Real Terrorists? Virtual Truth Commisson

9.S. Brian Wilson, Documenting U.S. War Crimes in North Korea (Veterans for Peace Newsletter) Spring, 2002)

1.William Blum Rogue State (Maine, Common Cause Press) p. 136

3.Fred Branfman, War Crimes in Indochina and our Troubled National Soul

1.Conn Hallinan, Nepal & the Bush Administration: Into Thin Air, February 3, 2004

2.Human Rights Watch, Nepal’s Civil War: the Conflict Resumes, March 2006 )

3.Wayne Madsen, Possible CIA Hand in the Murder of the Nepal Royal Family, India Independent Media Center, September 25, 2001

4.William Blum, Nicaragua 1981-1990 Destabilization in Slow Motion

1.John G. Stoessinger, Why Nations Go to War, (New York: St. Martin’s Press), 1974 pp 157-172.

2.Asad Ismi, A U.S. – Financed Military Dictatorship, The CCPA Monitor, June 2002, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

3.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.123, 124.

4.Arjum Niaz ,When America Look the Other Way by,

5.Leo Kuper, Genocide (Yale University Press, 1981), p. 79.

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits, (Odonian Press 1998) p. 83.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.154.

4.Mark Zepezauer, CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.83.

Paraguay See South America: Operation Condor


1.Romeo T. Capulong, A Century of Crimes Against the Filipino People, Presentation, Public Interest Law Center, World Tribunal for Iraq Trial in New York City on August 25,2004.

2.Roland B. Simbulan The CIA in Manila – Covert Operations and the CIA’s Hidden Hisotry in the Philippines Equipo Nizkor Information – Derechos,

South America: Operation Condor

1.John Dinges, Pulling Back the Veil on Condor, The Nation, July 24, 2000.

2.Virtual Truth Commission, Telling the Truth for a Better

1.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang, (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p. 30, 32,34,36.

2.The Black Commentator, Africa Action The Tale of Two Genocides: The Failed US Response to Rwanda and Darfur, 11 August 2006

Uruguay See South America: Operation Condor

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine:Common Courage Press,1994), p 24

3.Brian Wilson, Virtual Truth Commission

4.Fred Branfman, U.S. War Crimes in Indochiona and our Duty to Truth August 26, 2004

5.David K Shipler, Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of

1.Sara Flounders, Bosnia Tragedy:The Unknown Role of the Pentagon in NATO in the Balkans (New York: International Action Center) p. 47-75

2.James A. Lucas, Media Disinformation on the War in Yugoslavia: The Dayton Peace Accords Revisited, Global Research, September 7, 2005

4.George Kenney, The Bosnia Calculation: How Many Have Died? Not nearly as many as some would have you think., NY Times Magazine, April 23, 1995

9 little-known facts about Canada’s involvement in WW2

By early 1944, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) reached its peak with 215 000 members and 78 squadrons thus making it the fourth largest allied air force after the US Army Air Force (USAAF), the Soviet Air Force and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

2) The world’s third largest navy by WW2’s end

By 1945, following the destruction of the Axis navies, The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) was the third largest naval force in the world after the US Navy and the Royal Navy. It was focused on convoy escort and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Following the Allied victory, the RCN boasted 95 000 members and 434 commissioned vessels including cruisers, destroyers, frigates and auxiliaries.

3) Battle of Hong Kong (1941): Canada’s first engagement in the Second World War

Canada’s first major engagement in the Second World War wasn’t against the Germans but the Japanese. By December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a series of attacks across the Asia-Pacific region against the Americans, Dutch and British imperial forces. One of those operations aimed to capture Hong Kong from the British Empire. In the ensuing battle, 1975 Canadian soldiers alongside other British imperial troops fought bravely against a superior Japanese force until they were overrun and taken prisoner.

4) The Devil’s Brigade: the common ancestor of contemporary American and Canadian special forces

Founded in 1942, this joint commando unit composed of 1800 Americans and Canadians undertook daring missions during WW2 from Italy to France. For every man they lost, they killed 25 Axis troops. For everyone one of them captured, they took 235 prisoners of war. Although disbanded by war’s end, this unit became the template for subsequent American commando outfits like the Green Berets and the Seals as well as Canadian special forces including Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) and the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR).

5) The 1942 Dieppe Raid: in defeat lies the next victory

To successfully conduct a large scale amphibious operation aimed at liberating Continental Europe, the Allies needed to experiment with a small raid to gain the knowledge necessary to mount a future invasion. On August 19, 1942, 6100 Allied troops including 4963 Canadians, landed in Dieppe on the French Northern Coast. By day’s end, the landing force had to withdraw after suffering heavy casualties. Only 2210 Canadians returned to the UK while 916 of them were killed in action and 1946 were captured. The Canadians’ sacrifice was not in vain. The Allies identified their errors and corrected them thereby leading to the success of D-Day in 1944.

6) George “Buzz” Beurling: The Falcon of Malta

George Beurling was a Canadian fighter pilot serving in the RAF who shot down 28 Axis planes in the space of 4 months while stationed in Malta making him Canada’s greatest WW2 ace. In military aviation circles, he is famous for pioneering deflection shooting during aerial dogfights. This technic consists in firing ahead of a moving target so that the bullets and the targets eventually collide.

7) Battle of Ortona 1943: the advent of urban warfare tactics

In the context of the Italian Campaign, the Canadian contingent fought a brutal urban battle against German paratroopers in the town of Ortona on Christmas 1943. During the battle, the Canadians pioneered mouse–holing tactic. It is an urban warfare method consisting in blowing holes in buildings with artillery so that troops may move around while remaining under cover instead of fighting in the streets where they would be exposed to enemy fire.

8) The Scheldt Battle: Canada’s toughest WW2 battle

As the Allies were advancing through Continental Europe following the successful D-Day landings in 1944, the Canadians were tasked with liberating Northern Belgium and the Southern Netherlands. Because of the predominantly muddy and flooded terrain, the Canadians suffered heavy casualties in attacking well-fortified German positions, but ultimately prevailed. Some historians argue that the Canadians waged battle on the most challenging geographic environment on the Western Front.

9) Wismar: how Canadian paratroopers made sure the future Iron Curtain wouldn’t be too far West

In 1945, knowing that the USSR and the West would be fighting for influence over Europe following Nazi Germany’s defeat, the Western Allies were concerned with the Red Army’s speedy advance through Europe. To stop the Soviet steamroller in Northern Germany, members of the First Canadian Parachute Battalion were tasked with taking control of the town of Wismar located near Hamburg. Although the Canadian paratroopers had to transfer control of Wismar to the Soviets following tense negotiations between the Western Allies and the USSR, this Canadian action prevented the Soviets from moving further West into Europe.

Photo: Canadian soldiers wearing tin helmets and carrying Tommy guns in England (1942) via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada.

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