October 30 This Day During World War ll

October 30, 1942 – Russian freighter Dekabrist, US freighter John Walker, and British freighter Empire Gilbert departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland in Operation FB. Operation FB was part of the Arctic Convoys of World War II. This operation consisted of independent sailings by unescorted transport ships between Iceland and Murmansk in the Autumn of 1942. Following the severe losses of convoys PQ 17 and PQ 18 together with demands for allied shipping and escort vessels due to Operation Torch and other activity, the western allies suspended convoys between Iceland and Murmansk in the autumn of 1942. At that time the Soviets were fighting the Germans in the battle of Stalingrad and the suspension of the convoys caused a great deal of ill feeling among the Soviet Leadership.It was decided to sail single ships independently until convoys could resume. After PQ 17 in July 1942 two Russian vessels, the Frederich Engels and the Belamorkanal, sailed in late August; both reached Russia safely. Stalin demanded further supplies and the return of Russian vessels in western ports. After PQ 18 in September it was therefore decided to let a number of ships sail independently, against normal allied naval practice. This was Operation FB.

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