THe operation took place in the years 1941 and 1945 when the nights were darker, thus avoiding the near-24-hour daylight of Summer. When ready, the large fleet of merchant ships, with their naval escort, would proceed up north to the Arctic Ocean north of Norway, and eventually reach Siberian Russia. It is difficult to imagine the hardship of working in such a hostile environment. See 'Picture Gallery' (on the nav bar) for an illustration.
That universal encyclopedia, Wikipedia, tells us that the operation of the Arctic Convoys cost the Allies 85 merchant ships and 16 warships in which over 3,000 died. A major event, PQ17 Disaster' contributed a lot to these figures - see 'Poolewe More Info' for details.
The other side lost 4 warships and 30 submarines. One wonders what part Alness played in that!
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