PQ Convoys

At the start of the second chapter of Dr No, M is arriving at the office on a cold, raw March 1st (1956) in London. He exits his car, and speaks to his chauffeur:

‘Won’t be needing the car again today, Smith. Take it away and go home. I’ll use the tube this evening. No weather for driving a car. Worse than one of those PQ Convoys.’

This is about as close as M gets to using humor. He is referring to the Arctic convoys of World War II – an operation where Allied ships brought supplies to the Soviet Union.

These convoys often met with severe weather on their trips, as well as German opposition.

"HMS Sheffield frost" by Coote, R G G (Lt), Royal Navy official photographer - This is photograph A 6872 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 4700-01).
“HMS Sheffield frost” by Coote, R G G (Lt), Royal Navy official photographer – This is photograph A 6872 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 4700-01).

The above photograph is from one of those convoy missions and likely shows what M had in mind when making the reference.

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