I mentioned in two previous posts the fact that Dad’s family experienced cold temperatures unlike any that they ever exposed to before in New Jersey. During their evacuation from Novgorod to Kuibyshev, the temperature hit lows of forty degrees below zero. That frigid weather, coupled by the fact that most of their belongings and warm clothing had been given to Dad’s brother Pete who left via the Volkhov River, must have made the journey unbearable . The plan had been for Pete to be reunited with the rest of the family within a few days of their August departure. Never had they imagined that they would not see him within a few days.
Apparently, the winter of 1941-1942 was the coldest European winter of the twentieth century, with temperatures plummeting to as low as -40 Fahrenheit/Celsius. (Note: Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same at -40.) The brutally cold temperatures had a great impact on the wartime battles, particularly placing the Germans at a disadvantage since they were not accustomed to such extreme weather.
Living in New Jersey, I never experienced any winters close to what my aunts and grandparents were forced to endure. With this country currently experiencing some of the coldest weather in years, and in some areas, hitting lows close to what Dad’s family experienced back during World War II, I am wondering what temperatures close to -40F/C feels like. Keep in mind that this was actual temperature, not the wind chill effect.
I would be very interested in hearing comments from anyone reading this posting who may have experienced weather conditions similar to the winter of 1941-1942.