Many more non British ships were lost going to and from North Russia during WW I. i think the total may be higher than the 104 lost in WW II. Also the port of Archangle was built for the export of timber hence all the ships leaving there sunk with cargos of wood. the ships sunk carrying wheat from Russia were mostlikely because the Russian still had a surplus of it and to help pay for war supplies. the Russians did not get leand lease like the USSR did during WW II. In 1916 is when there started to be food shortages in Russia. The rations of the army were cut. Lend Lease provided the USSR with massive amounts of food. Coal was sent to Russia for use by HM Ships in North Russia,the Russian artic flotilla, and for use by the russian baltic fleet. Cardiff coal burned better than Russian coal. Pre-war most of the coal used in St petersburg came from England. When WW I began the Russians had to mine and transport it by rail from distant mines in Russia. When the overworked and mismanaged Russian rail system broke down during the unususally cold winter of 1916/17. it caused the rioting that started the Febuarary/march revolution of 1917. archangle was at the start of WW I conected by a single narrow guage rail line and the river Dvina with the rest of Russia. The rail line was improved but moving supplies from the port to the rest of the country could be a problem. The Russians built a railroad to Murmansk in the 1915-16 period using 70,000 Central powers POWs of which 25,000 of them died building it. when built it was soon found out that the ships could unload supplies a whole lot faster than the Russians could transport them away by rail.