This was the British naval delivery of personnel and stores to the British and Canadian garrison on Spitsbergen island off the north coast of German-occupied Norway within the 'Gearbox' series of operations (13/28 October 1942).
The light anti-aircraft cruiser Argonaut and destroyers Intrepid and Obdurate departed Scapa Flow in the Orkney islands group on 13 October to proceed via Spitsbergen to deliver hospital equipment and medical personnel to Murmansk, and then to bring back survivors of the PQ.18 convoy.
The submarines Tuna and Free Dutch O-15 were stationed off the North Cape of German-occupied Norway as cover for the surface ships. Following a Soviet report about the movements of German ships, both submarines were at first sent south to Utvaer and Stadlandet and then, on 27 October, ordered to take up positions to the south of Bjørnøya in a fruitless effort to intercept and attack the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper as it was being transferred from Narvik to the Altafjord.
Argonaut also collected RAF and RAAF personnel leaving the USSR after the success of the PQ.18 convoy operation, and returned to Scapa Flow on 28 October.