OTTAWA, May 5, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney,
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, Royal
Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orleans, marked the 70th anniversary of the turning point of Battle of the Atlantic today at a
commemorative wreath-laying ceremony held at the National War Memorial.
"Today we recognize the brave Canadians who played a key role in the
struggle to overcome the enemy threat and keep the flow of merchant
ships moving across the Atlantic during the Second World War," said
Minister Blaney. "Their selfless dedication allowed essential
provisions to cross the Atlantic Ocean and reach those fighting to
restore peace and freedom in Europe. We proudly mark the 70th anniversary of the turning point that helped lead the Allies to
The Battle of the Atlantic was Canada's single longest continuous
military engagement of the Second World War, lasting from September
1939 to May 1945. The Merchant Navy provided a crucial lifeline across
the Atlantic between North America and Britain which was threatened
from the very beginning of the war. For almost six years, members of
the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian
Merchant Navy courageously braved the dangerous and freezing waters of
the North Atlantic to ensure vital supplies reached Europe.
Improvements to Allied ships, aircraft, radar, weapons, intelligence
gathering and anti-submarine tactics finally saw the Battle of the
Atlantic reach a turning point in May 1943.
"More than 4,600 courageous Canadian men and women died at sea during
one of the Second World War's most difficult and lengthy battles," said
MP Galipeau. "We are immensely grateful for their service and
sacrifices, and for all those incredible men and women who served
during the Battle of the Atlantic."
Seventy years later, Veterans Affairs Canada and Canadians recognize
this significant milestone through support of ceremonies and events
held across Canada and overseas. For more information on the Battle of
the Atlantic and commemorative events in your area, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran―Canada proudly remembers the
heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom,
democracy and the rule of law.
Note to editors: Although the Battle of the Atlantic was fought from
1939 until 1945, May 1943 has been recognized as the date of the
turning point in the battle when the Allied forces finally gained the
upper hand and managed to "turn the tide" against the German U-boat
threat. However, the battle went on until May 1945 and wasn't over
until the last day of the war in Europe (V-E Day). This being said, VAC
recognizes the turning point, hence the 70th anniversary of the battle, in 2013.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs