OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2012) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement today regarding the 69th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
"On this day, we remember one of the longest military engagements of the Second World War. The Battle of the Atlantic lasted from September 1939 to May 1945. Brave Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Merchant Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) members helped the Allies achieve victory in this vital struggle. More than 4,600 of them lost their lives at sea.
The Battle of the Atlantic saw the war come to Canada when German submarines torpedoed ships within sight of Canada's East Coast. The RCN, Merchant Navy and RCAF played key roles in the effort to keep the flow of greatly needed Allied personnel and supplies moving across the dangerous Atlantic Ocean to the ports of Europe. From there, they could be used in the fighting in Europe.
Allied victory in the Second World War would not have been possible without victory at sea. It would require overcoming great odds, but the courage of the RCN, Merchant Navy and RCAF members helped keep the Allied convoys running and the supply lines to Europe open.
On this important anniversary, our Government is proud to honour those Canadians who served in the Battle of Atlantic. These brave men and women have accomplished extraordinary things in order to protect our values of peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Lest we forget."
For more information on Canada's contribution in the Battle of the Atlantic, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.veterans.gc.ca.