by Brent Eades
Veterans, cadets and local dignitaries gathered beside the Old Town Hall on Sunday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, the sea war between Germany and the Allies during World War II. The battle’s goal was to keep convoys of munitions, food and other critical supplies flowing from North and South America to Britain and the Soviet Union, and was essential to the Allies’ final victory.
Today’s event included hymns and prayers, and the ceremonial tossing of wreathes into the river’s waters to commemorate the Canadian ships and men lost during the battle. Over 3,000 Canadian aviators, sailors and merchant seamen died in the struggle. By the end of the war Canada had 373 fighting ships, giving it the world’s third-largest navy after the US and Britain.
Although the Battle of the Atlantic lasted the full six years of the war, 2013 is considered the 70th anniversary because it was in 1943 that the tide finally turned against the Germans.
A social gathering was held at the Bridge Street Legion following today’s event.