OTTAWA, May 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, today issued the following statement regarding the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
"The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest running battle of the Second World War. It represents an outstanding contribution by Canadians to the war effort.
"The heroic Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Merchant Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) members helped the Allies attain a crucial victory.
"German U-boats tried to cut Allied supply routes across the Atlantic. This threatened the transportation of vital goods and personnel from North America to Britain. The RCN, Merchant Navy and the RCAF played a key role in the efforts to maintain this crucial lifeline in the face of the constant enemy threat.
"More than 4,600 Canadians gave their lives at sea during the Battle of the Atlantic. The men and women who served during this historic battle will forever be remembered for their valiant service and remarkable bravery.
"Today we honour those Canadians who served in the Battle of Atlantic. We remember these brave men and women who fought 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 and commemorative events and activities in your area, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at 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. For more information on Canada's role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca, visit our Facebook "Canada Remembers" page to leave a message of remembrance or follow us on Twitter @VeteransENG_CA.
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