Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

May 01, 2011 09:00 ET

Canada Remembers the Battle of the Atlantic

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2011) - The Government of Canada issued the following statement today in recognition of the 68th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic:

"The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest running battle of the Second World War and is proudly remembered as a Canadian triumph in helping maintain the Allies' crucial supply routes through the North Atlantic.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, the Germans quickly asserted their strength on the high seas. German submarines—often called U-boats—and surface raiders tried to block the transportation of vital goods and troops from North America to Britain.

The turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic came in May 1943, when the Allies combined their enhanced equipment on the seas and in the air with improved training and special intelligence to gain the upper hand. The Government of Canada commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic each May, in recognition of Canada's significant contribution in turning the tide.

Canada, through the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), played a key role in clearing the North Atlantic of U-boats while Canada's Merchant Navy sailed the dangerous waters to supply the Allied war effort.

The hard-won victory in the Battle of the Atlantic came with a heavy price for Canada. More than 4,600 courageous service men and women died at sea during the six years of relentless enemy attacks and some of the most severe conditions imaginable.

Today we honour those who served in the Battle of the Atlantic. We remember, with everlasting gratitude, the valiant service and remarkable bravery of those who made the supreme sacrifice—those whose final resting places cannot be marked by graves—and of those who survived.
Lest we forget."

For more information on Canada's contribution in the Battle of the Atlantic, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at veterans.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468