Battle of the Atlantic

75th anniversary of the end of World War II

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. This war was a genuine world war, involving as it did participants from around the world. For Canada and Europe, the war started in the fall of 1939. In Africa, Asia the start dates were earlier, and the United States did not join the war until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. In 1945 as the Soviet Red Army approached Germany from the east and Canada and the other Allied armies approached from the other directions, the Nazi forces faced certain defeat. Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, and the war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945. The war in Asia had not yet ended but the war was over in Europe. Over a million Canadians (including Newfoundlanders) served in the war effort, and almost 45,000 of them died. In total, the war took the lives of up to 50 million people.

The Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945), the longest continuous military campaign in World War II against Nazi Germany, was a hugely significant event in Canadian naval history.


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