Battle of the Atlantic

Today, the first Sunday in May, is Battle of the Atlantic Sunday and we remember the longest and, arguably, most decisive battle of World War II.

There were plenty of “decisive battles” but few which could, in and of themselves, have cost us the war. Had we lost the Battle of the Atlantic it is very, very difficult to imagine how Britain would have survived or how America might have prosecuted a war against Germany.

It was a long, slow, exhausting battle prosecuted, by and large, by three men:

Großadmiral Karl Dönitz, Commander of the German U boats and later the last Nazi head of state, Admiral Sir Max Horton, the British Commander-in-Chief of the Western Approaches, and Rear Admiral Leonard Murray, the Canadian Commander-in-Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic.

Their tools were small, often flimsy ships and “iron men.”

Canada played a major and vital role in the Battle of the Atlantic. A Canadian, Rear Admiral Leonard Murray, was the only Canadian to ever hold a theatre level “supreme” command in a major war. It is, also, too little studied or remembered … except on the first Sunday in May.

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