Skip to navigation

Media releases

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

MEDIA RELEASE

29 April 2018

National commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic

VETERANS and their direct relatives will meet in Canberra to recognise the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, which was critical to the Allied victory in the Second World War.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester paid tribute to the Australians who served during the Battle of the Atlantic and said that had the Allies lost here the war might have taken a very different course.

“The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest military campaign of the Second World War, beginning in September 1939 and concluding almost six years later with the surrender of Germany on 8 May 1945,” Mr Chester said.

“Supply routes across the Atlantic Ocean were vital to the Allies, as Britain relied on shipping for almost everything it needed to survive, including war materiel, food, fuel and reinforcements. Germany sought to isolate Britain by severing the Atlantic shipping lanes, waging a campaign that cost the lives of tens of thousands of sailors on both sides.”

“The Battle of the Atlantic was fought over thousands of miles across the war’s most dangerous shipping lanes. It involved submarines, ships and aircraft, code-breakers, intelligence operatives and thousands of civilian seamen and merchant mariners. More than 3,000 British and Allied ships were sunk and some 30,000 Allied and merchant seamen were lost.”

The 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic will be marked with a national commemoration to be held at the Australian War Memorial.

“The award of some 5,000 Atlantic Stars to Australian service personnel and merchant mariners gives us a sense of how many men from our shores risked their lives in this campaign. Australians reflect with gratitude on the contribution of our service men and merchant seamen to the Battle of the Atlantic and this will be demonstrated at a national commemoration to be held in their honour,” Mr Chester said.

“The efforts of thousands of Australians helped pave the way to an eventual Allied victory in the Second World War and we will never forget their sacrifice and service.”

The national commemoration will commence at 1pm on 1 May 2018.

**Biographical information for veterans is available**

Media contacts:

  • Whil Prendergast: 0427 672 815
  • DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon. Darren Chester MP, Canberra.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.