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Victory in Europe Day

8 May 2018
Sailors celebrate victory over Nazi tyranny in a fountain in Trafalgar Square with two young women on May 8 1945 – Victory in Europe Day.

A happy VE day to everyone 73 years to the day that Britain and her allies finally triumphed over Fascism after nearly six terrible years of war.

After the Royal Navy’s longest and most prolonged battle in the 20th Century – the struggle to keep the sea lanes open – Germany was finally defeated, the once dreaded U-boats ordered to make for Allied ports.

The Royal – and other Allied – Navies paid a tremendous cost for keeping those lifelines open: 175 warships lost, 36,000 sailors killed (there is no specific figure for the RN in the Atlantic theatre) and a similar number of merchant sailors lost (five out of six of them under the Red Ensign) as well as over 14 million tonnes of shipping.

We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued.

Winston Churchill

Despite the defeat of the Hitler, World War 2 was not over. Japan, where the British Pacific Fleet was heavily committed, remained to be beaten – as Winston Churchill reminded the public in his victory speech:

“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued.”

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