Dan Snow to lead Battle of the Atlantic events

5 April 2013 by Sam

Dan Snow

Image courtesy of Dan Snow

Our waterfront venues have a packed programme of events for this year’s River Festival, which includes activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

A highlight of the programme will be a talk by TV presenter and historian at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Dan explained to us why the events are so important to him:

“It is extremely exciting to be coming to Liverpool to mark the official anniversary of a desperate and hugely important battle that raged from the first day of the war to the last. The Battle of the Atlantic was nothing less than a long running attritional struggle for national survival. Britain’s enemies, as so often before in our history, attempted to shut off supplies to our island nation on which we depended. Had they succeeded the war would have been over, a starving population, and a weaponless army would have given the government no option but to sue for peace, on the enemy’s terms.

Battles were fought on fields far and near, armies were lost, territories evacuated, but Britain’s ability to fight on was really at stake on the cruel stretch of the North Atlantic. It is a titanic struggle that is often overlooked by the people of Britain, a battle won by the supreme ability of the Royal Navy and merchant marine, institutions hardened by centuries of conflict and professionalism.

My grandfather served in the Royal Canadian Navy escorting convoys throughout the war. His stories mesmerised me as a young boy and fired my love of history. In Liverpool I will be marking the battle with the public and the surviving veterans, and my grandfather will constantly be on my mind.”

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