A series of events are taking place in Liverpool to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
The Princess Royal on Friday unveiled a new national memorial to those who fought – and won – Britain's longest battle at sea – the Battle of the Atlantic.
Princess Anne told those present at the dedication of the memorial and garden of reflection that it was crucial the story of the Battle of the Atlantic was "properly told".
The Royal Navy provided a Royal Guard for proceedings, following a service of thanksgiving and remembrance attended by national, international and local dignitaries and leaders, including Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key.
A flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and vintage naval aircraft from the Naval Wings collection treated the crowds as the ceremony ended.
The dedication of the memorial is the first act in a weekend of commemorations on the Mersey.
May 1943 was considered the turning point in the battle and, as such, the anniversary is marked at this time of year.
The emphasis on Friday's events in Liverpool has been on thanksgiving and reconciliation – gratitude for those who risked their lives to keep the sea lanes open between 1939 and 1945 and that former enemies are now firm Nato allies.
Captain Wolfgang Heuer, the German Naval Attaché in London, was among the guests at the service/unveiling.
"In Germany, as you can imagine, this is a period in our history which we are not proud of," he explained.
"But it is an honour to be here not just as an act of commemoration, but also reconciliation."
A small German contingent is taking part in events across the weekend, as are representatives of the Royal Canadian Navy – key allies in the Atlantic in the Second World War and today.
'Our enemy is the sea'
"These events are an act of remembrance for all sailors who all did something incredibly hard," said Captain Chris Peschke, Naval Adviser at the Canadian High Commission in London.
"Our enemy is the sea – it will kill you faster than any foe. There are ties between all sailors, regardless of their nationality: all face hardships and danger at sea.
"The important thing is that now we are all allies and good friends."