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HMS Ocean and the German Navy Ships – May 10th 2015
On the final day of 70th anniversary commemorations of the end of WW2 in Europe, a walk around the Isle of Dogs offers considerable reminders into the human costs of the conflict and how far we have moved since the war to bring former enemies together.
The Isle of Dogs and Docklands in general were prime targets in the war and suffered a considerable loss of life and injuries. The area also suffered from damage to housing and decimated the Island population with many people never returning to their homes.
Walking down to the south tip of the Island, the huge Royal Navy ship HMS Ocean was open for visitors in Greenwich and in the bright sunshine, large crowds were on deck.
Meanwhile in West India Dock, the visiting ships of the German Navy were attracting a number of people admiring the flotilla.
Looking at the ships, I wondered what people who had survived the war thought about the German Navy being in the dock, in 1945 the thought of a German navy coming up the Thames and into the dock would have been unimaginable.
But if time does not always heal wounds, the coming together of Europe has enabled various countries who were once enemies to work together for the common good.
Therefore it is important to celebrate the end of the WW2 and acknowledging the sacrifices of millions of people who enabled the following generations to enjoy the 70 years of peace since.
Many thanks to Eric Pemberton who sent the following pictures of HMS Ocean and German Ships being turned around near the O2 last week and departing.