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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Invincible marks Battle of Atlantic
HMS Invincible and Liverpool's waterfront
The warship will be berthed near the city's famous waterfront

Aircraft carrier HMS Invincible sailed into Liverpool on Wednesday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

The Royal Navy's protection of merchant ships from attack by German warships and submarines during the Second World War is being commemorated in the city.

The convoys were vital to maintaining the UK's war effort against Hitler by bringing in supplies from across the Atlantic.

The battle was effectively won on 24 May 1943 when the Nazis withdrew most of their U-boats from the Atlantic following heavy losses.

A six-day programme of events is being held in Liverpool, where the Western Approaches Command was based.

An onlooker watches HMS Invincible approach Liverpool
The 20,000 ton vessel was an impressive site on the River Mersey

About 30,000 merchant seamen, 8,000 Allied servicemen and 6,000 Coastal Command personnel were killed during the battle.

About 29,000 German submariners also died in the fighting.

The 20,000 ton HMS Invincible will be berthed close to the city's Albert Dock and is joined by shops from France, Germany, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and Poland.

Commodore John Madgwick, Naval Regional Officer for North England, said: "Invincible is one of the most impressive ships in the Royal Navy fleet and will be a fitting centrepiece for the commemorations."

Thousands of veterans are also in the city for the commemorations.

Events include a thanksgiving service at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, a march past of veterans, a concert by the Royal Marines band and the unveiling of a plaque at the cenotaph.

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