Seventy-five years ago, the formal announcement of the end of the Second World War in Europe on 8 May 1945 was one of the major milestones of the twentieth century and it is entirely appropriate that it should be widely marked. The Allies’ victory over Hitler’s fanatical fascism that had wreaked such havoc in Europe and beyond had never been inevitable. In summer 1940 when Britain and the Empire stood effectively alone, with the all-conquering German forces just across the narrow Channel, our Nation’s future was grim.

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