Vimy Ridge Essay

622 words - 2 pages

One of the greatest battles in Canadian history was the battle of Vimy Ridge. The significance of the battle was not in the actual battle itself, but rather the effects that Canada would feel nationally afterwards. The objective was a ridge that ran from the northwest to the southwest between Lens and Arras, France. The main height of land was four miles long, with it's highest point only 475 feet above sea level.(McKee, 132). The Germans had held it since 1914, and three French attacks in 1914 and 1915 had failed to dislodge them. Already more than 200,000 men had fallen on the long, gentle slopes leading to the crest. Behind it Germans had been able to move with comparative safety; and from its crest they had watched each Allied move. For the Canadians the battle would prove to be politically, nationally, and emotionally significant during World War 1.April 9, 1917, on Easter Monday at 5:30 a.m. 30,000 soldiers who formed the Canadian Corps were expected to in one day do what the British and French had failed to do in two years. (Berton 16). After strategic planning and preparation the Canadian Corps were ready to attack. The British native, Supreme Commander, Julian Byng, guided the plan. He had all 4 Canadian divisions attacking in line, arrayed innumerical order from south to north. Their objective was to try and reach code named Black, Blue, Red and Brown lines.(Goodspeed, 85). The 1st division was at the German first line before the Germans had even climbed out of their dugouts. At the second trench there was some resistance but they pushed on, reaching the Black line at 6:15, only forty-five minutes after the zero hour. (6). The Germans had backed off a little. The 2nd division was equally successful, and captured the German trench known as Graben, and had also...

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