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The Battle of Vimy Ridge. Location of Vimy Ridge. The Battle of Vimy Ridge. German fortified position Key to German defenses in the north Featured concrete machine gun bunkers, trenches, underground tunnels, underground dugouts capable of holding entire German battalions.

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the battle of vimy ridge1
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • German fortified position
  • Key to German defenses in the north
  • Featured concrete machine gun bunkers, trenches, underground tunnels, underground dugouts capable of holding entire German battalions
the battle of vimy ridge2
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • The four Canadian divisions given the task of taking Vimy Ridge
  • Lead by Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng
  • First time all Canadian divisions had fought as a unit
the battle of vimy ridge3
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • British learned from failure at the Battle of the Somme
  • Planning was key to success
  • Every detail was thoroughly planned and rehearsed
  • Air reconnaissance identified German trench systems, machine gun nests etc.
the battle of vimy ridge4
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • Initial artillery barrage lasted a week, over a million shells used
  • Successfully destroyed German defenses
  • Germans called this the “week of suffering”
  • Every soldier knew what the objectives were and had maps
the battle of vimy ridge5
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • A creeping barrage was used during the attack (artillery aimed just in front of advancing infantry)
  • New and improved shells effectively cut barbed wire
  • Underground tunnels and dugouts allowed troops to advance to the front safely
  • Communication lines were improved
the battle of vimy ridge6
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • On April 9, 1917 at 5:30am the creeping barrage started and 20 000 Canadian soldiers advanced
  • The only Canadian division not to achieve their objective on time was the 4th division
  • With reinforcements they too reached their objective
brigadier general a e ross declared after the battle
Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the battle
  • “…in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation."
the battle of vimy ridge7
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • Only significant victory in the spring offensive of 1917
  • One of the most decisive victories of WW1
  • Greatest Allied victory till this point
  • Capture more ground, more guns, and more prisoners than any previous offensive in 2.5 years of war
the battle of vimy ridge8
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • 3 598 Canadian soldiers lost their lives out of 10 602 casualties
  • Canada had achieved the reputation of being one of the best fighting forces in the war
  • Canada went into the battle still seen as a British colony, but emerged a nation
the battle of vimy ridge9
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • Brigadier-General Alexander Ross at the new Vimy Memorial in 1936 said,

"It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then . . . that in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation."

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