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The victory of Vimy Ridge is among the most celebrated victories in Canadian history.
In the year 1917, Canadian troops were successful in capturing a dominant geographic location on the Western Front. This plan was devised by two Canadians with the guidance of General Julian Byng.
This great war is often considered a symbol of the birth of national pride in Canada. In total, four divisions of the corps came together to fight for the first time and attacked on April 9 to capture the Western Front back from the German Army. It is known as the largest land advance of an Allied force. Though this war was a huge victory, it came at a heavy cost. It led to the death of more than 10,000 soldiers as well as many wounded soldiers. For this, a Canadian national Vimy memorial was created by a Canadian sculptor to honor the Canadians who lost their lives in the war. Canada fought this war with a variety of weapons like machine guns, mud, artillery shells, and many more. The Canadian Army made extensive use of deep dugouts on the battlefield.
The Canadian Corps had a mission to seize Vimy Ridge, which is situated in northern France. This ridge was around 4.34 mi (7 km) in length and was heavily fortified. Many people said that it was like going to war on an open graveyard, as in the previous war, the French failed with heavy causalities of 100,000. Canadian troops planned and practiced a lot to get control over this ridge. To have an upper hand in the war, Canadians equipped themselves with special machine guns, rifles, and grenades. The artillery regiment went under extensive training with good cartography to understand the terrain of the location. Engineers formulated plans to dig tunnels very deeply to safely bring men to the forward post. They also made good use of aerial photographs for better guidance. They had a lot of preparation and training, but the main aspect of their victory was their devastating artillery. This isolated the enemy trenches and forced the German soldiers to stay in the dugouts they made by making a movable wall of heavy explosives. In the week approaching the battle, the British and Canadian artillery crushed a few of the enemy positions and killed many defenders.
The new artillery tactics which the Canadians employed allowed them to easily target and destroy the enemy positions. They had a limitless artillery supply and 106 fuses, which gave them the opportunity to make use of those shells which exploded on contact; this facilitated the damage of barbed wire and hardened defenses. The Canadian Army had over 1000 artillery pieces. Over 15,000 Canadian infantrymen invaded the Germans from the front. With the help of discipline and bravery, the Canadian infantry marched forward, with the use of heavy fire taking down the enemies, but during this time, they lost a lot of their soldiers. The sacrifices were countless; many Canadian soldiers operated a machine gun single-handedly and forced enemy soldiers to come out of the dugouts they were hiding in.
Though the Canadians were victorious, things weren't as sweet for the fourth Division. This division had the responsibility of capturing Hill 145, which was the toughest objective of this war. This point was heavily guarded, had well-fortified trenches, and a straight, clear view of what the Canadians were doing. The battle of Vimy Ridge could not be won by the Canadians if they wouldn't conquer this point. The pre-assault bombardment, which the Canadians strategized would do a lot of damage to the Germans, couldn't do so on Hill 145. To worsen the situation, they even lost contact with the artillery barrage, which was supposed to support them in bringing them closer to German lines. Hill 145 is the place where the Vimy memorial stands in honor of Canadian soldiers.
The Vimy Ridge is a 5.6 mi (9 km) long area that rises out of the open farmland north of Arras. The Douai plain to the north and east of the ridge, as well as the vital coal mining town of Lens, were both taken by Germany in 1917. The British lines and unoccupied France were to the west and south. Despite many attempts to dislodge them, German forces were entrenched on the ridge's heights since almost the start of the war in 1914. In earlier attempts to retake the mountain, more than 100,000 French men had been killed or injured. The German Army's first Bavarian Reserve Division, 79th Reserve Division, and 16th Infantry Bavarian Division faced the Canadians. The Germans reinforced the ridge with a variety of defensive works, including four lines of trenches surrounded by concrete machine-gun bunkers, barbed wire, and underground chambers for the troops of the front line to take shelter in during artillery bombardments.
If you like this article, then you can read the Battle of Gallipoli and Battle of France articles on our website.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge was won by the Canadian Army. This Canadian success is a part of the many battles of the First World War. The Canadians put up a very tough fight against the German forces, and at the end of the war, were left with many German prisoners.
All of the Canadian troops advanced behind a creeping barrage, which is a tactic that was first used in this battle. They used artillery fire to keep the German soldiers busy while their troops advanced towards them. The troops used shell craters and mud to go forward. There are many literary works that highlight the horror at the battle of Vimy Ridge. One of the most horrifying experiences was of the second Division's Sixth Brigade as their soldiers were sprawled across different places, asking for help and struggling to stop themselves from falling into craters that were filled with water.
The famous Battle of Vimy Ridge started on April 9, 1917, and continued until April 12, 1917. There have been many decades since the famous Battle of Vimy Ridge, but the legacy which it holds is still prominent. In the year 1914, Canada was considered to be a part of the British empire. The area around Vimy Ridge used to be a crucial land feature at the time of the First World War. The capture of Vimy Ridge was essential to the Canadian Army as it would aid the British advances to keep a check on the enemy positions, enemy trenches, or German trenches in that area during the First World War.
The great war of Vimy Ridge was fought between the United Kingdom (Canada) and German forces.
For this war, four Victoria Crosses were awarded to the war heroes. The four soldiers who got the crosses were Lance-Sergeant Ellis Sifton from the 18th Battalion, Private William Milne from the 16th Battalion, Captain Thain MacDowell from the 38th Battalion, and Private John Pattison from the 50th Battalion.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a part of the Battle of Arras. This battle happened on April 9 on Easter Monday in the year 1917. This was the first time when the four divisions of the Canadian Corps formed one unit and attacked. This victory owed credit to a wide range of tactical and technical innovations, powerful artillery, strategic planning, and ample preparation. On their immediate southern flank, the British XVII Corps and the Canadian Corps had captured more guns, ground, and prisoners than any former British Expeditionary Force operation.
The strategic importance of Vimy Ridge could not be overstated. Its seizure by Canadians was critical to the British Third Army's southward advances in 1918, and it was especially important in halting the German offensive in that area. The Canadians proved themselves to be among the best units of the Western Front and offensive warfare masters. The victory of Canada at Vimy ridge established the fact that no area could remain unoccupied in the presence of meticulous planning and conducive assault. The success of Canada had a great effect on the planning of the Allies. The victory of Vimy Ridge came at a high cost. Out of 11,000 Canadian soldiers and civilians, 3500 were killed.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our Battle of Vimy Ridge facts, then why not take a look at our facts about the Battle of Jutland or the Battle of Chancellorsville?
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