Saturday

Canadians at Vimy Ridge

Listen to "Canadians at Vimy Ridge"

The Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 1917) was a turning point in WWI. It was the first great allied victory. It also continues to be the greatest event in modern Canada's military history.

The 100,000 Canadians of the Canadian Corps were commanded by Arthur Currie. Currie began numerous preparations including:
  • Giving maps to all Canadian troops, not just the officers
  • Training all Canadian troops on a replica of Vimy Ridge
  • Building an elaborate tunnel system underneath no man's land in order to carry men to the enemy front lines more quickly
  • Use air support (including the famous Billy Bishop, a Canadian flying ace) to protect against German recon
The actual battle began with a creeping barrage attack, in which over 1 million shells were fired by Canadian artillerymen. The creeping barrage was followed by 20,000 charging Canadian troops, who successfully all four trenches on Vimy Ridge. By midday on April 9th, Hill 145 and the Pimple (a high point) were taken.

Four Victoria Crosses were awarded in the battle. 3000 Canadians were KIA, and another 7000 were wounded. 20,000 Germans were wounded and 4000 were captured.

For more information, read:
http://www.northpeel.com/news/article/20719
http://www.legionmagazine.com/features/special/07-03a.asp?id=print#5
http://wwii.ca/page9.html
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/vimy/
http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=14742
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6373IRqSeU

Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine