Battle of Vimy Ridge: April 1917

APRIL 1917
“The Birth of a Nation”
Previous Attacks on Vimy
• Both the French and British armies had tried
to attack and take over Vimy Ridge
• All previous attacks were unsuccessful
• It was Canada’s turn to try and take over
General Arthur Currie
• General Arthur Currie insists that Canada fight
this battle on their own –with Canadians and
led by Canadians.
• Currie studied failures and successes of
previous battles in this war
• Soldiers were trained carefully and practiced
new battle tactics
• Preparations included building underground
tunnels to move troops secretly and safely
under no man’s land and closer to the German
• Canadian troops also made a complete copy
of the hill which let them know the details of
the land they would be fighting on
The Attack
• An artillery barrage fired on enemy lines was set
to start the battle the morning of April 9, 1917.
• At Vimy, this would occur differently than at the
Somme. A new tactic called the CREEPING
BARRAGE was set in place.
• By April 12 Canada had control of the Ridge. The
Allies held the Ridge for the rest of the war.
Vimy Success:
• It was said that at Vimy Ridge Canada truly ‘became a
• Canada lost over 3500 men (out of over 10,000) but
it has been called the “most perfectly organized and
successful battle of the whole war”
• As a result Canada was no longer seen as a colony
and later signed the Treaty of Versailles as their own
Canadian soldiers celebrating victory after taking Vimy
Present-day view of shell holes left from the Vimy battle
Vimy Ridge Memorial