The battle of Vimy Ridge was a very important stage in World War 1. Although, the battle only lasted 4 days, it was arguably the greatest victory Canada had accomplished in the war and helped give the Triple Entente the advantage at the time. This segment of the war began on April 9, 1917, and ended on April 12, 1917.
Vimy Ridge is approximately 10 miles away from the city of Arras, and it was considered a very strategic battlefield due to its changes in elevation. If one side used the height wisely, then they would have a huge advantage over the enemy. This was the case in October of 1914, where Germany seized control of the high ground of Vimy Ridge. On April 9, 1917, the German 6th division stood atop their hill. France attempted to defeat this German division, but the high ground prevailed and the Germans shot down 150,000 French casualties. The British army also tried, but they were pushed back before they could plan a major attack.
The Canadian army was led by Sir Arthur Currie, and for the first time in WW1, all 4 Canadian divisions fought in the same segment of the war. The Canadian army pushed forward towards the ridge at 5:30 am on April 9,1917, and this shows just what inconvenient timings the troops started battling. Currie outlined a “creeping barrage” plan, where one portion of Canadian army slowly crept up the hill and the other portion fired a barrage of bombs, distracting the Germans. The plan was also a disadvantage for the Germans because it forced them to stay in their dugouts and away from their machine guns. However, the creeping barrage was a very tense situation and many Canadians creeping up the hill were likely to panic and accidentally mess up the plan for the rest of the troops. Additionally, the sight of their friends and allies dying from the bombings was a horrendous and difficult sight to overcome. However, the Canadians’ bravery and courage kept them going. In some spots, the Canadian troops were less than 25 metres from the German troops, which made for some very tense battle situations. To allow the troops to move to the battle zone more easily, the Canadians dug underground tunnels in which they travelled in.
By that afternoon of April 9, the two front lines of German troops were cleared by the Canadian army. They kept fighting with perseverance and successfully managed to sweep the entire German 6th division off the ridge by April 12, 1917, after 3 days of a hard-fought battle. When the highest point in the battle, Hill 145 was captured by the Canadians, the strategy had succeeded and Vimy Ridge remained in control of the Triple Entente for the rest of the war. However, the success of this battle did not come without its drawbacks. More than 10,000 Canadian casualties occurred in this battle, lasting just 3 days. Of these casualties, more than 3000 soldiers were killed. From the bombings, the German forces sustained 20,000 casualties.