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  1. 1. The Battle of Vimy Ridge
  2. 2. Vimy before the Canadians Arrived► April 1917- The Canadian forces are charged with capturing Vimy Ridge (110 meters at its highest point)► Germans had unrestricted view of Allied positions► The ridge is 7km long, heavily defended (considered impregnable)► 4 strong fortifications: Hill 135, Hill 145, La Folie Farm, and the “Pimple”► Under the Ridge were large underground chambers with lights and deep dug-outs protected the defenders
  3. 3. ► From 1914-1916 the British and French had launched 3 massive attacks on the Ridge► They had lost 150,000 men
  4. 4. YOU ARE THE ATTACK PLANNER► You will be given time in class to prepare for the battle on Vimy Ridge.► A group of 4 or 5 people will plan and prepare the attack on Vimy.► Use the activity sheet provided.► Good Luck.
  5. 5. What Actually Happened
  6. 6. The Preparation► Allies use aerial photographs to plan the assault► Canadian troops rehearse the assault and their various roles► Every Canadian troop knew what they had to do. (this was new)
  7. 7. The Preparation► Platoon Tactics:► Canadian Corps were reorganized to include: Rifles, Rifle-gernade, Machine guns, bombing sections.► They were to move in loose formation and give each other cover fire► Machine Guns:► They were used for indirect fire, not used as a defense
  8. 8. ► Artillery:► 850 guns were assembled► Bombardment of the Ridge began on March 20th, 1917 (3 weeks before the attack)► 2,500 tons of ammunition were expended each day► April 2, “The week of suffering” began Artillery was intensified before the battle► German defences were the focus. They were able to target these areas because of reconnaissance and airplanes
  9. 9. ► Raiding and Rehearsing:► Raids to learn about enemy and hurt morale► Far behind the allied line infantry were rehearsing exactly each objective► Practiced on a model of the Ridge► Other Preparations:► Miners dug tunnels to the front► Dug Mines under German defenses
  10. 10. The View from the German Position
  11. 11. ► Engineers dig deep tunnels from the rear to the front to bring troops forward
  12. 12. A model reproduction of the German lines
  13. 13. The Plan► Allied artillery will shell the German trenches heavily as Canadian forces advance behind a “Creeping Barrage or Rolling Barrage”► The Germans will hopefully be taking cover in their bunkers and the Canadians will be able to capture the ridge► "Chaps, you shall go over exactly like a railroad train, on time, or you shall be annihilated,"► Canadian Corps commander Sir Julian Byng.
  14. 14. The Battle► The battle begins at 5:30 am on April 9 th (delayed one day) Easter Monday► Machine guns open fired► Mines were exploded► Artillery Barrage Began► Gas shells into rear German areas (cut off supplies)► Attackers went behind the Rolling Barrage (100 yards every 3 minutes)
  15. 15. ►Canadians advance up the ridge (in snow and sleet)►Were into enemy trenches before defenders could emerge from the dug- outs.►capture three lines of enemy trenches► "A wonderful success. The grandest day the Corps has ever had. The attack was carried out exactly as planned. The sight was awful and wonderful." General Arthur Currie
  16. 16. Victory!► Hill 145, the highest point, is captured by a frontal bayonet charge against machine guns► The Canadian victory comes after 3 days of fighting, on April 12 1917► Canadian forces suffered over 10,000 causalities including 3,598 killed
  17. 17. Canadians after capturing a German trench
  18. 18. Canada’s Shining Moment► This battle was the first time the 4 Canadian divisions fought together as one force► Canadians show incredible bravery and discipline and continue to attack even after their officers are killed► Canadians single handedly capture machine gun nests and German bunkers
  19. 19. To The Victors…► Canadians captured more land, prisoners and guns than any previous British offensive► "in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation." Brigadier-General A.E. Ross► 1922 France cedes Vimy Ridge and the area around it to Canada
  20. 20. Captured Germans
  21. 21. Arthur Currie
  22. 22. Arthur Currie► Arthur Currie is knighted, made commander of the Canadian forces► For the first time Canada’s forces will be led by a Canadian► Canadians had begun the war as colonials, but were now Allies
  23. 23. The Glorious Success► Vimy Ridge becomes a symbol for Canadian sacrifice and pride► Canadians from every province fought side by side, making Vimy a symbol of Canada’s united identity► 1936 The Vimy Ridge memorial is unveiled
  24. 24. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial
  25. 25. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial► The two pillars represent the nations of Canada and France► One of the main figures is, Canada Mourning: a woman, hooded and cloaked. This grieving figure represents Canada — a young nation mourning her fallen sons.► The names of the 11,285 Canadian soldiers who died in France whose bodies weren’t recovered are carved on the memorial
  26. 26. Canada Mourning
  27. 27. The Vimy Memorial► “Vimy was not a war memorial which was devoted to triumph or the glory of a great military leader, but rather to a profound sense of duty towards the legions of men who filled the ranks of the dead. "There are no signs of victory there at all...It expresses our obligation to the dead, and the grief of the living — sentiments of sacrifice that you do not see in war memorials until this time.” Jacqueline Hucker Art historian,