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The Battle of Vimy Ridge, during WW 1, was so significant that, when Canada was invited at war’s end to attend the peace of Versailles, as a sovereign nation not a colony, it came to be known as
The Birth of A Nation
On Monday, April 9th 1917, the Canadians were able to win a victory that had evaded the British once and the French twice by defeating the Germans dug in on the murderous high ground of Vimy Ridge. Our soldiers’ success was all the more remarkable, given their terrible losses suffered in the battles of 1915 and 1916. A major makeover of our fighting techniques turned the situation around and produced a superior fighting Army. They were now hailed as “shock troops” by the allied commanders.
Complementing the incredible bravery, determination and tenacity of the Canadian troops, was our commanders’ innovation and meticulous planning. Two allied Armies had failed three times to take Vimy Ridge – the same-old-same-old methods wouldn’t work. So, our senior officers innovated the use of artillery, so that a moving curtain of deadly fire would lead our men on to the enemy positions. To ensure the success of the new tactics, our troops rehearsed and practised the new procedures again and again, until every single soldier knew exactly what to do and when.
While we can never forget the final sacrifices and casualties our men experienced, one thing we do understand without question: The Battle of Vimy Ridge lives on as one of Canada’s Finest Hours.
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