The Battle of Vimy Ridge

The Battle of Vimy Ridge

Vimy Ridge is one of the greatest battles that took place along the Western Front during World War One.

Five major battles were found around the town of Arras during the war, due to its important railroad junction that was vital for ensure a good flow of supplies to the side that controlled it.

Vimy Ridge lies around 10 miles north of Arras and was considered during the war to be one of the most strategically important towns, due to both its proximity to the railroad and the height it provided.

Douglas Haig

Vimy Ridge was originally captured by the Germans in October 1914 but it was the battle fought there in April 1917 for which the area gained its notoriety.

It was during this month when commander of the British Forces Sir Douglas Haig ordered at attack on Vimy Ridge, which he considered crucial to ensuring his wider plan of capturing Ypres.

The attack began on 9th April and saw the Germans cleared from their trenches. However, the next month saw a series of violent attacks take place between the two sides, with both losing many of their troops.

Thankfully, the Canadian soldiers stepped in to ensure success for the Allies, winning a great deal of praise and ultimately securing Vimy Ridge.

The Canadian soldiers were specifically praised for their bravery, and in some areas they were less than 25 metres from their enemy on the front line of the trenches.

To ensure they could advance, the Canadians dug a series of underground tunnels so they could move to the battle zone quickly and with less risk. However, a huge number of artillery shells were fired into the area, which led to the deaths of many men on both sides.

Many of the shells fired did not explode and remain dangerous to this day.

The red sign above reads: “Danger. No entry. Unexploded explosives”. There are signs such as this all around Vimy Ridge to this day, more than 100 years after the battle, and even the shell craters are still etched into the landscape.

The area also features a large memorial, which commemorates the 10,000 Canadian men who died capturing Vimy Ridge - nearly 10 per cent of their forces.

The original memorial also still exists, although a lot less grand, and is now located in Quebec, Canada.

MLA Citation/Reference

"The Battle of Vimy Ridge". HistoryLearning.com. 2019. Web.