THE 1917 BATTLE OF VIMY RIDGE

 

The battle of Vimy Ridge began on Easter Monday 9 April 1917 when the Canadian Corps under Lt Gen J H G Byng attacked what was probably the strongest of German defensive positions in northern France. It followed the three French actions around Notre Dame de Lorette which had failed to take the Ridge.

 

The Canadians rehearsed their assault and used miles of tunnels to approach the enemy lines. By midday only the highest point of the Ridge, Hill 145, remained in German hands and that fell 24 hours later. Today the Canadian National Memorial stands on that height. German casualties were about 20,000, the Canadian losses were half that. Four VCs were won.

 

Vimy Ridge today has a Canadian Memorial Park where Canadian and German trenches and craters face each other at barely 100 yards distance. The ground is pockmarked with craters.there is an Information Centre.

 

Vimy Ridge is visited on one of our recommended approaches to the Somme, in our Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Book Western Front - North.