April 1917: Canadian soldiers unload artillery shells behind the lines on Vimy Ridge.
It is dawn on Easter Monday, not that anyone cares in the honeycomb of German defences on Vimy Ridge, a limestone whaleback 140 metres high that blocks the way to the Douai plain. Since early 1915, when they first seized it, the Germans have held Vimy Ridge against all comers, and they fully expect to do it again today: they are facing the Canadian Corps, colonial troops fighting together for the first time, led by officers of no great reputation. The Germans are in for a shock, however. At 5:30 a.m., as a fierce wind from the west blows sleet right into their faces, the air fills with the unison bark of the Canadians’ 983 artillery pieces, firing in concert with hundreds of mortars and thousands of machine-guns. Tons of red-hot metal hurtle through the air, the wind of their passing adding vigour to the sleet storm. The earth shakes in sympathy. In London, Prime Minister Lloyd George of Britain hears the Canadian guns fire on Vimy.
The Canadians’ first wave comprises 20 000 men arrayed on a 6.5-km front, crouching in the freezing gruel of the jumping-off trenches or nose-deep in the mud, waiting for the order to move. They have trained for this day since Christmas, rehearsing the Vimy Glide, a stately advance timed to keep the infantry just paces behind a creeping barrage laid down by the Corps guns. Every section leader knows the plan and has a map marked with his unit’s objective. In the reserve trenches wait the 10 000 men of the second wave and, behind them, 70 000 more troops—gunners, surgeons, cooks, sappers, foresters, mule-drivers, signallers, messengers and staff officers—all crammed into a crazy maze of tunnels, dugouts, sunken roads and trenches.
The Canadian Corps takes one day to seize Vimy Ridge and the rest of the week to drive the Germans off it, and 3 578 Canadians are killed and about 7 000 wounded during the battle. Vimy Ridge will soon be recognized as a brilliant victory, perhaps Canada’s finest hour.
I thought Canada's finest hour was Rush? All kidding aside, a salute to my neighbors to the north, a job well done. BTW, I take it this was during WW1?
I see now it was during WW1
hey dont forget mike myers. :lol: cool though intersting fact. anyone ever call you cliff:lol: j/k cool deffinetly
That's awesome Admiral.I didn't know it took place on Easter.Thanks for reminding us all we have lots to be proud of here.
Ummm, yeah the canadians also took part in WW2 on Omaha beach and in Operation Market Garden. They apparently lost a lot of men in Operation Market Garden.
Actually the Canadian contribution to D-Day was at Juno beach,but yeah,there were also other battles involving Canadians in both wars.Those are just some of the famous ones.