Vimy Ridge

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by U311reasearcher, Apr 5, 2009.

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  1. Even though I realize that this is a WW2 forum...................

    92 years ago this April 9, Canada did basically in 1 day what her allies could not accomplish in almost 2 years.

    After 3 days of intense battle, Vimy Ridge was in the hands of the Canadians.

    My great-grandfather fought in WW1, not sure if he was at Vimy, but I do know he suffered from a gas attack in the trenches in France and was blinded for life. :poppy: It is for him and many many others who fought in WW1, that I felt that this thread should be shared with you all.

    Click here for Vimy video


    The Story Of Vimy Ridge:

    One of the greatest battles in Canadian history was the battle at Vimy Ridge, which began on 9 April 1917. Canadian bravery and valour led to the tremendous victory for the entire Allied Force and was considered the turning point of WWI.

    Vimy Ridge was a formidable stronghold to breach. It was here that the Germans’ heavily fortified Hindenburg Line met with their main trench lines leading north from Hill 70 near Arras, France. The German fortifications consisted of three layers of trenches, barbed wire and deep tunnels. The natural slope of the hill provided little cover for attacking Allied troops. French attempts to wrest control of the ridge throughout 1915 were rebuffed, resulting in some 150,000 French casualties. When the British army relieved French operations in March 1916, they were driven back before they could plan a major attack. The crucial goal of the battle at Vimy Ridge was to break through the impenetrable German lines.

    For the first time in World War I, all four Canadian divisions fought on the same battlefield. They were led by Sir Arthur William Currie, who was the first Canadian-appointed commander of the Canadian Corps. Currie determinedly kept the Canadian divisions together rather than having them mixed in with various British units. It was the first time the Canadians fought together, and they achieved a magnificent victory, sweeping the Germans off the ridge.

    Early in the morning of 9 April 1917, 20,000 soldiers attacked in the first wave of fighting. By that afternoon, the two front lines had been taken by the Canadian Corps. By 12 April, the entire ridge was under Allied control. When Hill 145, the highest feature on the ridge, fell, the operation was considered to be a resounding success. The ridge remained in Allied hands for the duration of the war.

    The victory of the battle of Vimy Ridge did not come without cost: Canadian casualties reached 10,602, of which 3,598 were killed. The opposing German force sustained a further 20,000 casualties. During this single campaign, four Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross and the entire Canadian contingent was commended for their bravery.

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    Memorial to men of the 2nd Canadian Division who were killed at Vimy Ridge.

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    Canadians searching captured German trenches for hiding Germans at Vimy Ridge, during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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    Stretcher bearers and German prisoners bringing in wounded at Vimy Ridge, during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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    Canadians searching captured German trenches for hiding Germans at Vimy Ridge, during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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    Canadian advanced reserves digging themselves in under shell fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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    The Canadian Light Horse going into action at Vimy Ridge.

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    Shrapnel bursting over Canadian troops in the act of digging themselves in at Vimy Ridge. April, 1917.

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    A German soldier beyond human aid. Vimy Ridge. April, 1917.

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    Tending a wounded German on the battlefield. Vimy Ridge. April, 1917.

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    Light Railroad truck with wounded on board. Vimy Ridge. April, 1917.

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    Stretcher cases waiting to be loaded on light Railway. Vimy Ridge. April, 1917.

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    Examining a skull found on battlefield of Vimy Ridge.

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    Canadian soldiers returning from Vimy Ridge.

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    29th Infantry Batallion advancing over "No Man's Land" through the German barbed wire and heavy fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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    The taking of Vimy Ridge. Canadians advancing with a tank over 'No Man's Land'. July, 1917.

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    17th Battery C.F.A. firing a German 4.2 on the retreating Boche. Photograph taken during Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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    Canadian machine gunners dug in shell holes in Vimy advance. April, 1917.

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    Happy Canadians wading through muddy road. April, 1917.

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    Tank advancing with Infantry at Vimy. April 1917.

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    28th Battalion establishes a Signalling HQ and gest into communication with aeroplanes.

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    Bringing in wounded Canadian soldiers from the battlefield.

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    View over the crest of Vimy Ridge showing the village of Vimy , which was captured by Canadian troops.



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    Vimy Memorial To Canada.
     
    James S and Kieron Hill like this.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers for that, a great and worthy post.

    I passed through Vimy Ridge a few years ago. Here's a couple of pics I took when I was there.

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    If someone speaks French and wouldn't mind doing the honours?

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    Regards
    Andy
     
    Paul Reed likes this.
  3. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    Many thanks for them brilliantly cleat photos amazing.....

    As you said certainly needed to be mentioned, I have been there with my wife and children so awe inspired were we that we went 3 times in a two week holiday...

    Awesome tunnels and the view from the Memorial of Lille and the surrounding area you can see why they needed to be on the plateau......the wooded area around there just seemed so peaceful as well hard to believe that there was so much carnage....

    I loved the description about the sheep on top as being called mine detectors, as several have gone up in a puff of smoke where they have disturbed a shell or grenade.
     
  4. Cheers for that, a great and worthy post.

    I passed through Vimy Ridge a few years ago. Here's a couple of pics I took when I was there.

    [​IMG]
    If someone speaks French and wouldn't mind doing the honours?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regards
    Andy


    Andy.. great photos, hard to imagine a battle ever took place there when seeing the beauty in your photos.
     
  5. I loved the description about the sheep on top as being called mine detectors, as several have gone up in a puff of smoke where they have disturbed a shell or grenade.


    I chuckled at this also...wonder if any of the men from either side ever took advantage of free meat?
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    And no WW1 thread would be complete without one of these I took in the area
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  7. Amazing! Do the poppies grow wild there? What a great pic!

    I just created a thread about John McCrae, author of "In Flanders Field"

    see the thread about Mr. McCrae
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Yes mate they grow wild there...The picture of the poppy above was taken at Wormhoult.
     
  9. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Yes mate they grow wild there...The picture of the poppy above was taken at Wormhoult.

    They do indeed. My most prized possession is a poppy picked from the crest of Vimy Ridge, after the battle, by my great uncle. He sent it to my grandmother in a letter dated August 11th, 1917. He had been badly wounded on May 3rd and wrote the letter from a hospital in Arras. What really makes it great is his reference, in the letter, to picking the flower and also the battle.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Fantastic post I know a man who will appreciate
    this post...Mr Read.

    thanks for sharing I thought the pictures were
    amazing.

    Cheers
    Kieron
     
  11. jwp59

    jwp59 Member

    great thread and pictures, thank you, my grandfather was in action on the 9th april too, with the kings own yorkshire light infantry at telegraph hill in the arras area, i visited the area last year,also went to vimy, a very moving expierience, these brave lads will be in my thoughts.
    regards,
    John.
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Been to Vimy many times, also new a Canadian Veteran of the battle , Roy Henley.
    I've even slept in the woods just outside the park on my first visit back in 1989.
     
  13. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique MOD

    Funny enough was at Vimy Ridge last week, and am taking a group there on Tuesday. A fascinating place, and the Vimy Memorial is one of the most impressive on the Western Front.
     
  14. They do indeed. My most prized possession is a poppy picked from the crest of Vimy Ridge, after the battle, by my great uncle. He sent it to my grandmother in a letter dated August 11th, 1917. He had been badly wounded on May 3rd and wrote the letter from a hospital in Arras. What really makes it great is his reference, in the letter, to picking the flower and also the battle.


    That is something that I hope you treasure forever... I am sure that you may be the only person in the whole world who can say that they have an actual poppie from the actual battlefield, from the actual time of battle.

    Did your uncle survive the war?
     
  15. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    That is something that I hope you treasure forever... I am sure that you may be the only person in the whole world who can say that they have an actual poppie from the actual battlefield, from the actual time of battle.

    Did your uncle survive the war?

    Thanks, I do treasure it. I've put it in a display box and will get around to taking a picture for you. It has lost the colour and some damage from being in an envelope for 70+ years but as you said, it is quite unique. My great uncle returned from the war with a steel plate in his head and the loss of vision in one eye. Sadly, he was one of those cheerful, bright eyed lads who went off to war but saw and experienced too much. From all accounts, he was never the same person afterwards and died in his late fifties.
     
  16. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Cheers for that, a great and worthy post.

    I passed through Vimy Ridge a few years ago. Here's a couple of pics I took when I was there.

    [​IMG]
    If someone speaks French and wouldn't mind doing the honours?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regards
    Andy



    This is the best I can do at the drop of a hat, U331

    For the dead of the morrocan division
    without fear without pity
    to the memory
    of colonel in chief of the 1st brigade of colonel (Cros?) of the 2nd brigade
    of the officers, nco's and soldiers of the Morrocan Division
    who fell here gloriously on the 9, 10 & 11 May 1915
    on the 9th May 1915 the regiments of the morrocan division
    launched themselves at 10 a.m. from the Berthanval trenches
    breaking with sheer force the resistance of the Germans
    attaining their objective (Side 140?) with one bound
    breaking through the enemy front for the first time

    School report: "Could do better"

    Wondeful photo's of another very bloody political war!
    Les
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  17. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    Great post. It was awesome to stand on Canadian Soil in France. The tunnel tour was a particularly spectacular moment with the carvings in the walls. Shivers up the spine bearly describe the physical response to the emotion of that place.

    One of my most precious treasures of my collection is a tunic from a chap who was a stretcher bearer there and at Passchendaele with the 52nd. Charlie Wellard is his name.

    cheers,
    phil
     

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  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Les (Doctor D),

    Many thanks for the translation-Quite nice words indeed.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  19. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    I've even slept in the woods just outside the park on my first visit back in 1989.


    you should have slept in the actual concreted trenches, Owen....then you could have said that you'd slept where the Bn HQ for 9DLI was on 21st/22nd May 1940!

    dave.
     
  20. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thanks Andy
    You'll see I did a bit better on second view
    Cheers
    Les
     

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