Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Battle of Vimy Ridge


Vimy Ridge, Battle of. This was the engagement in which the Canadian Corps were involved, on April 9, 1917, and subsequent days, as part of the "spring drive" of the Allies on the western front in the World War. Vimy Ridge was a cardinal point on the western front. A long inland about 475 feet in height, it afforded observation of the country around in almost every direction; and it was the hinge on which the Germans had pivoted in their retirement to the Hindenburg line only a few weeks before. The Canadians attacked on a front of 7,000 yards facing the Ridge, and after a terrific bombardment took Vimy Ridge in their stride. By April 13 they had penetrated the German lines to a depth of over six miles; and only the difficulty of getting the guns and supply waggons forward stopped this advance here. The battle, although it did not eventuate in open warfare, foreshadowed the return of a war of movement on the western front. It proved the possibility of breaking through the most elaborate field fortifications, and was the most considerable success the Canadian Corps had had up to that time. It was fitting that the magnificent Canadian War Memorial in France, designed by Walter Allward, a Canadian sculptor, should have been erected later on Vimy Ridge; it was formally unveiled by King Edward VIII on July 27, 1936. See also World War One.

See the article on Vimy Ridge in the Canadian Encyclopedia and at the Canadian War Museum.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. VI, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 398p., p. 244.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College