Victory at Vimy

Victory at Vimy

Canada Comes of Age, April 9-12, 1917

Book - 2007
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National Bestseller At the height of the First World War, on Easter Monday April 9, 1917, in early morning sleet, sixteen battalions of the Canadian Corps rose along a six-kilometre line of trenches in northern France against the occupying Germans. All four Canadian divisions advanced in a line behind a well-rehearsed creeping barrage of artillery fire. By nightfall, the Germans had suffered a major setback. The Ridge, which other Allied troops had assaulted previously and failed to take, was firmly in Canadian hands. The Canadian Corps had achieved perhaps the greatest lightning strike in Canadian military history. One Paris newspaper called it "Canada's Easter gift to France." Of the 40,000 Canadians who fought at Vimy, nearly 10,000 became casualties. Many of their names are engraved on the famous monument that now stands on the ridge to commemorate the battle. It was the first time Canadians had fought as a distinct national army, and in many ways, it was a coming of age for the nation. The achievement of the Canadians on those April days in 1917 has become one of our lasting myths. Based on first-hand accounts, including archival photographs and maps, it is the voices of the soldiers who experienced the battle that comprise the thrust of the book. Like JUNO: Canadians at D-Day , Ted Barris paints a compelling and surprising human picture of what it was like to have stormed and taken Vimy Ridge.
Publisher: Toronto : Thomas Allen Publishers, c2007
ISBN: 9780887622533
Branch Call Number: 940.431 Bar 3558ad 1
Characteristics: xviii, 300 p. :,ill., maps


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Jul 13, 2016

The book is not solely a analysis of the Vimy campaign but Includes the observations/opinions from letters by the actual participants in the battle. All in all a good read.

rb3221 Aug 06, 2015

A thoroughly referenced and well documented book with first rate photographs and maps, Barris makes Vimy come alive with a truly Canadian story. It was the first time Canadians fought as a distinct Canadian army and defeated what was thought to be an impregnable, strongly defended German height.
Almost 300,000 French and English troops died at Vimy prior to the Canadian victory. Why were we so successful? The meticulous planning, the many rehearsals behind the lines, the sharing of battle plans with ALL the troops, the digging of tunnels far into No Man's Land, the use of machine guns as artillery and more. All of these details are explained very well by Barris.
But it is the stories of these men that stands out as we learn of the soldiers' civilian occupations, and their pre war lives as ordinary Canadians and in far too many cases, their deaths. This is a must read for those who know of Vimy but know little of the details. Barris gives us a clear view of what it was like to have stormed and taken Vimy.

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