Canadian Victory At Vimy Ridge

1264 Words6 Pages
It’s commonly known that Canada was originally a British colony. In 1982, thanks to the Canada Act, the constitution of Canada was “patriated,” which made Britain surrender the power to make laws affecting Canada.[1] However, Canada began drifting away from Britain much earlier than that, and World War One was a main cause. World War One helped establish Canada as an independent nation. In September 1916, Canada asserted its direct authority over its oversea soldiers and created a new Ministry of Overseas Force as a way to exercise control and power. [2] In World War One, Canada also fought by itself in battles such as Vimy Ridge [3] and Passchendaele, [4] which proved Canada could function on its own without Britain’s assistance. Canada was…show more content…
Some say it was the moment Canada finally rose from under the shadow of Britain, and felt capable of greatness. Although it was a victory at a tragic cost, with more than 10,000 dead and wounded, Canadian soldiers earned a reputation of being formidable and effective troops. [3] The Canadian Corps were ordered to seize Vimy Ridge in 1917. Previous French attacks had failed with over 100,000 casualties, so Canadians would essentially be assaulting over a graveyard. The troops would carefully plan and rehearse their attack in order to capture this difficult position. Despite extensive training and preparation, the key to victory was an artillery barrage that isolated enemy trenches and provided a moving wall of shrapnel and high explosives that forced Germans to stay in their dugouts away from their machine guns. "Chaps, you shall go over exactly like a railroad train, on time, or you shall be annihilated," warned Canadian Corps commander Sir Julian Byng. [3] The four Canadian divisions attacked together for the first time and stormed the ridge on April 9, 1917. In excess of 15,000 Canadian infantry had overrun the Germans along the front. Bravery and discipline were what allowed the infantry to carry on along heavy fire even while troops were killed. There were countless acts of sacrifice, as Canadians single-handedly charged machine-gun nests or forced the surrender of Germans in protective dugouts [3]. Although it was a victory, it came at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 were wounded. The capture of Vimy was an important battlefield victory, but it was more than that; Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the war, "in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation."

More about Canadian Victory At Vimy Ridge

Open Document