General Ludwig von Falkenhausen presents “The Week of Suffering” (circa April 2-9, 1917) –>slide 2
- Artillery relentless
- I’d guess about a million shells
- Somehow can target our artillery, even though they’re hidden behind ridge
- We ran out of aspirin, earplugs.
Allied General Arthur Currie presents “Better Creeping” (circa April 9, 1917) –>slide 4
- first wave attacks behind creeping barrage
- continuous line of shells
- improve on what we did at the Somme.
Corporal Gus Sivertz (2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles) presents “Nervy” –>slide 7
- a macabre dance
- nerves vibrated
- thousands of shells, machine gun bullets whizzed overhead
- advanced over no-man’s land
- if you put your hand up, you’d touch a ceiling of sound
- and probably lose a finger or two.
French soldier learns of victory at Vimy –>slide 1
- C’est impossible!
French soldier learns four Canadian divisions fighting at Vimy with one British division–>slide 2
- Ah! les Canadiens! C’est possible!
Notes: The shelling at the battle began April 2, 1917, and the battle itself began on April 9, 1917. Vimy marked the first time that Canadian troops fought together on a a corps level, and they took the ridge with casualties of 10,000. Previous attempts to break the strong-point in the German line had cost French and British troops more than 150,000. Vimy is often seen as a defining moment in Canadian national history, and as Pierre Burton wrote in his book on the battle, it quickly attained mythic status. This seems like an appropriate post for Remembrance Day.