While Canada had been a nation for over 40 years now, Vimy Ridge was where Canadians truly became a united nation, because it was the first time in which all four Canadian divisions, made up of troops drawn from all over the country, fought as one.
Vimy was an important part of the German’s plan because Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, who commanded the group of German armies on this front, was determined to hold Vimy Ridge at all costs, because he considered that its loss would make the entire Douai plain untenable. Therefore the Canadians wanted to take it to make it more difficult for the Germans.
Canada was not in good fighting shape by the time 1917 came around. They had suffered through many incompetent and plain fooling commanders and generals. They also had to suffer through the Battles of Ypres and of the Somme under leadership that would not acknowledge the usefulness of modern day technology. Luckily, in this particular battle they did not suffer through the torture of having to use the Ross rifle, as Sam Hughes was already dismissed from his post.
The Canadian Corps had just been given a new lease on life, whether they knew it or not. Canadian Major-General Arthur Currie and Lt.-General Sir Julian Byng and the entire Corps had been tasked with an impossible task in some opinions. Tasked they were with ...
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... order to prove their military might and prowess as well as being able to come out of the shadow of Britain. It also gave them a higher sense of nationality and a stronger will to prove their military might.
It was important that machine guns were used as part of the Vimy strategy because of Lt.-Col R. Brtinel’s plan of shooting into enemy bunkers, day and night. Movement ceased in the German lines. Raids showed to be too dangerous and repair of barbed-wire nigh impossible. The machine-gun fire became a supporter to the artillery barrage. During the attack, the machine guns would be set up along with the Canadian advances providing cover and a true offensive power helping to keep the Germans from usual defense system.
In conclusion, The Canadians were able to take Vimy out of hard work, meticulous planning, intense training, and the proper use of information.
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