What Role Did Vimy Ridge Play in World War I?


Quick Answer

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was Canada's biggest victory in World War I. Vimy Ridge was a strategic location situated on a ridge that gave the German's Sixth Army both the high ground and an excellent vantage point for 6 miles in all directions. Whichever side held the ridge would be able to overlook the network of trenches that both the Allies and the Germans had established for what would become the Battle of Arras.

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Full Answer

The battle for the ridge took place from April 9 to 12, 1917. Although the Canadian military successfully took the ridge, more than 10,500 Canadian soldiers were either killed or wounded in the attack. Still, the Battle of Vimy Ridge is considered by the Canadians to be one of their highest achievements of the war.

Vimy Ridge became a rallying cry for Canadian nationalism. The battle marked the first time that all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, which were drawn from different geographical regions of Canada, had fought as a single unit. Vimy Ridge was so important to the Canadians that in later years, they established a monument on top of Hill 145 on the ridge to commemorate the 11,285 Canadians who had died while fighting in France during the first World War.

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