The Road to Vimy Ridge

Canada and the Great War

The Battle of Vimy Ridge in April of 1917 was both an extraordinary victory as well as a deadly slaughter that resulted in greater than 10 000 casualties. The fact that all four Canadian divisions fought alongside one another for the very first time led not only to a sense of unity as a fighting force, but also to an emerging sense of nationhood back in Canada. 

The Canadians' unexpected success in battle against an implacable foe earned Canadians a reputation as world-class warriors and granted Canada a seat at the peace negotiations table following the war.

“I thought then that in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation."
Brigadier General A.E. Ross
Canadian Soldier from 1870-1952, quoted in 1967

Whether a student, a cadet, a scout, or an interested member of the public, an exploration of the modules on this site offers opportunities to learn about Canada’s First World War military history including:

  • the causes and aftermath of the First World War, one of the most lethal wars in history,
  • Canadian engagements during the First World War, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge,
  • interesting personalities and technological advancements that played key roles in Canada’s First World War experience, and
  • how Canadian participation in the First World War has crafted and shaped ideas of nationhood that we, as Canadians, experience today.

 

View our first Scholarship Winner here: On the Causes of the Great War

1. The Great War Begins

Causation. War Declaration. Schlieffen Plan. Stalemate. Trench Warfare. Canada's Early Contributions. Air War.

2. Gearing Up

Julian Byng. Arthur Currie. Tunnels and Trenches. Preparing for Battle. Creeping Barrage. Capt. McKean.

3. Guns Blazing

Vimy Landscape. Raiding. Battle of Vimy Ridge. Vimy, Zero Hour. Animated Map. Victoria Crosses. J.G. Pattison.

4. Battling Onwards

Events in 1917. Medical Advances. Women in War. Edith Anderson. First Nations. Snipers. Hill 70. Passchendaele.

5. Ending the War

Kaiserschlacht. Shock Troops. Final 100 Days. Revolutions. Barrages. Canadian Op's 1915-18. Armistice. Treaties.

6. To Remember

Battle of Vimy: Context. Myth and Truth. Poppy. Canadian Identity. Walter Allward. Monument. Meaning.

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