Everyone knows about the Attack on Vimy Ridge on the 9th of April 1917.
The British and French had left thousands of bodies on the approaches to Vimy Ridge. Their sacrifice and valour laid the groundwork for the attack. When L. Gen Sir Julian Byng considered what to do next, his choice was the four Canadian divisions. Preparations for this battle are legendary with extensive engineering work to ensure supplies and ammunition, artillery laying down fire on specific targets, infantry organized into self-contained platoon sized fighting units of an officer, 3 sergeants, sections of riflemen, bombers, grenadiers and Lewis Gunners. Virtually every part of the plan was from Currie’s tactical analysis. Currie commanded the 1st Division, one of four that attacked Vimy Ridge.
Currie is promoted L. General in charge of the Canadian Corps. At 41 he’s the youngest and the first non-regular officer to reach such high command.
Even though the taking of Vimy Ridge was only part of a larger Allied action, for Canada, it is a seminal event that demonstrated to Canadians that they were a nation that when acting together, could accomplish great things. It demonstrated nationhood to other nations and to Canada itself.