Sunday, April 08, 2007

Vimy and Canada in World War I

After reading that the french translation at the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge in France was poorer then my own french writing, I decided to read a little about this Vimy ridge, what was it and why did Canada had a war memorial there. Well, what I found kinda made me ashamed of not knowing, you see Vimy Ridge is the first time the Canadian army fought as an unit (all four of it's division toghether for one objective), it was also the first allied victory in world war I in more then a year. Not to mention that the French and british troops had been trying to take back that ridge for close to two years. In many way it secured Canada's identity as a country to the eyes of the world giving it the right to symbolically add it's signature to the Treaty of Versaille which ended World War I. The land of Vimy Ridge, around 91 hectars, was given to Canada by the French in memory of the Canadian soldier that died in WWI.

But aside from that, reading about Vimy Ridge has shown me just how little I knew about WWI, and particullary the action of Canada in the Great War. Reading more about other battles our troops fought in I discovered for one that Canadian troop where considered to be amongts the very best of the Commonwealth and even of the whole Allied forces, so good that the rumors says that a french solider declared upon hearing that Vimy Ridge had been taken: "Its impossible." When they told this french solider that Canadians were responsible for the action he answered: "Ah the Canadians, it's possible!" I also read that the 4 divisions ( roughtly 100 000 thousand men) of the Canadian army defeated in the last 100 days of the war 47 german division... while the 1.2M american soliders only defeated 46... So with that ratio we can conclude that 1 canadian is worth more then 10 americans.

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