Monday, April 9, 2012

Vimy - 95th Anniversary

A recent commemorative pin showing the colours of the four Canadian Divisions as they were arrayed against the German positions at Vimy Ridge.
Today is the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. As the calendar would have it, this year's anniversary falls on a Easter Monday, just as it did on that vicious day in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, 1917. It is a battle that is often overlooked by the larger histories of the Great War as it was essentially a diversionary action supporting the larger (and very tragic) French Nivelle Offensive. So while it is true that Vimy was not nearly as large as the battles of the Somme, or as depressingly bloody as those in Passchendaele,  it has nonetheless become to many Canadians an important part of our national identity as it was the first time during the Great War in which all four Canadian divisions fought together under a Canadian commander for a common purpose. It was a distinctly Canadian effort