Battle of Vimy Ridge

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As a Canadian, I view my country as that of a peacekeeping nation, which is openly shared around the world. For this, I find it very ironic that the turning point in our country's march to distinct nationhood was actually achieved during a bloody battle in World War I, infamously known as the battle of Vimy Ridge.

It was in this victory that many Canadians, and historians since, argue was the key to making Canada a nation. A country who has since always looked for peaceful resolutions rather than war, was discovered both internally and externally on Easter Sunday, 1917, leaving 3598 Canadian soldiers dead. Even though Canada has taken mainly a peacekeeping role since, I agree that this Canadian victory was a defining movement for Canada, as they emerged from under the shadow of Britain and felt capable of greatness (Macintyre, 1967, 120).

For the first time in the Great War, all four Canadian divisions fought together on the same battlefield. Also, importantly for Canada, they were under the leadership of Canadian General Arthur Currie (Macintyre, 1967, 83). The objective of the mission was for Canadian troops to overtake the high ridge that looked over German-occupied France, which fortified their line very strongly. The Canadians were being asked to accomplish something that no Allied force was capable of doing. The Germans had held the ridge since the beginning of the war, sustaining three separate full scale attacks, leaving 200000 men already dead (Goodspeed, 1969, 81).

It was Canadian bravery and precise planning that led to this unimaginable victory. I believe that Canada was able to deliver this victory because of the detailed planning and excessive practice that the troops were exposed to. The Canadians went as far as building a large-scale plasticine model of the ridge, which showed every small contour and fold in the ground. Day after day the attacking battalions practiced on this replica until each man knew, not only his own task, but...
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