Arras and Vimy Ridge 9–13 April 1917


Map Code: Ax00198

Like many previous major battles of the war, British and French forces planned to target the Germans across two different areas simultaneously in an attempt to capitalize on Allied numerical superiority. British Empire forces were to push east from Arras, whilst securing high ground along Vimy Ridge, in preparation for a French offensive at Aisne to the south a few days later. The Germans had already carried out a tactical withdrawal to the heavily fortified defensive positions of the Hindenburg line to the east of Arras. As the Canadians fought for Vimy Ridge, the British launched the First Battle of the Scarpe, making quick advances into German territory near Feuchy. Underground mines and artillery assisted the breakup of German defences and General Falkenhausen’s failure to keep reserve troops close to the front line meant that counterattacks failed. The successful British attack eventually slowed as logistical pressures increased and German reinforcements arrived.

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