This book opens with the German capture of Vimy Ridge and the nearby spur of Notre Dame de Lorette in October 1914. The major battles of spring and autumn 1915 are covered, as are the twelve months from late autumn 1915 when British forces occupied the lines on the western slopes of the Ridge. The period from late autumn 1916 onwards, when the Canadian Corps was preparing for their April 1917 assault on the Ridge, is given detailed treatment, with special emphasis (based on original German intelligence and interrogation files) on how the defenders built up a detailed picture of Allied plans and how they intended to counter them. This crucial battle (9 – 12 April 1917) is described in detail and the epilogue summarises the aftermath of the battle and its consequences for the way the German army prepared for the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)that summer.
GERMAN ARMY ON VIMY RIDGE 1914-1917
In the generally flat country of Artois Vimy Ridge stands out, making it clear why it was so fiercely fought over in the Great War. In this detailed study, Jack Sheldon traces the story of the battles for possession of the ridge from the Germans seizing it in October 1914 down to its recapture by the Canadian Corps in April 1917.This study employs a similar format to the author’s acclaimed The German Army on the Somme 1914 – 1916 and The German Army at Passchendaele. The greater part of the text is based on the words of the German participants themselves. Commentary and evidence from senior commanders are introduced as necessary. The aim once again has been to produce a work of popular history, which nevertheless provides an important authoritative contribution to the overall historiography of the Great War.