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In pictures: The battle at Vimy Ridge

Vimy Ridge
First World War - Firing naval guns behind the Canadians. National Archives of Canada / PA-001182
Vimy Ridge
Canadian soldiers returning from Vimy Ridge in May 1917. National Archives of Canada/William Ivor Castle / PA-001332
Vimy Ridge
Bringing in our wounded. - Vimy Ridge. - April, 1917. Photograph taken during battle of Vimy Ridge. The Canadian Press/National Archives of Canada/ PA-001125
Vimy Ridge historical
Grave of 2nd Canadian Division men killed on Vimy Ridge. July, 1918. National Archives of Canada / PA-003758
Vimy Ridge historical
Impregnable, But Captured - Here, until April 9, 1917, the German front-line twisted its sinuous way across the brow of Vimy Ridge, glowering down on and menacing the lower-lying Canadian trenches seen in the picture adjoining to the LEFT. So vital an anchor did the massive bastion provide forthe whole line on the western front that the German high command had spared no pains to convert it into an inland Gibraltar and felt confident they had made it impregnable. Nevertheless it was finally stormed and captured by the Canadian corps on April 9 in 1917. Stock photo/The Canadian Press
Hitler At Vimy Ridge
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler visits the First World War memorial to the Canadian soldiers killed at Vimy Ridge, France, circa 1940. With him is Wehrmacht Field Marshal Gunther von Kluge (far right). Henry Guttmann/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Vimy Ridge memorial
Canadian soldiers parade in front of the Canadian memorial, 07 April 2007 in Vimy (northern France), to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Vimy RIdge
Canadian soldiers parade in front of the Canadian memorial on April 9, 2012 in Vimy, northern France, during the commemoration ceremony marking the 95th anniversary of the Crete de Vimy battle during World War I. A total of 3,598 Canadian Corps troops were killed and 7,004 were wounded over four days of fighting as they seized control of the ridge from German soldiers. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Vimy Ridge
Matt Macisaac, Piper of the Royal Canadian Air Forces Band from Winnipeg Manitoba, plays with a pipe in front of the of the Canadian memorial, on April 09, 2012 in Vimy, northern France, during the commemoration ceremony marking the 95th anniversary of the Crete de Vimy battle during World War I. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/GettyImages
Vimy Ridge
Queen Elizabeth II lays a spray of flowers during the ceremonies marking the 90th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge, a World War I battle which was a costly victory for Canada. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/GettyImages

The Canadian Corps was ordered to seize Vimy Ridge in April 1917, during World War I.

Many historians believe that Canada’s victory at Vimy was a defining moment for the country. By winning the battle after over 100,000 soldiers had already lost their lives, the relatively new country was considered for the first time as separate from Britain.

The victory also earned Canadian troops a solid reputation as formidable, effective soldiers.

But it came at a terrible cost, with more than 10,000 killed and wounded.

Vimy Ridge was a heavily-fortified seven-kilometre ridge in northern France that overlooked the Allied lines.

When Canadian troops launched their assault, it was over the open graves of Allied soldiers, as previous French attacks had failed – with a dramatic loss of over 100,000 casualties.

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