Canadian Corps (1st British Army), 75,000
Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng, Commander
1st Division — Major-General Currio
2d Division — Major-General Burstall
3d Division — Major-General Lipsett
4th Division — Major-General Watson
Cavalry Brigade — Brigadier-General Seeley
13th British Imperial Brigade Reserves Troops—36,000
German Forces (Bavarians), 140,000
Crown Prince Rupprecht, Commander
The storming of Vimy Ridge by the dauntless Canadian Army Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng, was the most brilliant episode of the general attack launched along the Arras front on April 9th, by the First and Third British Armies. The Canadian Corps formed a part of General Sir H. S. Home's First British Army; it comprised 75,000 fighting troops in all the branches of infantry, cavalry, artillery, cyclists, aircraft and motor transport.
Assisting the Canadians in this operation were two famous British regiments, the Royal West Rents and the King's Own Scottish Borderers, forming the 13th Brigade of the Fifth Imperial Division. Some 36,000 other Canadian troops were held in reserve on the line of communication. The German forces occupying Vimy Ridge numbered 140,000 veteran troops, mostly Bavarians, commanded by Crown Prince Rupprecht.
Though the German strategists regarded Vimy Ridge as an almost impregnable position, yet in anticipation of an attack by the Canadians, they had taken the precaution to strengthen their position above Souchez Village by constructing a number of concrete and steel forts that would resist almost anything except a direct hit by steel. Also, by means of systematic mine explosions, they had broken up their front, scooping out a series of enormous craters, too wide for any attacking force to bridge.
In event of the Canadians attacking, they would be compelled to creep around the sides of these craters and expose themselves to the direct fire of thousands of machine guns cleverly hidden in the German...