The Battle of Vimy marks 100 years in 2017

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From April 9 to 12, 2017, Canadians celebrated the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, France. It was the first time that Canadian units fought alongside each other. For many, this battle was decisive in obtaining international recognition from Canada.

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The victory at Vimy Ridge remains the best-known Canadian attack of the war. The plan was to weaken the German fortress at Vimy Ridge. The main tactic employed was that of progressive artillery barrages. Indeed, the goal was to create a line of protection just in front of the Canadian troops and to advance it at the rate of the advance of the soldiers on the battlefield.

On April 9, 1917, across the ridge, the four Canadian divisions were side by side and led a concerted attack. With artillery that relentlessly weakened the Germans, the Canadians managed to gain ground fairly quickly, despite many deaths. As a result, during the four days that lasted the Battle of Vimy, Canada suffered more than 10,000 casualties in addition to the 10,000 dead in the four months preceding the attack. This battle was to give good press to the Canadians, who were described as formidable fighters. A reputation that they kept until the end of the First World War.

“This is a historic event dear to the hearts of Canadians, one of the most important battles of the First World War. The Battle of Vimy in northern France provided Allied forces with a significant victory over the Germans. It was in April 1917, 100 years ago. This Sunday François Hollande, Justin Trudeau and part of the British royal family will be at Vimy to commemorate this anniversary. "

Source: RFI, April 8, 2017

“Many historians and writers regard the Canadian victory at Vimy as a defining moment for Canada, when the country emerged from the shadow of Great Britain and felt capable of greatness. It was at this point that Canadian soldiers earned a reputation as formidable and effective troops. But this victory came at a high cost with more than 10,500 dead and injured on the Canadian side. "

Source: Canadian War Museum


How well do your students know the ins and outs of World War I? Test their knowledge with this quiz.



Disciplines and levels targeted

  • 20th Century History (Secondary V)
  • History of Quebec and Canada (Secondary 3 to 4)

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Developing and mobilizing information literacy
  • Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning
  • Communicate with digital

Suggested digital tools

  • Learning Apps
  • PDF and Word documents
  • Mentimeter

Educational intention

The following activities will allow students to learn more about this battle, its unfolding and its consequences.

Objectives of the activities

  • Know the course of the Battle of Vimy.
  • Understand the symbolism of the Battle of Vimy for the Canadian nation.
  • Know the consequences of the Battle of Vimy for the Canadian nation.


ACTIVITY 1: Taking the Ridge

First, ask students if they have ever heard of the Battle of Vimy.

Secondly, show them the video clip " Centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge: the offensive told by historian Yves Le Maner ", Then that of the War Amps:" Vimy Ridge, one battle: one colony ".

Finally, using the article " Battle of Vimy Ridge Ask students to complete the following exercises:

ACTIVITY 2: Symbol of a Nation

The Battle of Vimy is seen by Canadians as a symbol of the emergence of a nation.

Have students read the article " The Battle of Vimy, a highly symbolic commemoration for Canada Which will allow them to respond to next activity and so to learn more about the symbol that this battle represents for Canada.

ACTIVITY 3: Birth of a Myth

The Battle of Vimy is considered a founding element of the Canadian nation. However, more and more historians doubt the significance of the Battle of Vimy.
Invite students to read the article: " Vimy, A myth or a birth certificate? »And to justify the author's opinion by answering the following questions:

  • Does the Battle of Vimy deserve all the attention it receives?
  • Why has Vimy become a Canadian symbol? When did this happen?
  • How did the government choose to commemorate the Battle of Vimy for all Canadians?

Use a digital tool such as Mentimeter to make the pupils react. Several styles of creations will be available to display the responses of learners to the TNI. For example, the word cloud is interesting to summarize in a few words the thinking of the students. You can also come up with a format with open-ended answers, answer choices, diagrams, etc. In short, Mentimeter is effective in making learners communicate quickly (who must connect to and have a result displayed in real time on the board. The discussions that follow can be very rich.


Trudeau commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy, Canada's "birth" certificate
Le Devoir, April 9, 2017

Centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge: "A Canadian Verdun that is insufficiently known in France
France TV Info, April 9, 2017

A Vimy Trudeau commemorates 100 years of battle
L'Express, April 9, 2017

Centenary of the Battle of Vimy: ceremonies across the country
La Presse, April 9, 2017

Vimy A Second Order Canadian Victory
Le Devoir, April 8, 2017

Vimy 1917
Memory Trail 14 - 18

Battle of Vimy 1917
Youtube, November 2012

The Battle of Vimy Ridge
Quebec and the World Wars, March 24, 2015

SCOOP! this is...

Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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