The bestselling, award-winning author of The American Invasion of Canada “has given great drama and immediacy to that turning point in Canadian history” (Maclean’s).
On Easter Monday 1917 with a blizzard blowing in their faces, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps in France seized and held the best-defended German bastion on the Western Front—the muddy scarp of Vimy Ridge. The British had failed to take the Ridge, and so had the French who had lost 150,000 men in the attempt. Yet these magnificent colonial troops did so in a morning at the cost of only 10,000 casualties.
The author recounts this remarkable feat of arms with both pace and style. He has gathered many personal accounts from soldiers who fought at Vimy. He describes the commanders and the men, the organization and the training, and above all notes the thorough preparation for the attack from which the British General Staff could have learned much. The action is placed within the context both of the Battle of Arras, of which this attack was part, and as a milestone in the development of Canada as a nation.
“This wonderful book brings to life the amazing men who came across the Atlantic nearly a century ago and won a famous victory which helped change a nation forever . . . the wonderful prose of Pierre Berton is all from the heart and you should share in it.” —War History Online
“The cinematic writing plunks the reader in the midst of the actual battle, and a judicious use of quotes from soldiers’ diaries and letters helps provide a ground-level perspective.” —Quill & Quire