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The Battle of Vimy Ridge

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In the cold dawn of Easter Monday on April 9, 1917, the Canadian trenches facing Vimy Ridge in the north of France erupt with fire as 1,000 artillery pieces launch one of the most devastating barrages of World War I. For three years, Vimy's German fortifications have withstood Allied attempts to capture the Western Front's most bitterly contested ground. This field of slaughter has claimed more than 160,000 Allied and 10,000 German casualties. Now the 100,000 strong Canadian Corps goes over the top into a maelstrom of razor-edged barbed wire, knee-deep mud, and withering machine-gun fire--and they prevail. The Germans are swept from the Ridge while the Canadians suffer relatively few casualties. Vimy Ridge would become the most influential battle of World War I and the model for the great Allied offensive of 1918, which ended the war. Mixing archival footage with intensely realistic reenactments and the poignant letters of soldiers, The Battle of Vimy Ridge dramatically reveals how innovative tactics combined with iron courage and heroic self-sacrifice to enable Canadian soldiers to transform a field of slaughter into a field of glory.

1997, 95 min 12 s