The battle of Vimy Ridge saw General Arthur Currie thoroughly prepare his Canadian troops. Currie understood the necessity of victory in this battle; therefore, he treated it with an
unparalleled degree of seriousness. Previously, few Allied Generals recognized the need for thorough preparation when planning an attack. Currie changed this view by proving his technique greatly improved a regiment's chances for success.
Vimy Ridge protected the important industrial area around Lille. The highest summit, known as Hill 145, was at the northern end. A more southerly height was called Hill 135. From the latter, the ridge broadened and sloped gradually to the southwest and south, until it reached the upper reaches of the Scarpe River. Its eastern slope dropped sharply to the Douai plain. To the north, Hill 120 overlooked the smaller Souchez River. The terrain was treacherous, making defence of this stronghold a much more practical endeavour than attacking it.
The Canadian Corps were commanded by General Arthur Currie. His preparations were based on a plan of operations dated January 31, 1917. Capture of the main crest, Hill 135, and the village of Thelus, were the objectives of a first operation; if this first operation proved to be successful, the "Pimple" and Bois en Hache were to be assaulted 24 hours later in a separate operation. Thoroughness was the keynote of preparations. The German defences were reproduced in full-scale detail from aerial photographs, with tapes to mark trenches and flags to mark strong points. Using this full-scale , repeated rehearsals of the battle were held. Although these activities were carried on in view of the enemy, little effort was made to disrupt the preparations, which proved to be a critical error on Germany's part.
Haig points out in his dispatch that the artillery preparation depended largely upon air...