5CONTEXT – OPERATIONAL LVL Between the success of VIMY (Battle of Arras) and the insanity of PASSCHENDAELE (3rd Battle of Ypres). Morale is still high.New Canadian Corps Commander (Go Canada!).Field Marshal Haig insists on a breakthrough at Ypres commencing July 1917; needs a diversion at LENS.
9CONTEXT - TACTICAL LVL British had fought and withdrew in Sept 1915. Germans not inclined to leave…important rail junctions and coal still available.LENS was a built up area now laying in ruins. Really difficult going through the formerly built up areas…rubble, cellars, sophisticated trench networks.
10FIRST BATTLE of LOOS-1915NOTE: Coal Lift TowersKipling Loses His Son
11LT GEN SIR ARTHUR CURRIE HILL 70LT GEN SIR ARTHUR CURRIE
12HIS TRAITS Meticulous planner Excellent tactician Studied results of 1916 misery on the SOMMEApplied lessons learnedInnovativeNot well-loved by troopsValued the troopsCourage to challenge his superiors
14Corps Commander’s Recce Currie did his own recce.A frontal assault on LENS was foolish.Currie regarded control of either Hill 70 or Sallaumines Hill as tactically more important than control of the city of LensCurrie persuaded General Henry Horne, British First Army Commander, to take Hill 70, not the city of Lens, the main objective of the limited offensive. Currie believed that the advantageous observational position of Hill 70 would permit well directed artillery to effectively deal with the expected counterattacks.
17THE BATTLE - MISSIONTermed a “small operation” of World War I between the Canadian Corps and five divisions of the German Sixth Army, the mission of First Canadian Corps:To conduct a diversionary attack on LENS in order to FIX the German Sixth Army so that it cannot participate in the 3rd Battle of YPRES
18THE BATTLE – COMMANDER’S INTENT The Canadian Corps will execute a limited operation to quickly occupy the high ground at Hill 70, establish defensive positions, and utilizing combined small arms and artillery fire, repel German counterattacks to inflict as many casualties as possible. The defence against the expected German counter attacks termed “killing by artillery”. Currie – “pay the price of victory with shells not human sacrifice”
19THE BATTLE – CONCEPT of OPS THREE DIVISIONS UP. ONE IN RESERVE.4TH DIVISION FEINT IN SOUTH. 1ST AND 2ND ATTACK NORTH AND CENTRE.FOUR BRIGADES ATTACK. 10 BATTALIONS ASSAULT.BATTALIONS LEAPFROG TO GREEN LINE.MACHINE GUN STRONGPOINTS. 1 MG/25 INFANTEERS.OBSERVATION FORWARD. REDUNDANT COMMS TO THE GUNS.EVERYONE DIG LIKE HELL. PROTECTED RESUPPLY TRENCHES.REPEL COUNTER-ATTACKS - KILLING BY ARTILLERY.
25NEW TECHNOLOGY TO AVAOID MUD, ENHANCE VISIBILITY EASE COMMUNICATIONSOBSERVE THE ENEMY
26THE BATTLE - PREPARATIONS Roads, Rails and TramwaysLogistics resupply and main armaments repairRehearsals - troops were rotated through the reserve area to conduct training and rehearsals in preparation for the assaultProtected tunnels forward – names inscribedRaids, bombardment and gas attacksspecial companies of the artillery and RE augmented the regular level of harassment by firing/releasing a total of 3,500 chlorine gas drums and 900 gas shells into Lensartillery neutralized 40 out of an estimated 102 enemy batteries in the area
29THE BATTLE – JUMPING OFF 4:25 AM, 15 August. Royal Engineers fired drums of burning oil into the suburb of Cite St. Elisabeth and at other selected targets in order to supplement the rolling artillery barrage and build up a smoke-screenRight flank, the 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division executed the diversionary operation, drawing German retaliatory fire away from the main operation. Fake tanks in deception plan.
30THE BATTLE – RESULTS 15/18 Aug BLUE Line taken within 20 minutesGREEN Line taken within 2 hours less Chalk QuarryGermans began using their immediate reserves to mount local counterattacksOver the following three days, the Germans executed no less than 21 counterattacks against Canadian positions…all repulsedThe Germans also began to use poison gas in earnest, including the blistering agent sulphur mustard.
33THE BATTLE – RESULTS 21-25 Aug 2nd and 4th Canadian Divisions attack LENS directly on 21 August. Keep 6th Army “fixed”.The initial attack proved to be a miserable failure with the majority of the attackers being killed, wounded or taken prisonerFinally took Green Crassier and all other 21 Aug objectives by 25 Aug.
35THE BATTLE – THE GLORY Six Victoria Crosses (“only” 4 at Vimy) In 10th Battalion (Calgary Highlanders) alone:1 x VC (Pte Harry Brown)3 x DSOs10 x MCs60 x MMs (a Canadian record)
36Hill 70 Victoria Crosses Pte Michael James O’Rourke (7th Bn) Pte Harry Brown (10th Bn)Sgt Frederick Hobson (20th Bn)Maj Okill Massey Learmonth (2nd Bn)CSM Robert Hill Hanna (29th Bn)Cpl Filip Konowal (47th Bn)
37THE BATTLE – THE SACRIFICE Approximately 9,200 Canadian casualties3,150 killed6,050 wounded, missing, capturedCompared to Vimy - 11,297 Canadian casualtiesCurrie – “…a great and wonderful victory”.Haig – “one of the finest minor operations of the war”.
39NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE HILL 70NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE
40JAM – Just Another Memorial? Hill 70 was:A Canadian victory top to bottom;Hard won with 6 VCs;A step from Colony to Country;A seat at Versailles.Currie considered for promotion to Field Marshal.Respect for Canadian military capability reinforced in spades (pun intended).Hill 70 Memorial Project Team will provide what the Government missed in 1922.
42Project ObjectiveThe objective of this project is to erect a suitable memorial to the soldiers of the Canadian Corps on Hill 70 in time for the 100th anniversary of this historic and significant victory.Pomp and circumstance – memorial to be dedicated in the presence of 100 man guard and bands. Guests warmly invited.
43PROJECT TEAM HILL 70 DIRECTOR – MARK HUTCHINGS ARCHITECTS - TIM MURRAY, SARAH MURRAYPROJECT MANAGERS- DOUG GREEN, WARREN EVERETTMEDIA RELATIONS- BILL NEILLFUNDRAISER- ROB BAXTERHISTORIAN- MIKE MCNORGANCEREMONIAL – JOHN RODERICKEDUCATORS - JOHN SCOTT COWAN, SUSAN EVERETTENGINEER - DON KENNEDYENGINEERING MANAGEMENT – WSP London and ParisLAWYER- ED BRADLEY QC, CROWN ATTORNEY
48MORE THAN A MONUMENT A BOOK MINTED COIN SERIES STAMP VC PARK HILL 70MORE THAN A MONUMENTA BOOKMINTED COIN SERIESSTAMPVC PARKWALL OF PARTICIPATING UNITS AND BRANCHESLEGACY BURSARIESWEBSITELINK HILL 70 TO THE MAPLE LEAF MEMORIAL TRAIL?
49HILL 70PROJECT SCHEDULEOPEN CRA CHARITY, INVESTMENT ACCOUNT, ETCGAIN FRENCH GOVERNEMTN SUPPORT (proceeding well)GAIN CANADIAN GOVERNMENT SUPPORT (proceeding well)MAY 2014 – SELECT/ACQUIRE EXACT SITE (awaiting MOU from City of LOOS)JUNE 2014 – PROVIDE LANDSCAPE and MONUMENT DESIGN FINAL (proceeding well)2014 – ENGR TESTS ( agreement with WSP proceeding well)2014 – COORD WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES (roger, so far)2016- BUILD MONUMENTAPRIL OPENING CEREMONIESHANDOVER TO CWGC or APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT MINISTRY
54there was a tremendous victory for the Canadian army in the first world war when it captured Hill 70 at Loos in More VCs were won there than at Vimy, and for the first time it was an entirely Canadian Operation. Yet there is no monument whatever to the men who made such a remarkable sacrifice for Canada.
55We will be asking for all units which perpetuate a CEF BN which was part of the Corps will be asked to contribute funds to pay for a laser cut granite cap badge of the unit to be mounted in one of the walls of the monument. If you would also like to send men to participate in the 100 man guard of honour or part or all of your excellent band for the opening ceremony we would be delighted. The opening is currently being planned for Saturday 8 April 2017 ( one day before the Vimy ceremony so we can participate as part of the build up to the main national event there, and so all the troops, visitors, and VIPs will already be on site).
56We are now about to formally brief the MVA, MND, and Min of Heritage We are now about to formally brief the MVA, MND, and Min of Heritage. Many of their staff are already aware, as are the CDS, the VCDS., and the Comd CA