Deployment to Employment: The Introduction of New Infantry Weapons in the Canadian Corps
Increased infantry combat power in comparison with the Somme was one of the critical factors in the success in the Canadian Corps at Vimy Ridge and the BEF. On the Somme, Canadian infantry had to rely on the artillery to defeat the Germans. Paradoxically, the infantry weapons introduced since the beginning of the war----grenades, rifle-grenades, Lewis Guns, and Stokes Mortars----were essentially identical on the Somme and at Vimy. What changed and was essential to the infantry's renaissance was how the Canadians organized and employed these weapons. A new platoon structure and tactics improved the infantry's capability to overcome resistance in the absence of artillery fire.