Did Vimy Matter?

  • Dr. Jack Granatstein


Vimy Ridge is the iconic Canadian battle in the public mind, a triumph of courage, and the creator of Canadian nationalism. But did Vimy matter tactically, strategically, or as the creator of the nation? This paper will look at who planned the April 1917 battle, who fought it, and what it meant in the long struggle of the Great War. That Vimy gave the Canadian Corps its recognition as an elite formation is evident, but what did Vimy really matter?

Author Biography

Dr. Jack Granatstein

Dr. Jack Granatstein was born in Toronto on 21 May 1939.  He attended Le Collège militaire royal de St-Jean , the Royal Military College, Kingston, the University of Toronto, and Duke University, served in the Canadian Army, then joined the History Department at York University, Toronto where he is Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus. Granatstein was a member of the Royal Military College of Canada Board of Governors, and from 1998 to 2000, he was the Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.  Granatstein has been an Officer of the Order of Canada since 1996 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1982. His book, The Generals (1993), won the J.W. Dafoe Prize and the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography. Canada’s National History Society named him the winner of the Pierre Berton Award for popular history (2004), and the Canadian Authors Association gave him its Lela Common Award for Canadian History in 2006. In 2008, the Conference of Defence Associations awarded him its 75th Anniversary Book Prize as “the author deemed to have made the most significant positive contribution to the general public’s understanding of Canadian foreign policy, national security and defence during the past quarter century.” He holds a number of honorary degrees. Granatstein writes a column in each issue of Legion Magazine. He writes on Canadian national history--the military, defence and foreign policy, Canadian-American relations, the public service, and politics, and he comments regularly on historical questions, defence, and public affairs in the media and speaks frequently here and abroad.  He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular books and articles.

Vimy 2017: From Both Sides of the Ridge