The final week of artillery fire that preceded the Canadian assault on Vimy Ridge, was an experience that German soldiers holding the ridge would never forget. Known by the Germans as "Die Liedenwoch" or "The week of suffering", one veteran stated that his experience at this time was the worst week he went through in four years of war.
In this episode, we look at the Canadian preparations for the assault on Vimy Ridge, and hear about how the French experiences at Verdun drove Canadian planning. Canadian units sought to outdo each other in terms of trench raids and we hear about the disaster of the 1st March 1917, where over 600 Canadians were killed, wounded, or missing in a trench raid that went wrong from the moment it began.
We hear the story of a German soldier's first encounter with a "Red Indian" and look at the contribution of indigenous Canadians to the war effort. We meet "Ducky" Norwest, a Cree Indian who became the most feared sniper on the Western Front, whose stalking skills earned him the sobriquet "The Ghost of No Man's Land". Our episode concludes with a remarkable visceral document found in German archives, written by a man who survived the week of suffering.
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