The Battle of Hill 70 was fought August 15-25, 1917, near Lens, France. (This post is a companion piece to Melina Druga’s WWI Trilogy, Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year, available wherever eBooks are sold.)
The attack relieved pressure on the Allies near Passchendaele. The idea was the attack on Hill 70 would divert German reinforcements.
The nations involved were Canada and Germany.
“Yet the critical battle of Hill 70, fought in August of 1917, and squeezed out between the victory at Vimy and the bog-fighting of Passchendaele, remains almost completely unknown to Canadians,” Legion magazine says. “Planned, orchestrated, and fought almost entirely by Canadians, it remains one of the most important Canadian battles of the Great War.”
Major Battle Events
- Canadian Corps was ordered to attack Lens. General Arthur Currie, however, convinced his superiors that an attack on Hill 70, north of the city, would be of more value strategically because occupying the higher ground would force the Germans to counterattack.
- The Corps achieved most of its goals and would fight off 21 German counterattacks over the course of four days.
- The Corps also tried unsuccessfully to attack Lens.
The battle resulted in 9,000 Canadian and 25,000 German casualties.
The battle also saw the use of mustard gas.
Updated: 23 October 2020