Battle of Hill 70: A Forgotten, Yet Important Battle

A map of the area around Hill 70

Battle of Hill 70: A Forgotten, Yet Important Battle

A map of the area around Hill 70
A map of the area around Hill 70

The Battle of Hill 70 was fought August 15-25, 1917 near Lens, France.

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.

End Result

The battle resulted in 9,000 Canadian and 25,000 German casualties.

The battle also saw the use of mustard gas.

Prior to today had you ever heard of the Battle of Hill 70? Leave a comment below.

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Updated: 8 August 2018

Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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