The Trenches Essay

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April, 9, 1917 Third Canadian division Canadian Expeditionary Force Vimy Ridge, France Dear my darling Emily, How are you? I hope you and the children are fine. There is not a single day where I don’t think about you and the children. Don’t worry I guarantee you I will come out of this war alive. Please pass my love to George and Harry. I am in Northern France on the Vimy Ridge. This is the first time that all the divisions of our Canadian corps are fighting together against the Germans. We are on the highest point on the ridge; this is an advantage for us because we can clearly see our enemy across the horizon without being slaughtered. The living conditions are very brutal here. The trenches have rats and lice everywhere. We are sitting in the mud among the detritus of human living. It is very hard to sleep because I can hear the scurrying of rats in the dark. Lice infest every living thing in the earth and they cause everyone to scratch. There are duckboards being put to protect our feet from the waste. I am very glad general Haig is not in charge of our Canadian expeditionary force anymore because he was telling our Canadian troops to bombard our enemy constantly, but he never had a prepared plan. Our new general is Jylan Byng and commander is Arthur Currie. All the troops are enthusiastic because General Byng and commander Currie have come up with a plan to attack the Germans. The attacking strategy we are using is called the creeping barrage. Our goal in this plan is to fire artillery in front of the walking troops to give an element of surprise when shelling stops. Another way we are surprising the Germans is that the sappers have been digging secret tunnels during explosions where our troops advance and retreat at the same time, so that we always have fresh troops on the front. On Easter Monday April 19, at 5:28 the battle had started.

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