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Little reconstruction based upon the new defence-in-depth doctrine had been accomplished by April 1917 because the terrain made it impractical. The topography of the Vimy battlefield made defence-in-depth difficult to realize. The ridge was 700 metres (2,300 ft) wide at its narrowest point, with a steep drop on the eastern side, all but eliminating the possibility of counterattacks if the ridge was captured. The Germans were apprehensive about the inherent weakness of the Vimy Ridge defences. The German defensive scheme was to maintain a front line defence of sufficient strength to defend against an initial assault and move operational reserves forward, before the enemy could consolidate their gains or overrun remaining German positions. As a result, the German defence at Vimy Ridge relied largely on machine guns, which acted as force multipliers for the defending infantry. Three line divisions, with seven infantry regiments between them, were responsible for the immediate defence of the ridge. The paper strength of each division was approximately 15,000 men but their actual strengths was significantly fewer. In 1917, a full-strength German rifle company consisted of 264 men; at Vimy Ridge, each rifle company contained approximately 150 men.

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>Little reconstruction based upon the new defence-in-depth doctrine had been accomplished by April 1917 because the terrain made it impractical. ⇒新しい深部防御理論に基づく再建は地形のせいで非実践的とされ、1917年4月まではほとんど達成されなかった。 >The topography of the Vimy battlefield made defence-in-depth difficult to realize. The ridge was 700 metres (2,300 ft) wide at its narrowest point, with a steep drop on the eastern side, all but eliminating the possibility of counterattacks if the ridge was captured. The Germans were apprehensive about the inherent weakness of the Vimy Ridge defences. ⇒ヴィミー戦場は、地形のせいで深部防御を認識するのが難しくなっていた。尾根は、最も狭いところが700メートル(2,300フィート)幅で、東側が急に落ち込んでいるので、もし尾根が占領されると、反撃の可能性がほとんどなかった。ドイツ軍は、ヴィミー・リッジ防衛力の固有の弱点を心配していた。 >The German defensive scheme was to maintain a front line defence of sufficient strength to defend against an initial assault and move operational reserves forward, before the enemy could consolidate their gains or overrun remaining German positions. As a result, the German defence at Vimy Ridge relied largely on machine guns, which acted as force multipliers for the defending infantry. ⇒ドイツ軍の防御計画は、最初の攻撃を防御するのに十分な力をもつ前線防衛力を維持し、敵が彼らの獲得を強化したり、残りのドイツ軍陣地に詰めかけたりできる前に作戦行動予備軍を前に動かすことであった。その結果、ヴィミー・リッジのドイツ防衛軍は主に機関銃隊に頼って、それが防衛歩兵連隊のための増強軍団として働いた。 >Three line divisions, with seven infantry regiments between them, were responsible for the immediate defence of the ridge. The paper strength of each division was approximately 15,000 men but their actual strengths was significantly fewer. In 1917, a full-strength German rifle company consisted of 264 men; at Vimy Ridge, each rifle company contained approximately 150 men. ⇒3本の前線にいる師団が、彼ら師団間の7個歩兵連隊をもって尾根の直接防御を受け持っていた。各々の師団の数字上の勢力はおよそ兵士15,000人だが、実際の勢力はそれよりかなり下回っていた。1917年ではドイツ軍のライフル1個中隊は最大限264人の兵士から構成されたが、ヴィミー・リッジの各ライフル中隊は(1個中隊あたりわずか)150人ほどの兵士を含むだけだった。

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    However, a division of Gruppe Souchez, under VIII Reserve Corps General of the Infantry Georg Karl Wichura, was involved in the frontline defence along the northernmost portion of the ridge. Three divisions were ultimately responsible for manning the frontline defences opposite the Canadian Corps. The 16th Bavarian Infantry Division was located opposite the town of Souchez and responsible for the defence of the northernmost section of the ridge. The division was created in January 1917 through the amalgamation of existing Bavarian formations and had so far only opposed the Canadian Corps. The 79th Reserve Division was responsible for the defence of the vast central section including the highest point of the ridge, Hill 145.The 79th Reserve Division fought for two years on the Eastern Front before being transferred to the Vimy sector at the end of February 1917. The 1st Bavarian Reserve Division had been in the Arras area since October 1914 and was holding the towns of Thélus, Bailleul and the southern slope of the ridge. Byng commanded four attacking divisions, one division of reserves and numerous support units. He was supported to the north by the 24th British Division of I Corps, which advanced north of the Souchez river and by the advancing XVII Corps to the south.

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    The cuttings of the canal and railway were a warren of German dug-outs but the 47th Division, advancing close up to the creeping barrage, crossed the 300 yards (270 m) of the German front position in 15 minutes, German infantry surrendering along the way. Soft ground in the valley south of Mt. Sorrel, led the two infantry brigades of the 23rd Division to advance on either side up to the near crest of the ridge, arriving while the ground still shook from the mines at Hill 60. In the areas of the mine explosions, the British infantry found dead, wounded and stunned German soldiers. The attackers swept through the gaps in the German defences as Germans further back hurriedly withdrew. About 80,000 British troops advanced up the slope, helped by the creeping bombardment, which threw up lots of smoke and dust, blocking the view of the remaining German defenders. The barrage moved at 100 yards (91 m) in two minutes, which allowed the leading troops to rush or outflank German strong points and machine-gun nests. Where the Germans were able to resist, they were engaged with rifle-grenades, Lewis guns and trench mortars, while riflemen and bombers worked behind them. Pillbox fighting tactics had been a great success at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April and in training for the attack at Messines, the same methods were adopted along with emphasis on mopping-up captured ground, to ensure that bypassed German troops could not engage advancing troops from behind. In the smoke and dust, direction was kept by compass and the German forward zone was easily overrun in the 35 minutes allotted, as was the Sonne line, half way to the German Höhen (second) line on the ridge. The two supporting battalions of the attacking brigades leap-frogged through, to advance to the second objective on the near crest of the ridge 500–800 yards (460–730 m) further on.

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    At approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) in length, and culminating at an elevation of 145 m (476 ft) or 60 m (200 ft) above the Douai Plains, the ridge provides a natural unobstructed view for tens of kilometres in all directions. The ridge fell under German control in October 1914 during the Race to the Sea as the Franco-British and German forces continually attempted to outflank each other through northeastern France. The French Tenth Army attempted to dislodge the Germans from the region during the Second Battle of Artois in May 1915 by attacking their positions at Vimy Ridge and Notre Dame de Lorette. The French 1st Moroccan Division managed to briefly capture the height of the ridge but was unable to hold it owing to a lack of reinforcements. The French made another attempt during the Third Battle of Artois in September 1915 but only captured the town of Souchez at the western base of the ridge. The Vimy sector calmed following the offensive with both sides taking a largely live and let live approach. In all, the French suffered approximately 150,000 casualties in their attempts to gain control of Vimy Ridge and surrounding territory.

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    The increased amount of heavy artillery was to be used to destroy German concrete shelters and machine-gun nests, which were more numerous in German "battle zones", than the "outpost zones" which had been captured in July and August and to engage in more counter-battery fire. Few German concrete pill-boxes and machine gun nests had been destroyed during earlier preparatory bombardments and attempts at precision bombardment between attacks had also failed. The 112 heavy and 210 field guns and howitzers in the Second Army on 31 July, were increased to 575 heavy and medium and 720 field guns and howitzers for the battle, which was equivalent to one artillery piece for every 5 ft (1.5 m) of the attack front and more than double the density in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge. Plumer's tactical refinements sought to undermine the German defence by making a shallower penetration and then fighting the principal battle against German counter-attack (Eingreif) divisions. By further reorganising infantry reserves, Plumer ensured that the depth of the attacking divisions roughly corresponded to the depth of local German counter-attack reserves and their Eingreif divisions. More infantry was provided for the later stages of the advance, to defeat German counter-attacks, by advancing no more than 1,500 yd (1,400 m) before consolidating their position. When the Germans counter-attacked they would encounter a British defence-in-depth, protected by artillery and suffer heavy casualties to little effect, rather than the small and disorganised groups of British infantry that the Germans had driven back to the black line on the XIX Corps front on 31 July. Minor operations During a lull in early September, both sides tried to improve their positions; on 1 September, a determined German attack at Inverness Copse was repulsed. Further north in the XIX Corps area, a battalion of the 61st Division rushed Hill 35 but only took a small area; another attempt on 3 September failed.

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    To assess the consequences of infantry having to advance across cratered ground after a mining attack, officers from the Canadian Corps visited La Boisselle and Fricourt where the mines had been blown on the First day of the Somme. Their reports and the experience of the Canadians at The Actions of St Eloi Craters in April 1916, where mines had so altered and damaged the landscape as to render occupation of the mine craters by the infantry all but impossible, led to the decision to remove offensive mining from the central sector allocated to the Canadian Corps at Vimy Ridge. Further British mines in the area were vetoed following the blowing by the Germans on 23 March 1917 of nine craters along no man's land as it was probable that the Germans were aiming to restrict an Allied attack to predictable points. The three mines already laid by 172nd Tunnelling Company were also dropped from the British plans. They were left in place after the assault and were only removed in the 1990s. Another mine, prepared by 176th Tunnelling Company against the German strongpoint known as the Pimple, was not completed in time for the attack. The gallery had been pushed silently through the clay, avoiding the sandy and chalky layers of the Vimy Ridge but by 9 April 1917 was still 21 metres (70 ft) short of its target.

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    The French offensive was defeated in a few days; on the right the First and Second armies advanced on 14 August and were back at their jumping-off points on 20 August. The offensive of the Third and Fourth armies was defeated from 21–23 August and the Fifth Army was defeated on the Sambre and forced to retreat during the same period. Joffre's strategy had failed due to an underestimation of the German armies and the dispersion of the French offensive effort. With a large German force operating in Belgium, the German centre had appeared to be vulnerable to the Third and Fourth armies. The mistaken impression of the size of the German force in Belgium or its approach route, was not as significant as the faulty information about the strength of the German armies opposite the Third and Fourth armies. Joffre blamed others and claimed that the French infantry had failed to show offensive qualities, despite outnumbering the German armies at their most vulnerable point, a claim that Doughty in 2005 called "pure balderdash". The reality was that many of the French casualties were said to have come from an excess of offensive spirit and on 23 August, General Pierre Ruffey concluded that the infantry had attacked without artillery preparation or support during the attack.

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    The rear edge of the German battle zone along the ridge, had been reinforced with machine-gun posts and the German divisional commanders decided to hold the front line, rather than giving ground elastically and few of the Eingreif divisions were needed to intervene in the battle. In 1939 Wynne wrote that the French lost 117,000 casualties including 32,000 killed in the first few days but that the effect on military and civilian morale was worse than the casualties. In the 1939 volume of Der Weltkrieg, the German official historians recorded German losses to the end of June as 163,000 men including 37,000 missing and claimed French casualties of 250,000–300,000 men, including 10,500 taken prisoner. In 1962, G. W. L. Nicholson the Canadian Official Historian, recorded German losses of c. 163,000 and French casualties of 187,000 men.[43] A 2003 web publication gave 108,000 French casualties, 49,526 in the Fifth Army, 30,296 casualties in the Sixth Army, 4,849 in the Tenth Army, 2,169 in the Fourth Army and 1,486 in the Third Army. In 2005, Doughty quoted figures of 134,000 French casualties on the Aisne from 16–25 April, of whom 30,000 men were killed, 100,000 were wounded and 4,000 were taken prisoner; the rate of casualties was the worst since November 1914. From 16 April – 10 May the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Tenth armies took 28,500 prisoners and 187 guns. The advance of the Sixth Army was one of the largest made by a French army since trench warfare began. The Battle of La Malmaison (Bataille de la Malmaison) (23–27 October) led to the capture of the village and fort of La Malmaison and control of the Chemin des Dames ridge. The 7th Army commander Boehn, was not able to establish a defence in depth along the Chemin-de-Dames, because the ridge was a hog's back and the only alternative was to retire north of the Canal de l'Oise à l'Aisne. The German artillery was outnumbered about 3:1 and on the front of the 14th Division 32 German batteries were bombarded by 125 French artillery batteries. Much of the German artillery was silenced before the French attack. Gas bombardments in the Ailette valley became so dense that the carriage of ammunition and supplies to the front was made impossible. German retreat from the Chemin des Dames, November 1917 From 24–25 October the XXI and XIV corps advanced rapidly and the I Cavalry Corps was brought forward into the XIV Corps area, in case the Germans collapsed. On 25 October the French captured the village and forest of Pinon and closed up to the line of the Canal de l'Oise à l'Aisne. In four days the attack had advanced 6 miles (9.7 km) and forced the Germans from the narrow plateau of the Chemin des Dames, back to the north bank of the Ailette Valley. The French took 11,157 prisoners, 200 guns and 220 heavy mortars. French losses were 2,241 men killed, 8,162 wounded and 1,460 missing from 23–26 October, 10 percent of the casualties of the attacks during the Nivelle Offensive.

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    The 25th Division was ordered by the army commander, General Humbert to attack again at 6:00 p.m. but the orders arrived too late and the attack did not take place. French aircraft were active over the attack front but at midday large formations of German fighters arrived and forced the French artillery-observation and reconnaissance aircraft back behind the front line. By the end of the day the 26th Division had held on to 100 yards (91 m) of the German front trench and the 25th Division had been forced back to its jumping-off trenches. German artillery-fire had not been heavy and the defence had been based on machine-gun fire and rapid counter-attacks. The XIII Corps and XXXV Corps attack due next day was eventually cancelled. The Fifth Army attacked on 16 April at 6:00 a.m., which dawned misty and overcast. From the beginning German machine-gunners were able to engage the French infantry and inflict many casualties, although German artillery-fire was far less destructive. Courcy on the right flank was captured by the 1st Brigade of the Russian Expeditionary Force in France but the advance was stopped at the Aisne–Marne canal. The canal was crossed further north and Berméricourt was captured against a determined German defence. From Bermericourt to the Aisne the French attack was repulsed and south of the river French infantry were forced back to their start-line.

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    The Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10–13 March 1915) took place in the First World War in the Artois region of France. The attack was intended to cause a rupture in the German lines, which would then be exploited with a rush to the Aubers Ridge and possibly Lille. A French assault at Vimy Ridge on the Artois plateau was also planned to threaten the road, rail and canal junctions at La Bassée from the south, as the British attacked from the north. The British attackers broke through German defences in a salient at the village Neuve-Chapelle but the success could not be exploited. If the French Tenth Army captured Vimy Ridge and the north end of the Artois plateau, from Lens to La Bassée, as the British First Army took Aubers Ridge from La Bassée to Lille, a further advance of 10–15 mi (16–24 km) would cut the roads and railways used by the Germans, to supply the troops in the Noyon Salient from Arras south to Rheims. The French part of the offensive was cancelled when the British were unable to relieve the French IX Corps north of Ypres, which had been intended to move south for the French attack and the Tenth Army contribution was reduced to support from its heavy artillery. The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) carried out aerial photography despite poor weather, which enabled the attack front to be mapped to a depth of 1,500 yd (1,400 m) for the first time and for 1,500 copies of 1:5,000 scale maps to be distributed to each corps. The battle was the first deliberately planned British offensive and showed the form which position warfare took for the rest of the war on the Western Front. Tactical surprise and a break-in were achieved, after the First Army prepared the attack with great attention to detail. After the first set-piece attack, unexpected delays slowed the tempo of operations and command was undermined by communication failures. Infantry-artillery co-operation broke down when the telephone system ceased to work and the Germans had time to send in reinforcements and dig a new line. The British attempted to renew the advance, by attacking where the original assault had failed, instead of reinforcing success, and a fresh attack with the same detailed preparation as that on the first day became necessary. A big German counter-attack by twenty infantry battalions (c. 16,000 men) early on 12 March was a costly failure. Sir Douglas Haig, the First Army commander, cancelled further attacks and ordered the captured ground to be consolidated, preparatory to a new attack further north. The Battle of Neuve Chapelle ヌーヴ=シャペルの戦い

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    The 6th Army attacked with the XIV, VII, XIII and XIX corps, intending to break through the Allied defences from Arras to La Bassée and Armentières. German infantry advanced in rushes of men in skirmish lines, covered by machine-gun fire. To the south of the 18th Brigade, a battalion of the 16th Brigade had dug in east of Radinghem while the other three dug a reserve line from Bois Blancs to Le Quesne, La Houssoie and Rue du Bois, half way to Bois Grenier. A German attack by the 51st Infantry Brigade at 1:00 p.m. was repulsed but the battalion fell back to the eastern edge of the village, when the German attack further north at Ennetières succeeded. The main German attack was towards a salient at Ennetières held by the 18th Brigade, in disconnected positions held by advanced guards, ready for a resumption of the British advance. The brigade held a front of about 3 mi (4.8 km) with three battalions and was attacked on the right flank where the villages of Ennetières and La Vallée merged. The German attack was repulsed by small-arms fire and little ground was gained by the Germans, who were attacking across open country with little cover. Another attack was made on Ennetières at 1:00 p.m. and repulsed but on the extreme right of the brigade, five platoons were spread across 1,500 yd (1,400 m) to the junction with the 16th Brigade. The platoons had good observation to their fronts but were not in view of each other and in a drizzle of rain, the Germans attacked again at 3:00 p.m. The German attack was repulsed with reinforcements and German artillery began a bombardment of the Brigade positions from the north-east until dark, then sent about three battalions of the 52nd Infantry Brigade of the 25th Reserve Division forward in the dark, to rush the British positions. The German attack broke through and two companies of Reserve Infantry Regiment 125 entered Ennetières from the west; four companies of Reserve Infantry Regiment 122 and a battalion of Reserve Infantry Regiment 125 broke in from the south and the British platoons were surrounded and captured. Another attack from the east, led to the British infantry east of the village retiring to the west side of the village, where they were surprised and captured by German troops advancing from La Vallée, which had fallen after 6:00 p.m. and who had been thought to be British reinforcements; some of the surrounded troops fought on until 5:15 a.m. next morning. The German infantry did not exploit the success and British troops on the northern flank were able to withdraw to a line 1 mi (1.6 km) west of Prémesques, between La Vallée and Chateau d'Hancardry.