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Answer sheet - Canadian Corps and the Battle of the Somme fact quest

  1. When and where was the Battle of the Somme fought?

    This bold First World War Allied offensive began on July 1, 1916 in the Somme River valley of northern France.
  2. Why did the Allies call the Battle of the Somme “the big push”? How much ground would the campaign end up gaining?

    The British and French planned to break the deadlock of trench fighting on the Western Front with the “Big Push” at the Somme that would finally shatter the German defensive lines. In the end, the four-and-a-half-month long offensive resulted in the Allied lines being moved forward only some ten kilometres.
  3. How many British Commonwealth troops became casualties on the disastrous opening day of the Battle of the Somme?

    More than 57,000 (including over 700 soldiers of the Newfoundland Regiment).
  4. Near what French village did the Canadians take part in their first major attack during the Battle of the Somme? What was the date of this action?

    The Canadian soldiers attacked Courcelette on September 15, 1916.
  5. What was the name of the tough German defensive position that the Canadians captured by 8:00 am that morning?

    The Sugar Factory.
  6. What was a creeping barrage? What were its risks to the attacking soldiers?

    A creeping barrage was a carefully aimed wave of artillery fire that moved ahead on a set schedule. This heavy bombardment forced the enemy defenders to stay under cover for protection and prevented them from cutting down the advancing troops with their rifle and machine gun fire. For this tactic to work, though, the attacking soldiers had to stay perilous close to the heavy shellfire and many were wounded by their own artillery explosions.
  7. What new weapon of war was used for the first time in the fighting at Courcelette? What was its impact?

    The Courcelette battlefield saw the first use of the tank in warfare. They were primitive, few in number and mechanically unreliable, but the tanks’ shock value alone was enough to throw the enemy into confusion.
  8. What were the two main objectives that Canadian soldiers captured in the closing month of the Battle of the Somme?

    The Canadians captured the shattered remains of Regina Trench on November 11. A week later, in the final attack of the Battle of the Somme, the Canadians took Desire Trench.
  9. How many Canadians became casualties during the Battle of the Somme?

    More than 24,000 of our soldiers were killed, wounded or went missing on the Somme.
  10. What was a positive consequence of the hard-won experience that Canadian soldiers had gained in the Battle of the Somme?

    The great courage and accomplishments of Canadian soldiers there helped confirm their growing reputation as first-rate front line troops who could capture enemy positions in the face of heavy fire. Indeed, the hard lessons on battlefield tactics that the Canadian Corps learned on the Somme would prove to be very valuable in their future actions.
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