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The Canadian "Emma Gees"
A History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps
Lt.-Col. C.S. Grafton

Transcribed by Dwight G. Mercer

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(August 28th to September 5th)


AND so, in the week of August 20th, the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions found themselves within hailing distance of their old home, Vimy Ridge, and this time there was no mystery surrounding intentions.

Reinforcements had filled up the units as they passed through Amiens and the Corps was in grand fighting trim.

On the nights of August 22nd-23rd and 23rd-24th the 2nd Division passed into the trench line, relieving the 15th Imperial Division in the Neuville-Vitasse-Telegraph Hill Section south of Arras. On the night of the 23rd-24th the 3rd Division went into the line on the left of the 2nd, relieving the remainder of the 15th Imperials from the Amiens-Cambrai Road to the Scarpe River.

The setbacks on the Marne, the continued pressure of the British over the old Somme battlefields had begun to produce effects and up on the north, with the 1st British Army pounding at them, the Germans had begun to evacuate the salient of the Lys on August 25th.

The eyes of British G.H.Q. were now focused on Cambria, but in between the spearhead thrust of the Canadians was the Drocourt-Queant line, important hinge of the famous Hindenburg system and key to the whole plan whereby it was hoped that the Germans would be blasted out of these supposedly impregnable positions and forced out into the open country behind.

It wasn't until August 22nd that Gen. Sir Arthur Currie received details of the operations planned for the 1st Army sector which was confronted with four main systems of defence: (1) the old German front line system east of Monchy-le-Preux; (2) the Fresnes-Rouvroy line; (3) the Drocourt-Queant line, and finally the Canal du Nord line, any one of which were more formidable than trench systems upon which mighty offensives of both British and French had previously been blunted.

The first task of the Canadians was to capture the British defences which had been lost in March, 1918, and which were intact for 5,500 yards, before tackling the German system east of Monchy-le-

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