The Diary of an Artillery Officer
The 1st Canadian Divisional Artillery on the Western Front
- Edited by Peter Hardie-Bick
15th March 2011
In the First World War, the Canadian Field Artillery led the way in artillery technology and tactics. By coordinating the intelligence reports from sound ranging, flash spotting, and ground observation teams, they became one of the most effective fighting units in France. These tactics were first used at Vimy Ridge in April 1917, destroying most of the German artillery before the assault began. The close coordination between the attacking infantry divisions and the Canadian Field Batteries not only allowed the infantry to advance very close to the falling shells, but also gave them confidence that, unlike at the Battle of the Somme, the Germans would not be able to recover in time to defend properly their positions. The War Diaries, written by Major Arthur Hardie Bick DSO, cover the work of the 1st Divisional Artillery in 1918 when it spearheaded the attacks at Amiens, the Vis-en-Artois Switch (defending the Hindenburg Line) and the Canal du Nord, the final blows in Germany's defeat.