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Canadians Advance East of Arras 1

The Film











Running Time
09 min 27 s

Canadian War Records Office, Ministry of Information

At the beginning of September 1918, the Canadian Corps attacked the Drocourt-Queant Line and the Buissy Switch, two connected sections of the Hindenburg Line east of Arras. This extraordinarily well-constructed and well-sited German defensive line demanded a massive effort by the Corps’ infantry and supporting artillery.

This film clip suggests the scope of the gunners’ supply problem. To get the guns the countless shells they needed, thousands of men were employed all along the Corps’ lengthy supply chain. Men used trucks and wagons to move heavy shells, while light field gun limbers were loaded and moved forward. Then the barrage began, including fire from huge British railway cannon.


The Frost-hardened Ground of the Ridge Melted as the Day Wore on Hauling Heavy Shells A Canadian Narrow Gauge Railway Armoured Train, [ca. 1918]. Canadians Loading up Ammunition at the Front, [ca. 1918] Getting a Howitzer into Position on the Canadian Front, [ca. 1918]

Other Materials

Assault and Capture of the Drocourt-Quéant Line

Teaching Materials

World War I Warfare, Part A

World War I Warfare, Part B

World War I Warfare, Part C