Tour of tunnels, walk to the top of hill 145.
Thanks to a miscommunication on the tour booking, apparently they thought I was a tour group not an individual so they booked the entire 10AM tour in my name. As a result I had a personal tour of the tunnels of Vimy Ridge. The tunnel system was incredible well developed. It extended kilometers into the rear. The tunnels themselves are primarily 33ft below the surface, away from most dangers. they are 6-foot high and wide enough to allow 2 soldiers to pass in full gear. Various chambers allow for medical treatment, supplies, command and communication. A limited electrical system provided some light in 1917.
below the main tunnels, fighting tunnels were dug to try an intercept enemy tunnel systems. Either by breaking into them, collapsing them, or placing large amounts of explosives for cratering activity. The results of the British 1916 – Grange crater then became the edge of the combat line. In this cast the forward positions of Canadian and German forces were about 25m apart. Apparently, keeping your head down was a good policy for both sides.
The area was occupied by Canadian Forces for about 8 months prior to the main battle. Although the sniping, artillery, and mortar fire would be a daily occurrence.
On the top of hill 145 the view is commanding. Making the military value of the position obvious.
Finished this morning’s travel with a stop at the German Cemetery at Neuville St Vaast.