Capturing Hill 70

Canada’s Forgotten Battle of the First World War

Reviewed by Joel Ralph

Posted November 11, 2016

Capturing Hill 70 is an excellent new publication that explores one of Canada’s least-well-known major battles of the First World War. Coming on the heels of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the Battle of Hill 70 took place from August 15 to 25, 1917. During the fighting, more than 8,500 Canadian soldiers were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. It was also the first time the entire Canadian Corps was commanded by a Canadian — Sir Arthur Currie.

Co-editor Douglas Delaney outlines in his introduction how military historians and Canadians as a whole “have not yet rendered full justice to the tens of thousands of Canadians who experienced the fighting at Hill 70 and Lens, and who were marked by it.”

Capturing Hill 70 provides an exceptional view of the Canadian Corps that had emerged from the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Each chapter is contributed by a different military historian who brings their own area of expertise to the subject. From Currie’s leadership to the important role of transportation, medical services, and supporting fire, the book provides a first-hand view of an army at war. It also does an excellent job of situating the Canadian Corps within the British First Army and providing context for the war raging on the Western Front.

It’s fortunate that there are dedicated Canadians committed to commemorating the Battle of Hill 70. The book received significant financial support from the Hill 70 memorial charitable organization, which is also striving to construct a monument at the site of the battle. You can learn more and contribute to the project at

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