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Vimy 2017 - Both Sides of the Ridge

Sponsored by the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies and in partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany’s Centre for Military History and Social Sciences
Donnerstag, 20. April 2017 bis Samstag, 22. April 2017

The conference marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 9th-12th, 1917. It brings together preeminent Canadian, German and American military historians of World War One to examine the battle from each country’s perspective.

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Conference Venue:  University of Calgary, MacEwan Student Centre (MacEwan Ballroom), 402 Collegiate Blvd NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada



Thursday, April 20, 2017

18.00  Reception  -  David Bercuson (CMSS, University of Calgary) |  Michael Epkenhans (ZMSBw), Ministry of Defense

Friday, April 21, 2017

08.45  Welcome  -  The Honourable Kent Hehr (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

09.00  Session 1  -  The Political Context. Germany and Canada

Patrick Brennan (University of Calgary): Vimy Aside. A Very Hard Year for Canada - Class, Ethnicity and the Politics of National Disunity in 1917 

Michael Epkenhans (ZMSBw):  Overall Germany Political Situation in 1917

10.00  Coffee Break

10.15  Session 2  -  The Military Context. Germany and Canada

Gerhard Gross (ZMSBw):  The German Strategy in 1917 

David Fearon MSM, CD (Canadian Forces):  The Canadian Corps in the Great War. A Learning Organization in Action 

Mark Humphries (Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies):  War’s Hidden Casualties - Shell Shock at Vimy Ridge 

11.45  Lunch 

Keynote Address  -  Hans-Hubertus Mack (ZMSBw)

13.00  Session 3  -  Air power and Infantry

Mike Bechthold (Wilfrid Laurier University):  Air War over Vimy Ridge - The Ground and Air Battle

Bill March (Directorate, RCA History and Heritage):  A Not Insignificant Contribution. Air Power and Vimy Ridge

William Stewart (independent researcher):  Deployment to Employment. The Introduction of New Infantry Weapons in the Canadian Corps 

Markus Pohlmann (ZMSBw):  A Portrait of the Soldier as a Young Man - Ernst Jünger at Fresnoy

14.45  Coffee Break

15.00  Session 4  -  Operational Learning

Christian Stachelbeck (ZMSBw):  The German Army in the Elastic Defence 

Geoff Jackson (Ambrose University College):  Training for Disaster - The British 62nd Division and the First and Second Battles of Bullecourt

Andrew McEwen, History (University of Calgary):  The Sacrifice of Horses - The B.E.F. Animal Health Crisis, Spring 1917 

David Thuell (Norwich University):  Firepower, Mobility and Protection - Vimy Ridge 

18.30  Dinner

Keynote Address  -  Michael Neiberg (US Army War College):  American Entry into WWI

Saturday, April 22, 2017

09.00  Session 5  -  The Meaning of Vimy for Canada

Rob Rutherdale (Algoma University):  National Myths and Pivotal Battles - The Case of Vimy Ridge 

Serge Durflinger (University of Ottawa):  Marring the Memory - The 1967 Vimy Ridge Commemorations Imbroglio and Canada-France Relations

Carla Stokes (Collections, O’Keefe Ranch):  The Larger Implications of Manipulated Images. The Taking of Vimy Ridge 

10.30  Coffee Break

10.45  Session 6  -  The Larger Picture

Jack Granatstein (Independent Researcher):  Did Vimy Matter? 

Tim Cook (Carleton University / Canadian War Museum):  Vimy and the Birth of the Nation - The Origins of the Phrase and How Its Meaning Has Changed over Time

Michael Neiberg (US Army War College):  Through Transnational Lenses - Allied Offensives in WWI

12.15  Lunch

Keynote Address  -  Krista Cooke (Canadian War Museum):  Myth and Memory. Vimy 2017 at the Canadian War Museum

13.30  Session 7  -  Round Table on Vimy Ridge

Jack Granatstein | Michael Neiberg | Michael Epkenhans | Tim Cook

Moderator:  David Bercuson (CMSS, University of Calgary)

15.00  -  Closing Remarks



Nancy Pearson Mackie

Outreach Coordinator

Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies

University of Calgary



Marc Hansen



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