Canada comes of age
By the time the Battle of Vimy Ridge began the overall strategy of breaking through the enemy lines and rolling up his flanks to achieve a decisive victory and hence an end to the war, had been abandoned. Lip service was paid to this concept but most commanders on the Allied side had resigned themselves to the fact that a war of attrition was the only way to ultimately win the war. Britain and empire, France, Russia, Italy and the allies would have to bled Germany and Austria-Hungary to death faster then they themselves bled.
Vimy was planned as a breakthrough battle, but no real provisions were made to get troops through a hole in the German lines and behind their front, or to punch through to Germany itself. The idea was to capture certain objectives on and just beyond the ridge and hence take a key defensive position from the Germans. When the Canadians carried the day, effectively, quickly and absolutely according to the most optimistic of expectations, the Allied high command stopped and lost the opportunity to breakthrough as the Germans rushed up troops to plug the hole in their line and restore a defensive position.
The tactics of blowing up the entire area which was being attacked with an intense artillery barrage made it impossible to effectively funnel large amounts of troops through the German lines and follow-up the successful attack. The railway system on both sides also enabled the defensive side to fall back on its transportation system which could pump new troops right into the battle while the successful attackers would have to bring their reinforcements up to the railhead, disembark them, march them to the trenches and then try and get them across the utterly destroyed landscape of the battle ground and then attack the enemy.
Vimy Ridge brought about a realization that the attacker could in fact win the battle, but the troops, supplies, leaders and planning to follow up that win needed to be present and used quickly.
Vimy Ridge soldiers Preparing for battle
The Attack takes place
Follow up and fall out of the battle
Lest we forget
Lest we forget