At 5:30 a.m. the Canadian Corps launches its attack against Vimy Ridge as part of the larger Arras offensive. The commanding position atop the ridge is to serve as a hinge for further British operations in the coming weeks. This is the first occasion when all four Canadian divisions operate as a complete corps. The Germans are deluged with accurate artillery, mortar and machine-gun fire as the Canadians advance in the midst of driving wind, snow and sleet. On the left flank of the Canadian attack, 4th Division is charged with the capture of Hill 145. Third and 2nd divisions attack in the centre of the ridge, while 1st Div. advances on the right. The entire ridge is secured on April 12 with the capture of the Pimple, a high-terrain feature near Hill 145. The Canadian Corps suffers more than 10,500 casualties, including more than 3,500 killed. Four Canadians are awarded the Victoria Cross for their roles in the battle, and many Canadians see the victory as a crucial turning point in Canada’s march to nationhood.
The Foreign Enlistment Act is passed in Canada. Its purpose: to dissuade people from volunteering for service in the Spanish Civil War.
Squadron Leader R.G. Christie flies from Vancouver to Ottawa in record time. Flying a CF-86 Sabre jet, he makes the journey in just 3:46 hours.
With the capture of Hill 145 and a feature known as the Pimple, all of Vimy Ridge is in Canadian hands. The ridge’s capture is a major accomplishment, but the battle would go down as one of the bloodiest in Canadian history. The Canadian Corps suffers more than 10,500 casualties, including 3,500 dead.
In St. John’s, Nfld., British Columbia resident Terry Fox begins his famous Marathon of Hope to raise awareness and funding for cancer research.
Bill C-90, which would create an integrated Canadian Forces headquarters under a single chief of defence staff, is introduced in the House of Commons.
The fight to liberate Apeldoorn in the Netherlands begins when 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade—supported by tanks of the 1st Hussars, tries to seize control of the main bridge over the Apeldoorn Canal. Stiff opposition is encountered and new plans to encircle the city are made. On April 16, 2nd Bde. crosses the canal south of the city, outflanking the enemy who withdraw to the west. When Canadian soldiers enter the city, they are greeted by thousands of cheering Dutch citizens.