The Battle of Hill 70
The Battle of Hill 70 took place in the First World War between the Canadian Corps and four divisions of the German 6th Army.
The battle took place along the Western Front on the outskirts of Lens in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France between 15 and 25 August 1917.
The objectives of the assault were to inflict casualties and to draw German troops away from the 3rd Battle of Ypres and to make the German hold on Lens untenable.
The Canadian Corps executed an operation to capture Hill 70 and then establish defensive positions from which combined small-arms and artillery fire, some of which used the new technique of predicted fire, would repel German counter-attacks and inflict as many casualties as possible.
The goals of the Canadian Corps were only partially accomplished; the Germans were prevented from transferring local divisions to the Ypres Salient but failed to draw in troops from other areas.
A later attempt by the Canadian Corps to extend its position into the city of Lens failed but the German and Canadian assessments of the battle concluded that it succeeded in its attrition objective.
The battle was costly for both sides and many casualties were suffered from extensive use of poison gas, including the new German Yellow Cross shell containing the blistering agent sulfur mustard (mustard gas).