Vimy Ridge Letters

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The letter was written by John Leslie McNaughton, a Canadian soldier who served in World War. John joined the Canadian army in June, 1915, and was appointed overseas for one year, before his capture and imprisonment on May, 1917. 15 of the letters he wrote, including four he wrote after the battle of Vimy Ridge were recovered after the war. This specific letter was written in France, on 21st April 1917, days after Vimy Ridge, a month before his confinement, and later published online on the website Canadian Letters on November 2013.

The Letter served the function of informing the receiver about the situation on the battlefield, where the Canadian corps had defeated the Germans in Vimy Ridge. Letters were the most convenient and efficient
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Before the letter is received, the government would restrict out anything that should not be revealed, so due to this, some parts of the letter may be inaccurate or crossed out. Likewise, self-censorship is another possible limitation. Most people while they are in dangerous situations tend to limit what they say in hopes of not scaring their loved ones. McNaughton does not talk about the difficult life in the trenches, and how even though the battle of Vimy Ridge was successful, it still led to the death of many Canadians. The document only contains his perspective, the one of the victors. A German soldier, on the other side of the battle field would have very different opinions and feelings of what took place. A Canadian soldier, who survived the battle but lost a friend or a brother during the attack may have contrasting views of the battle. Since these views are omitted, we can only assume what their thoughts might have …show more content…
The battle of Ypres left many dead, and there were not many to tell the tale, especially from the Canadian corps. The interview shows the many misconceptions that the soldiers had during this event, and gives an idea of their thought process Many soldiers mistakened the gas for smoke, and did not do anything to prevent themselves from harm until the gas had turned green. He speaks about how it felt to have chlorine gas inside his body. Similar to the letter, Stevens talks of death without much thought. He talks of two comrades that were beside him, who later died due to ingestion, and another who died laying on the ground drinking water. It talks of small details, as the number of Ross Rifles he had to fire at the opposing side, and the fact the soldiers held their ground at the same trench, which is usually forgotten when talking of the big

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