The Battle of Arras began in a snowstorm on Easter Monday 9 April 1917 and lasted for 39 days. In the North the Canadians captured Vimy Ridge and in the centre the British advanced 5 kilometers on the first day, but in the Southern sector - especially around Bullecourt which the Australians were attacking - casualties were heavy for little territorial gain. As German reinforcements arrived the advance slowed and despite further attacks on 23 April and 3 May by the time the offensive ended at the end of May little further progress had been made. Commonwealth casualties amounted to 170,000 dead, wounded or missing.

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