The newly created 4th Canadian Division arrived in France in August 1916 under the command of a Canadian officer, Major-General David Watson. Initially, it was deployed with British divisions during operations north of Courcelette from 25 October to 18 November 1916. At the end of the month, General Sir Douglas Haig, the British Commander-in-Chief, transferred the 4th Canadian Division to the Canadian Corps under the command of Lieutenant-General Julius Byng. In December, Haig informed Byng that the Canadian Corps would be responsible for conducting offensive operations against the German positions at Vimy Ridge, a key bastion in the German defensive system. With the addition of the 4th Canadian Division, the Canadian Corps would reach its maximum operational size. As a result, the Allied High Command would use the Canadian Corps to spearhead offensive operations in the final two years of the war.


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