At the end of August, with the costly Somme offensive sputtering, the Canadian Corps was transferred from Ypres to the Somme front, establishing itself opposite the shattered village of Courcelette. On 15 September, the Canadians assaulted Courcelette
along a two-kilometre front, following the recently devised “creeping” artillery barrage system whereby the troops advanced as closely as possible to the exploding shells which would jump ahead at precisely timed intervals. This enabled the Canadians
to approach close to the enemy before the latter had a chance to emerge from their dug outs and man their defensive machine guns. The seizure of Courcelette was perhaps the most successful moment of the Somme campaign up to that point. It also saw the
first use of tanks (only 13 of them) on the Western Front.
The newly arrived 4th Canadian Division arrived on the Somme in October for its baptism of fire at which time the exhausted Canadian Corps was withdrawn to the Arras-Lens sector, further north. In November, the 4th Division captured Regina Trench, fighting
through a sea of chalky mud and overcoming fierce enemy resistance. The Somme Campaign was over after five months and more than 624,000 British, Dominion, and French casualties. Among them were 24,000 Canadians. The Germans admitted to overall losses
of 466,000. Notwithstanding the seizure of enemy-held territory to a depth of up to 13 kilometres along 35 kilometres of front, the campaign did nothing to alter the strategic situation on the Western Front.