Accession Number:

ADA592795

Title:

The Bridge at Remagen

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

ARMY ENGINEER SCHOOL FORT LEONARD WOOD MO

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

6.0

Abstract:

After successfully breaking through the defenses at the border of Germany early in 1945, the Allied forces had one obstacle--the Rhine River--denying them access to the heart of Nazi territory. At each Allied advance, the Germans destroyed the bridges spanning the river. The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen was often overlooked due to its location 40 miles from the front lines. Thus, it was one of the few bridges still standing on 7 March 1945. Remagen is located between Cologne and Koblenz. The Ludendorff Bridge stretched from the city of Remagen on the western bank to a 600-foot hill, known as the Erpeler Ley, on the eastern bank. The first American force to arrive at the bridge was a task force from the 9th Armored Division, commanded by Major General John W. Leonard. The task force consisted of the 14th Tank Battalion minus Delta Company, the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion, and one platoon of C Troop, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion. Major Hans Scheller commanded the German forces defending Remagen and the Ludendorff Bridge. These forces included a bridge security company of 36 men led by Captain Willi Bratge, an engineer company of about 120 men led by Captain Karl Friesenhahn, 180 Hitlerjugend, an antiaircraft unit of 200 men, 20 men from a Luftwaffe rocket battery, 120 Eastern volunteers, and roughly 500 civilian Volksturm. In all, the German forces amounted to roughly 1,000 men.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Civil Engineering

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE