Saturday, January 10, 2015

Military Landmarks vol.2: Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen

Subject: Ludendorff Bridge
Location: Remagen, Germany
Comments: The Ludendorff Bridge (also known as the Bridge at Remagen) was in early March 1945 one of two remaining bridges across the River Rhine in Germany when it was captured during the Battle of Remagen by United States Army forces during the closing weeks of the Second World War. Built in 1918 to help deliver reinforcements and supplies to the German troops on the front, it connected the villages of Remagenand Erpel between two hills flanking the river. The town of Remagen is located close to and south of the city of Bonn. At the end of Operation Lumberjack (1-7 March 1945), the troops of the American 1st Army approached Remagen and were surprised to find that the bridge was still standing. Its capture enabled the U.S. Army to more quickly establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Rhine. After the U.S. forces captured the bridge, Germany vainly tried to destroy it multiple times over the next two weeks. While it stood, the bridge enabled the U.S. Army to quickly get 25,000 troops, six Army divisions, and thousands of heavy tanks, artillery pieces and trucks across the Rhine. The bridge collapsed on 17 March 1945, ten days after it was captured, killing 18 U.S. Army Engineers. It was never rebuilt. The towers on the west bank were converted into a museum and the towers on the east bank are a performing art space. (Ref. Wikipedia).

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