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1  Peace or War  Biography of a Bridge





For a few days at the end of World War II, the Bridge at Remagen was the focus of world events.  On March 7th, 1945, American soldiers captured this bridge across the Rhine.
Since the bridge was still intact, the event has come to be referred to in history as the “Miracle of Remagen” as it made an unexpected crossing of the Rhine possible for allied troops.
American General Dwight D. Eisenhower was quoted as saying the bridge was worth its weight in gold – Hitler, furious, suspected sabotage and had five of his officers executed in a kangaroo court.  Ten days later, the heavily damaged bridge collapsed.

The Bridge at Remagen was built during World War I at the behest of the German military in order to shorten the supply route to the western front.  Finished in 1918, Kaiser William II named it after General Erich Ludendorff.  German soldiers returning home from World War I, were among the first to cross the bridge.
Between the wars, the bridge served the comings and goings from one bank of the Rhine to the other, for example, facilitating excursion traffic to the Eifel Mountains and the Ahr Valley.

Shortly before its collapse, German POWs were marched across the bridge by their American captors to enter captivity.