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4  "Cross the Rhine with dry feet . . ."  American Soldiers cross the Rhine

On March 7th, 1945, a company of the US 9th Armored Division, led by Lieutenant Karl H. Timmermann, of German descent, was able to take the bridge by surprise after two attempts by the German defense to destroy the bridge had failed.  The conquering of one of the last intact bridges across the Rhine at that time has entered the annals of history as the “Miracle of Remagen”.

The way was paved for the collapse of the German western front by the intense forward thrust of the US 9th Armored Division of the 5th Army between March 4th and 6th.  Within 24 hours, the Americans were able to strengthen the bridgehead with 18 infantry battalions.  On March 10th, American soldiers began to build two pontoon bridges while under heavy German artillery fire.  Seven days later – the bridge, weakened by numerous attempts to destroy it, had collapsed, killing 28 soldiers – but there were already three pontoon bridges in the Remagen area.  On March 23rd, the allies were able to leave the bridgehead at Remagen and begin their march to the east.