On March 7, 1945 US Army forces approached the Remagen Bridge,
and it was amazingly still fairly usable! Individual small unit
leadership came into play as they bravely pushed onto the damaged
structure and crossed the Rhine River into Germany. For ten days
more forces crossed and developed a serious US bridgehead in
the German heartland.
"The ability to quickly establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the
Rhine and to get forces into Germany allowed the U.S. forces to envelop
the German industrial area of the Ruhr. The Allies got six divisions
across the damaged bridge before it collapsed on March 17, 1945,
ten days after it was captured. The collapse killed 28 and injured 93
U.S. Army Engineers."
"Since 1980, the surviving towers on the western bank of the Rhine
have housed a museum called "Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen"
containing the bridge's history and 'themes of war and peace'.
This museum was partly funded by selling rock from the two piers
as paperweights. The two piers were removed from the river in the
summer of 1976 as they were an obstacle to navigation."
In April 2017 we visited the town, and went through the museum.
Interesting enough, but sad that it was done very amateurishly,
and has suffered from abuse. For example, there are picture albums,
but they are just like one that might be in your living room, and
some people have removed a fair numger of the original photos.
The Rhine River is indeed a seriously big river and barrier,