It was the only remaining bridge over the Rhine river and became the centre of world attention in the spring of 1945: the Ludendorff Bridge.

It was built during the First World War as a railway bridge to ensure supplies for the Western Front.
On 7 March 1945, a small vanguard of the 9th US Armoured Division led by German-born Lieutenant Karl H. Timmermann succeeded in capturing the bridge after the German defenders had failed in two attempts to blow it up.
This conquest went down in the annals of war history as the "Miracle of Remagen". General Eisenhower is said to have exclaimed: "The bridge is worth its weight in gold".
The German army command desperately tried to bring the bridge down with bombing raids and combat swimmers. In impotent rage, Hitler set up a summary court that sentenced five officers to death and had four of them shot in the Westerwald.
On 17 March, the badly damaged bridge collapsed, killing 30 American soldiers.


Serie: Historische Bauwerke

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