The Bridge

In the wirephoto which appeared on the front page of almost every U.S. newspaper, the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen did not look like a thing of beauty. Its squat towers, like two massive beer mugs, looked typically Teutonic. The picture, taken on a grey day, showed the grey rubble of war in the foreground. But the bridge was intact, and therein lay its exquisite beauty. Every American could see in it an imminent promise of victory in Europe.

The optimism that bubbled up in the U.S. with the crossing of the Rhine barrier was tempered by caution this time. The...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!