Anniversaries: A Bridge to the Past

A Bridge to the Past

It was March 7, 1945. The retreating German army planned to destroy the Ludendorff Bridge across the Rhine with 650 lbs. of explosives strapped to the girders in 60 separate charges. But the Germans were too late: U.S. 9th Armored Division tanks and infantrymen, swarming down the steep bluffs overlooking the town of Remagen, reached the bridge just as the charges were tripped. Only a few detonated, though witnesses from both armies insisted that the span lifted off its stone foundations, then settled back down. Before the Germans could set more explosives, the Americans had taken the bridge and crossed the...

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