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The capture of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen occurred on March 7-8, 1945, during the closing stages of World War II (1939-1945).
In early 1945, American forces pressed towards the west bank of the Rhine River during Operation Lumberjack.
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Already PM, the 27th charged ahead to secure the bridge.
As elements of Company A, led by Lieutenant Karl Timmermann, moved onto the bridge's approaches, the Germans, led by Captain Willi Bratge, blew a 30-foot crater in the roadway with the goal of slowing the American advance.
In a sharp fight, American forces succeeded in securing the span.
The capture of the bridge gave the Allies a foothold on the eastern bank of the river and opened Germany to invasion.
Though a withdrawal over the Rhine would have been prudent to allow German forces to regroup, Hitler demanded that every foot of territory be contested and that counterattacks be launched to regain what had been lost.
Unable to secure artillery support, the 27th continued to observe the bridge.
When word of the bridge's status reached Brigadier General William Hoge, commanding Combat Command B, he issued orders for the 27th to advance into Remagen with support from the 14th Tank Battalion. Moving ahead, they found no major obstacles other than a machine gun nest overlooking the town square.
A massive explosion rocked the span, lifting it from its foundations.
When the smoke settled, the bridge remained standing, though it had suffered some damage.