Across the Rhine

An original appendix document for Operation Plunder issued to 22nd Armoured Brigade in 1945. Operation Plunder was the Allied crossing of the Rhine on the night of 23rd March 1945 by the British 2nd Army under Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey and the U.S. 9th Army under Lieutenant-General William Simpson.

This document is 6 pages & instructs all units involved of the routes, roads & staging areas along with coloured diagrams of the signage to be used and maps of the crossing. It is marked as copy 49 and complete.

-Ninth United States Army –
-Office of the commanding General-
-29 March 1945-
Subject : Commendation.
due to participate in the operation to cross the Rhine River.

Combat History of the 79th Infantry Division,issued 20.april 1945,east of Rhine

British Troops/Medics –Rhine crossing March 24 till March 29,1945

Cross the Rhine River – 100000 round fired

Guns in a Row in the Rhine area 1945

This shows one of our M.19e on the way to the Rhine with an L.V.TWe alsohauled a number of sea mules for the navy

Captain John F. Shea,Medics,Armored Division,Conducts palm sunday mass in the field prior to the rhine River crossing,March 27,1945

At Birch,England,after the Rhine drive on march 24th 1945 on our return trip back to our base.Waiting for an aircraft to pic us up

View over the Rhine in March/April 1945 in the Remagen area

Pontoon bridge across the Rhine in Remagen 1945

In Remagen,Germany,1st army troops stay close to buildings for protection from German artillery fire from across the Rhine.It was at Remagen that the Yanks first crossed the river.
March 1945

Jackpot bridge across the Rhine in Bonn

Build of another pontoon bridge over the Rhine,should be in Remagen too

Men of the kings own Scottish borderers moving forward after crossing the Rhine,March 1945

Operation Veritable (also known as the Battle of the Reichswald) was the northern part of an Allied pincer movement that took place between 8 February and 11 March 1945 during the final stages of the Second World War. The operation was conducted by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group, primarily consisting of the First Canadian Army under Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar and the British XXX Corps under Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks. The U.S. Ninth Army was incorporated into the 21st Army Group. The objective of the operation was to clear German forces from the area between the Rhine and Maas rivers, east of the German/Dutch frontier, in the Rhineland. It was part of General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “broad front” strategy to occupy the entire west bank of the Rhine before its crossing.

Photos are showing the destroyed citys of Emmerich and Goch

Infantry to attack Goch 1945

A group of German prisoners in Goch,captured after the battle

Photos are made during the battle of the Reichswald forest 1945

A group of German pows after the Rhine crossing around Wesel 1945

Partly completed Rhine River Bridge build by 237th Eng. on 22 March 1945

An alligator filled with troops hits the water with a splash under cover of a smoke screen during the Rhine river crossing by the ninth army — 3/24/45

Vehicles of the First U.S Army cross pontoon bridge across the Rhine at Rolandseck,Germany,said by Lt. Col. Julian Fox,297th Engr. Battalion,to be the longest in the ETO–
18 March 1945

Back of the photos says: This is taken in Germany along the Rhine River May 1945–Stamp says: “Passed for private use only.Wm. J. Fuller, Maj. M.C Unit Film Censor 298th General Hospital

Letter was written in Germany by Sergeant Socrates J. Thomas, Company L, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division during the Rhine crossings

“They’ve kept us on the go so much lately, and moving around so fast, that we’ve hardly had an opportunity to write.
… These past few weeks have been exciting weeks. The race across the Cologne plains, crossing the Rhine, etc. It was pretty rough going for awhile, but now everything is shaping up smoothly again. For example, one night since we’ve been across the Rhine we fired over 800 rounds out of one mortar, and the mortar tube was so hot you could hardly touch it.
A lot of the towns we’ve been taking still have the civilians in them. Generally two or three families in one house that has a good strong cellar. These people are a long way from the super race they claim. The way they whine and cry and tell how they have always hated Hitler and the Nazis. The prisoners we’ve been capturing have their share of children, a lot of the soldiers are 15, 16, 17 years old.
I’ve run across some of the slave labor they had here, Poles and Russians. Some of the Poles have been captives for 6 years. The G.I.’s couldn’t do too much for them, in the way of cigarettes, candy, food etc. But they treat the Germans with an indifferent attitude.
… I’m sure looking forward to the day when all this is over and I can return.”

V-Mail titled “Across the Rhine – 3/30/45 (March 30, 1945)”

Dear Ruth and Willis,

Received your V-mails of March 14th and 20th yesterday along with 2 from Nellie.

Everything is going OK as you have probably read in the papers.

The end seems to be near but still I don’t know.

Sure will be a happy day when it is all over.

Glad to hear to hear that my bank account is doing all right.

In a few days, I’ll send you a money order for 25 dollars.

We were paid about a week ago and as I don’t have any use for it I’ll send most of it to you.

If I ever get a chance to go on pass again I’ll have my picture taken and send some on to you.

By the way, you two don’t have a snapshot of yourselves, do you?

If you do I would like to have one for my wallet. This is all the news for now so will say so long. Write soon.

Love Charles

V-Mail,titled “across the Rhine”

Dear Ruth and Willie,

Received your V-Mail of March 19, 22, + 25 plus Your air mail of March 28 the last week or so.

??? Is good to hear from you so often. I also received the Easter Card – thanks very much, I sure hope that you got down to see mother and that you found her better.

I haven’t written her lately but I will today.

I some- times wonder if she really realizes how things are.

I had a two day pass to Belgium a few days ago – had a swell time – saw some good movies (“Saratoga Trunk,” “And Now Tomorrow,” + “A tree Grows in Brooklyn.”)

I Hope that you have received some of my letters by now. I Will try to keep up writing as often as possible. I have a Snapshot I’ll send you soon.

Write soon. Love Charles

Original leaflet,dropped by Wehrmacht to demotivate the U.S troops

1st Belgian Pioneer Group on their way from Belgium to Hamburg .Crossing the Rhine May 1945.

Photos made during the Rhine crossing in Oppenheim,Germany march 1945.German soldiers captured by 6th Us armored division.

Buffallo Amphibian and a Chaffee Tank on the raft crossing the Rhine during Operation Plunder

A C-47 throwing 2 gliders during the Rhine crossing 1945

Dropping from a great fleet of troop-carrying C-47 skytrains,hundrets of paratroopers and parachuted supplies descend to the dropzone in the Rees-Wesel area of the Rhine offensive;the planes flew 40000 men of the 1st. airborne Army into the battle,spearheading the British 2nd. Armys Rhine crossing.

British official photograph,issued March 1945.
East of Rhine -German prisoners who threw away their weapons and arms and waled towards this british soldier with white flag

No mans land over the Rhine 1945

British official photograph No. B14924.— Canadian troops pushed on towards the Rhine from Calcar on 28th february 1945

Captured German soldiers next to Rhine River bank 1945

Destroyed Suedbrigde across the Rhine between Dusseldorf and Neuss

Smoke pots to protect Rhine crossing

Crossing the Rhine River,unknown location and bad quality photo

Rhine River in Worms,Germany April 1945

Rhinefort bridge across the Rhine River

Unknown bridge….

General Alex Patch Bridge Road sign across the Rhine in Kassel

Captured Germans,Rhine River Koblenz 1945

U.S Seventh Army Infantrymen leave the assault boat in wich they crossed the Rhine and climb up the enemy-held east bank.
Frankenthal,Germany 3/26/1945

U.S tanks reach the Rhine at Koblenz,March 8 Issue

Eisenhower goes over the Rhine,March 9 Issue

Blasted bridges across the Rhine in Koblenz

Report from YANK magazine april 1945

Unknown location,Rhine River 1945

A U.S. Navy landing boat pulls up alongside German prisoners floundering in the Rhine River, and other prisoners reach out to pull them aboard. A whole boatload of prisoners, enroute to the Rhine’s West bank, capsized when the occupants became panic-stricken and rushed to one side of the boat (April 1945)

Build of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Bridge across the Rhine in Mainz April 1945

Build of the Montgomery Bridge across the Rhine in Wesel October 1945 till January 1946

 Another Bailey bridge named after war correspondent Ernie Pyle was constructed in Dusseldorf April 1945

Picture taken while crossing Rhine River at Mannheim,bridge dedicated to Ernie Pyle July 1,1945

Bridge across the Rhine River,Germany in French Zone of Occupation

Just one of the many destroyed bridges across the Rhine — Karlsruhe september 1945

The Providence Journal Newspaper March 27,1945

Original pressphoto:

The prime minister and party at blown up bridge at Wesel in March 1945.Original british photograph

British Commandos of the 1st. Commando-Brigade made a surprise crossing of the Rhine in assault craft at 10pm on the night of March 23,under terrific barrage of 1500 guns,to form the spearhead of the British assault.They crossed four hours ahead of any other troops.By 2am their first objective,the major town of Wesel,was captured and 350 German prisoners taken.The German commander in Wesel,Major-General Deutsch.was killed.

Photo shows some of the 350 German prisoners captured by the British Commandos in Wesel March 1945

The Stars and Stripes Newspaper March 1945

Across the Rhine,exact location and date unknown

Chaplain John H Cunnif conducts catholic services for engineers of the 9th US Army, on the east bank of the Rhine river, near Wesel, Germany 1945

Ponton bridge across the Rhine in Wesel on April 15th 1945

German P.O.W camp in Wesel – May 20,1945

The destroyed Rhine river bridge on may 20,1945.The destroyed railroad bridge can be seen too

Destroyed town of Wesel 1945

Another knocked out bridge across the Rhine,August 1946.Could be Wesel

Another knocked out bridge across the Rhine,location and date unknown

Victor Bridge across the Rhine between Niederbreisig and Bad Hönningen March/April 1945

US Troops crossing a Rhine river bridge in Duisburg 1945

Gerow Bridge across the Rhine in Duisburg 1945

Build of the Victory Bridge in Duisburg,Germany

Victory Bridge across the Rhine in Duisburg.The old bridge towers (on the photo far away on the left) still exist

155mm Howitzer firing over the Rhine

Ponton bridge across the Rhine,next to the Remagen bridge 1945

Another knocked out bridge in Germany,this time a bridge across the Rhine in Mannheim

German prisoners captured at Loevenich (Cologne),captured by units of the U.S 9th Army at the opening of the current big drive,these German prisoners are marched out of Loevenich,Germany under guard of a U.S infantryman with automatic gun.March 1945

British official photograph No. CL.2115 (WPL)
An R.A.F official photographer entered Cologne with American troops today and secured these photograps – the first ground pictures.They show some of the effects of the terrific air bombardment of this key Rhine city.
Photo shows: From the doorway of a battered building an American soldier watches a patrol moving towards the centre of Cologne (March 1945 )

Airview of bombed city of Cologne 1945.On the back the Rhine River with the destroyed bridge next to the cathedral

An Amercian soldier in front of the Kathedral in Cologne 1945

Over the Rhine River in Cologne 1945

The occupied city of Cologne 1945/46

Another view of Cologne,the damaged cathedral,part of the city and the destroyed Hohenzollern railroad bridge

The destroyed König Wilhelm Railroad bridge between Neuss and Dusseldorf 1945

Another pontoon bridge across the Rhine,location and date unknown

U.S Army jeep in front of a destroyed Rhine Bridge

Crossing the Inn river in Braunau 1945

Crossing the Donau,next to Regensburg

After the Rhine,there was the Elbe…Crossing the Elbe in April 1945,U.s Army pontoon bridge,Gateway to Berlin

Last update:02.04.2019