REMAGEN : Vets at Rhine Crossing

American, Belgian and German veterans will gather at the Rhine River today to commemorate the historic Allied storming 50 years earlier of the Remagen Bridge, near Bonn, in the last months of World War II.

The bridge was discovered intact on March 7, 1945, by surprised U.S. scout units who believed the retreating German army had destroyed all bridges over the Rhine, leaving the Allies to make a difficult pontoon-bridge crossing.

The Remagen Bridge was secured, and the Allies were able to get 8,000 troops across the river within 24 hours in a bloody struggle that shortened the war. The German surrender was signed two months later, on May 7.

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