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The Rhine Crossing (Paperback)

Military > Battlefield Guidebooks > WWII Battlefield Guides WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Berlin 1945

By Andrew Rawson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Battleground
Series: Battleground: WWII
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 120 B&W
ISBN: 9781844152322
Published: 28th February 2005
Expected Re-release Date: 30th July 2024


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By Spring 1945, with the Russians closing fast on Berlin from the East, the US and British Armies of Patton and Montgomery were faced with one major hurdle, the Rhine. Heavily defended by the Nazis, this obstacle would only be crossed by a massive operation requiring meticulous planning and bold execution.The resulting operation involving 29 divisions was outstandingly successful. This book follows the river crossings by 30th and 79th US Divisions, codenamed Operation FLASHPOINT and the airdrop by 17th US Airborne Division (VARSITY). While covering quite different sectors, this book can be read in conjunction with its sister volumes "Operation Varsity" and "Operation Plunder", by Tim Saunders.

One of three books in the Battleground series about the Rhine Crossing of March 1945, focusing on the landing of the 17th Airborne Division and the crossing of the 9th US Army, in what was the last great set piece operation carried out by the western Allies during the Second World War. The 9th Army quickly secured a foothold on the eastern bank against relatively little opposition and made steady progress towards the airborne troops, who, landing on heavily defended drop zones overlooked by anti-aircraft weapons, had a much more eventful experience, but despite very heavy casualties were able to secure all of their objectives within a few hours. As with all books in the Battleground series, the concise narrative succeeds in cramming an impressive amount of detailed information, first hand accounts, as well as a great many photographs and maps, into a remarkably small space. As such while it can be used solely as a battlefield guide, it also makes for an easy to read and surprisingly comprehensive introduction to the subject.

Pegasus Archive, Mark Hickman
 Andrew Rawson

About Andrew Rawson

ANDREW RAWSON has over forty books to his name, including eight Pen and Sword ‘Battleground Europe’ travel books and three History Press ‘Handbook’ reference books. He has edited the minutes of the Second World War conferences and the top-secret correspondence between George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower. He books include covering Poland’s struggle in the twentieth century, Auschwitz Extermination Camp and wartime Krakow. He has also written a ten-part series on the Western Front campaigns between 1914-18. He has a master’s degree with Birmingham University’s history department.

Americans find intact bridge over Rhine

7th March 1945

In a major coup for the Allied war effort, U.S. Army forces reach the Rhine River at the small German town of Remagen, and find the Ludendorff Bridge still standing. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler planned on using the Rhine as a formidable natural obstacle against the advancing Allied troops, and ordered all bridges across the river destroyed. German troops were preparing to blow up the Ludendorff Bridge when American forces captured it on March 7 under heavy fire.

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