The World War II Photo of the Week
for 11 March 2002
|Hours Before the Collapse ...
The Ludendorff Railroad Bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, as seen from the east bank of the river, looking west toward the town. This photo was taken at 11:00 a.m. on March 17, 1945. Four hours and fifteen minutes later, at 3:15 p.m., the bridge collapsed. Two-hundred 1st Army troops were on it at the time 28 of them were killed and 98 were injured. The bridge, which was captured 10 days earlier, was the first bridge captured intact by the Allies, and within 24 hours of its capture, 8,000 troops were across, along with hundreds of tanks and vehicles. The structure of the bridge had been seriously weakened by the German attempt to blow it up, and from numerous nearby explosions as the Germans tried to knock it out with fighter-bomber attacks. From the Webmaster's collection.