The press called it one of the most important events of World War II.
It was March of 1945, and the war was coming to an end. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery had been planning Operation Plunder for months; the objective was to cross the river Rhine, which would open the floodgates to invade central Germany.
By then, no one expected any German bridges to be still standing, but when American troops arrived at the resort town of Remagen on March 7, they were shocked to find just that. The Ludendorff Bridge was still there, overrun with Germans fleeing to the village of Erpel on the eastern bank.
So surprising was the sighting, that the Americans were sure the bridge would explode at any moment. Still, Brigadier General William M. Hoge disobeyed commands and ordered to move into town and capture the bridge.
A weak German defense, explosives that didn’t work, and the sheer bravery of American soldiers running towards enemy fire resulted in the taking of the bridge, which would trigger a battle between the two forces for the next ten days.
Hitler was furious and commanded the bridge to be destroyed at once, but the Americans had lined-up unprecedented artillery to protect it. In a final, desperate attempt, eleven V-2 ballistic missiles were launched, the first time they were used against a strategic target.
Dark Docs brings you cinematic short military history documentaries featuring the greatest battles and most heroic stories of modern warfare, covering World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and special forces operations in between.
As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect and soundtracks for emotional impact. We do our best to keep it as visually accurate as possible.
All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas.