THE RHINE CROSSING

TWELFTH ARMY GROUP ENGINEER OPERATIONS

BY GENERAL P. H. TIMOTHY

\

940.5421
T585r

THE COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE

LIBRARY

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-6900
Call Number

CGSC Label 13 1 Jan 85 Edition of 11 Dec 72 is obsolete.

8 / -'

THE KHINE CROSSING

Twelfth Army Group Engineer Operations

by

P. H. TIMOTHY
Brigadier General, United States Army

Table of Contents
C .

Page INTRODUCTION THE SITUATION Twelfth Army Group Military Situation Locations of Probable Crossing Sites THE PROBLEM The Obstacle Rivera-crossing Tactics Limitations of Standard Equipment Naval Assistance

ige Flood^warning Service
Supply Problems
Special Crossing Problems
Training
THE CROSSING First Army Ninth Army Third Army Fixed Bridges CONCLUSION APPENDIX Third Army Engineer Plan for Crossing Requirements for Equipment and Troops Bibliography

1 3 3 4 4 4 5 5

16 20 24 28 29 29 34 36 42 49 51 52 53

7
10 11 13

Determination of Crossing Sites Other Map Studies Weather Studies

13 14 16

57

INT

U C T I

e the invasion the T the plan forArmies would ofcross European Continent contem­ plated that Allied the Seine River on D+180, 6 months after landing on the Normandy beaches. Two and a half months after D-Day, the Ameri­ can Armies crossed the Seine and a few days later the US First Army reached Bel­ gium and the US Third Army crossed the Moselle River and was hammering at the fortifications of Metz. Six months after D-Day, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and a part of Holland had been liberated, and American troops had reached the Rhine in the Strasbourg area and had penetrated the Siegfried Line to the north. This was accomplished in spite of the fact that ports in France and Belgium had been demolished and all communications severed. Practic­ ally every railway and highway bridge had been destroyed except a few in the immedi­ ate vicinity of Paris. Such rapid movement would not have been possible without the incredible accomplishments of our engi­ neers. There undoubtedly were many ac­ tivities in which American armed forces ex­ celled when compared to other armies in Europe, but the work of the Army engi­ neers was outstanding. Although American industry provided the finest mechanical equipment in the world, this superiority was due primarily to the fact that our en­ gineers had the "know-how" and that the

American soldier was mechanically trained and mechanically minded. The Rhine Crossing, which was al­ most completely an "engineer show," is an excellent illustration of the work of our engineers in Europe. With the possible exception of the Normandy beaches, the Rhine River presented the most formidable natural obstacle in western Europe. From the standpoint of troops and equipment in­ volved, the assault crossing of the Rhine was the largest military operation in his­ tory. It is questionable whether the vast extent and scope of the engineer studies and plans prepared in connection with an operation of this magnitude will ever be adequately described. This pamphlet at­ tempts only to outline the work of the en­ gineers of the Twelfth Army Group in prep­ aration for the Rhine crossing, and to in­ dicate the major accomplishments during the actual operation. However, an oper­ ation of such gigantic proportions could not have been successful without full co­ operation from all arms and services. Em­ phasis will also be placed on the unique features of this undertaking. For instance, the idea of employing the Navy on the Rhine was conceived by engineers of the Twelfth Army Group and for the first time in history a part of our Navy was trans­ ported several hundred miles overland and launched on an inland waterway to sup­ port a river crossing.

Fig. No. 1.

12th ARMY GROUP
HEADQUARTERS, 12th ARMY GROUP, (pi 14 July I * H First U.S. Army Group! planned the overall strategy and tactics for U.S. Forces on the Continent. After the Initial phase of the invasion of France, from 1 August to (he cessation of hostilities, 12 th Army Group made the main effort on the Western Front, and commanded at its height 1,600,000 troops. The Ninth AJr Force provided the tactical air support lo die 12th Army Group throughout ihe war In the West

P
Campaign of
NORMANDY

6 June
25 July


PHASE II
Campaign of
WESTERN FRANCE
and BRITTANY
25 July

19«
*

PHASE 1 1 1
EASTERN FRANCE
ond lie
SIEGFRIED LINE

9th ARMY

FRANCE HOLLAND

BELGIUM LUXEMBOURG

GERMANY • AUSTRIA CZECHOSLOVAKIA

= U

THE RHINE CMOSSING
Twelfth Army Group Engineer Operations

THE

S I T U A T I O N

Twelfth Army Group

ihe Twelfth T manded byArmy Group, com­ General Omar N. Bradley, directed the operations of the First, Third, Ninth, and Fifteenth Ameri­ can Armies. The Ninth Air Force provided tactical air support for the armies of Twelfth Army Group. The dark red area in figure 1 shows the operations of the Twelfth Army Group from the Normandy beaches to the Elbe River and the Redoubt Area. On the north are indicated the oper­ ations of the Twenty-first Army Group, which commanded the British Second Army and the First Canadian Army. Operations of the Sixth Army Group, which com­ manded the American Seventh Army and the French First Army, are shown on the south. The Twelfth Army Group made the main effort on the western front, and commanded during the Rhine operation 1,185,000 troops, of which approximately 150,000 were engineers.
Organization Within Theater. Fig­

zone. They were also responsible for re­ construction of railroads and for laying petroleum pipe lines within the combat zone. In the combat zone, army engineers assisted the corps engineers and performed all engineer activities, except airfields, rail­ road, and petroleum pipe-line work, in rear of the corps rear boundaries. The corps engineers supported division engineers and performed engineer tasks within corps areas.

COMMUNICATION

ZONE

Ig

ure 2 shows the organization of US forces in the European Theater. The theater was divided into a communications zone and a combat zone. The communications zone included the initial bases in the United Kingdom and extended from the coastal areas on the continent to the rear bound­ ary of the army groups. The rear bound­ ary of the armies coincided with the for­ ward boundary of the communications zone, and this line moved inland as the armies advanced. Army group headquar­ ters had no geographical area of responsi­ bility. Each army consisted of three or four corps and each corps of three or four divisions. The communications zone engin­ eers were charged with construction or re­ construction of ports, communications, hospitals, heavy-bomber bases, and other installations within the communications

Figure 2. Organization of US Forces in the European Theater.

A Combined Achievement. In­ tensive planning and preparation for the assault of the Rhine began before the Twelfth Army Group crossed the Seine in August and continued until the Rhine cross­ ings were made during the latter part of March. It is impossible to differentiate between the accomplishments of the vari­ ous echelons of engineers. Although def­ inite responsibilities existed during differ­ ent phases of the operation, the success of a particular echelon at any time depended largely on the assistance or accomplish­ ments of other echelons. Engineers of the

3

Twelfth Army Group included not only the engineers of General Bradley's headquar­ ters but the engineers of the First, Third, Ninth, and Fifteenth Armies, as well as the corps and division engineers within the armies.

Furthermore, the successful a­ chievements of the Twelfth Army Group engineers would not have been possible without the assistance and cooperation of the engineers of the theater and of the communications zone.

Military Situation
The Allied offensive had been stopped at the very threshold of Germany in the winter of 1944-45. In December, January, and early February, our armies in the west were held at the Roer River, the Ardennes Forest, and at the Siegfried fortifications. The enemy resisted fiercely and counterattacked. The winter was bitter with heavy snows and near-zero weather. In mid-February when our armies resumed the offensive, the Twelfth Army Group swept across the Roer River and the Siegfried Line into the Rhine Valley. As­ sault crossings of the Rhine followed with­ out delay even though the Germans had systematically destroyed road and railroad bridges leading to and across the Rhine, except, of course, the Ludendorf bridge which collapsed 10 days after capture. These rapid crossings achieved great tac­ tical surprise and saved thousands of lives. A crossing of such magnitude would have been impossible without longrange planning executed in minutest detail. However, before exhaustive engineer studies could be undertaken, it was necessary to know from the strategic plan what sec­ tions of the river the armies would prob­ ably cross.

Locations of Probable Crossings
Figure 3 shows the broad charac­ teristics of Western Germany's terrain and the five principal corridors leading to the * Rhine. The Meuse, the Moselle, and the Kaiserlautern were the Twelfth Army Group's main avenues of approach. The immediate objective after forcing the Rhine was to isolate the Ruhr, the heart of in­ dustrial Germany. Envelopment of the Ruhr would not only deprive the enemy of vital sinews of war but would probably trap the bulk of German forces remaining in the west. Movement through the heavily built-up areas of the Ruhr was considered prohibitive if the enemy elected to defend his cities vigorously. The flat land on the north offered perhaps the best corridor for armored penetration under favorable weath­ er conditions. Here, however, the innumer­ able, swamps, canals, and wide rivers would seriously restrict a strong effort, particu­ larly during winter rains, and lines of action would be limited to fringes of the central highlands until midsummer. Accordingly, the best approach north of the Ruhr ap­ peared to be along the Lippe River toward Paderborn with Rhine crossings between Emmerich and Orsoy. South of the Ruhr, two regions were studied for possible crossings. One, between Bingen and Worms, led to the Frankfort area, then through the Wetterau and Fulda gateways of the Hessian Corridor toward Kassel and Paderborn. The other region, between Cologne and Coblenz, open­ ed southeast to the Westerwald plateau to­ wards Limburg and the valley of the Lahn, where forces could join those advancing through the Hessian Corridor.

4

Fig.No. 3.

Corridors of penetration,

GENERALIZED ENEMY TERRAIN

Central and Southwestern Germany

Priority Autobahn

I—-|

Defense Lines (Siegfried)

International Border .

.

.

Fig. No. 4.

The course of the Rhine.

THE

PMOBLE

The Obstacle

Tthe Rhine is one of the world's greatest rivers (fig 4). From Lake Constance in Switzerland, where it is
fed by the melting snows of the Alps, the Rhine flows along the German-Swiss border approximately 100 miles to Basle. There it turns north along the French-German border. In the section between Basle and Mannheim, the Rhine lies in a broad valley 20 to 30 miles wide with highlands on both sides. The Vosges Plateau rises to the west, and the Black Forest lies to the east. In the gorge section below Bingen, the river is confined between rugged cliffs which rise to heights of 500 feet. Here rocky out­ crops in the river bed as well as the swift and treacherous currents have long been hazards to navigation. At Coblenz, the valley widens for a short distance, then narrows again, confining the river between slopes of the surrounding highlands. Be­ low Bonn stretches the broad, flat Cologne plain which extends to and beyond the Dutch border. Width of River. The Rhine has been canalized with a system of levees and dikes throughout its length. Along the 320-mile course from Basle to the Nether­ lands, the river's normal width varies from 700 to 1200 feet, and some places it widens to 2000 feet. At no place can it be forded, even at low water. During flood periods, the river level vary as much as 25 feet. It frequently overflows its artificial banks and may spread a mile or more to the levees or flood banks on either side. Figure 5 is an aerial view of a section of the Rhine at ordinary stages showing the water within the artificial or normal banks. Figure 6 is a view of the same area during high water with the river over the banks and spreading to the levees. At the bridge site, the river is approxi­ mately a mile wide and the approach road between the east bank and the levee is under water for about half its length.

Figure 5. River at Normal Stage.

Figure 6. Same Area During High Water.

Danger of Enemy's Breaching Levees. The likelihood that the enemy would breach the levees during floods had to be carefully considered. In some areas a breach during high water would flood 4 or 5 miles on both sides of the main chan­ nel, inundating all routes of communication. Early in December, the Germans blew dams near Arnheim on the Allied side of the Lek River. The serious delay resulting from this action clearly demonstrated that the Germans appreciated the enormous diffi­ culties such an obstacle could create. Characteristics of Rhine Flow. Characteristics of the flow of the Rhine are indicated in figure 7. The lower hydrograph is at Basle (fig 4) and is typical of the flow in the upper reach of the Rhine above Mann­

heim, where the first major tributary, the Neckar, enters the Rhine. Here the high­ est flows occur during summer months be­ cause of the runoff from the melting snows of the Alps. The upper hydrograph is at Cologne and shows the typical flow below Mannheim. In this lower reach, the situ­ ation is reversed and the highest water occurs during winter because of rainfall on the lower drainage area. Floods also occur during summer when the snows melt in the Alps, but they are far less intense than during the winter. From the standpoint of floods, therefore, winter is most favor­ able for crossing the Rhine above Mann­ heim. Whereas below Mannheim, winter is the most unfavorable time to cross and the hazards due to flood become increas­ ingly greater with the distance downstream.

3787

COMPOSITE HYDROGRAPH FOR RHINE RIVER
MEAN OF YEARS 1902-1921

JAN

MAR

APR

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Figure 7.

During floods, the Rhine has ex­ cessive velocities, as high as 12 feet per second in the upper reach and 8 to 9 feet per second in the lower reach below Mann­ heim, except in the gorge section where considerably higher flows occur. Ice Conditions. Winter ice condi­ tions are generally severe principally be­ cause of break up of ice on the major trib­ utaries. Ice blocks on the Rhine may aver­ age 30 feet in diameter and exceed 3 feet in thickness.

Summary. These natural char­ acteristics, supplemented by fortifications clearly made the Rhine a formidable ob­ stacle. It was expected that the enemy would destroy all existing bridges and would defend the river with every means at his disposal. This barrier seemed to offer the best and last opportunity for stopping the advance of the Allies from the west. Such was the obstacle confronting the Allied Armies.

River*Cross£ng Tactics and Equipment A brief description of standard river-crossing tactics and equipment is nec­ essary to illustrate the technique employed and the means ordinarily available in order that the special problems presented by the Rhine may be more readily understood. Tactics. During the assault, a bridgehead is established on the far shore in sufficient depth to include all ground from which observed enemy artillery fire could be directed on the crossing site. In­ fantry troops are crossed initially in assault boats to rout the enemy from the opposite shore. Reinforcements are then crossed in storm boats and ferries to assist the first waves in capturing the high ground affording hostile observation. Thereafter, floating bridges are constructed for the build-up of forces to expand and break out of the bridgehead. Floating bridges are followed by fixed highway and railroad bridges. Equipment. The following para­ graphs describe equipment used in the vari­ ous phases of the crossing. Boats. A single assault boat (fig 8) carries 12 infantry soldiers with indi­ vidual weapons and combat equipment plus a crew of 3 engineer soldiers to return the boat to the near shore for another load. The boat is paddled, and the initial assault is usually made during darkness to gain surprise and to prevent the boats' being mowed down like sitting ducks.

Figure 8. Single Assault Boat.

Figure 9. Double Assault Boat.

7

Speed in the follow-up is essential. Additional waves are often sent over in double assault boats propelled by outboard motors (see fig 9). These double boats are formed by joining two single boats to­ gether. Storm boats (fig 10) are also used for crossing infantry after the initial waves. They carry 7 men with equipment plus an engineer crew of 2. Storm boats are much faster than double assault boats and can make 24 mph when loaded. Ferries. Ferrying operations are started as soon as possible to transport tanks, tank destroyers, artillery, and sup­ ply vehicles to reinforce and expand the bridgehead and to repel counterattacks. Figure 11 shows an infantry support raft built of double assault boats with plywood treadways fastened across them. It is powered by outboard motors and can carry jeeps, light artillery, and 2 y2-ton supply trucks. Heavier ferries are made from standard floating-bridge equipment. Figure 12 shows the steel treadway ferry on pneu­ matic floats. These ferries are powered either by outboard motors or utility boats. Figure 13 shows a ferry constructed from our heavy ponton equipment. It consists of wooden stringers, or balk, and chess laid over the steel or aluminum ponton boat.

Figure 10. Storm Boat.

Figure 11. Infantry Support Raft.

Figure 12. Steel Treadway Perry on Pneumatic Floats.

8

Figure 15 shows the steel treadway bridge which consists of steel treadways and rubber floats. It can carry a medium tank weighing a little under 40 tons. This bridge proved to be the best tactical bridge used in Europe. The heavy ponton bridge, consist­ ing of wooden stringers and decking on steel or aluminum boats, is shown in figure 16. It was our standard floating bridge before the steel treadway was developed and except on the Rhine was used only on the Seine and to a limited extent on the
Roer.

Figure 13. Ferry Constructed of Heavy Ponton Equipment.

The Bailey ferry (fig 14) is con­ structed with the standard British floatingbridge equipment. It consists of the Bailey trusses and wooden decking laid over the Bailey plywood pontoons. Bridges. Floating-bridge con­ struction begins when observed artillery fire can no longer be directed on the cross­ ing site. This operation is usually pro­ tected by smoke to prevent hostile aerial observation and attack.

Figure 14. Bailey Ferry Built of Standard
British Floating-Bridge Equipment.

Figure 15. Steel Treadway Bridge.

Figure 16. Heavy Ponton Bridge.

Ferries. Ferrying with our stand­ ard equipment at speeds of about 3Vk mph is at best a slow process. The swift cur­ rents of the Rhine during high water, to­ gether with the probability of ice floes, in­ dicated that operation of our ferrying equipment would be extremely hazardous and at times impossible. Bridges. Currents over 7 feet per second seriously restrict the capacity of floating bridges. During floods, bridges must be raised and lengthened, abutments changed, and if the banks are overflowed, considerably more bridging added. In high floods, floating bridges must be removed to prevent their loss. Additional hazards to floating equipment consist of floating debris
Figdre 17. Floating Bailey Bridge.

The floating Bailey bridge (fig 17) is regarded as a semitactical bridge be­ cause it requires considerably more time to construct than either of the foregoing types. It was normally used to replace treadway bridges so the treadway equip­ ment could be moved forward to support advanced elements. Special equipment. For special operations, the LVT or alligator (fig 18) is used to augment ferrying operations. This is an amphibious craft propelled in water or on land by its treads. It can carry 8000 pounds of cargo or 24 fully equipped men. The DUKW (fig 19) has also been extensively used in amphibious operations. It is used principally for transporting sup­ plies.

Figure 18. Alligator or LVT—Landing Vehicle, Tracked.

Limitations of Standard Equipment Months before our armies reached Germany, it was realized that the Rhine crossing presented major problems in the use of our standard equipment, particularly during flood stages. If the Rhine were to be crossed in midwinter, as appeared quite probable at that time, floods accompanied by currents of 8 to 12 feet per second were likely.
Figure 19. The DUKW.

10

Naval Assistance
In view of these limitations in the use of ferries and floating bridges, it was believed necessary to obtain larger and more powerful craft from the Navy. Not only were naval craft considered necessary to assist in ferrying troops, equipment, and supplies during the assault phase, but their use was believed to be the only reliable means of maintaining support during ex­ treme high water until after fixed bridges had been completed. Naval Equipment. The Navy co­ operated to the fullest possible extent in solving the problems of transporting and launching their boats. In addition to the craft, the Navy also provided antimine nets and barges. The principal items ob­ tained from the Navy are discussed below: LCVP's. Seventy-two LCVP's (figs 20 and 21) were furnished by the Navy to the armies of Twelfth Army Group. The LCVP—Landing Craft Vehicle Per­ sonnel—is 36 feet long, 10 feet wide, and weighs 9 tons. It can carry 36 combat soldiers, 2 jeeps, light artillery, or 4 tons of cargo. The LCVP is a powerful boat capable of handling heavy ferries or rafts in swift streams, and can do 11 mph when loaded. It draws between 2 and 3 feet of water. LCM's. Forty-five LCM's—Land­ ing Craft Mechanized—were divided be­ tween First, Third, and Ninth Armies. Fig­ ure 22 shows the LCM carrying a jeep and a 2y2-ton truck. With either the LCVP or

Figure 20. LCVP Loaded with Troops.

Figure 21. LCVP Unloading Troops.

during high water and ice floes in winter or early spring. Enemy interference. Besides these natural hazards, the Germans were expected to make their maximum air effort in strafing and bombing our ferries and bridges on the Rhine. It was thought they would also use swimmers carrying explosives, barges or boats loaded with explosives, floating mines, and torpedoes launched from one-man sub­ marines.

Figure 22. LCM Carrying Jeep and 2%-ton Truck.

LCM, loads did not have to be transferred, loaded supply trucks being run directly on and off the craft. The LCM is 50 feet long, 14 feet wide, and weighs 26 tons. Its great advantage over the LCVP is that it can carry tanks (fig 24). Its speed is approxi­ mately 10 mph, and it draws between 3 and 4 feet of water. NL pontoon equipage. Because floating cranes and pile drivers are required in the construction of fixed bridges, enough NL (naval lighterage) (fig 25) pontoon equipment was obtained to provide each army with 10 barges for use as floating cranes and pile drivers, work barges, and landing stages. The NL barges are con­ structed from pontoons, 5 by 5 by 7 feet in size (fig 26). To conserve transporta­ tion, the pontoons were hauled up filled with gasoline. Antimine nets. The Navy also provided approximately 20,000 linear feet of antimine net to protect the bridges from floating mines, swimmers, and one-man sub­ marines. Naval Personnel. The Navy fur­ nished administrative personnel and crews to operate and maintain the craft. Seabees were also provided to instruct and assist engineer troops in assembling and launch­ ing NL pontoon barges. The naval com­ plement consisting of about 1000 officers and enlisted men was organized into 3 de­ tachments, 1 for each of the 3 armies which were to make the initial crossings. Captain William J. Whiteside, USN, had charge of the naval units attached to the armies. He was assigned to the staff of the Engineer, Twelfth Army Group, as naval technical adviser in addition to his duties as com­ mander of the naval forces.

Figure 23. Tank Leaving LCM.

Figure 24. Gun Being Loaded on LCM.

Figure 25. NL Pontoon Equipment Carrying Tractor-Mounted Crane.

Figure 26. NL Pontoons Being Assembled.

Fig. No. 27.

Types of soils in Rhine flood plain.

WESTERN GERMANY

SOIL TRAFFICABILITY MAP

I — - — — — H ^ Z H
1

1 LOAM & LOESS SILTY TO FINE SANDY TEXTURED SOILS WITH GOOD DRAINAGE.

I I I I I I I I I WEATHERED BEDROCK M H N t I l l l l l l « M ^ ^ M
R0 CK

I

1 FLOODPLAIN ALLUVIUM SOFT. HUMID. OFTEN MARSHY SANDS. MARLS AND CLAYS IN THE PRESENT FLOODPLAIN OF THE RHINE AND IT'S

I INPOPIUIATinN S F T T i n N W T C I i T r c l u r C n i u i c rwj I N T E L L I f a t N L t UIVIblUN OCE, HQ., ETOUSA |

\ / 7 / 7 7 \ / / / / / / / /

C L A Y S

A N D

MARLS

L W W 4 /QQQQ* X X » n '

FLOODPLAIN PEAT BOGS
S O F T PE T * ' MUCK. ORGANIC CLAYS. A N D

I I I I I I I I I I SAND AND GRAVELLY SOILS-USUALLY WITH A LOAMY SAND. \ /S © J |
! 2 L 0 W E R TERRACE-SHALLOW GROUND WATER. UPLAND-WELL DRAINED IN HILLY TERRAIN. 3. DUNE SAND-SHIFTING WIND BLOWN SANDS.

SANDY LOAM SOILS WITH FRAGMENTS AND SHALLOW BEDROCK.

/ V E R Y F I N E GRAINED / S IS O . L

Fig. No. 28.

TOPOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS TO CROSS-COUNTRY MOVEMENT
6

&JROPF ,AT^

8

HEIGHTS IN METRES

rDAMFHTDT rKAJNiVrUKI

NORTHERN

ZONE

LAYER

SYSTEM

,,
2nd. Edition. NE.5O/O

Fig No. TERRA.N SUMMARY
Wester^ald High, steep scarp; flanked by terraced vineyards. Movement difficult; vehicles in general confined to roads, except on lower
slopes; foot movement slow. Obstacles are steep slopes, terraced vineyards on lower slopes, and forests. Rhine Plam: Poorly drarned plain; almost flat except for few sand dunes and scarp at westernmost margin; former river channels are swampy; few marshes at outer edge of plain. Poor trafficability at alt times for vehicles;can be crossed on foot during dry periods only. Ob­ stacles are wide ditches, poorly drained land, and water over flood plain

29.

| ~ ^
«•«

EXPLANATION
L - / X l

WESTERN GERMANY

* - " • ' "

• 1 W H

SUITABILITY FOP CROSS-COUNTRY MOVEMENT(TRAFFICABILITY) vta

^ ^ U n i t n o t p r e s e n t 0 0 tfrliS Q u a d r a n g l e
^
1 S T E E P S L O P E S (fTIOSt Slopes 2 5 ' / o Of mOTC)
V#hwuHr mowmtnt confinedtoroad* because ol ste«p, rocky, or ttf­ raced slOMJ

dunng h.gh w,ter o n Rhme
Wetterau Corndor Gently rolling plain rises northward from Lower Main Plain. Entrance to corridor narrowed by ridge northeast of Frank furt. Movement easy, though clayey soils hamper vehicles and foot movement in wet weather. Obstacles are clayey soils.

2 a M O D E R A T E SLOPES W I T H W E L L - D R A I N E D SANDY OR

GRAVELLY S O I L (mOSt slopes 7 . 5 " / . tO 2 5 V . )
Trefficability good to moderator? poor for all vehicle* in any weather;
poor when ground it thiwing. Slopes hamper some vehicles.

Lower Mam Plam: Fiat, well-drain.d plain with slight northtrending ridge along middle of plain; gentle slopes north of Main. Movement

» • HILIS WITH L A Y SOILS (SlOpeS 7.5 tO 2 5 * ) O M Tt^Tf J.C&bi3.1t»^/ frftfllpQrCd b y OtUd i l l " ® t

^^'^:;^::£!^^:::Z;XZ™Zn.
Odemvald-Soessart Plateau- Two terrain types: ( l l Northeast of

weather.
qUlCKlJT.

good in dry weather,

8011. dry

^'S^^^^^^JZiSS^XZZZ

valleys. (2l Along east margin and southeast corner of map are
scarped, tilted plateaus; poorly drained; plateau scarps face west. slopes gently tilted down on east; river gorges deep. Movement moderately difficult in hitl and ridge area; mostly over clay soils with some e«tens,ve sand areas. In scarped plateaus, difficult on scarps, moderate over east-facing slopes. Obstacles are scarps, steep slopes.

2c MODERATE SLOPES WITH LOAMY OR CLAYEY SOIL
(mOSt Slopes 7.5°/» tO 25*/.)
TraHicability poor when ground it wet Of thawing; ground dries ,„ s| M J(| ^ slop " h > m p " 5 o m * **>"«"

poorly drained river valleys, and gorges. Vogelsberg: Rolling country with scarp-bordered hogbacks on east;
trenched by streams from Vogelsberg. Movement easy in hilly country; though scarps and hogbacks impede movement Obstacles are poorly drained valley; to east, scarps and steep slopes.

3a GENTLY SLOPING AND LEVEL LAND WITH WELLDRAINED SANDY OR GRAVELLY SOIL (Slopes leSS than
7 . 5 °/o) Trafficabihty generally good to excellent in all awatlMf
d u n e s [mf n 0 | e s m m a p | h j m p < f movemtnt

Locally sard

3b

GENTLY SLOPING AND LEVEL LAND WITH MODER­ ATELY WELL-DRAINED LOAMY SOIL (most slopes less than 7.5V.)
Traffic hampered by mud in w*t weather, good when dry; soil dries quickly eicept where water table is high (see notes on map).

GENTLY SLOPING AND LEVEL LAND WITH CLAYEY SOIL; FAIRLY GOOD SURFACE DRAINAGE (most slopes less-fhan 7.5 V.)
Traffic hampered by sticky mud in wet weather; soil dries slowly; traflicable in dry weather.

4a

POORLY DRAINED SOILS OTHER THAN PEAT AND MUCK
Trafficability very poor except in prolonged dry weather

4b

SWAMPS. LARGELY PEAT AND MUCK
Untratficable i t a l limes, boggy Foot movement generally difficult.

* 5

LEVEL AREAS DRAINED BY CLOSELY SPACED DITCHES AND CANALS
Untrafficable because of ditches and canals. Systerri causes flooding or boggy soils. Destruction of drainage

6

RIVER FLOOD CHANNELS. drained soils
especsMy in winter and spring.

Complex of well- and poorlyFloods frequent

Traffic hampered by local areas of muddy soils.

• I j i I Escarpments and steep slopes, too narrow to be shown a t 1 1 1 1 1 areas of Map Unit 1. ^ ^**> Gully or ravine

PROBABLE NUMBER OF DAYS "E R MONTH OF fiOOD CROSS-CO U NTHY TPAFFIC UTILITY

I

^^V

J i n

Feb. Mar. Apr. May June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct. Nov. Dec. I

More than 25 days per month

1

1 8 to 2 5

10to 18
5tol0

LessthmS

arefrozenof trafficability this (areas on basisused in previous report, month of Map uni.s 1, 4b, on estimated unit 2b, of number of days per is not differentiated 5 table. quadrangle. b Days ground. this and 6 Map passable only on established roads) . omitted from

• • , -

. • • n «

. „ "

OS! QQIQ 1 H

DISTR.BUTED B Y ­ INFORMATION SECTION INTELLIGENCE DIVISION OCE, HO , ETOUSA

PEEPAMATIO

The extensive planning and vast preparations for operations on the Rhine required close coordination between engi­ neers of the armies, army group, communi­ cations zone, and the theater. No single headquarters could have handled all the tests, specialized training, modifications of equipment, procurement of special equip­ ment, and the myriad details involved in such a gigantic undertaking. Frequent conferences to discuss problems were held between the engineers of the various eche­ lons. Early information as to requirements for engineer equipment was necessary. If equipment had to be requisitioned from the United States, 3 to 4 months had to be allowed before delivery could be made to the armies on the continent. Extensive engineer intelligence studies prepared by the theater engineer's office required con­ siderable time for research, reproduction, and distribution. Some of the problems in planning and in preparation for the oper­ ation are outlined below.

Determination of Crossing Sites
After it was learned from the strategic plan which sections of the river the armies would probably cross, the speci­ fic crossing sites had to be picked. Un­ fortunately for military engineers, the best locations from a construction standpoint are not always tactically suitable. In sec­ tions of the Rhine bordered by wide, flat flood plains, cross-country movement to the river is impossible for military vehicles after heavy rains or floods unless routes are prepared with pierced steel plank or other surfacing materials. In rugged or wooded country, natural terrain corridors must be followed to reach the river. There­ fore, all possible natural and man-made approaches had to be given careful con­ sideration. Study of Approaches and Exits. For the study of the terrain and of the trafficability of soils adjacent to the Rhine, a number of large-scale maps were pre­ pared. The map shown in figure 27 gives detailed information on the types of soils within the flood plain of the Rhine. This information was necessary to determine the location of supply and equipment dumps and assembly areas, together with the feas­ ibility of cross-country movement of wheeled and tracked vehicles. The exten­ sive amount of clay, alluvium, and muck in the Rhine basin made the movement off roads of tanks and vehicles extremely hazardous and at times impossible. Small-scale maps of western Ger­ many showing the suitability of the ter­ rain for cross-country movement had been prepared well in advance. These maps showed the natural corridors and the rela­ tive ease of movement without regard to the character of the soil. For example, figure 28 shows the best routes for crosscountry movement in the Frankfort area based on topographic features of the ter­ rain. During the heavy rains in Novem­ ber, the extreme difficulty experienced in maneuvering over saturated ground indi­ cated the necessity for analyzing the soil and determining areas where armor and trucks would bog down when attempting to move off roads. Accordingly, maps (fig 29) of western Germany were prepared which gave both terrain features and soil types and showed the feasibility of crosscountry movement under varying degrees of moisture content of the ground. Clima­ tological tables accompanying these maps indicated the probable number of days per month that tanks and vehicles could be expected to maneuver in different types of soil. Study of Actual Sites. The above data on the geological and topographical nature of the ground was used to deter­ mine the best approaches and exits at the various crossing sites. Selection of the

13

CROSS SECTION NO. 1 SIERENTZ-HUTTINGEN

LEGEND

MIDDLE SAND 4 GRAVEL

STAMPIAN CLAY GRAVEL & CLAY

LOWER

SANNOISIAN

SANDY CLAY

MARLS INTERCALATED WITH SANDSTONE

VERY HARD COMPACT LIMESTONE INFORMATION SECTION INTELLIGENCE DIVISION OCE, HO., ETOUSA

Figure 30.

actual crossing sites involved many addi­ tional problems such as the trace and width of the stream; velocity of the current; na­ ture of banks, bars, islands, dikes, levees, and other obstacles within the river itself; observation; concealment; suitability of river bed for anchorage of floating bridges, pile driving, and so on. Photographic coverage, both vertical and oblique, was a primary requisite for these investigations.

pared. These cross sections were especially useful for determining suitable locations for driving piles in the construction of fixed highway and railway bridges.

Information was gathered as to the many dikes, dams, and levees built by the French and Germans over a period of 100 years for flood control and navigation on the Rhine. Aerial photography and re­ ports of friendly agents revealed the present In addition, detailed geological condition and extent of such structures. cross sections (fig 30) and reports on the Figure 31 shows the dikes and quays be­ heights and nature of the banks were pre­ tween Wesel and Cologne.

Other Map Studies
Water Gaps. To estimate require­ ments for tactical bridging equipment, maps were prepared giving the prevailing widths of rivers and streams in areas adjacent to and beyond the Rhine (fig 32). The width of the water gap at or near existing roads was used to determine the amount of float­ ing-bridge equipment required to support advancing elements. Lengths of existing structures could not be used, as fixed bridges, particularly over navigable streams, were generally much longer than the water gap. Existing Bridges. Reports also gave the location, load capacity, and a de­ tailed description of the spans and ap­ proaches of every existing bridge in the Rhine area. This data was especially im­ portant to corps and army engineers in later providing fixed bridges. If an exist­ ing bridge were only partially demolished, the damaged spans might be repaired or replaced. If the structure were totally destroyed, its approaches might be used in building a new bridge.

14

\2S0 M. QUAI
{QUAI
WESEL
>3.50x2.50 ' 3.50 x 4.00
-4.00

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450 M. QUAI 8.005 jQUAl
10.00 x 8.00­ «450 M QUAI 12.00
1QUAI
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ROCKS 8.00 QUAI .00 x 8.00 6.00 x 4.00 9.00 x 6.0q 5.00 x 2.50 4.00 x 5.00 7.00 x 5.00 4.00 x 3.00. '7.00x5.00
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^ - ^ — * INDICATES RELIABLE INFORMATION. INDICATES PROBABLY RELIABLE INFORMATION.

QUAIS.

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RELIABLE INFORMATION.

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INFORMATIOH SECTION
INTELLIGENCE DIVISION

OCE, H 9 . , ETOOSA

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for '
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Figure 31.

15

Airfields. Since river-crossing operations are highly vulnerable to air at­ tack, the enemy's probable support from his own air forces had to be calculated. All existing German airfields were spotted and areas located where friendly or enemy air­ borne troops might be dropped to support or to attack bridgeheads along the Rhine. Places were picked where airfields could be quickly constructed for our supporting aircraft. Operational airfields, landing grounds, and emergency landing grounds in enemy territory were overprinted on maps (fig 33), and accompanying data sheets gave a complete description of each field and the available facilities.

Construction

Materials.

Other

maps (fig 34) gave the location in Germany of quarries, sand pits, cement plants, and sawmills. This information was used to plan the maximum use of local resources for construction, thereby relieving the evercritical burden of army supply. In this connection, it is interesting to note that materials used by American engineers in constructing five fixed highway bridges and three railway bridges across the Rhine were obtained locally. A considerable quantity of steel beams had been captured. Addi­ tional steel beams including steel trestles and piles were manufactured in steel mills in France and Luxembourg.

Weather Studies
Weather affects building construc­ tion, soil stabilization, maintenance of roads, construction of roads, and construc­ tion of airfields. Extreme heat or cold im­ pairs the efficiency of troops. Rainfall or low temperatures spell flood or ice condi­ tions. Therefore, weather maps were pre­ pared for each month of the year, based on observations over a 75-year period. Snow. Other maps like that in figure 35 showed the roads and railroads which would be blocked if heavy snows fell in the Rhine area. A supplementary booklet told where and what types of snowremoval equipment might be seized if needed. Ice. Reports were also prepared showing the thickness of ice on streams in the Rhine basin during a normal year and the bearing capacity of varying thicknesses for troops and vehicles. The Rhine itself seldom freezes completely across, but in certain reaches the stream is temporarily dammed by floating ice and in many loca­ tions ice floes accumulate along the shore and prevent the use of floating craft with­ out extensive demolition. Information con­ cerning the intensity and duration of ice floes at the contemplated crossing sites was especially important.

Service
Need. Early in the Rhine studies, it became apparent that a flood-warning service would be necessary to provide shortrange river-stage predictions as well as long-range forecasts of the trend of the river level. Accurate information on river conditions was needed to determine the time of assault, the feasibility of operating fer­ ries, and problems of floating-bridge con­ struction. Should bridges have to be re­ moved during floods, the Navy would have to be ready to transport the necessary supplies and continue the build-up of forces. During every phase of operations, including the construction of fixed bridges, timely notice of impending river stages was re­ quired to save manpower and equipment and to assure uninterrupted support of our forces east of the Rhine. In addition to the natural flood problem, there was also the menace of artificial flooding, either by breaching levees or destroying dams. Be­ tween Basle and Lake Constance, there are seven dams which the Germans could mani­

Fig. No. 32.

AVERAGE RIVER WIDTHS — MAIN DEFENCE LINE

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• 100' BETWEEN
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• 220'
OVER 2 2 0 '

) INFORMATION SECTION INTELLIGENCE DIVISION OCE, HQ., ETOUSA

NOTE WIDTHS OF THE RIVER WESER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES FROM INCOMPLETE DATA. LARGELY ESTIMATION

7

I
5
4

Fig. No. 33.

TOPOGRAPHIC
^ W ^ ^ ^ ^ HEIGHT ,N M T E ER S
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AREAS—ENEMY AIRFIELDS

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OPERATIONAL AIRFIELDS

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LANDING GROUNDS

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EMERGENCY LANDING GROUNDS

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~~ INFORMATION SECTION 8 INTELLIGENCE DIVISION OCE, HQ., ETOUSA

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7

SOUTHERN GERMANY

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND QUARRIES

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SUBJECT TO BEING BLOCKED BY SNOW

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pulate or destroy to cause serious floods as far north as Mannheim. Organization. Establishing the flood-warning service was an enormous undertaking. It operated successfully be­ cause of the highly efficient organization provided by the theater engineer. To super­ vise the work, specialists in hydrology and hydrometeorology were sent from the Office of the Chief of Engineers and from the US Weather Bureau in Washington. This group was headed by Mr. G. A. Hathaway, Office of the Chief of Engineers, who supervised the establishment and operation of the flood-warning system. Extensive research was required

to produce the necessary hydrologic and meteorologic data on the Rhine drainage basin. The 21st Weather Squadron, which normally supplied European weather in­ formation for the US Army Air Forces, provided the framework upon which the flood-warning system was established. Meteorologic data, including precipitation measurements, was obtained by weather detachments in the field. Twenty-four-hour communications were maintained over the Air Force weather teletype and radio net­ work. Within each army, including the French Army on the south, engineers oper­ ated river gages in their sectors and sent readings to headquarters for relay to the central flood-warning office near Paris.

RHINE RIVER FLOOD PREDICTION SERVICE RIVER STAGE AND DISCHARGE STATIONS 15 DEC 44

; /

I /

Figure 36.

17

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Neckar are close to and parallel to the Rhine as far as Mannheim. This explains why the flow in the Rhine above Mannheim is controlled by the melting snows of the Alps. Readings of upstream gages were also sent directly by each army headquar­ ters to the next army downstream. This provided army and corps engineers with information for short-range forecasts if communications with the flood-prediction service failed. Charts and tables were fur­ nished for making the short-range predic­ tions. The data included high-, mean-, and low-water profiles, surface velocities, channel cross sections, stage duration curves, hydrographs, and stage discharge curves. Figure 37 shows the most valuable chart provided for short-range predictions. It gives the time sequence of equivalent stages at the various gage sites on the

Rhine. This chart is reputed to be the result of 20 years study by a group of German engineers. Precipitation Stations. The pre­ cipitation stations set up west of the Rhine are shown in figure 38. Rainfall could not be measured in enemy-held territory east of the Rhine, but fairly reliable estimates were made from weather reports of pilots returning from flights over central Ger­ many. Summary. Throughout the as­ sault and build-up of forces east of the Rhine, army engineers were supplied ac­ curate, up-to-date rive-stage predictions. In the sector of one of the armies, the aver­ age error for 24-hour predictions was less than 10 centimeters. Fortunately, there were no floods during the assault phase. However, in certain reaches of the Rhine, the highest floods in 35 years were record­ ed during the winter of 1944-45.

RHINE RIVER
FLOOD PREDICTION SERVICE
PRECIPITATION STATIONS

Figure 38.

Supply Problems
Supplies and Equipment. It was planned that three armies of the Twelfth Army Group would cross the Rhine simul­ taneously. Therefore, equipment could not be transferred between armies. As noted above, much special equipment was re­ quired, and the needs for standard items were from 2 to 10 times normal require­ ments. In this connection, a 50-percent excess of tactical bridging equipment was assembled to provide for losses due to enemy action,floods,ice, and floating debris. No accurate record is available as to total tonnage of engineer supplies stock-piled for the Rhine crossing, but it is estimated at approximately 100,000 tons. Figures 39 through 43 show various engineer dumps containing equipment and supplies for the Rhine crossing. Transporting Navy Craft. Little difficulty was anticipated in transporting the LCVP overland as its dimensions and weight permitted it to be carried on a heavy ponton trailer (fig 44). However, the LCM presented an entirely different problem. Before a request was made to the Navy for LCM's the theater engineer's office con­ ducted tests near Cherbourg to determine the feasibility of loading and hauling these cumbersome craft on various types of trailers and tanks transporters. It proved practical to transport the LCM overland provided careful road and bridge reconnais­ sance was made to find suitable routes. The LCM loaded on a tank transporter (fig 45) made a gross load of 76 tons, 77 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 25 feet high. This load was too wide for our own Bailey bridges. Many streets through towns were too narrow and corners of buildings fre­ quently had to be blown off. It was also necessary to obtain road clearances when hauling LCM's as they were too wide to permit two-way traffic on most roads. For­ tunately, the Albert Canal was opened to navigation in time to bring the LCM's and LCVP's for First and Ninth Armies up by water as far as the Meuse River. The craft for Third Army, however, were transported entirely overland from Le Havre.

Figure 39. Six thousand feet of bridging equipment under camouflage nets at Lindfort, Germany. Figure 40. This dump at Aachen, Germany, contains piles and bridge timbers. Stocks have already been depleted by shipments to forward areas.

Figure 41. More bridge equipment at Ingerhahn, Germany. Pontons are loaded on fiatcars and stacked on the ground.

Figure 42. Treadway-bridge equipment in a dump at Aachen.

Figure 43. Bailey-bridge equipment under camouflage nets at Sevelen, Germany.

Figure 44. LCVP's Being Moved Overland on Heavy Ponton Trailers.

Figure 45. LCM Loaded on a Tank Transporter.

Figure 46. Drums and Frames for Impact Boom.

Special Crossing Problems
Cableways. It was anticipated that slow-moving ferries, DD tanks, DUKW's, and LVT's would present a seri­ ous problem in the swift currents of the Rhine, especially where the craft had to reach prepared exits on the far shore. At request of the Twelfth Army Group En­ gineer, the theater engineers's office ran tests on the Loire River at a site where the width and flow were similar to those expected on the Rhine. A method was de­ vised for attaching the equipment by bridle lines with quick-release hooks to trolleys running on aerial cableways. Results of the tests including methods of constructing and erecting cableways were furnished to the army engineers. Protective Booms. Protective booms were developed for safeguarding bridge sites against water-borne attack. Three types of protective booms were used. The first was an impact boom for stopping barges or other floating craft. This was placed across the river about 800 yards upstream from the bridge. It was made with four 1-inch wire cables supported by large steel drums (fig 46) in a timber frame and anchored at 50-yard intervals. Five-hundred yards upstream from the bridge was a debris and antimine boom (fig 47) made of logs linked together with cable. This boom was designed to collect debris and to detonate floating mines. The last boom, 300 yards upstream from the bridge, was a naval antimine net supported by floating drums (fig 48). Its purpose was to stop swimmers, one-man submarines, and any mines that might pass the first two booms. The Germans had already used especially trained and equipped swimmers to attack the Nijmegen bridge in the British area. Fortunately little damage was done, presumably because of defective explosives. However, the pro­ tective net which the British had placed above the bridge proved inadequate. Be­ fore launching the swimmers, the Germans threw straw in the water which floated downstream and clogged the small mesh openings, building up enough pressure to destroy the net. Hence, it was decided to use the Navy antimine net on the Rhine, a heavier net with a larger mesh.

Figure 47. Debris and Anti-mine Log Boom.

Anchors. Standard floating-bridge anchors were not heavy enough to cope with the swift currents of the Rhine. Enough naval anchors were not available so several special types had to be developed. One was a box made with Bailey-bridge panels (fig 49) and filled with rubble. Another was made by welding flukes to Bailey panels.
Highway Bridge Design. Plans

provided that army engineers would con­ struct fixed highway bridges across the Rhine. To insure uniformity in construc­ tion, adequate navigational clearances, and maximum use of local materials, a proto­ type design of a highway bridge was pre­ pared. Figure 50 shows the elevation and piling plan of the standard design. More details of the navigation spans and a cross section of the floor system are shown in figure 51. Because piles long enough were not available in the Vosges and Ardennes mountains, frame bents are used above the pile piers to obtain the required height. In the navigation spans, standard meter beams (1 meter deep) were used to give a horizon­ tal clearance of at least 75 feet. For the shorter span, 70-centimeter beams are em­ ployed. These beams were either found locally or manufactured in steel mills in France and Luxembourg.

Figure 48. Naval Antimine Net with Floating Drums.

Figure 49. Bailey Box Anchor.

A

48* PILING PUN

Figure 50. Elevation and Piling of Prototype Highway Bridge.
-3-1 METER-IT LONG

FENDED 1 2 " x 3 " PLANKING

RAMED BENT 12" « 12" TIMBERS­

Figure 51. Details,
-'» M l MNTS -if

Part Elevation, and Typical Section of

(APPROX)

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PIIE PIER WITH FRAMED BENTS-IS PILES FENDER DOLPHIN 5 PILE5 PART ELEVATION

I!

l!

Prototype Highway Bridge.

6" GUARD RAH

3 RUNNERS

l CLENCHED AROUND FIANCE OF BEAM tf -

CROSS BRACING AT ENDS AND THIRD POINTS •4" « V STIFFENERS AT SUPPORTS BEARING PLATE W x 4 " x l 3 " LONG

TYPICAL SECTION-79 1 SPAN (C TO C)

BASE PLATE r « l ' » " x 1""THICK

(148256) RUDESHEIM DESCRIPTION: 17 span double track rail­ road bridge. 6 flood spans of concrete arch construction and 7 river spans; consisting of, 2 bow string spans, 5 lattice girder spans of steel construction. 2 ap­ proach spans at each end. LENGTH: 3530 ft. with approaches. WIDTH: 40 ft. SPAN: (From North bank to South bank 2 Approach spans: at 77 ft. ea.
6 Flood spans:
at 80 ft. ea.
7 River spans consisting of 1 Lattice girder at 285 ft. 1 Bowstring at 555 ft. 3 Lattice girder at 300 ft. ea. 1- Bowstring
at 555 ft.
1 Latttice girder
at 275 ft.
2 Approach spans
at 77 ft. ea.
Clearance widths.
CAPACITY:
Class E.
RIVER WIDTH:
2625 ft.
REMARKS: Bridge prepared for demolition. Serviceable 22-1-45.

MAP REF: GSGS 4416 Sheet 72 PHOTOS: Sortie No: Photo Nos: Scale: Date: 106/2622 3035.41 4042-43 1:9,800 approx. 23 Sep. 44

§

Training
Training Aids. Comprehensive photomaps were also prepared. The Rhine and its adjacent areas were thoroughly de­ picted in a series of mosaics, together with ground photographs of bridges, dikes, levees, and other structures. Figure 52 shows a mosaic with ground photographs of Rudesheim. Scale models of 1 to 10,000 were made of each crossing site for detailed study and planning. They were also photo­ graphed under dim lights, and prints fur­ nished to troops to assist them in identify­ ing locations at night and in the early dawn. Special Training. Naval craft were delivered to the armies during Nov­ ember, and training areas were established by First and Ninth Armies on the Meuse River and by Third Army on the Moselle River. Considerable experimental work was done to determine the best way to launch naval craft under varying condi­ tions of current and from various types of banks. Tables and diagrams were developed for properly loading the craft with Army equipment and supplies. Naval personnel were intensively trained in operating and beaching their craft in a swift river. Simul­ taneously, engineer troops were trained to launch and load naval craft, assemble NL pontoon barges, erect protective booms, and aerial cableways for trail ferries, operate outboard motors, operate assault and storm boats, and construct ferries and floating bridges. Selected personnel from each army were trained by the Engineer of the Ad­ vanced Section, Communications Zone, in the erection and operation of pile drivers. Cold-weather Problems. Freezing weather posed new problems during the training period. Since the Navy's equip­ ment was designed for use in salt water, cooling systems had to be altered to pre­ vent freezing in fresh water. Outboard motors, generally temperamental under the best conditions, became extremely balky during cold weather. Ninth Army engi­ neers solved the problem by wrapping the motors with chemical heating pads.

Figure 54. The Ludendorf Bridge.

Fig. No. 53.

Rhine River crossing areas of Twelfth Army Group.

RHINE RIVER CROSSING
AREAS
OF
12TH ARMY GROUP

THE

CROSSING

and as the bridgehead expanded, floating bridges were constructed above and below the Remagen site. As planned, Third Army made two assault crossings between Bingen and Oppenheim. However, Third Army also made two assault crossings in the Gorge itself. A brief discussion of the sequence of operations and of the bridges constructed is given below.

these elaborate care­ ful preparations, the A ffterwere accomplishedandactual Rhine crossings so spec­ tacularly as to appear simple. Figure 53 shows the sections of the river where cross­ ings were made by First, Third, and Ninth Armies. Ninth Army crossed as planned between Wesel and Orsoy. First Army crossed initially over the Remagen Bridge,

First Army

The Ludendorf and Other Bridges. The First Army had a windfall—the unex­ pected capture of the Ludendorf railway bridge at Remagen on 7 March. Although the bridge was badly damaged by enemy demolitions, one-way traffic was possible on the side that had been decked over by

the Germans, and First Army was able to cross the Rhine without making an as­ sault in small boats, always a hazardous undertaking. In order to provide for return traffic and to close the bridge for badly needed repairs, a 1032-foot treadway bridge

Figure 55. The Wreckage of the Collapsed Ludendorf Bridge.

was completed in the immediate vicinity on 11 March. Because of the almost con­ tinuous heavy artillery shelling of the site, it took 33£ hours to construct this floating bridge. On 12 March, the Ludendorf Bridge was closed for repairs, which were almost completed when the bridge collapsed

on 17 March. The bridges constructed by First Army engineers in their sector are shown in figure 56. A total of eight floating bridges and one pile trestle bridge were built in this reach of the river together with two sets of protective booms (table I).

TABLE I. TYPE Steel treadway (Class 40) 25-ton ponton (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) 25-ton ponton Floating Bailey (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) Two-way Bailey on barges 2-way (Class 40) 1-way (Class 70) Pile trestle 2-way (Class 40) 1-way (Class 70)

First Army Bridges LENGTH 1032' 969' 1176' 1170' 1300' 1308' 1368' 1180' CONSTRUC­ TION TIME 33 hr 30 min 30 hr 30 min 37 hr 30 min 18 hr 10 min 59 hr 30 min 11 hr 50 min 12 hr 10 days 16 hr COM­ PLETED 11 Mar 11 Mar 18 Mar 19 Mar 20 Mar 21 Mar 22 Mar 5 Apr

LOCATION Remagen Kripp Honnef Konigswinter Remagen Ramerset (Bonn) Honningen Bad Godesburg

Neuwied

1555'

4 wk

15 May

Attack by Swimmers. German swimmers attempted to destroy the floating bridges at Kripp and Remagen, the first bridges constructed at the Remagen site. These bridges were protected by booms, sentries, machine-gun and antiaircraft crews, and even light-artillery crews along the banks. The bridges and booms were lighted at night by searchlights, and in­

structions were issued to fire on any object observed floating in the river day or night. A total of six swimmers was brought up at different times. According to the swimmers, what actually forced them to give up were the two 25-pound TNT depth charges dropped in the river every 5 minutes by an LCVP patrol cruising upstream of the pro­ tective booms.

30

Figure 56.

31

Figure 57. Two-lane Bailey on Rhine Barges Under Construction at Bad GodesDerg.

Figure 58. Completed Two-lane Bailey at Bad Godesberg.

Two-lane Bailey at Bad Godesberg.

The two-lane Bailey bridge built by First Army on Rhine barges at Bad Godesberg was most unusual. Figure 57 shows the bridge under construction; figure 58 shows it completed. The bridge was designed for two-way class 40 traffic or one-way class 70 traffic. A class 40 bridge will accommo­ date all Army loads except loaded heavy trailers and tank transporters for which a class 70 bridge is required. Figure 59 shows the sliding ap­

proach spans which could accommodate fluctuations of 11 feet in river level above or below the abutment. The left span is a class 40 triple-single Bailey; the right span is a class 70 triple-double. In the figure, a loaded tank transporter is leaving the bridge, while eastbound traffic is using the left roadway. Eastbound traffic will be shifted to the right side as soon as the tank transporter clears the bridge and the left side will then be opened to returning west­ bound traffic.

Figure 59. Sliding Approach Spans to Bailey on Rhine Barges at Bad Godesberg.

33

Ninth Army
The Assault. After one of the heaviest artillery barrages of the war, Ninth Army began its first crossing just south of Wesel at 0200 on 24 March. Most of the infantry of the assault division was ferried across the river in 4 hours, using assault boats and storm boats. Another division began its assault on the right at 0325 and crossed just as quickly. A few hours after the initial waves went across, LVT's and DUKW's began transporting ammunition and supplies. Artillery started crossing in LCVP's before daybreak. Shortly after dawn, the first LCM's were launched and tanks began to cross. By noon, 24 LCVP's were operating and before dusk 20 LCM's were transporting armor and artillery. Some ferries were built but little need was found for them. Light enemy resistance permitted the construction of floating bridges much earlier than had been ex­ pected. Bridges. The first bridge com­ pleted, a 1530-foot treadway at Wallach, was built in record time. Construction started at 0630 on 24 March and 9 hours later the bridge was carrying traffic. In the following week, Ninth Army engineers constructed 3 more treadway bridges, 3 heavy ponton bridges, and 3 floating Bailey bridges. Two more floating Bailey bridges and a pile trestle bridge were completed in April. Altogether 12 floating bridges and 1fixedbridge were built by the engineers of Ninth Army (fig 60 and table II).

29-TON PONTON BUDGE

*Hfe-/ f^9Sp

/

,..XY 0 . ,

MP" « E VR

Sf

J

1

M2 STEEL TBEADWAr

rvs

1/

|

1 ""•""^"JM^I.OO

B O

\

FLOATING BAILEV

^ B

^> SPElLtN \ \ \ \ \ \ / \ I \ 1 j

\

. WAILACHI^_^ J R L / C ' '

"—- « STEEl TREAOWAY -25 TON PONTON BRIDGE - LOG BOOM \ y MINE NET 1 ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

I> / \ \ 7 M |
\ \ A %

H MN B A I L V ^ ^ JM^OGBOOM^'" O I G iininiinj

^ssr

*'\w

/
• —\

«C p r w v , H cS ^ l
f ^ F L GB O O OM

^_-y^^\
/ \

1

£

I

V

A- - ^
\

A TS » A1 E " * * ^ T N , U « .N

^

O

X X ^

Figure 60.

34

TABLE II. Ninth Army Bridges
LOCATION

TYPE Steel treadway (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) 25-ton ponton (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) 25-ton ponton (Class 40) Floating Bailey (Class 40) Floating Bailey (Class 40) Floating Bailey (Class 40) 25-ton ponton
(Class 40)
Floating Bailey (Class 40) Pile trestle 2-way (Class 40) 1-way (Class 70) Floating Bailey
(Class 40)

LENGTH 1152' 1080' 1150' 1284' 1188' 1230' 1417' 1386' 1736' 1080'

CONSTRUC­ TION TIME

COM­ PLETED 24 Mar 25 Mar 25 Mar 26 Mar 26 Mar 26 Mar 27 Mar 28 Mar 29 Mar 31 Mar 17 Apr 18 Apr 28 Apr

Wallach Mehrum Wallach Wesel Milch Platz Wesel Wesel Mehrum Wallach Orsoy Orsoy Wesel Rheinhausen

7 hr 45 min 29 hr 30 min 20 hr 30 min 14 hr 56 hr 30 min 22 hr 45 min 38 hr 59 hr 51 hr 54 hr 72 hr

1700' 1537'

21 days 3 days

35

Third Army
Supply. Engineer planning for the Third Army operation began in August 1944. Stocks of supplies, started at Toul, France, in September, were seriously de­ pleted by losses during the crossing of the Moselle and Saar Rivers. Obtaining ade­ quate supplies in time for the Rhine cross­ ing was an extraordinary achievement. Some of the major items assembled were: 1,500 assault boats, 15,000 paddles, 300 storm boats, 660 22-hp outboard motors, 250 55-hp outboard motors, 7,000 feet of floating Bailey bridge, 2,200 feet of heavy ponton bridge, and 11,000 feet of treadway bridge. The Third Army reached the Rhine after a rapid advance across the Moselle River and through the Star Palatinate. This left some supply dumps as far as 150 miles from the Rhine crossing sites. Sup­ plies were brought forward by one of the greatest fleets of trucks ever assembled. Trucks were loaded by carefully arranged priority so equipment would be delivered in the sequence needed. Training. Third Army training for the crossing was based on the general assult crossing plan given in the appendix. This plan was prepared several months before the operation to guide the engineers of Third Army in their preparations and to serve as a basis for more detailed plans. It analyzed the requirements for equipment and troops and gives the sequence of the assault and build-up in chronological order.

THIRD ARMY RHINE RIVER CROSSINGS

Figure 61.

Figure 62. DUKW Coming Ashore at Nierstein.

Figure 63. LCVP Unloading Jeep and Trailer at Nierstein.

Nierstein Crossing. Third Army, began its first crossing at Nierstein at 2200, 22 March. The assault division was sup­ ported by 7500 engineers, a number more than one-half the strength of the division. The river was abnormally low with a cur­ rent of only 3 to 4 feet per second. The crossing was made silently, without artil­ lery preparation and without air drop or

air support. The infantry was ferried in 200 padded assault boats which shuttled continuously until dawn. Storm boats and DUKW's (fig 62) followed the initial waves. LCVP's (fig 63) arrived an hour after the assult began and by dawn 12 of them were ferrying personnel, light vehicles, and sup­ plies so rapidly that assault and storm boats were no longer required.

37

Figure 64. Steel Treadway Bridge at Nierstein.

A steel treadway bridge (fig 64) was started at daybreak and completed by 1800 that evening. The following day, 24 March, a heavy ponton bridge (fig 65) was completed and by noon the next day a second treadway bridge was finished. By 27 March, 5 divisions, with supplies and supporting troops, had passed over these 3 bridges. An entire armored division crossed in 16 hours and 45 minutes.

Between 24 March and 31 March, 60,000 vehicles went across the Rhine on these bridges. A smoke screen 2y2 miles long and % mile wide was laid down to protect the bridges during construction. An antipersonnel boom, two antimine booms, and an impact boom were placed across the river. Three German swimmers were captured in the antipersonnel net the first night.

Figure 65. Heavy Ponton Bridge at Nierstein.

Gorge Grossing. Two assault crossings were later made in the great gorge which runs from Bingen to Ober Lahnstein. This stretch of river posed a most difficult crossing problem because of the very rugged terrain and the swift and treacherous currents. It is interesting to note that previous plans had not contem­ plated an assault crossing in this gorge sec­ tion, because it was considered the most hazardous of all places on the river. How­ ever, the tactical situation required that the strong German resistance met in the vicinity of Frankfort by the forces that crossed at Nierstein be enveloped from the ' north. The aggressive leadership which characterized all Third Army operations did not hesitate. No greater tribute can be paid to the engineers of Third Army than the successful accomplishment of assault crossings in the Great Rhine Gorge. Boppard. The first assault was made at Boppard during the night of 24 March. Figure 66 shows storm boats crossing troops the following morning. The use of LCVP's was delayed until 24 hours after the assault because it was feared that an artillery or bomb hit on the huge trailermounted craft would block the one road leading through the mountain pass to the site. Once launched, they proved their usefulness (fig 67). The 6 LCVP's transported an estimated 5000 men and 400 ve­ hicles across the Rhine at Boppard. A treadway bridge (fig 68) was started at Boppard on 25 March and com­ pleted the following day. Oberwesel and St. Goar. When strong resistance was encountered at St. Goar on the night of 25 March, the main effort was shifted to Oberwesel. Use of Navy craft was delayed for the same rea­ son as at Boppard, but 10 DUKW's did an heroic job, making 236 crossings with troops and supplies. When the 6 LCVP's and 6 LCM's were launched 10 hours after the assault, they quickly changed the pic­ ture, crossing troops and equipment of an entire division within 40 hours. The town of St. Goar was cleared on the morning of 27 March and a treadway bridge (fig 69) constructed there within 36 hours.

Figure 66. Storm Boats at Boppard.

Figure 67. LCVP's in the Gorge at Boppard.

Figure 68. Steel Treadway Bridge at Boppard.

39

Figure 69. Treadway Bridge at St. Goar.

At these gorge crossings, where there were swift currents and poor anchor­ ages, the engineers found the LCVP's most helpful as auxiliary powerboats. Their powerful engines could breast the current and hold floating-bridge sections in place during construction (fig 70). Mainz Crossings. Third Army also met strong resistance during the final cross­ ing at Mainz, where the river is about 2000 feet wide. The first wave of infantry was paddled across secretly in assault boats. Succeeding waves crossed in double assault boats and storm boats. Then the LCM's and LCVP's entered the picture. They transported 7000 troops and 600 vehicles

in the first crucial 30 hours. The Germans were overwhelmed by sheer weight of num­ bers. With enemy artillery silenced, fer­ rying and bridging proceeded without ef­ fective interference. The 1896-foot steel treadway bridge constructed at Mainz (fig 71) is believed to have been the longest floating tactical bridge of the war. In addition to the six bridges already mentioned, Third Army engineers built four floating Bailey bridges (figs 72-75) and one fixed high­ way bridge across the Rhine (table III). These bridges were constructed to release tactical bridges for use farther forward.

Figure 70. LCVP's Holding Floating-Bridge Sections in Place During Construction.

Figure 71. The 1896-foot Treadway Bridge at Mainz.

Figure 72. Floating Bailey at Oppenheim.

Figure 73. Floating Bailey at Bingen.

Figure 74. Floating Bailey at Budenheun.

Figure 75. Floating Bai.ey at Mainz.

TABLE III.

Third Army Bridges LENGTH
972' 1280' 1116' 1044' 828' 1896' 942' 1800' 1520'

LOCATION Oppenheim Oppenheim Oppenheim Boppard St. Goar Mainz Oppenheim Mainz Bingen

TYPE Steel treadway (Class 40) 25-ton ponton (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) Steel treadway (Class 40) Floating Bailey (Class 40) Floating Bailey (Class 40) Two-way floating Bailey 2-way (Class 40) 1-way (Class 70)

CONSTRUCTION TIME
11 hr 30 min 13 hr 20 hr 25 hr 30 min 36 hr 24 hr 44 hr 72 hr 54 hr

COM­ PLETED 23 Mar 24 Mar 25 Mar 26 Mar 27 Mar 29 Mar 31 Mar 2 Apr 5 Apr

Budenheim

Fixed Bailey on pile bents with 520' floating sec­ tion on barges 2-way (Class 40) 1-way (Class 70) Pile bent 2-way (Class 40) 1-way (Class 70)

2220'

9 days

12 Apr

Oppenheim

1050'

12 days

15 Apr

Faxed Bridges

Highway Bridges. Five fixed highway bridges were constructed in the Twelfth Army Group area. Third Army constructed one at Oppenheim and one at Mainz, while the Advanced Section of the Communications Zone built one at Cologne and another at Neuwied. The most inter­ esting highway bridge was the Ninth Army's bridge at Wesel, where the Lippe River joins the Rhine. It was built in 18 days, spanning 1813 feet across the Rhine and 411 feet across the Lippe, with a total length of 4257 feet, including approaches. Figure 76 shows the highway bridge in the foreground. Beyond it is the demolished railway bridge, then the new railway bridge, which will be described later. In the background is the Lippe River. Piles were driven and prefabricat­ ed trestle bents placed on the piles (fig 77 (3) ). Penetration of piles varied from 27 to 44 feet, no trouble being met in obtain­ ing the required bearing value of 25 tons per pile. As many as 4 pile-driving rigs worked at one time. Sixteen piles were driven in each pile cluster to support two 8-post trestle bents. At navigation spans, 11-post trestle bents were used. A total of 926 piles were driven for the bridge.

Figure 76. Bridges at Wesel. Highway Bridge in Foreground, Demolished Railway
Bridge, and New Railway Bridge.

(3)

Use of (2) Fender and dolphin pile used to protect piers.

timber bents on pile pier.

Figure 77. Pile-driving Operation on Wesel Highway Bridge.

43

Figure 78. View of Spans of Wesel Highway Bridge.

The length of spans (fig 78) varied somewhat because of differences in avail­ able materials. Navigation spans, how­ ever, were 75 feet in the clear horizontally. Maximum height above bottom of channel was 86 feet, which gave a clearance of 3 feet above the highest flood of record. Figure 79 shows various views of construction operations. Railway Bridges. Three railway bridges were constructed across the Rhine by engineers of the communication zone. These bridges were built in record time and are magnificent examples of the work done by engineer units assigned to railroad con­ struction. Wesel. The first railroad bridge was constructed at Wesel (fig 80). This bridge, completed on 8 April, was built in 10 days. The bridge is 2,200 feet long and

(1)

Placing steel stringers.

Figure 79. Construction Operations on
Wesel Highway Bridge.

44

(2)

Stringer arrangement in short span.

(3)

Aligning piles from a Navy pontoon barge.

(4)

West approach under construction. It took 19,000 cubic yards of earth to con­ struct this approach.

(5)

General view of construction,

Figure 79. Construction Operations on Wesel Highway Bridge.

45

has 10,850 feet of graded approach. Rail­ roads were repaired immediately behind the armies advancing beyond the Rhine, and 15 days after the initial assault cross­ ing at Wesel, a railhead was in operation at Miinster, 50 miles east of the Rhine. An average of 5,000 tons a day was trans­ ported across the Wesel bridge during the

first week. At its peak, this bridge carried 27,000 tons a day. Various construction views are shown in figure 81. Mainz. The railroad bridge at Mainz was 2215 feet long and was com­ pleted on 14 April in 9x/2 days. Several construction scenes are shown in figure 82.

Figure 80. Loaded Train Crossing Railroad Bridge at Wesel.

(1)

General view of erection of steel trestles and pile piers.

(3)

Steam-operated pile driver on Navy, pontoon barges.

(2)

Erecting one of the light steel trestles.

Figure 81. Construction Scenes on Wesel Railway Bridge.

Duisburg. The third railroad bridge was built at Duisburg and was com­ pleted in the remarkably short time of 6x/2

days. It was finished on 8 May, V-E Day, and was appropriately named the Victory Bridge.

47

(1)

Meter-beam girders being placed on the steel trestles.

(2)

Derrick barge lifting a pre-fabricated meter beam off a flatcar run out on com­ pleted structure.

(3)

Pile cluster of nine hollow steel piles 14 inches square.

(4)

Laying track on completed portion of bridge.

Figure 82. Views of the Mainz Railway Bridge.

48

CONCLUSI0
Soon after Twelfth Army Group had successfully crossed the Rhine, the German armies were completed annihilated or captured. First Army broke out of the Remagen bridgehead and drove up the Hessian Corridor to Paderborn, where they joined Ninth Army which had crossed north of the Ruhr (fig 1). While a part of each army cleaned up the Ruhr pocket, the remaining elements drove to the Elbe River. Third Army moved in high gear as usual from the Frankfort area toward Chemnitz and then southward along the Czech border to Linz and the Redoubt Area. Junction with the Russians was made at Torgau on 25 April, one month after the Rhine crossings. And here the armies rested until the formal termination of hostilities on 8 May.

(5)

Completed bridge. The army pipe line threaded through the wrecked German bridge fed gasoline to advancing troops. It was suspended from trolley lines sal­ vage from the wreckage.

(6)

Night construction scene. Figure 82 (continued).

R E S T R I C T E D

A P P E

THIMD AEMY GENERAL ASSAULT CROSSING PLAN

51

ENGINEER OUTLINE PLAN FOR ASSAULT CROSSING OF

1. Tactical Assumptions. a. Objective: Seizure of two bridgeheads east of the Rhine River on a two-corps front, one bridgehead in each corps Zone of action, and preparation for an advance to the east to capture the Frankfurt-Darmstadt area. b. When: Army Commander. As ordered by

5 Engr Combat Bns 2 Engr Trdwy Br Cos ) and 2 Hv Pon Bns ) or: 3 Trdwy Br Cos plus 500' treadway bridge 1 Co Hv Pon Bn or 1 Hv Pon Bn (-) 1 Co (For rafting). 2 Engr L Pon Cos b. In Army Reserve, sched­ uled for close support of Corps and Divi­ sion, will be the following: 3 GS Regts 2 Hq & Hq Co Engr Com­ bat Gps 4 Engr Combat Bns 2 Engr L Pon Cos ' Naval Unit No 2 (LCVP's, LCM's) 1 DUKW Co 4. Engineer Equipment. a. It is planned that each Corps, in addition to T/E equipment, will have the following: 72 Storm boats with mo­ tors (55- or 22-hp) 100 Double assault boats with 22-hp motors 50 LVT's (if desired) b. In Army Reserve, the fol­ lowing stream crossing equipment is ex­ pected to be on hand: 14 LCM's 24 LCVP's 50 DUKW's 24 Inf support rafts 100 22-hp outboard motors 2 Units heavy ponton equipment 1000' M2 treadway bridge 2000' Ml treadway bridge 3 Cl 40 floating Bailey bridges 1 Cl 70 floating Bailey bridge Cableways for all type rafts

c. Where: Between Bingen and Worms, both inclusive. More detailed recommendations as to proposed bridging sites are indicated on the attached maps. d. How: Each Corps will make its main crossing on a front not to exceed four battalions. Feints and demon­ stration will be as directed by Corps or Army. 2. Engineer Plan. a. In* the assault phase of the operation, control will be handled directly by the Division. Corps and specially trained Army engineer troops will be attached or will be in direct support of the Division for this phase. b. Corps engineer troops will construct the treadway and heavy ponton bridges. c. Army engineer troops will construct the floating Bailey and fixed pile bridges. d. An Army engineer group containing special stream crossing equip­ ment (LCVP's, LCM's, DUKW's) and per­ sonnel will be in support of the build-up and bridging phase of the operation. All elements of this group will remain under Army control, but will be available to carry equipment and/or personnel according to the Corps loading plan. 3. Engineer Troops.

a. In addition to the organic divisional engineer battalions, each Corps will have the following attached troops with full T/E equipment: 2 Hq & Hq Co Engr Com­ bat Gps

ANALYSIS OF REQUIREMENTS FOR EQUIPMENT AND TROOPS
(Per Corps)
PHASE I - Preparation for Assault Crossing. TIME: Equipment
No.

H (-) 96 to H hour.
Personnel Source Division Required Div rcn personnel Source Div Engr Action to be taken Army-Provide information on sites in Corps zone Corps-Determine crossing zone Division-Select actual sites within zone Corps-Provide Div with necessary troops Division-Provide plan and direct operations

Task Reconnaissance for and selection of exact crossing sites

Time H (-) 96 to H (-) 48

Required Organic

2.

Clearing, marking paths to, and demining selected sites Assembly of assault craft and crews

H (-) 48 to H hour H (-) 48 to H hour

Marking devices

Div Engr

Div Engrs supported by 1 Com­ bat Bn (Corps) Boat crews

Div & Corps

96 Storm boats 100 double assault boats and motors

Army & Hv Pon Bns

Div Engrs supported by 1 Com­ bat Bn (Same as in Task No 2)

*Army or Army-Train operators & pro­ possibly Corps vide equipment Corps-Designate initial as­ & Army sembly areas and as­ Div & Corps semble equipment & operators Division-Designate final as­ sembly areas & in coop­ eration with Corps as­ semble equipment & operators. Brief crews provide guides, & coordinate loading plans

*At this time Army can provide personnel to operate all storm boats expected to be available, but include in this total the storm boat sections of all heavy ponton battalions. If practicable, personnel from one Army combat battalion will be trained as operators and made available to operate all assault boats. If this is impractical, provision will have to be made to draw the re­ quired operators from all Corps and Army units, and set up a provisional operator pool for the operation.

VJ

Analysis of Requirements for Equipment a n d Troops, contd.
PHASE II - Assault Crossing. Crossing assault troops TIME: H hour to H plus 2. Army & Hv Pon Bns 100 operators & assistants Div Engrs plus 1 C Bn (Same Bn as in Task No 3) Army 100 operators & assistants Div Engrs plus 1 Combat Bn (Same Bn as in Task No 4) Army & Hv Pon Bns Div & Corps Army-Provide operators and equipment Corps & Div-Make plans for use

96 storm boats H to w/motors H plus 2 (Usable equip­ ment will con­ tinue ferry­ ing after this time until no longer needed.) 100 double as­ H plus 1/4 sault boats to w/motors H plus 2 (Usable equip­ ment will con­ tinile ferry­ ing after this time until no longer needed;

Crossing assault troops

Army Div & Corps

Army-Provide operators and equipment Div & Corps-Make plans for

PHASE III - Build-up. 6." Preparing approaches,
clearing obstacle, pre­ paring far-shore landing
sites for 16 Inf sup rafts,
marking cleared crossing
channel
Preparing near-shore landing sites, constructing & operating 16 Inf sup rafts

TIME:

H plus 2 to H plus 48. 4 Inf sup rafts ea w/3 22-hp motors 4 bulldozers Explosives Markers 16 5-pos Inf sup rafts 2 bulldozers 48 22-hp motors .3 Inf sup rafts 6 bulldozers Explosives Markers Corps 1 Combat Bn Corps Corps-Train specific unit for 'task and assemble equip­ ment. Coordinate with Division on location of sites Corps-Alert units, provide re­ quired equipment and OB motor operators Division-Select crossing sites & prepare crossing schedules Army-Build sites and mark channels. Prepare markers Corps-Coordinate with Army and Div on selection of crossing sites

H plus 2
to
H plus 6

H plus 2
to
II plus 48

Corps

2 L Pon Cos to support Division

Corps

8.

Demining far-shore and preparing near- and farshore approaches to LCVP and LCM sites, clearing underwater obstacles, and marking channels

H plus 2 to 11 plus 6

Army

2 Co Combat Bns

Army

Analysis of Requirements for Equipment and Troops, contd.
9.

Unloading LCVP's and LCM's Ferrying in F.CVP's and

H plus 4
to

4 cranes

Army

H plus 12 H plus 4 to H plus 48 H plus 4 to H plus 10 H plus 6 to H plus 48 12 LCVP's 6 LCM's 2 bulldozers and equipment to ferry bulldozers 25 DUKW's Army

Army Amphibious Army­ Group Army Amphibious Group 1 Co (-) from Combat Bn Army

Army-Select sites for use Corps-Coordinate with Army and Div on location of sites Army-Operate equipment Corps-In conjunction with Div prepare loading pri­ orities and schedule Army-Build and maintain ramps for DUKW's Army-Coordinate with Corps on use Corps-In conjunction with Div prepare loading pri­ orities and schedule Army-Designate Hv Pon unit & attach 1 Co to each Corps Corps-Coordinate with Div in selection of sites and prepare loading pri­ orities & schedules

10.

LCM's

11.

Preparing near- and farshore approaches for DUKW's Operating DUKW's

Army

Army

12.

Army

Army Amphibious Army Group

13.

Prepare approaches, con­ struct & operate 4 Hv Pon Rafts

II plus 4 to H plus 48

2 bulldozers Corps Ponton equipment 4 power boats 16 22-hp OB motors. Extra OB motors to come from assault-boats used in assault wave, extra power boats from Corps L Pon Cos Cableways and equipment for ferrying Necessary bridg­ ing material Army

1 Co Hv Pon Bn 1 Co Combat Engrs

Corps

14.

Erect cableways for ferrying Inf Sup Rafts, DUKW's, Hv Pon Rafts PHASE IV - Bridging. Prepare approach roads and construct 2 Trdwy brs or 1 Trdwy and 1 Hv Pon Br

H plus 3 to H plus 8 TIME: H plus 12 to H plus 48

Special crews from Army GS Regts Trdwy Br Co's and/or Hv Pon Bn's Corps Com­ bat Bn personnel as required

Army

Army-Assemble equipment and crews Corps-Plan for use Corps- Alert trdwy Go's and/or Hv Pon Bn's and see that they have neces­ sary equipment. In conjunction with Div select sites

H plus 12 to H plus 48. Corps Corps

15.

Analysis of Requirements for Equipment and Troops, contd.
16. Erect antiminc, antibarge, and antipersonnel booms at each bridge site H plus 12 to H plus 4N Special boom equipment
Army

Special crews from Army Army GS Regts. Units construct­ ing Corps bridges will provide antimine boom

Army-Train erection crews and supply equipment. Coordinate with Corps on location of sites so that booms may be used for protection of Army bridges to be erected sub­ sequently Corps-Train crews of bridge units to erect booms Army-Designate units for tasks and coordinate with Corps on release of Hv Pon Bn's to be used Select site

17.

Prepare approach roads, haul and construct either 2 Cl 40 or 1 Cl 40 and 1 Cl 70 floating Bailey bridge

H plus 72 to H plus 240

Bailey bridge equipment

Armv

(1) GS troops prepare ap­ proaches (2) Hv Pon Bns haul equipment (3) Hv Pon Bn reinforced & 1 Army Combat Bn each to con­ struct 1 bridge Army GS Regts supported by special equipment personnel

Army

18.

2 pile bent trestle bridges

H plus 240 to H plus 1200

Material & special erection equipment for erecting 2 pile bent bridges simultaneously

Army

Army

Army-Select sites and con­ struct bridges

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The material listed below is on file with the Library and Intelligence Sec­ tion, Department of Research and Training Publications, The Engineer School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. This section will assist anyone interested in a more detailed study of the Rhine River crossings. A Report on the Roosevelt Rhine and Lippe River Bridges Built for the Ninth US Army at Wesel, Germany, April 1945. Inclosure 8. (4704). Annex "A" to Rhine & Lippe Bridge Report.

Annex "B" to Rhine & Lippe Bridge File numbers of documents assign­ Report. ed numbers are given in parentheses. The abbreviation ISID stands for Information Suitability for Cross Country Movement. Section, Intelligence Division, Office of the US Geological Survey, Washington, Chief Engineer, Headquarters, European D. C. Theater of Operations, United States Flood Prediction Service Folder. Army. Engineer Section Annex to Final AfterAmerican Military Engineering in Europe action Report. from Normandy to the Rhine. Hq, 12th Army Group, 31 July 1945. By Waldo G. Bowman, McGraw-Hill (4978) Publishing Co., 1945 Reports of War Department Observers
Crossing of the Rhine River by the Third Board, including 41 inclosures to letter
US Army. to General Worsham from Colonel
(4671) Hough.
Interim Report of Field Tests on Tactical (8.3-US-3381) Crossing of High Velocity Streams. ISID, Surface and Subsurface Conditions Hq, ETO, Office of the Chief Engineer. Affecting Bridge Construction on the (4916) Rhine River from Mainz to the Dutch Frontier. Special Study No. 7, Capabilities and Limi­ tations of Floating Equipment in the ISID, Data on Rhine Bottom, Materials
Rhim River between Karlsruhe and Bin­ and General Characteristics.
gen (March to August inclusive). Hq, 6th Army Group, Engineer Sec­ ISID, The Terrain of the Rhineland.
tion. (4540-7) ISID, Water Supply on the Rhine River
from Basle to Wesel.
Report of Rhine River Crossings First
US Army
ISID, Cross Sections of Rhine.
(4720)
ISID, Terrain Appreciation—Central Ger­ many, Part B.
Engineer Operations in the Rhine Cross­ ing, Ninth US Army.
ISID, Wind Characteristics Along Rhine
River.
(5995)
ASF Report No. 133—Rhine Highway
ISID, Wind Characteristics Along the Up­ per Rhine River.
Bridges.
Hq, ETO, WD Observers Board. (70­ ISID, Surface and Subsurface Conditions US-3273) Affecting Construction on the Rhine River from Basle to Mainz. Rhine River Semi-Permanent Military Bridges Technical Data. ISID, Soil Trafficability Maps Rhine Flood Hq, ETO, Office of the Chief Engineer. Plain (8 maps to set). (4888) ISID, Enemy Airfields—Appendix "A" to Crossing the Rhine with the XVI Corps Terrain Appreciation of Central Ger­ Engineers. many, Part B. (4722) ISID, Effect of Snow on Roads and Rail­ Rhine River Flood Prediction Service. roads of South-Central Germany and By Stanley W. Dziuban, Lt Col, CE, Eastern France. The Military Engineer, September ISID, Climate of South-Central Germany. 1945

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