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Rhine Crossing Memorial

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Details:

On the western bank of the Rhine river, on the Rhinepromenade Monument

A large 2.3 ton granite block and 3 copper plaques on it's front and top sides with two flag poles on it's sides, commemorating the 249th Engineers Combat Battalion and the 3rd U.S. Army for their actions at Nierstein during General George S. Patton's Rhine Crossing operation, winning the "race to the Rhine".
The successful Rhine Assault Crossing started on March 22 1945 at Nierstein and nearby Oppenheim at 2200 hrs. and allowed the U.S. Army to bring more than 60,000 military vehicles across the "last natural border" in to the heartland of the Reich in a two week time span. The operation was a key factor to end WW2 on the ETO - month's before the Alliied HQ had planned it.

The Memorial site is 12 x 12 m. and located at the original position of the first pontoon bridge across the River. Remainings of the bridge anchor can be seen behind the Monument, it has in addition two information-displays (EN/GE), describing the background of the "Operation Silent Crossing".

Monument Text:

  AT THIS LOCATION, ON MARCH 22 & 23, 1945, THE 249TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION, AFTER SUPPORTING THE U.S. ARMY 5TH INFANTRY DIVISION AT OPPENHEIM, IN THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL RHINE RIVER ASSAULT CROSSING SINCE NAPOLEON, COMPLETED THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 366 METER FLOATING BRIDGE TO CARRY ELEMENTS OF GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON’S 3RD ARMY ACROSS THE RHINE. THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED IN 18 HOURS.

THIS REMARKABLE ENGINEERING ACCOMPLISHMENT UNDOUBTEDLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE SHORTENING OF THE WAR, THUS SAVING COUNTLESS LIVES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE CONFLICT.

ON THE BASE PLAQUE:  

CHAIN OF COMMAND

FOR

THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL RHINE RIVER ASSAULT CROSSING SINCE NAPOLEON 1812

AND

CONSTRUCTION OF THE NIERSTEIN FLOATING BRIDGE

MARCH 22 – 23, 1945

 

U.S. 3RD ARMY, General George S. Patton Jr., Commanding

U.S. ARMY XII CORPS, Major General Manton S. Eddy, Commanding

U.S. ARMY 1135 ENGINEER COMBAT GROUP, Col. Alfred Starbird, Commanding

U.S. ARMY 249TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION, Col. John K. Addison, Commanding

 

SPONSORS:

THE RALPH & LUCI SCHEY FOUNDATION

THE U.S. ARMY 249TH ENGINEER BATTALION ASSOCIATION

THE CITY OF NIERSTEIN

 

PROJECT COORDINATORS

 GERALD M. MC CARTHY, NARRAGANSET, RI, U.S.A.

WALTER KISSEL, HAHNHEIM, GERMANY

DEDICATED MARCH 2017

Commemorates:

People:

John K. (Ken) Addison

Manton Eddy

George S. Patton

Alfred Starbird

Units:

1135th Engineer Combat Group

249th Engineer Combat Battalion

3rd US Army

United States Army

Wars:

WWII

Other images :