Across the Rhine: January-May 1945

Across the Rhine: January-May 1945

by Simon Forty, Tom Timmermans


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The last rites were administered to the Third Reich from the west by a massive concentration of Allied forces and firepower. With France secured, Hitler’s vain counterattack in the Ardennes held and the Channel and North Sea ports cleared, little stood in the way of the Allies other than the dominant geographical feature of western Europe: the mighty Rhine River stretching from the North Sea almost to Switzerland.

In the north, the 21st Army Group executed one of the largest operations of the war: a huge airdrop backed up by an amphibious crossing that made full use of 79th Armoured Division’s specialized armor including the Alligators of 4th Royal Tank Regiment. Further south, until it collapsed under the pressure, the Ludendorff Bridge, captured intact at Remagen allowed US First Army to create a bridgehead. They would use it to good effect, wheeling north to surround the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial heartland. Further south, where the river was narrower, Patton’s Third Army vaulted the Rhine with its customary elan, as did Devers’ Sixth Army Group.

Ahead of the Allies were the remains of the German forces, often no more than Volkssturm or Hitlerjugend, determined to resist for as long as possible so that their Führer had time to unleash his super weapons. In the end, these proved figments of Hitler’s imagination and the defenders crumbled in the face of units that, after nine months of training, had become deadly proponents of the art of aggressive warfare with modern equipment – such as the M26 Pershing and Comet – being rushed to the front in the hope it could see action before the war finished.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612008509
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Publication date: 04/29/2020
Series: Then & Now Series
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,043,770
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 11.70(h) x (d)

About the Author

Simon Forty was educated in Dorset and the north of England before reading history at London University’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has been involved in publishing since the mid-1970s, first as editor and latterly as author. Son of author and RAC Tank Museum curator George Forty, he has continued in the family tradition writing mainly on historical and military subjects including books on the Napoleonic Wars and the two world wars. Recently he has produced a range of highly illustrated books on the Normandy battlefields, the Atlantic Wall and the liberation of the Low Countries with co-author Leo Marriott.

Table of Contents

After Market Garden
The Ardennes Counterattack
Reichswald and Rhineland
Crossing the Rhine
The Advance into Germany
Clearing the Netherlands

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