With both sides aware of the strategic significance of this physical barrier the stakes could not have been higher. Eisenhower’s plan involved a vast airborne assault by General Ridgway’s XV11 Airborne Corps (codename VARSITY) and the simultaneously coordinated river crossing by Monty’s 21 Army Group codename PLUNDER with Dempsey’s British Second Army and General William H. Simpson’s US Ninth Army.
This superbly illustrated and researched book describes the March 1945 assault crossing involving naval amphibious craft, the air and artillery bombardment and diversionary attack by the British 1st Commando brigade at Wesel. In concert with VARSITY and PLUNDER, Patton’s US Third Army Group crossed further south.
As a result of this triumph of strategic planning and tactical execution, the fate of Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’ was finally sealed.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Strategic Prelude to the Campaign 7
Map: Strategic situation 8
Chapter 2 Terrain, Fortifications and Weapons 39
Chapter 3 Commanders and Combatants 99
Chapter 4 Clearing the Rhineland 141
Map: The Rhineland campaign and advances to the Rhine River 142
Map: The Allied 'Broad Front' Rhine River assaults 154
Chapter 5 The Rhine River Crossings and Airborne Assault 183
Map: Montgomery's 21st AG Rhine River crossing 184