This bridge was built during WWI to be a lifeline for German troops fighting on the Western Front. Originally it was rail bridge with a path for pedestrians. In WWII, it was planked over to allow for vehicles to traverse across the Rhine.
In March of 1945 the Germans were retreating. The US army was heading toward Berlin. The Rhine river serves as a practical western border with Belgium and other countries to the east. As the Americans advanced, all the bridges on the Rhine were blown up by the Germans. Imagine the Americans surprise when they made it to Remagen and found the bridge still standing! Not for lack of trying, the Germans had been trying for days to blow it up...it wouldn't go. So for 10 days we crossed the Rhine into Germany. Hitler was so furious that he executed 4 officers for their lack of success. On th 10th day the bridge finally gave way, killing 28 US soldiers in the fall. We crossed over quite a few units in those 10 days. The collapse didn't deter us as the army engineers built a pontoon floating bridge and we kept on coming.