V-E Day (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The defeat of Nazi Germany marks the transfer of international power from the center of the European continent to two world powers at Europe’s flanks.
Summary of Event
After repelling the German counterattack in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944, the commander in chief of Allied forces in Western Europe, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, prepared for the final offensive into the heart of Germany. He planned two major crossings of the Rhine in the spring of 1945—one on the north by Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery’s Twenty-first Army Group, consisting mainly of British and Canadian troops, and the U.S. Ninth Army; another in the center by General Omar N. Bradley’s Twelfth Army Group; and a third in the south by the U.S. Third and Seventh Armies. Adolf Hitler, the Führer of Germany, had ordered his commanders to defend every inch of ground, and as a result of this directive, Eisenhower was able to destroy much of the German Army in battles west of the Rhine in February, 1945. He also was able to capture the Ludendorff railroad bridge over the Rhine at Remagen on March 7, so that he had a bridgehead in the center; consequently, he abandoned plans to cross the river on his left and right flanks, and instead he rushed troops across the Rhine at Remagen.
By March 28, Bradley’s forces had passed through Remagen and reached Marburg, where they were ready to...
(The entire section is 1313 words.)
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