Quickly eliminating this with fire from M26 Pershing tanks, American forces raced forward as they expected the bridge to be blown by the Germans before it could be captured.These thoughts were reinforced when prisoners indicated that it was scheduled to be demolished at PM.Pushing men and tanks across the Rhine, Hoge was able to secure the bridgehead giving the Allies a foothold on the east bank.Dubbed the "Miracle of Remagen," the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge opened the way for Allied troops to drive into the heart of Germany.The first American to reach the east bank was Sergeant Alexander A. As more men arrived, they moved to clear the tunnel and cliffs near the bridge's eastern approaches.Securing a perimeter, they were reinforced during the evening.In a sharp fight, American forces succeeded in securing the span.
As elements of Company A, led by Lieutenant Karl Timmermann, moved onto the bridge's approaches, the Germans, led by Captain Willi Bratge, blew a 30-foot crater in the roadway with the goal of slowing the American advance.
Reaching the bridge towers on the west bank, platoons stormed inside overwhelming the defenders.
Having taken these vantage points, they provided covering fire for Timmerman and his men as they fought across the span.
Built during World War I, the railroad bridge remained intact with German forces retreating across its span.
Initially, officers in the 27th began calling for artillery to drop the bridge and trap German forces on the west bank.