“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Keyser in Mineral County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

The Bridge at Remagen

March 7, 1945

— "The most expensive real estate in the world" —

The Bridge at Remagen Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), July 12, 2020
1. The Bridge at Remagen Marker
When the Germans tried to frantically reset the charges, American assertiveness took over. The on-scene commander, LT Timmerman began to send his men up onto the Bridge. He followed, right behind the first few men. One soldier, Joe DeLisio, moved faster than all the others, acting on the theory "if you advance fast, enough you won't get hit." In fact he ran right past the towers on the eastern side from which the Germans were firing. When someone yelled "Who's gonna clean out that tower?" DeLisio took it as a challenge.

Climbing on the top of the tower, DeLisio single-handedly took five Germans prisoner. Not wanting to have DeLisio stranded alone on the eastern side, Drabik took off at a run, ducking and weaving. When DeLisio threw the Germans' machine gun out a window into the river, many soldiers pinned down on the Bridge no began to move with confidence. By now, Drabik was at a dead run, and did not even stop to pick up his helmet when it bounced off his head. Thus, Drabik became the first man to reach the other side, followed closely by nine others, including Timmerman. Such was the thinking and camaraderie that carried the
Ed Kelley Memorial Plaza image. Click for full size.
July 12, 2020
2. Ed Kelley Memorial Plaza
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first US soldiers across the Bridge at Remagen.

Commanders up through Bradley and Eisenhower were amazed at the development at the Bridge, and immediately began diverting all available units toward Remagen. The 78th was one of two Infantry Divisions already in Remagen, and before daylight on March 8th, the 311st was sent across with orders, "When you get across, turn right and attack!" The 311st became the first Regiment in its entirety to cross the Rhine.

Germans fought desperately from the cliffs overlooking the Bridge on the eastern side, but the 78th came pouring across. Knowing the strategic blunder that leaving this Bridge intact would be, not to mention Hitler's wrath, German commanders tried everything conceivable to destroy the Bridge. They tried to shell it, bomb it, ram it, and even sent frogmen into the River to blow it - - but the Bridge remained standing. The significance of the Bridge at Remagen would be best understood by some of the ramifications on both Armies.


• The failure of the Germans to destroy the Bridge was an immediate embarrassment to the entire German military
• Hitler recognized the significance, and directed huge reinforcements be moved from the other defensive points along the River to try to stop the US incursion at Remagen.
• Hitler convened
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a court-martial after the American crossing, and condemned five Nazi officers to death for their failures at the Bridge.
• Until Remagen, the Germans always knew there was a river between them and defeat. Behind the Rhine, they felt they could hold off the Allies, and negotiate a settlement.
• Following the War, German officers said they could accept losses at Avvanches, Utah Beach, and the Ardennes -- results of these were mathematical inevitabilities. These did not affect their pride. But when they lost the Bridge at Remagen, "the Hitler Army reeled and its combat leaders became gutted of hope."
• The real significance of Remagen was the unrelenting blow, piercing deep into the German psyche. The people that were supposed to be so meticulous, such precise engineers, so meticulous in detail, had failed. The end was at hand.


• Its seizure was estimated to have served the US "5,000 dead and 10,000 wounded."
• The Bridge stayed in continuous use from the moment it was seized. When it fell on March 17th, it took 28 US soldiers to their death.
• With a portion of the eastern shore secure, the US quickly constructed six more bridges across the Rhine, and sent an unending stream of men and material straight into the heart of Germany.
• Eisenhower changed his main attack from Montgomery in the
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North to Bradley in the south base on the 78th's successes at Kesternich and Remagen.
• With Remagen, the end of the War was within grasp.

Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower series list. A significant day of the year for for this entry is March 8.
Location. 39° 26.386′ N, 78° 58.62′ W. Marker is in Keyser, West Virginia, in Mineral County. Marker is on East Piedmont Street (West Virginia Route 46) just west of North Davis Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31 E Piedmont St, Keyser WV 26726, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Encircling the Nazi War Machine & German Capitulation (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Bridge at Remagen (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Bridge at Remagen (here, next to this marker); The Aftermath of Kesternich / Germans Retreat (here, next to this marker); The Battle for Kesternich (here, next to this marker); The Medal of Honor (here, next to this marker); Jonah Edward Kelley (here, next to this marker); Regaining the Initiative (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Keyser.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   2. submitted on July 14, 2020.

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Mar. 24, 2023