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Operation Lumberjack was a military operation conducted in the last stages of the war in Europe during World War II. It was launched by the First United States Army in March 1945 to capture strategic cities in Germany such as Cologne, and to give the Allies a foothold along the Rhine River.

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Timeline of Events

On February 21st, 1945 the U.S. Ninth Army crossed the Roer River, which the Germans had flooded by destroying the Schwammanuel Dam. The U.S. captured the town of Cologne on March 7th, 1945, after which the Germans crossed the Rhine river destroying the Hohenzollern Bridge behind them. Sergeant Alexander A. Drabik in the U.S. 9th Armored Division led his troops to the town of Remagen on March 7, 1945. They reached the Ludendorff Bridge and crossed it under heavy fire at 3:50 p.m.

The capture of the Ludendorff Bridge proved to be an essential part of final push into Germany, as it was the only accessible crossing over the Rhine river. 8,000 troops were immediately rushed over the bridge, with two more temporary bridges erected beside it. Attempts to destroy the crossing failed. Adolf Hitler had all men responsible at Remagen shot. On March 17, the bridge collapsed due to non-stop bombing. The Americans controlled 8 miles of the river and 25 miles inland. With this, American engineers built 62 bridges in days and by March 25, all Allied armies were across the bridge getting ready to strike.

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