The Bridge at Remagen Ken Hechler

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247pages, a few black and white pictures. non fiction

I really found it hard to put this book down and go to work. It grabs you from the begining to the end.

If, like me you are a keen fan of the movie, and I have watched it several times, you will really want to get to the bottom of what really happened. There are as many similarities with the film as amazing differences with the real event. 2nd LT Timmerman was the real officer who took the bridge played by the lead American actor in the movie. The narrative explores the brief but understandable human reaction to learning of the task, to take the bridge packed with German demolition charges ready to explode and pitch the massive structure into the Rhine. At this point I was reading the book on the edge of my seat. 

The book was written in the fifties when memories of the incident were still fresh in the minds of those involved. Both the American and German sides of the story are told in remarkable detail. In addition to the action, the book explores the events leading to the Bridge finally collapsing in the Rhine from the point of view of the US Army Engineers working to repair it at the time. Also as a sad and horrific footnote, Hitlers swift and single minded retrobution on those German officers he considered responsible for letting the bridge fall into enemy hands.

A great factual book about one small but interesting bit of world war two.




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