“Within ten days after the timber began to be collected, the whole work was completed, and the whole army led over. Caesar, leaving a strong guard at each end of the bridge, hastens into the territories of the Sigambri. In the mean time, embassadors from several nations come to him, whom, on their suing for peace and alliance, he answers in a courteous manner, and orders hostages to be brought to him. But the Sigambri, at the very time the bridge was begun to be built, made preparations for a flight (by the advice of such of the Tenchtheri and Usipetes as they had among them), and quitted their territories, and conveyed away all their possessions, and concealed themselves in deserts and woods.”
Caesar’s Commentaries, Book IV, Chapter 16
Seventy-two years ago this month, Allied Armies performed a logistical and operational feat not seen since the days of Caesar…executing a military crossing of the Rhine River. The four minute You Tube video (featured in the Commentaries excerpt) provides an excellent summation of Caesar’s engineers and their efforts. The second article for this month’s perspective; Mr. Fowle discusses both the bridges captured and the engineering endeavors to cross one of the last lines of defense erected by the Nazis. This sign still exists and is on display at the Patton Museum, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
- Caesar’s Commentaries, Book IV Chapter 16 and The Rhine River Crossings excerpt from Builders and Fighters: U.S. Army Engineers in World War II, Berry W. Fowle, p. 463-475, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Belvoir, VA, 1992 Office of History
- LOA Historian Monthly Perspective #11 Infographic
- Crossing the Rhine (YouTube)