General Eisenhower planned the main Rhine offensives in the north. Further south Lieutenant-General Bradley’s 12th Army Group, comprising US 1st and 3rd Armies was charged with reaching the Rhine between Cologne and Koblenz in Operation Lumberjack. Lieutenant-General Devers’ 6th Army Group, comprising the US 7th and French 1st Armies was given the task of attacking the industrial Saarland and taking Mannheim in Operation Undertone. Lumberjack achieved a breakthrough across a broad front, and raced towards the river. On 7 March the US 9th Armored Division reached the river at Remagen and discovered that the Germans had not succeeded in destroying it. They captured the bridge, acquiring the unexpected bonus of a river crossing in the central sector. Meanwhile Devers’ troops were moving rapidly northward, reaching the west bank of the River and ready – on 21 March 1945 – for the final onslaught on Germany’s industrial heartland.
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