Photographer's Note

Parents of the world, do never forget that anything you show your children might become of extreme importance for all of us as the following example shows:

John Henry Timmermann was a U.S. soldier of German ancestry and member of the American Army of Occupation in Germany after WW I. He went "absent without leave", married his German girlfriend and had a child with her: a son named Karl Heinrich.

Before returning to Nebraska, the family made a boat tour on Rhine river. The steamer stopped at Remagen where they disembarked and climbed the adjacent hills to see a great Rhine panorama: the big stream with a white ship and a train with steam locomotive rolling across a huge bridge.

Little Karl kept this in mind. After settling in the U.S., the family was despised of for the "cowardice" of his father - which made the son feel that he should act better to restore the honour of the family.

Karl H. Timmermann became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during WW II. He was a member of the 9th Armored Division spearheading for the Rhine after the Battle of the Bulge.

The terrain looked more and more familiar to Karl, the more they approached the river. Memories came back to his mind: he had been here before as a small boy, he knew where to walk, where to find a narrow path, where to expect a perfect view.

Then he saw the stream, no ships, no train, but an intact bridge. The Bridge of Remagen. And immediately a plan sprang to his mind...

The rest is history.

Karl H. Timmermann captured an intact Ludendorff bridge with his company on March 7, 1945. He became the first American officer to set foot on the river's right bank. The U.S. Army managed to get more than one division across before the bridge collapsed on March 17, killing 28 men. Seizing the bridge shortened WW II on the european theatre of operations for several weeks or even months.

Karl Heinrich Timmermann was eventually awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry. He survived WW II and the Korean war and died of testicular cancer, aged only 29.

What you see is what he and his men captured.


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Additional Photos by Sven Erich Czernik (Energysavingelk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 340 W: 1 N: 865] (4194)
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