was during the in March 1945 by the British, Canadian and American troops led by crossing the Rhine between Emmerich and Wesel s. The main attack came in the British section between Wesel and Rees. The operation of the 29 divisions were involved, included, in addition to . Crossing the Rhine north of the Ruhr’s made with the American crossing of the Rhine at Remagen the basis of the Ruhr pockets.
The planning of the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force Dwight D.saw originally for the fighting in the German Reich a major advance on the left flank by the North German Plain to Berlin before, which should be undertaken by the British under the command of Bernard . In this context, to circumvent the West Wall s and for obtaining an early transition Rhine undertaken aimed at Arnhem had failed in September 1944. In the first episode should reach to the entire Rhine front and then a transition through the 21 Army Group will be enforced. This process was delayed by the battles in Hurtgenwald and more in the realm forest and also in December 1944 and January 1945 were interrupted by the German offensive ultimately failed. Finally, in the area of 21 Army Group on 10 March 1945 at Xanten the pincer movement on the left bank of the Rhine completed, the first of the Canadian Army, reinforced with parts of the second to the east or Southeast and by the 9th U.S. Army had been carried to the north. So that the left bank was completely in Allied possession.
As early as 7 March it was in the 12 U.S. Army Group succeeded unexpectedly without a fight taken with the intact railroad bridge at Remagen a Rhine crossing and form a bridgehead. This, together with the fact that Soviet forces were already close to Berlin, to a change in the weighting of’s plan aimed at increasing the participation of the two southern army groups on further rise. The transfer of the urgency of the Rhine 21 Army Group was retained. The last more intact stayed bridge at Wesel on 10 March blown up by . The Army Group therefore had to fight as expected, the crossing of the Rhine. The extensive preparations for this were immediately initiated for concealing smoke was also used more widely.
== Route ==
began 13 days after the withdrawal of across the Rhine. The opened at 21:00 Clock of 23 March 1945 the fighting. All three brigades were supported by floating tanks to 9:45 clock crossed the Rhine at Rees, but the fighting continued on until the afternoon. In preparation for surgery, the population of the area occupied by left the Rhineland cities had already been evacuated to Bedburg-Hau, has been clouded the left bank of the Rhine and began construction of temporary bridges. On the right bank of the Rhine-standing units of the in particular with artillery guns fired without regard to the opposite side of the river.
Crossing the Rhine near Wesel started at 22:00 clock. After the Royal Air Force bombed the city (air attacks on Wesel), crossed the 46th Royal Marinethe Rhine. Reinforced by the American 17 Airborne in the fighting lasted until the next evening. In the meantime, had 15 Scottish of Xanten on set and secured against little resistance, the banks of the Rhine at Bislich. On 24 March landed during in Hamminkeln troops to break the German supply routes. Still on 25 March came the temporary bridges used.
On 27 March were the fighting of Operation Plunder, for the most part as completed.
Thanks to the successful crossing of the Rhine by the operation, the Allied forces were able to include a large proportion of remaining in West Germanyunits in the Ruhr pocket.
On 25 March attended by British Prime Ministerand Field Marshal Bernard , the headquarters of the Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, where both with three or four U.S. generals and half a dozen American soldiers with an infantry landing craft sat near Wesel on the Rhine, and 30 minutes in spent enemy territory.