One of the most fantastic breaks of World War II, the capture of the great Ludendorf bridge across the Rhine, saved thousands of American lives and opened the invasion of Germany. On March 7th, 1945, the free world thrilled to the news of a stunning victory. Shortly after three o'clock that afteron, a small group of American infantrymen, engineers and tank soldiers captured the Ludendorf Bridge at Remagen, and were across the Rhine. From that victory sprang momentous consequences: Field Marshal von Rundstedt was dismissed as Commander in Chief of the German Armies in the West; nearly 50,000 German soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. Germany's defeat was brought weeks closer - saving thousands of American and British lives. The Bridge at Remagen, based on extensive interviews with German and American participants, is the first complete, authoritative account of what happened on that fateful day. It is the story of a great risk boldly accepted, and of the surprising way in which a handful of men, acting with daring and initiative, altered the course of history. The story was made into a classic motion picture starring George Segal.
Ken Hechler entered the army as a draftee in 1942, received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the Armored Forces and emerged as a major with five battle stars after service in the European Theater of Operations. In 1958, Hechler became a candidate for the US House of Representatives and represented the state of West Virginia for eighteen years. In 1984, he was elected Secretary of State in West Virginia. He is currently running for the position in this year's election.