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First Across the Rhine

The 291st Engineer Combat Battalion in France, Belgium, and Germany

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The 291st Engineer Combat Battalion in France, Belgium, and Germany

Col. David E. Pergrin with Eric Hammel

First Across the Rhine is the first-person narrative by the commander of the celebrated 291st Engineer Combat Battalion, one of the rough, hard-working U.S. Army engineer combat units that literally paved the way from Normandy to the Rhine and beyond.

Landing in Normandy shortly after D-Day, the 291st quickly acquired a reputation as a can-do engineer unit. During the race across France and Belgium in the summer of 1944, the 291st proved itself to be the U.S. First Army’s premier engineer battalion. In December 1944, the lightly armed 291st found itself standing alone astride the route of the panzer spearhead charged with leading the northern army group in Hitler’s last-ditch Ardennes offensive—the Battle of the Bulge. Tough and confident, the 291st blew up bridge after vital bridge in the face of the German assault and thus denied Germany her victory in the West. Weeks later, the 291st was selected from among all U.S. Army engineer combat battalions in Germany to throw the first bridge across the Rhine River in the face of enormous resistance. It thus opened the German heartland to the Allied juggernaut.

Few American combat units have achieved the distinction and recognition accorded the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion. Here, in the words of its only combat commander, is the 291st’s recipe for success—stiff training and a group ethos for excellence.

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First Across the Rhine
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: Aug 05, 2009
  • Publisher: Pacifica Military History
  • Seller: Ingram DV LLC
  • Print Length: 457 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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