Across the Rhine

January–May 1945

Simon Forty

Heavily illustrated title covering the advance of the US, Canadian and British Armies west into Germany in 1945.
Date Published :
April 2020
Publisher :
Series :
Then & Now
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612008509
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The last rites were administered to the Third Reich from the west by a massive concentration of Allied forces and firepower. With France secured, Hitler’s vain counterattack in the Ardennes held and the Channel and North Sea ports cleared, little stood in the way of the Allies other than the dominant geographical feature of western Europe: the mighty Rhine River stretching from the North Sea almost to Switzerland.

In the north, the 21st Army Group executed one of the largest operations of the war: a huge airdrop backed up by an amphibious crossing that made full use of 79th Armoured Division’s specialized armor including the Alligators of 4th Royal Tank Regiment. Further south, until it collapsed under the pressure, the Ludendorff Bridge, captured intact at Remagen allowed US First Army to create a bridgehead. They would use it to good effect, wheeling north to surround the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial heartland. Further south, where the river was narrower, Patton’s Third Army vaulted the Rhine with its customary elan, as did Devers’ Sixth Army Group.

Ahead of the Allies were the remains of the German forces, often no more than Volkssturm or Hitlerjugend, determined to resist for as long as possible so that their Führer had time to unleash his super weapons. In the end, these proved figments of Hitler’s imagination and the defenders crumbled in the face of units that, after nine months of training, had become deadly proponents of the art of aggressive warfare with modern equipment – such as the M26 Pershing and Comet – being rushed to the front in the hope it could see action before the war finished.

About The Author

Simon Forty was educated in Dorset and the north of England before reading history at London University’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has been involved in publishing since the mid-1970s, first as editor and latterly as author. Son of author and RAC Tank Museum curator George Forty, he has continued in the family tradition writing mainly on historical and military subjects including books on the Napoleonic Wars and the two world wars. Recently he has produced a range of highly illustrated books on the Normandy battlefields, the Atlantic Wall and the liberation of the Low Countries with co-author Leo Marriott.


After Market Garden
The Ardennes Counterattack
Reichswald and Rhineland
Crossing the Rhine
The Advance into Germany
Clearing the Netherlands


"...lavishly illustrated with interesting photographs associated with the major army’s operation, with the most interesting being the photographs where the author uses a “then and now” format to show a period picture and then the same location today."

- Military Review

"Leaders should use the book as a basis for future study and discussion. It is well worth the time and effort to read."

- ARMOR Magazine

‘’This is the penultimate title in what has to date been an exceptionally good series of historical guides to the campaigns in the West. The format and narrative are straightforward and themselves to tour planning and research and tracking individual formations. The chapters flow chronologically and in geographic sequence. As with the previous titles in the series, the standard of maps and photographs is high. This particular book goes a long way toward highlighting a critical phase of the war in the west that is often skipped over or neglected. Certainly, worth adding to your library if you are interested in the last months of WW2.’’

- Despatches

‘’As well as well written, informative text, the book is heavily illustrated not only with archive photos but with plenty of maps and a lot of modern day colour photos showing many of the places as they are today. So much to see for the historian and plenty of inspiration for the modeller with the details we see illustrated. Another very good book in this series, and together with the others in this series a very good collection to keep on your reference bookshelves.’’

- Military Model Scene

"The narrative is engaging without going into too much detail, and an excellent bibliography is provided of the sources used in the event a reader wants to research deeper into a particular topic."

- New York Journal of Books

" extraordinary, impressively informative, and expertly presented study that will prove to be an enduringly appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library World War II military history collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists."

- Midwest Book Review

‘’This book is good value and recommended for those seeking a very well-illustrated, broad overview of the campaign in North West Europe in the closing months of the War.’’

- Military Historical Society

‘’The authors have looked at all aspect of this last push into Germany. This is very much a complete look at the crossing of the Rhine, and the end game in Germany on 1945. The photos and maps show how the battles panned out, and the modern photos show in some cases how little things have changed. If you are interested in WWII history then this book is a must. For the military modeller the wealth of contemporary photos give a very good idea of how the vehicles and troops looked at this time.’’


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