Erft Canal Crossing

28 February 1944 - 1 March 1944

Following the crossing of the Rohr the 505th pulled into Dueren and from February 28 and March 5, 1945 the 505th Light Ponton Company was heavily involved in the preparation for the Erft Canal Crossing, the last natural barrier before the Rhine. Because the bridges had been blown up by the retreating Germans bridges had to be built at a number of locations. In just 6 days the 505th delivered 7 Bailey bridges, 432 feet of infantry footbridge, and 45 M-2 Assault Boats to a 6 different Combat Engineer Battalions ( 329th, 49th, 237th, 238th, 324, 224th). Infantry Footbridges were built quickly to provide a bridgehead in Glesch and Paffendorf. There was very heavy fire from the Germans from the woods opposite these positions. Baileys were then built. There were only two big bridges for supplies at Bedburg-Broich and Zieverich . These became the main supply routes as the war moved to on to Cologne and the Rhine.
Willi Weiss has provided us with this map and the following photos. A big thanks to Willi Weiss for his research that has provided these great maps and photographs of some of the bridges then and now that spanned the Erft.
Here is a chronological listing of the locations and bridges that were delivered. Willi has included them on this map.