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Military History/WWII: Rhine Crossing: Order of Battle


Dear Mr. Collette:

My Grandfather (who is still living) fought in The Battle of the Bulge and crossed the Rhine River while part of the 118th Infantry Division [after it was detached from the 30th Infantry].

He thinks he crossed on 27 March 1945, but he's not sure.

We would like to know the order of battle, so that we might figure out what day he crossed and which specific operation he participated in (i.e. Operation Plunder; Operation Varsity, etc.).

**Clue:  He distinctly remembers C-47 Transport planes flying overhead before dawn; he and the members of his unit began their mission at first light. He was on the ground, but remembers a sky full of planes pulling gliders, and the paratroopers jumping overhead.

The night before, Eisenhower voiced encouragement on the military radio......telling the ground troops something to the effect of " Do not be afraid; Do not look up. All the planes above you will be ours."

Please help us, if possible. Grandfather is 91 years old, and it would mean a lot to us both if we could clarify his clouded memories of a time that was so important to him.

Thank you so much for your time.


Hi Leslie

Thanks for you question. Sorry about the delay, we went out of town for a few days and I forgot to put myself in "vacation" mode.

Your grandfather would have a member of the 118th infantry Regiment, which was part of the 30th Infantry division. Please find below some useful links on this division and regiment. According to the Wiki article the 30th Division made it's assault crossing of the Rhine River into Germany on the 24th of March, 1945.

I hope this helps in some small way. It is gratifying to see people interested in their family history. I think it's important.

Kind regards


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Trevor Collette


I can answer most specific questions regarding the war on the Eastern Front 1941-45 and general questions on WWII regarding the European Theatre of Operations. I can answer most questions on weapons and vehicles used in those areas of operation, Russian, German, Allied. I can also answer questions on contemporary weapon systems (land/sea/air), nuclear weapons and nuclear war fighting, biological and chemical warfare. I also have an interest in epidemiology and disease in history and Russian history during Stalin, specifically the GuLags. I cannot answer any more questions relating to discharge papers or other paperwork, obtaining military records, ranks and their comparisons, military duties etc. as there are outside my expertise.


3 years Lance Corporal in infantry regiment and 3 years Sapper (Combat Engineer)in Engineer Regiment, both Canadian Army Reserve. Extensive military history library, up until recently I was reading 3-5 books per month on military affairs, then ran out of shelf space, much to my wife's delight.

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