Tidioute WWII Reenactment
Reenacting the 1945 Battle of the bridge at Remagen, Germany
Saturday, August 4th, 2018, marked the 10th anniversary of the Tidioute World War II Reenactment. Tidioute native and vocalist Ms. Desiree McChesney delighted us all as she sang the National Anthem during the opening ceremonies. Mrs. Elizabeth (Beth) Ziegler, daugter of World War II Veteran Bruce Ziegler, and lifelong resident of Tidioute was our 2018 guest speaker. Mrs. Zeigler shared a family story with the crowd that gave us ensight into a tale that started some 70 years ago. The tale of two young American soliders who bravley served their country during World War II, their lifelong bond and friendship. To read the full story written by Mrs. Zeigler click the link below.
History of the Battle for the bridge at Remagen
The origninal battle for the Ludendorff Bridge took place during World War II in Remagen, Germany in March of 1945. The 9th Annual World War II reenactment portraying this battle at Remagen, Germany, will take place in Tidioute, Pennsylvania on Saturday, August 4th, 2017.
On Saturday, August 4th, you will have an opportunity to see hundreds of Infantryman organized by the 99th Infantry Division 393rd Regiment, Easy Company Reenactment Group (Battle Babies) re-enact this battle beginning at 3pm. The streets of Tidioute will be full of action as approximately 250 reenactors representing Infantrymen of both American and German decent battle for control of the bridge.
Remagen, Germany is a small town located on the West banks of the Rhine River. Its layout and size are very similar to Tidioute. The Rhine River is similar in size to the Allegheny River. The terrain features of Remagen, Germany look very much like the Allegheny Region, with the rolling mountains, deep valleys and several ridges. The bridge at Remagen was named after a German hero, thus the name Ludendorff Bridge which was about 700 feet long. Just a litlle longer than the Tidioute Bridge which is 551 feet in length.
An ecampment will be set up and open to the public in the Limestone ball field just south of the Tidioute Bridge. Vistors are welcome and encouraged to stop at the encampment to see how it was back then. There will be WWII memorbilia for sale and on display along with American and German uniforms, equipment, and vehicles.
The German Ludendorff Bridge was the only bridge across the Rhine River that was captured by American forces during World War II. Visitors will see U.S. soliders drive the German army back across the bridge. Watch as the bridge is blown up with pyrotechnics. See the capture of the bridge and the defeat of the German forces.
It was 1945, the allied forces were on the offense and the German army was in full retreat. Lead elements of the 9th Armored Division arrived on a hill overlooking Remagen and the Ludendorff Bridge. Lt. Timmerman Lead the column assigned to capture the town.l To their surprise they found the bridge intact with the German aremy still retreating across it. The bridge at Remagen was the last remaining bridge on the Rhine River. Either the advancing allied armies or the retrating German army had destroyed all of the other bridges on the Rhine. Orders were to "Capture the Bridge." Lt. Timmerman's column led by a company of Infantry, advanced into the lightly defended village and quickly made their way to the bridge. Between 3 and 4pm the Germans were on the other side of the Rhine River and they detonated the charges that were aready in place. These explosives blew, lifting the bridge off its foudnation. When the smoke cleared the bridge was still intact and still standing. history was made that day and the following day a sign was placed on the bridge that read, "Cross the Rhine with Dry Feet, Courtesy of the 9th Armored Division." Ten days later the bridge collapsed, killing may of the combat engineers who were trying to repair the bridge. Hundreds of G.I.'s wwere killed and wounded fighting to protect this bridge.
Visit www.remagenbridge.com for more information and photos of past events.
Reminders & Tips:
The Tidioute Bridge will be closed to vehicle and foot traffic from 2:00 pm until the completion of the event around 4:00 pm. Be sure to determine which side of the river yu want to watch from and plan accordingly. Route 62 will be closed during the event from approximatley 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Plan for delays and drive carefully as route 62 will be congested.
Price is $15.00 each and are available in sizes small through 3 XL. They are for sale at the Tidioute Borough Office located at 129 Main Street. All proceeds go to the Reenactment Committee and help defray the cost of the event. Hats are sold out.
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129 Main St
Tidioute, PA 16351
Phone: (814) 484-7424
Fax: (814) 484-7412
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08:00 am - 03:30 pm
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