header.php
June 22nd, 1941. Operation Barbarossa begins. Hitler's 1939 Nonaggression Pact with the Soviet Union came to abrupt but predictable end on Sunday, June 22, 1941. At dawn on that day, German forces launched Operation Barbarossa along an 1,800-mile front that ran from Leningrad to the Black Sea. The three German army groups included 150 divisions containing three million men, 3,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery pieces and 2,500 aircraft. The German forces were further strengthened by more than 30 divisions of Finnish and Romanian troops. It was in effect the largest and most powerful invasion force in history. Like previous campaigns, Barbarossa was planned as a blitzkrieg led by armored units.The invasion took the Soviet leadership completely by surprise and caught the Red Army in an unprepared and partially demobilized state. Stalin had been informed that the Germans would invade but he did not believe the sources. Over the first few days, the German Luftwaffe destroyed more than 1,200 Soviet aircraft, many of them on the ground. By mid-July the Germans had advanced more than 400 miles and were only 200 miles from Moscow. Heavy Autumn rains would turn the Russian roads to deep mud and the sub-zero temperatures that followed in November would further stall and finally end the German advance. ... See MoreSee Less

3 hours ago  ·  

View on Facebook
~ A new addition to this year's American Elegance performance: 1926 Chrysler Model 72 Roadster. Show starts around 1 PM Saturday and Sunday. More information see: www.americanheritagemuseum.org/event/tanks-wings-wheels-2/ ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago  ·  

View on Facebook
Word on the streets says Al Capone will be showing up at AHM in his 1940 V-16 Cadillac on June 19th and 20th - to case the place for his new casino and speak-easy. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

View on Facebook
Visitors to the American Heritage Museum this past weekend had the opportunity to view a display of impressive artifacts from the Allied campaign to liberate Italy (1943-1945). The Allied advance through Italy produced some of the most bitter, costly fighting of the war, much of it in treacherous mountain terrain. Rome was liberated 77 years ago this month but at the time the event was completely overshadowed by the D-Day landings in Normandy.The weekend exhibition was organized and expertly described to several hundred Museum visitors by Abigail Metheny of Concord, MA and Jesse Campana of Brick, NJ. Both are avid students of the history of the Italian Campaign as well as skilled collectors of WWII memorabilia. Abigail and Jesse appeared in US Army uniforms from the period: Abigail as a US Army Nurse and Jesse as an Army private. The AHM extends its appreciation to Abigail and Jesse for their wonderful commitment of their time and expertise. We look forward to welcoming them back to the Museum sometime soon. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

View on Facebook
The American Heritage Museum is running a very unique sweepstakes fundraiser "Behind Enemy Lines - WWII Tank Experience." We hope that you could share this with your friends. Here is the link with all the details: americanheritagemuseum.tapkat.org/behindenemylinesProceeds go to our education outreach programs and operations. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago  ·  

View on Facebook

Crossing the Rhine


M22 Locust
– USA | AIRBORNE TANK

M18 Hellcat – USA | TANK DESTROYER

A34 Comet – UK | CRUISER TANK

Two invasions of France in mid-1944, Operation Overlord in Normandy and Operation Dragoon in southern France, succeeded in moving multiple American and Allied armies to the border of Germany. Attack momentum was delayed in late 1944 by serious logistical issues and by the setback in the Netherlands and fierce German resistance in the Huertgen and Ardennes Forests. But by January 1945, the Western Allies had overwhelmingly superior ground and air forces looming all along the western borders of Germany. The problem was, how to get them over the Rhine, so that they could crush the last German resistance in the ETO and end the war.

By late January 1945, U.S forces, with their British, Canadian, and French allies, had regained the territory lost in December’s Battle of the Bulge and resumed their drive eastward to defeat Hitler’s Third Reich. Only one major obstacle stood in the path of their advance: the Rhine River, whose many bridges had been blown apart by retreating German armies. That forced the Allies to make an amphibious assault into the teeth of German river defenses. This strategic crossing of the Rhine river – also known as Operation Plunder, started on March 23rd, 1945.

When Allied forces reached the Rhine in early March 1945 they found just about every span across the river already destroyed. The one exception of some very important bridges that survived demolition from the Germans such as was a only partly destroyed bridge at Remagen, which was captured in a rush assault. Eisenhower decided that several simultaneous crossings over the 20 mile long battle front would have the greatest chance of success. His plan was to cross the Rhine, then drive into the Ruhr Valley to encircle a large part of the German Army and effectively end German resistance in the west. So began the massive mobilization and movement of engineers, soldiers, equipment and supplies across one of the most important river crossings of WWII.

Four thousand Allied guns fired for four hours during the opening bombardment. British bombers contributed with attacks on Wesel during the day and night of 23 March 1945 – Preparing for this monumental crossing into the heart of Germany.

footer.php

MUSEUM OPEN

Museum is fully open with no restrictions - Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm - also open Memorial Day, May 31st from 10:00am to 5:00pm.