- Contributed by
- BBC Scotland
- People in story:
- Peter Carter
- Location of story:
- The River Rhine
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 13 June 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Claire White of BBC Scotland on behalf of Peter Carter and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
In 1945 my Unit was the first to bridge the Rhine with folding boat equipment. This technique involved binding together little boats to make a raft. We produced 1400ft of raft altogether in just 18 hours. It was the longest folding boat ever made.
I was a Lieutenant in charge of exit from the bridge, from the bank up onto the track. We achieved this using a Sommerfield Sandwich, a track made of heavy wire reinforced with metal rods. In between the two was a sandwich of timber planks. Vehicles and tanks could pass over this track without sinking into the ground.
The bridge enabled troops to cross the River Rhine and reinforce the inventory on the far bank. It effectively allowed follow-up after the inventory had gone over.
The bridge was broken after just one night by an American lorry that was too heavy to cross. It broke in the middle and a section floated down the Rhine. The bridge was promptly repaired and lasted for a further 10 days. We completed the exit from the bridge in around 8 hours.
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