Seize the Opportunities

Posted: August 23, 2009 in Category - Cultural War, Seize the Opportunities

The Bridge at Remagen”
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

I just received in the mail a great book–a gift from a friend–it’s a classic World War II book, “The Bridge at Remagen” by Ken Hechler.  It’s the detailed story of how a small unit of American army soldiers, near the end of the war, saw a spectacular opportunity to destroy the German army and seized upon it with speed, skill and great courage.

In the last three months of the war, the Allied forces (the Americans, British, Canadian, and Free French) were piling up casualties.  The German army in the west had not quite yet packed it in.  They were fighting tooth and nail for their homeland.  The Allies had a huge problem:  how to cross the Rhine River and drive into the heartland of Germany and end the war.  The Germans had blown every bridge across the Rhine–except one–the one at Remagen.

Fortunately for us, a small group of very courageous G.I.s,  led by one tough lieutenant, saw the opportunity and made plans to seize the bridge.  It had already been heavily damaged, and looked like it could fall in the river at any moment, but that did not stop these soldiers.  Their general from a distance saw the chance also, but by the time he told them to take the bridge, they were already on it.  They seized it, and word went up the chain of command all the way to Eisenhower that the way into the heart of Germany was now clear.

The fact is, these privates, sergeants, and that lieutenant did not need the direct orders of the general to do what was obvious to defeat the enemy.  They were independent enough to look at the opportunities and act upon them with speed and skill.  Great lesson for us today:  stay on offense.  Seize the opportunities.


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