The 5th Infantry Division struck swiftly across the Rhine at ten o'clock in the evening of March 22nd, choosing the Rhenish city of Nierstein for its crossing site. Initial resistance was almost nonexistent, and the 5th drove forward virtually unopposed.
Bridging operations were immediately begun as the entire weight of the Third Army was thrown into the sector. All roads to Nierstein were crowded with trucks, armor and artillery moving into assembly areas, waiting impatiently for the dash across the Rhine.
Originally the plans called for the 5th to make the crossing, to be followed by two armored divisions and then the 89th and the 90th Divisions in that order.
Now, however, those plans were suddenly changed. Corps telephoned, "Assemble two regiments in reserve at once prepared to cross the Rhine tonight". Developments followed with dramatic rapidity.
Victory was in the air, and American troops sensed that this was the beginning of the final phase of the war. There was no stopping them now as they moved in for the kill.