Karl H Timmermann

Karl H Timmermann - Stories

World War II · US Army



On the morning of 10 March, the 276th Engineer Combat Battalion, one of the III Corps units sent to Remegan, relieved Company C. Before it was relieved, Company C placed a large sign on the north tower on the western side of the bridge that welcomed soldiers: "CROSS THE RHINE WITH DRY FEET, COURTESY OF THE 9TH ARM'D DIV".

BG Thomas H. Harrold, Commanding General, U.S. 9th Armored Division in German stands with members of the division who are holders of the Distinguished Service Cross.

Left to Right- T/SGT Michael Clinchar, Rochelle Park, NJ; SGT William Goodson, Rushville, IN; LT John Grimball, Columbus, SC; CPT George P. Soumas; Perry, IA; BG Thomas H. Harrold; LT Karl Timmermann; West Point, NB; SSG Eugene Dorland; Manhatten, KS; SGT Joseph S. Petrinosik; Berea, OH. "Market Garden" US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by W. Spangle on September 18, 1945, several months after the bridge was captured.

St. Vith and the Malmedy massacre

  • Malmedy, Belgium

On December 16, 1944, the Germans started their offensive that became known to the Americans as the Battle of the Bulge. Timmermann, as a junior officer, was in the thick of the fighting near St. Vith with his platoon. Twelve members of Karl's company A were captured and later executed by the German SS troops in what became known as the Malmedy massacre. The Germans twice announced that the 9th Armored Division had been destroyed during the battle. But Timmermann and the Division fought on earning the nickname the "Phantom Division."

"In Tribute of the Crossers"
A Sherman tank of the 9th Armored Division heads into action against the advancing Germans during the Battle of the Bulge

"The Wonder of Remagen"

  • Remagen, Germany

On March 7th, 1945, a small advance party of the 9th US Tank Division, under the command of German-born lieutenant Karl H. Timmermann, successfully captured the bridge after two unsuccessful demolition attempts by the Germans.

The capture is known in WW-II history as "The wonder of Remagen". General Eisenhower proclaimed that "the bridge is worth its weight in gold".

During the following days the German Army Central Command desperately tried to destroy the bridge with multiple bomb raids and SEAL attacks.

Hitler, blind with rage, ordered a special court-martial, which sentenced five officers to death. Four of those Hitler had shot in the close-by "Westerwald". On March 17, 1945, the severely damaged bridge collapsed and took 28 American soldiers down with it.

U.S. Army Awarded on: 1945 Action: By direction of the President, under the provisions of Army Regulations 600-45, 22 September 1943, as amended, the Distinguished Service Cross is Awarded by the Army Commander to Karl H. Timmermann (01311343), Second Lieutenant, Infantry, 27th Armored Infantry Battalion, 9th Armored Division, United States Army. For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 7 March 1945, in Germany.

Ludendorff Bridge, Remagen, Germany


    Commander of Company A, 27th Armored Infantry Battalion, Combat B, 9th Armored Division. Captured the Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany 7 March 1945.

    Medals Received Good Conduct Medal 6 July 1940 to 15 February 1943, Bronze Star 17 December 1944, Combat Infantryman Badge 17 December 1944, Purple Heart 22 December 1944 wounded in Belgium, Distinguished Service Cross 7 March 1945.

    Biography Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on 19 June 1922, to German WWI war bride Maria Franciska (Weisbecker) and Johann Heinrich Timmermann. Timmermann came to the U.S. with both parents in 1924. Timmermann graduated from Guardian Angel High School, West Point, Nebraska, 1940. Timmermann enlisted in Regular Army 6 July 1940, received basic training with Company "D", 17th Infantry; attended Officer Candidate School Fort Benning Georgia from 18 November 1942 to 16 February 1943, and appointed second lieutenant, Infantry, AUS on 16 February 1943. Assigned to the 9th Armored Division, 52d Armored Infantry Regiment as platoon leader and platoon officer until 13 October 1945. Promoted to 1st lieutenant, AUS, on 16 April 1945, and relieved from extended active duty on 12 December 1945. Enlisted in grade of Technical Sergeant in Regular Army on 28 October 1947, and served on recruiting duty from date of enlistment to 5 August 1948, on which date he was assigned to the 5258 ASU, Nebraska State Senior Instructor, OR serving until December 1948. On 26 December 1948, he was sworn in as a 1st Lieutenant. Timmermann had 14 months overseas service with 8 months in combat zone.

    Army Serial Number- 0-1311343

    European Theater

    Fluent in English and German

    ENLISTED Regular Army 6 July 1940

    Private- July 1940 - January 1941

    Gunner, 30 Cal HMG Squad PFC- January 1941 - September 1941

    Gunner 30 Cal HMG Squad PFC- Sept 1941 - Oct 1941

    Squad Leader 30 Cal HMG Squad CPL- Oct 1941 - April 1941

    Squad Leader 30 Cal HMG Squad SGT- April 1942 - Sept 1942

    Section Leader 30 Cal HMG Section SGT- Sept 1942 - Nov 1942

    Platoon Sergeant 30 Cal HMG Platoon SGT- Nov 1942 - Feb 1943

    Infantry O.C.S. Ft Benning, Georgia 2nd LT- Feb 1943 - April 1945

    Platoon Leader & Company Commander 1st LT- April 1945 - May 1945

    Platoon Leader 1st LT- May 1945 - August 1945

    Military Government Bayreuth, Germany 1st LT- August 1945 - December 1945

    Platoon Leader T/SGT- October 1947 - December 1947

    Recruiting Service SFC- August 1948 - Senior Instructor

    1st Lt- December 1948

    Member of Company A (Able), 27 Armored Infantry Battalion, Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division from February 1943 to October 1945.

    7th Infantry Division in Japan & Korea 1949 - 1951