Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, U.S. Army Europe's commanding general, visited Nierstein, Germany, April 10.

The historic site is where Gen. George Patton crossed the Rhine River during an operation known as "Silent Crossing".

Historically speaking, on March 21, 1945, a massive Allied ground force lay poised along the Rhine from Arnhem to Switzerland. Eisenhower's armies, containing approximately 4.5 million personnel, included 90 divisions that anxiously awaited the final drive into the heart of the Nazi Reich.

During Hodges' visit a historian gave a short explanation on the events and mentioned a small monument is planned when funds are available.

Coincidentally, re-enactors littered the site, showing off dozens of replica vehicles, old uniforms and collectible souvenirs from the past.

Hodges also had the opportunity to meet Helen Patton, the granddaughter of Patton.

In addition, 86-year-old Herrn Frohwinkel, an eyewitness from the historic time period, met with Hodges and discussed the event history. Frohwinkel also pointed out the exact places of several landmarks while giving insight on his experiences.

Read more about the Reineland campaign at: