Operation Plunder was a military operation at the end of the Second World War with the aim of crossing the Rhine, gaining control of the important Ruhr area and advancing to Berlin.
During bitter battles against the German West Army, the German army was pushed back to the West Rhine during the period January-March. On March 10, the western Rhine bank was virtually purged of German troops. 6000 allies, mainly British, had lost their lives. The German retreat over the Rhine was orderly and ended with the blowing up of the Rhine bridge at Wesel.
In the night of 23 to 24 March, Operation Plunder began the crossing by amphibious armored vehicles of Dempsey's Second Army over a 20-kilometer-wide front. The 51st Highland Division took the lead in the Rees crossing. The first wave consisted of armored vehicles, the second wave followed by tanks that had been made improvised floating.