In the evening of 26 March 1945 a Reserve Combat Engineer Company of Pionierausbildungs- und Ersatzbataillon 46 (Engineer Training and Replacement Battalion 46) from Regensburg arrived in Gemünden. The Battalion was subordinated to the 413. Infanteriedivison (413th Infantry Divison) and was ordered to occupy all Main-River bridges between Gemünden and Miltenberg, prepare them for demolition and destroy them in case of an American approach. The Battalion consisted mainly of Navy officer students, who had already seen combat at the Oderbruch. Their leaders were front-proven NCOs.

The Engineer company set up headquarters in the Huttenschloß and quartered the soldiers in the houses along the Frankfurterstraße. The Raodbridge and the Railroad bridge were occupied at once and guards were set up. Air Force bombs and torpedo warheads with fixed engineer detonators were used as demolition charges. Oberfeldwebel Eugen Zöller's Engineer platoon war in charge for guarding and demolition preparation for the Railroad bridge.

Oberfeldwebel Eugen Zöller

(Photo: Albrecht Englert)

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