By 9 February, the offensive had pushed into Cleves. Rain, floods, and tough German resistance slowed the attack, but by 23 February Crerar had moved past enemy positions near Goch. He then attacked toward the enemy defenses that extended from Geldern to Rees.
To Montgomery's south, Simpson's Ninth Army, under the operational control of the 21 Army Group, prepared to launch Operation GRENADE. Simpson's forces would drive northeastward to link up with the attacking Canadians on the Rhine. H-hour for GRENADE was set for 0530 on 10 February. There was, however, a problem; the troublesome Roer River dams had not been taken. Simpson was loath to cross the Roer until the dams were neutralized, and he therefore postponed his army's attack.
The V Corps, now under the command of Huebner--Gerow having left in January to command the newly organized Fifteenth Army oriented to occupation duty--drew the mission of taking the key Schwammenauel Dam. Parker's 78th Infantry Division was responsible for the main attack, while elements of the 82d Airborne Division and the 7th Armored Division made supporting efforts.
Jumping off early in the morning of 5 February, American soldiers attacked into the Huertgen Forest for the final time. The ruins of Schmidt and Kommerscheidt fell on 7 February, opening the way for the advance that finally secured the dam on 10 February. Although the Germans had not blown the dam as the Allies feared, they had destroyed its discharge valves. Instead of the anticipated massive flood, a steady flow of water gradually inundated the Roer Valley. Nevertheless, with the threat posed by the dams ended, the First Army had finally finished its protracted ordeal in the Huertgen Forest.
The flooding of the Roer delayed Simpson's attack until 23 February. At 0230 on that date the first assault forces slipped across the still flooded Roer, surprising the Germans. By the end of the day some twenty-eight battalions had crossed the river, firmly establishing a Ninth Army bridgehead. Simpson unleashed his armored forces on 27 February, and they rapidly advanced eastward toward Duesseldorf and northward toward Geldern and Wesel. On 3 March, Simpson's forces linked up with elements of the Canadian First Army at Geldern. By 5 March, the Ninth had driven fifty miles, uncovering the Rhine from Duesseldorf to Moers and killing or capturing some 36,000 Germans, all at a cost of less than 7,300 U.S. casualties. Together, Crerar and Simpson attacked the last German bastion west of the Rhine in their sector at the bridgehead at Wesel, forcing the enemy across the Rhine by the tenth. Unfortunately for the Allies, the Germans succeeded in systematically destroying the bridges across the Rhine wherever they retreated.
Page 19 (The Rhineland)