The Allied invasion of Germany was the irruption of Allied forces into German territory during World War II, beginning on February 8, 1945. The invasion of Germany was carried out by the British 21st Army, under the command of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, the US 12th Army Group, led by General Omar Bradley, and the US and French 6th Army Group, commanded by Jacob L Devers. The German territory west of the Rhine was invaded by the Allies with relative ease from February 8 to March 22, 1945; by mid-March the western Allies had pushed to the Rhine along most of the front, and had seized an intact bridge at Remagen. Nevertheless, the difficult task of crossing the Rhine and penetrating into the rest of Germany began on March 23, when the British 21st Army initiated Operation Plunder, which was the crossing of the Rhine at the towns of Wesel, Rees, south of the Lippe River.
Having crossed the Rhine River, the Allied armies fanned out overrunning all of western Germany from the Baltic in the north to Austria in the south before the Germans surrendered on May 7, 1945. By April 18, the US 9th Army had cleared the Rhur Pocket. On April 25, the US 1st Army (12th Army Group), under the command of General Courtney Hodges, made first contact with advancing Russian troops in Leckwitz, in Saxony, Germany, as the US 6th Army Group headed for Austria. Having captured Bremen on April 26, the British 21st Army Group crossed the Elbe River on April 29, driving north and northeast. By the end of April the Third Reich was in tatters. Of the land still under Nazi control almost none was actually in Germany. With his escape route to the south severed by the 12th Army Group’s eastward drive and Berlin surrounded by the Soviets, Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, leaving to his successor, Admiral Karl Dönitz, the task of capitulation. The invasion of Germany during World War II is known as the "Central Europe Campaign" in United States military history.