Lieutenant Hartman (George Segal) is an experienced combat team leader who is becoming weary of the war in Europe. After he is promoted to company commander following the reckless death of the previous officer, he is given orders to capture the bridge across the Rhine at Remagen. At the same time, Major Paul Krüger (Robert Vaughn), an honorable Wehrmacht officer, is given the job of destroying the bridge by his friend and superior, General von Brock (Peter van Eyck) who has been given a written order to do it immediately. But the staff officer appeals to Krüger's sense of honour giving him a verbal command to defend the bridge for as long as possible to allow the 15th Army trapped on the west bank of the river to escape.
After capturing the unopposed town of Stadt Meckenheim four miles from Remagen, Hartman is ordered by his battalion commander, Major Barnes (Bradford Dillman) to continue the advance until encountering resistance. Hartman is disgusted because Barnes is using the men's lives to further his own military career. Krüger, meanwhile, has been touring the defences above the town of Remagen. He assures the handful of troops, which are just old veterans and boys, that he has a personal guarantee from the general that tank reserves are on the way. But when Hartman's troops attack the town, Krüger is given the reality when he calls for the promised tanks and is told they have been sent "elsewhere".
On finding the bridge intact, General Shinner (E.G. Marshall) orders Major Barnes to secure its capture, saying: "It's a crap shoot, Major . . . We're risking one hundred men, but you may save ten thousand". With only momentary hesitation, Barnes agrees to send in Hartman's company. He then orders the troops to gain a foothold across the Rhine river thus avoiding a costly assault-crossing elsewhere. Sergeant Angelo (Ben Gazzara), one of Hartman's squad leaders and friend, highlights the mood of the war-weary men by striking Barnes after being ordered onto the bridge.
On the other side, as the American soldiers rush the bridge, Krüger along with explosives engineer, Captain Baumann (Joachim Hansen), and Captain Schmidt (Hans Christian Blech), from Remagen Bridge Security Command try to blow up the bridge, but the "cheap, industrial explosives" are too weak to destroy the superstructure. Hartman's troops then dig in to consolidate their hold on the intact bridge.
Krüger, who still believes in victory, shoots two soldiers as they try to desert. He then realises that the futility of the situation has turned him "on his own" troops and the defensive position has becomes untenable. In desperation, Krüger returns to HQ to make a personal appeal to the general for more reinforcements, but on arrival he finds that the building has been taken over by the SS and Von Brock has been arrested for being "defeatist". Krüger is then questioned about the delay before blowing up the bridge. Unable to present a written order, he is not able to justify his actions and is arrested.
Back at Remagen, Hartman leads a raid against a machine gun nest installed by Krüger on board a barge moored to the bridge, but while taking its crew out, Angelo is hit and falls into the river. Despondent, Hartman marches on foot towards the bridge defenders' post at the same time as a squad of Sherman tanks cross the bridge. The remaining German soldiers surrender to the Americans. Hartman then discovers that Angelo has survived after all. The next day, Krüger is led out for execution by SS firing squad. With the sounds of many planes overhead, Krüger asks: "Ours or theirs?". The SS officer attending him replies, "Enemy planes, Sir!". "But who is the enemy?" muses Krüger before he is shot.
The film concludes with the Americans continuing their unstoppable advance into Germany.
P/S : Filem klasik perang dunia ke 2.