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The Bridge (1959)

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The Bridge
Die Brücke
Bridge poster sm.jpg
Movie Poster
Country GER.jpg West Germany
Directed by Bernhard Wicki
Release Date October 22, 1959
Language English
Studio Fono Film
Distributor Deutsche Film Hansa
Main Cast
Character Actor
Hans Scholten Folker Bohnet
Albert Mutz Fritz Wepper
Walter Forst Michael Hinz
Jürgen Borchert Frank Glaubrecht
Karl Horber Karl Michael Balzer
Klaus Hager Volker Lechtenbrink
Unteroffizier Heilmann Günter Pfitzmann
(Lt. Colonel)
Siegfried Schürenberg

The Bridge (German title: Die Brücke) is a 1959 WWII film based on the novel by Manfred Gregor and directed by Bernhard Wicki. Set during the final months of the war in Europe when the Germans conscripted teenagers and old men to defend the crumbling Reich, the film focuses on seven teens who are abandoned by the retreating, demoralized Wehrmacht to defend a worthless bridge against advancing Americans. The film was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film in 1960 and is considered by many to be the greatest German film about World War II and among the greatest anti-war films of all time. The film was released after the also successful German movie Stalingrad: Dogs, Do You Want to Live Forever? of the same year. An eponymous remake was released for television in 2008.

The following weapons were used in the film The Bridge:


Walther PP

Throughout the film, Jϋrgen Borchert (Frank Glaubrecht) carries his father’s Walther PP.

War Time Walther PP - .32 ACP
Jürgen's mother removing her late husband's Walther PP from the weapon closet in his house.
Bridge4 sm.jpg
Jürgen aiming his Walther at a German civilian.
Jürgen firing his PP in desperation.
Jürgen after being killed by an U.S. sniper.

Luger P08

A German military police officer challenges Corporal Heilmann (Günter Pfitzmann) with his Luger P08.

Luger P08 - 9x19m
A distrustful M.P. aiming his P08 at Sergeant Heilmann.

Submachine Guns


Military policemen and German officers carry the MP40. Also, protagonist Jϋrgen Borchert (Frank Glaubrecht) uses an MP40 instead of his original weapon - a Sturmgewehr 44 - when firing his gun. This MP is fitted with a wooden stock and a thicker magazine.

MP40 - 9x19mm
A German Military Policeman firing an MP40.
German MPs with MP40s.
A panicked Wehrmacht officer preparing to stop a truck bearing injured soldiers.
The officer with his MP40.
Protagonist Jürgen firing his MP40 at some American GIs taking cover.

M3 / M3A1 "Grease Gun"

Throughout the film, US soldiers use the M3 / M3A1 "Grease Gun".

M3A1 "Grease Gun"
An American GI aiming at Walter (Michael Hinz).
An American GI shooting it out against Jürgen.


Karabiner 98k

Wehrmacht soldiers use the Karabiner 98k.

Karabiner 98k - German manufacture 1937 date - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Conscripts training with Karabiner 98k.
Conscripts cleaning their Karabiner 98k.
Sgt. Heilmann inspecting Jϋrgen’s Mauser.
The armory.

Mauser Gewehr 1898

Some Mauser Gewehr 1898 rifles can be seen.

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Some (longer) Gewehr 1898 rifles in middle of the stands.
Heilmann on the left with a Gew. 98 over his shoulder.

Carcano M91/38

An Italian Carcano M91/38 Short Rifle is briefly seen carried by a German soldier on a lorry.

Carcano M91/38 - 6.5x52 mm
The sitting soldier on the left.

M1 Garand

U.S. soldiers use the M1 Garand.

M1 Garand - .30-06 Springfield
An American GI wielding his M1 Garand.
M1C Sniper Variant with M84 scope - .30-06
A US Army sniper aiming his M1 Garand with an M84 telescope.
A US sniper having Jϋrgen in his sight.

M1 Carbine

Some GIs are armed with M1 Carbines.

World War II Era M1 Carbine - .30 Carbine
An American encounters Walter.
The same GI outside.

Sturmgewehr 44

Jϋrgen Borchert (Frank Glaubrecht) uses a Sturmgewehr 44 as a sniper rifle. However, during actual shooting scenes the rifle inexplicably trades place with an MP40.

Sturmgewehr 44
Jürgen carrying his MP 44.
Jürgen carrying his MP 44.
Jürgen preparing for battle.

Wz. 29 Mauser

At least one German soldier can be seen with a Wz. 29 Mauser rifle.

Polský WZ29 Mauser - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Note the typical front sight of the rifle.

Machine Guns


Hans Scholten (Folker Bohnet), Albert Mutz (Fritz Wepper), Karl Horber (Karl Michael Balzer) and Klaus Hager (Volker Lechtenbrink) fire an MG42 during the defense of the bridge. Another one is mounted in the hull of a mocked-up Sherman tank.

MG42 with sling and bipod collapsed - 7.92mm Mauser
Karl (left) and Klaus (right) with their MG42.
Hans (left) and Albert (right) with their MG42.
Bridge29 sm.jpg
Bridge28 sm.jpg
Hans (left) and Albert (right) with their MG42.
Karl (left) and Klaus (right) with their MG42.
Bridge60 sm.jpg
Bridge61 sm.jpg
An MG42 standing in for a Browning M1919A4 mounted in the hull of a mocked-up M4 Sherman tank.


Jäger Rifle

The weapon closet includes some Jäger Rifles.

Plain German Jaeger rifle - .62 cal
Two Jäger rifles on the left.


Walter Forst (Michael Hinz) uses the Panzerfaust to knock out several U.S. tanks.

Panzerfaust - 44mm with 149mm warhead
Anti-tank grenades loaded into a truck.
Bridge24 sm.jpg
Walter in position.
Walter firing his Panzerfaust.
Walter scoring a hit on a U.S. tank.

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