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The original sentence:

A. It was my business to cross the bridge, explore the bridgehead beyond and find out to what point the enemy had advanced.

Source: “The Old Man at the Bridge” by Ernest Hemingway

My rephrased one:

B. It was my business to cross the bridge, explore beyond the bridgehead and find out to what point the enemy had advanced.

Would you help me find whether there is any difference semantically between the two sentences?

Thank you very much.

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Your rewrite does not have the same meaning as the original. Many English prepositions can be employed without an explicit complement when the complement can be inferred from the context.

When she came to the river she swam across (= across it, across the river)
These chocolates have cherries inside (= inside them, inside the chocolates)
Jack charged, and Harry was right behind (= behind him, behind Jack)

Beyond may be used this way, and is used this way in Hemingway's sentence:

It was my business to cross the bridge, explore the bridgehead beyond ... (= beyond it, beyond the bridge).

You may thus understand beyond here as a sort of 'reduced' preposition phrase acting as a locative modifier on bridgehead. The area the narrator is called upon to explore is the bridgehead itself, not some area beyond the bridgehead:

A bridgehead (or bridge-head) is the strategically important area of ground around the end of a bridge or other place of possible crossing over a body of water which at time of conflict is sought to be defended/taken over by the belligerent forces. —Wikipedia

0

Beyond can act both as adverb as well as a preposition when it indicates position or place. When it does so, it means on the farther side, farther away, at a greater distance (OED definition)

  1. Army stopped us. We can't go beyond that point. [beyond here is a preposition]

As an adverb it's position changes. It either comes after the noun (the point beyond which it's being talked about) or sometimes it occurs independently.

  1. Traders looked eastwards to India and beyond.

  2. The balcony provided a magnificent view of the river and the mountains beyond.

The use of beyond to refer to place/distance this way is less common and rather formal.

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  • It's not really changing it's position, it's that the following noun has been elided. the river and the mountains beyond-----> The river and the mountains beyond the river. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 14 '15 at 20:23

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