Elbe Day

Elbe Day

Elbe Day, April 25, 1945, was the date Soviet and American troops met at the River Elbe, near Torgau in Germany, marking an important step toward the end of the World War II in Europe. The first contact was made between patrols near Strehla, when First Lieutenant Albert Kotzebue crossed the River Elbe in a boat with three men of an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon. On the east bank, they met forward elements of a Soviet Guards-rifle-regiment of the First Ukrainian Front under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Gardiev. with some soldiers on the destroyed Elbe bridge of Torgau

On April 26, the commanders of the 69th Infantry Division of the First Army and the Soviet 58th Guards Division of the 5th Guards Army met at Torgau, southwest of Berlin. Arrangements were made for the formal "Handshake of Torgau" between Robertson and Silvashko in front of photographers the following day "(pictured)". Statements were released simultaneously in London, Moscow, and Washington that evening, reaffirming the determination of the three Allied powers to complete the destruction of the Third Reich.

Popular Culture

*The meeting of the armies was memorialized in Fred Small's song [http://www.lyricsdownload.com/small-fred-at-the-elbe-lyrics.html At The Elbe]

External links

* [http://www.torgau.eu/p/d2.asp?artikel_id=1170&liste=&tmpl_typ=Detail&l=1 First contact of Robertson and Silvashko on the destroyed Elbe bridge of Torgau.]
* [http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/a_people_at_war/war_is_over/america_and_russia_meet.html "The War is Over - American and Russian troops meet at the Elbe"] , "A People At War", U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

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