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Meeting On The Elbe ~ On This Day In 1945

[Composite image courtesy Russian MoD]
On this day in 1945, 75 years ago during World War II, Soviet and American troops met on the Elbe River near the German city of Torgau in Saxony.


Russian Federation News Release, 25 April 2020: 75 years ago, on April 25, 1945, at 13:30 Moscow time, near the German city of Torgau, there was a meeting of the troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front and the 69th Infantry Division of the 1st American Army.

The event went down in history as the ‘Meeting on the Elbe’. It was attended by soldiers of Lieutenant Grigory Goloborodko’s company and Lieutenant Albert Kotzebue’s recon group*. The meeting of two powerful armies divided the territory of Hitler’s Germany in half and thus contributed to the speedy end of the Second World War.

The Meeting on the Elbe is remarkable not only from the historical point of view, but also from the diplomatic point of view. On this day, representatives of the two countries, very far from each other, in a burst of sincere feelings, made a solemn promise to do everything possible to prevent a new war.

[Source: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation]

Footnote: *Contemporary US archive records show that the first contact between the US and Russian units (at approximately 12:30 local time / 13:30 Moscow time) took place on the west bank of the Elbe just north of the town of Strehla and about 30km south of Torgau.

Posed image, believed taken 27th April 1945, showing 2nd Lt. William Robertson and Lt. Alexander Sylvashko in front of sign [East Meets West] symbolising the historic meeting of the Soviet and American Armies, near Torgau, Germany [US Army / US NARA: Public Domain]

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