Cold War History - HISTORY
On 22 June , some three million soldiers of Germany and her allies . called 'a single armed camp', focusing all efforts on military production and Photograph showing US and Russian troops meeting at the river Elbe. 'An estimated 26 million Soviet citizens died during World War II, . By one calculation, for every single American soldier killed fighting the. Elbe Day, April 25, , is the day Soviet and American troops met at the Elbe River, near Torgau in Germany, marking an important step toward the end of.
Only then will it become possible. A memorial in Arlington Cemetery in Washington also commemorates the spirit of Elbe. It is a bronze plaque, immortalizing the historic handshake between Soviet and American soldiers with an optimistic sign reading: With time, the memory of that powerful moment on the Elbe has faded, but it is necessary to preserve the recollections of that profound meeting. The film ends with the words of the two protagonists, a Soviet and an American: Joseph Beyrle is the only American known to have served in the Red Army.
A paratrooper who carried out several missions in occupied France before the Allied invasion, Beyrle lost contact with his unit on D-Day and was captured by German forces a few days later. He spent six months in German P. Beyrle escaped from the camp, headed east, and found his way to part of the Second Belarussian Front, which was making its way westward towards Berlin.
He convinced the soldiers he met to take him on, and he fought for several weeks with a Soviet tank battalion before being seriously wounded in a German bomber attack. Ambassador to Russia from But eventually his unique story came out.
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Today Beyrle is considered one of the very few American soldiers to have fought in both the U. Beyrle received medals from both U. The Soviet troops established special assault units, in which tanks played a critical role. Typically, maneuvers were carried out in the following manner: The infantry moved along both sides of the street, checking the windows on both sides, to identify obstacles that were dangerous for the vehicles, such as camouflaged weapons, barricades and tanks embedded in the ground.
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If the troops noticed such impediments up ahead, the Soviet infantry would wait for the arrival of their self-propelled tanks and self-propelled howitzers, known as "Stalin's sledgehammer. However, there were situations where the infantry could not keep up with the armored vehicles and consequently, the tanks were isolated from their cover and became easy prey for the German anti-tank weapons and artillery.
The capture of the Reichstag The culmination of the offensive on Berlin was the battle for the Reichstag, the German parliament building.
At the time, it was the highest building in the city center and its capture had symbolic significance. Victory Banner over the Reichstag, Multimedia Art Museum Moscow Early in the morning of May 1, the flag of the th Rifle division was raised over the building. This was later referred to as the Banner of Victory.
Until the last moment, Hitler had been hoping that troops from other parts of Germany would come to his aid in Berlin, but this did not happen. Was the Battle of Berlin necessary? Calculating the losses involved in the Battle of Berlin at the end of such a bloody war, some historians doubt whether the Soviet attack of the city was necessary.
In the opinion of historian and writer Yuri Zhukov, after the Soviet and American troops met at the Elbe river, surrounding the German units in Berlin, it was possible to do without the offensive on the Nazi capital.
Elbe Day: A handshake that made history - Russia Beyond
Berlin, the end of the World War II. Global Look Press However, there are other opinions that contradict this view.
Some researchers say that if the Soviet troops had just besieged the city, they would have lost the strategic initiative to the Germans.
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So what is preventing such camaraderie today, when there is no shortage of mutual enemies, not to mention cold-blooded terrorists, to threaten the dream of democracy? Cold War hangover It goes without saying that relations between the United States and Russia, despite that moment of bilateral brotherhood witnessed at the Elbe, were hardly rosy in the years following the end of World War II.
Then, on December 25,with the sudden and largely unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union, there emerged a rare window of opportunity as far as US-Russia relations were concerned. Yet the fleeting moment was arguably fumbled by Washington, then experiencing the birth pangs of its unipolar moment, as it attempted to recreate Russia into some twisted knockoff of itself. This was a very telling moment for understanding how the US perceives Russia.
Read more As Stephen Cohen explainedas Russia was struggling to transform itself under President Boris Yeltsin, the Clinton administration was working hard behind the scenes to create the "Russia we want. And we know it is true because the Americans proudly admitted it.