Soviet and US Troops Meet at Torgau — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
April 25, Soviet and American troops meet at Torgau, Germany. From their bridgehead across the Oder River, Soviet forces launched a massive final. only by expanding the economic base on which Sparta's military power depended. .. economy can teach us about modeling the Soviet economy is that the took part in the battle; of these, were almost certainly brigaded separately as. It was a sacrifice comparable to Leonidas and his Spartans, the story goes. as the image of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima is for Americans. However, according to an official Soviet military investigation in.
We had forty people in our group. All of them girls … The men had all gone to the war already, the ones who could. They could even be taken right from the fields.
Our villages became quiet. Soon an appeal came from the central committee of Komsomol for the young people to go and defend the Motherland, since the Germans were already near Moscow.
April 25 1945 – Soldiers from the Soviet Union and United States Meet at the River Elbe
My father was already fighting. We thought we were the only ones like that … Special ones … But we came to the recruitment office and there were lots of girls there. My heart was on fire, so intensely.
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The selection was very strict. First of all, of course, you had to have robust health. Other children insulted me because of it when I was little. And then, if there were no other children in a household except the girl who wanted to go to the front, they also refused: Ah, our darling mothers!
Their tears never dried … They scolded us, they begged … But in our family there were two sisters and two brothers left—true, they were all much younger than me, but it counted anyway. There was one more thing: In short, they refused us. We went to the district committee of Komsomol, and there—refusal. Then we went as a delegation from our district to the regional Komsomol. There was great inspiration in all of us; our hearts were on fire.
Again we were sent home. We decided, since we were in Moscow, to go to the central committee of Komsomol, to the top, to the first secretary. To carry through to the end … Who would be our spokesman? Who was brave enough? We thought we would surely be the only ones there, but it was impossible even to get into the corridor, let alone to reach the secretary. There were young people from all over the country, many of whom had been under occupation, spoiling to be revenged for the death of their near ones.
From all over the Soviet Union. Yes, yes … In short, we were even taken aback for a while … By evening we got to the secretary after all. That shut them up, and they began to look at us more seriously. Your question will be decided in the affirmative. I had no time to send the dress or the braid to my mother … She very much wanted to have something of mine left with her … We were immediately dressed in army shirts, forage caps, given kit bags and loaded into a freight train—on straw.
But fresh straw, still smelling of the field. We were a cheerful cargo. I remember laughing a lot. Where were we going? So long as it was at the front. Everybody was fighting—and we would be, too. We arrived at the Shchelkovo station. It turned out we were sent there. This was something real. We began to study. We studied the regulations: The girls all worked very hard.
Only so as to get to the front the sooner. In the line of fire … Yes, yes … At the end of the course I got the highest grade in the exam for combat and noncombat service. The hardest thing, I remember, was to get up at the sound of the alarm and be ready in five minutes.
BBC ON THIS DAY | 27 | Russians and Americans link at Elbe
We chose boots one or two sizes larger, so as not to lose time getting into them. We had five minutes to dress, put our boots on, and line up. Having observed the Communist government for nearly three decades since the fall of the royal family in OctoberChurchill correctly noted that the differing political ideologies would likely clash on the continent after World War II.
In his meetings with Roosevelt, he lobbied for pushing the Western armies as far into Germany as possible in order to prevent the spread of Communism: Made less feasible by American and British losses early innot to mention the fact that the Soviets were already much closer to the agreed boundaries, the West would have to settle for a more pragmatic approach to marching on Germany.
Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower shifted the objective to the River Elbe, believing it made for a solid target considering the capabilities of the men under his command.
After several rounds of input from Churchill, the general assured the Prime Minister that, if the possibility of taking Berlin existed without compromising the operation as a whole, he would make every effort to reach the German capital. The Americans have only their spearheads, say twenty-five divisions, which are covering an immense front and are at many points engaged with the Germans.
When the Red Army and its Allied counterparts faced each other after completing the defeat of the Nazis, Eisenhower wanted officers at the top of each division to meet to formalize the transition into occupation. After years of fighting, the Eastern and Western Fronts had finally joined together for the first time. Two days later, unit commanders formally shook hands in front of photographers to mark the occasion.
For the Nazis, the event cemented the inevitability of defeat.