Soviet and US Troops Meet at Torgau — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Russian and American troops join hands at the River Elbe in Germany, a Russian Guards division met at Torgau, south of Berlin on 26 April at hours local time. The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, said: "We meet in true and. That Soviet and American troops would meet in this general area was less than two short weeks later, when the Red Army stormed Berlin. American troops had helped to liberate Paris, win the brutal Battle of the Bulge among them were learning English, the pessimists Russian.
We all asked the same question, automatically, ''Why stop on the Elbe? Why don't you reach for Berlin? Ike had consulted his field commanders. Omar Bradley estimated that to take Berlin would costcasualties, but Gen.
Race to Berlin - Wikipedia
George Patton said, ''We had better take Berlin, and quick. On April 14 he asked General Bradley for permission to go on to Berlin. Bradley relayed the request to Ike. Ike said a firm ''No. The Germans had ceased fighting at that point. Simpson's bridges were only 60 miles from the city. Eisenhower gave us three reasons for standing on the Elbe: His armies were already well beyond the line of the western occupation zones that had been agreed to with the Soviets.
Americans and Russians link up, cut Germany in two
Why take casualties for land that would have to be handed over? He had always worried about his troops meeting Soviets on the run around a corner. He thought it safer to meet them with a broad river between. And, finally, ''Berlin is only a political objective, not a military objective.
At the time, Britain's Winston Churchill was furious. He wanted every effort made to reach Berlin before the Soviets.
And he protested to Roosevelt that Ike had informed Stalin of this decision without consulting Churchill or Roosevelt. Ike had told Stalin by telegram on March By March 30 he was replying to a request from Gen. George Marshall in Washington for an explanation. He sent a long memo to General Marshall on March 30 that obviously did not satisfy Marshall, because he asked for more on March These two cables, plus Ike's major reply on April 7, are reprinted in Eisenhower's book, ''Crusade in Europe.
Elbe Day - Wikipedia
Could the Allied armies of the West have reached Berlin before the Russians? At the time the Western Allies reached the Elbe, some Germans units were already trying to surrender. Others were moving toward the West in the hope of surrendering to anyone but the Russians.
Bradley, in his book, wrote: But it is also true that Simpson's first Elbe bridgehead was beaten back by three German divisions rushed out from Berlin. Not all German units were yet ready to surrender. The fact that the Nazis allowed a jeep with a few war correspondents to drive to the edge of Berlin does not prove that Simpson's Ninth Army would have been tolerated.
Elbe Day: A handshake that made history
And the Germans were certainly not ready to give up in the East. The Soviets launched their final big offensive on Jan. Visit Website By early April, the Allies had captured the industrial heart of Germany along the Ruhr River, and many cities such as Dresden had been pulverized to rubble by Allied bombing raids.
While some American forces were able to advance 10 miles a day as they passed through villages where white bed sheets billowed in the breeze as a sign of surrender, others encountered pockets of stiff resistance.Soviet and American soldiers meet and congratulate each other near the Elbe hopedir.info Stock Footage
The German chancellor ordered the city protected at all costs, and in once instance when 30 German soldiers approached the enemy with white flags, they were mowed down by machine-gun fire from their fellow Nazis to prevent their surrender.
With their manpower decimated, the Nazis enlisted the Hitler Youth to fight on the front lines. As the Allies raced the Soviets to Berlin, the true evil of the Nazis became crystal clear, even through the fog of war.
On April 4, the U. Third Army encountered a series of large industrial buildings in the small town of Ohrdurf that they quickly discovered were factories of death.
Inside the first concentration camp liberated by U. As they pushed across Germany, the Allies liberated more than concentration camps, including Buchenwald and Flossenburg. Even the most battle-hardened soldiers who thought they had seen it all in a terrible war witnessed depravity of unfathomable proportions.
They found still-warm crematoriums and bins filled with hair, eyeglasses, baby shoes and dentures harvested from victims. Even grizzled Lieutenant General George S.