Torgau, Germany (JFK+50) On April 25, 1945, American and Soviet soldiers met at the Elbe River near Torgau in Germany. While the meeting was expected, it was not planned.
The United States 273rd Regiment, 69th Infantry led by Lt. Bill Robertson had pushed several miles beyond where their orders specified. The town was deserted, having been evacuated by the Germans just a few hours before.
The meeting was preceded by confusion on both sides and fear of German trickery. Then appeared "four (American) soldiers coming up the bridge."
Lt. Robertson met Lt. Alexander Sylvashko in the middle of a collapsed bridge on a steel bar which formed the letter "V". They patted each other's shoulders.
The Americans and the Russians could not understand each other's words, but "somehow their messages got across." The meeting of World War II's two great allies was historic. It came just days before the death of Adolf Hitler and the end of the Third Reich.
"Treat them nicely," 60 years ago, US forces and the Red Amy met in Torgau, Germany," by Martin Herzog, The Atlantic Times, April 2005, www.atlantic-times.com/
"William D. Robertson tells the story of his meeting with Alexander Silvashko on April 25 1945 on the Elbe near Torgau", by Patrik Tschudin, July 31, 1989, www.archive.org/details/WilliamDRobertson*
*this web page features an audio recording by W.D. Robertson detailing the events of April 25 1945. The recording made on July 31 1989 lasts 9 minutes 47 seconds.