Monday, January 30, 2012

ELBE April 25, 1945

Nearing the war's end
A dramatic tide drew to a close
The world changed in many ways
Due to the Hitler war
Control shifted over land
The fields were filled with the dead
Some lay still above the land
Made stiff by the cold freeze
Political foes were made friends
By the threat of a mutual enemy
The Eagle and the Bear
Both born in revolution
Reached across the Elbe
Linking forces
And quickly thereafter
The end came
For the crooked cross


"Elbe Day, April 25, 1945, was the date Soviet and American troops met at the River Elbe, near Torgau in Germany, marking an important step toward the end of the World War II in Europe. The first contact was made between patrols near Strehla, when First Lieutenant Albert Kotzebue crossed the River Elbe in a boat with three men of an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon. On the east bank, they met forward elements of a Soviet Guards-rifle-regiment of the First Ukrainian Front under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Gardiev. The same day, another patrol under Second Lieutenant William Robertson with Frank Huff, James McDonnell and Paul Staub met Soviet Lieutenant Alexander Silvashko with some soldiers on the destroyed Elbe bridge of Torgau."