From the May 6, 1945 Edition of Stars and Stripes

When infantry patrols of the 273rd Infantry, 69th Div., met Soviet Army patrols near Torgau, Germany, last week, the first thing that was done was to arrange for a formal linkup ceremony the next day. Warweek Staff Artist Dave Zwillinger went along with the official party to make these sketches.

The story of the historic meeting has been told in full, but men who read every word of it still had questions to ask when Zwillinger returned to The Stars and Stripes office. Mostly, these questions were along this line:

“Well look, Dave, these Russians…What kind of Joes are they? I mean really. You know, how do they look, how do they act, what kind of equipment and uniforms do they have, how about the ‘chicken’–was there much of that?”

This, roughly, is the way Zwillinger answered the questions:

“They’re the toughest-looking guys I ever saw. Every one of ’em was in perfect physical shape, young, husky and one the ball. They looked like the team our team was always afraid to play in high school. None of the ones I saw were wearing helmets, they had a kind of overseas cap on. They were all friendly and enthusiastic and wanted to show us their weapons, especially a kind of Russian tommy gun. The officers and men seemed to take it easy and there wasn’t much saluting.”

torgau american soviet soldier linkup

The actual meeting with the Soviet troops was sudden and dramatic. An American jeep cnvoy had pulled into Torgau and stopped in thetown’s principal square. There were no soldiers in sight.

Then, suddenly, a squad of six Red Army men appeared from one of the houses and walked toward the waiting jeeps. Men climbed out of their vehicles and went forward to meet the Russians. Greetings were exchanged. Then the Russians led the American party to the site of the formal linkup ceremony.American soviet soldier linkup torgau

American soviet soldier linkup torgau

For Further Reading Check Out:

Soviet Conquest: Berlin 1945

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