Taught Americans before meeting with the red Army on the Elbe

History 07/02/20 taught Americans before meeting with the red Army on the Elbe

in the Spring of 1945 the Third Reich was no military prospects. Sooner or later, Russian soldiers and their Western allies were supposed to meet in Germany. Whether the American officers and enlisted men ready to communicate with the soldiers of the legendary red army?

Meeting on the Elbe

the Most famous contact between Russians and Americans was the meeting on the Elbe on 25 April 1945. Involved in her Lieutenant William Robertson was guided by the orders received from General Courtney Hodges. The commander of the 1st U.S. army was recommended by Robertson and his subordinates during a meeting with the Soviet soldiers “to be friendly”.

Reigning in Torgau atmosphere historians do describe as being “kind and friendly”. The Americans gladly accepted from the red army Souvenirs – various “badges and stars”. However, in the closed reports, the officers of the red army wrote that the allies behaved “casually” and unlike the Russian, dressing up like a parade, not so scrupulous came to its appearance.


the Behavior of both parties during the meeting on the Elbe can be considered carefully orchestrated – this event was held “in camera”, that was well understood by the Americans.
Much more interesting recommendations 77-page pamphlet for personnel, U.S. army, “Our ally, the Red army” (published by the war Department in April 1945).

“You’ve heard and read about it, now You meet him in person. He is Your friend. He is Your ally. He fought hard in this war, like You, to bring victory for United Nations” – so characterized by a red army soldier on the first page of the document.

the brochure provides some conversational Russian phrases in English transcription, which American soldiersATA could hear in combat contact: “Stop! Who’s there?” “Stop or I’ll shoot!” They proposed possible options for response. For example, the first phrase of the Soviet time an American had to say that he was “A-mee-ree-KAHN-skee bo-YETS”.
American soldiers were instructed to distinguish the different part of the Russians, including Cossacks (they are, according to the document, can be found on burcham and round fur caps). In a brochure printed many illustrations showing the uniforms and insignia of privates and officers of the red army. Americans also prepared for the fact that among the Soviet people can be found many different physical types – “dark Caucasians”, “the narrow-eyed Kazakhs” and others.

If an American was in doubt whether he is dealing with the red army, the document recommended to check out the book soldier’s companion – “the little gray-green booklet with a red star on the cover.”
For a description of the military successes of the red army, followed by various household details, down to the culinary preferences of Russian, knowledge of which was useful to the Americans during the informal contact.
“the Soldier may not eat sweets, but for tea he has to have some sugar, which he clamps between his teeth, when drinking. Tea is both a drink and dessert,” reads the brochure.

Among the favorite games of Russian are called dominoes, card “the fool” and chess.
“Talking with the soldiers of the red army, You will understand that you have many common interests. These people also want to return to their homes to work in factories and farms, to build a comfortable and happy life. Justified hatred of the Germans and a grim determination to punish the enemy was the driving force behind the red army during four years of war”, – emphasized in the pages of the user.

it is Noteworthy that sensitive issues, such as the Russian propensity to alcoholism (about which outraged General George Patton) and the Communist ideology the authors of the text made no mention of. Brochure imbued with great respect to the Soviet soldiers, although its drafters did not forget to note the superiority of the Americans in terms of supplying the army with all sorts of details and even the fact that Russian is “almost no toilet paper.”

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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