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Old 04-25-2020, 08:46 PM   #1
Panzercommander HOH
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The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе


Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the US 69th Infantry Division meeting the Soviet 58th Guards Rifle Division at the Elbe River near Torgau, Germany, on April 25th, 1945.

This has been a project long in the making; my friend Pedro (amaral) and I discussed doing a joint Elbe photoshoot as early as 2015 but he wouldn't have his figures ready for another 10 years (his words), so I went ahead without him this year to mark the 75th anniversary.

Third of four in my series to commemorate important 75th anniversaries in the ETO during 1945, the meeting at the Elbe is personally significant for me because I dug out my long lost 1:6th scale Soviet collection and actually kitbashed non-Americans for the first time in years. That, coupled with my Russian studies at university, made this an interesting project for me. One of my professors said that when she was studying abroad in the Soviet Union in the 1970s that one of the toasts they would say when drinking with Soviets was «За встреча на Эльбе!» («Za vstrecha na Elbeh!» - "To the meeting on the Elbe!").


Three patrols of about 30 men and six Jeeps each from the 69th Infantry Division set out to find the Soviets on the morning of April 25th, 1945. The first contact between Allied armies was made by Patrol No. 1, led by First Lieutenant Albert Kotzebue, commanding officer, G Company, 273rd Infantry Regiment, 69th Infantry Division, around 11:30 A.M. at a farmhouse near Leckwitz. His patrol encountered a lone Soviet cavalryman from Kazakhstan. The encounter was brief, but a more lasting encounter occurred an hour later when his patrol ran into more Soviets near the Elbe river. The second and third patrols made contact later in the day with the Soviets near the Elbe, and over the next few days most of the famous photos from the link-up were taken as more brass and journalists poured in to capture the momentous occasion.


The Allied link-up signified that Germany was one step closer to defeat and the war one step closer to being over. Victory is in the air!


My photoshoot focuses on the second encounter between First Lieutenant Kotzebue's patrol and the Soviets near the Elbe.








First Lieutenant Albert Kotzebue shakes hands with a Soviet mladshy leitenant.










Lucky Strikes are passed around.































The Soviets share their vodka ration.




"TO RUSSIA!" «За Америкы!»

(«Za Аmeriki!» ("To America!"))

















Shop Talk
















One of the Soviets starts playing Katyusha on his accordion.
















Imagine being a fresh young private from the middle west, just out of basic, shipped overseas, assigned to a combat unit out of the replacement depot, didn't even have a girl to kiss stateside, and now all of the sudden, at the business end of the Allied advance, you're greeted by kiss on the cheek from an enthusiastic young Russian replacement in the same situation. It's not the kiss you wanted but it didn't cost you $65.00 either - and maybe you realize that you just might make it after all - so what the hell?










(Doesn't mean your still not in (culture) shock, though...)



SPOILER ALERT: Only two more weeks before Germany chucks in the towel...



Special Thanks To:


Jaime ( montañes68 ) - for encouragement all throughout

Josh (JOSH51st) - for help and encouragement all throughout the project, especially, though not limited to, the rope around the bumper.

Mark (themadevildoctorzorkon) - for lending me the accordion at a club meeting five years ago when Pedro and I were first brainstorming the project.

Pedro (amaral) - for the conversations and ideas about this photo shoot as well as his Pinterest board with great link-up photos

Zack (panzerzacker) - for encouragement all throughout and especially the CVI US Late War Divisions insignia trade earlier this year. Without that trade my figures would not have beautiful 69th Infantry Division patches on their shoulders.



REFERENCES:







Print:


YANK Continental Edition - Vol. 1, No. 41 - May 6, 1945

LIFE - Vol. 18, No. 19 - May 7, 1945

MILITARIA MAGAZINE U.S. Edition - No. 15, May 1995

The Soviet Soldier of World War Two by Philippe Rio (Histoire et Collections)


On The Web:


The 69th Infantry Division:


http://www.69th-infantry-division.com


The Workers and Peasants Red Army:

http://rkka.ru/iuniform.htm
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:52 PM   #2
Pangaea95
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Awesome presentation Fred, love the way the pictures tell the story, great use of the new head sculpts
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:00 PM   #3
JOSH51st
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Another great scene Fred, you keep on killing it. Great history again to help tell the story behind your scene. Love the attention to detail, as usual. As said in another comment, great use of the kissing facepool sculpt, perfect for this scene. Wouldn't be a party without the vodka and Lucky Strikes. Love the guy on the jeep raising his canteen cup and the GI just watching the guy playing the accordion. Great work, can't wait to see what's next.

-JOSH
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:00 PM   #4
Kev Longino
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Excellent work, great sculpts too
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Old 04-26-2020, 02:39 AM   #5
SteveKrieg
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Great storytelling as usual Fred. Like the small details that always lend to your narrative. The accordion in this instance is my favourite touch on this one. Thanks for sharing, Steve
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Old 04-29-2020, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

I really appreciate all the great compliments guys!

Thank you very much!

I'm glad you enjoyed the photo shoot!

More to come...

Fred
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:10 PM   #7
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Looks good. Of course, I can only wonder, if any of those young Soviet Soldiers had a visit from the NKVD for a bit of reeducation afterwards
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Old 04-29-2020, 11:13 PM   #8
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

That's a great set up! Simple, and tells the story very well.

Where did you come by the accordian?
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Old 04-29-2020, 11:13 PM   #9
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Always enjoy your photo shoots, the figures, vehicles, equipment and history.
Keep them coming!
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:19 PM   #10
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatshaggy View Post
Of course, I can only wonder, if any of those young Soviet Soldiers had a visit from the NKVD for a bit of reeducation afterwards
The sad truth is, yes. Stalin became very reactionary after the war with the rising tensions of the Cold War. Many Soviet veterans who fought in the west (as in, west of the Soviet Union's western borders) and had contact with the Western Allies were arbitrarily sent to the GULAG for what they saw and encountered.


Squidley - the accordion is a Christmas ornament (I unscrewed the eye screw/screw eye bolt that you'd attach the hook to hang the ornament on the tree right before the photoshoot) that I borrowed from my friend Mark five years ago when my friend Pedro and I were initially talking about doing this photo shoot. I'm not sure where he got it.


Guys - thanks very much for the compliments!

Much appreciated!

Glad you've enjoyed the photos!

Fred
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:44 PM   #11
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Now that is a great scene and moment from history, very well put together.
I really like the two checking out each others weapons, great recreation of the YANK magazine cover.
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:20 AM   #12
montañes
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Bravo Fred, another fantastic setup with so many details.
Your presentation and photos as usual, great.
And you figures always source of inspiration, at least for me, so well dressed up and equiped.

Thanks for sharing amigo!
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:01 PM   #13
Panzercommander HOH
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Thank you guys very much!


Kapernakis - more to come on the YANK cover! Stay tuned! Glad you noticed it, though!


Jaime - ¡De nada, mi amigo! Thank you for the kind words and I'm very happy I can inspire! Thank you for the kind words, amigo!


- Fred
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:42 PM   #14
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

UPDATE:


We made the cover of YANK!!!





(Special thanks to my friend Mike (Pointman) for YANK'ing my photo in Photoshop for me!)


The Original:


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Old 05-09-2020, 09:13 PM   #15
Kev Longino
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Excellent!
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:14 PM   #16
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Thank you, Kev!

Much appreciated!

Fred
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:52 PM   #17
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

all true!!!! - bravo!!!!
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Old 06-12-2020, 03:02 PM   #18
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Re: The Meeting at the Elbe / Встреча на Эльбе

Thank you, Gio!

- Fred
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