Meeting at the Elbe – OBV 2011

February 25, 2011 - 2 Comments

by Jim Barnes

The 2nd Gebirgs once again hosted their Elbe River event at Old Bedford Village on the weekend of February 19, 2011. This is always a well-run and fun event and this year was no exception. The event commemorates the meeting of Soviet and American troops at the Elbe River near Torgau, Germany in April, 1945. According to Wikipedia, ” 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.” More contacts were made in the following days, thus marking one more step in the end of the Third Reich.

For this event, Allied and Axis troops were housed in the various houses of the village. Many of the participants arrived Saturday evening and took in the vendors who set up in the Welcome Center. As a matter of fact, the vendors pretty much filled up the Center. There was a generous selection of German, Russian and American goods for sale and a lot of money (at least more of mine than I planned) seemed to be changing hands.

Things got moving around mid-morning Saturday. All through the night, a strong wind had blown and this did not abate with the coming of dawn. While the temperature probably made it up to the freezing mark by mid-day, this was not readily obvious due to the wind chill factor. I think that it would be safe to say the the average wind speeds for the entire day were in the 30-35 mph range. The grass between the buildings was littered in places with bits of black roofing from the buildings. Needless to say, this made things a bit brutal for anyone caught in the open for any length of time.

The battle scenarios again demonstrated that whichever side occupies the village has a distinct advantage over an attacker, unless the attacker has overwhelming numbers. This of course rarely happens. The Germans held the Village throughout the morning, then for the last scenario, the Allies took over the Village and the Fritzes tried to take it back. In all cases, the attackers failed.

Our contingent had one injury in the early afternoon, when a new recruit fell over a hill and received several scratches to his face. He was taken to the welcome center and treated, but seemed to have no serious problems. Despite this, I think almost everyone had a good time.

In the evening, we were treated to the traditional fine dinner in the Welcome Center and the Red Army took advantage of the occasion to hold a medal ceremony for one of the 193rd’s members for exceptional service to the Motherland.  Uraaahhh!

Overall, a good weekend. As nasty as the wind was, it is good to remember that last year the temps were much colder and there was a foot and a half of snow on the ground.

Comments (2)


February 26th, 2011 at 2:15 pm    

Nice to see Sara recognized for her dedication and participation in the unit.
Congrats Sara!

Jim Barnes

February 26th, 2011 at 4:34 pm    

Da! She is an excellent comrade and shows great enthusiasm.

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