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U.S. World War II Vet Insists, without Russia, We Would Have Lost the War against Nazism

U.S. veteran Frank Cohn, who took part in the April 25, 1945 meeting of U.S. and Soviet troops at Torgau, Germany on the Elbe River, told TASS that, without the Soviet Union, Germany could have won the war:

“I think it was a team effort. It had to be a team effort. And we understood it was a team effort, because we sent equipment [under the U.S. lend-lease program] over to the Russian side. Because it was helpful to us. It wasn’t that we were just helping the Russians. It was helping us and was helping us indirectly.

“World War Two would have never finished when it did, except that it was both Russia and the United States and the Western countries. So it was the Americans and Brits on one side and the Soviet Union on the other side. If either one of them hadn’t been involved, I don’t know what would have happened. Hitler could have won as a matter of fact.”

Cohn added: “There’s no question that the Russians changed what was going on at Stalingrad, and they started to move westward and we had our invasion. If the Russians hadn’t kept a lot of German troops at the eastern front, we would have been in a very bad shape. We never would have had a foothold in our invasion if it wasn’t for what was going on on the Russian side.”

A retired U.S. Army colonel, Cohn served during the war as an intelligence officer in the U.S. 12th Army Group, commanded by Gen. Omar Bradley. In 2005 and 2010, he traveled to Moscow at the invitation of the Russian government to attend festivities commemorating the victory in World War II. He was invited this year as well, but said that, while he wanted to attend, it was hard for him to travel at the age of 98. “It’s a little bit too hard for me. If I were 10 years younger, I’d go right away,” Cohn said.