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Torgau(tôr`gou), city, Saxony, E central Germany, a port on the Elbe River. Manufactures include paper, iron products, glass, pottery, and agricultural machinery. Torgau is an important railway junction and harbor. Long a strategic crossing point on the Elbe, Torgau was chartered in the 13th cent. In 1526 the Protestant princes founded the Torgau League there. The articles of the league were written (1530) by Luther, Melanchthon, and others, and they served as a basis for part of the Augsburg Confession. In the Thirty Years War, Gustavus II of Sweden and his allies held (1631) an important council of war in Torgau. In the Seven Years War, Frederick II of Prussia defeated (1760) the Austrians under Daun near the city. Torgau passed in 1815 to Prussia. On Apr. 27, 1945, near the end of World War II, advance elements of the U.S. and Soviet armies made contact for the first time there. Noteworthy buildings of the city include the 16th-century city hall; a late Gothic church in which Luther's wife, Katharina von Bora, is buried; and the Renaissance-style Hartenfels castle (16th cent.), a residence of the electors of Saxony.
a city in the German Democratic Republic, in the district of Leipzig, on the Elbe River. Population, 21,600 (1973). A river port and transportation center, Torgau has several industries. Among the city’s products are glass, faience, agricultural machinery, furniture, and paper.
During the Seven Years’ War of 1756–63, an important battle took place near Torgau. On Nov. 3, 1760, the Prussian army of Frederick II, consisting of 48,500 men and 256 guns, engaged and defeated the Austrian army of Field Marshal L. von Daun, consisting of 52,000 men and 275 guns. The Austrians retreated to Dresden, leaving part of Saxony to be occupied by the Prussians. Casualties totaled 16,700 on the Prussian side and 15,200 on the Austrian side.
On Apr. 25, 1945, toward the end of World War II, the advance units of the 58th Guards Rifle Division of the Fifth Guards Army of the First Ukrainian Front met up with the 69th Infantry Division of the American First Army near Torgau.