Friday, August 1, 2008

Warszawa Warsaw Poland World War II The Warsaw Uprising, August 1 - October 2, 1944

Warszawa Warsaw Poland World War II The Warsaw Uprising, August 1 - October 2, 1944
1939 - 1945

The Warsaw Uprising, August 1 - October 2, 1944 Background: By summer 1944, as the Red Army was advancing from the east, the German occupying forces were perceived to be on the defensive in Poland. The Soviets were encouraging the Polish Home Army, directed by the Polish Government-in-Exile in London, to wrest Warsaw from German control; the Germans at that point had a comparatively small military presence in the Polish capital.
But troubling to the Polish partisans was that as the Soviets "liberated" eastern Poland, they left in their wake a pro-Communist civil authority, exemplified by the Lublin Committee in Lublin. Hoping to establish a non-Communist post-war government in Poland, the decision was made for the Polish Home Army to attack the Germans in Warsaw in advance of the Red Army, with the understanding that Soviet reinforcements would be available if needed. Indeed, the Red Army entered the Warsaw suburb of Praga, across the Vistula River, late in July, 1944.
The Uprising: On August 1, the Polish Home Army General Bor-Komorovski, with a force of between thirty-five and fifty thousand partisans, attacked the Germans in Warsaw. Joined in the fight by the city's Polish population, they took control of most of the city by August 4. But the Germans sent reinforcements: S.S. police units, a brigade of Russian ex-prisoners, and a brigade of ex-convicts, all of whom Hitler had previously ordered removed from the front because of their excessive brutality. The Polish forces became fragmented and isolated. The Germans pursued the cut-off fighters into the city's refuges--burned out buildings, and sewers--where virtually all the Polish forces perished.
During the sixty-three days of fighting the Red Army, encamped within sight across the Vistula, never attempted assistance. The Soviets refused permission to the Americans and British to use their airfields to drop ammunition and relief supplies. In September, when a German victory seemed certain, the Russians allowed a small amount of ammunition to be dropped in, but it was useless: it was made for Soviet armaments and did not fit the Poles' weapons.
When hostilities ceased, eighty-five percent of the city was razed, and the Polish Home Army annihilated . The Germans deported the remaining population. When the Germans were eventually defeated there were no forces left to oppose Soviet political domination in Poland.
The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of World War II, General Editor, John Keegan, Rand McNally, New York: 1977
The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II, Edited by Thomas Parrish, Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall, chief Consultant Editor, Simon and Schuster, New York: 1978
The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of World War II, Volume 13, Brigadier General Jame L.Collins,Jr., Consultant Editor, Marshall Cavendish Corporation, New York: 1972
Return to:
John Damski Story, Part 6
Christine Damski Story, Part 5
John Damski Contents

No comments: