The Battle For Warsaw! Warsaw uprising (1944), tragic attempt by the Polish Home Army (Armija Krajowa) to overthrow the German occupation as the Red Army closed on Warsaw. By 28 July 1944 citizens of Warsaw could hear the sounds of the battle between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army. The Soviets were concerned about a German counter-attack and ordered their troops onto the defensive on 1 August.
The Home Army was sponsored by the British and the Polish government in exile in London, but the British turned down requests for active assistance from RAF aircraft and the Polish Parachute Brigade because Warsaw was beyond normal aircraft range and lay within the Soviet sphere. The USSR had its own plans and government-in-waiting, Rada Narodowa, and sponsored a different Polish army, the Armija Ludowa, which was unified with the Polish army that had been formed in the USSR. Nonetheless, the charge that the Soviets sat back and waited for the Germans to crush the uprising is baseless; there were four German armored divisions between them and the city and Marshal Rokossovsky, commanding the Soviet First Belorussian Front (army group), needed to regroup before continuing the offensive. The lamentable fact is that the uprising was intended to present the advancing Soviets with a fait accompli and was launched without prior consultation with either London or Moscow. It should also be noted that the Home Army did little to support the equally heroic and doomed uprising of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto in April 1943.
On 1 August Home Army underground units opened fire inside Warsaw, beginning two months of bitter fighting. The lull in Soviet operations permitted the Germans to send in overwhelming force, backed up by Einzatzgruppen extermination squads, and even if the Soviets had co-operated with earlier British efforts to airdrop supplies, it would not have made much difference. The Soviets themselves dropped supplies in the second half of September, but much of it fell into German hands. By 24 September the Germans had forced the isolated Polish units into small pockets and escape through the sewers was the only option. Fifteen thousand fighters of the 30, 000-40, 000-strong Home Army were dead, and 120, 000-200, 000 civilians were killed. On 2 October the fighting stopped, the remaining Poles were rounded up for slavery or extermination, and the Germans began razing Warsaw to the ground.
Tags: The Battle for Warsaw, Poland, Polish Army, German Occupation, British Betrayal, World War 2, Uprising, Battle, Conflict, Death, Soviet operations, eastern Front, Holocaust, National socialist, Waffen SS, Gestapo, Extermination squads
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