Nine weeks of blood and glory
Warsaw Uprising of 1944 day by day.

Day by day

          The day of the outbreak of the Uprising was impending. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the military undertaking were becoming more and more unfavorable.
          The Germans' panic retreat from Warsaw in late July 1944 was now under control. Front German units with more battle experience were being redeployed to Warsaw, among them the SS Panzer Division "Hermann Göring", reinforcing the garrison composed mainly of rear units, police and military police. Towards the end of July Warsaw was guarded by over 20 000 German soldiers armed with heavy machine guns, artillery and tanks, and supported by dive bombers.
          Tens of thousands of insurgents were preparing to stand up and fight the enemy. They were zestful, yet poorly equipped - armed with 370 submachine and machine guns, 1000 rifles, 1700 pistols and 25 000 grenades. The lack of any anti-tank weapons was to be compensated for by Molotov cocktails. Only one in ten insurgents was armed - the others were supposed to win a weapon in the fight or pick it up from the hands of a fallen comrade.
          The mobilization was announced on July 27 but then quickly called off, which resulted in the loss of the element of surprise. The Germans had been anticipating a potential attack, hiding in strongholds reinforced with bunkers and wire entanglements and protected by heavy machine gun nests.
          According to the initial assumptions, the outbreak of the Uprising was to take the form of an attack carried out in the wee hours, taking advantage of the effect of the dawn and weariness of the German squads. For this purpose, the future assault groups had been trained to perform the so-called "swarm" attacks - scattered groups of soldiers attacking simultaneously and at great speed, instead of advancing by "leapfrogging". This technique turned out to be completely useless in the attack commenced during the day at 5 o'clock p.m., and it contributed to heavy insurgent casualties in the initial stage of the Uprising.
          In their political naivety, the commanders of the Home Army believed that the Red Army, stationed practically on the outskirts of the Praga district, would offer a helping hand to the insurgents and within a few days the capital would be cleansed of the German occupant. This hope was in some sense supported by the clarion calls of the PKWN radio station "Lublin", exhorting the Warsaw population to grab a weapon and attack the Nazi occupant.
          Naturally, this was not what Stalin had planned. His goal was to subdue Poland and make it totally dependent on the Soviet Union, and to achieve this goal the Home Army and thousands of its soldiers were expendable. Stalin had already given a testimony to these intentions by seizing the former eastern grounds of the Republic of Poland: Vilnius, Lviv, Volhynia. There came a perfect opportunity to solve the problem of Polish political opponents of the Home Army, loyal to the Polish government-in-exile, with German hands.
          But the Home Army command, having given the signal to fight, was oblivious of this situation, nor was it aware about secret Tehran negotiations in late 1943, by virtue of which Great Britain and the United States had consented to put the Republic of Poland within the Soviet sphere of influence once World War II was over. This was the price for millions of Soviet bayonets and fallen soldiers crushing the power of the Third Reich. The agreements were confirmed in February 1945 at the Yalta Conference. The Yalta order had lasted several decades, practically until 1989 when Poland finally regained its once lost independence.
          The Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the greatest city battle of a resistance movement in World War II, has gone down in history as an unprecedented armed bid of independence of an oppressed society against its occupant. The Uprising was to originally last only 3-4 days, but it ended after 63 days and has become the symbol of heroism and patriotism of the Polish nation.

           Week I

           Week II

           Week III

           Week IV

           Week V

           Week VI

           Week VII

           Week VIII

           Week IX

edited by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz

translated by: Beata Murzyn

Copyright © 2023 Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz. All rights reserved.