Two Polish officers, namely Major Wacław Chojna pseudonym "Horodyński" and Lieutenant Stanisław Wierzyński pseudonym "Klara", after the uprising capitulation were sent to the German POW camp Murnau, and while imprisoned there they decided to compose a "Synopsis of the course of the insurgent actions of the "Radosław" Group".
The both officers became active members of the resistance since the fall of Poland in 1939 and were staff officers of the "Radosław" Group. Major "Horodyński", during the Uprising, was the Chief Signals Officer and from 5th of September, 1944, the Commander of the reserve battalion. Lieutenant "Klara", during the Warsaw uprising, was the Quartermaster of the "Radosław" Group and from 5th of September, 1944, the Adjutant to Colonel Jan Mazurkiewicz pseudonym "Radosław".
Major Wacław Chojna pseudonym "Horodyński"
Lieutenant Stanisław Wierzyński pseudonym "Klara"
After the camp liberation by soldiers of the U.S. 12th Armoured Division on 29 April, 1945, the both officers joined the Second Polish Corps commanded by General Anders and based at the time in Italy. After some time they came back to Poland and like many other soldiers of the Polish Home Army and soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces formed in exile were not warm welcomed by the communist state.
In such circumstances the "Synopsis of the course of the insurgent actions of the "Radosław" Group" could not be published for a long time. A Journalist Maciej Wierzyński, the son of Lieutenant Stanisław Wierzyński pseudonym "Klara", while going through his father's papers many years after the father's death, Lieutenant "Klara" passed away in 1988, came across an unknown-to-him-typescript.
Maciej Wierzyński passed the typescript to Doctor Andrzej Kunert who is an expert in Warsaw uprising matters. Andrzej Kunert, with permission of the both authors' heirs, published the synopsis in the London periodical Mars # 16/2004.
The "Synopsis of the course of the insurgent actions of the "Radosław" Group"" which is a retrospective combat diary of two soldiers who took part in the uprising is a priceless source of information.
Activities of the "Radosław" Group composed of the following elite battalions of the "Kedyw": "Czata 49", "Miotła", "Pięść", "Zośka" and "Parasol" are described daily by two staff officers of the "Radosław" Goup who were allowed by the fate to go through the entire combat trail of the Group, from the Wola district, through the Old Town, Czerniaków, Mokotów and Downtown.
The "Synopsis" describes everyday bloody struggle of the "Radosław" Group which in result of being engaged in the fights from the very beginning of the uprising suffered the biggest losses out of all combat units taking part in the uprising. The "Radosław" Group contained of about 2 3000 soldiers when started its combat trail in Wola and at the time of the uprising capitulation in Downtown, the Group contained of 256 soldiers. The loss percentage of the Group reached 90%.
The authors of the "Synopsis" while writing the text in the POW camp could only rely on their own memory. They were unable to discuss the subject with other events witnesses or check against the historical materials. And that is the reason why certain but in fact small errors appeared in the text and those are mainly chronological errors. It is a quite typical example of errors related to documents composed from the memory without having an opportunity to confirm the accuracy of facts with other events witnesses or sources.
The "Synopsis" has an incredible value because of its authenticity and the fact that it was written almost right after the described events took place. It enriches the knowledge about the Warsaw uprising with many facts and illustrates emotions and the spirit in the uprising-time Warsaw. It also paints a big picture of the history of the "Radosław" Group which has no comprehensive study in the historical literature. There are only many extensive studies regarding individual battalions that the "Radosław" Group was composed of.
In order to popularise the history of the "Radosław" Group, we decided to put the "Synopsis of the course of the insurgent actions of the "Radosław" Group" on the Association website. It was done with permission of the both authors' heirs: Ms. Anna Horodyńska and Editor Maciej Wierzyński.
The son of Colonel Wacław Janaszek pseudonym "Bolek"
Chief of Staff of the "Radosław" Group
The badge of the "Radosław" Group
Synopsis of the course of the insurgent actions of the "Radosław" Group
The "Radosław" Group, named after the pseudonym of its commander, composed of the Polish Home Army soldiers who were active members of the resistance and fought against Germans during so called "Big Sabotage" period. All of them, no matter whether they were officers or privates, men or women, they were the Resistance members who were facing a tremendous trial by fire in their fight against the occupant from the moment they began fight openly within actions directed by the Head Command' "Kedyw" and before that during so called "Small Sabotage" period carried out by Revenge Groups (Zespoły Odwetowe - Z.O.).
* * *
A briefing on 1st of August, 1944 at noon, in the presence of Colonel "Radosław", Major "Bolek", Major "Skiba", Captain Horodyński, Captain "Jan" - the "Broda" battalion commander, Captain "Bryl" (other pseudonyms: Pług or Pal) - the "Parasol" battalion commander, Captain "Niebora" - the "Miotła" battalion commander, Second Lieutenant "Tatar" - the Security Unit commander, Captain "Sawa" (other pseudonym "Mietek") - the Reserve Unit commander, Lieutenant "Szczęsny" - the Group's Quartermaster. The briefing took place at Doctor Skiba's flat at 42 or 46 Krucza Street. During the briefing was given the "Hour K" and the "Hour W" (uprising outburst time). After clarifying certain matters, the briefing ended at 12.25 p.m. and the officers present at the meeting moved to their units to give them orders. After the earlier reconnaissance, a building at 16/17 Okopowa Street was chosen as the gathering point for the headquarters of the "Radosław" Group before the "Hour K" (concentration time) and already there were decided communication matters with the Head Command. It concerned mainly to Women Unit of Signals of Doctor Przemysława and Signals Unit of Małgorzata.
At 4 p.m. at 41 Okopowa Street corner of Mireckiego Street where the headquarters of the "Radosław" Group was staying, present are Colonel "Radosław", Major "Bolek" - vice commander and Chief of Staff, Major "Igor" - the sapper unit commander, Captain Horodyński - Signals commander, Second Lieutenant "Tatar" - the Security Unit commander and Second Lieutenant "Rembisz" - Head of "Remiza" ("Kedyw"'s production plant).
A place of the headquarters location was chosen so that its location was situated in the middle of the units' positions and at the same time was located at the main street of the district. Quartermaster Unit was temporarily designed as a single section under command of Lieutenant Stanisław Wierzyński pseudonym "Klara" (other pseudonym "Korybut") and was located in the nearest neighbourhood (at 35 Okopowa Street, the RGO vegetable gardens).
Ordre de Bataille of the "Radosław" Group
Headquarters and the Security Unit: about 10 officers, 15
and privates, 15 pistols (calibre 7.65 mm and 9 mm), 1 Sten and about 30 (filipinki grenades) Locations and combat tasks of the units
"Broda" battalion - about 500 soldiers including women soldiers, weaponry sufficient for 30% of the battalion, mainly machine guns of various types, 2 light machine guns and grenades of various types.
"Parasol" battalion - between 400 and 500 soldiers, weaponry sufficient for 40% of the battalion, mjr Witold of various types, several rifles and light machine guns, grenades of various types.
"Miotła" battalion - between 550 and 600 soldiers, mainly young people, for example: a part of the Grey Ranks, the Niedźwiadki Unit, the Jerzyki Unit. Weaponry for about 50% of the battalion, mainly machine guns, light machine guns and heavy machine guns, plus grenades.
"Czata 49" battalion - Commander: Major "Witold" - Cichociemny, the number of soldiers: 150, weaponry for 100% of the battalion, mainly machine guns, several rifles, grenades, 3 000 rifle bullets.
Reserve Unit - commander: Captain "Mietek", soldiers: small sections from the above units along with officers without assignments and with no weapon. Main medical point: Hospital of Karol and Maria.
Quartermaster Unit - every the above mentioned unit had its own quartermaster unit formed before Uprising. The "Radosław" Group Quartermaster meant to provide dry food from the second day of Uprising, until that time units had their own food. Ammunition and equipment matters were dealt with on the first day of the Uprising thanks to weapons taken from Germans (Weapon Officer Lieutenant "Danko"). Question of food supplies for the headquarters was solved yet before the uprising outburst and this matter was taken care of that well so in the evening on 1st of August there was served hot food, coffee and bread (15 kilograms) which came from the food rations and was collected personally by the "Radosław" Group Quartermaster Second Lieutenant "Klara".
Locations and combat tasks of the units
"Broda". From the concentration point at Telefunken factory at Mireckiego Street, the Jewish Cemetery, the Skra football pitch, shielding from the west at Sołtyka Street and Młynarska Street and from the east from Gęsiówka (labour camp barracks, bunkered and with sentry towers), charge the St. Kinga School, take the building and secure it against any threat from the Powązki along Okopowa Street. Uprising outburst
"Parasol". Concentration point at the Evangelical Cemetery, the Calvinist Cemetery, hold the Hospital of Karol and Maria, the House of the Elderly, patrol and monitor the area up to Leszno Street and Wolska Street, and in south up to Karolkowa Street, Żytnia Street and Wolność Street (Zegarmistrzowska - German name of the street Uhrmacherstrasse), and patrol the Józef Kerceli Square.
"Miotła". Concentration point at the junction of Wolność Street and Nowolipie Street, Wolność Street - Nowolipki Street (#92) at Zielnej Street opposite of the Tobacco Monopoly building. Shield from Leszno Street, Żelazna Street and Smocza Street, charge and take the Tobacco Monopoly, take positions in the north and the east towards Gęsiówka, secure positions from school at Żelazna Street junction with Leszno Street as well as the Ghetto ruins. Cooperate with units charging the schools and Pawiak.
"Czata 49". Concentration point at the Evangelical and Calvinist Cemetery - the chapel and the gravedigger's house, the rest remains in reserve at Karolkowa Street opposite of the Calvinist Cemetery.
Communication - through runners and cyclists, every unit had delegated 4 women runners.
Means of transportation - all cars and motorcycles with fuel reserve for 300 kilometres must be located at the concentration point at the "K Hour".
4 p.m. heavy traffic at Okopowa Street, area from Kerceli Square to Dzielna Street is patrolled by the "Broda" and "Parasol" units with guns hidden under the coats or alternatively building entry gates, no sign of action as yet. Most of units arrive on concentration points on time, except the 1st company of the "Parasol" battalion which turned up at the point at 6.30 p.m. after breaking through the area of Elektoralna Street without losses. The uprising in this area has begun
4.20 p.m. right after the briefing at 18 A Okopowa Street, secret flat so called "OKO", first shots are fired. It is a car conveying railway men and soldiers and going towards the Tobacco Monopoly in reason unknown. The car was shot at, two German railway men are dead, two Wermacht privates and Ukrainians. Colonel "Radosław" wants to drag the time of insurrection to 5 p.m. sharp i.e. the "W Hour", however facing a chance of getting weapons from a bus passing through Okopowa Street towards Powązki.
The uprising in this area has begun
Colonel "Radosław", Second Lieutenant "Zaremba", Captain "Horodyński", Sergeant of Reserve "Skała", Officer Cadet "Komar" and a private: ("Sten") shot at the bus from the 41 Okopowa Street gate. At first, the bus tries to turn in Dzielna Street, but then the driver decides to escape through Okopowa Street. First Philippine grenade thrown by "Radosław" makes the bus passengers to leave the vehicle and seek shelter at the Tobacco Monopoly. Accurate shots fired by the insurgents wound two Germans, the rest, moving next to the buildings' walls runs towards the Tobacco Monopoly building. 2nd August, 1944
The escaping Germans were shot at from the Zieleniewski factory building by the Headquarters Security Unit under command of Colonel "Filip", 4 Germans were shot dead at the factory gate. At this moment, a 5-tonne car with a trailer appears from the Kerceli Square. The car gets shot at and the car driver tries to move backwards, but to no avail. The car passengers run for their lives and hide behind the gates of 24 Okopowa Street, they fight and shot back until 8 p.m. when they are taken prisoners. The car is taken away by the "Czata 49", the car is still operational. Weapon taken the bus lifts the insurgents' spirit. They obtained 14 rifles, 400 pieces of rifle ammunition and few pistols. The car is unloaded under the German fire from the Monopoly building and all stuff from the car is moved to the 41 Okopowa courtyard where it is segregated by the Weaponry Officer and the Quartermaster of the "Radosław" Group, separating supplies and food from weapons and ammunition. There are already uniforms, coats, helmets, tarpaulins. The first insurgency loot. Civilians help in the segregation.
Around 5 p.m. first fights of "Parasol" and "Broda". "Miotła" tries to attack the Monopoly but to no avail, the bunker makes it impossible. At the same time, "Miotła" gets heavy fire from the school at Leszno Street and Żelazna Street, as well as stops the charge of the Wermacht and Police Units from Żytnia Street and Wolność Street in the direction of Nowolipki.
"Parasol" starts the action coming from the concentration place to streets Wolska - Młynarska - Skierniewicka - Wolska - Działdowska, seizing the Michler Palace and securing their positions from the west along Młynarska Street to Sołtyka Street.
At the "Broda" area (Jewish Cemetery) is heard a heavy gunfire at the St. Kinga School corner of Okopowa Sreet, the school crew, a company of Wermacht, abandons the school without fighting and retreats under the covering fire from "Gęsiówka" in the Ghetto area, at 6.30 p.m. the guard tower and bunker crew (one bunker blown up and the crew caved-in) leaves its position, retreating to the second part of "Gęsiówka". One car and a truck are obtained. Captain Jan kills an SS officer who defended himself in the bunker, after leaving the car. There are obtained several rifles, a machine gun, a flare pistol and a significant amount of rifle ammunition. The situation is generally under control, the only danger at the "Miotła" area. Reports conveyed by devoted runners give details of the situation. Everyone is asking for ammunition. At 7 p.m. Officer Cadet "Łoś" arrives from Downtown, after getting through the fighting areas, and brings over a suitcase full of Philippine grenades. There are first prisoners, railwaymen, railway police and Wehrmacht. (Radosław tries to establish communication with the Headquarters OKO, Zieleniewski factory Colonel "Filip"). First communication at 9 p.m. Captain "Horodyński". The road straight through Dzielna Street was almost impossible to pass and thanks to the clever resident of the district citizen "Jaga" (who stayed with the unit to the very end as a runner) Major "Bolek" and Sargeant "Skała" through trees, roofs and chimneys manage to establish a new safe communication route. A plan of seizing the Monopoly plan is being developed, which comes to fruition at 1 a.m. on 2nd of August, 1944. After breaking a hole in the Monopoly building wall from Wolność Street, the Monopoly crew retreated into the Ghetto. The Monopoly was seized.
At that time, a dressing point was organized at 41 Okopowa Street, where the Headquarters stayed at. A rallying point for prisoners of war and suspects is situated in the basements of this house. The Command and all liaison officers and runners are given hot food and coffee from the kitchen of the section commander; the rest of the night is marked by patrolling and establishing communication with neighboring units. And so communication is established with a group of Colonel "Paweł" residing in the Powązki area. The "Parasol" establishes communiction at its left flank with the Section 4 of the Wola district. The first pair of liaison officers went to the General "Monter" headquarters, and returned the next day after establishing communication. The Quartermaster unit is being organized, and is moved to the Wagner factory (Pelikan) at Mirecki Street, using the factory kitchen and its supplies, and began the normal provisioning of hot food for units fighting in the neighbourhood, and dry food for units with further locations.
2nd August, 1944
Around 9-10 p.m. there are signalled three Panther tanks going towards Karolkowa Street and Mireckiego Street. The antitank unit takes positions in the flats of houses at 41 Okopowa Street. Few Philippine grenades and bottles-filled-with-gasoline were thrown at the approaching tanks, and then after a Gammon bomb was thrown one of the tanks is bursting into flames, two tanks are turning in Okopowa Street where the crew of the burning tank is getting in one of the tanks and the tank is going away towards Kerceli Square. At the barricade at Okopowa Street - Mireckiego Street one of the tanks is hit and smoking enters into a garden located next to the 41 Okopowa street building and then stops. The crew surrender. The second tank was damaged at the Pfeiffer factory and subsequently abandoned by the crew, the tank is taken over by soldiers of the "Broda" battalion. At the same time, the "Parasol" captured a car carrying 206 Panther tank shells. 2nd August, 1944 in the evening
Lieutenant "Wacek" of the "Broda" Tank Platoon takes care of quick repair of the both tanks and in no time finds the new crews. With the help of the German tank driver crew and a civilian specialist on 3rd of August it is possible...
[...One page is missing...]
... heavy machine guns fire. The transport was shielded by additional covering forces which were firing at the enemy while cars were able to go through dangerous areas. At that time, units of the "Pięść" battalion commanded by Major "Okoń" arrived into the Evangelical Cemetery and joined the Group forces. The "Broda" units capture certain amount of weapon and ammunition as a result of several skirmishes with Germans, they take positions at school at Spokojna Street corner of Okopowa Street, the Pfeiffer factory and the Tamler factory, and patrolling area up to Burakowska Street and the Powązki cemetery. In the evening of that day, Germans start fighting the communicating artery east-west along Wolska Street, burning the street and systematically destroying streets parallel to Wolska Street. German tanks are moving under the cover of the Polish civilians. On that day, arrives a liaison officer from Lieutenant "Góra" representing the Polish Home Army Kampinos forces and sent to Wola in order to establish communication with this district.
In the meantime, the "Sosna" unit is trying to capture the school at Żelazna Street corner of Leszno Street. "Radosław" decides to send the "Miotła" battalion to support the "Sosna"'s effort, and delegates Major Bolek to discuss the details of the cooperation. All attempts to capture the building are to no avail due to the lack of a motor pump which suppose to pour gasoline at the building from the distance. Germans seeing our attempts to capture the school, offered negotiations in which suggested they would leave the school but they would surrender their weapons. Once the captured tanks were operational, they fired at the school from the Monopol buildings.
2nd August, 1944 in the evening
After the building was shot at, the German crew escaped through a dug-out to the St. Zofia church. The dug-out was dug during the negotiations. The area controlled by the "Radosław" Group was as on the below sketch marked red (the sketch is missing). 3rd August, 1944
3rd August, 1944
At the time, losses increase to about 150. The wounded are in the field hospital of Karol and Maria. Due to the uncertain route to the Old Town through Stawki, Colonel "Radosław" decides to capture the second part of Gęsiówka, in order to take control over the ghetto area that divides Wola from the Old Town. 4th August, 1944
Before noon on 3rd of August, Gęsiówka is captured after firing one shot from the tank. The SS crew, in the number of 90 soldiers escaped to the ruins of Ghetto. Our patrols enter the second part of the camp releasing 383 Jewish prisoners, mostly from southern Europe: Hungarians, Greeks, Romanians, Spaniards, etc. Pawiak located in the immediate vicinity is patrolled by our troops, but not captured. The capture of Gęsiówka completely solved the matter of supplies. The steam kitchen for 10,000 people, started working at once and was operated by the Jewish stuff, supplied the whole Group with hot food which was transported by cars on a rope. Also significant stocks of bread, flour, groats, sugar and spices were captured at the same time. Livestock (porkers) go to the pot.
At this time, there is created the Reserve Battalion under command of Major "Igor" who deals with replacements for the Group units, and supplies the units with captured weapons, ammunition and uniforms. There were establish both, communication and cooperation with the Head Quartermaster of the forming "North" Group - Major "Sienkiewicz". A heavy machine gun nest located at the tower of the St. Augustyn Church in Nowolipie Street which was making difficult moving around the area, is silenced by few shots from the captured tank.
The second captured tank is repaired by a specialist, an engineer mechanic [Ryszard Sutek "Rysiek"], a Hungarian Jew freed from a prison (died in Czerniakow). The freed Jewish prisoners replace our drivers and form sapper-worker squads, and work at Gęsiówka workshops.
In the afternoon of that day, the "Broda" units and the western part of the area ("Parasol" - Pięść") report deployment of the German units at the circular railway and their further movement towards Powązki and Soltyka Street. The first shots are fired from the armor, and in the evening a heavy mortar fire directed at the Jewish and the Evangelist cemetery. There are losses in killed and wounded. Communication with units due to the artillery fire becomes more and more difficult.
The Headquarters Communication Officer solves this matter by using telephones (captured at Gęsiówka), powered from batteries, to the tramway network. In this way, a telephone connection was established between the "Broda" units, St. Kinga School and the "Headquarters staying at 41 Okopowa Street (distance about 800 metres). As an alternative way of communication between the Evangelist Cemetery, the Reserve Battalion and the "Parasol", was used a system of coded signaling disks with the code preapred by Captain "Horodyński". Such a system allowed to communicate after a 5 minute training of the staff, which recruited from the liaison officers: for example- enemy advances, ... from the junction of streets, - Karolkowa-Żytnia, - the enemy tank shoots, - at the Evangelist Cemetery, etc. The total number of signs was: 5 dots, 5 lines and a combination of the both. Contact initiation sign: circling with two disks, the rest in accordance with the communication regulations. A report sent in such a way lasted from 1 to 2 minutes (15-20 words).
Medical services, after earlier reconnaissance, transport the heavily wounded to the Jan Boży Hospital (i.e. from the Hospital of Karol and Maria at Leszno Street - Karolkowa Street to Bonifraterska Street).
4th August, 1944
From the morning, the both cemeteries are under the heavy fire of the railway cannons, artillery and mortarts. The enemy clearly prepares a charge on the Evangelist and the Jewish cemeteries initializing the charge from Powązki and the area of the streets Płocka and Długosza. German front lines signal their location using flares and communicating this way with their own air force and artillery. Around 11 a.m. first bombing by the Stukas. The bomb hits the 24 Okopowa building opposite the Headquarters building, no losses. The enemy sloppy advances. Necessity of saving ammunition forces the insurgents to allow the Germans approach their positions on the effective distance of machine guns. The lack of rifles and hand machine guns is clearly noticable. All German attacks are thrown back. Joyful news - allegedly the drops are going to take place tonight. All preparations are made. Heavy losses caused by the grenade launchers and mortars. The fires alongide Wolska Street and parallel streets up to the Kerceli Square. Civilians escapes in panic from pproaching Germans heading for the Old Town. General "Bór" relocated his headquarters to Barokowa Street [school building]. Communications with Downtown sustained, despite the deteriorating conditions. In the evening hours between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. the first expected drop. The majority of the drop received by Colonel "Paweł" in the Powązki area. There are 2 PIATs and 12 PIAT bombs, rounds, hand machine gun, a few Brens, German machine guns, 9 mm ammunition, dressings and anti-tank mines. Part of the dropped supplies fell into the hands of the enemy. 5th August, 1944
5th August, 1944
The Powązki is bombarded from the early morning, in the result of which almost the whole staff personnel of Colonel "Paweł" dies. Colonel "Paweł" is transferred to Colonel "Wachnowski". 6th August, 1944
Before noon, heavy fire of the armour and grenade launchers at the Evangelist Cemetery and the Calvinist Cemetery. The enemy tries to seize the cemeteries. Our tank fire throws back the advancing German platoons. Unfortunately one of the two of our tanks breaks down, the other one is still working. In the afternoon, the crew of the second tank is burned in the result of the accurate hit from the German tank that fired from behind the barricade at the junction of Karolkowa Street and Żytnia Street, corner of Karolkowa Street and Mireckiego Street. Our tank crew save their lives and abandon the tank, however the driver and the gunner come back to the tank afterwards, take position and silence the advancing German tank with one accurate shot. Around 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. after the earlier heavy bombardment, the enemy advances and breaks our defensive positions. The enemy is thrown back from the cemetery area after over-an-hour fighting. The both our tanks are immobilized. Heavy losses in the wounded and killed. Everyone thinks and talks about Red Army help. Heavy cannonade around 8 p.m. in the Vistula river area lifts our spirit. Our hopes were given up from the dawn of the next day and the following days. Colonel "Wachnowski" officially becomes the commander of the "North" Group, which composes of the units fighting in Wola and the Old Town. We receive the first issue of the "Biuletyn Informacyjny", issued in a large newspaper format as well as other uprising press, and ... German leaflets containing the false order of General "Bór" to seize fighting in Warsaw [the leaflets are dated 2nd of August 2 and were dropped from German planes on 4th of August]. The BIP reporters arrive. They conduct a series of interviews, take photos of the Group units, which look great in so-called "tigers" and "panthers" i.e. the SS camouflage uniforms. Friends and relatives meet each other, some as frontline soldiers others as war reporters. A number of people from the PAL and AL units volunteer for the Polish Home Army units, as they don't have any orders from their own commanders, and they don't want to stay inactive during the insurgency.
6th August, 1944
In the morning, alarming reports about the enemy tanks approaching from Leszno Street and Kerceli Square. Permanent anti-tank alert. All attempts to destroy the barricades thrown back. Several enemy tanks damaged and immobilized, however it was impossibe to capture those tanks as Germans tow them to safety using other tanks and shielding themselves with civilians who were driven out of the houses in the area. Communication with Downtown broken. However, some telephones are working after capturing the switchboard at Tłumackie Street. On this day, the "Parasol" commander, Captain "BryI" is heavily wounded, it's his second wound. Germans increase their efforts to capture the Calvinist Cemetery and in the result seize the western part of the cemetery. Colonel "Radosław" orders the evacuation of the Karol and Maria hospital. In the afternoon of that day, the Germans soldiers capture the hospital. Some of the sick and wounded stayed in the hospital under the care of the hospital staff. Later on, we heard tragic news about murdering and burning alive some of the wounded. 7th August, 1944
The fires are moving further east. German planes are very active. Captain "Jan" does the trick and fires flares towards the German positions. As a result, German planes shot at their own soldiers who try to retreat from the dangerous positions, and this commotion among the German soldiers is used Captain "Jan" who leads the charge at the German positions capturing a hand machine gun, several rifles and a grenade launcher.
Once heard a message that the Stawki were captured by the enemy, which area was not properly defended by the squadron of 1 ps. under command of Cavalry Captain "Nowak", Colonel "Radosław" sends a platoon of "Czata 49" under command of Lieutenant "Motyl" which unit, in cooperation with another unit of the Colonel "Leśnik" Group, recaptures the Stawki in the evening. During the fight, the "Czata 49" captures an anti-tank cannon with a tractor and ammunition, the cannon was handed over to Second Lieutenant "Lis" in order to take it to the Old Town. The cannon was used in the Krasiński Garden by soldiers of the "Chrobry" Group and as a result of improper handling (needle crack) was insufficiently used.
The "Parasol" 1st Company under command of Second Lieutenant "Jeremi" was transferred and assign the protection of the General "Bór" headquarters at Barokowa Street. The second drop took place that night, but the drop fell into the hands of the enemy or was received by the "Kampinos" units. Wola and the Old Town did not receive anything.
7th August, 1944
Heavy artillery fire of all calibre from the early morning. Attempts to attack supported by tanks from all directions - thrown back. The enemy planes very acive before noon. Different types of fights. Around 6 p.m. after a barrage aimed for all cemeteries, Germans started the advance with the support of tanks. Under the pressure of the enemy and their advantage of heavy weapons, our units gradually leave their positions, retreating along Żytnia Street, Mireckiego Street and Dzielna Street and take ositions at internal barricades. Despite the charges from the Ghetto area, the Tobacco Monopoly was successfully defended. During the night of 7th-8th August, Colonel "Radosław" orders a complete evacuation to the second part of Gęsiówka. All wounded and quartermaster staff (large food supplies) were sent to the Old Town. Situation under control at 9 p.m. Germans captured the area up to Okopowa Street, in the south: up to Leszno Street and Kerceli Square, in the north Mireckiego Street and the Jewish Cemetery which the northern part remains in our hands. In accordance with the "Radosław" order and under the cover of the "Miotła", the rest of the Group during the night moved to St. Kinga School at Okopowa Street. 8th August, 1944
8th August, 1944
Colonel "Radoslaw" attends the briefing at the General "Bór" headquarters. In the morning at the school building, so-called "Stronghold", Colonel "Radosław" reveals the General "Bór" directive to the Group's command officers which the directive orders to hold positions at Wola as long as possible as this the time is needed to strengthen the organisation of the uprising and at the same time, create a great political strengths that is composed by our fight. All the officers present at the briefing give "Radosław" a word of honor to fulfil the "Bór"'s order and keep their word to the last breath. There are first decorations: Colonel "Radosław" Virtuti Militari 4th class, Captain "Jan" Virtuti Militari 5th class for the second time, Captain "Niebora" Virtuti Militari 5th class for the second time. The day is spent on a hard struggle with the enemy advancing from all sides, supported by a heavy artillery fire, mortars and grenade launchers. 9th August, 1944
9th August, 1944
In the morning the enemy locates two 100.5 mm cannons at the southern edge of the Powązki cemetery and shots the direct fire at the school (the Stronghold). There are many wounded and dead. The road to the Old Town through Niska Street and Muranowska Street under heavy fire from Powązki, Monopol and Pawiak. Our positions were shortened, in the south along Gęsia Street on the ruins of the Ghetto, in the north-west part of the Jewish cemetery, school at St. Kinga Street and Okopowa Street, in the north the Temmler factory and Stawki, which area during the day constantly change its occupier. During the night of 9th-10th the Stawki area is no man's land. The "Czata 49" battalion has its post at the school attached to warehouses at Stawki, and Germans have their post in the northern part of the warehouses, behind the wall. 10th August, 1944
10th August, 1944
After a barrage which started in the early morning, massive attacks of the enemy clearly intending to cut us off from the Old Town. "Radoslaw" orders an emergency evacuation. In order to cover the retreat, he orders to recapture Stawki, seized by Germans at night. Captain "Niebora", the commander of "Miotła" and the brother of "Radoslaw", is killed in this action and Colonel "Radoslaw" is wounded twice. There are big losses among commanders and privates. Our tank supports soldiers trying to capture Staweki (the other tank damaged in action, was blown up by us when retreating to Gęsiówka). Because of the heavy fire from the armored train operating from the area of the Warszawa Gdańska station, the tank is forced to retreat to Okopowa Street, where is blown up by the crew after running of out of ammunition and with discharged batteries that made the tank was imoperational. The tank was blown up during the retreat by a volunteer, Hungarian Jew, engineer "Pal" (Paweł) and for blowing the tank he received a Cross of Valour. Commanding of the Group is taken over by Major "Bolek". Broken communication with the "North" Group is re-established by Second Lieutenant "Klara" and liaison officer "Janka - Nina". The situation is under control after a heavy fight. School at Stawki is kept. The Group headquarters were moved to 12 Muranowska Street. 11th August, 1944
11th August, 1944
The drop on Krasiński Square at night of 10th-11th. Throughout the day the enemy attacks with the support of tanks from the Pawiak direction. All attacks thrown back. The enemy located in the Warszawa Gdańska station area activates its efforts towards the tramway depot at Żoliborska Street corner of Sierakowska Street. There are two armour trains operating on the tracks of the Circular railway. Heavy air raids on the Old Town. The Headquarters of the Group is hit several times with heavy artillery shells. At the same time, the enemy fiercely attacks on the Krasiński Garden and Mostowscy Palace. The effect - we lose the building. The whole "Parasol" battalion is assigned for the disposal of Lieutenant Colonel "Wachnowski". The units are extremely exhausted. The lack of bread is noticable. For the night, the headquarters is moved to 4 Muranowska Street - 2 Przebieg Street, and part of the headquarters is moved to 5 Mławska Street. A relatively calm night. 12th August, 1944
12th August, 1944
First alarms about using and approaching Goliaths. Heavy fights starts for the school at Stawki Street (at Muranowska Street), as well as fights for almost every flat at Pokorna Street and Muranowska Street. Telephone communication is broken. A series of our counter attacks is unsuccessful. Stawki are definitely lost. The passage from the Muranowska area through Bonifraterska Street to the Old Town is inaccessible. There are ordered construction works to dig a dug-out through Muranowska Street and a tunnel under Bonifraterska Street to the Jana Boży Hospital. Liaison Officer "Halina" (the wife of Bolesław Piasecki, the commander of partisans in Nowogródzki region, formerly ONR) gets killed while carrying out the duty, "Regina" gets killed too. Lieutenant Colonel "Paweł" (Frączak?) becomes the commander of the widen area marked by the perimeter of the PWPW, Muranowska Street and the Ghetto. 13th August, 1944
13th August, 1944
The Group headquarters and the sections commands at Lieutenant Colonel "Paweł" orders are moved to a new location at 5 Mławska Street. The new headquarters is located at the annex of the five-story house which has a huge gable wall open from the Sapieżyńska Street side, and that side is attached to a big empty field. The section Muranowska Street, Sierakowska Street, tramway depot, and Bonifraterska Street up to the Jan Boży hospital is the area by taken over by Czata 49 and the remains of the "Leśnik" units. There are a number of attacks during the day, supported by tanks and preceded by the goliath actions. Those Innocent-looking boxes on the tank caterpillars are moved by an engine connected to a power source by a cable that goliath drags behind. They are very unpleasant, especially for nervous defenders. Accurate firing with anti-tank ammunition cuts through the cable and completely disables such a beast. Unfortunately, we have a small amount of anti-tank ammunition. Attacks cause losses. Lieutenant Colonel "Leśnik" is wounded, his successor is Major "Ryś", Cichociemny, trained in England and dropped into Poland. The "Czata" soldiers and the remains of the "Leśnik" units withstand all the German attacks with superhuman efforts, being completely out of water for 2 days now. The Goliath which blew up at 3 Przebieg Street causes massive damages and heavy losses especially among civilians. 14th August, 1944
"Broda" units at Niska Street are forced to leave their outposts and move behind the Ghetto wall, running along Bonifraterska Street, towards the Courts and at 12 Franciszkańska Street.
14th August, 1944
The enemy captures a tramway depot at Żoliborska Street. The complex of houses within Bonifraterska, Sierakowska, Przebieg, and Muranowska Streets becomes a cut-off island. Only thanks to the heroism of the "Czata" soldiers and a unit of Second Lieutenant "Torpeda" which originally was a part of the "Miotła" battalion and after its destruction was incorporated into "Czata", it is possible to keep this section until late in the evening. Germans start attacking the complex of buildings of the Jana Boży hospital from the direction of the Traugutt Fort. The Sappers of the Reserve battalion reinforced with soldiers from the Waligóra unit (soldiers without weapons) under the command of Captain "Sawa" hastily build a tunnel running from the main nave of the church of Jana Boży to the ghetto wall, under the pavement of Bonifraterska Street. The Stukas bomb the Old Town regularly every hour. The Reserve battalion "Igor" is forced to change its positions several times. During one of the air raids, the Quartermaster of the Group dies buried in the rubble of the NTA [Najwyższy Trybunał Administracyjny] at Długa Street corner of Miodowa Street. The "North" Group Quartermaster and several other officers present at the briefing get killed in the result of the same explosion. The Group Quartermaster duties are taken over by Lieutenant "Klara". 15th August, 1944
15th August, 1944
Late in the evening, the remains of "Czata 49" leave their positions in the area of Muranowska Street and Sierakowska Street. The evacuation is carried out underground through the prepared dug-out and few soldiers evacuate overground. This unit moves beyond Bonifraterska Street, covering astride Świętojerska Street, part of Nowiniarska Street and Franciszkańska Street. "Broda" holds the hospital of Jan Boży and Konwiktorska Street up to Zakroczymska Street and the PWPW. The remains of the "Miotła" battalion are incorporated into "Czata 49". The PWPW is subordinated to the command of the "Radosław" Group. The PWPW units composed of the "Pełka" units complemented by the "Leśnik" units. 16th August, 1944
We celebrate solemnly the day of Polish soldier, if such difficult conditions allow. The ceremonial service celebrated by Father Paweł, the chaplain of of the Group, in the basement of the house at 5 Mławska Street during which the general absolution is given for all soldiers. He gives a beautiful sermon, emphasizing that this feast of the soldier is a feast for all those who today are fighting for freedom, underlining that civilians are also fighting as much as soldiers. He said that these days sacrifice and devotion to the cause as well as mutual understanding in the struggle is demanded. Faces of all present at the service, reflect concentration, seriousness and faith in the rightness of the fight.
There is no sign of doubt or breakdown either among soldiers or civilians. Everyone believes in victory, although the situation does not indicate it. As a result of the increasing activity of the German planes uncertainty about the fate of houses at Mławska Street is getting bigger, and the mere thought that there are about 2,000 civilians in the shelters of only one house at 5 Mławska Street freezes the blood in veins.
The first "performance" of "wardrobes" (called cows in other parts of the city) begins, i.e. mine launchers working on the principle of recoil. Even the same day, a series of wardrobes hits our building, and the other hits the neighbourhood. Impressions of the use of this type of weapon are the following: you hear 6 or 8 creaks resembling the sound of moving wardrobe or the cow screaming sound, then after 7-10 seconds there is 6 or 8 crushing or incendiary rockets landing on yours or your neighbour's neck. There are also unexploded bombs that supply us with explosive material for grenades and mining works. The effects of the explosion of incendiary rocket are horrible, the explosion releases a mass of burning liquid which is extremely difficult to extinguish. There are cases of complete body burns, especially among civilians hiding in flats. The crushing rockets represent a relatively small destructive power so the cover of 2 walls is sufficient. Being in the courtyards of big houses is appears to be safe as the trajectory of the "cow" missile is quite flat. At night, the "cow" rockets fly in series and drag behind themselves a fire tail resembling comet's movement.
16th August, 1944
Situation in the PWPW area and in the eastern direction of Rybaki begins to intensify. The enemy air force is bombarding the PWPW. Bombs of various calibre are falling, the most effective are the half tone bombs which pierce the thick, iron-concrete ceilings and destroy strong constructions of buildings. Bombardments are carried out by Germans using diving bombers, so-called "Stukas", which load from 2-12 bombs and drop them from the height of even several dozen meters which make them extremely accurate. We do not have any anti-air craft weapon and the only thing that we can do is to hide in shelters of quite dubious value, which are located in Warsaw cellars. And keep our nerves under control because not every bomb hits the target and there also is a number of duds thanks to the sabotage carried out by unknown to us workers who fight that way their own war with the Nazis. Duds, unexploded "cows" and artillery shells supply us with the explosive materials. Sappers risk their life and with the help of German prisoners and Volksdeutsches dismantle the duds, and then the Resistance women and soldiers under the direction of pyrotechnics and specialists process the material and use it for hand grenades production. Destruction and fires caused by the PWPW bombardment are causing confusion among the crew commanded by Lieutenant Colonel "Leśnik" (wounded) and Major "Ryś". Colonel "Wachnowski", the commander of the "North" Group, includes the PWPW into the defence system of the "Radosław" Group. Graphic School, located on the foreground of the section and the other side of Konwiktorska Street, changes its occupier several times. The insurgents keep it during the day, and due to limited forces are forced to leave it for the night and present the ground to the Germans. 17th August, 1944
17th August, 1944
From the early morning the whole section is under the artillery fire shooting from the Cytdela area and armoured trains shooting from the Bem fort and the Warszawa Gdańska Station. The intervals only take place when the trains are going away to replenish ammunition at the Bem Fort. However, when the trains don't fire, this time is still completely filled with fire of mine throwers, "cows", grenade launchers and frequent bombings. Artillery fire is also supported by tanks. The old Town is under attack from all directions, the enemy advances are supported by taks. Fortunately, the Insurgents withstand the German advances and stand firm in their positions. Communication between the resistance points, barricades, commandments, etc. can only be maintained through the basement communication routes. This sort of communication is extremely difficult because the cellars are filled with civilians who are hungry, scared and thirsty. Even when there are food supplies, food can not be cooked because the enemy having an excellent observation points at the Cytadela and the Praga shore, and when they spot the smoke over the houses, then immediately direct there the artillery fire department or the bombs. Soldiers passing through the labyrinth of basements are often picked on and asked: what for did you start it? Why did you expose us to that sort of danger? These symptoms of dissatisfaction and loss of patience of these unhappy people are easily wiped out by any good word heard from soldiers or an officer, a piece of bread, cube of sugar or tinned meat given to them by oldiers. Besides, the Old Town residents, seasoned in the Resistance fights against the occupiers, live through this tragedy with gallows humor and believe in victory. The commander of the "North" Group moves from the Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych building at 24 Długa Street to the monastery refectory at the back of the Dominican Church of St. Jack. Due to the destruction of a number of houses and narrowed area defended by the Insurgents, to the interior of the church of St. Jack becomes the hospital floor. 18th August, 1944
18th August, 1944
From the morning there are rumors about the cooperation of our units with the units of Major "Okoń" who left the Old Town on 9 or 10 August and went to Kampinos where he took command over the "Kampinos" partisan units. The "Kampinos" consists of local individuals, veteran partisans from the Wilno, Nowogródek and Lida areas, who, who found no support for their activities among the Soviet army and withdrew towards Warsaw. Drops of weapons and ammunition are carried out into the Kampinos Forest, which is why this army is to be perfectly armed. The "Kampinos" soldiers are also joined by insurgents from the right bank of the Vistula who managed to escape the slaughter of the unsuccessful right bank uprising and those soldiers recruite from certain parts of Praga and towns located north from Praga, along the railway line towards Modlin. These soldiers after the skirmishes with Germans and crossing over the Vistula joined the army of Major "Okoń". There are talks about a joint operation from two sides and directed at the Gdańsk Station, the operation's target is to establish a communication route with Żoliborz and destruction of the railway tracks, on which is going the armoured train which shoots at us and the tracks are also used the enemy to evacuate their soldiers from the east. The PWPW is bombarded several times a day. The Group's units repel multiple tank attacks from the direction of the Gdańsk Station and the Cytadela, accurate shots of the PIAT and the "panzerschreck" immobilise 3 tanks. Unfortunately, we can not get to them and Germans tow them into their positions at night. In the evening, there are preparations made to attack the Gdańsk Station. There is a certain regrouping of troops and recruiting the "rested" reserves (they waited all day in shelters near the Headquarters and only three times were used to support the defense in the area of Zakroczymska Street and the winery at Konwiktorska Street (Sapieżyńska Street). The action does not take effect and is cancelled for the next day. 19 August, 1944
19 August, 1944
From dawn to night, planes, "cows", goliaths and charges supported by tanks. Germans bring to the action against us its heaviest railway artillery used so far only during the siege of Sevastopol. The shell caliber is 67-69 cm, height about 1.6 m, the weight of the explosive located in the projectile about 400 kg. There are 2 such canons in action, they fire from somewhere in the Bem Fort area. The interval between first and second shot lasts for around 7-8 minutes. The destructive power of such a projectile is huge. The quarter of our Reserve Battalion "Igor" is completely destroyed by one of these missiles. Luckily, human losses are minimal. The Headquarters moves from Długa Street to 9 Kiliński Street. The PWPW is attacked directly by tanks which parade unpunished in front of the building and are supported by Ukrainians. These charges are repelled by the PWPW crew. 20th August, 1944
The action for the Gdańsk Station planned for 11 p.m. effectively begins at 4 o'clock in the morning. Units that are to carry out the attack are concentrated in the area of the hospital of Jan Boży, from the side of Konwiktorska Street. The entire action is commanded by Major "Bolek", and the advancing soldiers are commanded by Captain "Motyl". The action ends up with a complete fiasco, mainly due to the delay. Major "Okoń" retreats with huge losses. Our units are retreating at dawn which naturally is very difficult because thie area is completely uncovered. We suffer relatively small losses. About 15 soldiers from the "Giewont" company get killed during the action at the Traugutt Fort. A dozen or so soldiers must lay away the day in the foreground as they are unable to safely retreat. A communication officer designated by the "North" Group and ordered to reach "Żywiciel" (the Commander of Żoliborz) gets killed during the advance with the radio and the communication radio codes. The next evening, his adolescent boy guide, finds the body and takes away the radio and the codes preventing those from falling into the hands of the enemy. Facing the double failure while trying to capture the Gdańsk station, soldiers lose their confidence in Major "Okoń" soldiers' abilities. During the day, a partial evacuation of the wounded to Żoliborz is carried and the way leads through sewers. Two platoons arrive from there with a large stock of weapons and ammunition. One of the platoons is assigned to "Parasol" which has been fighting for several days as the "North" Group's reserve unit in the area of Sąd Najwyższy (Krasiński Palace).
20th August, 1944
The hospital of Jan Boży becomes the area of fierce fights and the place of enemy attacks. In the evening, the enemy seized the chapel but can not enter the inner part of the hospital as all entrances leading into the hospital are caved-in. For the same reason of being unable to get into that part of the hospital, insurgents can not throw them out of there. Flame throwers used in this action failed. In the evening, the enemy set the hospital buildings on fire. The fires caused by the "cow" missiles are raging throughout the whole Old Town. The lack of water is perceptible. The Headquarters is located about 60 metres from the front line. In the evening, the Headquarters relocate to 7 Koźla Street. The area held by our units today was kept in our possession until 28th August, i.e. until the time when the overground breakthrough action was organized. (dashed blue colour). 21st August, 1944
21st August, 1944
From the morning the Headquarters is located at 7 Koźla Street. The enemy carries out a series of attacks at PWPW from the Vistula side. The enemy siezes the PWPW dwelling building. The Ukrainians under the German command attack from Rybaki Street and cause the loss of several houses at Zakątna Street. Artillery fire and aerial bombardments takes place with short intervals to allow the enemy infantry charges. Carrying out any action on such a small area is extremely difficult because of the civilians' behaviour who constantly move from building to building, basement to basement, and despite warnings they light the fires. German pilots while bombing from a height of several dozen meters, look for the smoke and bomb such houses. Fires are raging. You only go on the rubble, the streets are unrecognisable because they look like volcano craters filled with rubble. The enemy attacks PWPW from the Fort Legionów; the enemy seizes the barricade at Zakroczymska Street corner of Konwiktorska Street, and gets into the hospital at Zakroczymska Street, located in the historical building of the "Czwartacy" barracks. After hand-to-hand combat, the enemy is forced out up to the barricade at Zakroczymska Street. 22nd August, 1944
22nd August, 1944
From dawn there is heard a heavy cannonade from of the Vistula direction. That raises the fighters' spirit. In the morning, our hopes fade away as the artillery silenced. Soldier thinks about the Bolsheviks as hated but forced saviour. Around 10 a.m. a railway mortar shell hits the Headquarters. The wounded are Major "Bolek", Captain "Sawa-Mietek" lost the foot, 4 liaison officers are seriously wounded, Captain "Horodyński" injured. Lieutenant Colonel "Paweł", commanding the entire northern section of the Old Town, sustained no scratch as at the time of the explosion he was away at the PWPW where attended the briefing with Major "Leśnik" and Major "Ryś". Upon his return, Lieutenant Colonel "Paweł orders to relocate the Headquarters to 3 Mławska Street. Evacuation of the wounded to hospitals at 7 and 23 Długa Street and 4 Krzywe Koło Street 4 goes very heavily. No people to carry the stretchers. Continuous harassing fire of grenade launchers precludes the work of both services, the sanitary and quartermaster. Getting deeper into the Old Town is connected with a greater risk of getting hit than even being on the front line, which gets less fire due to closeness of the enemy positions. 23rd August, 1944
23rd August, 1944
The enemy carries out a series of attacks on the PWPW bombarding the building before every attack. The PWPW reinforced concrete building frame is not resistant for the half tone bombs and instead of protecting, caves-in its heroic defenders. Aerial bombardment is carried out every half an hour, targeting every single point of the Old Town defence and preparing the area for the enemy infantry attacks which moves towards the front line under the cover of tanks. There is hand-to-hand combat inside the PWPW buildings, there are constant attacks on the hospital of Jan Boży, "Winery" at Sapieżyńska Street and the Polski Fiat workshop. The enemy advances from the Traugutt Park through the ruins of houses at Konwiktorska Street. Positions held. 24th August, 1944
24th August, 1944
The Stukas bombers are raging. Before noon, Colonel "Radosław" still in hospital on the stretcher, takes over the command of the section and the Group. Lieutenant Colonel "Paweł" leaves and he is assign to Colonel "Wachnowski". Fierce battles takes place inside the building PWPW. The Jan Boży hospital is burnt down. Our units hold their position in ruins and rubbles. Our possession has generally been maintained. 25th August, 1944
25th August, 1944
Situation without major changes. Aerial bombardment every hour. Nonstop fire of artillery, grenade launchers and "wardrobes". Germans use Goliaths to knock out a hole in the ghetto wall at Bonifraterska Street. Tanks and infantry are advancing from all directions. PWPW still withstands. In the afternoon, a heavy aerial bombardment on 3 Mławska Street and 12 Franciszkańska Street i.e. the "Broda" and "Czata 49" headquarters. Severe human losses. The following got killed: Security Unit Commander "Tatar", the "Czata" quartermaster Second Lieutenant "Drzewica" (engineer Bolesław Popławski) and the most valuable youths - "Mieczyki" section. The ammunition storage at Franciszkańska is blown up. Many of "Czata" soldiers are killed while trying to rescue the ammunition from the burning storage. Houses burn at 3 and 5 Mławska Street and 10 and 12 Franciszkańska Street. Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" with his staff and the "Czata" command miraculously saved after the half ton bomb with the delayed fuse hits the building at 3 Mławska Street where they reside and makes a part of the building collapse. Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" who is still unable to walk as a result of wounds, is carried on his soldiers' hands to the new Headquarters at 7 Koźla Street. 26th August, 1944
26th August, 1944
At night, the enemy seized the buildings of PWPW. It was impossible to save part of the wounded and civilians. The defence line is shortened to the hospital at Zakroczymska Street, Przyrynek Street, the church of Panna Maria in the New Town, other sections without change. Communication with Żoliborz broken. A new sewer route to Downtown is opened. It leads under the streets of Miodowa Street, Krakowskie Przemieście and Nowy Świat with the exit at Warecka Street. The sewer is currently open for runners. 27th August, 1944
27th August, 1944
Aerial raids of the enemy Stukas take place regularly every half an hour. Nonstop advances from Zakątna Street, Przyrynek and Rybaki Street to Nowe Miasto. 28th August, 1944
There are night fights in the church of Panny Maria and around the church. Second Lieutenant "Henryk", the Commander of the remains of the "Pięść" battalion (Company Zemsta), gets killed. Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" threw the "Zemsta2 Company as a support for the defenders of this area. The enemy unsuccessfully counter-attacks and is pushed back to its starting positions. Second Lieutenant "Henryk"'s name was Kazimierz Barszczewicz.
28th August, 1944
The situation in the entire Old Town is tragic. The defended area is extremely squeezed (green line on the plan). Lack of water, overcrowded hospitals with wounded soldiers and civilians. Civilians suffers in the cellars, dying from fires and bombs. Despite this defeat, the spirit is impeccable and indeed heroic. Male civilians help to fight the fires, with moving supplies and carrying the wounded. Women help in hospitals and organise self-help for people in shelters. Every shelter has its own Anti-Aircraft Defence committee (OPL) which helps people with many aspects of their lives during the ongoing fight. OPL commanders of houses and blocks of flats generally met a problem and carried out the duties with no complains. Considering the overall situation, the Commander of the "North" Group decides to leave the ruins of the Old Town to the enemy in order to ease up civilians the further suffering. 29th August, 1944
It is decided to evacuate armed soldiers to Downtown. At night, insurgent units supposed to breakthrough to Downtown starting their action at the Bank of Poland at Bielańska Street. The action scheduled for 11 p.m. is delayed and the first wave starts its action at 2.30 a.m. of 28th-29th August. This delay was caused by unpunctuality of the Major "Sosna" Group which task was to charge and seize the Radziwiłł Palace. On Colonel "Wachnowski" order all units are to quickly return to their previously held positions.
During the breakthrough action, the "Broda" unit under the command of Major "Jan" moved out from the area of the Bank of Poland and reached Bankowy Square. Major "Jan" and his adjutant "Brat" (Cichociemny paratrooper) are killed at the beginning of the attack. The command is taken over by Lieutenant "Jerzy" (The commander of both, the "Zośka" Battalion Commander and the "Broda"). The unit reaches Senatorska Street, and a church at Senatorska Street, and then the action gets stuck and can not move forward without the support of other units whose attacks have failed. "Jerzy" gathers the unit and decides to hide for the day time in the ruins of the "Blue Palace" and then try their luck when the night falls. At night of 29th-30th August, the unit gets through the German posts and their defence line in the Saski Garden, reaches the ruins of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and jumps through Królewska Street and reaches the Polish positions in the area of Zielna Street.
At the same time, within the breakthrough action, a designated unit of the "Czata 49" battalion under the command of Lieutenant "Motyl" was to perform an ambush. The unit was to come into the sewere at Daniłowiczowska Street and come out of the sewer in the Bankowy Square area. Punctually at the required time (night of 28th-29th) a force composed of 25 soldiers comes into the Bankowy Square near the fountain located opposite side of Żabia Street. Due to insufficient recognition or unforeseen changes which happened in the last minute, it turns out that the manhole is located in the middle of camping Ukrainian soldiers. The surprise is mutual. A fierce battle takes place, in which almost all of the attackers are wounded. Lieutenant "Motyl" having no possibility to communicate with units advancing overground, decides to withdraw to the sewer. The unit retreats, taking away all the wounded. Using sewers, they headed for Downtown through the canal as the retreat to Daniłowiczowska Street was already cut off.
29th August, 1944
Fights were taking place on the street and the sewer exit was under constant fire. After an unsuccessful attempt to break through Downtown, Lieutenant "Osa" of the "Kiliński" battalion, at "Radosław" behest, who along with the "Leśnik" unit was previously assigned to the "Radosław" Group, as the first takes position at Kościelna Street and Mostowa Street. As the second are taken positions by Lieutenant "Topolnicki", the quartermaster of "Broda", who takes over the command of the "Broda" remnants. Around 6.30 a.m. the gathering point of the breakthrough units at the Bank of Poland, Hipoteczna Street and the Passage of the City Cinema is bombarded by the grenade launchers, and around 7 a.m. we experience the first Stukas bombardment. Separation of the gathering point designated for units that were trying to fight their way to Downtown, caused great losses. In that area apart from the armed soldiers, there were unarmed soldiers and literally the entire hospital. Sick people, severely and lightly wounded,... and on stretchers, civilians - all of them were crowded in a small area between Długa Streets, Hipoteczna Street and Daniłowiczowska Street. There was an unspeakable mess and panic. 30th August, 1944
The gendarmerie unit under the command of the self-proclaimed Major (?) "Bari" or "Bary" was unable to control the situation. He was increasing the panic by using rough methods towards people. It should be considered as a miracle that there was no tragedy there. If the Germans that night had attacked or directed the grenade launchers or artillery fire on that spot, it would have been such a massacre that the living leg would not leave the Old Town. Undoubtedly, the problem was that the order was to be maintained by a man who was known to be a self-proclaimed commander, and his soldiers' profession was banditry.
At 8 o'clock the "Radosław" Group Command, including "Radosław", gathers on 7 Długa Street. Considering the unsuitability of the place for commanding purposes, makes "Radosław" relocate the command to the buildings of the Fuchs factory at 18 Miodowa Street. On this day, aerial raids take place regularly every 15 minutes. Tanks are advancing from the Castle Square. The enemy tries to break in into the insurgents' defensive area from all direction. All these attempts were repelled. A defensive section commanded by Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" is divided into two parts. The western part, from the 16 Długa Street building to the Church of St. Jack, is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel "Tur", who came from Downtown and took up the post of the deputy commander of the "Radosław" Group on 25th of August. The north-east part commanded by Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" stretched from Mostowa Street, through the ruins between Brzozowa Street and Podwale Street, Miodowa Street up to Długa Street. A company of flame throwers of "Leśnik" unit was then incorporated into the "Radosław" Group (the flame throwers company commander, Lieutenant "Haliński" got killed during the bombing of PWPW). The company is now commanded by War Time Lieutenant "Sław". Apart from two flame throwers, the company had no any other equipment, so they were the personnel of internal barricades. There is a great lack of water, especially in hospitals. The food is based on tinned meat, Fuchs biscuits and candies, bread and hot food is a complete rarity. There is a great lack of dressings. There is a big problem with fleas among soldiers. Positions were held despite the constant bombardments, harassing artillery and grenade launchers fire. The Old Town lies in a complete ruin. The entire Old Town is on fire. All churches are destroyed except for the church opposite Mostowa Street. Evacuation of the wounded (lightly wounded) and unarmed soldiers through sewers to Downtown goes on.
30th August, 1944
Situation has generally not changed. German planes with an accurate punctuality, every 15 minutes come over and continue destroying the Old Town. Bombs hit the church of St. Jacek, where is about 1600 wounded there, the same way are destroyed houses at Długa Street where are the wounded (7,8 and 10 Długa Street). 31st August, 1944
31st August, 1944
The evacuation of the Old Town continues. Civilians with no passes allowing to come into the sewers illegally mix up with soldiers. Everyone considers it as the gendarmerie's fault. There are even abuses. "Radosław" personally intervenes regarding the evacuation of his soldiers at Colonel "Wachnowski". Orders and regulations of Colonel "Wachnowski" are sabotaged by the gendarmerie commander, Major "Bari" who lets his protégés get into the sewers. "Radosław" has to send an armed patrol under the command of Captain "Horodyński", who had to make his way through crowds of civilians, to position the "Czata" and other units of the "Radosław" Group in the queue at the entrance to the sewer. There were frequent cases of taking backpacks and weapons from soldiers by the gendarmerie, and then all the valuable things were removed and stolen. Such cases were tolerated by the gendarmerie commander "Major" Bari. The day passed without special events on the defence lines. 1st September, 1944
1st September, 1944
Evacuation continues. By a happy coincidence, no bomb hit the area around the sewer entry. These days, the Old town is one big sea of flames. The civilian population sensing the capitulation of the Old Town on that day, more and more vigorously approaches the sewer entry; civilians at certain points without any permission cross the defensive lines and come over to the German side following the call announced through the PA's placed on tanks. Germany carry out a heavy attack at Barokowa Street, Krasińscy Garden and Długa Street. All attacks were repelled with particularly severe losses on the enemy side, especially in the Krasiński Garden area. The evacuation was officially ordered. The order of the evacuation was agreed. "Radosław" Group is in the rear guard. The agreed evacuation order is not going according to the plan due to the delay of certain units. The time for evacuation is prolonged. Particularly an awful chaos arises after the departure of "North" Group Command. Major "Bari" and his soldiers who supposed to be the very last unit to enter the sewer, uses every opportunity to get into the sewer. And he does succeed as he comes into the sewer even before the wounded "Radosław". This attitude of the gendarmes evokes a great indignation among the soldiers. Everyone [...] himself [
] safety, and at the same time can see that units that suppose to ensure the order, after a heavy loot, forcefully move into the sewer. Major "Bari" in order to get rid of queuing soldiers, sends the soldiers arriving at their evacuation time to the sewer entry at Krasińscy Square, to another entry Daniłowiczowska Street, which has been out of use for more than 6 hours and already guarded by Germans. At night of 1st-2nd September, the last units of the "Radosław" Group leave the Old Town and through sewers move Downtown. Colonel "Radosław" leaves about 6 a.m. the Rear guard units leave about 8 a.m. An epic of the Old Town is over. The civilian population of the Old Town stays behind having von dem Bach's insurance of safety announced in leaflets thrown into the area and a huge number of seriously wounded or wounded in their feet who could not walk on their own. We managed to evacuate our seriously wounded commanders: Major "Bolek", Captain "Sawa", Captain "Pal" (Bryl), Lieutenant "Jeremi". All of them on stretchers, carried by Jewish volunteers, released form Gęsiówka joined our quartermaster unit. The wounded left in the Old Town group in hospitals in the Church of St. Jacek at 7 Długa Street, the "Pod Krzywą latarnią" at Podwale Street and 23 Długa Street. However, there are small hospitals in every building and basement which shelter the wounded civilians. There were about 500 wounded of the "Radosław" Group at 23 Długa Street. Dr. Przemysława (Maternowska) takes up the post of the head of the hospital and volunteers to stay and look after the wounded the military doctors fled. Before the uprising, she was the head of the Underground communication of the Kedyw of the Head Command. Many wounded Germans were at the hospital at Długa Street. According to later news, the hospital was bombed again (the first bombardment took place on 20th August) and many of the wounded got killed. Germans, once captured the hospital, did not kill kill or torture any patient of the hospital probably because there were also German wounded soldiers at the hospital, completely opposite Germans' behaviour was observed at other hospitals, for example 7 Długa Street. 3rd, 4th and 5th September, 1944
3rd, 4th and 5th September, 1944
After coming out of the sewers in Downtown, the "Radosław" Group receives accommodation in the Downtown-South area, in the villas at 35-39 Al. Ujazdowskie. There is a time of short rest and reorganisation of the units. Some of the wounded are admitted to hospitals, and those come back to us at the end of September, while some of the wounded stay with the units and heal their wounds without being in hospital and take active part in the Group's battles. Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" is to take over the newly formed sub-section of "Bliski Czerniaków", and the Group units are to strengthen the Polish garrison there. At this time, Germans increase their pressure on Powiśle after capturing the Old Town, and Powiśle unexpectedly cannot withstand the German advances and falls after the first attack. The fall of Powiśle writes an unpleasant scenario for the area we are going to. The comforting fact is that the Germans are losing in the Downtown area, insurgency units under command of Lieutenant Colonel "Sławbor" with the support of the "German planes" which bombarded the YMCA at BoIesław Prus Street, captured the building. This victory opens a better communication route with Czerniaków through Książęca Street. 5th September, 1944
3th September, 1944, Lieutenant Colonel "Tur" in the company of the quartermasters leaves for Czerniaków. In the meantime, the communication route through Książęca Street is closed as a result of seizing the building of French Embassy and the Pniewski Villa by German soldiers. Our soldiers must react and fight in order to open a new way to Czerniaków. The "Czata" battalion recapture the French Embassy during the night attack, and sizing the area up to the walls at the Senate Garden, units of "Stefan", "Osa" and "Szczęsny" take positions at the Hospital of St. Łazarz.
5th September, 1944
At night of 4th-5th August, the group comes over to Czerniaków. During the night march, several hundred soldiers walked under the noses of the enemy controlling the road from the heights of the buildings of the Ministry of Transport, the Municipal School and the National Museum, there was no losses among the insurgents and the activity was not detected by the enemy. It must be noticed that the road was not the easiest one as it ran through the slopes of the Vistula embankment, and at the back of buildings at Książęca Street attached to this scarp, the middle part was an open field which was controlled by the enemy from the abovementioned building and the viaduct of the Poniatowski Bridge. 10th September, 1944
A final reorganisation of the Command and the units of the "Group" takes place at Czerniaków. There are following changes within the Command: Lieutenant Colonel "Tur" takes up the vice-commander post, Lieutenant "Klara" and "Danko" - adjutants, Lieutenant "Bamaba" - 1st Staff Officer, Second Lieutenant "Komar" - 2nd Staff Officer, Captain "Kozłowski" - Information Officer, Captain "Gyf" - Sappers Commander, Captain "Pola" - Communication Officer, Lieutenant "Zremba" - Quartermaster, Second Lieutenant "Sław" - Security Unit Commander, who rebuilds this unit on the remnants of the flame throwers company, Captain "Horodyński" - Reserve Battalion.
The "Broda" is merged with the "Parasol" battalion under the command of Captain "Jerzy". The "Parasol" is commanded by "Jeremi"; the remnants of "Miotła" are incorporated into "Czata" under the command of Major "Witold"; the 3rd unit (battalion) is composed of the remnants of the "Leśnik" Group (companies of "Stefan" and "Osa") and units (companies) of Lieutenant "Szczęsny" and Second Lieutenant "Torpeda" which previously belonged to "Czata". This third battalion of the "Radosław" Group after taking part in the action of opening new communication route through Książęca Street, remains in the Hospital of St. Łazarz. The unit remained in this area until the end of the uprising, and Lieutenant Colonel "Sławbor" assign the unit under the command of Major "Sarna". This decision significantly weakened the "Radosław" Group forces. And separating the hospital of St. Łazarz from the Czerniaków defence system allowed to easier cut off the area from Downtown. There is no doubt that easy fall of the defensive positions in Powiśle also had its impact on this communication artery. The Group Headquarters and Sub-Section Command is located at 18/20 Wilanowska Street. Until now, this section was commanded by Captain "Kryska", the Resistance era commander of the WSOP in this area. He and his soldier are assign to Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław".
Number of soldiers: Headquarters, Quartermaster Unit and the Security Unit, together about 80 people. "Czata" plus remnants of "Miotła" about 200 people, "Broda" along with "Parasol" about 200 people, "Stefan" battalion (Janusz?) about 150 people, Reserve battalion about 200 people. Weapons: 80 percent or so have weapons, i.e. rifles and pistols, machine guns and pistols, but always grenades. Insufficient amount of ammunition, mainly the ammunition saved and brought from the Old Town. Units commanded by Captain "Kryska: about 1200 soldiers, only 30% of them are armed, small amount of ammunition. Solec: houses facing Wioślarska Street, extended towards the Poniatowski Bridge (73 Solec Street), Ludna Street (Post Office, Gasworks), the ZUS, 1-5 Książęca Street, Rozbrat Street to Szara Street manned by "Broda" and "Parasol", Rozbrat Street to Górnośląska Street, and then Fabryczna Street manned by "Czata 49" (reinforced with remnants of "Miotła"). From Górnośląska Street along Rozbrat Street, Łazienkowska Street (Blaszanka), Czerniaków Port (so-called Czerniaków Stronghold) up to Vistula bank manned by units of Captain "Kryska". "Radosław" took up the command over the entire forces, and was tactically responsible for the northern part of the sub-section, the southern sub-section was commanded by Captain "Kryska" until he sustain an injury.
The period from 6th to 12th September was relatively calm and allowed building the extension of the defence positions within Czerniakow Bliski, establish a grenade factory and for treating the lightly wounded soldiers who returned to the units. The grenade factory is organised by the Resistance era production manager, engineer "Jerzy", who along with his co-workers from the "Kedyw" Resistance cell "Cukiernia". The factory produced about 800 grenades with chemical and friction igniter (so-called sidolówki). This production was carried out until the end of defence of Czerniaków. The grenades played a major role in this defence, because the only support received from the Downtown-South command was 300 pieces of rifle ammunition and nothing else.
10th September, 1944
At the moment seeming calmness is only interrupted by rare aerial bombardments which last for a short time. Germans are busy defending Praga against the advancing Bolsheviks and spend less time pressing Czerniaków. We are passive witnesses of the Germans' fight with the Bolsheviks. Prague is covered with artillery fire, mine throwers, so-called Stalin's "organ" and Katyusha rocket launchers. Saska Kępa seen through binoculars, looks deserted, there is no sign of life. German artillery has its positions tt the viaduct of Poniatowski and at the beginning of the bridge on the Praga bank. Part of the cannons located in Praga is directed to Czerniaków. The enemy escalates its activities from the direction of the streets: Łazienkowska, Rozbrat near Myśliwiecka and the port of Czerniaków. Units of Captain "Kryska" commanded on those sections by Captain "Tur" and Captain "Tum" repelled the attack. Communication with Downtown is maintained by runners, who with great dedication pass through Książęca Street to get to Aleje Ujazdowskie to the Lieutenant Colonel "Sławbor"'s Headquarters. At night of 10th-11th August, the section is visited by the Operations Officer, Captain "Lewar", from the Downtown-South Headquarters. He informed us that our 3rd battalion together with a part of the sub-section (Książęca Street, the French Embassy) was excluded from Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław"'s command and assigned to Major "Miłosz" (or "Sarna"?). This decision significantly weakened our defense system, because the only artery connecting us with Downtown was incorporated into the defense system of people who are less interested in defending and keeping the area than we are, being located in Czerniaków Bliski. At night, Germans strengthen their efforts on this only connection with Downtown. 11th September, 1944
11th September, 1944
Fights throughout the day. Ongoing German advances from the direction of the National Museum towards Gasworks and Solec Street. During the day, we experience several aerial bombardments by Stukas and harassing fire of artillery and grenade launchers. At night, runners bring large amounts of hand grenades, so-called sidolówki, with a fuse made of the storm match. They come from the production plant of Lieutenant Colonel "Filip", who works with the "Kedyw" officer, Second Lieutenant "Wacek", who looks after our Group. Escalation of the struggle at Praga. Soviet bombers are active. We observe fighter aircrafts fight over Praga. Communication with Downtown and Mokotw sustained. On this direction, we use so-called Mokotów storm sewer, scouted by sewer specialists, so called "sewermen", among whom are Jews who survived the occupation in sewers. Sappers of the Reserve Battalion and "Kryska" unit build trenches which provide access to the sewer at Solec Street. For now, we use a sewer at Zagórna Street. The lack of ammunition is percitable. Lieutenant Colonel "Daniel" sends 1500 pieces of ammunition which is brought over thrugh sewer by "Broda". Another similar patrol sent Downtown to buy ammunition from the rear units (PAL, AL) had no luck as there were bombed at, and stuff that meant to be exchanged for ammunition (Warsaw alcohol) was destroyed though boys saved their lives. 12th September, 1944
Fate of the civilian population is getting worse. There is a lack of water, wells in the yards are working. Food supplies from Społem warehouses does not cause any concerns yet. These were large quantities of pasta, vegetable products (tomatoes) and marmalade. 40 tons of pasta is carried by volunteers at night through Książęca Street to Downtown. Meat stocks are supplemented with local horses, which are slaughtered under the supervision of the quartermaster.
12th September, 1944
Escalating activities to connect with Downtown. Stukas bombardment happens more and more often. The fights for Prague becomes ferocious. Czerniaków is under fire of heavy railway mortars. 13th September, 1944
13th September, 1944
We experience a very tough day. Repeated Stukas bombardment in the morning and afternoon. Around 9.30 o'clock a house where the Headquarters resided is hit. Two half-tone bombs destroyed two opposite wings of the house and caved-in the exits from the shelter. For a few hours the Headquarters is caved-in. Civilians help digging up the basements entries. Two officers suffered the concussion, two soldiers of the Security Unit die in the rubbles. In the afternoon, Germans blow up the Poniatowski Bridge and the Railway Bridge, and leave Praga moving north (Legionowo, Zegrze). Berlingowcy units break into the Powiśle through the Kierbedź Bridge and being unable to hold the positions there, they are taken prisoner. The French and the Chinese Embassies and the Pniewski Villa fall. Szpital św. Łazarza is holding. Houses at the ZUS and 1-5 Książęca Street repel the enemy advances. Communication route with Downtown through ul. Książęca Street s broken. "Radosław" orders the sewer evacuation of the wounded and sick to Mokotów. "Parasol" loses his posts at Solec Street, the Post Office building at Ludna Street and the Gasworks area. The line Ludna-Solec from Ludna to the south, Rozbrat-Łazienkowska-Port Czerniakowski is maintained. We held the southern defence line, Ludna-Solec Streets, Rozbrat Street- Łazienkowska Street-the Czerniakowski Port. 14th September, 1944
14th September, 1944
Some of the wounded, sick and unarmed soldiers, under the command of Captain "Horodyński", Lieutenant "Danka" and "Barnaba" leave for Mokotów at night. Runners brought from Lieutenant Colonel "Daniel" of Mokotów more ammunition, while the Mokotów Commander, Colonel "Karol", refuses in writing to give any help in ammunition. It is typical because Mokotów had large stocks received from the drops and brought over by forest units that broke through there from the Kabacki forests. Sad fact was that when Colonel "Karol" left Mokotów, we found at his quarters stocks of weapons and amuntion so large, that even if they had shared with us only small part of the stocks and sent those to Czerniaków, we could have prolonged the defense of this district for a few more days. 15th September, 1944
The Headquarters relocates to Okrąg Street. Captain "Kryska" relocates to houses at 14 Zagórna Street to be closer to the units he commands. We are under fire of railway mortars, artillery and grenade launchers throughout the whole day. German advances from the south escalate. The "Czata" Commander moves his units along Rozbrat Street up to Fabryczna Street in order to support units of Captain "Kryska". After the bombardment of the church at Łazienkowska Street, in the basements of which a large number of civilians was hidden (heavy losses), the enemy advances with support of tanks and Goliaths and capture the "Blaszanka" and the "Czerniaków Fortress". The advancing units compose of the SA and Ukrainians. The defense line along Łazienkowska Street is completely razed to the ground by the Stukas' bombs. Captain "Kryska" shortens the defense line from Solec Street, through Mączna Street, Fabryczna Street, then along Rozbrat Street, Ludna Streets and Solec Street, and manned the line with soldiers of the "Radosław" Group. The lack of ammunition is percitable. Losses in killed and wounded are very large, especially among soldiers of Captain "Kryska"; Captain "Tur" and "Tum" are wounded. The PAL and AL units, operating at Łazienkowska Street, spend time on drinking in the near buildings of the Warsaw Rectification and cannot withstand the enemy advance initiated from the Legia pitch and part of the unit desert and the other part escapes through the sewers to Mokotów.
15th September, 1944
In the morning, a patrol of the Berling Army arrives on the assault boat under the command of a Cadet Officer, former soldier of the Polish Home Army of the Lublin region, who was forced to join the communist army. The Cadet Officer is wounded. He's brought on stretchers by three German prisoners, who were taken prisoner by this patrol on a ship-marina at Wioślarska Street. The patrol was sent to determine who occupies the area and how many soldiers are there in Czerniaków. "Radosław" sends a patrol composed of "Czata" soldiers to establish communication with the commander of the Dąbrowski Division which is located in Saska Kępa (gen. Swierczewski). Heavy fights throughout the entire day. Germans break in into 1-5 Książęca Street, displace the "Broda" soldiers from the Gasworks, and break in into buildings at 14 to 15 Czerniakowska Street and 210, 208 and 204 Czerniakowska Street. Subsequently, Germans are repelled from there by a platoon of "Broda" under the command of Lieutenant "Szczerba", who gets killed during the attack, and a platoon of Lieutenant "Topolnicki". Ukrainians managed to drive out civilians of those houses. In the south, the enemy with the support of tanks pushes the remnants of the "Kryska" unit, commanded by his chief of staff, Major "Bicz", to Zagórna Street. Fires are raging. Germans ablaze Fabryczna Street and Górnośląska Street as well as a piece of Czerniakowska Street they occupy. We lose the sewer entry at Zagórna Street. Constant bombing by Stukas. The lack of water becomes a big problem. A large number of wounded. 16th September, 1944
16th September, 1944
At night of 15th-16th first units of Berlingowcy under the command of Russian Lieutenant Konenkow land in Czerniaków, 2 companies which landed on the left bank brought 2 anti-tank cannons with plenty of ammunition (grant of 2000 pieces of ammunition for every heavy machine gun, 700 for a machine gun, 400 for a rifle), several machine guns (Soviet Maksim), the PTR section - antitank guns (6 pcs.) and 1 reconnaissance platoon with about 30 men armed only with the "pepesza" machine guns. Berlingowcy are poorly trained soldiers, with no desire to fight, and completely unprepared for the fighting in the city. They are commanded by the Russians, several young officers are the Poles, and those soldiers also show no desire to fight, and they are suspicious towards us, partisans, as they call us. The soldiers recruit from individuals displaced into Russia in 1941-1945, or from the Polish eastern regions recently taken over by Russians, i.e. Tarnopol, Lwów and Lublin. Training time for officers is about half a year, and for privates up to 6 weeks. Captain "Motyl" takes up the command over the foothold and the landing of Berlingowcy. After numerous negotiations, Berlingowcy agree to take positions at a designated section. By the morning they are at post. Crossing operation through the Vistula is done very clumsily. There is visible the lack of specialists to operate the pontoons. Soldiers approaching the embarkment point for boats and pontoons behave so loudly that alert Germans who immediately put the fire of their artillery and mortars on the shore of Saska Kepa, Solec Street and the Vistula. Heavy machine guns located in the area of the Poniatowski Bridge and the Syrena Bridge effectively lock the crossing through the river. Losses among the cossing soldiers are huge. Among others, vice-commander of the regiment gets killed while crossing the river. The characteristic is the lack of senior commanders, who according to stories told by the landing soldiers, drink to celebrate the seizure of Prague and do not have time to participate in the landing. For example, battalion is commanded by Lieutenant, a Russian. Throughout the whole time of our cooperation, only one staff officer managed to cross the river and land on the Warsaw bank, "the chief of staff of the regiment" Major Łatyszonok (political officer of the regiment), then none of the high rank commanders crossed the river. That fact was causing great difficulties in cooperation, as Berlingowcy did not want to fight under the insurgency command, relating to the lack of decisions and orders from the top. The fight and life itself solved the problem. Fighting together, officers and soldiers, shoulder to shoulder, made soldiers trust each other, which led to choosing Captain "Motyl" of "Czata" to be the battalion commander, after Second lieutenant Konenkow's death, and that nomination was approved via radio by the commander of the Dąbrowski division. 17th September, 1944
That night, Lieutenant Colonel "Kmita" leaves for Praga, the Colonel resided at the Group's Headquarters as a convalescent with a mission to establish contact with the command of Berlingowcy, and even reach Marshal Rokosowski. Lieutenant Colonel "Kmita" was provided with an appropriate letter from Lieutenant Colonel "Radoslaw" and information about the location of the "Radoslaw" Group and the enemy, as well as a request for support. The main reason for this request was the state of the narrowed foothold, lack of ammunition and food. That night begins drops from so-called "terkotki" - planes similar to our RWD 8 planes. They provide us with weapons, food and Russian ammunition. Containers are dropped without parachutes or equipment is dropped in ordinary sacks. So it comes into our hands destroyed. Russian support is minimal as well as our benefit.
Medical Services: medical services are commanded by Doctor "Brom" of "Broda", as the previous medical services chief of "Kedyw", Major "Skiba" left the Old Town and moved to Zoliborz back in August. Hospitals are situated at 2A and 6 Okrąg Street and ZUS, Zagórna Street and Solec next to Syrena, excluding several medical points. There's a lot of wouded. The lack of dressings is perciptable. During the day the enemy breaks in into another points of defense. Germans use tanks and tankettes carrying explosive (used while charging and capturing the BGK buildings at Fabryczna Street and Rozbrat Street) and Goliaths. Our defense system is squeezed within the streets: Zagórna-Czerniakowska-Ludna-Okrąg-Solec. The ZUS crew hardly repels the attacks. During the day we observe the Soviet anti-aircraft artillery and their fighters, which successfully the German planes escape. German planes no longer bother us as often as before which is a big relief.
17th September, 1944
Another units of Berlingowcy arrive at night. Among the arrived soldiers there are two artillery reconnaissance officers who brought radios for fire direction. Arrival of 8 delegates of military and civilian authorities, among others, Captain "Wania" (Cichociemny paratrooper) and a Soviet officer Captain "Kaługin", who come with the task of reaching Marshal Rokossowski and establish cooperation. During the day, heavy fire of artillery, mortars and grenade launchers, rare air raids pacificated by the Soviet anti-aircraft artillery. Attacks from all directions, supported by tanks and Goliaths. We lose the ZUS building and as a result of the German advance from Szara Street, the corner of Czerniakowska Street and Wilanowska Street defended by Berlingowcy. The enemy captures the Społem and breaks in into our defensive positions. Our losses are huge. No officers. The Headquarters officers command the platoons and sections at the points of resistance. 18th September, 1944
18th September, 1944
Further landings at night. All together arrived: 2 battalions, 7 anti-tank cannons. In numbers - about 500 people. Very weak as soldiers and untrained, completely unable to withstand the heavy street fighting in the city. They abandon the given positions even when the enemy does not advance too fiercly. Their Commander Major Łatyszonok has arived. Delegation to Rokossowski sailed away. The wounded are being evacuated, among others, Captain "Kryska", badly wounded in the leg. Very tough day. Germans cut in half our defense at Wilanowska Street. The PAL gendarmerie under the fire of tanks abandons the buildings at 6-8 Wilanowska Street. Lieutenant "Sław", the Security commander, gets killed. The attack threatens to destroy the last point of resistance in the Czerniaków Bliski by breaking into it from the direction of Ludna Street to the back of the house at 18/20, 22, 24 and 2A Okrąg Street. The remnants of the Reserve battalion under the command of Second Lieutenant "Klara"stop the attack holding positions at 12-14 Wilanowska Street that remain in our hands until the end of Czerniaków defense. The Soviet artillery fire a little bit ease up our defense efforts, well guided by officers located in the building at 5 Wilanowska Street. At night of 17th -18th the "Czata" and "Broda" platoons under the command of Captain "Motyl" attack the Syrena, the attack is carried out in order to extend the foothold and capture the Vistula sandbank with the Syrena Club. The attack was partially successful, because the sandbank was not captured. There was a plan of the evacuation of soldiers from Czerniaków to Saska Kepa with the help of kayaks, old stuff found in the Czerniaków Port and the rope drawn through the Vistula River, which was to serve as an aid for soldiers. This unreal plan failed because our soldiers did not capture the sandbank and also because new units of Berlingowcy appeared on the left bank Warsaw which meant thee was hope for help. 19th September, 1944
19th September, 1944
At night fires reach our position. The hospital at 4 Okrąg Street is on fire. Unusually tough day. After breaking holes, with the help of 2 Goliaths, in the building of Wilanowska Street corner of Okrąg Street, Germans break into the building. Hand-to-hand combat and grenade fights take place inside the building. Germans were driven out of the building in the evening, but a part of the building is on fire. The Group Headquarters relocate to the building at 5 Wilanowska Street, after scouting the way by the Group adjutant. The road was broken during the day and controlled by the enemy from the Spolem and buildings at 10, 8, 6 Wilanowska Street. The enemy threw out the remnants of the "Kryska" unit from Zagórna Street. Those units carry on fighting in buildings at 41, 43 and 27 Solec Street. Still active resistance points: 2A, 6 and 8 Okrąg Street, the PKO building, Okrąg Street, Ludna Street, 24, 22, 20/18 and 12/14 Wilanowska Street and on the opposite side of the street 1-5 Solec Street up to Zagórna. At night arrive a Liaison Officer "Swan" informing about a new sewer route to Downtown, and coming help and ammunition. She sustains a wound on her way back and further communication with Downtown gets broken. Evacuation of the wounded to Praga and Mokotów continues. Wounded Sznica sails away with a group of slightly wounded, leaving his weapon with Słoń. Remnants of "Parasol" under the command of Lieutenant "Mirski", as "Jeremi" is seriously wounded, fight in buildings at Ludna Street and Okrąg Street. "Broda" Quartermaster, Lieutenant "Topolnicki", is wounded. The commnder of the building defense at 2A Okrąg Street is Second Lieutenant "Komar" of the Headquarters. The commnder of the building defense at 24 and 22 Wilanowska Street is Lieutenant Zaremba, the Group's Quartermaster. At 18/20 Wilanowska Street - Captain Kozłowski, Heavy Machine Guns Unit is commanded by Second Lieutenant "Morek", buildings at 1-3-5 Wilanowska Street - Captain "Jerzy" and Captain "Motyl". Positions along Solec Street are manned by Berlingowcy, "Czata" and the remnants of "Kyska" unit. Second Lieutenant "Andrzej Morro" gets killed at the barricade at Wilanowska Street. Beautiful body shape of born commander; awarded the Cross of Virtuti Militari and the Cross of Valour: alumnus of the "Kedyw" underground school of cadets. Memory of him shines up the heroic combat history of the "Radosław" Group. Heavy fights throughout the whole day. German attacks are repelled thanks to the Soviet artillery support, firing very accurately and reacting right after the coordinates were given through the radio. 20th September, 1944
20th September, 1944
Fights last the whole day, but the enemy was not able to achieve anything. The Berling's soldiers became seasoned soldiers and resist bravely. However, they suffer huge losses because they do not know how to properly hide. Air raids stopped, but the artillery fire intensifies, and stops only when the enemy infantry advances our positions. The Soviet artillery cooperates efficiently. New units are no longer landing. No ammunition, food and water. Shelters are crowded with civilians who heroically endure the tragedy of war. There are dramatic talks with the Soviet command, which praise on the radio the heroic resistance of the insurgents and a handful of Berlingowcy, but give no real help, whether in ammunition and food, or in the form of soldiers that would relieve our soldiers fighting with Germans nonstop for three weeks now. There are various promises that the whole regiments and divisions with tanks will land, but no help is coming. During the day we observe the smoke over the Vistula, they talk about the landing operation in Siekierki, which was repelled by Germans. Tired soldier has hallucinations and sees Soviet tanks coming to help. Unfortunately, those are only and still German tanks supporting the infantry advance. 21st September, 1944
21st September, 1944
The situation is not improving. Lack of ammunition and grenades with us and Berlingowcy, among whom there are cases of escape through the Vistula. Major Łatyszonok promises help, dragging the time of its arrival from hour to hour. Germans attack throughout the whole day, they threw us out of buildings at Okrąg Street and 24 and 22 Wilanowska Street. Our defense is compressed to buildings at 20/18, 12/14 and 1-3-5 Wilanowska Street and a small piece of the Vistula bank between Solec and Syrena. All the "Radosław" Group officers are wounded, Major "Witold", the "Czata" commander, is ill. The enemy approaches around 15-20 metres from our positions. The Soviet anti-tank grenades, which we throw, and the heavy machine guns fire causes a bloody mess among the enemy ranks, they throw Ukrainians and Kalmyks to attack us, and those sustain terrible losses every time they approach our positions. Despite repelling the attacks, our situation is hopeless. "Radosław" conducts talks with the Soviet command, which through Major Łatyszonok promises a support for our soldiers which suppose to land 21: 9 to 24 hours. There are dramatic moments. Soldiers are almost half-conscious of fatigue. Complete lack of food, water and dressings. "Radosław" received a written notification from Major Łatyszonok at 1.00 on 22.9 that there will be only artillery support, and faces a hard decision to order a retreat from Czerniaków. "Radosław" informs the Soviet command that because they did not provide what they promised, the following action will be taken: a) evacuation of Czerniaków's defenders to Prague, or b) give effective help by midnight 21st September, he is forced to evacuate soldiers without any external support. And then one by one, between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. "Parasol", "Czata", Security Unit, the remnants of the Captain "Kryska" unit and the Headquarters staff led by Captain "Wacek" and lieutenant "Brzechwa" come into the sewer at Solec Street and head for Mokotów. We come out of the sewer in Mokotów around 7 a.m. at Wiktorska Street. "Radosław" realises the absence of Captain "Jerzy" and his soldiers of "Broda" battalion, Second Lieutenant "Polak", "Szary", the chaplain Father Paweł, medical points' staff and about 60 other soldiers. Apparently, a written order for evacuation, sent around 11 p.m. did not reach them. Patrols sent to Czerniaków are unable to come out of the sewer, because the area where the sewer entry is located is already occupied by Germans. Our soldiers located in buildings at 1-5, 14-18 Wilanowska Street fight on until 24th September. At night of 24th-25th September, Captain "Jerzy" with a unit of about 70 soldiers (most of them are Berling's soldiers) tries to break through the Frascati Gardens to Downtown. Only a few people managed to break through, the rest died or were captured, among those was Major Łatyszonok, who did not receive the help he promised to come... 22nd September, 1944
22nd September, 1944
The Group officers who earlier arrived to Mokotów were already assigned to the Mokotów units. Captain "Horodyński" took up the post of the Chief of Staff at Lieutenant Colonel "Waligóra" (Region V) and after Lieutenant Colonel "Waligóra" got wounded, Captain "Horodyński" becomes the sole commander of this section and as one of the last defenders of Mokotów, is taken prisoner on 27th September, 1944. 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th September, 1944
23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th September, 1944
The "Radosław" Group units take part in the defense of Mokotów. "Parasol" under the command of "Mirski and "Broda" under the command of "Tomek", at first occupy positions at school at Woronicza Street, then at Krasickiego Street, at Odyńca Street and Czeczota Street. Major "Witold" is preparing a plan to break through the "Radosław" Group soldiers towards Piaseczno and the forests in this area. Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" asked for permission for this action, and in return receives an order from General "Bór" to evacuate the remnants of the Group to Downtown. We experience heavy air raids in Mokotów. We suffer losses. A number of the Group soldiers does not exceed 150 soldiers. The enemy storms Mokotów with the support of tanks. The enemy air force benefits from the inclement weather, making it difficult for the Soviet anti-aircraft artillery to fight them, and supports the infantry advances. The section is squeezed to Puławska Street, Różana Street, Kazimierzowska Street and Odyńca Street. The Mokotów units, despite being perfectly supplied in weapons and ammunition (they received numerous air drops carried out by English and Soviet pilots), are inexperienced in combat and leave their positions without notifying the neighbouring units, that is what happened to "Parasol" left at Woronicza Street. 27th September, 1944
27th September, 1944
The Group comes in into the sewer at Szustra Street leaves Mokotów at 11 p.m. After a tragic and extremely difficult march, we arrive in Downtown around 6 a.m. We come out at Aleje Ujazdowskie, corner of Wilcza Street, near the Colonel "Sławbor" quarters. We receice a cold welcome, like deserters or fugitives, and what's worse, dirty, shabby and looking completely different comparing to elegant staff officers and officials of many Downtown-South commands. Units of "Karol" and "Daniel" are detained. "Radosław" was let go to quarters located at 3 Krucza Street without supplies. 28th September - 4h October, 1944
28th September - 4h October, 1944
Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" collects his survivors. The unit including reconvalescents and women is composed of 256 soldiers. All armed, but almost every has no ammunition. Supply fail. We receive the first hot food after 48 hours from arriving in Downtown. 2nd October, 1944
2nd October, 1944
Capitulation. The Epic of Uprising is over. "Radosław" gives a farewell order. It affirms the duty fulfillment of all soldiers, beginning with closing the German communication artery in the west of Wola, guarding the Headquarters in the Monopol and at Dzielna Street, guarding the organisation of the Uprising by fighting in the ghetto and the Old Town, defending the foothold at Czerniaków, until fights in Mokotów. The task, however, is not finished yet. Soldiers should keep their fortitude and readiness to continue fighting until the liberation of Poland, and then the proper task ahead of them - building the Great Poland. 3rd October, 1944
3rd October, 1944
Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław" accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel "Tur" and liaison officer "Irma" and escorted by his adjutant, left the ruins of the capital at 7 p.m. The Group soldiers in the number of around 200 marched out on the 4th at 10 a.m. to POW camp. They were in camps in Lamsdorf, Fallingbostel, Sandbostel, Murnau and Mosburg.
Written in 1945
by Major "Horodyński" and Lieutenant "Klara"
3rd of May, 1945, Murnau
The last insurgency command of Lieutenant Colonel "Radosław"
Our two-month battle for liberation of the nation has come into the final stage. Without any help, left on our own against the overwhelming technical advantage of the enemy, we stood our ground on the toughest posts: Wola - Stare Miasto - Czerniaków - this is the heroic combat route of your struggle, on which you resurrected the most valuable traditions of a soldier-Insurgent. During the two-month battle we never were defeated, always left our positions because of such orders and after we ran out last bullets. Our combat route, marked by hundreds of graves of our brothers in arms, became famous in the history of the August uprising and I am proud I commanded the bravest group of insurgents.
The fortunes of war and the orders make us to cease our fight, but the time will come again when bravely and shoulder to shoulder in one rank we will start our work for the dearest Poland. I say goodbye to you at this tough moment, and I am unable to list all those Heroes who were creating with their own lives the history of the Group. Among many the brave who made history I mention late Major "Jan" - "Broda" commander, late Captain "Niebora" - "Miotła" commander, late Captain "Bryl", late Lieutenant "Morro", late Lieutenant "Tatar", the commander's adjutant and many, many others. I also must emphasize devoted and heroic work of our women, who gave us example of enthusiasm, perseverance and devotion during the toughest combat circumstances. I thank all the unit commanders and privates for their efforts, and especially I wish to thank the "Broda" commander, Captain "Jerzy" and all the scouts battalion, Major "Witold" and "Czata 49" soldiers, Lieutenant "Jeremi" and the "Parasol" soldiers, Lieutenant "Szczęsny" and the "Miotła" soldiers, Captain "Irma" and group of combat runners, and within the high command, my deputy, Lieutenant Colonel "Tur" for commendable cooperation as well as adjutant "Klara" and all officers who with common effort created the history of the Group.
Soldiers! I had always been with you on the front line. Today, the fate divides us, however in my heart you will always remain my immediate and dearest family. I am deeply convinced that despite the tragic circumstances, our freedom is dawning, so don't give up hope as the future belongs to us.
Long live the dearest Poland!
Long live the President of Poland!
Long live the Commanding General of the Polish Army!
/-/ Lieutenant Colonel Radosław
Warsaw, 3rd October, 1944
translated by: Janusz Kocerba
Copyright © 2018 SPPW1944. All rights reserved.