August 31, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 31 - POLISH INSURGENTS EVACUATE OLD TOWN

The evacuation of insurgents was to have taken place at 1:00 am but was delayed.  It went ahead at 2:30 am. There was pandemonium in the streets as hysterical civilians searched for one another in the dark, and in the process inadvertently disrupted the assigned positions of platoons. They were finally subdued upon the orders of the Commanding Officer.

An order of evacuation was firmly established following a carefully timed schedule at half hour intervals. First the wounded descended into the sewers followed by some of the civilians; next units of insurgents without weapons, followed by 150 German POWs, and the last being armed Polish units. Shortly before it commenced, medical personnel searched basements and ruins in the area for any wounded who could be transported.  In desperation the Polish army had to leave behind the gravely wounded and the majority of residents in Old Town. The fear was that if even one man should die while going through the sewers, his body would block the narrow passage, thereby condemning to death all the other defenders. In an awful twist of fate, about 100 Polish insurgents and civilians who had evacuated via the sewers later emerged right inside a German compound and were shot on site. It was a suicide mission. Tragically, these courageous fighters knowingly gave their lives in an effort to divert attention from the other AK units making a break toward Centre City.

Sewer guides from after trip from Srodmiescie to Mokotow district at Malczewskiego 6 street. L-R:: Henryk Ziólkowski "Goral", Barbara Filipowicz-Tomaszewska "Barska", Jerzy Krzysztofowicz "Selim" and Janina Zaborowska "Rena"
Polish insurgent emerges from sewer into enemy hands

AK Command sent a radio message to Prime Minister Mikolajczyk. It echoed the hopelessness of a people in its final appeals to its allies. The message read, “We are afraid, that as in the case of the outbreak of the Uprising, (which could not be a surprise to the Government), the Government was not prepared either...militarily or in terms of international policies.” Despair was also prevalent in London. The President of the Council of Ministers of the Polish Government-in-Exile had broadcast a radio message today to the Polish insurgents via the BBC. He openly wept saying, “What else can I tell you, my beloved, than to pay homage...” The flow of radio messages has reached a feverish pitch as insurgents are desperate for air assistance from the Allies.
Col. Karol Ziemski

Last night the insurgents had made an attempt to link Srodmiescie with the Old Town. Several hours before the attack was to commence, about 100 soldiers of the “Czata 49” battalion reached Bankowy Square through the sewers. They were to attack the enemy from the rear. However, the insurgents failed to take the Germans by surprise. Polish losses were considerable. The planned attack from Bielanska Street started between 3 and 4 a.m. but collapsed under heavy German fire power. At 6:00 a.m. Col. Karol Ziemski  "Wachnowski" ordered a retreat.

During the day Polish defenders of the Old Town have been fighting back a general German assault supported with air raids. The bombing has caused severe losses to the ranks of the “Chrobry I” battalion, and destroyed its headquarters in the ruined Simonsa passage as well as a neighboring school building. Since morning German artillery fire on Sadyba has continued from several directions.

Srodmiescie troops commanded by Maj. Stanislaw Steczkowski “Zagonczyk” also failed to reach Bankowy Square. The insurgents seized the police barracks on Ciepla Street for a few hours and managed to push the enemy back from the Hale Mirowskie Market. However German forces launched a counterattack and forced the Polish fighters to retreat. The breakthrough operation collapsed.


Lt. John Ward
Lt. John Ward, a British soldier, and member of the AK has dispatched messages again today to London reporting on the insurgents desperate battle in Warsaw. The message reads as follows:

The situation in the city of Warsaw as a whole after one month of desperate fighting is practically unchanged. Many German strong-points have been taken by storm, but all the main enemy strongholds are still intact. Warsaw is truly a city of ruins and the dead are either buried inside the ruins or alongside them. The losses among the civilian population are very high. Today the German Air Force dropped a leaflet in which they stated that unless the fight were stopped at once, they would burn the whole city. They have been doing that for two weeks, there are now only ruins left to be burnt. Despite all set-backs, the lack of expected help and the heavy losses, the determination of the people to fight to the last man is as firm as ever. 1st September, 1944. In the other parts of the city the Germans are continuing their periodical air artillery and mine-thrower attacks. There are two kinds of mines in use, one is composed of half explosive and half incendiary material, and the other of pure explosive material. The list of casualties mounts daily. It is impossible to calculate yet just how high the losses of human life are. Thousands of people have been taken out from the city by the Germans, thousands more are cut off from any communication with parts of the town occupied by AK, and thousands more are buried under the ruins of houses. In the large concentration camps formed by the Germans on the city outskirts tens of thousands of Polish people are starving to death, the enemy troops supplying them with no food whatever. All Polish military prisoners who fall into German hands are murdered.

The insurgents have suffered immense losses reaching over 300 people killed or wounded.  Buried in the ruins are about 300 people, among them about 120 soldiers of “Chrobry I”. The German troops ultimately seize the bombed out “Fiat” factory on Sapiezynska Street and thave taken up positions in Zakroczymska as far as Koscielna and the entry of Freta Street. The insurgents also lose Brzozowa Street. Since the Uprising began, this is the second bloodiest battle next to the attack on Gdanski Railway Station.

Heaven Shall Burn - Armia (00:05:51m)



An insurrection of the lost
With courage born from despair
An end for the years of anguish;
A battle in the heart of this nation
Uprising of the lost;
In the abyss between the worlds
They all averted their eyes
A home behind the enemies lines
They raped and burned our fatherland
We know that nothing shall remain; there's no tomorrow,
We'll bring it to an end; there's no tomorrow.
Uprising of the lost; the world averted it's eyes
Our souls scorched with our homes
But fitful we hold our ground
Ragged figures but brothers and sisters we are;
Through fields of debris we crawl
Red vultures awaiting our end
A home behind the enemies lines



August 30, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 30 - Polish attempt to break German Lines

Polish Insurgents Warsaw Uprising
Colonel Wachnowski has submitted a plan to General Bor recommending that AK units should attempt to break through German positions between the Old Town and City Centre. The plan was approved and during the night, AK units began the offensive. While one insurgent unit pushed through German positions from Old Town to the Centre City sector, the insurgents from Centre City sector began to push in the direction of Old Town. This was supposed to allow the two groups to hammer through German positions and reach the centre of Warsaw. 

The Polish attempt to connect the Old Town with City Centre failed. A German attack from Bielanska Street has caused heavy casualties of 150 insurgents and civilians.  Since morning German troops have renewed attacks on the Old Town.  Enemy fire was too great and has prevented the insurgents from getting through to Centre City. 

German artillery fire on Old Town
During the night Polnoc Group had entered the sewers and evacuated from Old Town to City Centre and Zoliborz. On recommendation of General Monter, the only means of saving the soldiers of Old Town is through evacuation through the sewers to Srodmiescie and Zoliborz. General Bor agreed. According to Monter only those people with weapons and ammunition should be allowed to evacuate because they would be needed for further fighting in addition to the lightly wounded.  The decision to leave behind the civilians and the severel
wounded was an extremely difficult one to make, but necessary. Evacuation is tomorrow at 1:00 a.m.


Polish Insurgent Emerging from Sewer

Polish soldiers after having marched through the sewers

Lt. John Ward
Lt. John Ward, a British soldier, and member of the AK has dispatched a message today describing the horrific battle raging in the Old Town. This is what he wrote:

The Old Town in the city of Warsaw is the scene of a terrific battle. All day long the German aircraft are flying over it at roof-top height and dropping their bombs. Fires are raging day and night without any hope of putting them out. Thousands of people have already been killed and the wounded are mostly dying owing to the lack of water, and the sanitary conditions. Practically every wound turns septic in 24-23 hours. Apart from air bombing there is a continual bombardment going on from mine-throwers.



Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary
In the evening insurgent troops were redeployed and are preparing to break through from Bielanska Street towards the Hale Mirowskie Market and Zelazna Brama Square. Designed to support the offensive is a simultaneous attack of Srodmiescie troops from Grzybowska and Krolewska Streets. The operation is intended to establish a “corridor” facilitating the complete evacuation of the wounded and civilians to Srodmiescie. The insurgents  have recaptured the lost positions in Teatralny Square – Blank’s Palace and the front part of the City Hall - as well as the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in the New Town. Heavy struggle goes on for Bielanska Street.

Meanwhile, the AL  High Command has also given the order to evacuate its men to the Zoliborz sector. They had informed the AK who firmly refused to accept the decision. Most of the AL staff had been killed during the bombings. In August there were 500 AL soldiers (Armia Ludowa) in the Old Town (in comparison to a total of 1,500 to 2,000 in Warsaw) and another 500 soldiers in reserve and other services. The AL was defending two barricades while the AK defended forty-three.

Medics from Nalecz Battalion help wounded insurgent on 55 Chmielna Street.. Sources unclear. Identity may be Henryk Mirowski "Dab" or Ryszard Gluchowski "Jaworzak". L-R: Tadeusz Blazynski "Swida", Andrzej Razniewski "Krzycki" commander of 3rd platoon. Kneeling: Piotr Osinski "Kaczanowski"; Henryk Lyżwinski "Czarny", Adam Bobr "Jaxa", Jerzy Bogdanowicz "Hercun", medic Krystyna Kamal "Szafranska", medic Maria Jezierska "Bogdanska",
leaning over a bag Elzbieta Skrzynska "Zabska".

German troops are shelling Srodmiescie from the ground and air. The bombing is particularly strong in the area of Ceglana and Zelazna Streets and Grzybowski Square, and also in Powisle. Also bombed was Sadyba, in particular Okrezna Street.

In Mokotow German attacks have started numerous fires on Raclawicka, Olkuska, Baluckiego and Kazimierzowska Streets. In the afternoon enemy planes bombed an overcrowded hospital building at 19 Chelmska Street.  It was shelled with flare missiles and immediately burst into flames. Many of the wounded and sick were killed in the attack.  Polish units spent many hours attempting rescue missions and suffered severe casualties.


U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull speaking with British Foreign
  Minister Anthony Eden

After a month of fighting, the AK has finally been recognized by the British and American governments as part of the Allied forces, officially at least. In a House of Commons address Anthony Eden declared that the members of the AK would be conferred the status of Allies and recognized as an integral part of the Polish Armed Forces in exile, with the protection afforded by the Geneva Convention. The Americans have made a similar statement.

The  BBC reported the news that His Majesty’s Government has granted war veteran rights to Warsaw AK units however added a warning that the allies will treat Wehrmacht soldiers the same way as insurgents that are taken hostage by the Germans in Warsaw. The Soviet Union however, persistently refuses to give recognition to the AK. 


DZIECIOM Warszawy 1944 (00:06:01m)




August 29, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 29 - German Troops Kill Elderly and Invalids

German tank in Old Town
Throughout the day German forces have been conducting air raids on the Old Town every fifteen minutes. Artillery fire has been very heavy and have destroyed the AK-manned Fiat works, and Blessed Virgin Mary’s Church. Despite the fact that the buildings are in ruins, control over them has changed hands repeatedly. The Germans have also captured a municipal shelter which houses the elderly and invalids and upon entering they shot all the occupants on sight.

Soviet armies are positioned at the Vistula, and as the month nears its end, German defences have stiffened. All four Russian fronts have received orders from Supreme Headquarters to assume defensive positions from Jelgava to Jozefow. In the past two months the soldiers of the Red Army have fought to exhaustion thereby causing a temporary suspension of offensive measures.

Russian Soldiers Smiling on the Vistula

German attacks are relentless as air raids and artillery fire on the Old Town continue.  Despite severe losses, troops of the “Zoska” and “Czata 49” battalions have managed to hold the ruined buildings of the Fiat factory on Sapiezynska Street. However the enemy has seized the ruins of the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, and the area between Wojtowska, Zakroczymska and Przyrynek Streets. German forces have further expanded their territory on Teatralny Square. As German units fight their way into the City Hall, Blank’s Palace, and the Canonesses Convent the insurgents have been putting up a strong defence in positions along Bielanska Street, the Simonsa passage and a school on Nalewki Street.

German soldiers hide out amid columns of Opera House, Warsaw

Last night in Srodmiescie Polish fighters succeeded in stopping a strong enemy attack from the Saski Gardens on the line of Krolewska Street. Since August 27th, Polish units under the command of Lt. Col. Boleslaw Gancarz “Gryf” have been fighting on barracks between Szwolezerow, 29 Listopada and Podchorazych Streets.Troops of the “Oaza” battalion and remnants of the “Jelen” command have merged forces and are engaging in very heavy battles in Sadyba.

Map of Mokotow District in Warsaw


Warsaw: West Srodmiescie on fire. Visible silhouette of PAST-a building

In Mokotow district, German troops have started bombing from the ground and air.In the ruined St. Elizabeth Sisters hospital on Goszczynskiego Street many of the wounded and a part of the staff have been killed in the bombing.


 Polish POWs murdered by German troops

The governments of Great Britain and the United States have announced their decision to grant the Armia Krajowa (AK) the Polish Home Army soldiers the same rights of war veterans, thus recognizing the AK's status as a regular part of the Polish Armed Forces.

Warsaw Uprising (00:5:37m)





August 28, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 28 - 1,600 Germans Attack Polish Stronghold

German Artillery

Just before dawn today, a German unit numbering 1,600 soldiers launched a final offensive on the insurgents holed up in PWPW, the Polish Factory of Securities. It is a veritable fortress that has withstood powerful attacks by the Nazis, as well as their fascist allies of RONA. Wounded insurgents have been sheltered in the basement, attended by field hospital staff, who are providing sanctuary for countless numbers of civilians.


Fighting was fierce between Polish and German forces thoughout the night and by 8:30 a.m. the German forces succeeded in storming the building. The Polish insurgents did not have a chance to escape. Within moments the Germans had massacred everyone in sight.



A couple of photos of Polish Wounded




















The City Centre Sector was shelled by mortar “Karl” again. Intense fighting ensues for Pocztowy Station, Bormann's factory and warehouses on Towarowa Street. During the night, Polish fighters stopped a powerful attack from Germans positioned at Saski Garden.

German 280mm railway artillery heavy mortrar "Karl"

In the Old Town, after a fierce struggle the Germans finally succeeded in taking over the State Securities Plant building on Sanguszki Street.  Amid the disastrous outcome, Col. Karol Ziemski  'Wachnowski" decided to break through to Srodmiescie. Strong enemy fire continues in the area especially on Napoleon Square along the northern stretch of Marszalkowska Street as well as on Swietokrzyska, Jasna and Sienkiewicza Streets.


German Stug III Ausf G assault gun fighting near Sanguszki
and Konwiktorska Streets Aug 28, 1944

Since last night Polish units under the command of Lt. Col Boleslaw Gancarz "Gryf" have been launching continuous attacks on the German barracks between Szwolezerow, 29 Listopada and Podchorazych Streets.  German artillery fire has escalated in intensity and the entire Gorny Mokotow area is being hit very hard.  Meanwhile German forces launched a ferocious atack on Sadyba.


Lt. John Ward
Lt. John Ward, a British soldier, and member of the AK has dispatched an urgent message today to the British Minister for Air. Here is what he wrote: 

Most urgent. Addressed to Sir Archibald Sinclair, Minister for Air:

Sir, in view of your kind message of the 20.8. and the extraordinary conditions, I take the liberty of addressing this radiogram direct to you.

Sir, the situation here in Warsaw is critical. We have not sufficient weapons and ammunition to carry out any offensive operations, and hardly enough for de fence. In a few days' time we shall not even have enough for de fence. Losses are colossal. There is hardly a house that has not been hit by artillery, mine-throwers or air bombs. The people of the city are beginning to despair. They see no help. The moral effect alone of a few R.A.F.: machines would be terrific. Supplies dropped on the outskirts of the city do not help us. We have no communication lines to the suburbs.

It is the centre of the city that mainly needs help.

Sir, the main things needed are: anti-tank weapons, hand machine-guns, grenades, and ammunition of all kinds in large quantities.

Sir, the anti-tank weapons of the type dropped by the GRAF proved most effective. Now we have not one projectile left. In the city there is no organized enemy air de fence. Suggest that each day is suitable but watch for the weather report.

Sir, it would be of great help if the Okecie aerodrome on the outskirts of the city could be bombed.

Sir, I am your obedient servant.


Polish troops of Baszta Battalion arrive in Sadyba with valuable captured weapons


Baszta Battalion



Godzina W - LAO CHE (00:03:05m)




August 27, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 27 - POLISH INSURGENTS CAPTURE INFAMOUS DIRLEWANGER GANG

Karol Jan Ziemski

Colonel  Karol Ziemski "Wachnowski" issued an order to his troops today concerning the deteriorating situation in the Old Town. He stated emphatically that “our position is such that we must commit ourselves to the utmost. Our task is to hold Old Town at any price....” Despite the firm resolve of the Colonel there were some desertions of fighters whose spirit has all but dissipated and much of the civilian population is desperate to evacuate the area. Col. Ziemski  has reorganized the defense of the Old Town and put Lt. Col. Jan Mazurkiewicz "Radoslaw" in command of the northern sector; the eastern sector is under the command of Captain Eugeniusz Konopacki “Trzaska”, and of the southern sector by Maj. Stanislaw Baszczak “Rog”. Maj. Gustaw Billewicz “Sosna” stays in charge of the western sector of the defense.


Polish units under the command of Captain 'Boncza' succeeded in foiling an attempt by German troops to blow up the Cathedral. Insurgents captured about 100 kg of explosives and took captives of the infamous SS brigade Dirlewanger.


Masked SS Dirlewanger units

SS Dirlewanger units

















The infamous Storm Brigade RONA has been withdrawn today due to strong pressure by General von dem Bach-Zelewski who considered the brigade too undisciplined and unreliable. But in reality the brigade had suffered very heavy casualties during the Warsaw Uprising and its remnants were sent further west where they were used against Slovak partisans. There are continuous reports of atrocities committed by this brigade against the civilians of Warsaw, the most horrific were the massacres at Wola and Ochota soon after the start of the Uprising.  The district became a veritable bloodbath, a killing ground.  From 40,000 to 100,000 Polish men, women and children were slaughtered, many tortured before death.


SS RONA troops battling Polish insurgents

The 9th German Army command has instructed Hungarian General Lengyell to formally contact General Bor to persuade him to stop the fighting, and reassured him that the Polish insurgents will be granted status as combatants. Lengyell asked his government for instructions and was told not to join the Poles but at the same time not to fight against them. Intelligence of the 9th German Army have noted that Polish insurgents are receiving some assistance from the south and there is the suspicion that Hungarian units based along the Vistula south of Warsaw are the source.

Squadron 1586 has dispatched six planes to fly over Warsaw with air drops. Only one plane has returned. There have been sorties every night since August 20th.

Insurgents manage to prevent the blowing up of St. John’s Cathedral, but the Cathedral ultimately stays in enemy hands. At the State Securities Plant, fierce fights continue for individual stories and parts of the building.

In Srodmiescie the enemy launched an afternoon attack along Walicow and Zelazna Streets, forcing the insurgents back from the line of Grzybowska Street. The Germans have seized the police barracks on Ciepla Street and have fortified their positions in the Zelazna Brama Square area.

Polish insurgents with heavy machine guns on balcony on Aleje Jerozolimskie Street 27 Aug 1944
Polish insurgent with makeshift periscope

Last night insurgents started an attack that had been carefully planned for the past ten days.  Under the command of Lt. Col. Boleslaw Gancarz "Gryf",  they attempted to link with units positioned in Mokotow and Srodmiescie but were repelled by strong German resistance. They failed to join with units of the "Kryska" group that is holding positions on the corner of Czerniakowska and Lazienkowska Streets. The barracks in the area of Szwolezerow, 29 Listopada and Podchorazych Streets held by enemy forces are blocking the way.  The insurgents were able only to seize the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth on Czerniakowska Street.  Lt. Col Jozef Rokicki "Karol" has ordered all units to maintain their positions and to be ready for redeployment for another attack later on in the evening.

President Roosevelt refuses help to the insurgents without the consent of the Soviet Union.At the Teheran Conference last November 1943 Roosevelt and Churchill had already decided the fate of Poland's borders and sovereignty when they ceded Poland to fall under the reign of Stalinist Russia. Moreover Roosevelts concerned that the concessions he made to Stalin concerning Poland would bear negatively on his campaign for re-election to the Presidency. With over 6 to 7 million Polish-American voters, he is unwilling to lose their vote.Recently a delegation from the Polish American Congress met with Roosevelt in Washington, and the President gave them his resounding assurance that Poland's independence would remain intact after the war. Displayed prominently on his office wall for this occasion was a large map of Poland showing the demarcation of its eastern border along the Riga Line, instead of the Curzon Line which is so coveted by Stalin.

Roosevelt with Polish American Delegation

World Leaders Meet In Iran (1943) (00:03:18m)






August 26, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 26 - WARSAW POLES LOSING TERRITORY

Polish boys in the Solec district

Polish insurgents fighting in Mokotow have tried to establish a connection with Upper Czerniakow but their efforts to break the German ring in the area of Lazienski Park have failed.

During the night two companies from the Baszta regiment succeeded in the capture of the Holy Family of Nazareth convent on Czerniakowska Street. The nuns, the injured and civilians were evacuated and have been taken to relative safety. Throughout the Nazi occupation the nuns conducted secret classes in defiance of Nazi edicts. Nazi Germany's inflicted its policy of cultural annihilation on the Polish nation, forbidding the continuation of Polish schools and universities on pain of death. During the past five years over 115 students managed to pass their final examinations.

Secret classes given by the nuns of Holy Family of Nazareth Convent in Warsaw WW2

At 12:30 a.m. General Bor, the Delegate of the Government and its staff descended into the city sewers. They entered through a manhole just 220 yards away from German positions. Four hours later they emerged in the Centre City sector. At this point in time, less than half a square mile of the Old Town remains in the hands of the Armia Krajowa (AK).

"Czterdziesty Czwarty" - Lech Makowiecki i Zayazd (00:03:35)



Polish units are defending about a dozen buildings, including the Old Arsenal, the Polish Bank, the Bastion of Holy Mary, St. John’s Cathedral, the hospital for the mentally ill, and Mostowski’s Palace.

 
Polish Insurgents attacking German units
Fighting has reached an intensity never seen before in the history of warfare. Polish and German units are in a stand to the death. One building has been attacked by the German eleven times and has changed hands seven times.

 
Germans launch barage of fire from 15 cm Sig 33 Howizer Warsaw Uprising
Air raids and artillery bombing of the Old Town continue. Despite incessant enemy attacks, the insurgents keep their positions in the Polski Bank on Bielanska Street, the ruined Simonsa passage on Dluga Street, the ruins of the City Hall and in the Blank’s Palace. They also fight back enemy attacks on barricades in Miodowa, Podwale, Piwna, Swietojanska and Kanonia Streets. Strong German pressure from the Vistula towards Brzozowa, Bolesc and Rybaki Streets continues. The insurgent troops are forced to retreat from the ruins of the “Quebracho” tannery on Bolesc Street and from the Jan Bozy Hospital. 

 
Warsaw Barricade
The northern part of Srodmiescie in particular the area around Panska, Twarda, Sliska and Sienna Streets have been under strong enemy fire. Sources indicate that the staff of the Warsaw District of the People’s Army, many soldiers and civilians have been buried beneath the ruins of a bombed house at 16 Freta Street.
Lt. John Ward
Lt. John Ward, a British soldier, and member of the AK has dispatched messages again today to London reporting on the days events in Warsaw. 

The message reads as follows: The Germans are continuing their campaign of murder in Warsaw. Three days ago two Polish prisoners came with a message from Gestapo headquarters in Such Avenue. The message was that the German troops who were in the post in Pius Street should be allowed to join Gestapo headquarters in Such Avenue. The Germans said that in exchange they would release some Polish prisoners and send some medical supplies. The request was, of course, refused. The two Polish people who brought the message say that the Germans have constructed a crematorium and are shooting and burning about 300 men daily. Up till the time these two people left Gestapo H.Q. 3,000 suits of civil clothing had been received into the German store. That means that 3,000 Polish patriots have already been brutally murdered. It is known that there are another 2,500 prisoners there, and that more are arriving every day. AK is powerless to prevent this brutal wholesale murder. They have not the special types of heavy weapons needed to attack such a heavily fortified stronghold as Such Avenue.


Despite the heavy losses of the Polish forces, the men and women of Warsaw refuse to give up. Sources indicate that the “Oaza” battalion has just been formed consisting of remnants of insurgent troops in Sadyba and is under the command of Captain Janusz Wyszogrodzki “Janusz". No further word regarding their actions.


 

August 25, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 25 - Polish Insurgents Escape Through Sewers


 


(3/5) Timewatch Battle for Warsaw World War II (00:10:00m)


During the night members of the AK have escaped from the Old Town Sector through the sewers and have made their way to the City Centre. In Mokotow, defence measures are being reorganized by the new district commander Col “Karol” . The Mokotow unit currently has about 5,500 soldiers, three thousand of which are fighting on the front lines. Ever more wounded insurgents, rear troops and a small group of civilians are leaving the Old Town through sewers and heading for Zoliborz.  With them are the city’s civilian administration with Deputy Prime Minister Jan Stanislaw Jankowski “Sobol” and Chairman of the National Unity Council Kazimierz Puzak “Bazyli” move to Srodmiescie.   

 
Polish Insurgents cross Warsaw via underground network of sewers
Polish Soldiers Escape Old Town through the city sewers
In the Old Town German forces continue to attack on the State Securities Plant buildings on Sanguszki Street. Polish insurgents from the “Lesnik” group have suffered severe losses. Polish forces have evacuated Warsaw civilians from buildings under their control. Heavy fighting continues for the Jan Bozy Hospital on Bonifraterska Street, the “Fiat” factory on Sapiezynska Street, and the Canonesses Convent in Teatralny Square. 
 
Teatralny Square as it appeared in 1925. Jablonowski Palace is on the left.

Under heavy German fire the insurgents North Group under the command of Col. Karol Ziemski "Wachnowski" has moved position from the ruined and burnt out building of the Main Archives of Old Records on Dluga Street to the chapterhouse of St. Jacek’s Church on Freta Street. Meanwhile in Srodmiescie  a company of the “Kilinski” battalion has seized a strong German outpost in the former “Café Club” coffee shop on the corner of Nowy Swiat and Aleje Jerozolimskie Streets.  This has put a stop to the constant barrage of enemy fire on the barricade linking the two parts of Srodmiescie. 

 
Roosevelt & Churchill
wearing "same hats"
There has been a flurry of messages between Churchill and Roosevelt these past few days. In the latest message to Roosevelt, Churchill re-iterated his intention in not giving up and in seeking a resolution to the plight of the Poles.  

However, President Roosevelt has expressed his lack of confidence in the Polish situation. Churchill has begun to apply pressure on the US President demanding that he send Amercian Air Force to Warsaw and that their planes land on Soviet airfields  but without the consent of the Soviet authorities.  There is no response as yet from the White House. In the meantime Polish insurgents are fighting the enemy with whatever weapons they can seize from the Germans, or manufacture on their own. 

President Roosevelt is in the midst of the presidential campaign. Without a doubt he will be re-elected as polls indicate that his popularity is at an all-time high. Recently he has met with delegates of the Polish American Congress (PAC). The PAC was founded earlier this year and has already rallied almost 3,000 Polish delegates from around the country. At their first Congress delegates emphasized the patriotic commitment of Polish-Americans to the United States, to the war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. They appealed to the US government to support the freedom and sovereignty of Poland, an Ally, at the end of the war. Roosevelt has guaranteed Poland`s inviolable freedom according to terms of the Atlantic Charter in which all nations great and small will be part of a just and peaceful international order. Lt. John Ward, a British soldier, and member of the AK has dispatched messages again today to London reporting on the days events in Warsaw. 

 
Lt. John Ward
The message reads as follows: To Colonel P… Sir, help is badly needed in the centre of the city of Warsaw. The ammunition for the anti-tank weapons, type "Piat," that were sent has all been used. Sir, the main things needed are grenades, anti-tank weapons, heavy machine guns, rifles, ammunition of all types. The best area for descent is the area south of Jeroboams Avenue, tending east of No wy Swat, west to Marshmallows and south to Pius Street. This area is free from Germans. Sir, I received your message of the 19.8.44 on the 20.8.44. The boy scouts organization in Warsaw is doing work that is beyond all praise. Many young boys have given their lives in service of their country. The boys are keeping up the international tradition of the scouts. During the past 24 hours there have been no outstanding events in the battle for Warsaw. The fighting was continued as bitterly as ever without any great result. The amount of damage being done by the enemy mine-throwers is colossal. Wildcat, Cruz, Pius, Mokotow, TKOs Streets and Jackdaws Avenue have been very badly damaged during the past 48 hours, casualties are high. In the City Centre large fires continued to burn throughout the night. Food supplies are growing shorter each day, and there is no means of replenishing them. Heavy artillery was heard during the night at a distance of about 12 miles from the city.    
Churchill giving a back-handed V sign