And if the Poles for the most part continue to believe that the Red Army in August 1944 simply stood on the banks of the Vistula and watched indifferently as the fascists destroyed the insurgent population of the Polish capital, Russian researchers with facts on their hands prove that there was no indifferent contemplation , and there were brutal and bloody battles with the enemy, which took place at that time in the Warsaw direction, in which tens of thousands of Soviet soldiers and commanders were killed, as well as our allies - soldiers and officers of the Polish Army.
Warsaw rebels on captured German Sd.Kfz 251 armored personnel carrier
Polish rebels on the armor of a captured German fighter tanks Hetzer (Jagdpanzer 38 (t) Hetzer) in the courtyard of the Warsaw Central Post Office
Polish insurgents at the captured German tank "Panther" at the corner of Okopnoy (Okopnoi) and Zhitnaya (Żytniej) streets in Warsaw
In this connection, the question arises involuntarily: how did this uprising happen? Who prepared it and for what, what did the consequences of this poorly planned and not thoughtful armed intervention lead to?
Of stories The Second World War knows that after Germany defeated Poland in September 1939, first in France, and after its occupation in London, a Polish émigré government was formed, headed by General V. Sikorski, until the attack on the Soviet Union to the USSR, an open hostile position, based on the well-known concept that Poland has two eternal enemies - Russia and Germany.
In Poland itself, at the beginning of 1940, the so-called “Union of Armed Struggle” (SRB) was created for armed struggle against the German occupiers, most commonly known as the Craiova Army, that is, “internal” or “domestic” army (AK). This organization was strictly subordinate to the emigre government in London, its military leader was the commander of all Polish armed forces in exile, General K. Sosnkowski, extremely hostile to the Soviet Union, was also another important point that impeded normal relations. The fact is that the Polish emigre government headed by Sikorski categorically at that time refused to recognize the borders of the USSR established after September 1939 of the year, that is, to include the territories of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus in the USSR, and this despite the recognition of the new Union along the so-called “Curzon Line” from all Western Allies at a conference in Tehran in 1943.
The captain of the company "Koshta" (Koszta) Stefan Mich (Stefan Mich) monitors the movement of German troops on the opposite bank of the Vistula from the upper floor of the building on Napoleon Square in Warsaw
Polish rebels on vacation at the central post office on Napoleon Square
Warsaw rebels of the Kosta company (Koszta) run across the intersection of Sinkevyz and Szienkiewicz and Marszałkowska streets during an attack
Back in October, X. NUMX, General T. Komorowski prepared a plan for an armed uprising in Warsaw, this plan was supposed to seize the capital with a sudden blow, then land the Polish parachute brigade there in a few days, and prepare all the necessary conditions for the solemn arrival of the émigré government from London liberated by the Polish national forces of Warsaw. At the same time, parts of the AK, according to the plan of Komorowski, were supposed to provide armed resistance to parts of the Red Army advancing on Warsaw, as well as troops stationed in territories that had entered Eastern Poland until September 1943. Further more, one of the representatives of the emigre government in a memo addressed to the then head of government in exile Mikolajczyk, who took this post after Sikorsky’s death, 1939 demanded from 10 in January, in addition to the return of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, to include The composition of Poland is East Prussia, Silesia and Lithuania. Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine were supposed to be generally made independent states, of course, under Polish control. Being in warm offices in London, Polish statesmen obviously lived their own invented lives, planned grand state plans, not knowing what was happening in their homeland, not knowing that 1944 had already been going on for a year and that from their immigrant almost nothing depends on governments, these plans were a real adventure that everyone understood, even their main sponsors - the Western allies. In connection with the terry anti-Sovietism of the Polish rulers, even the British, their main allies, could not stand it, so in February 1944, Churchill demanded that Mikolajczyk remove the most anti-Soviet elements (including Sosnkowski) from the government and recognize the new eastern borders of Poland. The British had their own political interests; they didn’t want to spoil relations with the USSR because of some mythical allies, while they bore all the main burdens and deprivations of war on the main eastern front.
Even more interesting, the British invited the AK command to coordinate their actions during the uprising, to plan all their actions against the German troops only in close cooperation with the Red Army command, while the use of the Polish Airborne Brigade in the interests of the AK was banned, and the support of the rebels from the air aviation the British also considered it an extremely risky undertaking, and therefore this request was also refused by AK.
The essence of the plan of the uprising, developed by the AK headquarters, was that in the near future the German army itself would leave the Polish capital. It was necessary only to have time to take power in the city before the entry of Soviet troops into it, for which, according to the plan's planners, it was necessary to quickly seize the main government buildings in order to immediately place in them the authorities of the emigrant government. Thus, it was supposed to confront all the Soviet units and the newly created Polish authorities that approached Warsaw by the accomplished fact of seizing power, therefore no coordination with the advancing Soviet forces was foreseen. The whole concept of the uprising proceeded from a brief, calculated maximum of 2 — 3 of the day and a relatively bloodless struggle against the retreating German forces. Moreover, in order not to delay the withdrawal of German troops to the west, the plan specifically excluded the seizure of the most important transport communications, including strategically important bridges over the Vistula.
Warsaw rebel, lieutenant Jerzy Siwiec of the Anna company of the Gustav battalion throws a Stielhandgranate-24 grenade from Slepezh street to the German position on Zamkova Square (pl. Zamkowym)
A group of Warsaw postans of the Costa battalion (Koszta), armed with flamethrowers. The photo was taken near the Ulrich Shop on the corner of Marshalkowska (Marszalkowskiej) and Manyushko Street (Moniuszki)
Warsaw rebels Henrik "Heniok Ozarek (Henryk Ożarek" Henio ") (left) and Tadeusz" Roma "Przybyshevsky (Tadeusz Przybyszewski" Roma "), from the company" Anna "battalion" Gustav ". Ozarek is armed with a pistol Vis wz. 35, and Przybyshevsky with the Blyskavitsa submachine gun
As the unfolding events showed, the command of the rebels absolutely did not possess information about the actions of the Germans and especially about the situation prevailing on the Soviet-German front by the end of July, and the situation there was clearly not in favor of the Red Army, the Poles did not know that in late July Hitler gave order to keep Warsaw at all costs, a lot of selected troops, including those from the SS, were brought up to the capital, that is, the time for the start of the uprising was chosen the most unfortunate.
According to Polish and Soviet sources, it is known that according to the lists in the Warsaw District of AK, there were about 30 thousands of fighters, which was almost twice the German garrison, but the rebels were armed with all 47 machine guns, 657 machine guns, 29 anti-tank guns, 2629 rifles, 2665 pistols and 50 thousand grenades. The insurgents were completely absent from the insurgents, as the AK command was not going to fight the enemy’s tanks and aircraft so far, apparently, for AK it was not the main thing, and the main thing was probably the rapid seizure of the city center and the placement of immigrant government in the government buildings. , then defense, to prevent the Red Army from entering Warsaw, and the Germans, according to the plans of the AK leaders, should have left themselves, but the Germans simply did not want to leave Warsaw. As a result of the adventure, started by the ambitious London émigré politicians, the most terrible thing happened: they had to pay thousands of ordinary citizens of Poland, thousands of Soviet and Polish soldiers for this adventure.
By the end of July, 1944, the troops of the 1 of the Byelorussian Front, stationed near Warsaw, having passed more than 600 km with continuous battles, were extremely exhausted. In addition, the rear areas were far behind, there was also no reliable air cover for the front forces, since the 16-I air army had not yet managed to redeploy to the airfields closest to the front. So, for the Soviet command, the uprising began at the most inopportune moment, for it attracted the close attention of the Hitlerites to Warsaw, who transferred additional forces of selective tank forces here. The Germans themselves admitted that at the time of the beginning of the uprising the power of the Russian strike had already dried up.
Having correctly assessed the situation, the German command decided to put a powerful tank counter-attack from Warsaw to the rear of the Soviet bridgehead on the Vistula. For these purposes, almost 5 armored divisions were deployed, deployed from Romania, Holland and Italy. In total near Warsaw at the end of July the Germans concentrated 51,5 thousand soldiers and officers, 1158 guns and mortars, 600 tanks and SPG. The Soviet 2-th Guards Tank Army, which was closest to the Polish capital, had only 32 thousand soldiers, 468 guns and mortars, 425 tanks and SPG. Having struck from three sides, the Germans actually surrounded and destroyed the 3 tank corps of the 2 army and 2 — 3 of August rejected Soviet troops from Warsaw, who lost more than 280 tanks on the approaches to the city and were forced to go on the defensive.
Understanding perfectly the seriousness of the situation on the Soviet-German front that emerged at the end of July, that the Red Army is currently shackled by battles with German troops, the AK leadership nevertheless 1 of August 1944 of the year still issued an order to start the uprising, which the imigrant The Polish leadership, giving such an order, in the difficult situation prevailing around Warsaw at that time, is still incomprehensible, and sometimes it seems that the AK leadership acted according to a well-known principle - rebellion for the sake of Ania.
Volley of German 28 / 32 jet plants cm Wurfgerät 42 201 heavy mortar battery (s.Stellg.Wrf.Btr. 201) in Warsaw against rebels attacking the Old Town
Polish civilian near the body of a woman killed by a German air raid on insurgent Warsaw
The German command, having stabilized the situation on the eastern front, began systematically suppressing the uprising on August 8, and in street battles mainly SS special forces, police, and units consisting of Bandera, Vlasovites and other traitors were involved in fighting the rebels. former citizens of the USSR. At the same time, Hitler's command acted prudently, using primarily the disconnectedness of the rebels, with the German methodological approach, in turn, all identified resistance centers were destroyed, while heavy tools and even armored trains, as well as tanks and flamethrowers were used. The rebels suffered significant losses, and soon began to feel the lack of ammunition. Instead of organizing close cooperation with the troops of the Red Army, adjusting supplies, the AK leadership, realizing the futility of the uprising, began to look for those responsible for their defeat, specifically launching disinformation through the British and American media that the USSR and even the closest allies of the AK, the British.
Attempts of the British aviation with small forces to carry out discharges over Warsaw weapons and food, as it was supposed, turned out to be extremely inefficient, since the losses of the enemy's anti-aircraft fire bomber were disproportionately heavy, on average one downed plane fell to a ton of cargo dropped. At the same time, most of the cargo, especially during the last departures, fell into the hands of the Germans, since the dumps had to be carried out from high altitudes. Unlike the British, the actions of our pilots were more successful because they operated at extremely low altitudes, thanks to Soviet pilots only for the period from September 14 to October 1, 1944, the rebels received 156 mortars, 505 anti-tank guns, 2667 machine guns and rifles, 41 780 grenades, 3 million cartridges, 113 tons of food and other payloads.
Throughout August, the Soviet command did not abandon its attempts to break through to Warsaw, and only 10 September 1944, the 47 Army and the 1 Army, the Polish Army launched an offensive against Warsaw. They were opposed by the 100-thousandth group of Germans, whose average density was one division per 5 — 6 km of front. Persistent fighting ensued for the eastern part of Warsaw and its suburb - Prague. For the second time in the history of the Russians, again in a fierce battle, they took this suburb, for the first time under the great A. Suvorov. And on the night of September 14, Soviet troops finally reached the Vistula, when it was necessary to start an uprising with a blow from the city to seize bridges towards the Red Army, but the main forces of the insurgents were already destroyed by the Germans captive, the commander of the remaining forces of the rebels Komorowski did not want to make his way to the meeting of the Red Army through the Vistula and October 2. 1944 signed a surrender agreement with the German commander in Warsaw, the SS general von dem Bach-Zelewski. Captured, according to various sources, from 17 to 20 thousands of rebels, including officer AK 922 along with the entire headquarters of Komorowski. Detachments of the Army of the People left the city and partially made their way through the Vistula. The losses of the German troops were also significant, 10 thousand soldiers were killed, six thousand were missing, according to other sources, the Germans lost almost 26 thousand, as well as 300 tanks, SAU, guns and armored vehicles.
As a result of the uprising, civilian casualties were especially high, for example, during the fighting in the city, from artillery shelling, bombing and small-scale fire, up to 200 thousand Poles died, of all those killed, the rebels made 16 thousand, according to other sources - 23 thousand. the civilians of Warsaw, all those who survived all this horror, the Germans took out of the city, 87 thousand people were forced to work in Germany. During the uprising, the Nazis destroyed 25 percent of the area of pre-war development of the city. Up until the liberation of Warsaw, the 17 of January 1945, part of the SS, at the direction of Himmler, systematically blew up all the cultural monuments. After the liberation of the capital, before the Soviet and Polish troops entering Warsaw appeared a terrible picture, comparable only to the apocalypse: the fascist barbarians razed the most beautiful city of Europe almost completely flush with the ground, leaving only ruins, grief and death behind them.
Especially for those who still believe that the Red Army did not help the insurgent Warsawians in any way, I want to cite the following figures: only the troops of the 1 of the Belarusian Front lost on the outskirts of Warsaw during the month and a half of the fighting from early August to the first half of September 1944 of the year 166 808 of Soviet soldiers and commanders, over the 600 of thousands of soldiers and officers of the Red Army, our compatriots, died in total for the liberation of Poland. Eternal memory to them ...
SS soldiers during the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising. Armed with MP-40 submachine gun and shortened Mauser 98K rifles
German prisoners captured by the Warsaw rebels
An SS man captured by Warsaw rebels near the building of the Polish Telephone Joint Stock Company
Polish insurgents and medical women in a stretcher with a wounded comrade
Polish women prepare food for rebels in the kitchen of the cafe Ardiya in the 10 house on Moniuszko Street (ul. Moniuszki 10) in Warsaw
Warsaw rebels with English PIAT grenade launchers
Warsaw children in a German tank Pz.Kpfw IV, burned by insurgents on Gorokhovskaya street 14 September 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising
Polish rebels reading a German leaflet during the Warsaw Uprising
Fighters of the Polish resistance on the barricade, located at the intersection of Svetokryzhskoy and Mazovian
Warsaw rebel, armed with a Soviet PPSh machine gun
Warsaw rebels dressed in German uniform in street combat
Warsaw rebels inspect war trophies, including an armband with the name "Wiking"