[WWI] Another important Anniversary/part1

Grzegorz Mazurowski grzegorz_mazurowski at poczta.onet.pl
Sun Aug 1 21:50:24 EDT 2004

Hi! It's official!
I just came back from the third day of celebration of 60th Anniversary of
the Warsaw Uprising. Extremely moving events - IMO similar only to the first
visit of the Polish Pope in Poland in 1979.

Sixty years ago, 1st August 1944 at 5 p.m. Warsaw Uprising have started.
Soviet armies were 20 kilometers from the Polish Capital. Some Soviet tanks
appeared on the Eastern Warsaw suburbs. Germans were in general retreating,
but also some fresh, elite units (Like "Hermann Goering" Panzerdivision)
appeared from other fronts.
Idea was simple - to liberate Warsaw and to greet approaching Soviet armies
in the Capital. It was important, as Stalin, immediately after entering
Polish soil, formed "Polish" puppet communistic government, in opposition to
legal Polish government in exile, in London. It was important also because
Stalin was officialy accusing Poles that their Underground State and Army
don't exist, and only communists are able to fight the Germans. Another
cause was that Germans ordered 100 000 men of age 16-60 to report "for
digging trenches" - that order was strikingly similar to those earlier ones,
when Germans ordered Polish Jews to report - Jews who came on order, were
immediately transported to Auschwitz and murdered.

30 thousands poorely armed Polish underground soldiers attacked Germans in
the town, securing majority of the Capital, except some important places,
like the Okecie airfield, bridges and Szucha Alley, infamous German police
and Gestapo fortified district. In the first days of Uprising Polish
soldiers captured lots of German weapons and equipment.

Germans quickly started the counterattack. Armoured divisions attacked Wola,
western part of Warsaw. While tanks were fighting Polish soldiers, infantry
was murdering civilians, not saving smallest children, women, elders,
priests, nuns and hospital patients. In one week over 40 thousands civilians
were murdered. Stalin stopped Soviet offensive, and didn't allowed Polish,
British and South African Liberators flying from Italy with supply drops to
enter Soviet-controlled air - according to British aviators Allied planes
which flew into it were attacked by Soviet AA guns and fighters. Soviet's
inactivity allowed Germans to move more units to fight Uprising. Germans
were using everything they had, including bombers, Tiger tanks, Goliat
self-propelled mines, 600mm heaviest mortar "Karl", armoured trains, rocket
launchers (Nebelwerfer), various artillery (on one documentary I noticed WWI
German 7,7cm Feldkannone 96). Absence of the Soviet fighters allowed Germans
to use even slow airplanes as artillery spotters (Fieseler Storch). Poles
had only rifles, pistols, some PIAT AT grenade launchers and greandes.
(Continue in Part 2)

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