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Polish resistance movement in World War II

 

Polish resistance movement in World War II

The Polish resistance movement in World War II, with the Polish Underground State.

Contents

  • Organizations 1
  • Size 2
  • Actions, operations and intelligence 1939-1945 3
    • 1939 3.1
    • 1940 3.2
    • 1941 3.3
    • 1942 3.4
    • 1943 3.5
    • 1944 3.6
    • 1945 3.7
  • Squads/troops 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Organizations

Soldiers from Kolegium "A" of Kedyw on Stawki Street in Wola district - Warsaw Uprising 1944
Polish partisans from Kielce area - unit "Jędrusie" 1945

The largest of all Polish resistance organizations was the Armia Krajowa (Home Army, AK), loyal to the Polish government in exile in London. The AK was formed in 1942 from the Union for Armed Combat (Związek Walki Zbrojnej or ZWZ, itself created in 1939) and would eventually incorporate most other Polish armed resistance groups (except for the communists and some far-right groups).[1][2] It was the military arm of the Polish Underground State and loyal to the Polish government in Exile.[1]

Most of the other Polish underground armed organizations were created by a political party or faction, and included:

The largest group that refused to join AK was the pro-Soviet and communist People's Army (Polish Armia Ludowa or AL), backed by the Soviet Union and controlled by the Polish Workers' Party (Polish Polska Partia Robotnicza or PPR).[11]

"Within the framework of the entire enemy intelligence operations directed against Germany, the intelligence service of the Polish resistance movement assumed major significance. The scope and importance of the operations of the Polish resistance movement, which was ramified down to the smallest splinter group and brilliantly organized, have been in (various sources) disclosed in connection with carrying out of major police security operations." Heinrich Himmler, 31 December 1942[12]

Size

In February 1942, when AK was formed, it numbered about 100,000 members.[2] In the beginning of 1943, it had reached a strength of about 200,000.[2] In the summer of 1944 when

  • Polish contribution to World War II (Polish Underground State) Movie on YouTube
  • Armia Krajowa
  • Armia Krajowa
  • Die "Stunde W"
  • Narodowe Siły Zbrojne
  • Ann Su Caldwell, POLAND: HERE IS THE RECORD at the Wayback Machine (archived July 27, 2011). Polonia Online.
  • Polish Resistance in World War II
  • Tadeusz WICHROWSKI - "Wicher"
  • Warsaw Uprising 1944
  • History of Warsaw's contributions levied by the German Occupation Authority

External links

  1. ^ a b Marek Ney-Krwawicz, The Polish Underground State and The Home Army (1939–45). Translated from Polish by Antoni Bohdanowicz. Article on the pages of the London Branch of the Polish Home Army Ex-Servicemen Association. Retrieved 14 March 2008.
  2. ^ a b c (Polish) Armia Krajowa. Encyklopedia WIEM. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
  3. ^ a b Wojskowy przegla̜d historyczny (in Polish). s.n. 1996. p. 134. 
  4. ^ http://portalwiedzy.onet.pl/31319,,,,gwardia_ludowa_wrn,haslo.html?drukuj=1
  5. ^ HALINA LERSKI (30 January 1996). Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945. ABC-CLIO. p. 665.  
  6. ^ Wizje Polski: programy polityczne lat wojny i okupacji, 1939-1944 (in Polish). Elipsa. 1992. p. 416. 
  7. ^ a b http://portalwiedzy.onet.pl/69281,,,,narodowa_organizacja_wojskowa,haslo.html
  8. ^ a b Hanna Konopka; Adrian Konopka (1 January 1999). Leksykon historii Polski po II wojnie światowej 1944-1997 (in Polish). Graf-Punkt. p. 130.  
  9. ^ http://portalwiedzy.onet.pl/30636,,,,narodowe_sily_zbrojne,haslo.html
  10. ^ http://encyklopedia.interia.pl/haslo?hid=91093
  11. ^ a b (Polish) Armia Ludowa. Encyklopedia PWN. Retrieved 21 December 2006.
  12. ^ "Forgotten Holocaust. The Poles under German Occupation 1939-1944" Richard C. Lukas Hippocrene Books New York 1997, ISBN 0-7818-0901-0
  13. ^ Roy Francis Leslie, The History of Poland Since 1863, Cambridge University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-521-27501-6, Google Print, p.234
  14. ^ Stanisław Salmonowicz, Polskie Państwo Podziemne, Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, Warszawa, 1994, ISBN 83-02-05500-X, p.317
  15. ^ Bogdan Biegalski (1999). Organizacje podziemne na Środkowym Nadodrzu w latach 1945-1956 (in Polish). Lubuskie Towarzystwo Naukowe. p. 61.  
  16. ^ Krzysztof Komorowski (2009). Boje polskie 1939-1945: przewodnik encyklopedyczny (in Polish). Bellona. p. 6.  
  17. ^ Lidia Świerczek, Pilecki`s life Institute of National Remembrance. Last accessed on 14 March 2009.
  18. ^ Kazimierz Malinowski, Tajna Armia Polska. Znak. Konfederacja Zbrojna. Zarys genezy, organizacji i działalności, Warszawa 1986. ISBN 83-211-0791-5
  19. ^ Richard C. Lukas, "Out of the inferno: Poles remember the Holocaust", University Press of Kentucky, 1989, pg. 5, [1]
  20. ^ *Marek Szymanski: Oddzial majora Hubala, Warszawa 1999, ISBN 83-912237-0-1
  21. ^ (to be published by Military History Press)A Polish Partisan's StoryAleksandra Ziółkowska Boehm:
  22. ^ Jozef Garlinski, Fighting Auschwitz: the Resistance Movement in the Concentration Camp, Fawcett, 1975, ISBN 0-449-22599-2, reprinted by Time Life Education, 1993. ISBN 0-8094-8925-2
  23. ^ Hershel Edelheit, History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary, Westview Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8133-2240-5,Google Print, p.413
  24. ^ Adam Cyra, Ochotnik do Auschwitz - Witold Pilecki 1901-1948 [Volunteer for Auschwitz], Oświęcim 2000. ISBN 83-912000-3-5
  25. ^ Jan Kamienski, Hidden in the Enemy's Sight: Resisting the Third Reich from Within, Dundurn Press Ltd., 2008, ISBN 1-55002-854-5, Chapter "Messenger work and small sabotage", p.57
  26. ^ Jan Bijata, Wawer, Książka i Wiedza, Warszawa 1973
  27. ^ Lesław J. Welker "Symbolika znaków Polski Walczącej", publisher Adam Marszałek ISBN 83-7174-498-6 , ISBN 83-7322-090-9
  28. ^ Halina Auderska, Zygmunt Ziółek, Akcja N. Wspomnienia 1939-1945 (Action N. Memoirs 1939-1945), Wydawnictwo Czytelnik, Warszawa, 1972 (Polish)
  29. ^ Norman Davies, Europe: A History, Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN
  30. ^ Tessa Stirling et al., Intelligence Co-operation between Poland and Great Britain during World War II, vol. I: The Report of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee, London, Vallentine Mitchell, 2005
  31. ^ Major-General M.Z. Rygor Slowikowski, In the Secret Service: the Lighting of the Torch, translated by George Slowikowski and Krystyna Brooks, with foreword by M.R.D. Foot, London, The Windrush Press, 1988
  32. ^ "Byłem Numerem: swiadectwa Z Auschwitz" by Kazimierz Piechowski, Eugenia Bozena Kodecka-Kaczynska, Michal Ziokowski, Hardcover, Wydawn. Siostr Loretanek, ISBN 83-7257-122-8
  33. ^ "Auschwitz-Birkenau - The Film about the Amazing Escape from Auschwitz—Now Available on DVD". En.auschwitz.org.pl. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  34. ^  
  35. ^ Baczynska, Gabriela; JonBoyle (2008-05-12). "Sendler, savior of Warsaw Ghetto children, dies". Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  36. ^ E. Thomas Wood & Stanisław M. Jankowski (1994). Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust. John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN 0-471-01856-2
  37. ^ Joseph Poprzeczny, Odilo Globocnik, Hitler's Man in the East, McFarland, 2004, ISBN 0-7864-1625-4, Google Print, p.110-111
  38. ^ Joseph Poprzeczny, Odilo Globocnik, Hitler's Man in the East, McFarland, 2004, ISBN 0-7864-1625-4
  39. ^ a b c Józef Garliński "Hitler's Last Weapons: The Underground War against the V1 and V2", Times Books, New York 1978
  40. ^ Jedd, Joseph (1994). "Poland's Contribution in the Field of Intelligence to the Victory in the Second World War". The Summit Times 2 (5–6). Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  41. ^ Michael J.Neufeld "The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era", New York 1995, The Free Press
  42. ^ Meksyk II
  43. ^ Stefan Korbonski, "The Polish Underground State: A Guide to the Underground, 1939-1945", pages 120-139, Excerpts
  44. ^ Aleksander Kamiński Kamienie na szaniec ISBN 83-10-10505-3
  45. ^ Ordway, Frederick I., III. The Rocket Team. Apogee Books Space Series 36 (pp. 158, 173)
  46. ^ Piotr Stachniewicz, "AKCJA "KUTSCHERA", Książka i Wiedza, Warszawa 1982,
  47. ^ Joachim Lilla (Bearb.): Die Stellvertretenden Gauleiter und die Vertretung der Gauleiter der NSDAP im „Dritten Reich“, Koblenz 2003, S. 52-3 (Materialien aus dem Bundesarchiv, Heft 13)ISBN 3-86509-020-6
  48. ^ Bernard Chiari; Jerzy Kochanowski (2003). Die polnische Heimatarmee: Geschichte und Mythos der Armia Krajowa seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (in Deutsch). Munich: Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt; Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag. pp. 630–631.  
  49. ^   See also review
  50. ^ Martin Gilbert, Second World War A Complete History, Holt Paperbacks, 2004, ISBN 0-8050-7623-9, Google Print, p.542
  51. ^ Włodzimierz Borodziej, Barbara Harshav (transl.), The Warsaw uprising of 1944. University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.
  52. ^ Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, "The secret army", London : Victor Gollancz, 1951.
  53. ^ Władysław Bartoszewski (1984). Dni Walczącej Stolicy: kronika Powstania Warszawskiego. Warsaw: Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego; Świat Książki. ISBN 978-83-7391-679-1.
  54. ^ Włodzimierz Borodziej, (2006). The Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Translated by Barbara Harshav. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-20730-4
  55. ^ Norman Davies, (2004). "Rising '44. The Battle for Warsaw" (1st U.S. ed.). New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-03284-6.
  56. ^ G J Ashworth (1991). War and the City. London: Routledge. p. 108.  
  57. ^  
  58. ^ Michael Alfred Peszke (2004). The Polish Underground Army, the Western Allies, and the Failure of Strategic Unity in World War II. McFarland & Company. p. 146.  
  59. ^ Jan M. Ciechanowski (2002). The Warsaw Rising of 1944. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 206–208.  
  60. ^ Jerzy Węgierski "W lwowskiej Armii Krajowej" PAX, Warszawa 1989 ISBN 83-211-1044-4
  61. ^ Bolesław Tomaszewski ,Jerzy Węgierski "Zarys historii lwowskiego obszaru ZWZ-AK" Warsaw 1987 Pokolenie
  62. ^ “Polish Underground State - a Guide to the Underground, 1939-1945” Columbia University Press 1978 and Hippocrene Books, Inc. New York 1981
  63. ^ Prazmowska, A. (2004) Civil war in Poland, 1942-1948 Palgrave ISBN 0-333-98212-6 Page 115
  64. ^ Malcher, G.C. (1993) Blank Pages Pyrford Press ISBN 1-897984-00-6. Page 73.
  65. ^ Mikolajczyk, S. (1948) The pattern of Soviet domination Sampson Low, Marston & Co Page 125
  66. ^ Garlinski, J.(1985) Poland in the Second World War Macmillan ISBN 0-333-39258-2 Page 324
  67. ^ Prazmowska, A. (2004) Civil war in Poland, 1942-1948 Palgrave ISBN 0-333-98212-6 Page 116
  68. ^ Michta, A. (1990) Red Eagle Stanford University ISBN 0-8179-8862-9 Page 39
  69. ^ Garlinski, J.(1985) Poland in the Second World War Macmillan ISBN 0-333-39258-2 Page 325-326
  70. ^ Umiastowski, R. (1946) Poland, Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945 Hollis & Carter Pages 462-464
  71. ^ Piesakowski, T. (1990) The fate of Poles in the USSR 1939~1989 Gryf Pages 198-199
  72. ^ Garlinski, J.(1985) Poland in the Second World War Macmillan ISBN 0-333-39258-2 Page 335
  73. ^ Garlinski, J.(1985) Poland in the Second World War Macmillan ISBN 0-333-39258-2 Page 336
  74. ^ Umiastowski, R. (1946) Poland, Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945 Hollis & Carter Pages 467-468
  75. ^ Antonin Bohun Dabrowski in "Out of the Inferno: Poles Remember the Holocaust" edited by Richard Lukas, pg 22. [2]
  76. ^ Norman Davies, Rising '44, 2004, Viking Penguin, ISBN 0-670-03284-0, p. 495
  77. ^ Norman Davies, Rising '44, 2003, Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-90568-7, p. 495
  78. ^ Norman Davies, Rising '44, 2004, Pan, ISBN 0-330-48863-5, p. 497
  79. ^ Tadeusz Piotrowsk, Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918-1947, McFarland & Company, 1998, ISBN 0-7864-0371-3, p.131 (Google Print)
  80. ^ Norman Davies, "No Simple Victory", Viking Penguin 2006
  81. ^ Bohdan Kwiatkowski, Sabotaż i dywersja, Bellona, London 1949, vol.1, p.21; as cited by Marek Ney-Krwawicz, The Polish Underground State and The Home Army (1939-45). Translated from Polish by Antoni Bohdanowicz. Article on the pages of the London Branch of the Polish Home Army Ex-Servicemen Association. Retrieved March 14, 2008.
  82. ^ Norman Davies (28 February 2005). God's Playground: 1795 to the present. Columbia University Press. p. 344.  
  83. ^ Gregor Dallas, 1945: The War That Never Ended, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-10980-6, Google Print, p.79
  84. ^ Mark Wyman, DPs: Europe's Displaced Persons, 1945–1951, Cornell University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8014-8542-8, Google Print, p.34
  85. ^ See, for example, Leonid D. Grenkevich, The Soviet Partisan Movement, 1941–44: A Critical Historiographical Analysis, p. 229, and Walter Laqueur, The Guerilla Reader: A Historical Anthology, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990, p. 233.

References

a ^ A number of sources note that the Home Army, representing the bulk of Polish resistance, was the largest resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Europe. [83] Mark Wyman writes that the "Armia Krajowa was considered the largest underground resistance unit in wartime Europe."[84] The numbers of Soviet partisans were very similar to those of the Polish resistance.[85]

Notes

See also

Squads/troops

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From June 10–25, 1945 Augustów chase 1945 (the Polish Obława augustowska) took place. It was a big operation undertaken by Soviet forces of the Red Army, the NKVD and SMERSH, with the assistance of Polish UB and LWP units against former Armia Krajowa soldiers in the Suwałki and Augustów region in Poland. The operation also covered territory in occupied Lithuania. More than 2,000 alleged Polish anticommunist fighters were captured and detained in Russian internment camps. 600 of the "Augustów Missing" are presumed dead and buried in an unknown location in the present territory of Russia. The Augustów Roundup was part of an anti-guerilla operation in Lithuania.

On May 7, 1945 in the village of National Military Alliance (NZW). In battle against Soviet Union's NKVD units anti communist partisans shot 70 NKVD agents. The battle ended in a victory for the underground Polish forces.[80]

On May 21, 1945, a unit of the Armia Krajowa, led by Colonel Edward Wasilewski, attacked a NKVD camp located in Rembertów on the eastern outskirts of Warsaw. The Soviets kept there hundreds of Poles,[76][77][78] members of the Home Army,[79] whom they were systematically deporting to Siberia. However, this action of the pro-independence Polish resistance freed all Polish political prisoners from the camp. Between 1944-1946 cursed soldiers attack many communist prisons in Soviet occupied Poland - Raids on communist prisons in Poland (1944–1946).

On May 5, 1945 in Bohemia, the Narodowe Siły Zbrojne brigade liberated prisoners from a Nazi concentration camp in Holiszowo, including 280 Jewish women prisoners.[75] The brigade suffered heavy casualties.

In the latter years of the war, there were increasing conflicts between Polish and Soviet partisans. Cursed soldiers continued to oppose the Soviets long after the war. The last cursed soldier - member of the militant anti-communist resistance in Poland was Józef Franczak who was killed with pistol in his hand by ZOMO in 1963.

In March 1945 collaboration with Nazi Germany" and "planning a military alliance with Nazi Germany" [73][74]

1945

After Bór-Komorowski's surrender, the AK fighters were treated as prisoners-of-war by the Germans, much to the outrage of Stalin, but the civilian population were ruthlessly punished. Overall Polish casualties are estimated to be between 150,000–300,000 killed, 90,000 civilians were sent to labor camps in the Reich, while 60,000 were shipped to death and concentration camps such as Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Mauthausen and others. The city was almost totally destroyed after German sappers systematically demolished the city. The Warsaw Uprising allowed the Germans to destroy the AK as a fighting force, but the main beneficiary was Stalin, who was able to impose a communist government on postwar Poland with little fear of armed resistance.

The fighting in Warsaw was desperate. The AK had between 12,000 and 20,000 armed soldiers, most with only small arms, against a well-armed German Army of 20,000 SS and regular Army units. Bór-Komorowski's hope that the AK could take and hold Warsaw for the return of the London government was never likely to be achieved. After 63 days of savage fighting the city was reduced to rubble, and the reprisals were savage. The SS and auxiliary units were particularly brutal.

In August 1944, as the Soviet armed forces approached Warsaw, the government in exile called for an uprising in the city, so that they could return to a liberated Warsaw and try to prevent a communist take-over. The AK, led by Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, launched the Warsaw Uprising.[62] Soviet forces were less than 20 km away but on the orders of Soviet High Command they gave no assistance. Stalin described the uprising as a "criminal adventure". The Poles appealed to the western Allies for help. The Royal Air Force, and the Polish Air Force based in Italy, dropped some munitions, but it was almost impossible for the Allies to help the Poles without Soviet assistance.

On July 23 the Lwów Uprising—the armed struggle started by the Armia Krajowa against the Nazi occupiers in Lwów during World War II—started. It started in July 1944 as a part of a plan of all-national uprising codenamed Operation Tempest. The fighting lasted until July 27 and resulted in liberation of the city.[60] However, shortly afterwards the Polish soldiers were arrested by the invading Soviets and either forced to join the Red Army or sent to the Gulags. The city itself was occupied by the Soviet Union.[61]

On July 7, Operation Ostra Brama started. Approximately 12,500 Home Army soldiers attacked the German garrison and managed to seize most of the city center. Heavy street fighting in the outskirts of the city lasted until July 14. In Vilnius' eastern suburbs, the Home Army units cooperated with reconnaissance groups of the Soviet 3rd Belorussian Front.[56] The Red Army entered the city on July 15, and the NKVD started to intern all Polish soldiers. On July 16, the HQ of the 3rd Belorussian Front invited Polish officers to a meeting and arrested them.[57][58][59]

During 1943 the Home Army built up its forces in preparation for a national uprising. The plan of national anti nazi uprising on areas of prewar Poland was code-named Operation Tempest.[51] Preparation began in late 1943 but the military actions started in 1944. Its most widely known elements were Operation Ostra Brama, Lwów Uprising and the Warsaw Uprising.[52][53][54][55]

On 25–26 June 1944 the Battle of Osuchy - one of the largest battles between the Polish resistance and Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II was fought, in what was essentially a continuation of the Zamość Uprising.[50]

On June 14, 1944 the Battle of Porytowe Wzgórze took place between Polish and Russian partisans, numbering around 3000, and the Nazi German units consisted of between 25000 to 30000 soldiers, with artillery, tanks and armored cars and air support.

May 13–May 14, 1944 the Battle of Murowana Oszmianka the largest clash between the Polish anti-Nazi Armia Krajowa and the Nazi Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force a Lithuanian volunteer security force subordinated to Nazi Germany.[48] The battle took place in and near the village of Murowana Oszmianka in Generalbezirk Litauen Reichskommissariat Ostland. The outcome of the battle was that the 301st LVR battalion was routed and the entire force was disbanded by the Germans soon afterwards.[49]

On 11 February 1944 the Resistance fighters of Polish Home Army's unit Agat executed Franz Kutschera, SS and Reich's Police Chief in Warsaw in action known as Operation Kutschera.[46][47] In a reprisal of this action 27 February 140 inmates of Pawiak - Poles and Jews were shot in a public execution by the Germans.

"Gray Wolf" with Polish national flag - German armored fighting vehicle SdKfz 251 captured by the Warsaw insurgents- 8-th "Krybar" Regiment, on August 14, 1944 from 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking.
Polish resistance soldiers from Batalion Zośka during 1944 Warsaw Uprising

1944

From November 1943, Operation Most III started. The Armia Krajowa provided the Allies with crucial intelligence on the German V-2 rocket. In effect some 50 kg of the most important parts of the captured V-2, as well as the final report, analyses, sketches and photos, were transported to Brindisi by a Royal Air Force Douglas Dakota aircraft. In late July 1944, the V-2 parts were delivered to London.[45]

On September 7, 1943, the Home Army killed Franz Bürkl during Operation Bürkl. Bürkl was a high-ranking Gestapo agent responsible for the murder and brutal interrogation of thousands of Polish Jews and resistance fighters and supporters. In reprisal, 20 inmates of Pawiak were murdered in a public execution by the Nazis.

Operation Heads started - action of the serial assassinations Nazi personnel sentenced to death by the Special Courts for crimes against Polish citizens in occupied Poland.

In August 1943 the headquarters of the Armia Krajowa ordered Operation Belt which was one of the large-scale anti-Nazi operations of the AK during the war. By February 1944, 13 German outposts were destroyed with few losses on the Polish side.[44]

AK members recovering V-2 from the Bug River.

In April 1943 the Germans began deporting the remaining Jews from the Warsaw ghetto provoking the Warsaw Ghetto Rising, April 19 to May 16. Some units of the AK tried to assist the Ghetto rising, but for the most part the resistance was unprepared and unable to defeat the Germans. One Polish AK unit, the National Security Corps (Państwowy Korpus Bezpieczeństwa), under the command of Henryk Iwański ("Bystry"), fought inside the ghetto along with ŻZW. Subsequently, both groups retreated together (including 34 Jewish fighters). Although Iwański's action is the most well-known rescue mission, it was only one of many actions undertaken by the Polish resistance to help the Jewish fighters.[43] In one attack, three cell units of AK under the command of Kapitan Józef Pszenny ("Chwacki") tried to breach the ghetto walls with explosives, but the Germans defeated this action.[39] AK and GL engaged the Germans between April 19 and April 23 at six different locations outside the ghetto walls, shooting at German sentries and positions and in one case attempting to blow up a gate.[39] After the failure of the uprising, the Jewish leaders knew they would be crushed, but they preferred to die fighting than wait to be deported to their deaths in the concentration camps.

In 1943 in London Jan Karski met the then much known journalist Arthur Koestler. He then traveled to the United States and reported to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His report was a major factor in informing the West. In July 1943, again personally reported to Roosevelt about the situation in Poland. He also met with many other government and civic leaders in the United States, including Felix Frankfurter, Cordell Hull, William Joseph Donovan, and Stephen Wise. Karski also presented his report to media, bishops of various denominations (including Cardinal Samuel Stritch), members of the Hollywood film industry and artists, but without success. Many of those he spoke to did not believe him, or supposed that his testimony was much exaggerated or was propaganda from the Polish government in exile.

On March 26, 1943 in Warsaw Operation Arsenal was launched by the Szare Szeregi (Gray Ranks) Polish Underground The successful operation led to the release of arrested troop leader Jan Bytnar "Rudy". In an attack on the prison, Bytnar and 24 other prisoners were freed.[42]

In early 1943 two Polish slave janitors[39] of Peenemünde's Camp Trassenheide provided maps,[40] sketches and reports to Armia Krajowa Intelligence, and in June 1943 British intelligence had received two such reports which identified the "rocket assembly hall', 'experimental pit', and 'launching tower'. When reconnaissance and intelligence information regarding the V-2 rocket became convincing, the War Cabinet Defence Committee (Operations) directed the campaign's first planned raid (the Operation Hydra bombing of Peenemünde in August 1943) and Operation Crossbow.[41]

1943

On the night from 7 to 8 October 1942 Operation Wieniec started. It targeted rail infrastructure near Warsaw. Similar operations aimed at disrupting German transport and communication in occupied Poland occurred in the coming months and years. It targeted railroads, bridges and supply depots, primarily near transport hubs such as Warsaw and Lublin.

The Zamość Uprising was an armed uprising of Armia Krajowa and Bataliony Chłopskie against the forced expulsion of Poles from the Zamość region under the Nazi Generalplan Ost.[37] The Germans attempted to remove the local Poles from the Greater Zamość area (through forced removal, transfer to forced labor camps, or, in some cases, mass murder) to get it ready for German colonization. It lasted from 1942 until 1944 and despite heavy casualties suffered by the Underground, the Germans failed.[38]

In 1942 Jan Karski reported to the Polish, British and U.S. governments on the situation in Poland, especially the Holocaust of the Jews. He met with Polish politicians in exile including the prime minister, and members of political parties such as the Socialist Party, National Party, Labor Party, People's Party, Jewish Bund and Poalei Zion. He also spoke to Anthony Eden, the British foreign secretary, and included a detailed statement on what he had seen in Warsaw and Bełżec.[36]

[35], providing them with false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's homes outside the Ghetto.Warsaw Ghetto, head of the children's division, who saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Irena Sendler The best-known activist of Żegota was [34] In September 1942 "The Żegota Council for the Aid of the Jews" was founded by

On 20 June 1942, the most spectacular escape from Auschwitz concentration camp took place. Ukrainian Eugeniusz Bendera and three Poles, Kazimierz Piechowski, Stanisław Gustaw Jaster and Józef Lempart made a daring escape.[32] The escapees were dressed as members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, fully armed and in an SS staff car. They drove out the main gate in a stolen Rudolf Hoss automobile Steyr 220 with a smuggled report from Witold Pilecki about the Holocaust. The Germans never recaptured any of them.[33]

Polish partisan Zdzisław de Ville "Zdzich", member of AK "Jędrusie" with Polish version of the M1918 BAR

1942

campaign. Italian landings in North Africa. These were the first large-scale Allied landings of the war, and their success in turn paved the way for the Allies' [31]Operation Torch. The information gathered by the Agency was used by the Americans and British in planning the amphibious November 1942 Maksymilian Ciężki and Major Gwido Langer His Polish allies in these endeavors included Lt. Col. [30] In July 1941

On March 7, 1941, two Polish agents of the Home Army killed Nazi collaborator actor Igo Sym in his apartment in Warsaw. In reprisal, 21 Polish hostages were executed. Several Polish actors were also arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz, among them such notable figures as directors Stefan Jaracz and Leon Schiller.

From March 1941, Witold Pilecki's reports were forwarded to the Polish government in exile and through it, to the British and other Allied governments. These reports informed the Allies about the Holocaust and were the principal source of intelligence on Auschwitz-Birkenau for the Western Allies.[29]

From April 1941 the Bureau of Information and Propaganda of the Union for Armed Struggle started Operation N headed by Tadeusz Żenczykowski. It involved sabotage, subversion and black-propaganda activities.[28]

1941

At the end of 1940 minor sabotage operations in occupied Poland. Its first action was drawing graffiti in Warsaw around Christmas Eve of 1940 commemorating the Wawer massacre.[26] Members of the AK Wawer "Small Sabotage" units painted "Pomścimy Wawer" ("We'll avenge Wawer") on Warsaw walls. At first they painted the whole text, then to save time they shortened it to two letters, P and W. Later they invented Kotwica -"Anchor" - which became the symbol of all Polish resistance in occupied Poland.[27]

During the night of January 21–22, 1940, in the Soviet-occupied Podolian town of Czortków, the Czortków Uprising started; it was the first Polish uprising during World War II. Anti-Soviet Poles, most of them teenagers from local high schools, stormed the local Red Army barracks and a prison, in order to release Polish soldiers kept there.

[24] In 1940,

łapanka, possibly the one in which Witold Pilecki was captured in autumn 1941, Warsaw, Żoliborz.

In March 1940, a partisan unit of the first guerrilla commanders in the Second World War in Europe under Major Henryk Dobrzański "Hubal" completely destroyed a battalion of German infantry in a skirmish near the village of Huciska. A few days later in an ambush near the village of Szałasy it inflicted heavy casualties upon another German unit. To counter this threat the German authorities formed a special 1,000 men strong anti-partisan unit of combined SSWehrmacht forces, including a Panzer group. Although the unit of Major Dobrzański never exceeded 300 men, the Germans fielded at least 8,000 men in the area to secure it.[20][21]

"Hubal" and his partisan unit - winter 1940
Major Henryk Dobrzański aka "Hubal"

1940

On November 9, 1939, two soldiers of the Polish army—Union for Armed Struggle (Związek Walki Zbrojnej), later renamed and better known as the Home Army (Armia Krajowa).[19]

Auschwitz

1939

Actions, operations and intelligence 1939-1945

[a]

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