- Polish resistance movement in World War II
The Polish resistance movement was a
resistance movementin Poland which fought against the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germanyduring World War II. It was an important part of the European anti-fascistresistance movement. In Poland resistance to the Nazi German occupation began already before the German invasion of Polandhad ended, although there is little terrain in Polandsuitable for guerrilla operations.
The largest of the Polish resistance organizations was the Home Army (in Polish "Armia Krajowa" or AK), loyal to the
Polish government in exilein London. It was formed in 1942 from the Union of Armed Struggle("Związek Walki Zbrojnej" or ZWZ which was created in 1939) and incorporated most of the other Polish resistance groups (with the exceptions of communists and some far-right groups). It was also the military arm of the Polish Secret State. From 1943 the AK was increasingly in competition with the communist resistance People's Army(Polish "Armia Ludowa" or AL), backed by the Soviet Unionand controlled by the Polish Workers' Party(Polish "Polska Partia Robotnicza" or PPR). By 1944 the AK had some 380,000 men, although not all of them were armed: the AL was much smaller, numbering around 30,000 [http://encyklopedia.pwn.pl/3804_1.html] . By the summer of 1944 Polish underground forces numbered more than 300,000 [http://www.polishembassy.ca/files/Polish%20Armed%20Forces%20in%20WWII%20eng.pdf] with some estimates of over 400,000-500,000.
In April 1943 the Germans began deporting the remaining
Jews from the Warsaw ghetto, provoking the Warsaw Ghetto Rising, April 19to May 16, one of the first armed uprisings against the Germans in Poland (see also Zamosc Uprising). 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. The Jewish leaders knew that the rising would be crushed but they preferred to die fighting than wait to be deported to their deaths in the camps.
During 1943 the Home Army built up its forces in preparation for a national uprising. The plan was code-named
Operation Tempestand began in late 1943. Its most widely known elements were Operation Ostra Bramaand the Warsaw Uprising. 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. Soviet forces were less than 20 km away but on the orders of Soviet High Command they gave no assistance. Stalin described the rising as a "criminal adventure". The Poles appealed for the western Allies for help. The Royal Air Force, and the Polish Air Force based in Italy, dropped some arms but, as in 1944, it was almost impossible for the Allies to help the Poles without Soviet assistance.
The fighting in Warsaw was desperate, with selfless valour being displayed in street-to-street fighting. 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 recruited from Soviet Army deserters were particularly brutal.
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 Ravensbruck, Auschwitz, Mauthausenand 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.
In the latter years of the war, there were increasing conflicts between Polish and Soviet partisans, some groups continued to oppose the Soviets long after the war. The last of the
cursed soldiers- members of the militant anti-communist resistance in Polandwas Józef Franczakwho was killed by ZOMOin 1963.
Antyfaszystowska Organizacja Bojowa
Gwardia Ludowa WRN
Narodowa Organizacja Wojskowa
Narodowe Siły Zbrojne
Obóz Polski Walczącej
Państwowy Korpus Bezpieczeństwa
Związek Walki Zbrojnej
Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa
Żydowski Związek Walki
Belarusian resistance movement
Lithuanian resistance during World War II
History of Poland (1939–1945)
Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany
Polish areas annexed by Soviet Union
Resistance during World War II
Operation Ostra Brama
* [http://wilk.wpk.p.lodz.pl/~whatfor/armia_krajowa.htm Armia Krajowa]
* [http://www.sp11.nowytarg.pl/sp11/module.php?show=patron Armia Krajowa]
* [http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/5/0,1872,2149861,00.html Die "Stunde W"]
* [http://wilk.wpk.p.lodz.pl/~whatfor/zw_nsz.htm Narodowe Siły Zbrojne]
* [http://www.poloniatoday.com/record2.htm POLAND: HERE IS THE RECORD]
* [http://www.polishresistance-ak.org/ Polish Resistance in World War II]
* [http://www.electronicmuseum.ca/index.html Tadeusz WICHROWSKI - "Wicher"]
* [http://www.warsawuprising.com/paper/okulicki2.htm Warsaw Uprising 1944]
* [http://www.atsnotes.com/articles/article-contibution-en.html History of Warsaw's contributions levied by the German Occupation Authority]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Polish resistance movement — was the resistance movement in Poland. Although the majority of the szlachta was reconciled to the end of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, the possibility of Polish independence was kept alive by events within and without Poland… … Wikipedia
Resistance in Lithuania during World War II — During World War II, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union (1940 1941), Nazi Germany (1941 1944), and the Soviet Union again in 1944. Resistance during this period took many forms. This article presents a summary of the organizations,… … Wikipedia
Resistance during World War II — occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns. Resistance movements are sometimes also… … Wikipedia
World War II casualties — World War II was humanity s deadliest war, causing tens of millions of deaths. The tables below provide a detailed country by country count of human losses.Total human lossesThe total estimated human loss of life caused by World War II was… … Wikipedia
Resistance movement — Members of the White Rose, Munich 1942. From left: Hans Scholl, his sister Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst … Wikipedia
Polish contribution to World War II — Campaign name=Main engagements of Polish forces during World War II battles=Westerplatte – Mokra – Bzura – Enigma – Narvik – France Battle of Britain – Tobruk Crusader – Gazala – Dieppe – Tunisia Lenino – Monte Cassino Caen Osuchy – Ostra Brama – … Wikipedia
World War II — the war between the Axis and the Allies, beginning on September 1, 1939, with the German invasion of Poland and ending with the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, and of Japan on August 14, 1945. Abbr.: WWII * * * or Second World War (1939–45)… … Universalium
World War I — the war fought mainly in Europe and the Middle East, between the Central Powers and the Allies, beginning on July 28, 1914, and ending on November 11, 1918, with the collapse of the Central Powers. Abbr.: WWI Also called Great War, War of the… … Universalium
World War II — WWII redirects here. For other uses, see WWII (disambiguation) … Wikipedia
World War I — This article is about the major war of 1914–1918. For other uses, see World War One (disambiguation) and Great War (disambiguation). World War I … Wikipedia