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Warsaw Rising 1944 - National Disaster or Triumph of Spirit ?


Ozi Dan 26 | 569
30 Sep 2011 #61
Since Soviet help wasn't forthcoming and the uprising failed to liberate Warsaw, and it cost many Polish lives, it is fair to say from a purely military perspective that the AK commanders made a mistake, but you never know until you try, and the brave people of Warsaw were surely willing to try, and their cause was just, and so from an ethical perspective it is fair to say that the AK commanders didn't make a mistake.

Well said. Whilst I'm sure you're aware of it, Gen. Okulicki (aka Bear Cub) provided a statement as to the reasons why the Rising was launched. It makes compelling (and I'd suggest compulsory, given its candour) reading and is an Appendix to Davies' Rising '44, or may be available online. I prefer his views to the fantasies postulated by some of our resident armchair experts.

Indubitably, a triumph of the spirit, relative to the circumstances. I can't recall who said it, but to borrow a phrase "To Poland, it was more important to play the game fairly than to win it". Modern day Poland is far removed from such romantic notions, but vis a vis tragedies of the past, which cannot be changed or rationalised, such sentiment provides solace and a hope that the sacrifice wasn't in vain.
Ironside 48 | 9,887
30 Sep 2011 #62
It all come to choice between laying low and hoping to be overlooked or to fight.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
17 Feb 2012 #63
The capitulation of Warsaw from a Nazi newsreel.

Those Polish AK soldiers, though defeated, look so dignified.



They had the right to look so because the noble fighting against such odds and horrible losses they sustained in combat and in executions made them the best soldiers.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
17 Feb 2012 #64
Those Polish AK soldiers, though defeated, look so dignified.

That would be something the German newsreel would want to show. After all, it would be hard to explain having sustained losses fighting a weak opponent.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
17 Feb 2012 #65
After all, it would be hard to explain having sustained losses fighting a weak opponent.

Unfortunately, German losses were minimal, incomparable to the Polish.
Harry
17 Feb 2012 #66
Actually, the losses on both sides were fairly similar. The real carnage was suffered by the non-combatants. I do wish people would learn that cities are an utterly crap place to have a battle.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
17 Feb 2012 #67
Actually, the losses on both sides were fairly similar.

No, Harry, you are wrong. You fell prey to Polish propaganda. :):):):)
Harry
17 Feb 2012 #68
While the Warsaw Uprising is not perfect, I wouldn't call it propaganda.

: What were the human and material costs of the Uprising?

A: POLES: 15,200 insurgents killed and missing, 5,000 wounded, 15,000 sent to POW camps.
...
GERMANS: 16,000 killed and missing, 9,000 wounded.

warsawuprising.com/faq.htm
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
17 Feb 2012 #69
: What were the human and material costs of the Uprising?

A: POLES: 15,200 insurgents killed and missing, 5,000 wounded, 15,000 sent to POW camps.
...
GERMANS: 16,000 killed and missing, 9,000 wounded.

Sorry, that is propaganda. :):):):) Created by Americans, probably based on Polish sources.

Here is true data:

'More than 9,000 AK were taken prisoner. Approximately 3,500 preferred to go underground, although the Germans kept their word almost completely. About 16,000 AK soldiers perished or had been reported 'missing presumed dead'. 6,000 were wounded. Almost 200,000 civilians died. The Germans registered 2,000 killed and 9,000 wounded.'

While the Warsaw Uprising is not perfect, I wouldn't call it propaganda.

Let`s call it little whitening then.. :):):):):)

You don`t really think that insurgents, with Molotov cocktails and a few carbines, killed 9000 Germans equipped with tanks, planes and rocket launchers, let alone unlimited guns and ammo?

Read the whole discussion here:
feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=1182
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
17 Feb 2012 #70
Oh,yeah,if you speak Polish,actually,even if you dont, do follow the last link in the thread Pawian has linked to. whatfor pl or something like that,fantastic website.
Ogorki - | 115
18 Feb 2012 #71
Let`s call it little whitening then.. :):):):):)

Lets face it - you cannot verify the facts you have. We will probably never know. The fact is - when you send troops - however well armed - into narrow street warfare - tanks and bombs are inaffective - and casualties will start to mount. The Poles were on home ground for 2 MONTHS.

They were organised. Can't remember which German Soldier said that Warsaw was the perect example of CHAOS and that the fighting was worse than Stalingrad.

My collegue has spent a loooong time filming interviews with surviving Polish AK fighters - and lets just say that - they know - they know what they did. :):):):):):) (back atcha)

Home
Where the Fields are Green
The Woods are Clean
My Soul - Serene
Gregrog 4 | 100
19 Feb 2012 #72
I do wish people would learn that cities are an utterly crap place to have a battle.

You're wrong - cities are perfect to have a battle with stronger opponent, who has more tanks, guns etc. Examples: Warsaw 39, Wilno 39, Stalingrad, Berlin. The only problem is with civilians. If they won't be evacuated, they will be killed. Small number of casualties of Polish underground compared to civilians comes from the fact that soldiers at line were very close to the enemy - sometimes just rooms, wall. All enemy artillery, planes etc were put behind front line to make sure it won't make friendly fire.

Read the whole discussion here:

Why you have quoted just one post? Other differ much from your statement.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
19 Feb 2012 #73
Why you have quoted just one post? Other differ much from your statement.

I quoted the post I consider closest to truth.

I provided the link for anybody who disagrees with me to check other versions.

Satisfied? :):):):)
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
20 Feb 2012 #74
The capitulation of Warsaw from a Nazi newsreel.

Those Polish AK soldiers, though defeated, look so dignified.

Hi Pawian. There is no doubt in my mind that had HMG not given a very strong and clear message to the Germans that if they massacred the AK prisoners, similar would befall the German prisoners in British custody, these AK prisoners would be dead. If you had any relatives who fought in the Rising, they have probably told you gut churning stories of what was done to AK and civilian prisoners once caught.

In contrast, the AK (with rare exception) observed the proper procedure for taking and holding German prisoners, though I am aware of one instance where arbitrary vengeance was meted out to a German flamethrower team who burned a civilain family alive in their basement.

The anecdoes of WW2 are littered with Polish forebearance toward a fallen enemy. I think it was Skalski who in the first days of the war, shot down a German pilot, then actually landed to check if he was alright.

You don`t really think that insurgents, with Molotov cocktails and a few carbines, killed 9000 Germans equipped with tanks, planes and rocket launchers, let alone unlimited guns and ammo?

It's actually quite correct. The Germans suffered such a high proportion of kiled to wounded by virtue of the AK's limited ammunition - simply, the AK had to make every shot count, and had a high proportion of marksmen in their ranks.

In fact, the AK's success and guerilla nous was such that some German counter partisan units from the East were brought in to learn how to fight in an urban environment from the AK.

Home
Where the Fields are Green
The Woods are Clean
My Soul - Serene

I love this simple poem from Michener - thanks for positng it mate! Did you like "Poland"?
Harry
20 Feb 2012 #75
Dan, you got a source for that statement about what HMG said? Not doubting you, just not heard it before, although most of my reading about WWII hasn't been about that period.
thebadmonkey 2 | 71
20 Feb 2012 #76
Looking back at the Rising now, it was destined for failure. From a cold blooded, purely factual viewpoint it was a disaster.

From a human viewpoint it was something very different. It is impossible not to learn and read about the Rising and not be affected by it. Courage and a desire to be free are not tangible facts. It's not something that can be quantified, or measured anyway. It's something that can only felt and can only inspire. From that perspective it's a very different story.

An important, albeit much less bloody uprising in our history led in a roundabout way to our freedom. On the face of it, the Easter Rising here was ill conceived, poorly executed and a complete miltiary failure. Yet it inspired thousands, and indirectly sparked a wider rebellion which led to freedom. Had the Allies not abandoned Poland to 'Uncle' Joe, who is to say what would have happened as a result of the Warsaw Rising?

It's all too easy to pass judgement on something with the benefit of hindsight, stripping out the human element but that's not really representitive of the reality of the time.

As an aside, the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising is simply amazing, and v ery poignant - because of the very human element it represents. Not just black words on dry papeer but interactive and reflecting the personal aspects of it.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
21 Feb 2012 #77
Had the Allies not abandoned Poland to 'Uncle' Joe, who is to say what would have happened as a result of the Warsaw Rising?

Great post - I enjoyed reading it.

You're Irish? Are you familiar with the significant Irish contribution for Poland during the Polish Insurrection in the 1860's? It makes fascinating reading.

Dan, you got a source for that statement about what HMG said?

Nope. Can't recall where I read that. Most likely though a book on the Rising by an English author. I can't remember the name or title, but the cover jacket had a grey background with a monochrome/shadow/negative style picture of someone with their hands in the air.

I might add that after thinking more about the passage, I seem to recall that the issue was more to do with affording the AK combatant status, viz the Polish Army proper under command of HMG. I also recall that it was formulated about halfway through the Rising, after mounting pressure from the Government in Exile. Nevertheless, HMG did it, and credit is given where it is due.
Ironside 48 | 9,887
21 Feb 2012 #78
It's actually quite correct. The Germans suffered such a high proportion of kiled to wounded by virtue of the AK's limited ammunition - simply, the AK had to make every shot count, and had a high proportion of marksmen in their ranks.

Yes, that is correct.
Barney 14 | 1,469
22 Feb 2012 #79
Courage and a desire to be free are not tangible facts. It's not something that can be quantified, or measured anyway. It's something that can only felt and can only inspire.

It’s easy to interpret the rising as a disaster especially for those "hard empiricists", how you want to interpret it is something else all together. The rising is still seen as a beacon for freedom loving people. It's hard for others to understand what something like this means to a nation.

All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Ogorki - | 115
25 Feb 2012 #80
Looking back at the Rising now, it was destined for failure. From a cold blooded, purely factual viewpoint it was a disaster

The Warsaw uprising was the second betrayal by the allies. Warsaw was re-taken by the AK. The AK fulfilled their role.

The allies (mainly Russia) did not support the uprising and therefore it ultimately failed. It's simple.

To illustrate the will and passion of the Poles - It took the great 'Wehrmacht' TWO months to crush it...

...and all this time the allies just stood by and watched...
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
9 Apr 2012 #81
A coloured documentary about the Rising mainly from Nazi and Soviet newsreel. The selection is a bit chaotic, but still impressive.


isthatu2 4 | 2,704
9 Apr 2012 #82
Thanks for the post pawian. I normally hate colourised documentries but that wasnt too bad.
Im working on a few maps of significant events in the Rising using (shh,not sure of copyright issues) Google earths 1935 and 1945 images of Warsaw at the moment,will start posting them once they are complete if anyone is interested. Got a local history one to work on first though for the county archeologist so it will be a week or so maybe.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
9 Apr 2012 #83
Im working on a few maps of significant events in the Rising using (shh,not sure of copyright issues) Google earths 1935 and 1945 images of Warsaw at the moment,will start posting them once they are complete if anyone is interested.

Some people will be interested. You mean comparing aerial images of Warsaw from 1935 and 1945 to see the scale of destruction?
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
9 Apr 2012 #84
Well,thats pretty easy to do just going through the time line. Im hopping to expand a little on that,showing the various enclaves ,areas held or captured by the AK etc.

The 1935 views are helpfull mostly for showing whats missing from the 1945 views. I know that sounds like comparing,sorry if Im not putting it well but,its slightly more complicated than that, for instance what would be missing is any sense of the scale of destruction from 1939,so an honest *before and after* has to take that into acount .
Hipis - | 227
21 Apr 2012 #85
I think the decision to commence The Uprising when it did was more politically motivated than anything else. The Polish government in exile in London already knew that the Russians were disarming and killing AK members before the Red Army had got close to Russia, the Lublin Committee had been installed by Stalin on 22nd July and the only hope of political leverage on Polish soil was to liberate Warsaw. It was a gamble that failed and yes, it was a national catastrophe in terms of the outcome, the casualties, the destruction of the city and it left no credible opposition to Stalin's plans on Polish soil.

What would have happened if the AK had been successful in liberating Warsaw? I doubt the German High Command would have shrugged their shoulders and accepted the defeat, especially if the Red Army still showed no desire to cross the Vistula. Surely the end result would have been the same with the destruction of the city.

What if they had waited until the Red Army started their assault on the city? History shows that the Red Army were merciless in their artillery and aircraft bombing of any opposition and if the AK attacked the German positions in support of a Russian assault, who's to say that the political Commisars would not have ordered the shelling of AK positions as well as German ones? Whatever the strategy, it was a case of damned if they do and damned if they don't in terms of launching an uprising. I don't think Sikorski meant any insult towards those who took part when he said what he did but in truth that's what it was, it does not detract from the courage of those who took part nor does it dishonour their memory.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
1 Aug 2012 #86
Today, anniversary again.

Opinions on Warsaw rising are mixed, as today`s Madonna`s concert in Warsaw shows. Some people object to it, claiming it is disrespectful, while others hail with enthusiasm, saying that the Rising belongs to history and we are living in 21 century.

wbj.pl/article-59796-madonnas-warsaw-concert-causing-controversy.html

Members of Catholic groups, right-wing politicians and World War II veterans have suggested that the concert should not take place on such a historic date.

A group of young Catholics from the Piotr Skarga Institute have decided to organize a protest, under the banner, "I am not going to attend Madonna's concert."

"August 1 is a Polish national holiday. Let us pay tribute to the living and dead insurgents, who selflessly fought for our homeland," the added.


bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19073070

Some are urging ticket-holders to boycott Wednesday's show, which comes 68 years after the city's failed revolt against Nazi occupation began.
Organisers of the concert have agreed to show a short clip about the events of 1944 before the performance.
Every year, Poles commemorate the 200,000 lives lost during the uprising.
Conservative opposition MP Stanislaw Pieta has appealed to the government not to allow the concert to go ahead in Warsaw's National Stadium, Polish Radio reports.


Personally, I don`t care about Madonna.
Who wants, will celebrate the Rising.
Who doesn`t, can go to a concert.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
1 Aug 2012 #87
“I am not going to attend Madonna's concert.”

Neither am I!! Solidarity my Brothers!!!

Down with this sort of thing!
Carefull now!
Harry
1 Aug 2012 #88
August 1 is a Polish national holiday.

Really? Since when?
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
1 Aug 2012 #89
pawian: August 1 is a Polish national holiday.
Really? Since when?

It is unofficial. :)

Respect:

There is a city



Will you stand up and remain still for one minute at 17.00 hours in Warsaw today?
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
1 Aug 2012 #90
Ive had this on my Facebook page and shared it a couple of days ago.


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