August 1

August 1 is annually celebrated in Poland as the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Unfortunately, these celebrations are already traditionally held in an openly anti-Soviet and anti-Russian spirit: they say that Stalin and the USSR betrayed courageous rebels, giving them to the Germans to be torn to pieces. At the same time, it is deliberately forgotten that hundreds of thousands of our compatriots gave their lives for the freedom and independence of Poland. So what are the real facts about the 1944 Warsaw Uprising?
After the defeat of Poland by Germany in September 1939, a Polish emigrant government was formed in France (later in London), headed by General V. Sikorski. Until the start of World War II, it took a hostile attitude towards the USSR, based on the concept of "two historical enemies of Poland" - Russia and Germany. July 30, 1941, diplomatic relations between the USSR and the Polish government were restored. The agreement on this issue indicated the readiness of the Soviet Union to create Polish military units on its territory under the command of representatives appointed by the emigrant government, but subject to operational control of the Supreme Command of the USSR. The formation of the Polish army began in late August 1941. The Soviet Union allocated more than 300 million rubles for these purposes and provided weapons and food. By the beginning of 1942, the Polish army, commanded by the emigrant government, appointed General W. Anders, reached 73,415. In violation of the Soviet-Polish military agreement of August 14, 1941, the government of V. Sikorsky decided to withdraw Anders' army to the Middle East. The relocation began in March and ended in August 1942 - during the most difficult period of the Great Patriotic War for the USSR, when German troops captured the North Caucasus and reached Stalingrad. In total, 75,491 Polish soldiers and 37,756 members of their families left the USSR.
The evacuation of Anders' army could not but undermine Moscow's confidence in the Polish émigré government, and in the spring of 1942 the Union of Polish Patriots (SPP) was created in the Soviet Union, which included communists, left-wing socialists, people (i.e. members of the Peasant Party) and non-partisans. In Poland itself, in January 1942, under the name the Polish Workers' Party (PPR), the Communist Party, which was dissolved by the Comintern in 1938, was essentially recreated.
In April 1943, the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with the government of V. Sikorsky (after his death in July 1943, the cabinet was headed by S. Mikołajczyk), since the latter was actively included in the propaganda campaign launched by the Nazis on the “Katyn case”.
In addition to the open anti-Soviet policy of the emigrant government, the main problem that impeded the normalization of Soviet-Polish relations was the refusal of the Sikorsky cabinet to recognize the borders of September 1939, that is, to include the territories of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus in the USSR. Western allies (especially Great Britain, in whose armed forces the Anders army renamed the 2nd Polish Corps fought) tried to reconcile the Polish émigré government with Moscow. At the Tehran Conference of the Leaders of the USSR, USA and Great Britain (November 28 - December 1, 1943), British Prime Minister W. Churchill proposed that the "center of the Polish state and people" be located between the "Curzon Line" (the ethnographic border of Polish lands proposed by the Entente back in 1919 and approximately coinciding with the Soviet-Polish border in 1945-1991) and the “Oder River line with the inclusion of East Prussia and the Oppelnian province into Poland” (that is, parts of German Silesia). I.V. Stalin and US President F. Roosevelt agreed with this. At the same time, however, neither Churchill nor Roosevelt informed the Mikołajczyk’s government about the agreement reached in Tehran. In Poland itself, in early 1940, on the basis of the military type organization “Poland Victory Service”, the “Armed Forces Union” (SVB) was created, which received February 1942, the official name is the Army of Craiova, that is, the "internal" or "domestic" army (AK). The organization was subordinate to the émigré government in London, its military leader was the commander of all Polish armed forces, General K. Sosnkowski, sharply anti-Soviet. Directly in Poland itself, AK since July 1943 was headed by General T. Komorowski (combat nicknames Boer, Avalanche, Znich). The AK numbered, according to its own data, 350-380 thousand people, however, only several tens of thousands of soldiers were directly involved in combat groups that conducted sabotage activities and underwent regular military training. Until the end of 1943, AK was mainly engaged in intelligence gathering for the British command and the accumulation of weapons and ammunition from the UK. AK partisan detachments did not actually exist, and the vast majority of the organization’s members were in a legal position.This tactic was called the concept of "power conservation", according to which the AK had to "stand with a rifle at the foot" and wait for the military collapse of Germany, then to take power in Poland on behalf of the emigrant government. The AK leadership and the representative of the London government in Poland, the so-called delegate, took even more anti-Soviet positions than the offices of Sikorski and Mikołajczyk. So, in the official body of AK “Newsletter” dated October 1, 1942 it was reported: “The battle for Stalingrad is acquiring historical significance. It is also very important that the colossal battle on the "great river" is dragging on. In it, the two largest forces of evil mutually annihilate themselves - they fight against each other as if in their inevitable destiny. ” Considering the dissatisfaction of ordinary AK members with the organization’s inaction, the Information Bulletin (June 11, 1942) justified the absence of a partisan struggle by saying that it would “ease the situation of the Red Army, every moment awaiting a German attack.”
The first plans for an armed uprising in Poland were developed by AK back in 1940. Its premise was to defeat Germany from the Western allies and the withdrawal of German troops from Poland, and the task was to prevent the destruction of the country by the retreating Nazi troops. The plan also provided for the possibility of armed struggle with the Red Army to "liberate" the territories that became part of the USSR in September 1939. In 1941-1942 these plans were somewhat modified: in particular, the landing of Polish parts from Great Britain in Poland was envisaged, but the basis - the preliminary collapse of Germany - remained unshakable. At the same time, right up to the defeat of German troops near Stalingrad, the AK did not take into account the possibility of the Red Army entering Poland, since, based on the experience of the First World War, it believed that the USSR was so weakened that it was not capable of large-scale offensive operations.
In fairness, it must be said that the Sikorsky government tried to cool the anti-Soviet ardor of the AK command. Her commander-in-chief, General S. Rovetsky (pseudonym Grot), finally agreed to treat the Russians as allies, but only if the USSR returned to Poland Western Ukraine and Western Belarus6. After the severance of diplomatic relations between the Polish émigré government and the USSR, the AK command reiterated in its operational plans a “fundamentally hostile position” towards Moscow.
At the end of September 1943, the Anglo-American command officially notified the Mikołajczyk government that the Red Army would be the first to enter Poland. Thus, all previous plans of the AK, based on the collapse of Germany as a result of the military operations of the Western Allies, no longer corresponded to reality. Moreover, in Poland, guerrilla units of the Guards of Ludova (GL), that is, "popular", which, unlike the AK, practiced tactics of active armed opposition to the invaders, were increasingly active in controlling the PPR. In 1941-1943 other underground organizations were created that fought against the Nazis, such as militia detachments of the Workers' Party of Polish Socialists, the security corps, and the Polish People’s Army. In January 1944, a partisan people's army was created - the Army of Ludov (AL) under the command of General M. Zhimersky (pseudonym Role), the backbone of which was GL. As for the emigrant government, it, fearing to lose the confidence of the Poles, embarked on a limited struggle against the German invaders. In February-April 1944, several Soviet partisan formations, which interacted with the Polish national liberation forces, were transferred to Poland. In an effort to prevent the growth of AL’s authority, the AK command in the spring of 1943 ordered an attack on its units.
In October 1943, General T. Komorowski prepared a plan for an armed uprising in Warsaw. It was supposed to capture the capital with a sudden blow, and then, within a few days, land the Polish airborne brigade there and prepare everything necessary for the emigrant government to arrive in Warsaw from London. At the same time, units of the AK were to provide armed resistance to the Red Army in the territories that were part of Poland before September 1939. It is characteristic that the representative (delegate) of the emigrant government in Poland, Jankowski, in a memorandum addressed to Mikołajczyk on January 10, 1944, demanded, in addition to the return of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, the inclusion of East Prussia, Silesia and Lithuania into Poland. It was supposed to make Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine independent states under Polish control.
At a meeting in Quebec in August 1943, influenced by the relatively bloodless landing of allies in Italy, Churchill and Roosevelt approved the Rankin plan, which included an uprising in Warsaw by AK forces and Poland’s inclusion in the orbit of Western allies. In turn, AK counted on the inevitable "Soviet-Anglo-Saxon conflict", which would prevent the Red Army from entering Poland.On November 20, 1943, the commander of the AK issued an order to enact the Storm plan, which was a complex of sabotage actions against the retreating German troops. At the same time, it was envisaged to use the time gap between the withdrawal of the Wehrmacht and the entry of Soviet troops into one city or another to take the initiative into their own hands and “present” the authorities of the Polish emigrant government. Komorowski suggested that such a policy in the territory that the USSR considered its own after 1939 would inevitably provoke a negative reaction from the Soviet side, and then the Polish emigrant government would formally protest. Mikolajchik still did not know that Roosevelt and Churchill, and on the initiative of the latter, supported Moscow’s point of view on the future Soviet-Polish border. Thus, the Storm plan, despite its formidable name, was, in fact, a purely political action.
Meanwhile, in May 1943, the formation of new Polish units began in the USSR, which were not subordinate to the emigrant government and operated under the political patronage of the SPP and PPR. By May 29, in the division, which received the name of the 1st Polish Infantry Division. T. Kostyushko (commander - Colonel Z. Burling), there were more than 15 thousand people7. In October 1943, near the village of Lenino, a division reinforced by Soviet units, being part of the 33rd Army of the Western Front, was baptized. By the end of 1943, Polish troops in the USSR numbered 32,400 soldiers and officers, and in March of the following year, that is, immediately before the Red Army entered Poland, the Polish corps was deployed to the army (from July 1944, the 1st Army of the Polish Army ) under the command of Lieutenant General Z. Berling.
AK from the very beginning occupied a hostile attitude towards the Polish units in the USSR, calling them the “Russian mercenary army”. AK forces, which would be in the territory occupied by the Red Army, should not have been included in the army. Burling. However, the Soviet authorities did not intend to endure, which is understandable, in the controlled territory, the armed groups disobeying them, so their conflict with AK forces could not have been avoided. That is precisely what the leadership of the Home Army was counting on.
The first contact of the 27th division of the AK and the Red Army occurred in Volyn in March 1944 during the battles for the city of Kovel. True, the division in size barely “pulled” into two regiments. Nevertheless, the Soviet command decided to maintain its organizational independence, requiring only operational subordination. However, Komorowski did not agree with this: he wished to subordinate the division only to the orders of the main command of the AK and the emigrant government in London8. When the Germans went on the counterattack, and the 27th division was again in their rear, Komorowski forbade her to break through to join the Red Army, ordering her to go west.
In July 1944, the AK command ordered its troops to seize the “historical Polish cities” of Vilnius and Lviv on their own, before the Soviet troops approached, and proclaim the power of the emigrant government there. However, poorly armed Akovtsy could not complete the task, and both cities were liberated by the Red Army. For the first time, armed clashes between Akovtsy’s units and Soviet troops took place here, since the Poles, following the obviously provocative order of T. Komorowski, refused to disarm. However, in general, "The Tempest" did not reach its main goal - to aggravate relations between the Western allies and the USSR on the Polish question. The pace of the Soviet offensive in June-July 1944 was so rapid that the allies simply did not pay attention to AK shares. In addition, after the landing in Normandy, the Anglo-Americans found themselves in a very difficult situation and, counting on the help of the USSR, were not going to spoil relations with Moscow. Moreover, back in early 1944, Churchill tried to force the emigrant government to normalize contacts with the USSR and recognize the Curzon line, at least tentatively, as the basis for the future Soviet-Polish border. For example, in February 1944, Churchill demanded that Mikołajczyk remove from the government the most anti-Soviet elements (including Sosnkovsky) and recognize the new eastern borders of Poland, because otherwise the Kremlin would have no choice but to organize a new Polish government from "Pro-Soviet elements located in the country"At the same time, with the mediation of Czechoslovak President Benes in London, negotiations began between the Soviet ambassador to the emigrant governments V.Z. Lebedev and Mikolajchik’s office. However, the latter stubbornly refused to meet Moscow. On February 16, 1944, Churchill had a stormy explanation with Mikołajczyk, while openly declaring his sympathies for the “Russian position”: “I cannot but admit that the Russian demands for securing the western borders do not go beyond reason or legality.” Then Mikolajchik tried to enlist the support of the United States: on June 6, 1944, he arrived on a visit to Washington. Roosevelt, who needed the votes of an influential Polish community in the upcoming presidential elections in autumn, assured the Polish prime minister that he had never “given his consent to the Curzon line”. Moreover, the president advised Mikołajczyk to avoid a final solution to the question of the Soviet-Polish border. At the same time, the US ambassador in Moscow informed Stalin that Roosevelt’s negotiations with Mikołajczyk were in line with the Tehran accords. Nevertheless, the US administration, especially the military, demanded that Mikolajchik unconditionally coordinate the actions of the AK with the Soviet command. Depending on the fulfillment of this condition, the allocation to the Polish government of an annual loan of $ 10 million was made. In July 1944, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended that this amount not be allocated if the Craiova Army refused to cooperate with the Red Army.
Encouraged by US support, Mikołajczyk refused to recognize the Curzon line as the future Soviet-Polish border, and on June 23, 1944, the Soviet-Polish talks in London were interrupted: under these conditions, the USSR leadership set about forming the Polish National Liberation Committee on July 22, 1944. The PKNO on the same day in the liberated city of Helm proclaimed popular power and published its “Manifesto to the Polish People” with a program for the struggle for the independence of Poland.
The Polish émigré government was forced to ask the USSR to accept Mikołajczyk in Moscow. The uprising in Warsaw was supposed to be a reinforcement of his position at the talks in the Kremlin. There were other incentives to demonstrate power. So, Komorowski reported to London that the “inaction” of the AK could push the masses towards the Communists and that the Soviet troops, and even “worse” - the Polish units of Burling could triumphantly enter Warsaw without the participation of the Home Army. And in this case, without it, new power structures will be formed.
On July 21, having received news of an assassination attempt on Hitler, Komorowski decided that the long-awaited collapse of Germany had come, and ordered the AK forces in Warsaw to be ready for an uprising at any time starting July 25. At the same time, T. Komorowski rejected the idea of ​​a general uprising in Poland, as it would contribute to the successes of the Red Army, which against the background of the "tactful and flexible" position of the USSR could completely undermine the authority of the emigrant government.
July 23, 1944 I.V. Stalin declared his readiness to accept Mikolajchik in Moscow. On July 25, a meeting of the Polish émigré government was held in London, which gave the green light to the Warsaw uprising. However, Sosnkovsky in a telegram disagreement with Mikołajczyk Komorowski recommended the latter to abandon the uprising in order to save the AK forces for the subsequent struggle against the Soviet troops.
The uprising plan developed by the AK headquarters was based on the assumption that in the near future the German army itself would leave the Polish capital. It is only necessary to take power in the city before the entry of Soviet troops, for which it is necessary to seize the main government buildings in order to immediately place the authorities of the emigrant government in them. Since the Soviets were to be confronted with a fait accompli, no coordination with the advancing Soviet troops was envisaged. The whole concept of the uprising proceeded from a brief (2-3 days maximum) and relatively bloodless struggle against the retreating German troops. Moreover, in order not to delay their departure to the west, it was not planned to capture the most important transport communications, including strategically important bridges across the Vistula.
In order to create a counterbalance to the PKNO, which had chosen Lublin, which had just been liberated by the Soviet troops, as its temporary residence, in Warsaw on July 26, 1944, an “exposition” (ie representation) of the London government was created.From the 20th of July, 1944, panic has swept Warsaw: the occupation administration and the German civilian population flee from the city, which strengthens the AK command in the opinion of the correctness of the moment chosen for the uprising. But already on July 25-27, the situation changed dramatically: Hitler ordered the city to be held at all costs. The German administration is returning to the Polish capital, fresh German units are arriving in the Warsaw area, including the SS Panzer Division "German Goering". The head of the AK intelligence service K. Iranek-Osmetsky in these conditions suggested Komorowski to postpone the speech. The latter hesitated, and only the accusations on the part of the management of the exposition of cowardice forced the head of AK to fulfill the intended decision.
Not wanting to coordinate their actions with the USSR, AK tried to drag Britain into the upcoming adventure. On July 27, 1944, the Polish ambassador in London, Raczynski, officially notified Churchill of the impending uprising (Mikołajczyk was already on his way to Moscow), and the Minister of Defense of the emigrant government Kukel made specific demands in this regard: to reinforce the rebels with the forces of the Polish airborne brigade and aviation.
The British Committee of Chiefs of Staff in a written opinion on the Kukel memorandum noted: "In our opinion, allied operations in Poland can be carried out exclusively in full coordination with the Russian offensive." 13 The committee considered the sending of the Polish airborne brigade unrealistic, since a flight over Germany would have led to heavy and unjustified losses. The possible bombing of German airfields near Warsaw was also assessed as practically impracticable.
It is noteworthy that the British had no illusions about the combat power of the Craiova Army, believing that its potential was extremely small. Indeed, formally there were about 30 thousand fighters in the Warsaw okrug of the AK, which was twice as large as the German forces, but the rebels had only 47 machine guns, 657 machine guns, 29 anti-tank rifles, 2629 rifles, 2665 pistols and 50 thousand grenades. Heavy weapons were completely absent. Given that the Germans had fortified key buildings in the city in advance, preparing for defense against the Soviet troops, an uprising without heavy weapons was doomed to defeat.
On July 31, 1944, at a meeting of the AK General Staff, the point of view about the prematureness of the speech still prevailed. By this time, Komorowski already became aware of the German counterattack that had begun near Warsaw. However, at 17 h on July 31, the commander of the Warsaw District AK, Colonel A. Khrutzel (Montier) unexpectedly informed Komorowski that, according to the liaison officers, Soviet tanks had allegedly already invaded Prague (part of Warsaw, located on the eastern bank of the Vistula). Subsequently, it turned out that this information turned out to be false, but it was under its influence that Komorowski decided to give the order to start the uprising on August 1, 1944 at 5 p.m. Upon learning of the uprising in Warsaw, Himmler called it a “gift of fate”, as it became a convenient excuse for mass repression and destruction of the Polish capital.
It should be noted that, according to the Soviet plan of operation, approved by I.V. Stalin July 28, 1944, Warsaw was supposed to take not in the forehead, but bypass from the north and south, creating for this a springboard on the Vistula. Such tactics took into account the need to preserve the city as one of the centers of Slavic culture. July 28 - August 2, 1944, Soviet troops created a bridgehead south of Warsaw and transferred it to units of the Polish Army, which were supposed to advance along the river to enter Warsaw from the south. By this time, the troops of the 1st Belorussian Front (commander - Marshal of the Soviet Union K.K. Rokossovsky), who were near Warsaw, having fought with continuous battles for more than 600 km, were extremely exhausted. In addition, the rear areas were behind, there was no air cover, since the 16th Air Army had not yet had time to relocate 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 Nazis to Warsaw, who transferred additional forces here.Knowing all this, the German command decided to launch a powerful tank counterattack from Warsaw in the rear of the Soviet bridgehead on the Vistula. For these purposes, 5 tank divisions were deployed, transferred from Romania, Holland and Italy. Altogether, at the end of July, Germans concentrated 51.5 thousand soldiers and officers, 1158 guns and mortars, 600 tanks and self-propelled guns near Warsaw. The Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army, which was closest to the Polish capital, numbered 32 thousand fighters, 468 guns and mortars, 425 tanks and self-propelled guns. Having struck from three sides, the Germans actually surrounded and destroyed the 3rd tank corps of the 2nd Army and on August 2-3 th they threw back Soviet troops from Warsaw, who lost 280 tanks on the outskirts of the city and were forced to go on the defensive.
Meanwhile, Mikolajchik arrived in Moscow. July 31, he met with the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the USSR V.M. Molotov. During the conversation, the Polish prime minister did not say a word about the planned uprising. Churchill, who knew about the preparations for the uprising, also did not tell Stalin anything.
On August 1, 1944, at the appointed hour "W", an uprising broke out all over Warsaw. From the first days, several hundred soldiers of the Army Ludova joined the AK, while the bulk of the AL was withdrawn from the city before the uprising to establish a guerrilla struggle in the forests. The rebels captured most of the capital, but were unable to occupy a single large government building. Stations, main transport arteries and, most importantly, bridges across the Vistula remained in the hands of the enemy. In the city itself, the rebels, having captured a number of areas, still could not create a single liberated territory, because everywhere there were German strongholds. Komorowski himself admitted that the city in the sense of the location of the warring parties resembled a “chessboard”. On the first day, the unfired parts of the AK, which consisted mainly of youth and intellectuals, suffered heavy losses - about 2,000 people against 500 enemy soldiers and officers.
While in Moscow, the Polish prime minister, under the influence of optimistic messages from Komorowski at the first meeting with Stalin on August 3, 1944, announced that the “Polish underground army” had begun an open battle against the Germans in Warsaw on August 1, and he soon intended to go there to create his own government. Stalin objected that Warsaw seems to be still in German hands. However, Mikołajczyk insisted that the city would soon be completely liberated. “God grant that this is so,” replied the Soviet leader14. Stalin gave during the conversation a very accurate description of the Home Army, emphasizing that it was weak and did not wage an active struggle against the Nazis. Stalin bluntly told Mikołajczyk that the AK’s tactics, in his opinion, were “to take care of yourself and then show up when the British or Russians come to Poland”Starting on August 4, the Germans began the systematic suppression of the uprising by the forces of the SS, the police, Ukrainian nationalists and the so-called RONA, or the “Kaminsky brigade”, consisting of Vlasov and other traitors. At the same time, the Hitlerite command, using the disunity of the rebels, methodically, in turn destroyed the centers of resistance, using heavy guns, armored trains, tanks and flamethrowers. The rebels suffered significant losses, and soon there was a lack of ammunition. Given all this, the AK16 press began publishing materials that the uprising was allegedly coordinated with the British and the representative of the commander of the 1st Belorussian Front. At the same time, for the "representative of Rokossovsky" AK headquarters issued a certain captain Kalugin, who was allegedly abandoned by air to the rebels. Even Mikolaychik referred to Kalugin during the second conversation with Stalin on August 9, 1944. In fact, Kalugin served as an officer in the Vlasov army, fled in December 1943 to the Polish partisans. On August 5, 1944, Kalugin handed a telegram from Komorowski’s headquarters to Stalin with a request to help the rebel weapons.
On August 2, 1944, intelligence on the 1st Belorussian Front received the first, very vague reports of an uprising in Warsaw. The situation at that time remained unclear even for Komorowski. A Soviet liaison officer with a radio station was thrown into the city, but he died, as the Soviet command did not know the exact location of the rebel forces.
In a conversation with Stalin on August 9, Mikołajczyk's tone was already completely different: he asked for quick help to the rebels with weapons. Stalin did not mind. However, he rightly noted that the rebels first of all need heavy weapons, and it is technically not possible to drop them from airplanes. On the whole, the Soviet leader regarded the uprising as an “unrealistic affair,” since the Germans had three tank divisions and many infantry near Warsaw. “Just feel sorry for these Poles” (i.e. rebels). Stalin very frankly said that at first he considered the capture of Warsaw by the Soviet troops a matter of several days, however, the enemy transferred additional forces under the city and now the liberation of the Polish capital will take time. The Soviet leader proposed sending a liaison officer to the system of signals and ciphers. At the same time, with the participation of the special representative of the Supreme High Command Headquarters G.K. On August 8, 1944, Zhukov developed a new plan for the liberation of Warsaw. However, the operation could not begin earlier than August 25. The situation was complicated by the fact that the Nazis sharply intensified their pressure on the bridgehead south of Warsaw in the second half of August, so additional forces had to be diverted to keep it.
Meanwhile, the uprising assumed the character of a nationwide struggle against the invaders: the heroically fighting Warsaw did not know about the backstage maneuvers of the AK leadership and the true motives of the uprising. And in the AK press attacks on the USSR intensified, which, supposedly knowing in advance about the uprising, now does not render any help. In response, a TASS statement was published on August 13, 1944; it emphasized that the Soviet Union had nothing to do with the uprising, and it had not previously been coordinated with it. On August 16, in response to Churchill’s appeal for help to the rebels, Stalin said that at first he ordered "intensively dumping" of weapons in the Warsaw area, then the Soviet command, making sure "that the Warsaw action represents a reckless terrible adventure, commemorating a large number of victims", came to to the conclusion, "that it must dissociate itself from the Warsaw adventure, since it cannot bear direct or indirect responsibility for the Warsaw action."
Realizing that the uprising failed, the emigrant government tried to blame responsibility for its beginning not only in Moscow, but also in London. So, in early August, the Poles complained to the Americans that the British, promising supposedly to help the uprising, which, as mentioned earlier, was not true, now refuse to do so. However, on 3, 4, and 13 August 1944, British aviation carried out the dumping of weapons and food over Warsaw. As expected, the losses of the bombers from the enemy anti-aircraft fire were disproportionately heavy: on average, one downed plane per ton of cargo dropped. At the same time, most of the cargo, especially during the last flights, fell into the hands of the Germans, since the dumps had to be carried out from high altitudes. Mikołajczyk’s attempt to induce US assistance was also unsuccessful: the Americans alluded to the fact that AK is operatively subordinate to London. True, on August 14, 1944, the Americans asked the USSR for permission to use Soviet airfields for shuttle flights to Warsaw, but the USSR did not go for it, because it did not want to show its involvement in the AK adventure. The position of the USSR was undoubtedly affected by the failure of negotiations with Mikołajczyk in Moscow: the latter again refused to recognize the eastern borders of Poland in accordance with the “Curzon line”. In addition, the Soviet side became aware that the cargo of the Allies, dumped from great heights, went to the Germans. It is characteristic that in mid-August, the Western allies and Mikołajczyk himself acknowledged in correspondence with the Soviet leadership that the uprising had begun prematurely.
Thus, by the beginning of September 1944, it became clear that only the advance of the Red Army could really save the rebels from a planned and systematic extermination. On August 22, 1944, in a letter to Churchill and Roosevelt, Stalin emphasized that “the Soviet troops ... are doing everything possible to ... launch a new broad offensive near Warsaw. There can be no doubt that the Red Army will spare no effort to defeat the Germans near Warsaw and free Warsaw for the Poles. This will be the best and most effective help to the anti-Nazi Poles. ”
On September 5, 1944, in his secret analysis of the situation, Komorowski wrote: “I think that we do not have to indulge in the illusions that the Soviet offensive will conquer Warsaw in a few days. The Germans have enough strength to stop the Soviet advance. Russian forces are divorced from their supply bases and lack communication facilities. The Germans, on the contrary, have all this ... The Vistula protects the Germans from the Russian invasion. ”22 It is characteristic that, well aware of the true motives of the Soviet position, the AK headquarters, through its press, continued to assure the Warsaw residents of the “betrayal of Moscow”.
Throughout the end of August 1944, the troops of the 1st and 2nd Belorussian fronts tried active offensive actions.discard the powerful German grouping hanging over Warsaw from the northeast to create conditions for the liberation of the capital of Poland.
On September 10, 1944, the 47th Army and the 1st Army of the Polish Army launched an offensive on Warsaw. They were opposed by a 100,000-strong German group, the average density of which was: one division on a 5-6 km front. Stubborn battles ensued for the eastern part of Warsaw - Prague. On the night of September 14, Soviet troops reached the Vistula. The Nazis managed to blow up all the bridges across the river. Weak rebel forces (by that time Komorowski had already begun negotiations with the Germans on surrender), pushed into the city center, could not prevent the destruction of bridges. Once again, the lack of coordination between the actions of the AK and the Soviet troops affected. In the battles for Prague, 8,500 Nazis were destroyed, and Moscow on September 14, 1944 saluted the troops who took this part of the city, officially declared by the Germans as a fortress, in volleys of 224 guns.
It was September 14-15, 1944, from the military point of view, that was the most suitable moment for the uprising in Warsaw, which, if the bridges over the Vistula were seized, could lead to a quick and with minimal losses the liberation of the city.
The output of Soviet troops on the Vistula forced Komorowski to interrupt negotiations with the Germans and strengthened the fighting spirit of the rebels. On September 13, 1944, Soviet aircraft (unlike the British operating at extremely low altitudes) began to drop rebels weapons and food. In total, from September 14 to October 1, 1944, the rebels received 156 mortars, 505 anti-tank rifles, 2,667 machine guns and rifles, 41,780 grenades, 3 million rounds of ammunition, 113 tons of food and 500 kg of medicines.
On September 16, 1944, the 1st Army of the Polish Army began crossing the western bank of the Vistula, trying to connect with the rebels who kept the southern and northern suburbs of Warsaw - Chernyakuv and Zholiborz off the coast. From September 16 to 20, 6 reinforced infantry battalions were transported to Warsaw, however, tanks and guns could not be transported. By September 23, the Nazis displaced the landing on the east coast. The Polish units suffered heavy losses: 3,764 killed and wounded. Under these conditions, the AK command could strike from the center of the city to help the landing, but it not only did not do this, but, on the contrary, ordered its units not to cross with the paratroopers back to the Vistula, but to make their way to the center of the capital.
On September 27, the Germans launched a decisive attack on the rebel areas. Komorowski rejected the idea of ​​breaking through the Vistula, and on October 2, 1944, he signed a surrender agreement with the commander of the German forces in Warsaw, SS General von dem Bach Zelewski. 17 thousand rebels were captured, including 922 AK officers. The units of the Ludova Army left the city and partially made their way through the Vistula. As a result of the uprising, up to 200 thousand Poles died, including 16 thousand rebels. The Germans took out the entire civilian population of Warsaw from the city, 87 thousand people were sent to forced labor in Germany. During the uprising, the Nazis destroyed 25 percent. pre-war buildings of the city. Until the liberation of Warsaw on January 17, 1945, SS units, on Himmler’s instructions, systematically blew up cultural monuments (especially archives and libraries) of the Polish capital.
Note that the main forces of the German troops during the uprising were at the front, where the Germans suffered 75 percent. all losses. The troops of the 1st Belorussian Front lost 166,808 soldiers and officers at the approaches to Warsaw in August - the first half of September 1944.
The Warsaw uprising of August-September 1944 is an example of the heroic struggle of the Poles against the German invaders, which ended tragically due to the anti-Soviet views of the Polish emigrant government and the Army subordinate to it Craiova, who did not want to coordinate the place and time of the uprising with the USSR. Celebrating every year on August 1 the anniversary of the uprising in Warsaw, both Russians and Poles should jointly pay tribute to the heroism of their fathers and grandfathers. This date is intended to unite the historical memory of Russia and Poland around the main conclusion: only friendship and close interaction between the two Slavic peoples are the key to their happy and worthy future.