August 1 – Warsaw Uprising


Warsaw was the center of a Polish rebellion against Nazi occupation during the summer of 1944, late in World War II. The Warsaw Uprising, as it’s known, was timed to weaken Nazi forces ahead of a scheduled Soviet advance on the city, but the Soviet Red Army’s offensive toward the city was blocked, leaving the rebellion to fend for itself.

Polish rebels fought for more than two months, sustaining heavy casualties among both fighters and civilians. Approximately 200,000 were killed during the uprising while the city itself was left in ruins.

Warsaw and its citizens were eventually able to rebuild — but they never forgot the Warsaw Uprising. On Aug. 1 of every year, Warsaw residents pay homage to those lost during the siege by holding a city-wide moment of silence.


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  • BG

    Not sure where I got my history from, but I thought the Soviet advance was held back on purpose? I thought the idea to hold back was a cynical ploy by Stalin to inflict as much damage on the polish resistance before the Red Army mopped up.

    Remember that the Russians had no time for the Poles; as evidence of their massacre at Katyn during the Barbarossa German advance.  

    • In Vino Veritas

      BG, you are correct. The Soviets had advanced into the outer suburbs and then stopped. They gave no air support to the uprising even though they had an operational airstrip 5 minutes flying time away. The Poles established control over most of central Warsaw during the intial phase of the uprising.

      Essentially the Polish nationalists were wiped out, giving Stalin a free ride in Poland after the war.

  • gazzaw

    Yet another example of Soviet cynicism and total disregard for humanity. Stalin’s end game was to remove any Polish opposition to post-war occupation of Poland by the Soviets. Churchill & Roosevelt turned a blind eye & were equally culpable.

    An enigmatic Kiwi by the name of Ron Jeffrey wrote an excellent book called ‘Red Runs the Vistula’ about his experiences in Poland that exposes much of the political dirt & made him an enemy of western intelligence services. .

    • In Vino Veritas

      Not quite correct gazzaw, Churchill pleaded with both Stalin and Roosevelt to intervene. The British sent a mission to the Russians in Dec 1944 (well after the uprising had been crushed), they were promptly imprisoned.

      • gazzaw

        You are quite correct IVV. Should have checked my facts and not gone on recall.

    • TayheiNotts

      Jeffrey’s book was indeed very good.

  • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

    “the Soviet Red Army’s offensive toward the city was blocked” because they chose it to be.  They ‘had a cup of tea’ while the Germans and the Poles did the Russians dirty work for them, and the Russians could then mp up any/all resistience and have a more pliant Polish people to occupy.

    • le sphincter

      Excuse me , the Germans did all the destruction here ! There is only one country to blame for the destruction of Warsaw!.
      Some people forget that in Jan 44 the Siege of Leningrad was raised and in Aug the Soviet army was at the suburbs of Warsaw.  Armies dont go this sort of distance forever.

      it was 1500km in 8 months !

      I seem to remember it was 200km from Normandy to Paris but took the Allies 3 months

      • In Vino Veritas

        As always Schpink you have little idea. It was the German Army Group centre that was thrown back to Poland during Operation Bagration during June-August 1944. The Russians from Leningrad were held up along the Panther Line in Estonia by German Army Group North.
        The Russian 3rd Guards and 1st Guards Tank were already extremely close to the Polish border when the offensive began, (from memory at Kovel).

      • The Soviets were actively calling for the Uprising to begin, and also said specifically that they would help.  They just didn’t say what side they were helping.  It got more obvious when they stopped on the other side of the Vistula, and arrested any Polish Home Army units that they came across.

        It became more blatantly obvious when Allied planes who flew supplies in preferred to make the journey back over enemy lines rather than being shot at by their supposed allies if they dared to fly over Soviet controlled airspace.

        The Uprising took TWO MONTHS; all that time the Russians sat and watched.  After the Home Army surrendered to the Germans, the Germans spent another THREE MONTHS razing the city.  It was only after the Germans were long gone (January, I believe) that the Soviet army advanced into a mostly deserted, destroyed city.

      • gazzaw

        And not the first time that the Soviets had committed atrocities in Poland in WW2. The murder of hundreds of Polish officers at Katyn and the masses of dissidents and Polish troops sent to the Siberian gulags after the Soviets grabbed their share of Poland in 1939.

      • le sphincter

        Dont forget the polish atrocities committed during the  Polish-Soviet War in the 1920s.
         100,000 jews were murdered by the poles for good measure.

      • kowtow

        The Allies were  not prepared to treat their fighting men like the Nazis and Soviets did theirs, as armed peasants sent into meat grinders and oblivious of casualties. They had huge logistical issues getting enough gear through the few Channel ports available.Paris wasn’t even a strategic objective and was actually a distraction to the real effort of capturing more ports up the coast.

      • kowtow

        And the Poles stopped the commies in 1920.

      • Mostlyharmless

        Amazing how lefties still feel the need to defend the Soviet Union, a state that did more harm to the reputation of socialism than any right-wing ideologue could have. 

  • Thanks for this post, Cameron.

    • wiltinpenis

      Yes Cam; Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I must re-read Ron Jeffrey’s book:
       AND ‘Le arsehole’  should stop his pathetic bleating and learn the facts about History.  

  • Guest

    yes, thanks whale – very poignant clip.

    amazing the impact it clearly has on the entire nation – hard to picture that happening here without some dickhead tooting at the stopped traffic, a council bureaucrat wanting a permit for the event, or the likes of minto/bradford etc disrupting it with more of their self-obsessed protest…

  • GregM

    Very moving video, thanks WO.
    As usual, Le skitter valve has modified history to suit his own fucked up pinko agenda.

  • Beans

    Le Arseface showing his true colours ITT. Who knew?