August 27, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 27 - POLISH INSURGENTS CAPTURE INFAMOUS DIRLEWANGER GANG

Karol Jan Ziemski

Colonel  Karol Ziemski "Wachnowski" issued an order to his troops today concerning the deteriorating situation in the Old Town. He stated emphatically that “our position is such that we must commit ourselves to the utmost. Our task is to hold Old Town at any price....” Despite the firm resolve of the Colonel there were some desertions of fighters whose spirit has all but dissipated and much of the civilian population is desperate to evacuate the area. Col. Ziemski  has reorganized the defense of the Old Town and put Lt. Col. Jan Mazurkiewicz "Radoslaw" in command of the northern sector; the eastern sector is under the command of Captain Eugeniusz Konopacki “Trzaska”, and of the southern sector by Maj. Stanislaw Baszczak “Rog”. Maj. Gustaw Billewicz “Sosna” stays in charge of the western sector of the defense.


Polish units under the command of Captain 'Boncza' succeeded in foiling an attempt by German troops to blow up the Cathedral. Insurgents captured about 100 kg of explosives and took captives of the infamous SS brigade Dirlewanger.


Masked SS Dirlewanger units

SS Dirlewanger units

















The infamous Storm Brigade RONA has been withdrawn today due to strong pressure by General von dem Bach-Zelewski who considered the brigade too undisciplined and unreliable. But in reality the brigade had suffered very heavy casualties during the Warsaw Uprising and its remnants were sent further west where they were used against Slovak partisans. There are continuous reports of atrocities committed by this brigade against the civilians of Warsaw, the most horrific were the massacres at Wola and Ochota soon after the start of the Uprising.  The district became a veritable bloodbath, a killing ground.  From 40,000 to 100,000 Polish men, women and children were slaughtered, many tortured before death.


SS RONA troops battling Polish insurgents

The 9th German Army command has instructed Hungarian General Lengyell to formally contact General Bor to persuade him to stop the fighting, and reassured him that the Polish insurgents will be granted status as combatants. Lengyell asked his government for instructions and was told not to join the Poles but at the same time not to fight against them. Intelligence of the 9th German Army have noted that Polish insurgents are receiving some assistance from the south and there is the suspicion that Hungarian units based along the Vistula south of Warsaw are the source.

Squadron 1586 has dispatched six planes to fly over Warsaw with air drops. Only one plane has returned. There have been sorties every night since August 20th.

Insurgents manage to prevent the blowing up of St. John’s Cathedral, but the Cathedral ultimately stays in enemy hands. At the State Securities Plant, fierce fights continue for individual storeys and parts of the building.

In Srodmiescie the enemy launched an afternoon attack along Walicow and Zelazna Streets, forcing the insurgents back from the line of Grzybowska Street. The Germans have seized the police barracks on Ciepla Street and have fortified their positions in the Zelazna Brama Square area.

Polish insurgents with heavy machine guns on balcony on Aleje Jerozolimskie Street  27 Aug 1944
Polish insurgent with makeshift periscope

Last night insurgents started an attack that had been carefully planned for the past ten days.  Under the command of Lt. Col. Boleslaw Gancarz "Gryf",  they attempted to link with units positioned in Mokotow and Srodmiescie but were repelled by strong German resistance. They failed to join with units of the "Kryska" group that is holding positions on the corner of Czerniakowska and Lazienkowska Streets. The barracks in the area of Szwolezerow, 29 Listopada and Podchorazych Streets held by enemy forces are blocking the way.  The insurgents were able only to seize the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth on Czerniakowska Street.  Lt. Col Jozef Rokicki "Karol" has ordered all units to maintain their positions and to be ready for redeployment for another attack later on in the evening.

President Roosevelt refuses help to the insurgents without the consent of the Soviet Union.  At the Teheran Conference last November 1943 Roosevelt and Churchill had already decided the fate of Poland's borders and sovereignty when they ceded Poland to fall under the reign of Stalinist Russia.  Moreover Roosevelt is concerned that the concessions he made to Stalin concerning Poland would bear negatively on his campaign for re-election to the Presidency.  With over 6 to 7 milion Polish-American voters, he is unwilling to lose their vote.  Recently a delegation from the Polish American Congress met with Roosevelt in Washington, and the President gave them his resounding assurance that Poland's independence would remain intact after the war.  Displayed prominently on his office wall for this occasion was a large map of Poland showing the demarcation of its eastern border along the Riga Line, instead of the Curzon Line which is so coveted by Stalin. 

Roosevelt with Polish American Delegation

World Leaders Meet In Iran (1943) (00:03:18m)




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