September 15, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: September 15 SOVIETS SEND POLISH TROOPS TO THEIR DEATH

Throughout the day Zoliborz was pounded by enemy artillery fire, mortar fire and bombing raids. The Germans have taken over another section of the riverbank from Krasinskiego Street to the Citadel. Home Army units are now completely cut off from the Vistula.

German troops have launched attacks on Dolny Mokotow and set Sielce on fire. There is heavy fighting on Dolna, Piaseczynska, Chelmska and Belwederska Streets. The insurgents retreat Sielce after a bloody struggle. Fort Legionow Dabrowskiego falls and German troops have occupied almost all of Dolny Mokotow. The new line of defense for Mokotow is Belwederska Street.

Polish Soldiers of the "Miotła" Battalion Radosław

A Kosciuszko division patrol crossed into Czerniakow this morning and established contact with a liaison officer of 'Radoslaw'. Fighting was heavy in the area bordered by Ludna, Okrag, Czerniakowska and Zagorna Streets. By nightfall about 300 heavily-armed soldiers from the Polish First Division crossed to the left bank of the Vistula. German troops, with support from the air used every means to prevent the insurgents from reaching the Vistula.

1st Polish Infantry Division supporting Soviet 76th and 175th Infantry Divisions
 on southern edge of Praga September 12th 1944

The Red Army captured the right bank of the Praga district while Polish 1st Army units under Soviet command but without support. The Czerniakow district has fallen with heavy casualties. When the Russians occupied the Praga suburbs of Warsaw their advance all but came to a stop. Apparently Russian chicanery has sustained the illusion of a Soviet rescue while permitting the Germans to wipe out the non-Communist Polish forces. Earlier today on radio General Michal Rola-Rymierski, the Commander-in-Chief of Polish forces under the Soviet Command, made a proclamation stating, “The time for liberation of our capital has come...I order...soldiers of the First Polish storm Warsaw!”

Russian Soldiers Firing on Germans in Warsaw

The First Polish Army, under the command of Major General Zygmunt Berling, undertook to force the Vistula River and link with Polish insurgents in the regions of Czerniakow and Zoliborz. Berling sent forward three patrols of the 1st Polish Army including the 3rd Polish (Kosciuszko) Infantry Division. The first boats reached the western shore in an area defended by about 400 Polish soldiers of the Armia Krajowa. Although the AK units were cut off from the rest of the insurgents, they were able to maintain control of the shore in anticipation of a Soviet support. But artillery cover and air support supplied by the Soviets was grossly insufficient to counter fierce German machine-gun fire as the troops were crossing the River. Upon landing, enemy fire virtually wiped out the Polish contingent. Polish casualties were very heavy. Only a small number of troops were able to make it ashore - the I, and III Battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment, and the 3rd Infantry Division.

According to Soviet and Polish sources, the staff of the First Byelorussian Front allotted the First Polish Army additional Soviet forces: 5 brigades of artillery, one regiment of mortars, 3 battalions of engineers and one battalion of amphibious cars. In addition six units of artillery and the Red Air Force were to support the action. The plan was not successful due to poor organization and intense German artillery fire. Moreover the first wave of soldiers were ill-equipped, and the units that did succeed in crossing to the insurgents side of the Vistula suffered very heavy losses.

General K.F. Telegin
Nikolai Ivanovicty Syerov, a war correspondent, asked Colonel Pagaryelov, the political officer of the division the reason why Soviet troops were not moving forward, and what was happening in Warsaw. The Colonel responded that according to orders he received from his superior, General K.F. Telegin, there was an uprising in Warsaw, but that it was being fought by nationalist and bourgeoisie under the auspices of the Polish government in exile. As such it was not in the interest of the Soviet Union to provide them with support.

Many of the men of the First Polish Army had been deportees from eastern Polish territories during the Invasion of Poland in 1939. Upon being drafted they were forced to swear allegiance "to be faithful to the Soviet Union and maintain the brotherhood of arms with the friendly Red Army” while Polish armed forces in exile took oaths to protect and defend Poland, the President of the Polish Commonwealth,its constitution and laws. It is noteworthy that the officers of the First Polish Army are predominately Soviets wearing Polish uniforms and that their staff is comprised of Communist political officers many of whom are not Polish.

Polish soldiers of 27th Infantry forced to conscript into Soviet Polish People's Army

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