September 3, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: September 3 Polish Suffer Enormous Casualties

German troops went on the offensive in districts of Powisle and Northern City Centre supported by heavy artillery fire. Insurgents in the area are fighting desperately. Reinforcements have arrived today from units which had evacuated Old Town just days ago. In a radio message General Bor praised the troops for their heroism in defending Old Town. He added that they will all become a legend, and each deserves to receive the Cross of Valour.&

Sources indicate that during the past two weeks total Polish casualties amounted to a staggering 77 %. Of a total of 9,807 troops, 51% were killed and 2,500 wounded (26%). However casualty figures differ - Colonel Wachnowski has reported that 33% were killed and over 20% gravely wounded.

After 33 days of fighting there remained only 4,800 insurgents, 1,500 of whom evacuated to Centre City sector and an undetermined number to Zoliborz sector. Left behind in Old Town were 2,500 gravely wounded soldiers who were murdered by German troops. About 200 insurgents have not been accounted for.

German units numbered approximately 8,000 in Old Town. By the end of August, their casualties were 91 officers and 3,770 rank and file. In the space of only five days, from August 29 to September 2, the Germans lost an additional 400 to 400 troops.

The Battle for Old Town was the fiercest and bloodiest battle that the Germans had yet encountered that surpassed that of the battle for Stalingrad. Although German losses were about 54%, Polish insurgents and civilians suffered the highest casualties.

German StuG III Ausf G assault gun
fighting near Sanguszki n Konwiktorska Street August 28,1944

Churchill and Eden considered sending a message to Roosevelt suggesting that he join them in issuing a joint message to Stalin in protesting his attitude towards the Poles, and to inform him of their intention to halt the next convoy to Russia. However, they abandoned this idea.

Corpse of one of over 350 Poles Executed on August 8-9,1944 near Polish National Opera House

Polish victims of Wola Massacre being burned by German Verbrennungskommando

One of many Polish victims burned by Nebelwerfer Rocket by German forces in Warsaw

Nebelwerfer is a German rocket launcher whose name roughly translated means "smoke-screen" (so-named in an attempt to supply misinformation to enemy spies). High explosive shells are launched, ranging in size from 15 to 32 centimetres (5.9 to 13 inches). The Germans have adapted one of their rockets for air-to-air use against Allied bombers. Operational risks are so great that German troops are required to take cover at a distance of 10 to 15 metres (11 to 16 yards) from the rocket to avoid the exhaust fumes. The rockets are fired using an electric switch. The destruction is devastating.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to be so late with a comment, but thank you for keeping this precious history remembered. I live in Poland and know Poles who lived through the war and remember. Most of the young are not interested.