September 7, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: September 7 German Troops Capture Powisle

Polish resistance in Powisle has been quashed. Germans have taken up positions in the area and have begun to launch intense concentrated assaults on the northern part of Srodmiescie. Very hard hit are Nowy Swiat Street from the Saski Gardens and Zelazna Brama Square on Krolewska Street and Grzybowski Square. At the same time German troops positioned at the Main Railway Station are attacking Chmielna Street; and from Zawiszy Square – Towarowa Street and Napoleona Square.  

Nowy Swiat and Chmielna Streets Warsaw 1944

German strategy is focused on breaking the insurgent connections between the northern part of Srodmiescie and its southern part and to destroy the barricade on Jerozolimskie Avenue, The barricade is the only remaining communication link between insurgent troops and is under constant heavy enemy fire. German troops are now positioned at Polonia Hotel, as well as on Nowogrodzka, Widok, and Chmielna Streets. They have infiltrated several houses which border Aleja Jerozolimskie, Nowogrodzka and Marzalkowska Streets gaining complete control over vital strategic crossings.  A continuous barrage of bombs have been dropping on areas between Marszalkowska and Nowy Swiat, Chmielna and Swietokrzyska Streets. The destruction is devastating but worst hit is Napoleon Square.  Meanwhile Mokotow is under continuous and intense artillery fire. Shells have hit the area of Odynca, Ursynowska, Raclawicka, Tenisowa and Misyjna Streets. In Dolny Mokotow, fierce battles are fought in the area of Promenady, Dolna and Konduktorska Streets.   

 Aleje  Jerozolimskie Barricade
While heavy fighting ensues, the Polish Council of National Unity has issued a recommendation that the fight for Warsaw must be terminated. Food and supplies are fast depleting and the death toll to civilian and insurgents has reached catastrophic proportions. Meanwhile General Rohr has invited representatives of the Polish Command to discuss the possibility of surrender.  General von dem Bach has extended similar proposals to Polish Command through representatives of the Polish Red Cross.  

Germans blindfold Polish Red Cross Negotiators Warsaw 1944
The Polish Red Cross has been authorized by the civilian insurgent administration to reach an agreement with German command regarding the evacuation of Polish civilians from the city an an agreement has been reached that evacuation will take place on September 8 and 9 from noon until 2:00 pm. In General Bor’s combat report today, he remarked on his observations of German and Soviet fighting, or rather lack thereof. He wrote that “the characteristic feature of the combat situation is the practically complete cessation of fighting between Germans and Russians. Moreover we have observed...sunbathing by both sides on their front lines, although the distance between their positions is only 300 metres."  Despite Soviet claims to the contrary, the Vistula is not impassable. In an area adjacent to insurgents positions,the water level comes up only to the knees making it possible to walk across the river with ease.
Soviet soldiers prepare rafts to cross the Dnieper River
The sign reads "To Kiev!" July 1944

Incidentally these Soviet troops were the same units that had fought against the Germans a year ago on the First Byelorussian Front in the Battle of Dnieper. In the liberation of Kiev, the Soviet war machine consisted of about 2000 heavy artillery pieces, mortars and 500 rocket artillery. They had also constructed 50 bridges and foot bridges along a span of 240 miles of the Dnieper River, the length and breadth of which far exceeds the dimensions of the Vistula.

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