August 9, 2018




Top Secret Soviet NKVD Order No. 00485, called "On the liquidation of the Polish diversionist and espionage groups and POW units" (POW stood for Polish Military Organization). It was approved by Nikolai Yezhov, the Party's Central Committee Politburo and distributed to the local subdivisions of the NKVD with Yezhov's thirty-page secret letter entitled, " On Fascist-Resurrectionist, Spying, Diversional, Defeationist and Terrorist Activity of Polish Intelligence in the USSR".   The order targeted "absolutely all  Poles"  for arrest and immediate execution, to be carried out by the NKVD , in particular those Poles who were "....prisoners of war from the Polish army who after the 1920 war had remained in the Soviet Union, deserters and political émigrés from Poland [such as Polish communists admitted through prisoners' exchange], former members of the Polish Socialist Party and other anti-Soviet political parties; and the inhabitants of Polish districts in border regions....." and confirmed that "all Poles should be completely destroyed."  A secret letter from Ezhov was attached specifying various excuses to be used against the Poles, in other words, accusations were fabricated.  According to Soviet archived documents, the anti-Polish operation targeted  139,815 people, 111,071 of whom were condemned to death without trial and executed immediately afterwards.


200 Jews escaped Mir Ghetto:  Mir Ghetto was located in what is now Belarus. During the first half of 1942, the younger Jews formed an underground resistance, but faced difficulty obtaining weapons. Eventually they broke out and made their way through a cornfield into the nearest woods.  Of the 200 that escaped, many had been killed by the Nazis, while others had joined the partisans to fight against German-occupation.


Warsaw Radio Blyskawica:   The Polish Home Army assembled the Blyskawica long range radio transmitter on August 7, 1944 in the city centre of Warsaw. It was operational on August 9, 1944 and began making three to four daily broadcast transmissions, reporting news programmes, government reports, patriotic poems, music, and frequent appeals "to all countries in the free world" for urgent assistance (broadcast in Polish, English, German and French)  It was the only underground radio station operating regularly in German-occupied Europe. The radio program included speakers such as Jan Nowak-Jeziorański,  Zbigniew Świętochowski, Stefan Sojecki, Jeremi Przybora, and John Ward.  Ward was a British officer and war correspondent for The Times of London. He remained in Warsaw throughout the Uprising, and made daily broadcast reports (in English) of all events on the front lines.  (Editors Note:  I have posted the text of each of Wards broadcasts, in my special series "Warsaw Uprising Day by Day". Please refer to the Complete Index of Blog Posts for this series.)   The first words of the broadcast were delivered by Zbigniew Świętochowski as follows:  "Hallo, here is Błyskawica speaking! A radio transmitter of the Home Army in Warsaw, on 32.8 and 52.1 meter bands.  The spirit of Warsaw is wonderful. The women of Warsaw are wonderful.  They are everywhere, in the front line together with soldiers as nurses or liaison officers.  Even children are animated by a wonderful spirit of bravery. We greet all freedom-loving people of the world!  Polish soldiers who fight in Italy, Polish pilots and mariners."  (Radio Blyskawicz also broadcast a subversive program on a different frequency which they addressed the Wehrmacht. )

Liquidation of the Jews from Lodz Ghetto: From August 9 to 29, 1944,  about 67,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz to be exterminated.  The total number of Jews liquidated (January 1942 to August 1944) was 143,000 to 145,000.  Lodz Ghetto was the second-largest ghetto in all of German-occupied Europe after the Warsaw Ghetto.  The Nazis original plan for Ghetto was to be used as a preliminary step in a more elaborate plan to liquidate all the Jews from the province of Warthegau. But the Ghetto was transformed into a massive industrial complex, utilizing forced labor to produce war materiel for the Wehrmacht.  The Lodz Ghetto managed to survive until August 1944 because of its productivity. Within the first two years, the Ghetto incorporated another 20,000 Jews from nearby liquidated ghettos, in addition to 20,000 from the rest of German-occupied Europe.  The remaining population of the Lodz Ghetto was transported to Auschwitz and Chelmno extermination camps. It was the last ghetto to be liquidated in German-occupied Poland.

The Battle of Studzianki began in Poland. It was a tactical engagement between troops of the Soviet Red Army's 2nd Guards Tank Army employed as a cavalry mechanized group of the 1st Belorussian Front, and elements of the German 9th Army of the Army Group North Ukraine defending the area south of Warsaw. The battle was part of the Soviet Lublin–Brest Offensive and was supported by the First Polish Army, including its 1st Armoured Brigade. The Soviet and Polish forces successfully held the bridgehead the German forces suffered heavy casualties before withdrawing (at least 40 tanks, 26 guns and mortars, and 9 APCs.)


U.S. atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki (the "Fat Man")  The USAAF dropped another atomic bomb, this time on Nagasaki, though the original target was the city of Kokura.  The original target had to be abandoned due to heavy cloud covering about 70% of the city.  After a delay of fifty minutes, the decision was made to drop the bomb on Nagasaki. It too was shielded by cloud cover but at the last minute there was a clearing in the clouds.  The bomb was dropped by the B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar (named after its pilot, Captain Frederick C. Bock),  who flew The Great Artiste with his crew on the mission. Bockscar was flown by Major Charles W. Sweeney and his crew, with Commander Frederick L. Ashworth from Project Alberta as the weaponeer in charge of the bomb. When the Fat Man was dropped,  following a 43-second free fall, it exploded at 11:02 local time, at an altitude of about 1,650 feet (500 m).  Casualties were approximately 35,000 to 40,000 people killed outright; many more died later from blast related and burn injuries.  A total of 60,000–80,000 deaths occurred over the long term due to the effects of radiation exposure.   At 12 noon on August 14, 1945,  Emperor Hirohito broadcast his message of surrender to the Allies.

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