As Germany's prospects for victory diminished and the morale in German units dropped, the number of soldiers willing to sell their weapons correspondingly increased and thus made this source more important. The bandits and Jews — there were Polish bandits among these gangs armed with carbines, small arms, and in one case a light machine gun — mounted the truck and drove away in an unknown direction. Views Read Edit View history. Hallerowo Hallertown , Hajduki , Cukrownia Sugar factory.
Several dozen death sentences were performed in this action. Retrieved 27 December Challenging the Myths of Twentieth-Century Ukrainian history. Related topics Cultural activities Education History of Poland during — In , the Home Army's activities there were investigated by a special Lithuanian government commission.
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The most widely known Home Army operation was the Warsaw Uprising. The partisans also defended Polish civilians against atrocities perpetrated by other military formations. Consequently, over the course of the war, conflict grew between the Home Army and Soviet forces. The Polish Government in Exile envisioned the Home Army as an apolitical, nationwide resistance organization.
In addition to the Polish government in London, a political organization operated in Poland itself - a deliberative body of the resistance and of the Polish Underground State.
The Political Consultative Committee Polityczny Komitet Porozumiewawczy formed in pursuant to an agreement between several major political parties: The Home Army, though in theory subordinate to the civil authorities and to the Government in Exile, often acted somewhat independently, with neither the Home Army's commanders in Poland nor the "London government" fully aware of the others' situation.
This put the Polish Government in a difficult position, since it had previously pursued a policy of "two enemies". Though a Polish-Soviet agreement was signed in August , cooperation continued to be difficult and deteriorated further after when Nazi Germany publicized the Katyn massacre of Until the major rising in , the Home Army concentrated on self-defense the freeing of prisoners and hostages, defense against German pacification operations and on attacks against German forces.
Home Army units carried out thousands of armed raids and intelligence operations, sabotaged hundreds of railway shipments, and participated in many partisan clashes and battles with German police and Wehrmacht units. The Home Army also assassinated prominent Nazi collaborators and Gestapo officials in retaliation against Nazi terror inflicted on Poland's civilian population; prominent individuals assassinated by the Home Army included Igo Sym and Franz Kutschera Home Army intelligence provided the Allies with information on German concentration camps  and on the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket.
Sabotage was coordinated by the Union of Retaliation and later by Wachlarz and Kedyw units. The Home Army also conducted psychological warfare. Its " Operation N " created the illusion of a German movement of opposition to Hitler within Germany itself. The largest and best-known of the Operation Tempest battles, the Warsaw Uprising , constituted an attempt, beginning on 1 August , to liberate Poland's capital.
Polish forces took control of substantial parts of the city and resisted the German-led forces until 2 October a total of 63 days. With the Poles receiving no aid from the approaching Red Army, the Germans eventually defeated the insurrectionists and burned the city, finally quelling the Uprising on 2 October While the Home Army managed to liberate a number of places from German control—for example in the Lublin area, where regional structures were able to set up a functioning government—ultimately, due to Soviet hostility, the Home Army failed to secure sufficient territory to enable the Government in Exile to return to Poland.
Estimates of Axis fatalities due to operations by the Polish underground, of which the Home Army formed the bulk, range up to ,  however, estimates of guerrilla -inflicted casualties often have a wide margin of error . The Polish resistance movement also conducted dozens of attacks on German commanders operating in occupied Poland. Several dozen death sentences were performed in this action. The most known actions of this type are :.
The Home Army was officially disbanded on 19 January to avoid civil war and armed conflict with the Soviets. The Soviet Union, and the Polish Communist Government that it controlled, viewed the underground, still loyal to the Polish Government-in-Exile , as a force to be extirpated before they could gain complete control of Poland. Its aim was not to engage Soviet forces in combat, but to observe them and to gather intelligence while the Polish Government-in-Exile decided how to deal with the Soviets; at that time, the exiled government still believed in the possibility of constructive negotiations with the Soviets.
The first Polish communist government, the Polish Committee of National Liberation , formed in July , declined to accept jurisdiction over Home Army soldiers, therefore for over a year Soviet agencies such as the NKVD took responsibility for disarming the Home Army. After a number of such broken promises during the first few years of communist control, Home Army soldiers stopped trusting the government.
Its primary goal was not combat, either. Rather, it was designed to help Home Army soldiers transition from partisan to civilian life; while secrecy was necessary in the light of increasing persecution of Home Army veterans by the communist government. Viewed as enemies of the state, starved of resources, and with a vocal faction advocating armed resistance against the Soviets and their Polish proxies, WiN was far from efficient.
Over a few months they gained information about great numbers of Home Army and WiN people and resources. By the time the imprisoned Home Army and WiN leaders realized their mistake, the organizations had been crippled, with thousands of their members arrested. By a colonel of the communist forces declared that "The terrorist and political underground has ceased to be a threatening force, though there are still men of the forests" to be dealt with.
The persecution of the Home Army was only part of the Stalinist repressions in Poland. In the period —56, some 2 million people were arrested,  over 20,, including the hero of Auschwitz , Witold Pilecki , were executed or murdered in communist prisons,  and 6 million Polish citizens every third adult Pole were classified as "reactionary" or "criminal elements" and subjected to spying by state agencies.
They were interrogated and imprisoned on various charges such as "fascism". Even then, however, some partisans remained in the countryside, unwilling or unable to rejoin the community; they became known as the cursed soldiers.
It was only four years later, in , that Adam Boryczka , a soldier of AK and a member of the elite, Britain-trained Cichociemny "Silent Unseen" intelligence and support group, was released from prison. Until the end of the People's Republic of Poland , Home Army soldiers remained under investigation by the secret police, and it was only in , after the fall of communism , that the sentences of Home Army soldiers were finally declared null and void by Polish courts. In February , when the Home Army was formed from the Armed Resistance , it numbered some , members.
The strength estimates vary due to the constantly ongoing integration of other resistance organizations into the Home Army; and due to the fact that, while the number of members was high and that of sympathizers was much higher still, the number of armed members participating in operations was smaller due to insufficient number of weapons. Home Army numbers in include a cadre of over 10,—11, officers, 7, officers-in-training singular: Casualties during the war are estimated at about 34,  ,,  plus some 20,  ,  after the war casualties and imprisonment.
Within the framework of the entire enemy intelligence operations directed against Germany, the intelligence service of the Polish resistance movement assumed major significance. The scope and importance of the operations of the Polish resistance movement, which was ramified down to the smallest splinter group and brilliantly organized, have been in [various sources] disclosed in connection with carrying out of major police security operations.
The Home Army was intended as a mass organization, formed around a core of prewar officers. The first two consisted of "full-time members": The Home Army was intended to be representative of the Polish nation, its members being recruited from all parties and social classes the only notable exception being communists sent by the Soviets, and the Soviet-created People's Army.
Most other Polish underground armed organizations were incorporated into the Home Army though they retained varying degrees of autonomy. Home Army Headquarters was divided into five sections, two bureaus and several other specialized units: The Home Army's commander was subordinate in the military chain of command to the Polish Commander-in-Chief General Inspector of the Armed Forces of the Polish Government in Exile  and answered in the civilian chain of command to the Government Delegation for Poland.
The Home Army was divided geographically into regional branches or areas obszar. There were three to five areas: In the Home Army began recreating the organization of the prewar Polish Army, its various units now being designated as platoons, battalions, regiments, brigades, divisions, and operational groups.
As a clandestine army operating in an enemy-occupied country, and separated by over a thousand kilometers from any friendly territory, the Home Army faced unique challenges in acquiring arms and equipment. Nevertheless, the difficult conditions meant that only infantry forces armed with light weapons could be fielded.
Home Army arms and equipment came mostly from four sources: From arms caches hidden in , the Home Army obtained: Sometimes arms were purchased on the black market from German soldiers or their allies, or stolen from German supply depots or transports. As Germany's prospects for victory diminished and the morale in German units dropped, the number of soldiers willing to sell their weapons correspondingly increased and thus made this source more important.
For the most part this trade was limited to personal weapons, but occasionally light and heavy machine guns could also be purchased. It was much easier to trade with Italian and Hungarian units stationed in Poland, which more willingly sold their arms to the Polish underground as long as they could conceal this trade from the Germans. Efforts to capture weapons from the Germans also proved highly successful.
Raids were conducted on trains carrying equipment to the front, as well as on guardhouses and gendarmerie posts.
Sometimes weapons were taken from individual German soldiers accosted in the street. Arms were clandestinely manufactured by the Home Army in its own secret workshops, and also by Home Army members working in German armaments factories. The Home Army did not produce its own ammunition, but relied on supplies stolen by Polish workers from German-run factories.
The final source of supply was Allied air drops. This was the only way to obtain more exotic, highly useful equipment such as plastic explosives and antitank weapons such as the British PIAT. During the war, air-drop missions from the West about half of them flown by Polish airmen delivered some tons of supplies for the Polish resistance. But the air drops were too little, too late. Air deliveries from the west were limited by Stalin 's refusal to let the planes land on Soviet territory; by the low priority placed by the British on flights to Poland; and by extremely heavy losses sustained by Polish Special Duties Flight personnel.
Especially after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June and the Soviets joined the Western Allies in the war against Germany, Britain and the United States attached more importance to not antagonizing Stalin than they did to the aspirations of the Poles to regain their national sovereignty.
In the end, despite all the efforts, most Home Army forces had inadequate weaponry. In , when the Home Army was at its peak strength ,—,, according to various estimates , the Home Army had enough weaponry for only some 32, soldiers. While the Home Army was largely untainted by collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust ,  some historians have asserted that, due to antisemitism , the Home Army was reluctant to accept Jews into its ranks.
It also centralized contacts between Polish and Jewish military organizations. The information that he gathered proved crucial in convincing the Western Allies about the fate of the Jewish population. Before leaving, Karski visited the Warsaw Ghetto and a Nazi concentration camp. When we invaded the Ghetto for the first time, the Jews and the Polish bandits succeeded in repelling the participating units, including tanks and armored cars, by a well-prepared concentration of fire.
There it was reinforced by a considerable number of Polish bandits. Its plan was to hold the Ghetto by every means in order to prevent us from invading it. The bandits and Jews — there were Polish bandits among these gangs armed with carbines, small arms, and in one case a light machine gun — mounted the truck and drove away in an unknown direction.
According to Antony Polonsky , General Stefan Grot-Rowecki , the Home Army's commander, made it clear in an order of 10 November that the Home Army did not regard the Jews as "part of our nation", and that action was not to be taken to defend them if it endangered other Home Army objectives. Zimmerman disputes such a description of Rowecki, noting that he was willing to provide the Jews with aid and resources when it contributed to the greater war effort, but that he had concluded that providing large supplies of arms to the Jews would be ineffectual.
Zimmerman writes that Rowecki was "clearly sympathetic to the Jews and eager to help", and that his reasoning was the norm among the Western Allies, whose reaction to news of the Holocaust was that only regular military action against Nazi Germany could halt it.
Zimmerman further writes that, while Polonsky was right that at that time Rowecki did not see the Jews as part of the Polish nation, and that his support for them was limited, his and the Home Army's attitude would shift substantially in coming months as the brutal reality of the Holocaust became more apparent, and Polish public opinion's support for the Jewish resistance would increase. Records confirm that the Home Army provided the Warsaw Ghetto with firearms, ammunition and explosives;   Zimmerman describes the supplies as "limited but real".
There have been reports of Home Army individuals or groups engaging in violence against Jews, but the extent of such behavior has been disputed. Some Lithuanians, encouraged by vague German promises of Lithuanian autonomy ,  cooperated with Nazi operations against Poles during the German occupation. In autumn the Home Army opened retaliatory operations against the Nazis' Lithuanian supporters, mainly the Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft battalions, the Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force , and the Lithuanian Secret Police ,  and killed hundreds of mostly Lithuanian policemen and other collaborators during the first half of In response, the Lithuanian police, who had already murdered hundreds of Polish civilians since see " Ponary massacre " ,  intensified their operations against the Poles.
Postwar assessments of the Home Army's activities in Lithuania have been controversial. In , the Home Army's activities there were investigated by a special Lithuanian government commission.
Only in recent years have Polish and Lithuanian historians been able to approach consensus, though still differing in their interpretations of many events.
Home Army relations with the Soviet Red Army became increasingly poor over the course of the war. Not only had the Soviet Union invaded Poland on 17 September , following the German invasion beginning 1 September , but even after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June the latter saw Polish partisans loyal to the Polish Government in Exile more as a potential obstacle to Soviet plans to take control of postwar Poland, than as a potential ally.
In late the actions of Soviet partisans, who had been ordered to destroy Home Army forces,  even resulted in limited uneasy cooperation between some Home Army units and German forces. However, such arrangements were purely tactical and indicated no ideological collaboration such as was shown by France's Vichy regime or Norway's Quisling regime. With the Eastern Front entering Polish territories in , the Home Army established an uneasy truce with the Soviets. Even so, the main Red Army and NKVD forces conducted operations against Home Army partisans, including during or directly after Poland's Operation Tempest , which the Poles had envisioned to be a joint Polish-Soviet operation against the retreating Germans which would also establish Polish claims to those territories.
Long after the war , Soviet forces continued engaging elements of the Home Army. Many Home Army soldiers continued their war in an anti-Soviet Polish underground known as the " cursed soldiers ". The Ukrainian Insurgent Army UPA , a Ukrainian nationalist force and the military arm of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists OUN ,  which is considered by some historians as fascist,  while fighting the Germans, the Soviets and the Poles, whom they saw as occupiers of the future ethnically-pure Ukrainian state,  decided in to direct most of their attacks against the Poles and the Polish Jews.
The OUN decided to attack Polish civilians, who constituted about a third of the population of the disputed territories. The Polish Government-in-Exile, in London, was taken by surprise; it had not expected Ukrainian anti-Polish action of such magnitude.
By mid, the region was occupied by the Soviet Red Army.
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Arrested by the Soviets, sentenced for imprisonment in the Trial of the Sixteen. Even then, however, some partisans remained in the countryside, unwilling or unable to rejoin the community; they became known as the cursed soldiers.
Until the end of the People's Republic of Poland , Home Army soldiers remained under investigation by the secret police, and it was only in , after the fall of communism , that the sentences of Home Army soldiers were finally declared null and void by Polish courts. As a clandestine army operating in an enemy-occupied country, and separated by over a thousand kilometers from any friendly territory, the Home Army faced unique challenges in acquiring arms and equipment.
Conflict, Conversion and Coexistence. The Poles Under German Occupation — In response, the Lithuanian army dating online, who had already murdered hundreds of Polish civilians since see " Ponary massacre " intensified their operations against the Poles. Retrieved 5 March Personnel, emblems and decorations. University of Illinois Press.
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