polish soldier world war 2: warsaw uprising 1944
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  Most photos of the Warsaw Uprising were taken by members of the Home Army's Bureau of Information and Propaganda (BIP). Some were taken by fighters who were also amateur photographers. A few pictures were taken by German soldiers and officers both during and after
the Uprising. Read more: [ Sylwester 'kris' braun ], [ tomaszewski ]
  combat i Despite the overwhelming German military advantage, Home Army forces enjoyed several successes during the first month of fighting. Controlling most of Warsaw's left bank districts, the soldiers' determination was further strengthened by Allied airdrops of weapons and supplies as well as the proximity of Soviet troops. However, by the end of August, German reinforcements doubled the size of their forces to 30,000, and the army's heaviest 600mm mortar arrived. world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - combat i  
  combat ii When the fierce battle for Old Town ended on September 2, the Home Army's defenses were mostly isolated and surrounded. Using air and artillery bombardment, German forces systematically reduced the insurgent-held territory. On September 16, Russian troops captured Praga, Warsaw's right bank suburb. Despite desperate attempts to link up across the river, the insurgents were pushed away from the banks of the Vistula River. world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - combat ii  
photographer's story Sylwester 'Kris' Braun was the most prolific photographer of the Warsaw Uprising 1944 taking over 3,000 photos–half of which have survived the war. These photographs represent an exceptional testament to and documentation of the time– namely, soldiers' and civilians' struggle and suffering as well as the destruction of the city. Read [ stories behind the photographs ] world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - sylwester 'kris' braun  
weapons The German army had at its disposal planes, tanks, and heavy artillery while insurgents lacked any heavy weapons. The Poles used arms that predated WWII, had been captured, or had been received from Allied airdrops as well as Home Army-manufactured arms. Still, for most, the only weapons available were gasoline-filled bottles (Molotov cocktails). Despite the lack of electricity, the production of hand grenades and sub-machine guns continued until the capitulation. world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - weapons  
atrocities During the first two weeks of August, German forces executed up to 50,000 residents of the Wola and City Centre districts. Throughout the Uprising the sick, elderly, and disabled patients and staff of the city's and field's hospitals were routinely murdered. Until September 27 (when the Mokotow district fell), captured insurgents were executed on the spot. [ witnesses ] world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - atrocities  
German Forces Approximately 50,000 German troops took part in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising including Dirlewanger and RONA brigades, units of Hermann Göring and Viking divisions, front line 19th and 25th panzer divisions (in September), and others. The average weekly losses for Germans in Warsaw (1,250 soldiers) were higher than those on the Western (1944-1945) and Italian (1943-1945) fronts. world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - german forces  
LIFE GOES ON After five years of brutal occupation, cultural life burst forth. Dozens of newspapers and periodicals appeared, a movie theater showed current newsreels, Polish Radio took to the airwaves, and concerts and puppet shows for children were organized. The postal service issued new stamps, and Scouts delivered the mail. Meanwhile, shelling and air bombardment drove people into their cellars and food and water became scarce. world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - life goes on  
CHILDREN Warsaw's children shared the hardships and horrors of everyday life. Many children, especially within the Gray Ranks (war-time name of the Polish Scouting), distributed mail, relayed messages, and fought fires; some even became line solders. world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - children  
Warsaw Airlift Between Aug. 4 and Sep. 18, RAF, SAAF, and USAAF planes dropped more than 200 tons of weapons, medicine, and food in the Warsaw region. Polish, British, South African, and American pilots flew mostly from Brindisi, Italy, and back–a round-trip distance of over 1,600 miles. In the second half of September, low-flying Russian bi-planes dropped ( without parachutes) 50 tons of supplies most of the which was destroyed during the landing. [ witnesses ] world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - aidrops  
women More than 4,000 women fought in the Home Army ranks at the beginning of the Uprising; many more later on. As nurses and couriers, they were often the most vulnerable, and female casualties were disproportionately high. All of the injured soldiers and civilians under the care of these women remembered them as 'angels.' world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - women  
city sewers After the above-ground communications lines within the city's districts were severed, all courier supplies and evacuation traffic passed through the sewers. On September 1 and 2, approximately 5,300 Old Town defenders successfully evacuated to the City Centre and Zoliborz. Others were not so lucky; 150 Mokotow defenders exited into the areas under German control and were summarily executed.
[ witnesses ], [ article ]
world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - city sewers  
DEVASTATION During the 63 days of the Uprising, an estimated 200,000 of Warsaw's inhabitants lost their lives. Eighty percent of the buildings on the city's left bank were destroyed. After the suppression of the Uprising, all of the city's inhabitants–both insurgents and civilians– were expelled from Warsaw and sent to POW, death, labor, or concentration camps. After their departure, German forces razed many buildings that were still standing. world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - devastation  
silence of the stones On November 20, 1944, Joe J. Heydecker, an amateur photographer, along with four other German soldiers stationed outside Warsaw, drove to the city for a trophy hunt. They traveled through the streets of City Centre, devoid of its expelled inhabitants. Many buildings photographed by Heydecker were soon destroyed in a systematic action to annihilate the city. [ german witnesses ] world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - german photos  
REMEMBRANCE During communist rule in Poland (1945–1989), any commemoration of the Uprising was banned. Since 1989, democratic and independent Poland has honored the memory of the Uprising as one of the most heroic and tragic events in the history of the nation and of Europe in the twentieth century. [ 60th anniversary ] world war 2 pictures: warsaw uprising - remembrance  

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