October 2

This Day in History

General Interest

Oct 2, 1944:

Warsaw Uprising ends

The Warsaw Uprising ends with the surrender of the surviving Polish rebels to German forces.

Two months earlier, the approach of the Red Army to Warsaw prompted Polish resistance forces to launch a rebellion against the Nazi occupation. The rebels, who supported the democratic Polish government-in-exile in London, hoped to gain control of the city before the Soviets "liberated" it. The Poles feared that if they failed to take the city the Soviet conquerors would forcibly set up a pro-Soviet communist regime in Poland.

The poorly supplied Poles made early gains against the Germans, but Nazi leader Adolf Hitler sent reinforcements. In brutal street fighting, the Poles were gradually overcome by superior German weaponry. Meanwhile, the Red Army occupied a suburb of Warsaw but made no efforts to aid the Polish rebels. The Soviets also rejected a request by the British to use Soviet air bases to airlift supplies to the beleaguered Poles.

After 63 days, the Poles--out of arms, supplies, food, and water--were forced to surrender. In the aftermath, the Nazis deported much of Warsaw's population and destroyed the city. With protestors in Warsaw out of the way, the Soviets faced little organized opposition in establishing a communist government in Poland.

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