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The secret army by Bor-Komorowski

jan peczkis|Friday, April 28, 2017

Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski was, after the capture of Grot Rowecki by the Germans, the head of the entire AK guerilla movement. Bor includes a detailed account of underground life and an impressive list of Polish sabotage actions against the German occupant (pp. 152-154). The AK was careful to calculate maximum benefit from its actions for the cost in German terror reprisals, but the Communist AL had no such scruples (p. 171)

German despoiling policies had turned the Polish countryside into anarchy: "...there grew up a new category of `forest folk'. They were wild bands of all sorts of refugees living by robbery, and were a terrible plague to people in the neighborhood, who were visited nearly every night by bandits, who gradually deprived them of their last belongings...I issued orders to the regional Home Army commanders to undertake the defense of the population against the violence of disturbing elements." (pp. 171-172). It is easy to see how fugitive Jews would fall victim to these bandits and, to the extent that they themselves engaged in banditry, would be targeted by the AK.

Having been its commander, Bor gives full details of the betrayed Warsaw Uprising: the frightful German atrocities, the barricades, the child messengers, the struggle against starvation, the overwhelming German firepower (e. g., the Nebel Werfer ("roaring cow", p. 254), the improvised hospitals, the massive evacuations through sewers, etc. The Communist AL fielded 5 platoons compared with over 600 participating AK platoons (p. 259). One of the successes of the Uprising was the freeing of 350 Jews from a prison and the execution of their Nazi tormentors (p. 245)

Soviet perfidy was consistent, dooming the Uprising. First the Soviets complained that the AK wasn't interested in fighting the Germans, then they urged the Varsovians to rise up, then they denied the existence of any Warsaw Uprising, then they called the Uprising a criminal adventure, etc. They then toyed with the Poles by belatedly taking Praga, while intercepting and disarming AK units marching towards Warsaw to assist the Uprising. The Red Army positions and those of the AK came within 250 yards (230 meters) of each other (p. 341, 354); the width of the draught-shrunken Vistula. Previously, the Red Army had readily crossed the thaw-widened lower Dnieper, three times the width of the Vistula River (p. 341), but, this time, wouldn't budge until long after the fall of the Uprising and the subsequent complete destruction of Warsaw by vindictive Germans.

Token Soviet airdrops were eventually undertaken--but without parachutes so that the goods would be useless. Towards the end of the Uprising, once its doom was certain and very little of Warsaw was still held by Poles (so most airdrop supplies were certain to fall into German hands), Stalin finally allowed western airplanes to refuel on Soviet-held soil after dropping their supplies.

When Masses were said during the Warsaw Uprising, both priests and parishioners were oblivious to the bombs and shells exploding around them (p. 335). Now, if the Easter masses performed during the earlier Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had signified Polish callousness towards Jewish suffering (as portrayed in Holocaust materials), then, using the same logic, what were these Masses supposed to have signified?

Finally, Bor's own experience adds to the refutation of the silly "No Polish Quisling because the Germans never wanted one" argument. After surrendering to the Germans, Bor was repeatedly approached by German officials intent on him creating a collaborationist army (pp. 374-375, 380-381, 383, 386-387). He steadfastly refused.
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