Tadeusz Komorowski

Tadeusz Komorowski


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Tadeusz Komorowski was born in Poland in 1895. He joined the Polish Army and eventually became commander of the Grudziad Cavalry School.

After the invasion of the country by the German Army in September 1939, Komorowski became head of the national resistance movement. In July 1943 he was promoted to lieutenant general and became commander of the Polish Home Army.

In the summer of 1944 the Red Army began to advance rapidly into German occupied Poland. The advancing Soviet troops refused to accept the authority of the Polish government-in-exile and disarmed members of the Polish Home Army they met during the invasion.

The Polish government-in-exile in London feared that the Soviet Union would replace Nazi Germany as occupiers of the country. On 26th July 1944 the Polish government secretly ordered General Komorowski, to capture Warsaw before the arrival of the advancing Russians. Five days later Komorowski gave the orders for the Warsaw Uprising.

The Home Army had about 50,000 soldiers in Warsaw. There were a further 1,700 people who were members of other Polish resistance groups who were willing to join the uprising. The men were desperately short of arms and ammunition. It is estimated they had 1,000 rifles, 300 automatic pistols, 60 sub-machine-guns, 35 anti-tank guns, 1,700 pistols and 25,000 grenades. The army also had its own workshop and were attempting to produce pistols, flame-throwers and grenades.

On the first day of the rising on 1st August, 1944, the Poles managed to capture part of the left bank of the River Vistula in Warsaw. However, attempts to take the bridges crossing the river were unsuccessful.

German reinforcements arrived on the 3rd August. The German Army used 600mm siege guns on Warsaw and the Luftwaffe bombed the city around-the-clock. British and Polish airmen flew in supplies from bases in Italy but it was difficult to drop the food and ammunition to places still in the hands of the rebels. The Royal Air Force and the Polish Air Force made 223 sorties and lost 34 aircraft during the uprising.

Heinrich Himmler gave instructions "that every inhabitant should be killed" and that Warsaw should "be razed to the ground" as an example to the rest of Europe under German occupation. As soon as territory was taken the Nazi's took revenge on the local people. In the Wola district alone an estimated 25,000 people were executed by firing squad.

When the Old Town was taken by the German Army on 2nd August, the Polish resistance fighters were forced to flee via the sewer canals. This network of underground canals were now used to move men and supplies under enemy controlled areas of Warsaw.

On 20th August the Polish Home Army captured the Polish Telephone Company building and the Krawkowskie Police Station. Three days later they took control of the Piusa Telephone Exchange.

On 10th September the Red Army led by Marshal Konstantin Rokossovy, entered the city but met heavy resistance. After five days Soviet forces had captured the right bank of the city. Rokossovy then halted his troops and waited for reinforcements. However, some historians have argued that Rokossovy was following the orders of Joseph Stalin, who wanted the Germans to destroy what was left of the Polish Home Army.

The insurgents were forced to leave Czerniakow on 23rd September. Three days later they were forced to leave the Upper Mokotow area via the underground sewers. On 30th September General Komorowski appointed General Leopold Okulicki as head of the Polish underground.

Running out of men and supplies General Komorowski and 15,000 members of the Polish Home Army were forced to surrender on 2nd October 1944. It is estimated that 18,000 insurgents were killed and another 6,000 were seriously wounded. A further 150,000 civilians were also killed during the uprising.

After the Polish surrender the German Army began to systematically to destroy the surviving buildings in Warsaw. By the time the Red Army resumed its attack on Warsaw, over 70 per cent of the city had been destroyed. Over the next few weeks the Soviet forces took control of the city.

Komorowski became a prisoner of war but was liberated in May 1945. After the war he served briefly as premier of the Polish government in exile. He wrote several books on the war including The Secret Army (1952). Tadeusz Komorowski died in 1966.


Warsaw Revolt begins

During World War II, an advance Soviet armored column under General Konstantin Rokossovski reaches the Vistula River along the eastern suburb of Warsaw, prompting Poles in the city to launch a major uprising against the Nazi occupation. The revolt was spearheaded by Polish General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, who was the commander of the Home Army, an underground resistance group made up of some 40,000 poorly supplied soldiers. In addition to accelerating the liberation of Warsaw, the Home Army, which had ties with the Polish government-in-exile in London and was anti-communist in its ideology, hoped to gain at least partial control of Warsaw before the Soviets arrived.

Although the Poles in Warsaw won early gains𠅊nd Soviet liberation of the city was inevitable—Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered his authorities to crush the uprising at all costs. The elite Nazi SS directed the German defense force, which included the Kaminiski Brigade of Russian prisoners and the Dirlewanger Brigade of German convicts. In brutal street fighting, the Poles were gradually overcome by the superior German weaponry. As the rebels were suppressed, the Nazis deliberately razed large portions of the city and massacred many civilians.

Meanwhile, the Red Army gained several bridgeheads across the Vistula River but made no efforts to aid the rebels in Warsaw. The Soviets also rejected a request by the British to use Soviet air bases to airlift supplies to the beleaguered Poles. The rebels and the city’s citizens ran out of medical supplies, food, and eventually water. Finally, on October 2, the surviving rebels, including Bor-Komorowski, surrendered.

During the 63-day ordeal, three-fourths of the Home Army perished along with 200,000 civilians. As a testament to the ferocity of the fighting, the Germans also suffered high casualties: 10,000 killed, 9,000 wounded, and 7,000 missing. During the next few months, German troops deported the surviving population, and demolition squads destroyed what buildings remained intact in Warsaw. All of its great treasures were looted or burned. The Red Army remained dormant outside Warsaw until January 1945, when the final Soviet offensive against Germany commenced. Warsaw, a city in ruins, was liberated on January 17. With Warsaw out of the way, the Soviets faced little organized opposition in establishing a communist government in Poland.


World War II Database


ww2dbase General Count Tadeusz Komorowski (June 1, 1895 - August 24, 1966), better known by the name Bór-Komorowski, was the principal Polish military leader in Poland during the war.

ww2dbase Komorowski was born in Lwów, Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine). In the First World War he served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army, and after the war became an officer in the Polish Army, rising to command the Grudziadz Cavalry School.

ww2dbase After initially campaigning against the Germans in September 1939, he functioned in the Polish Underground Army in the Krakow region, with the code-name Bór. In July 1941 onwards, he was appointed as deputy commander of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa or AK) by the Polish Government-in-Exile, and in March 1943, now with the rank of Brigadier-General, became commander.

ww2dbase In mid-1944, as Soviet forces advanced into central Poland, the Polish government-in-exile in London instructed Bór-Komorowski to prepare for an armed uprising in Warsaw.

ww2dbase The reasons for the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 (not to be confused with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising the previous year) were twofold. The Wehrmacht was in relative disarray, still retreating before the Russian summer offensive of that year, and therefore relatively vulnerable. It was hoped that the uprising would enable the Red Army to advance further west towards Germany.

ww2dbase The primary reason, however, was political. After the Russian invasion of Eastern Poland, 17 September 1939, hundreds of thousands of Poles, military and civilian, were arrested by the Russians and sent to concentration camps. In 1940, approximately 15,000 Polish reserve officers were executed at Katyn and other sites. Russian atrocities towards the Poles easily equaled those of the Nazis. It was therefore vitally important that the capital of Poland be liberated by Poles loyal to Poland and the Government in Exile, rather than the Communists.

ww2dbase The uprising began on August 1, with the Red Army some 20 kilometres away. Despite their previous urgings for the Poles to revolt broadcast on the Russian controlled radio Kosciuszko. When fighting began, the Soviet advance ceased and they actively impeded RAF parachute drops of supplies by not allowing planes to refuel at Soviet bases.

ww2dbase The uprising was brutally suppressed by the Nazis, but for two months the Polish forces tied up large numbers of Wehrmacht and SS troops, plus auxiliary forces composed of criminals and Red Army deserters.

ww2dbase After two months surrender was inevitable. Their major victory was recognition of the AK as a legitimate army by the Germans, so members of the AK were treated as prisoners-of-war, with the protection of the Geneva Convention. Komorowski himself was held at Colditz until just before it was liberated by the Americans. The SS, who planned to use him as a hostage, removed him from the castle but some days later released him unharmed. Despite pressure from Germans, he refused to issue orders of surrender to Home Army units in German controlled Poland, who continued fighting. After the war he lived in London, and was Prime Minister of the Polish Government-in-exile from 1947 to 1949. He wrote the story of his experiences in The Secret Army (1951). He died in London in August 1966, age 71.

ww2dbase Sources: Polonia Today, Spartacus Educational, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2008

Tadeusz Komorowski Timeline

1 Jun 1895 Tadeusz Komorowski was born.
24 Aug 1966 Tadeusz Komorowski passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Rudinei Krolow says:
7 Sep 2016 03:39:07 PM

sad fates of Polish soldiers after the war

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.


Warsaw Uprising

It was not until late July 1944 that the decision had been taken to fight an uprising against the German occupation forces in Warsaw. Prior to that, commanders of the Home Army had no intention of taking military action in Warsaw, wishing to avoid war damage and the suffering of civilians.

As part of the Operation Burza [Tempest], Polish units were to be concentrated outside the capital and enter it following the retreat of the Germans, or mount an offensive alongside the Red Army.

This had been the course of action during the liberations of Vilnius and Lviv. As these two actions had shown, Home Army troops were incapable of seizing major cities on their own however, co-operation with the Red Army was adequate, and joining forces had led to winning back those two major centers of the eastern borderlands. The tragic part of the story began after military action had concluded, when Home Army officers were being arrested by the Soviet NKVD, and troops disarmed and incorporated into General Berling’s army, formed by Polish communists in the Soviet Union.

Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski in the Polish Army in Britain public domain

Even as late as July, Home Army headquarters had continued sending transports of weapons to eastern Poland, diminishing Warsaw’s available arms and munitions. On 14 July, the Home Army’s commander-in-chief, Gen. Bór-Komorowski, wrote: “[G]iven the present state of German forces in Poland, and their precautions against an uprising, which consist in expanding every building seized by troops – even public administration offices – into defensive fortresses featuring bunkers and barbed wire, an uprising has very little chance of success.”

A week later, however, Bór-Komorowski changed his mind: on 22 July, he communicated to his staff the decision to engage in battle with the Germans in Warsaw. Yet it was Gen. Leopold Okulicki [“Niedźwiadek”, or Little Bear] who was the principal originator of the uprising. He argued that fighting outside Warsaw was barely feasible: taking numerous armed Home Army troops out of the capital in secret would be too time-consuming in light of fast-changing events at the front. In addition, Okulicki was very keen that the Home Army seize Warsaw before the Soviets appeared in the city. Okulicki was later alleged (by Bór-Komorowski) to have said: “taking Warsaw before the Soviets took it would mean that the Soviets would have to make an out and out decision: either recognize us, or break us as the world looked on.” In other words, he wished to achieve what had not been achieved by previous Operation Burza efforts: to make the Soviet Union take the Home Army and the Polish government in London seriously.

Home Army commanders considered themselves capable of defeating the German garrison in Warsaw on their own, and subsequent events only seemed to give more substance to this view. On 20 July, an attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler (in East Prussia), inviting speculation that Third Reich authorities were losing grasp of their domestic situation. The front was advancing swiftly across Polish territory and after 20 July Warsaw was filled with crowds of demoralized German soldiers fleeing the Red Army. This encouraged hopes that Germans would not put up a robust defense of Warsaw: perhaps their morale would break down completely, as it had in 1918.

Marian Kukiel, Kazimierz Sosnkowski and Stanisław Kopański in 1944 public domain

Contrary to their earlier plans, the Home Army barely conferred with either the government in London or its commander-in-chief, Gen. Kazimierz Sosnkowski, about this decision to take up arms in Warsaw. This proved to be a mistake, as Poles residing in London had a better idea of the current balance of power and of the superpowers’ attitudes to the Polish question. London was only notified of the plans for an uprising on 25 July, which left the Polish government-in-exile very little time for response. In addition, the commander-in-chief was in Italy from 11 July, to review the Polish Second Corps, and left decisions regarding military action in Poland to the authorities at home. Prime Minister Stanisław Mikołajczyk took a similar line.

What’s more, the Home Army headquarters in Warsaw had contact with neither Soviet troops nor knowledge of their detailed plans. The uprising was meant to take the Soviets by surprise and was, in fact, aimed against them thus headquarters did not think it appropriate to inform Stalin of their intention of starting an uprising. Almost the entire Home Army staff was convinced that the Red Army was about to seize Warsaw.

Once the decision to start the uprising in Warsaw had been taken, all that needed to be decided was when fighting would break out. The civil authorities – the Council for National Unity [Rada Jedności Narodowej] – asked Bór-Komorowski for 12 hours to organize national-government bodies in liberated Warsaw, and he granted their request granted.

White-and-red Polish flag with superposed “anchor” emblem of the Polish resistance Bastianow, CC BY-SA 2.5

In the final days of July, the atmosphere at the Home Army headquarters was tense. The German Ninth Army was concentrated in and around Warsaw. Low morale and chaos in the streets had been replaced with tanks and even formations of soldiers. The logbook of the Ninth Army includes the following entry: “The Polish nationalist underground movement has called on its troops to be on standby: therefore, an intensified sabotage action and other forms of hostile unrest must be taken into account. Therefore orders were given for supervision of all posts to be tightened. The German army moving in from the East has alarmed the population. In order to persuade the people that Germany was determined to retain control of the city, the commander-in-chief of the Ninth Army gave an order for all the new troops coming in from the west and offloaded in Warsaw to march through the city in impeccable order.” This caused Bór-Komorowski to postpone the outbreak of the insurrection until the Soviets began their advance on Warsaw – despite the fact that some of his subordinates put pressure on him to act more vigorously.

The Second Armored Division of the Soviet Army had indeed already launched an attack on Warsaw along the Lublin-Warsaw road. On 30 July, the Soviets captured Radzymin, Wołomin and Stara Miłosna (in the vicinity of Warsaw). However, a German counterattack was launched on the following day: as a result, the Soviet Third Armored Corps had been nearly cut off in positions it had won in Radzymin and Wołomin. On 1 August, at 4:10 am, the commander of the Soviet army gave an order for his troops to regroup for defense.

Antoni Chruściel “Monter” (in the middle) and Tadeusz Żenczykowski “Kania” (on the right) during the Warsaw Uprising public domain

During a meeting of Bór-Komorowski’s staff at 10 am on 31 July, opinion among Polish officers was divided. Three top officers, led by General Okulicki, voted in favor of taking up arms as soon as possible in order to allow civilian authorities 12 hours to get organized before the Soviets moved in. Four others including the immediate commander of Home Army forces in Warsaw, Gen. Antoni “Monter” Chruściel, were against the insurrection: Chruściel reminded his colleagues that the weaponry of Home Army soldiers had been severely depleted he argued, moreover, that launching an attack on the Germans before they had fallen into disarray could hardly end in success. In light of these developments, the start of the battle was postponed yet again, with another meeting scheduled for 6 pm.

As the day progressed, word began to spread of a German garrison, in Legionowo northeast of Warsaw, fleeing its barracks in panic. A German announcement brought news of the Soviets launching their attack on Warsaw. Finally, a message arrived from London, informing the public of Prime Minister Mikołajczyk’s departure for talks with Stalin. At 5 pm, General Chruściel appeared at the staff meeting, announcing that Soviet armored troops had stormed into an area of Praga [across the Vistula River from the city center] immediately across the main bridges, throwing German defenses into disarray. Chruściel argued that fighting should begin immediately, before it was too late.

Following consultations with his chief of staff, General Pełczyński, operational commander, General Okulicki, the district commander-in-chief General Chruściel and a government delegate for Poland, Jan Jankowski, Bór-Komorowski made the decision to start the insurrection in Warsaw at 5 pm on the following day, 1 August 1944.

Jewish prisoners of Gęsiówka concentration camp liberated by Polish Home Army soldiers from “Zośka” Battalion, 5 August 1944′ public domain

As this overview demonstrates, the command of the Home Army was grievously wrong in their assessment of the military situation in the vicinity of Warsaw, and the mistake they made had disastrous consequences. All had agreed that the breakdown of German forces and the Red Army’s prompt entrance into the city were prerequisite for the insurrection’s success. Bór-Komorowski courageously resisted pressure to instigate military intervention – a course of action being demanded both by his subordinates and by communist propaganda. Bór-Komorowski was clear-eyed in his estimations of the Home Army’s chances of success in directly engaging the Wehrmacht: Polish troops suffered an acute dearth of weapons (out of 20,000 soldiers, only 15 to 25 percent had usable weapons at hand). The staff estimated that the Home Army would be capable of retaining control of the city for several days, a week at most.

Yet the uprising was begun at this extremely inopportune moment. Across the Vistula, the Soviets were not at all keen to help the insurgents. The Germans could not simply leave Warsaw, if only for strategic reasons, with the front positioned to the southeast of the Praga district. The Home Army stood no chance in open combat – a fact which became evident as early as the first week of fighting. They succeeded in taking control of significant areas of the city, but the bulk of vital objectives (barracks, bridges, rail lines, the government district, the Aleje Jerozolimskie axis along one of Warsaw’s main streets) remained under German control. Notwithstanding the exceptional heroism of Polish troops (comprising mostly young people not yet in their 20s), political goals set for the uprising were not achieved.


Komorowski Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

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Komorowski Origin:

Origins of Komorowski:

This is a Polish habitational name for a cottager or occupant, acquiring from the Polish ‘komora’ meaning a hut or cottage, and the possessive suffix ‘-ow’ (a common place name, component) with the addition of the locational suffix ‘ski.’ In surnames -ski originally indicated a connection with a place and was similar to the French ‘de’. Formerly, the name holder would have been lord of the land or estate to which the name related, but slightly the name was used for citizens of every status. Coats of Arms given to Komorowski families of Poland and Galicia noted heraldically in ‘Rietstap’s Armorial General’. One of the earliest has a red fess across a silver field. The fess is typical of the military girdle worn round the body over the protection. The Coat of Arms for the Komorowski family of Liptowa, Galicia, has three silver falling gradually trimmed bars on a red field. The bar is the small of the fess.

Variations:

More common variations are: Komorowski, Komarowski, Komorowsky, Kamorowski, Kumorowski, Komerowski, Komierowski, Kamrowski, Kmarowski, Kamarowski.

Poland:

The surname Komorowski was first found in Silesia, where the name gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates and branches, some in foreign countries, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Komorowski of Poland , dated about 1680, in the “Rieststap’s Armorial General.” It was during the time of King John Sobieski III who was known to be the “The Last independent King of Poland”, dated 1674. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.

Ireland:

Many of the people with surname Komorowski had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

People with the surname Komorowski landed in America in different centuries like Burly Komer, who arrived in New York in 1832. Christian Kommer, who settled in North America in 1844. Anna Komer, who came to New York, NY in 1848. John Komar, who came to Ashtabula Co., OH sometime between 1875 and 1906.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Komorowski: Poland 12,316 United States 1,192 Germany 538 France 233 Canada 160 Brazil 111 England 108 Australia 89 Sweden 44 Belgium 22

Notable People:

Anna Komorowska (born May 1953), is a Polish Classical scholar, old First Lady of Poland and was the wife of the old President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski.

Countess Anna Maria d’Udekem d’Acoz (born Countess Anna Maria Komorowska in September 1946) is a Polish noblewoman and the mother of Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

Bronisław Maria Komorowski (born June 1952) is a Polish leader and biographer who gave services as the President of Poland from 2010 to 2015.

Father Bronisław Komorowski (May 1889–March 1940) was a Polish Roman Catholic priest, active in the interwar period in the predominantly German Free City of Danzig. He, a Polish volunteer and educator, was killed by the Nazi occupiers at Stutthof concentration camp, together with many Polish activists arrested during the Polish September Campaign. In June 1999, Minister Komorowski was among 108 Polish martyrs of World War II, blessed in Warsaw by Pope John Paul II.

Gertruda Komorowska (born 1754 in Suszno –February 1771 in the river Rata near Sielec Bełski, Poland) was a Polish noble lady. She was the Daughter of Count Jakub Komorowski and his wife, Antonina Pawłowska, Gertruda Komorowska married Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki in December 1770. She passed away the following year at a very young age.

Liliana Komorowska (born April 1956) is a Polish actress and film producer. She appeared in more than fifty films since 1964.

Maja Komorowska-Tyszkiewicz (born December 1937) is a Polish film actress. She has appeared in over 35 films since the year 1970.

Marcin Komorowski (born April 1984 in Pabianice) is a Polish football player.


The Warsaw Uprising of 1944

The Warsaw Uprising lasted from August 1944 to October 1944. The Warsaw Uprising, led by General Tadeusz ‘Bor’ Komorowski, failed for a variety of reasons but it remains an inspirational story for a people under the rule of the Nazis since the invasion of Poland in 1939 and whom had suffered greatly as a result of the Holocaust.

Fueled with hope as a result of the rapidly advancing Russian Army, The Polish Underground Home Army decided to take on the might of the Germans in the Poland. Not unnaturally, they felt that their efforts would be helped by the Russians. Units from the Polish Home Army took on the Germans at Vilnynus, Lublin and Lvov. While the Russians attacked from the east, the Poles fought German forces to the west, effectively squeezing the German Army. In all three cities they gave the Russians valuable help. Buoyed by this success, the Home Army decided to do the same in Warsaw. However, here different circumstances occurred which were to have dire consequences for the uprising. The Germans had decided to make Warsaw a fortress city which would be defended at all costs in an effort to stem the advance of the Red Army.

General ‘Bor’ Komorowski had decided that the uprising would start at 05.00 on August 1st. He had about 40,000 soldiers at his disposal but only 2,500 had weapons. They faced a German force in the city that numbered 15,000 men. However, there were 30,000 German troops in the immediate vicinity of the city. Unlike the Polish Home Army, the Germans had tanks, planes and artillery at their disposal. Many were also battle-hardened troops from the Hermann Goering SS Panzer and Paratroop Division and the SS ‘Viking’ Panzer Division. They were in and near Warsaw to defend it against the Red Army. Therefore, when they found that they were needed to fight the Home Army, they were in no mood to be merciful.

Hitler had handed over the command of the German land forces in the east to General Guderian on July 21st 1944. He had done a great deal to strengthen the German forces around the city and he had put General Stahel of the Luftwaffe in specific charge of Warsaw. ‘Bor’ Komorowski believed that his Home Army would receive support from the Russians as whoever held Warsaw, held the most important communications centre on the River Vistula. The Poles in Warsaw had been rehearsing their plan for three years.

‘Bor’ (Komorowski’s code name) had one major advantage over the Germans. Those in his army were driven by the dream of driving the Germans out of Warsaw and Poland. However, he also had a number of crucial weaknesses that had to be catered for. He only had the most basic of weapons – typical infantry weaponry. However, far more important, the Home Army only had ammunition for seven days fighting. ‘Bor’ put his faith in the capture of German weapons and ammunition and in air drops by the Allies.

The very first day showed up the problems the Poles were to face. The operational orders for the units in Warsaw were issued at 06.30 on August 1st. However, local commanders did not receive them until the next day – 24 hours late – because of a curfew in the city.

German forces to the east of the Vistula were heavily engaged in fighting with the Russians. Therefore, when the Poles in Warsaw finally organised themselves, they found that they had the advantage in the city over the Germans. By the end of the first day of the uprising, the Germans had suffered many defeats within Warsaw. However, the Poles did not manage to critically erode German power in the city. By day five of the uprising, the Poles had captured many German weapons but their expenditure on ammunition meant that despite captured German weapons, the Poles were running short of ammunition. The Poles also lacked the necessary weapons to successfully attack well defended German emplacements within the city. In many cases, the attacks by the Poles on August 1st and 2nd, had taken the Germans by surprise but they had failed to sustain the impact of these attacks. Regardless of this, Hitler had reacted to the uprising by appointing SS Obergruppenführer Bach-Zelewski to be the commander of the German forces in Warsaw. Bach-Zelewski was an expert in fighting resistance movements behind the front line. Such an appointment made life for the Poles involved in the Warsaw uprising extremely difficult as Bach-Zelewski brought with him a dedicated team experienced in such warfare. By day five of the uprising, both sides had stabilised their positions. The Poles controlled three areas of the city, while the Germans controlled the rest. The Poles found it very difficult to communicate with themselves within the three separate sectors. It was decided on August 6th that the three sectors would have their own commander.

The Germans attacked the Polish Home Army positions with utmost ferocity. As the fighting had to include buildings being taken one-by-one, the Germans had sent many flame throwers to its troops there and Goliath tanks – mini-tanks that exploded when detonated and which were controlled by wire by the Germans so that they could position them as near to a target as they wanted without endangering their own lives. While the initial stages of the uprising had been successful (as the Poles had surprise on their side), they now had to fight an enemy fully equipped to deal with urban warfare.

The Germans fought to keep the Poles away from the banks of the River Vistula as they wanted to ensure that they could have no contact with the Red Army that was nearby. They had initially decided to blanket bomb Warsaw but realised that they could not do so as there were German defensive positions within the city centre itself. These were vital to the Germans as they split the attention of the Home Army – do you take on the Germans outside of the city or those in it, or split your forces?

In areas of Warsaw controlled by the Poles, the Germans simply used their air power to destroy such areas – including the use of incendiary bombs. While such areas were in disarray and while the Home Army’s units there were disorganised, the Germans moved forward. No prisoners were taken – civilian or otherwise – as the Germans assumed that all civilians could be members of the Home Army. Even those in makeshift hospitals were killed. As the German noose tightened around the city, those in the Home Army who were still alive, used something to their advantage that only those in the city could fully know about – the city’s sewers. Units of the Home Army that were trapped in certain areas (places such as the Old Town) knew that they could move away from the Germans by literally going underground. The photo above is of a statue in Warsaw that commemorates this – the Catholic priest is in memory of the help given to the Home Army by priests within the city. One of the grills just by the statue (but out of shot in the photo) is said to have been one of the ones used by the escaping men and women in the Home Army. Such routes could not be used to evacuate the badly wounded and Colonel Iranek-Osmecki who fought in the Uprising claims that the Germans soaked the wounded in petrol and burned them alive.

Right into September, the Home Army based its hope on receiving help from the Red Army that was nearing the Vistula River. It never came and the Polish Red Cross , on September 7th, tried to negotiate a ceasefire. They were given a few hours grace during September 8th and 9th and several thousand children and elderly were allowed to leave the city. Many in the city simply did not want to go as on September 10th, the Red Army had defeated what remained of the German Army on the east bank of the Vistula. They were literally on the banks of the river in certain places – opposite the heart of the city.

However, on September 14th and 15th the Germans sent fresh troops to the city centre and consolidated their positions on the west bank of the Vistula. The XXV Panzer Division had been sent to the city to finally defeat the Home Army. Their approach to the Home Army was as before – total ruthlessness. If a building was thought to contain members of the Home Army, it was simply destroyed with whoever was in it. When house-to-house searches took place, flame throwers were used. Building by building, the city was retaken by the Germans – and massive damage was done to it.

By the end of September, the Home Army was short of all supplies – food, fresh water ammunition etc and the city was being systematically destroyed. The Polish Red Cross negotiated with Bach-Zelewski and on October 2nd a ceasefire was announced. An act of surrender was signed the same day. Those in the city who had survived were moved out. Buildings that were left standing were destroyed after anything of value was taken to Berlin.

No-one is quite sure of casualties but Polish historians believe that 150,000 Poles died in the uprising. Bach-Zeleski claimed that 26,000 Germans were killed in the two months of the fighting.


What Komorowski family records will you find?

There are 2,000 census records available for the last name Komorowski. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Komorowski census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 871 immigration records available for the last name Komorowski. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name Komorowski. For the veterans among your Komorowski ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 2,000 census records available for the last name Komorowski. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Komorowski census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 871 immigration records available for the last name Komorowski. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name Komorowski. For the veterans among your Komorowski ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.


Death and burial ground of Bör-Komorowski, Tadeusz.

Bòr-Komorowski , here with his wife Irena and son Adam died at the age of 71, on 24-08-1966 and is buried on the Gunnerbury Cemetery in London, also known as (New) Kensington Cemetery). On 30-07-1994, General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski’s ashes were buried in Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw..

Second World War and the Occupation of Poland (1939-1945)

General Eisenhower in ruined Warsaw. February 20, 1946. PRES FILE - Eisenhower--Supreme Allied Commander. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

September 1: German Invasion of Poland.

September 17: Soviet Union invasion of Poland.

September 18: The Fall of Warsaw. Poland is occupied by October 6.

November 6: Sonderaktion Krakau terror operation taken by Nazis against university professors, targeting Poland's intellectual elite.

April&ndashMay: Katyn Massacre. One of the earliest mass shootings of prisoners of war during World War II.

May 16: Authorization of German AB-Aktion in Poland targeting Polish individuals suspected of potential anti-Nazi activity.

August 17: Signing of the Sikorski-Mayski agreement between Soviet Union and Poland signed in London.

Operation Reinhard begins - initially centered in Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka camps - marking the beginning of Nazi plans of extermination in Poland.

April 19 - May 16: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the first popular uprising in Nazi-occupied Europe.

July 11&ndash12: Zagaje massacre. July 11, known as "Bloody Sunday," is the peak of massacres of Polish people in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.

July 22: Proclamation of the PKWN Manifesto by Soviet-backed Polish Committee of National Liberation, operating in opposition of exiled-Polish government in London.

August 1&ndashOctober 2: Warsaw Uprising. The non-Communist underground resistance army, the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa AK), rose against German occupation in an effort to liberate Warsaw. The uprising began when Soviet forces arrived along the east bank of the Vistula River. The Soviets forces did not intervene or aid the resistance fighters, and the revolt was crushed by Nazi forces.

February 11: Yalta Conference concludes.

March 17&ndash18: Poland's Weddings to the Sea in Mrzeżyno and Kołobrzeg, symbolizing Poland's restored access to the Baltic Sea.

May 8: End of World War II in Europe.

August 2: Potsdam Conference concludes between the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


General Tadeusz “Bór” Komorowski

Born 1 st June 1895, near Lwòw - Died 24 August 1966, Buckley, England.

General Tadeusz Komorowski , better known by the name Bór-Komorowski (after one of his wartime code-names: Bór - "The Forest"). He was appointed commander in chief a day before the capitulation of the Warsaw Uprising and following World War II, Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile in London.

Komorowski was born in Chorobròw near Lwów, in Eastern Galicia, part of the Austrian partition of Poland, to Mieczysław Marian Komorowski (Korczak Coat of Arms) and his wife Wanda née Zaleska (Prawdzic Coat of Arms). In the First World War he served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army and after the war became an officer in the Polish Army, rising to command the Grudziądz Cavalry School.

After taking part in the fighting against the German invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II in 1939, Komorowski, with the code-name Bór, helped organize the Polish underground in the Kraków area. In July 1941 he became deputy commander of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa or "AK"), and in March 1943 gained appointment as its commander, with the rank of Brigadier-General.

Bór-Komorowski talking with Col. Jan Mazurkiewicz "Radosław" during the Warsaw Uprising.

In mid 1944, as Soviet forces advanced into central Poland, the Polish government-in-exile in London instructed Bór-Komorowski to prepare for an armed uprising in Warsaw. The government-in-exile wished to return to a capital city liberated by Poles not seized by the Soviets and prevent the Communist take-over of Poland which Stalin had clearly set in train.

The Warsaw Uprising began on Komorowski's order on 1 August 1944 and the insurgents of the AK seized control of most of central Warsaw. Elements of the Soviet Army stood only 20 km (12 mi) away but on Joseph Stalin's orders gave no assistance: Stalin described the rising as a "criminal adventure". The British managed to drop some supplies by air but could give no direct assistance. The Germans employed large forces of Waffen-SS and regular troops, plus auxiliary forces made up of Soviet Army deserters, who acted particularly brutally, under the command of Erich von dem Bach.

Leading his men into captivity after the Warsaw Uprising, 5th October 1944.

In September 1944, Bór-Komorowski was promoted to General Inspector of the Armed Forces (Polish Commander-in-Chief).After two months of fierce fighting Bór-Komorowski surrendered to the Germans on 2 October, on condition that Germany treat the AK fighters as prisoners-of-war, which they did. Bór - Komorowski went into internment in Germany (at Oflag IV-C). Despite pressure from Germans, he refused to issue orders of surrender to Home Army units in German controlled Poland who continued fighting.

With his deputy General Tadeusz Pełczyński, greeting an American soldier of the US 7th Army after their liberation from the Itter Castle, Innsbruck.

Liberated at the end of the war, he spent the rest of his life in London, where he played an active rôle in Polish émigré circles. From 1947 to 1949 he served as Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile, which no longer had diplomatic recognition from most Western European countries. He wrote the story of his experiences in The Secret Army (1950). After the war he was an upholsterer. He died whilst out hunting in Buckley and was buried in Gunnersbury Cemetary in London aged 71.

With Prezydent Władysław Raczkiewicz at a ceremony to decorate Air Marshall Arthur 'Bomber' Harris, London 7 June 1945.


Watch the video: LONGINES CHRONOSCOPE WITH TADEUSZ BOR-KOMOROWSKI