This day in history

02 October - Warsaw uprising against Nazi occupation ends

On 2nd October 1944, 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 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 the 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 Warsaw’s population and destroyed the city. With Warsaw out of the way, the Soviets faced little organised opposition in establishing a communist government in Poland.

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