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.
Also on this Day
Gordon Sumner (better known as the musician Sting) is born on this day in Newcastle, England. Before becoming a full-time musician, he worked as a teacher and a ditch digger. Sting sang and played bass, saxophone, and keyboards in Newcastle jazz clubs in his early 20s, when he picked up his nickname because of the black-and-yellow-striped shirt he frequently wore. In 1977, he formed the Police ... Read more >
The British naturalist Charles Darwin returns to Falmouth, England, aboard the HMS Beagle, ending a five-year surveying expedition of the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Visiting such diverse places as Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, and geology of many lands. This information proved invaluable in the development o... Read more >