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Words of main Russian official military historian about Warsaw Uprising in 1944

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  • hogdriver
    replied
    Originally posted by Henryk
    It was more complicated than that. The decision to stop on the East bank of Vistula or to attempt crossing the river was not Zhukov's or Rokossovskiy's. That was Stalin's decision alone. He was hostile to the independist Poles and thus a reluctant ally at best. His long-term plans were to eradicate Polish armed underground, as he had done earlier in Eastern part of Poland, where the NKVD troops disarmed and arrested Polish partisans en masse. It made much more sense from Stalin's standpoint to see how the situation in Warsaw develops and to let the Germans do the dirty work.
    If you read my ENTIRE post, you'll note that I mentioned exactly that final control by Stalin.

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  • hogdriver
    replied
    Originally posted by Oleg Grigoryev
    That's gotta be some kind of new discovery - since Russia became and independent state only in 1991 and consequently could not occupy anybody prior to that date
    Now you're playing word games

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  • hogdriver
    replied
    Originally posted by Oleg Grigoryev
    No, the problem was that people who started the uprising were almost as hostile towards Soviets as they were toward Germans and everything that followed is a direct result of that.
    In all honesty, though, after Katyn, how would the Poles feel about the USSR?

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  • hogdriver
    replied
    Originally posted by menel
    The problem is that people starting the uprising didn't know that Poland was sold by USA and UK to the soviets
    Can't argue with that. Even as rabid an anti-Communist as Churchill was, he followed the socialist Roosevelt (and his Communist senior advisor Harry Hopkins), to give Stalin virtually everything he wanted in Eastern Europe.

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  • Andrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Fredd
    This the most outrages lie I heard lately. Not only, contrary to the word of this lier which you (I sure without any bad intention Andrey)quoted Polish underground helped Red Army in its fight with German, but Soviets show their gratitude...in their very special way Officers received a bullet in their skull and NCOs vere deported to Siberia.
    I disagree with your opinion and agree with Gareev. Gareev gave concrete example how Polish AK leaders refused cooperation with Red Army and when it was reason of defeat of Polish partisan AK formation.

    If Poles who fought against Red Army were killed during combats so I do not understand what other reaction did they hope to get from Red Arny when began to shoot on Soviet soldiers? If some of them became victims of NKVD so I again do not understand what other did they want when began to fight against Soviets. They masde their choice... And I spoke about these guys who declared that they are enemies and used weapon.

    And I know that current Poles don't like Russians and thatPolish mass media writes now complete nonsense about Russians. They are some crazy about past, it is paranoia if to remember that Soviet didn't do so bad things than Germans did...

    So don't frighten public here by words like Siberia. (I live in Siberia, it is not so scared.) As I read Polish AK members who fought against Red Army were not sent in Siberia or in other places on territory of USSR, they were judged by Polish Judge and were prisoned (or executed) on territory of Poland according Polish laws of that time. But I am not expert in this question.

    Yes, large Poles who turned out on territory of USSR in 1939 were victims of NKVD and Stalin's regime but it was in other time, it was in other political epoch in USSR, situation changed to 1944.

    And amount of victims of NKVD is much less than amount of Poles who were killed by Germans. NKVD killed 10,000 of Polish POWs in Katyn' in 1940 but it is at least in 100 times less (I do not remember exact digit) that amount of Poles who were killed by Germans.
    Last edited by Andrey; 19 Nov 04, 10:12.

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  • Fredd
    replied
    Originally posted by General Makhmud Gareev aka lieing SOB
    We saw his sincere, good intentions and giant efforts with the purpose of making connections and cooperation with Polish underground for liberation of Vilnius and other regions of Lithonia, where many Poles lived. Still during approaching to these regions he sent some groups of officers in German rears for connecting with Lithuanian and Polish patriots. Many ordinary members of underground with pleasure were ready to cooperate. But leaders which were connected to Bur-Komorovskiy and other leaders of AK deceived by different ways and, in essence, didn't want to cooperate. S. Poplavskiy asked them to attack German positions from rear direction when troops of corps will approach to Vilnius but they made attempt to capture Vilnius on July, 7th and their 5,000-men detachment was broken by Germans. In result 45th Corps and other formations of 5th Army liberated Vilnius on July, 13th without support of Polish patriots.
    This the most outrages lie I heard lately. Not only, contrary to the word of this lier which you (I sure without any bad intention Andrey)quoted Polish underground helped Red Army in its fight with German, but Soviets show their gratitude...in their very special way Officers received a bullet in their skull and NCOs vere deported to Siberia.

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  • Henryk
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrey
    But it is strange that people demand such actions from Stalin in spite of fact that leaders of Warsaw Uprising in a pointed manner refused to cooperate with Red Army and showed that Russians are also their enemies like Germans.
    You certainly have a point there. There are no easy answers to that tragic story. The real purpose of Warsaw Uprising was political rather than military, with Poles desperate to welcome advancing Russians as sovereigns in their capital city. In reality, it wouldn't have changed anything. The map of Europe had already been decided among the Big Three and the poeple of Eastern Europe had no say in that.

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  • Andrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Henryk
    I am not suggesting that Stavka did not care about soldiers' lives, or that their orders were wrong. But I am saying that when Stalin decided to take a city, he did it. Such was not the case in Warsaw in 1944.
    Yes, and Gareev also speaks about it (if I remember correctly).

    May be, it was possible for Stalin to breakthrough to Warsaw Rebels if he concentrated additional huge forces there. But it could be done only at the cost of many lives of Soviet soldiers, at the cost of huge strategical success in the South, at the cost of future successful breakthrough in Germany in January of 1945.

    But it is strange that people demand such actions from Stalin in spite of fact that leaders of Warsaw Uprising in a pointed manner refused to cooperate with Red Army and showed that Russians are also their enemies like Germans.

    Imagine that in August of 1944 leaders of Paris Uprising refused to cooperate with Allied troops and declared that Western Allies are their enemies who want to conquer France. Did Western Allied Command MUST to break all these military plans and to help for Paris Uprising in this case at the cost of lifes of 100,000 of American soldiers?

    No, not ALL Poles were anti-Russian. All of them certainly wlecomed the defeat of Germany - but that does not mean they welcomed permanent Soviet presence in Poland or the Soviet-imposed administration.

    With the exception of the tiny communist party even the Polish left, mostly socialdemocratic before WWII, was decidedly unfriendly toward the USSR. The war didn't diminish those tendencies - it amplified them.
    I speak not about the highest ranks of Polish political parties, I speak about ordinary Poles. Ordinary Poles supported Red Army.

    When Hitler attacked the USSR in June 1941 and German troops moved into the formerly Polish territories occupied by the Soviets since September 1939, there were great many cases of Poles greeting nazi troops as liberators. It's not widely known because Poland didn't publicize it, but extensive documentation exists.
    It is well known fact and it was made not only by Poles but and by large amount of Ukrainians and Byelorussians in former Eastern Poland. But they did it because they didn't know who are Germans. Later they stopped to support Germans. Poles in Poland knew who are Germans.

    The pro-communist underground in Poland was very small, certainly no more than 5% of the overall numbers. In the Warsaw Uprising, AK, or the independists, fielded 50,000 soldiers. The pro-Soviet forces had less than 1000 men, and perhaps no more than 500.
    I speak not about pro-Comunist underground. I speak about those anti-German forces which supported Red Army. And ratio of these forces in Warsaw diesn't mean that this ratio was the same in all territory of Poland.

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  • Henryk
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrey
    Battle for Budapest happened in the end of war. Those soldiers who fought in Budapest had no other target after end of this battle. They were not necessary in Berlin. [...]

    If Germans began advance and Red Army suffered heavy losses so how does it prove that Red Army command didn't think about soldier's lifes? It was in result of powerful German offensive not in result of wrong order of Soviet Command.
    The battle of Budapest took place in December 1944. Actually, there was another target - the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts pushed on to Vienna. Hitler designated Budapest as Festung, fortress, and ordered the city defended at all costs. Although the Russians crossed the Danube south of the city and could have easily circumvented it, they decided to storm it.

    I am not suggesting that Stavka did not care about soldiers' lives, or that their orders were wrong. But I am saying that when Stalin decided to take a city, he did it. Such was not the case in Warsaw in 1944.



    Popel, deputy of commander of 1st Guard Tank Army, writes in his memoirs that local Poles mainly helped for Soviet tankmen and were happy when Red Army liberated them. So it is incorrect to show all Poles like they were anti-Russian biased.
    No, not ALL Poles were anti-Russian. All of them certainly wlecomed the defeat of Germany - but that does not mean they welcomed permanent Soviet presence in Poland or the Soviet-imposed administration.

    With the exception of the tiny communist party even the Polish left, mostly socialdemocratic before WWII, was decidedly unfriendly toward the USSR. The war didn't diminish those tendencies - it amplified them. When Hitler attacked the USSR in June 1941 and German troops moved into the formerly Polish territories occupied by the Soviets since September 1939, there were great many cases of Poles greeting nazi troops as liberators. It's not widely known because Poland didn't publicize it, but extensive documentation exists.

    You use term "Polish partisans". It is incorrect, correct term is "AK partisans". There were other Polish partisans which supported Russians.
    The pro-communist underground in Poland was very small, certainly no more than 5% of the overall numbers. In the Warsaw Uprising, AK, or the independists, fielded 50,000 soldiers. The pro-Soviet forces had less than 1000 men, and perhaps no more than 500.

    Other large partisan formations in Poland (NSZ), affiliated with the radical right, were much more anti-Soviet than the AK. Some of them evacuated to the West alongside retreating Germans. Some stayed in Poland, where they formed the core of the armed anti-communist resistance movement and stayed active into the late 1940s.

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  • Andrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Henryk
    In Berlin it certainly was, I agree. But in Budapest? It seems to me that the city had largely symbolic value as opposed to a military one. Its defenses were strong, the Germans counterattacked and Soviet casualties were high. But unlike in Poland, there had been no armed anti-Soviet resistance in Hungary. Although communists were not a popular group, Stalin could move swiftly to place Hungary in its orbit, as it had been agreed at the Tehran and Yalta conferences with his Western allies.
    Battle for Budapest happened in the end of war. Those soldiers who fought in Budapest had no other target after end of this battle. They were not necessary in Berlin.

    And what are you speaking about? You spoke about unnecessary losses? But how dies it related to German offensive? If Germans began advance and Red Army suffered heavy losses so how does it prove that Red Army command didn't think about soldier's lifes? It was in result of powerful German offensive not in result of wrong order of Soviet Command.

    Polnd was not just fiercely anti-Soviet, but anti-Russian, with a history of anti-Russian uprisings in the 19th century and the Soviet-Polish war of 1920. Independist Poles believed in the theory of two enemies - Germany and USSR. That belief played a major, or possibly even the dominant role in the thinking of Polish government in exile and the large and well-organized Polish underground administration.
    You repeat that opinion which is widely known in West. But it was not so simple like you speak. Do you remember guys from movie "Four tankmen and dog"? These guys were Poles. And they fought (with Russian weapon and in Polish uniform) together with Red Army against common enemy - Germans. Popel, deputy of commander of 1st Guard Tank Army, writes in his memoirs that local Poles mainly helped for Soviet tankmen and were happy when Red Army liberated them. So it is incorrect to show all Poles like they were anti-Russian biased.

    If Poles were so anti-Russian biased so how did new pro-Soviet Polish authorities could organise two pro-Russian Polish Armies (1st and 2nd). And more these Armies were good enough for fighting with Germans like regular Red Army units, it was not crowd of former peasants who were mobilized under the lash and didn't want to fight.

    In Eastern Poland, already taken by the Soviets in 1944, Polish partisans openly fought Soviet troops.
    You use term "Polish partisans". It is incorrect, correct term is "AK partisans". There were other Polish partisans which supported Russians.

    And more, many Soviet Commanders write in memoirs that ordinary AK partisans were ready to be friends with Red Army, problem was in leaders of AK partisans which carried out anti-Russian orders from Polish government in London.

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  • Henryk
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrey
    In Budapest and Berlin everyone understood that it was LAST battle! There was no necessity to preserve soldiers for future combats.
    In Berlin it certainly was, I agree. But in Budapest? It seems to me that the city had largely symbolic value as opposed to a military one. Its defenses were strong, the Germans counterattacked and Soviet casualties were high. But unlike in Poland, there had been no armed anti-Soviet resistance in Hungary. Although communists were not a popular group, Stalin could move swiftly to place Hungary in its orbit, as it had been agreed at the Tehran and Yalta conferences with his Western allies.

    Polnd was not just fiercely anti-Soviet, but anti-Russian, with a history of anti-Russian uprisings in the 19th century and the Soviet-Polish war of 1920. Independist Poles believed in the theory of two enemies - Germany and USSR. That belief played a major, or possibly even the dominant role in the thinking of Polish government in exile and the large and well-organized Polish underground administration. In Eastern Poland, already taken by the Soviets in 1944, Polish partisans openly fought Soviet troops.

    In the Warsaw Uprising, Stalin was presented with a fait accompli - the Poles did not attempt to engage the Soviets in any previous dialogue and to my best knowledge, no notice of the uprising was given. It would be difficult to expect Stalin to show sympathy to the movement which contained a considerable anti-Soviet component.

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  • Andrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Henryk
    One can debate whether the Soviets could have successfully crossed Vistula in August 1944. After all, Stalin did not pay much attention to human losses, as illustrated by Malinovskiy's and Tolbukhin's taking of Budapest or Zhukov's and Konev's relentless drive to Berlin.
    Do not mix it with Warsaw situation. In Budapest and Berlin everyone understood that it was LAST battle! There was no necessity to preserve soldiers fo future combats.

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  • Henryk
    replied
    Originally posted by hogdriver
    Even with my very limited knowledge of Marshall Zhukov and General Rokossovsky, they would not have hesitated for even a second to cross the Vistula and strike the Nazis. Something must have stopped them - the only reason I recall reading was that they were undergoing re-supply. [...]

    Finally, although no doubt they suffered horribly at the hands of the Nazis - they faced nothing like the liquidation of the Jewish Ghetto in 1942. The Nazis did not plan any punitive action against Warsaw before they retreated to the west. For me, it was inconcievable that the Russians would willfully delay their advance. Every day the war continued, they lost more soldiers - and they had lost far too many. A tragic and senseless as the Warsaw Uprising was, it had nothing to do with the Red Army.
    It was more complicated than that. The decision to stop on the East bank of Vistula or to attempt crossing the river was not Zhukov's or Rokossovskiy's. That was Stalin's decision alone. He was hostile to the independist Poles and thus a reluctant ally at best. His long-term plans were to eradicate Polish armed underground, as he had done earlier in Eastern part of Poland, where the NKVD troops disarmed and arrested Polish partisans en masse. It made much more sense from Stalin's standpoint to see how the situation in Warsaw develops and to let the Germans do the dirty work.

    The Polish independists were in turn hostile to the USSR, which joined forces with Hitler in September 1939 and subsequently ethnically cleansed large parts of the occupied territories, deporting hundreds of thousands of Poles to Siberia. Since Stalin's response was quite predictable, Bor-Komorowski took a huge gamble, hoping to liberate Warsaw or to at least hold some parts of it. He failed. Had Stalin allowed Americans to refuel in Soviet-held territory, the uprising could have been prolonged, but it is improbable that the outcome of the Warsaw Uprising would be any different than what it turned out to be.

    Civilian losses during the Warsaw uprising were in excess of 70,000 and the city was systematically razed by German troops, which committed unspeakable atrocities in the process.

    The Warsaw Uprising was a major military operation, with its leaders genuinely believing they had a chance to succeed. In that sense it began as a different scenario from the 1943 uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, which was predominantly an act of heroic defiance. Anielewicz and his handful of ZOB fighters had no chance to defeat the Germans, there were no Soviet troops across the river and assistance coming from the Polish underground was limited to rather symbolic dimensions, as it had to be.

    One can debate whether the Soviets could have successfully crossed Vistula in August 1944. After all, Stalin did not pay much attention to human losses, as illustrated by Malinovskiy's and Tolbukhin's taking of Budapest or Zhukov's and Konev's relentless drive to Berlin.

    Ultimately, the Warsaw Uprising turned out to be just what the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was - the final act of incredibly brave defiance, resulting in massive loss of life and a destruction of a city.

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  • Oleg Grigoryev
    replied
    Originally posted by menel
    And the were right because Russia occupied Poland for the next 50 years.
    That's gotta be some kind of new discovery - since Russia became and independent state only in 1991 and consequently could not occupy anybody prior to that date

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  • menel
    replied
    Originally posted by Oleg Grigoryev
    No, the problem was that people who started the uprising were almost as hostile towards Soviets as they were toward Germans and everything that followed is a direct result of that.
    And the were right because Russia occupied Poland for the next 50 years.

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