Militaria Archive

Warsaw – (Warszawa)

Warsaw – (Warszawa), Capital of Poland, a city with a population of 1.3 million in 1939. Warsaw suffered 85% destruction throughout World War 2, beginning with the aerial bombardment which accompanied the German invasion of Poland on September 1st 1939 (and the ensuing Siege of Warsaw), until the Soviet capture of Warsaw on January 17th 1945. The Warsaw Uprising of August 1st 1944 was expected to last 48 hours but in the event lasted 63 days. The largest resistance operation of World War II saw intense street fighting between the mismatched sides. The uprising was timed to coincide with the German retreat from Poland and the oncoming Soviet advance. The Soviets, opposed to the Polish Home Army liberation of Warsaw, halted on the opposite side of the River Vistula to allow the German army’s routing of the Polish Home Army. Survivors were deported to Prisoner of War camps and civilians were expelled from the city. German Army engineers then set about razing the city to the ground.

Memorial to Pope John Paul II