The Warsaw Uprising

SS officers walking through the ghetto after the Warsaw Uprising

On August 1, 1944 the Polish Home Army attacked the German forces holding Warsaw. The number of Polish troops numbered 50,000 but only 23,000 were armed. The Poles were able to take a large portion of the Warsaw in the first days of the uprising but German reinforcements began arriving on August 3rd and 4th. The reinforcements were policemen and SS-men. By August 20th the Germans had assembled more than 25, 000 troops to put down the resistance.

Himmler issued the order: “Every inhabitant should be killed, no prisoners are to be taken. Warsaw is to be razed to the ground and in this way the whole of Europe shall have a terrifying example.” The Germans used aircraft bombers, "Goliath mines", and exploding tanks, rocket launchers to subdue the Polish Home Army.

The uprising ended on October 2 when a ceasefire agreement was signed. Over 18,000 insurgents and 150,000 civilians died during the fighting. German casualties numbered more than ten thousand. After the ceasefire the Germans destroyed most of the city and deported the remaining population to death camps for extermination.