Bor-Komorowski, General Tadeusz, 1895-1966

Count Komorowski, codenamed Bor, led the Polish partisans in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Bor- Komorowski stayed in Poland after the German invasion in 1939 and was put in charge of resistance in southern Poland. In June 1943 Rowecki, the AK (Polish Home Army) leader, was arrested and Bor took over. He immediately put into action the first stage of his anti-German strategy, Fly: sabotage and the collection of intelligence. This was to be followed by Tempest: local revolts, diversionary guerrilla tactics; and ultimately by Rising: a general insurrection when Germany’s defeat in Poland was imminent. On 1 August 1944 he gave the order for the Rising in Warsaw but unfortunately he had not liaised with the Red Army and did not know that they were about to halt their offensive short of the capital city. The AK and Communists fought together in a desperate battle but never had enough supplies or ammunition to make victory possible. On the first day the Poles seized control of three-quarters of Warsaw but the Germans brought in their special anti-partisan units led by Bach-Zelewski and captured the city street by street. The USSR only began to make air drops on the city in mid-September and by then it was too late. On 2 October Bor and his forces surrendered to the Germans and obtained POW status. Some 200,000 Poles had died in the fighting and the remaining 800,000 were evicted. Bor was interned in Colditz and the Polish government-in-exile appointed him Commander in Chief of Polish Armed Forces. Bor’s aristocratic manners earned him respect but he did not have the qualities necessary to lead a partisan uprising.

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