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Armia Krajowa

Armia Krajowa (Home Army) was the underground military organization in occupied Poland, which functioned in all areas of the country from the fall of 1939 until its disbanding in January 1945. The Home Army was the largest underground resistance army during World War 2. It formed the armed wing of what is now refferred to as the underground state (państwo podziemne).


-The AK originated from the Sluzba Zwyciestwu Polski (Polish Victory Service), created in September 27th 1939 by Gen. Michael Torkarzewski-Karaszewicz. November 17th, Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski replaced this organization with the Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej (Union for Armed Struggle), which became after joining with the Polski Zwiazek Powstanczy the AK in February 14th 1942. The AK's first commander was Stefan Rowecki (known as Grot, or "arrowhead"), until his arrest in 1943; he was succeeded by Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, from July 1943 until the latter's capture in September 1944. The last commander was Leopold Okulicki, known as Niedzwiadek ("bear cub"). The AK was officially dissolved January 19th 1945.


-The executive branch of the AK was the operational command, which was composed of many units. Estimates of the AK membership in the first half of 1944 range from 250,000 to 350,000, with more than 10,000 officers. Most of the other Polish underground armies were incorporated into the AK, including the Konfederacja Narodu (1943) Bataliony Chlopskie (Peasants' Battalions), a large military organization of the Stronnictwo Ludowe (People's Party); the Socjalistyczna Organizacja Bojowa (Socialist Fighting Organization), established by the Polska Partia Socjalistyczna (Polish Socialist Party); the Narodowa Organizacja Wojskowa (National Army), established by the Stronnictwo Narodowe (National Party); and, from March 1944, part of the extreme right-wing organization, the Narodowe Sily Zbrojne (National Armed Forces).

-The AK divided itself organizationally in Poland into sixteen regional branches, subdivided in turn into eighty-nine inspectorates, which were further divided into 278 districts. The supreme command defined the main tasks of the AK as preparation for action and, after the termination of the German occupation, general armed revolt until victory. Power was then to be seized in Poland by the delegatura establishment, the representatives of the London-based polish government-in-exile; and by the government-in-exile, which would return to Poland.

Warsaw Uprising

Initiated by the Polish resistance organization, the Armia Krajowa, (Home Army) the Warsaw Uprising took place in 1944. Its purpose was to free Warsaw before the entrance of the Soviet Red Army. While a few hundred prisoners were liberated from the Gesia St. concentration camp, the Germans defeated the rebels and burned the city

While the AK did not engender a general revolt, its forces were responsible for intensive economic and armed sabotage. In 1944, it acted on a broad scale, one of its operations being the Warsaw Uprising, which broke out on August 1, 1944, and was quelled by the Germans only on October 2. AK units carried out thousands of armed raids and daring intelligence operations, bombed hundreds of railway shipments, and participated in many partisan clashes and battles with the German police and Wehrmacht units.

In total it is believed that at least 150.000 Germans were killed by AK.

Attitude Toward Jews

In February 1942, the Operational Command of the AK Information and Propaganda Office created the Section for Jewish Affairs, directed by Henryk Wolinski. This section collected information about the situation of the Jewish population, on the basis of which reports were drafted and sent to London. It also centralized contacts between Polish and Jewish military organizations. AK organised also financial aid for Jews (see Zegota). Only a few Jews (about one thousand) were accepted into the ranks of the AK, which generally turned down Jewish applicants. The AK provided the Warsaw ghetto with about sixty revolvers, several hundred hand grenades, and ammunition and explosives. During the Warsaw ghetto uprising, AK units tried twice to blow up ghetto wall, carried out holding actions outside the ghetto walls, and together with GL forces were sporadically attacking German sentry units near the ghetto walls. One AK unit (KB, 'korpus bezpieczeństwa') took direct part in fights inside the ghetto together with Jewish fighter from ŻZW. 3 out 7 members of Collective Commandement of AK (KG AK), were of Jewish origins.

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