COMBAT IN DEFENCE OF THE PWPW REDOUBT
On the first day of August, right on the chime of 5:00 pm, about 50 thousand soldiers from the home Army and other independence seeking groups stood to fight against some 16 thousand German soldiers occupying the Capital of Poland. Unfortunately only 5 thousand of the insurgents were properly armed, whereas the German army had armoured arms, artillery and aircrafts at their disposal. The history of recapturing the PWPW from German hands and the defence of its buildings against attempts to recover it by Germans, followed by its loss is one of the tragic histories associated with the battles fought in Warsaw during the uprising. It was described many times and in detail, mainly by one of the participants of those events, Juliusz Kulesza, who collected many accounts from the soldiers who fought here, to use in his works.
It is impossible to discuss here the number of complex relationships and decisions associated with the combat actions in PWPW. The Printer and the residential building for its employees, held by Germans during the war, were captured by the insurgents on the second day of the uprising - 2 August 1944. The attacks on the PWPW was carried out with three attack groups: 1. On the side of PWPW; 2. At the back of PWPW, 3. From the inside – the Trojan horse method: group PWB/17/S under the command of lieutenant "Biały" (Czesław Lech) .
On 28 August the insurgents' resistance broke down – survivors from the PWPW complex battles retreated to the Old Town. Civilian inhabitants and the wounded from the hospital, hidden in the PWPW site were seized by Germans. Those of them who participated in the defence were shot. During taking over the last shelter in the PWPW the occupants killed defenceless doctor Hanna Petrynowska ps. "Rana", who managed the hospital.
Authors: Monika Olbryś-Zegarowska and Tomasz Turek