The PWPW Redoubt in the Warsaw Uprising – calendar August 1944.

THE PWPW REDOUBT IN THE WARSAW UPRISING – CALENDAR AUGUST 1944.

1940  — establishment of the Underground Banknote Printer PWB/17/S, which, till 1944 delivered forged documents and banknotes for combat causes — a total of about 17 million zł.

August 1942 — in view of the possibility of exposure PWB/17/S ceases printing forged banknotes. They continue printing other documents and sabotage actions.

End of July 1944 — members of the PWB/17/S gather in the Printer together with those newly sworn in. Alert before hour "W".

2 August 1944  2:00 pm — capture of the Printer by insurgents after an attack from the inside (PWB/17/S)  and from the outside (battalion Czarnieckiego, battalion "Wigry", platoon from unit "P-20", unit from company "Wkra" from battalion "Łukasiński", NSZ squads from Motorized Brigade "Młot", soldiers from: company "Orlęta", from the 104th  syndicalist company as well as the National Security Corps and from battalion "Czwartacy". Also a large number of civilians). Individual insurrectionary squads are assigned posts in the PWPW, and Roman Marchel "Rom's" squad  — in the residential building at Rybaki Str. A first aid post is established in the PWPW.

3 August — first German attempt to recapture the Prionter, i.a. by strong shelling, "Panther" tanks and infantry. Fighting ceases in the evening.

7-9 August — German infantry attempts to break through at Konwiktorska Str. Continuous, heavy artillery shelling of PWPW and the residential building from the direction of the Citadel, from an armoured train and by guns located in Praga.

10 August — unsuccessful insurgent attack on artillery positions between the Traugutta park and the Legionów fort. PWPW shelling is supported by a German heavy armed river cutter. The regular crew of the Printer is supported by the company under command of second lieutenant Edmund Osiejewski "Osa" from the battalion named after Jan Kiliński. Intensified bombing from the air.

11 August – during intensive bombing of PWPW the water supply network is demolished in the main building of the company. Right by the PWPW fence a 500kg unexploded  air bomb digs into the cutting across Wójtowska Str..

13 August – attack from Wybrzeże Gdańskie (tanks, infantry) after heavy artillery shelling from the Praga river bank.

13-14 August – that night a barely accessible container from an airdrop was noticed in Traugutta park. During an attempt to retrieve it a dispute burst out with a PA unit under command of captain  "Szwed", who declared they discovered the container.

14-15 August – night of the most intensive supplies airdrops in the vicinity of the PWPW.

16 August — strong shelling from tanks and infantry fire on "Zakroczymska" barricade and the western part of PWPW. Severe losses in "Osa's" company.

19 August — the first day of German "general storm" on the Old Town with the use of bomber aircrafts, armoured train, guns, "Goliaths", mortars, fire and mine throwers.

21 August — PWPW defence is strengthened by soldiers from concentration "Leśnik".

23 August — unexpected German attack and capture of the PWPW residential building.

23/24 August — further attempts at retrieving the residential building under command of lieutenant "Szary" from concentration "Leśnik". At dawn the building is recaptured by the insurgents.

24 August — a series of attacks from the German bombers, artillery and infantry, primarily on the premises of the present "Szkatuła" club. Severe losses and disintegration of squad "Rom".

25 August — the residential building passes from one party to the other, ultimately lost in the evening, following the combat gas attack by the enemy.

26 August — transporter of explosives shattered the PWPW fence, where it was nearest to the building (block W), capture of the top floors by German infantry. End of artillery shelling and air raids.

27 August — further fights inside the building. Disadvantageous position of the insurgents, pushed off to lower floors. Many killed and wounded, fatigue, lack of sleep and very high temperature caused by the fire in the top floors weaken the capacity to hold the Printer in the Polish hands.

28 August — insurgent resistance breaks down. Among the last persons leaving the printer are i.a.: Leszek Grodecki "Lis", Bogusław Kaufmann "Bogiel", Tadeusz Bednarek "Błyskawica" and Czesław Zaborowski ("Cesiek", "Lalka"). The civilians and the wounded from the hospital, hidden within the PWPW site in the bunker for President Mościcki, are seized by Germans. Those, who took part in the defence are shot down in the vicinity of the Citadel. While taking over the shelter, the occupant shoots doctor Hanna Petrynowska "Rana", who managed the hospital.

 

Author: Radosław Mierzejewski