Panzergrenadiers about to commence an attack – Eastern Front 1944

Panzergrenadiers about to commence an attack – Eastern Front 1944

Untersturmführer Gerhard Mahn, commander of 11th company, 9th regiment “Germania” of the 5th SS Panzer Division “Wiking” directs the actions of the division of armored personnel carriers Sd.Kfz.251.   They are about to mount an attack against the Red Army during the battles east of Warsaw in the summer of 1944

Polish resistance fighters rest by the fire during the Warsaw Uprising (Poland – c. Sep/Oct 1944)

Polish resistance fighters rest by the fire during the Warsaw Uprising (Poland – c. Sep/Oct 1944)

The Warsaw uprising was the largest single operation undertaken by any resistance movement during World War Two.  The Armia Krajowa – The Polish Resistance Home Army were aiming to liberate the city of Warsaw from the occupying forces of Nazi Germany.

Ultimately the uprising failed when the Soviet armies halted their advance short of Warsaw – allowing the German forces breathing room to regroup and demolish the city and quell the uprising.

The only real outside support came from the nightly drops of supplies from the RAF, other commonwealth air forces and of course units of the Polish Air Force.

There was no difficulty in finding Warsaw. It was visible from 100 kilometers away. The city was in flames but with so many huge fires burning, it was almost impossible to pick up the target marker flares. — William Fairly, a South African pilot, from an interview in 1982

German Troops Enjoying Their Fire – Ardennes Forest 44/45

German Troops Enjoying Their Fire – Ardennes Forest 44/45

Deep in the Ardennes forest a Panther crew and some German infantry enjoy the warmth of their fire during “Operation Watch on the Rhine” – Hitler’s last gamble to halt the Allies in the west, hoping to force them to the negotiating table.

Despite early successes, the battle of the bulge failed in almost all of its objectives.  Running out of fuel a kilometer before the largest fuel dump in Europe, not being able to dislodge the US troops at Bastogne – all of these small failures compounded and ended up costing the German’s deeply, by the time the bulge was squeezed out many precious tanks and vehicles had been abandoned, countless lives had been wasted and nothing had been gained.