After The Battle magazine has published issue # 143. After The Battle covers all theaters of WW 2, with the majority of the stories on the European theater. The magazine uses then & now photographs to help tell the stories contained in the magazine. The A4 sized pages are printed on high quality paper to assure the photograph's show up well.
After The Battle magazine is a quarterly publication of Battle of Britain International Ltd. This issue has the usual 56 pages with color pictures on the front, back and center pages. This issue contains three stories of interest to the Polish and French.
In Depth Part One:
The main feature in this issue is the Warsaw Uprising. The uprising was a coordinated action inspired by the government in exile and the population in general. Poles wanted to make sure the city was freed prior to the entry of the Soviet forces into the city. The Polish population saw little difference between Germany and the Soviet Union. The uprising was set to start at 17:00 hrs on August 1, 1944. The home army numbered around 50,000, but lacked essential equipment and arms. The German garrison numbered around 13,000 well armed and trained soldiers. Estimated losses for the first day were 500 Germans and 2,000 Poles. The Poles controlled approximately 3/4 of the city after the opening day, but that did not provide any advantage. The Germans retained control of the 5 river bridges, railroad station and military facilities.
The uprising was well documented by photographers on both sides. The ferocity of the battle was extended to the civilian population as well as combatants. The German forces used all kinds of equipment in their attempt to subdue the insurgent Poles, and German equipment captured by the Poles was used against the German forces. The Poles thought the uprising would only last a few days until the Russians entered the city. Stalin halted the advance of his forces to allow the Germans to finish off the free Poles and wear down the German forces. The western allies tried to drop supplies to the Poles, but were denied landing rights in the Russian areas. Only after it was seen that the Germans would prevail, did Stalin give landing rights to allies. The uprising lasted just over two months. The remnants of the Polish insurgents marched into captivity, treated as lawful combatants by the Germans.
The aftermath was that Hitler ordered that Warsaw should be leveled completely, and the systematic looting of cultural goods, building equipment, factory equipment, and anything of use to Germany began. Some 45,000 railroad cars were loaded and sent out of the city. The Poles captured numbered 11,668 and they were sent to stalag 334. After the war, the returning Polish AK soldiers were treated badly by the communist Polish government. Scores were imprisoned on false charges and some executed by the Communist government. The fall of the communist Polish government allowed the truth to come forward and the Polish nation has renewed efforts to show the heroism of
the Polish insurgents.
In Depth Part Two: The Tragedy On The Eve of D-Day is the story of French resistance and German reprisal. On June 5th, 1944 a group of French resistance fighters exploded a bomb Killing 11 German soldiers and injuring 20 others. The German survivors rounded up 28 French civilians in the streets and executed them. Ugine, France was a small town and home to a high quality steel mill. The increased level of resistance sabotage around the area convinced the
Germans to move a SS police regiment to the area to provide increased security for the steel plant. The arrival of the German police regiment caused the resistance to plan a bombing to destroy part of the German regiment. The Resistance planted a bomb near a place used by the Germans and manned it daily. June 5th the Germans drove into the trap and a bomb was exploded. The Germans reacted with the execution of 19 men at the site of the explosion. The Germans later executed 9 more men on the streets of Ugine. This tragedy was just a small part of the price paid by civilians in the occupied parts of France.
In Depth Part Three: Revenge at Saint-Julien is the story that ended Nov 4, 2003. The interior of France saw many tragedies during the war. The area around Saint-Julien was a haven for French resistance fighters. On Aug 9, 1944 the retreating Germans decided to carry out a strike against the resistance stronghold. The village was entered and any man who had not hidden was rounded up. The German troops went house to house, and farm to farm. The sound of gunfire alerted those who had not hidden. Seventeen men rounded up were executed after the Germans had a firefight with resistance troops.
About a month after the seventeen men were executed, the local resistance decided to execute seventeen German troops. The resistance drove to a local POW cage and requested seventeen prisoners to be used for fatigue duty. The German POW's were turned over to the resistance group and driven back to Saint-Julien. The prisoners were divided into two groups. Fourteen enlisted men were executed and the remaining three officers were ordered to dig a grave. The grave being completed, the other three officers were executed. All seventeen prisoners were buried and the grave site was kept secret until 2003. The bodies were unearthed in 2003 and reburied in a German war cemetery.
The Warsaw uprising was a hard fought battle. The desperation of the Polish people caused this battle to be fought with courage and determination, and the savagery carried out by both sides is well known. The uprising is probably one of the most photographed events of WW 2. The Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw was created in record time and has had millions of visitors.
The resistance in France caused many problems for the German troops. Many civilians were rounded up and deported and many were executed. The occupation of France caused many German troops to be used keeping the population under control. Those troops could have been used on the front lines if not for the resistance. After the Battle # 143 is a very informative issue and I await the next issue.
For more information on After The Battle magazine and their books, their web site is www.afterthebattle.com. RZM Imports also carry the US subscriptions to the magazine and their books.
Highs: Informative stories with great vehicle pictures.Lows: Not enough pages for this issue and the great stories.Verdict: This issue was very informative, especially with the Warsaw uprising story.