Operation Arsenal

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Operation Arsenal
Part of World War II
Date March 26, 1943
Location Warsaw, Poland
Result Liberation of "Rudy", successful escape
Belligerents
Flaga PPP.svg Szare Szeregi Flag of German Reich (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
Flaga PPP.svg Stanisław Broniewski
Flaga PPP.svg Tadeusz Zawadzki
Unknown, probably none
Strength
28 men ~15-20 men
Casualties and losses
2 wounded (died later)
1 captured (killed by firing squad)
140 Polish and Jewish hostages shot in retaliation by Germans
4 killed
9 wounded

The Operation Arsenal, code name: "Meksyk II" (Polish: Akcja pod Arsenałem) was the first major operation by the Szare Szeregi (Gray Ranks) Polish Underground formation during the Nazi occupation of Poland. It took place on March 26, 1943 in Warsaw. Its name was coined after the Warsaw Arsenal, in front of which the action took place. The plan was to free the troop leader Jan Bytnar "Rudy", who was arrested together with his father by the Gestapo. The operation was executed by 28 scouts led by Warsaw Standard Commander Stanisław Broniewski "Orsza". The initiator and the commander of the "Attack Group" was Tadeusz Zawadzki "Zośka".

The successfully conducted operation led to the release of Jan Bytnar and 24 other prisoners, including another Storm Group troop leader, Henryk Ostrowski "Henryk", and 6 women, in an attack on the prison van that was taking the inmates from Pawiak Prison to Gestapo Headquarters at Szucha Avenue. Bytnar himself died four days later on account of injuries sustained due to German torture. Both of his "interrogators" were assassinated by Szare Szeregi within two months.

The Operation was presented in a 1978 Polish film Akcja pod Arsenałem.

Sections Commander Members
Commander of the operation:
Commander of the "Attack Group":
Commander of the "Cover Group":
"Orsza" Stanisław Broniewski
"Zośka" Tadeusz Zawadzki
"Giewont" Władysław Cieplak
  Attack Group
"Bottles" "Anoda" Jan Rodowicz "Bolec" Tadeusz Hojko
"Heniek" Henryk Kupis
"Stasiek" Stanisław Pomykalski
"STEN I" "Maciek" Sławomir Maciej Bittner "Kołczan" Eugeniusz Koecher
"Sem" Wiesław Krajewski
"STEN II" "Słoń" Jerzy Gawin "Buzdygan" Tadeusz Krzyżewicz (died, due to wounds)
"Cielak" Tadeusz Szajnoch
"Grenades" "Alek" Maciej Aleksy Dawidowski (died, due to wounds) "Hubert" Hubert Lenk
"Mirski" Jerzy Zapadko
  Cover Group
"Signalisation" "Kuba" Konrad Okolski "Kadłubek" Witold Bartnicki
"Jur" Andrzej Wolski
"Old Town" "Katoda" Józef Saski "Kopeć" Stanisław Jastrzębski
"Rawicz" Żelisław Olech
"Ghetto" "Tytus" Tytus Trzciński "Felek" Feliks Pendelski
"Ziutek" Józef Pleszczyński
"Pająk" Jerzy Tabor
"Cars" "Jeremi" Jerzy Zborowski
"Jurek TK" Jerzy Pepłowski

References[edit]

  • Tomasz Strzembosz: Odbijanie więźniów w Warszawie 1939-1944. Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1972, s. 114

See also[edit]