On September 27, 1939 one day before Warsaw fell to the Germans, a message was sent between Polish military
" I hereby assign to Brigadier General Michael Tadeusz Tokarzewski-Karaszewicz, the powers
granted me by the Commander-in-Chief in agreement with the Government, of commander over
the entire extent of the country in the war against the invaders, with the task of continuing the fight
to maintain independence and the integrity of our borders. "
Polish Lieutenant General Juliusz Rommel
By mid-October 1939, General Karaszewicz was ready to report to the Polish government-in-exile that a newly
formed Underground Army was ready for action and under his command. The unit was named Sluzba Zwyciestwu
Polski, SZP (Service for Poland's Victory). It's Head Council comprised of representatives of Poland’s three main
political parties; the Polish Socialist Party, the Peasant Party, and the National Party. In December 1939, it was
renamed Zwiazek Walki Zbrojney, ZWZ, ( Union for Armed Struggle), and had as its objective the restoration of
Poland's freedom through armed resistance. The Head Council, initially identified as the core of the SPZ, was
renamed Politydzny Komitet Porozumiewawczy, PKP, the Political Organizing Committee. It expanded its leadership
with representatives from the Labor Party. In addition, a Ministerial Committee for Homeland Affairs was established,
and the position of Chief Government Delegate was created to take charge of all political and administrative matters
in Poland. It pledged to consult with all party representatives in the Political Coordinating Committee.
According to Polish government decree, the ZWZ was set up to be a universal, national, non-party, and non-class
military organization. Colonel Stefan Rowicki was appointed Commander of the ZWZ, based in Warsaw; General
Tokarzewski was Commander of the Soviet-occupied areas. On his way to Lwow, Tokarzewski was arrested by
Soviet border guards and sent to the Russian gulag .In June 1940, after France capitulated, Rowecki was named
Commander-in-Chief for Warsaw. From 193 to 1941, the ZWZ was involved in organizational work to prepare for
the coming uprising. It dealt also with counter-propaganda, reconnaissance, sabotage, diversionary tactics, and
intelligence activities. In July 1941, General Sosnkowski condemned the creation of the Polish-Soviet convention
and abruptly resigned from the Polish govenment-in-exile. He was then appointed to the ZWZ on February 6, 1942,
and changed its name to Armia Krajowa, AK (Home Army). He named General Rowecki as Commander. Meanwhile
the Soviets had created Polska Partia Robotnicza, PPR, the so-called Polish Workers Party, and its military
attachment, Armia Lodowa, AL, (The People's Army), whose allegiance was to the Soviets.
In the period of 1942 to 1943, the total number of fighting members of the AK exceeded 300,000 strong. They
succeeded in incorporating various political parties and the civilian population into its ranks and conducted frequent
training sessions in preparation for an armed uprising.
In June 1941 the Germans had invaded Russia, and occupied the eastern part of Poland. Simultaneously, pockets
of local and provincial civil underground units were being formed in order to fight the Nazis .The AK quickly
garnered the cooperation of many of these disparate units, as well as the support of the Polish population at large.
In order to establish control over fighting units, the ZWZ decreed that all other underground groups submit
themselves to their command by taking an oath of allegiance. On June 30, 1943, after the arrest of General Stefan
Rowecki, the Home Army did not crumble. Despite their great loss, they pledged allegiance to his successor, and
former Deputy General Bor Komorowski. I
FORMATION OF THE POLISH UNDERGROUND ARMY