Armies of the Polish military forces in the years 1944–1945 – military operational compounds formed in July 1944 by a decree of the State National Council. Pursuant to the decree of 21 July, the People’s Army and the Polish Army in the USSR were merged in 1944, forming the Polish People’s Army, subordinate to the Supreme Command of the Polish Army. Two armies were eventually formed, each under different command and used in separate theatres of war. The 1st Army (commanders: Generals Z. Berling, since 10 May 1944 W. Korczyc, since 27 November 1944 S. Popławski) – formed on 29 July 1944 from the renamed Polish Army in the USSR. Its operations were overseen by the Commander of the 1st Belorussian Front; composition: the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and the 6th infantry divisions, the Cavalry Brigade, the 1st Artillery Brigade, the 2nd and the 3rd howitzer brigades, the 4th Armoured Artillery Brigade, the Heavy Artillery Brigade, the 1st Armoured Brigade, and the Aviation Division (a total of ca. 93,000 soldiers). It engaged in combat between July and August 1944 in the vicinity of Puławy and Dęblin (attempt to push forward through the Vistula River and seize the bridgehead), in the vicinity of Łaskarzew (August–September, fighting at the Warka-Magnuszew Bridgehead and at Studzianki); it participated in the capture of Praga (15 September) and in the unsuccessful battles (16–23 September) at the Czerniaków and Żoliborz Bridgeheads in Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. In October, it took part in the takeover of Jabłonna and Legionowo, on 17 January 1945 – the takeover of Warsaw as part of the Red Army’s Warsaw operation; on 30 January–28 February, it took part in the bloody battles to break the Pomeranian Wall, in March – in the Red Army’s Pomeranian operation (including battle for Kołobrzeg, Gdynia, and Gdańsk), on 16 April–2 May – in the Red Army’s Berlin Offensive, on 1–3 May – in the attack in the direction of the Elbe River and establishing contact with the US troops. After the war, part of the 1st Army was stationed in Lusatia as occupation forces. On 22 August 1945, the 1st Army was disbanded. The 2nd Army (commanders: Generals K. Świerczewski, 25 September–28 November 1944 S. Popławski) – established on 20 August 1944, its operations were supervised by the Commander of the 1st Belorussian Front, and as of 19 March 1945 – by the Commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front; composition: the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th infantry divisions, the 2nd Artillery Division, the 9th and the 14th armoured artillery brigades, the 3rd Anti-aircraft Artillery Division, the 4th Sapper Brigade, the 1st Armoured Corps (a total of ca. 89,000 soldiers in April and ca. 70,000 in May 1945). After its concentration in the Lower Silesian Wilderness between 16 April and 2 May, it participated in the Red Army’s Berlin Offensive (crossing the Lusatian Neisse, breaking the German defence and pursuit up to Dresden). Between 21 April and 28 April, it participated in bloody defensive battles of the ineptly commanded army in the area of Bautzen, between 7 and 11 May – in the Red Army’s Prague Offensive; on 2 August 1945, the 2nd Army was disbanded. The 3rd Army (commander: General K. Świerczewski), established on 6 October 1944, did not go beyond the stage of organisation (it had ca. 26,000 soldiers). On 15 November 1944, its formation was stopped, and the already created units were incorporated into the 1st and the 2nd Armies or relegated to the commander-in-chief’s reserve.
- Organizacja i działania bojowe ludowego Wojska Polskiego. Selected sources, vol. 1–4, Warsaw 1958–63;
- Polski czyn zbrojny w II wojnie światowej. Ludowe Wojsko Polskie 1943–1945, Warsaw 1973;
- Kaczmarek K. Druga Armia Wojska Polskiego, Warsaw 1978.
The entry was written on the basis of source materials of the PWN printing house.