General Tadeusz Komorowski (1 June 1895 – 24 August 1966), better known by the name Bór-Komorowski (after one of his wartime code-names: Bór – "The Forest") was a Polish military leader. He was appointed commander in chief a day before the capitulation of the Warsaw uprising and following World War II, 32nd Prime Minister of Poland, 3rd Polish government-in-exile in London.
|Born||1 June 1895|
Khorobriv, Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
|Died||24 August 1966 (aged 71)|
London, United Kingdom
Polish Defensive War
World War II
|Other work||politician, writer|
Komorowski was born in Khorobriv, in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria (the Austrian partition of Poland). In the First World War he served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army, and after the war became an officer in the Polish Army, rising to command the Grudziądz Cavalry School. He was a member of the Polish equestrian team that went to the 1924 Summer Olympics.
After taking part in the fighting against the German invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II in 1939, Komorowski, with the code-name Bór, helped organise the Polish underground in the Kraków area. In July 1941 he became deputy commander of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa or "AK"), and in March 1943 gained appointment as its commander, with the rank of Brigadier-General.
In mid 1944, as Soviet forces advanced into central Poland, the Polish government-in-exile in London instructed Bór-Komorowski to prepare for an armed uprising in Warsaw. The government-in-exile wished to return to a capital city liberated by Poles, not seized by the Soviets, and prevent the Communist take-over of Poland which Stalin had planned. The Warsaw uprising began on Komorowski's order on 1 August 1944 and the insurgents of the AK seized control of most of central Warsaw.
In September 1944, Bór-Komorowski was promoted to General Inspector of the Armed Forces (Polish Commander-in-Chief). On 4 October, after two months of fierce fighting, Bór-Komorowski surrendered to SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski after Nazi Germany agreed to treat the Home Army fighters as prisoners-of-war. General Bór-Komorowski went into internment in Germany (at Oflag IV-C). Despite repeated demands, he refused to order the remaining Home Army units in Occupied Poland to surrender.
Life in exileEdit
After the war Bór-Komorowski moved to London, where he played an active role in Polish émigré circles. From 1947 to 1949 he served as Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile, which no longer had diplomatic recognition from most Western European countries. He wrote the story of his experiences in The Secret Army (1950). After the war he was an upholsterer.
He died in London aged 71. After his death in London on 24 August 1966, he was buried in Gunnersbury Cemetery (also known as (New) Kensington Cemetery).
Honours and awardsEdit
- Order of the White Eagle (posthumously, 1995)
- Commander's Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari (previously awarded the Knight's Cross, the Gold Cross and the Silver Cross)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (previously awarded the Officer's Cross)
- Cross of Valour – three times
- Gold Cross of Merit with Swords
- Gold Cross of Merit
- Silver Cross of Merit
- Honorary citizen of Glowno (posthumously, 2004)
- Mariusz Podgórski, Mikołaj Falkowski (26 February 2009). "Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski". Historia. Polskie Radio. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- Andrzej Paczkowski (2003). The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom. Penn State Press. p. 196. ISBN 0271047534.
- Piotr M. Majewski, 63 Dni walki o Warszawę (63 days of fight for Warsaw) Mowiawieki.pl (Internet Archive)
- Miller 2016, p. 39.
- "POLISH HERO'S ASHES FINALLY BURIED IN HOMELAND". Associated Press. 31 July 1994.
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski" (2 November 1951) is available at the Internet Archive
| Prime Minister of the Polish Republic in Exile
| Commander of the Home Army
| General Inspector of the Armed Forces