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Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski

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Tadeusz Komorowski
Komorowski in 1945
4th Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile
In office
2 July 1947 – 10 February 1949
PresidentAugust Zaleski
Preceded byTomasz Arciszewski
Succeeded byTadeusz Tomaszewicz
Personal details
Born(1895-06-01)1 June 1895
Khorobriv, Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, Austria-Hungary
Died24 August 1966(1966-08-24) (aged 71)
London, England
AwardsOrder of the White Eagle (posthumously) Virtuti Militari Virtuti Militari Virtuti Militari Krzyz Zaslugi Krzyz Zaslugi Polonia Restituta Cross of the Valorous Cross of the Valorous Cross of the Valorous
Military service
Allegiance Second Polish Republic Poland
Years of service1913–1947
Rank Major general
UnitCO of the Home Army
C-i-C of the Polish Army
Battles/warsFirst World War
Polish-Ukrainian War
Bolshevik-Polish War
Second World War

Generał 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.[1] 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.[2]


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.[3]

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.[1] He was sympathetic to the right-wing, antisemitic National Party. As commander of the Home Army, Komorowski reversed the pro-Jewish policies of his predecessor, Stefan Rowecki. Komorowski opposed aid to Jews seeking to mount ghetto uprisings and favoured the exclusion of Jews from the organisation. American historian Joshua D. Zimmerman accuses Komorowski of characterising Jewish partisans as "communist, pro-Soviet elements" and having "chilling indifference" to the ongoing Holocaust.[4]

The Uprising

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.[5] 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.

On 29 September 1944, Bór-Komorowski was promoted to General Inspector of the Armed Forces (Polish Commander-in-Chief).[1] On 4 October,[6] after two months of fierce fighting, Bór-Komorowski surrendered to SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski[6] 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.[5]

Life in exile

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 on 24 August 1966, aged 71,[2] and was buried in Gunnersbury Cemetery (also known as (New) Kensington Cemetery).

On 30 July 1994, Gen. Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski's ashes were buried in Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw.[7]

Honours and awards

See also


  1. ^ a b c Mariusz Podgórski, Mikołaj Falkowski (26 February 2009). "Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski". Historia. Polskie Radio. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b Andrzej Paczkowski (2003). The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom. Penn State Press. p. 196. ISBN 0271047534.
  3. ^ "Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski". Olympedia. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  4. ^ Zimmerman, Joshua D. (2019). "The Polish Underground Home Army (AK) and the Jews: What Postwar Jewish Testimonies and Wartime Documents Reveal". East European Politics and Societies and Cultures. 34: 15–17. doi:10.1177/0888325419844816. S2CID 204482531.
  5. ^ a b Piotr M. Majewski, 63 Dni walki o Warszawę (63 days of fight for Warsaw) Mowiawieki.pl (Internet Archive)
  6. ^ a b Miller 2016, p. 39.
  7. ^ "POLISH HERO'S ASHES FINALLY BURIED IN HOMELAND". Deseret News. Associated Press. 31 July 1994. Retrieved 19 May 2020.


  • Miller, Michael (2016). Knight's Cross Holders of the SS and German Police 1940-45. England: Helion & Company. ISBN 978-1-909982-74-1.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of the Polish Republic in Exile
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Commander of the Home Army
Succeeded by
Preceded by General Inspector of the Armed Forces
Succeeded by