Polish Home Army

Polish Home Army (Polish: Armia Krajowa [AK]). The main partisan organization in Poland during the Second World War. It emerged as a coalition of anti-German underground groups called the Union of Armed Resistance. In 1941 it became affiliated with the Polish government in London, and eventually it was renamed. The AK carried out extensive intelligence and sabotage operations in Poland. In the spring of 1944 it organized a general military uprising (code name: Burza) against the Germans in advance of the Red Army offensive into Western Ukraine and Poland. When the Red Army arrived, many of the AK leaders were jailed or executed, while rank-and-file members were pressed into pro-Soviet military service. The organization was disbanded in 1945 but resurfaced in 1947 as the Freedom and Independence movement. In spite of their having a common enemy, the Home Army did not collaborate with the Ukrainian resistance forces. Its partisans terrorized Ukrainian villages in the Kholm region and attacked Samooborona units and the forces of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). AK ambitions to restore Polish rule in Galicia could not but arouse Ukrainian hostility. Relations between the UPA and the reconstituted AK improved after the Soviet occupation of Poland, and several joint Polish-Ukrainian operations were carried out against the Soviet Army and NKVD forces.

Korbonski, S. The Polish Underground State (New York 1978)
Bor-Komorowski, T. The Secret Army (Nashville 1984)

Andrij Makuch

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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