Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Battle for Warsaw

I bought this DVD some time ago, but have only just got around to watching it.

When I bought it I expected the film to be about the Warsaw Uprising ... but it isn't. It is actually the film version of Aleksander Kaminski's novel THE BATTLE OF WARSAW (A.K.A. STONES FOR THE RAMPART).

It is a fictionalized account of the lives of three members of the Gray Ranks or Szare Szeregi, which was part of the Polish Scouting Association or Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego within the Polish Underground. The three leading characters are known by their noms-de-guerre – Rudy (real name: Jan Bytnar), Zośka (real name: Tadeusz Zawadzki), and Alek (real name: Maciej Aleksy Dawidowski) – and much of the film deals with their preparation for fighting the German occupiers and their attempts to rescue Rudy (Operation Arsenal) after he is captured and interrogated by the Germans.

Be warned, the interrogation is depicted in all its brutality, and the story does not have anything approaching a happy ending. That said, it is an excellent film, and certainly increased my understanding of the role and importance of the Polish Scouting Association in the fight against the German occupiers of Poland.


  1. Always enjoy your film reviews Bob. Yetanother I'll look out for myself.



    1. Pete.,

      I'm pleased to read that you find my film reviews enjoyable. I just keep my eyes open when shopping in places like ASDA. They seem to stock these DVDs at reasonably low prices.

      All the best,


  2. I have bought several DVDs on your recommendation. The best so far was 9th April.
    This one however, I bought some time ago, and the local charity shop have the problem of reselling it.
    I bought it partly because of the connection with my late father-in-law, who was supposed to start university in Bydgoscz in September 1939, but who ended up conscripted into the Wehrmacht.
    At his funeral I discovered that he escaped the German army in Normandy, late 1944, and joined the Polish forces in Britain, never seeing active service again.
    I wished I had learned more of his story. What a missed opportunity! But
    I suspect that if he had wished to talk about it, he would have done so.

    Incidentally, my wife's mother was a refugee Latvian, so ironocally I have Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin to thank for the existence of my wife.

    1. Whiskers,

      I'm very pleased to read that you have found my DVD reviews useful. I must agree that 9TH APRIL is an excellent film.

      I'm not surprised that the charity shop was having difficulty selling THE BATTLE FOR WARSAW; it isn't a typical run-of-the-mill war film.

      We sometimes forget that not every German soldier was actually German, and that they conscripted soldiers from numerous occupied countries. I used to work with someone whose father had a similar story of forced conscription into the Wehrmacht, desertion in Normandy, and service with the Polish Army in the UK.

      All the best,



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