The Politics of Global War: Poland Teeters D+14 Part III

Jaruzelski was heard by the majority of Poles, however, the final three minutes of his address was prematurely cut off in some areas of the country. This was due to attacks on transmitters, and other communications links by KGB and GRU officers who responded quickest to the frantic orders going out from the Soviet embassy in Warsaw and in some cases directly from Moscow. These instances were limited though, and nowhere near sufficient in number, or in amounts of damage inflicted to permanently degrade television, and radio broadcasting across all of Poland.

There was little hesitation on the part of the Polish people. The speech concluded and it was almost as if a switch was thrown. Crowds were forming in Warsaw, and other major Polish cities and towns from Wroclaw to Bialystok within the hour. The initial mood was generally one of cautious optimism. Jaruzelski’s speech was the moment millions of Poles had been patiently awaiting for years, yet a slim possibility remained that it could all be a ruse to smoke out opponents of the government and deal with them once and for all. In those late morning hours, caution was winning out over optimism.

Not all Poles were hopeful, and optimistically welcoming the prospect of change. There was a sizeable number of diehard communists and Soviet sympathizers embedded in Polish society, as well as in the government. The centralized thinking and mindset that an overwhelming majority of communists adhere to was not an advantage on this morning. As they waited for orders and instructions on how to proceed, the non-communists were already in motion. Communists and their sympathizers were tracked down and confronted by mobs of angry citizens. Some were beaten and pummeled, while others faced more humiliating, shameful fates. Indelible markers, and scissors were the most in-demand items across the country on D+14.

In Gdansk, Solidarity started the herculean task of emerging to the surface and quickly organizing itself. Walesa, and other senior leaders of the organization came out of hiding. Solidarity flags were raised at the Gdansk Shipyard and a short time later they began appearing across the city. The shipyards were also being fortified and prepared for battle. KGB officers, accompanied by their counterparts in Polish intelligence, as well as more heavily armed ZOMO teams, were spread out around Gdansk conducting searches for Walesa and other Solidarity officials. It was only a matter of time before these groups clashed with large numbers of Solidarity workers in bloody encounters.

Like civilian society, Poland’s military contained a dedicated cadre of communists and Soviet sympathizing officers and NCOs. The fact most military units were being confined to their installations made it easier to round these men up and detain them. But in a few cases, units commanded by dutiful communists awaited orders not from Warsaw, but from Western TVD, or Moscow directly.

In the wartime environment of jamming, electronic countermeasures, and ECCM, the outside world was not immediately aware of events in Poland. Even NATO listening posts remained in the dark for much of D+14. The first concrete information started to leak out in the late morning. These bits of accurate, if limited, news came mostly from NATO intelligence sources, and special operations teams still active inside Poland. The Vatican was also actively obtaining rather accurate information through its own sources on the ground. In both Brussels, and Vatican City diplomats and Eastern Europe experts went into high gear trying to paint an accurate picture of the situation in Poland from the limited information available. This process was akin to painting the Sistine Chapel with fingerpaint.

Author’s Note: We’ll conclude Poland over the weekend with a deeper look at military reactions.

4 Replies to “The Politics of Global War: Poland Teeters D+14 Part III”

  1. There is a long history of the Church having an extensive intel apparat. Granted, this was made light of in a movie (“Hudson Hawk” anyone?) but it was also touched on indirectly in a number of novels.

    I’m not surprised that the Vatican is active in gaining information here… nor will I be shocked if their info is better.

    As for the fighting in the streets…. D+14 is going to end with quite a bit of it and the amount of bloodshed will be substantial. This is what the Poles have been waiting for, a chance. As my old scoutmaster would have said about the 56 uprising… freedom is worth the risk.

    Those teams still loyal to Moscow are going to find out they don’t have enough bullets….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonder if the contagion will spread to the other Warsaw Pact countries, especially after the attack on Polish forces comes to light. And yes, the intelligence apparat of the Catholic Church are the Jesuits, the Soldiers of God.

    Liked by 3 people

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