In the biggest uprising of its kind in Nazi-occupied Europe, tens of thousands of Poles began the fight to liberate their capital city on August 1, 1944.
They had hoped to time their revolt to coincide with the arrival of the mighty Soviet Red Army, which had been pushing the Nazis back into Germany in victory after victory since 1943.
But the Soviets, who wanted to establish the communist Polish Committee of National Liberation in charge of Poland, stopped short of the city and allowed the Germans time to regroup.
After fighting for 63 days, the underground fighters - initially numbering between 20,000 and 49,000 - were crushed by the Nazi occupiers.
As many as 200,000 civilians are thought to been slain by the Germans in retribution for the uprising, with the majority of the city levelled in an attempt to make an example of the Poles.
The writer Arthur Koestler said