104 Company of Syndicalists (Polish: 104 Kompania Syndykalistów) was a military unit created by the Union of Polish Syndicalists (Związek Syndykalistów Polskich), which participated in the Warsaw Uprising.
Formation and structure
It was formed in Warsaw district of Old Town on August 1, 1944, on the first day of the Uprising, as part of Company Rog of the Northern Group of the Home Army, under Colonel Karol Ziemski (nom de guerre Wachnowski).
The 104 Company itself was commanded by Lieutenant Kazimierz Puczyński (nom de guerre Wronski), and his deputy was Witold Potz (nom de guerre Koperski). It consisted of three assault platoons, a reserve platoon, and two labor platoons. The assault platoons were commanded by the following officers:
Also, it had a unit of Military Service of Women, commanded by Maria Oneker, who died on August 22, 1944, and was replaced by Zofia Garnysz-Strzemięczna.
At first, the Company had around 50 soldiers, but it quickly grew in size, with numerous volunteers joining. On the first day of the Uprising, it took part in two failed attacks on a school located at Barokowa street, in which a German hospital was located. Also, it attacked the Polish Securities Printing House building, capturing it on the night of August 1/2.
On the third day of the Uprising, it had some 360 soldiers, who, however, lacked weapons. The situation improved when the Poles captured Krasiński Palace and seized German guns and grenades as well as 42 German POWs.
The Company was not only engaged in fighting. It had its own field bakery, which made bread, distributed to civilian population, as well as a field hospital, led by doctor Adam Krakowski. Furthermore, it had its own press service, consisting of members of the Union of Polish Syndicalists. It published two magazines - Iskra and Syndykalista.
After heavy fights in the first weeks of August 1944, the Company became the best-equipped Polish unit in the area of the Old Town. It participated in capture of the PASTA skyscraper and in skirmishes around Warsaw’s Royal Castle. Then, under pressure from the Germans, it organized defence of the Old Town, including St. John’s Cathedral.
In the second half of August, the Company created its headquarters in the so-called Professors’ House, at 12 Brzozowa Street, where it stayed until general retreat from the district. During several skirmishes back then, the Company used red-black flags of Anarcho-syndicalists, which was at odds with the Home Army’s Military police, which demanded replacement of the flag with the Polish one and change the name of the Company into 104 Company of the Home Army. It has been estimated that losses (KIA, MIA and WIA) of the unit reached more than 50% of its personnel.
In late August 1944 the company, numbering only around 100 soldiers, evacuated through the sewage canals to the Warszawa-Śródmieście (Warsas city center). There, it became part of the Boncza Battalion, and took part in fighting in the district of Powiśle, during which the Company was further depleted. The Assault Platoon, with 26 men managed to get to Czerniaków, where it became engaged in heavy fighting. In early September, parts of the company carried out rearguard actions during the evacuation of Warsaw’s Old Town.
On September 15, 1944, three soldiers of the company managed to get across to the eastern bank of the Vistula. Later on more men got across, where they were conscripted into the First Polish Army.