The Frantic operations were conceived in late 1943 as
Soviet forces advanced westward into Ukraine, making Soviet airfields
accessible to long-range aircraft based in Italy and later England.
American aircraft hit targets in central Europe, refueled and rearmed at
Soviet airbases, then flew back to bomb additional targets. In addition
to hitting Nazi war industries, the political objectives of Frantic
were to build closer cooperation with the Red Army as thoughts turned to
what would come after the war finally ended. The first Frantic
operation was in June 1944 and operations continued through July,
despite continued Soviet misgivings.
For the first two weeks
after the Warsaw Uprising began on August 1, 1944, Soviet forces stood
idle outside the city, and Stalin refused to let the RAF land at Soviet
airfields after dropping supplies to the Polish freedom fighters. But
eventually, the United States managed to persuade him to let them use
Frantic to drop supplies to the Poles.
On September 18, 1944,
American B-17 Flying Fortresses, supported by fighter planes, dropped
arms, ammunition, medical supplies, and food over the city of Warsaw.
The assistance came too late and had no bearing on the situation of the
Polish freedom fighters in Warsaw. For many, Frantic 7 remains a mere
gesture to placate Western public opinion, but the events of that day,
and the courage of 1,220 airmen who risked their lives to bring them
aid, are still remembered by the Poles of Warsaw.
gives a full narrative of the Frantic 7 operation itself. Using the
firsthand accounts of the events from the freedom fighters on the ground
in Warsaw, the fates of the young aircrew, in particular those of “I’ll
Be Seeing You” are told in detail. It also sets Frantic 7 in its
political context, and explains how the diplomatic wrangles help set the
stage for the breakdown in relations between the Soviet Union and the
United States, and the beginning of the path to the Cold War.
Here is an interview with the author
About the author
John Radzilowski, Ph.D., is associate professor of history at the
University of Alaska. He is the author or co-author of numerous books
and articles on U.S. and Polish history, including Traveller’s History
of Poland and American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social
and Cultural Change.
Jerzy Szcześniak lives in Warsaw. His
passion is the history of the Second World War. His first book Frantic
7: Amerykańska Pomoc dla Powstania Warszawskiego was one of the first
books in Polish to uncover the details surrounding the American mission
Table of contents:
Foreword to the Original Polish Edition
1. The Uprising
2. Aiding Warsaw
3. Mission to Warsaw
5. "I'll Be Seeing You”
6. Lost over Warsaw
7. After the Airdrop
8. The End of Operation Frantic and the Start of the Cold War
Appendix 1: Orders of Battle, Operation Frantic 7, September 1944
Appendix 2: Timeline of Commemorations for the Crew of "I'll Be Seeing You”
Kulski, the son of the Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, is a 10-year-old Boy
Scout when the Germans invade Poland in September 1939. He soon begins
waging his own private war against the Germans with small acts of
sabotage. At age 12, Kulski is recruited into the clandestine
Underground Army by his Scoutmaster and begins training in military
tactics and weapons handling. At 13, he accompanies his commander on a
secret mission into the Warsaw Ghetto to liaise with the leaders of the
Arrested by the Gestapo at age 14, Kulski is incarcerated in the
notorious Pawiak Prison, beaten, interrogated at Gestapo headquarters,
and sentenced to Auschwitz. After being rescued, he joins the Ninth
Commando Company of the Underground Army, and at age 15 fights in the
Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
Taken prisoner by the Germans,
16-year-old Kulski ends the war in a POW camp, finally risking a dash
for freedom onto an American truck instead of waiting for "liberation"
by the Soviets.
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- 208 pages
- 40 color and b/w photos
- Size 6" x 9"