Hitler batters Warsaw into surrender
The gallant defenders of Warsaw capitulate today after enduring three days and nights of constant bombardment by guns and bombers. The once beautiful city is a burning wreck. There is not a building intact and 40,000 people are thought to have died or been injured. So complete is the German command of the air that they have even been using Ju52 transport aircraft to tip more bombs on the city.
The people, fighting alongside the army, have suffered terribly. There is no water, no power, no gas, no food. The fires burn out of control because the water mains have been smashed.
German communiques have insisted that their bombardments have been directed at military targets. In fact, the whole of Warsaw has been one huge target. The Church of the Savior and the Ujazden Red Cross Hospital, with the red cross clearly marked on its roof, are among the buildings hit by bombs and shells.
Typhoid has broken out in the city and there is a desperate shortage of medicine and bandages to treat the wounded. Many people are buried under the rubble. Others have risked death from shrapnel as they claw to rescue their entombed families.
Right to the end the Germans had little success in penetrating the city. Their tanks, which had roared across the open plains to surround it, were stopped by the permanent fortifications and the anti-tank traps dug by the citizens.
Polish soldiers using bayonets kept the German infantry at bay, and it became obvious to the Germans that they would suffer severe casualties in street fighting against determined opposition. The decision was then taken to blast Warsaw into submission, which has been done with the utmost ruthlessness. The speed of its success does no discredit to the defenders. It simply confirms the terrible consequences of modern warfare.
General von Blaskowitz, who receives the Polish surrender, has recognized the Poles’ gallantry by allowing their officers to keep their swords and promising their men would go into captivity for only as long as it takes to “dispose of the necessary formalities.” The terms of the capitulation provide for the immediate succor of the civilian population and the wounded. But von Blaskowitz is known to be an officer of the old school. It remains to be seen if the SS and the Gestapo will honor his word.
Fighting continues at the fortress of Modlin some 20 miles (36 km) from Warsaw, where the garrison is holding out under intense bombardment. It is expected, however, that, with the surrender of the capital, Modlin will also give up the struggle. This spells the end for Poland. Further resistance is impossible. But, as one surrendering officer tells the victors, “A wheel always turns. This one will.”
British income tax raised to meet cost of war
The British income tax has risen to 37.5 percent— the highest level in the nation’s history. Sir John Simon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announces this and other huge tax increases in his special war budget presented to parliament this afternoon. Surtax rates will range from 6.25 percent on incomes of £2,000 ($9,000) to 47.5% for incomes of over £30,000 ($134,000).
Duties on tobacco, beer and spirits are also raised. The price of a bottle of whiskey will be 13/9 (69p/$3.07) in the future. The Chancellor says, “I am confident taxpayers will want to fight hard to win the war.”