Normally, war is a job for professional soldiers. However, when a nation's military has failed, then comes the turn for the nation's civilians to pick up rifles and defend their way of life. In the entire history of mankind, WW2 stands out in particular when it comes to civilian army and guerrillas. Today let's pick two of Europe's most memorable civilian resistance force that unflinchingly battled against the Nazi iron horde in an attempt to regain their nations' dignity.
During Nazi Occupation in WWII, Netherlands was invaded by Nazi Germany in the early stages of Fall Gelb.
Unlike a certain neighbor of Netherlands, Dutch resisted the Nazis with their best efforts. However, due to inferior logistics and other complicated reasons, Netherlands fell. However, although their government had been defeated, resistance movement never ceased and would later evolve into one of the most active resistance movements in Nazi-occupied lands.
Although early stages of the resistance can be mainly characterized as non-violent, the event of the February strike and its cause, the random police harassment and deportation of over 400 Jews, greatly stimulated resistance. Eventually armed resistance would emerge, organized by various factions, ranging from remaining Dutch soldiers to Dutch Communist Party, and to smaller and less-organized factions such as local churches and even mobs.
Their efforts of resistance range from offering shelters to refugees to assassinating Dutch collaborators and German spies, as well as limited guerrilla movements in some areas and information collecting. When the allies reached Netherlands after Normandy, many active resistance groups would join force with the allies and help overthrow/defeat the local Nazi forces. They'll be packed with the following weapons.
- FN Model 1903
- 7-round (9mm) box magazine
- Unspecified effective range and M.V.
- ROF 500-600 rpm
- Muzzle Velocity 365 m/s
- 32-round detachable box magazine
- Effective range 100m
- 3.2 kg
- Dutch Mannlicher M1895
- 5-round en-bloc clip
- Muzzle Velocity 742 m/s
- Effective range 400 m
- With Bayonet
- Lewis Gun
- ROF 500–600 rounds/min
- Muzzle Velocity 740 m/s
- 47-round pan magazine
- Effective Range 800m
Polish Home Army
The Home Army was the dominant Polish resistance group during Nazi-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the "Union for Armed Struggle". Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish resistance forces. They and constituted the armed wing of what became known as the "Polish Underground State". Estimates of its membership in 1944 range from 200,000 to 600,000, with the most common number being 400,000; that figure would make it not only the largest Polish resistance movement, but one of the three largest in Europe during World War 2. It was disbanded on January 20, 1945, when Poland was abandoned by Nazi forces as the Soviet Army advanced. They built their own weapons in underground factories, using basically everything they could find.
- Radom Pistolet wz.35 Vis
- 8-round box magazine
- Unspecified effective range and M.V.
- Błyskawica submachine gun
- ROF 600 round/min
- Muzzle Velocity 400 m/s
- 32-round box magazine
- Effective range 200m
- 3.22 kg
- Karabinek wz. 1929
- 5-round internal box magazine
- Muzzle Velocity 745 m/s
- Unspecified effective range
- With bayonet
- Browning wz. 1928
- ROF 500–600 rounds/min
- Muzzle Velocity 853 m/s
- 20 rounds
- Effective Range 730m average
- Training:Right off the bat I can tell you that neither of the factions featured here are particularly well-trained.Both sides mostly consist of civilians, with one or two trained soldiers scattered here and there.
- Experience:The Polish Home Army gets this for the simple reason that they were dragged into war earlier than the Dutch. While the Home Army itself was officially founded in 1942, resistance movements against Germany and USSR had already been rooted in Poland since 1939.While for the Dutch their official resistance began during Fall Gelb, which was set in 1940. Another major factor that secures Polish Home Army's superiority is that Poland is a nation with more varied landscape, indicating the fact that PHA might be used to more colorful terrains.
- Brutality:While both sides won't really be having mercy on their enemies, the fact that Poland endured more marauding war crimes by Nazis and USSR during WW2 indicates a slight superiority in brutality.
- Logistics:Netherlands get this. There's a reason why the PHA has to rely on self-produced firearms -- there's virtually no effective way for them to receive abundant foreign aids, therefore forcing them to rely on leftovers and self-developed firearms. On the other hand, Dutch resistance movement not only utilizes leftovers of Dutch government, but received great quantity of aids and supplies from Britain, US and France as well, especially in later era and post-Normandy stages of WW2.
- Fatigue: Due to remarkably more oppresive policy resulted from their resistance movements and other complicated reasons, PHA personnels are expected to be in a more tired stated than their dutch opponents, due to unstable diet, bad living condition and constant need of evading inspection. On the other hand although Nazi policy are harsh in Netherlands as well,but it was no where near Poland, the nation where the most marauding war crimes in mankind's history occured.
The town was quiet as usual, as six Dutch soldiers made their way across the empty street. A train accident had rescued them from being sent to a concentration camp, allowing them to escape their cell and retrieve their weapons stored in the train's cargo section.
Since their captors apparently had already bit the dust in the accident, they decided to venture into the town near the track,hoping to seek temporary shelter. Initially, they kept their nerves on for they were not quite sure which part of Europe they were in, however, as they explored the town further and found no traces of Nazi, they let their guards. Soon they settled themselves inside an empty restaurant, setting up their stolen radio in an attempt to contact the outside world.
With five of his friends busy coping with the radio, one Dutch soldier was left with the boring task of keeping guard. Standing at the door, the man held his rifle in a leisure manner and yawned. Before they entered this place they'd already scanned this seemingly innocent street, and found nothing, or no one, suspicious. "Dat is zinloos.(This is pointless)." He whispered to himself, and reached inside his pocket for his lighter. However, right before he could pull it out, a sense of dread engulfed his mind as a bullet tore through his hand.Yelling in pain, he stumbled backwards, only to have more bullets pierce through his chest, slamming him dead on the vestibule's floor.
Hearing their friend screaming, the remaining six resistance soldiers immediately took action. Two of them charged out of the door, taking cover behind a pile of abandoned table,forbidding Polish guerrilla fighters hiding in the abandoned building across the street from shooting them down.
Returning fire with their Stens, it didn't take long for them to find out that their foreign aids were no-match for the robust products from Poland's underground factory. Suppressing the Dutch soldiers with the Błyskawica's demonic rate of fire, the Polish soldiers charged out. However, the Dutch had yet another trick to save their day, as their captain popped up the Lewis gun at the restaurant's window just in time to defend the two Sten-users, pounding down two Polish guerrilla fighters before the third retreated back into the building.
What followed up, was a battle of rifles, with both factions stuck inside their shelter, deeming it rather imprudent to recklessly push through the street between them, for the Polish captain had witnessed the deadliness of the Lewis Gun, while the Dutch captain did not want any more troubles with Polish underground firearm factory's Aces.
Taking advantage of the restaurant's third floor, the Dutch soldiers spared no mercy firing their Mannlichers at the Polish soldiers steadying their rifles on the rooftop below. However, being amateur rifle-handlers , these men weren't able to land any solid shots. Instead, their attack motivated the Polish guerrillas to retaliate with their own rifles.
Almost a minute was wasted before both sides ran out of their bullets simultaneously.Busy reloading their rifles, the Polish men weren't fast enough to catch up with their Dutch counterparts, whose en-bloc clips bought them some precious time.
Hardly had the leading Polish rifleman steadied his reloaded firearm when several bullets rained down from above came into contact. With one bullet blowing up his shoulder and the other digging into his neck, the man slumped over the rooftop and bit the dust.
Several feet behind the collapsed man stationed his younger brother.A chaotic mash of anger and pain instantly built up in his heart, as he watched the man he respected crumbled down miserably. Memories from the past flashed back in his mind, as he recalled the series of death that unfolded in front of him ever since the iron horde of war tore apart his homeland.He remembered their father being violently pushed into the pit by a Red Army captain in Katyn, and their Jewish neighbor being beaten to death with rifles by two Waffen-SS. Ever since those moments, his faith in goodness had been mangled apart, and what left behind was this blind rage of revenge.Had it not been his brother, who guided him and controlled him in the early days of guerrilla fighting, he would have been killed by Nazis in Gdańsk. Now that the man that held him back was claimed by the war, there was no more reserves. Roaring in an inhumane fury he charged forward, swinging his sub-machine gun wildly and spraying it at the rooftop above, only to attract the concentrated firepower from virtually every enemy out there. In sheer seconds the poor teenager crumbled down.With his body riddled with bullet wounds, he let out a final roar of defiance, before the pain forced him to hurl himself over the edge, resulting in him crushing onto the street below.
With the attackers above taken care of, the Dutch captain signaled the charge forward. Confidently they marched through the street, feeling sure that they could come on top, as judging from the fact that no more attackers appear to replace their dead friends, indicating their superiority in number.However, as the golden rule of guerrilla warfare went :" Larger number doesn't guarantee victory."
Recklessly bursting into the door with their Stens ready, the Dutch fighters were given a warm welcome the Polish captain's last teammate, whose Browning wz. 1928 had been resting in his arms for way too long, and in dire need for such a chance to unleash his hidden beauty.
The Dutch, despite having Stens in their hands, were far from ready for this kind of ambush, for their limited experience in Eindhoven was obviously not enough to brace themselves for such a machine-gun greeting from their left wing.Two of them perished almost instantly, while the third one made an attempt to fire back, only to receive an extended string of pummels from the Browning copy.
As his weapon ran out of ammo,the Polish fighter wasn't fast enough to draw out his pistol when the forth enemy, the Dutch captain, calmly strode into the room. Being an ex-soldier that had been through the bloodbath of Fall Gelb and Rotterdam, he was not yet wise enough to pick out a guerrilla-style ambush, but was indeed sharp enough to pull back his last men and patient enough to wait.
Right before the duo of Dutch Resistance could explore forward, the Polish Captain, who had been hiding behind the desk as a last-resort, launched himself out with his Radom. Hardly had the Dutch captain reacted when a bullet flashed past his shoulder, narrowly missing his neck. Quickly ducking behind the chair he was unable to restrain his inexperienced partner from dashing forward and making attempts to wrestle the pistol out of the Polish captain's hand.Although planning to catch his opponent by surprise, the Dutch fighter was instead, offered with a huge surprise, as the Polish captain pulled out the bayonet he detached from his rifle and slashed it across his neck.
Now one on one, both men emptied their pistols,unable to land a single shot on each other due to their respective shelters.With the pistol rendered useless, the Dutch captain charged forward with his empty rifle, slamming it across the Polish captain's arm, knocking the bayonet out of his disposal.
However, hardly had the Dutch captain made a second strike when the Polish captain turned over the table on his left, building up a temporary obstacle, blocking the captain's way.Quickly lifting the flower pot on the counter behind as the Dutch opponent made his way around the table, the Polish gladiator spared no hesitation smacking it across his opponent's head.
With the flower pot's fractures blurring his sight, the last thing the Dutch captain saw before the shinny blade of the Polish man's bayonet,before the piercing pain and the gush of blood finally putting him to rest.
Winner: Polish Home Army
With both warrior groups having their own advantages in different weapon categories, it's the PHA's experience and expertise in this kind of unconventional warfare that ultimately nails the victory for them.