From one reader:
Not quite true that no supplies got through [to Warsaw]. This from http://www.polonia.co.za/WarsawFlights/Page.htm:
Call after call for supplies to be flown in by the Russians went
unanswered. Frequent appeals made by Churchill were ignored by the
Russians. Allied aircraft could reach Warsaw, but the range was to great
for them to return to base. The Russians refused to allow Allied
aircraft to land in Russians occupied-territory, refuel and return. The
Russian betrayal of the Allies placed Churchill in a terrible dilemma.
He had given pledge to support the Polish partisans. The only air force
units who could help were those based in Italy and specifically the
heavy bombers of 2nd Bomber Wing at Foggia which were under South
Churchill, realising these proposed Warsaw raids would be almost
suicidal for the aircrews, could not order such missions, but he asked
for volunteers. Without doubt, the Polish aircrews of 205 Bomber Group
all volunteered, and they were not alone. The crews of two South African
squadrons volunteered. And so did crews in Royal Air Force squadrons.
Night after night, on twelve-hour round trips, the B24 Liberator bombers
took off and flew the 2720 km from Italy through some of the most
heavily-defended German night-fighter hotspots, to reach the battered
Polish capital. There they descended to rooftop height to escape the
probing searchlights and the heavy flak, and to drop the precious
supplies they carried.
Between 8 August and 22 September 1944, British and Polish air
squadrons, alongside 31 and 34 Squadrons of SAAF, dropped supplies to
beleaguered Polish partisans fighting againstoverhelming odds in the
city of Warsaw. A total of 181 sorties were attempted, with the loss of
31 B24 Liberator bomber aircraft. The loss rate of 40% (almost one man
in evry two) was phenomenal. It has been debated that the sheer heroism
shown by the aircrews in attempting to complete their missions, was
beyond equal. “
And from another:
Stalin [at last]… relented and allowed a single [American] supply run to Warsaw in mid-September, 1944. By that point, the Polish Home Army was on the verge of collapse (after holding most of the city early the previous month) and over 90% of the 1200+ supply canisters we dropped fell into German hands. British bombers flying from Italy had made several largely ineffective night drops earlier in the summer but suffered heavy losses on the long round-trip flights over German-held territory and were forced to give up the effort.
George Kennan later wrote in his memoirs that Moscow’s refusal to allow us to use existing bases to provide meaningful support to the Polish rebels was the moment when, “if ever, there should have been a full-fledged and realistic political showdown with Soviet leaders.” Whatever Kennan said, or didn’t say, later in his life, he was absolutely correct on this.