As reported in 1939:
After they had bombed and shelled Warsaw for nearly three weeks, the German High Command on September 27th announced that in future the city would be a military objective. At the outbreak of war, said their communique, Warsaw had been considered as an open town and respected accordingly, but it had now been transformed into a fortress by the measures of the commander, who had restored the old forts and armed part of the civil population.
The statement was accompanied by an intensification of the attack, and the first line of forts in the north of the city and the second line of those in the south were captured by the besiegers. Following these assaults the Polish commander offered to surrender the town.
The news of the armistice was conveyed to the world in the following message broadcast from Warsaw on September 28th:
“After 20 days of heroic defence, after practically the destruction of half the city, and after the destruction of the waterworks, electric plant and other public utility services, the military authorities have decided that these disaster, coupled with the lack of ammunition and the impossibility of obtaining early assistance from the allies, make it futile oo defend the city further, involving as it would the risk of pestilential diseases as well as the entire destruction of the city, the heroic defence of which will certainly pass into history. An armistice has, therefore, been agreed upon since noon, and the conditions for the capitulation are now being discussed. the most honourable terms are being demanded by the Warsaw military authorities.”
For some days past conditions in the capital had been indescribably terrible. Refugees who arrived in Hungary stated that so many people had been killed in the city streets that the task of removing the corpses had been abandoned. The supplied of food and water had given out. All the Principle churches and public buildings were in ruins. Nine hospitals filled with wounded were reported to have been destroyed. The smoke and dust with which the streets were filled made breathing almost impossible.
Article taken from War Illustrated Magazine October 21st, 1939