The main difficulty that these two Polish resistance movements faced was that they were hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered by the Nazi forces. The Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto was fought by merely 750 or so members of the Jewish Combat Organization and the Jewish Military Union. While they hoped to receive support from the Polish underground, this proved difficult. Eventually, they were able to get their hands on a limited supply of pistols and improvised explosives. When the Germans attempted to liquidate the ghetto, the armed resistance attacked back. While they initially succeeded in surprising the Germans, eventually the entire ghetto was reduced to rubble and the resistance members killed by the much larger and better-armed enemy.
The following year, the Polish Home Army faced similar difficulties. This resistance force timed an uprising in Warsaw to coincide with the withdrawal of the German forces as the Red Army advanced on the city. They were hoping that the Soviet forces would come to their aid as they were low on supplies and weapons. While the Polish forces were initially able to occupy much of the city, the Soviet support they were hoping for never arrived. In fact, the Red Army halted its advance just short of the city to let the Polish Home Army do the fighting by themselves. It is believed that the Soviet command wanted both sides to bleed each other as they considered the Polish resistance to be a potential problem for them in the future. Simply put, the Polish Home Army never had the numbers that needed to effectively fight off the Nazi forces.