Rusyns in Hungarian army

Foreign volunteers, collaboration and Axis Allies 1939-1945.

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pretorian666
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Rusyns in Hungarian army

Post by pretorian666 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:22 am

Hello,

Im serious looking for information about Rusyns in Hungarian army. First of all, Rusyns = Carpatho-Rusyn or Uhro-Rusyn lived in Subcarpathian Rus’, called simply Subcarpathia (Kárpátalja). This territory belongs 1918-1938 to Czechoslovakia and was occupied by Hungarian army in 1939. Besides Rusyns there lived Jews, Ukrainian, Polish and Gipsies. From 1939 to 1940 young Rusyns were mobilized into Hungarian army, but as insecure they served without weapons (worked units/battalions).

1) Is there anybody, who can tell me how many of thees units was organized by Hungarians and where?
2) Did those units were sent to front, I mean Eastern front? When?
3) Was some unit (battle or worked) centered around city Nyíregyháza?

Thanx.

sid guttridge
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Post by sid guttridge » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:40 am

Hi Pretorian,

One of the mysteries of Czechoslovak paticipation in the war is why such a high proportion of the small Czehoslovak units raised by the Soviet Red Army before September 1943 were Ruthenes.

I was told by an old Slovak colonel (now dead), who served in the pre-war Czechoslovak Army, the wartime Slovak Army and the 1944-45 Czechoslovak Corps raised by the Red Army, that in his opinion it was because so many Ruthenes, who were not Magyars but Slavs vulnerable to Soviet pan-Slavic propaganda, had deserted from the unpopular Hungarian Army on the Eastern Front.

This is, of course, without documentary confirmation, but it is plausible and might be worth following up.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. I have seen reference to the Hungarian Army using disproportionate numbers of their minorities on the Eastern Front, but this was so vague and without sources as to have no real value unless it can be confirmed by other sources

sid guttridge
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:54 am

Post by sid guttridge » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:42 am

P.S. Do you know any details of the organisation of the Sich Guard in Ruthenia over October 1938 - March 1939?

Cheers,

Sid.

pretorian666
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Re:

Post by pretorian666 » Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:44 am

Hello Sid,

well, first of all I must say that Czechoslovakia from the moment of creation (28.10.1918) was politicaly organized as democratic republic. State consisted from parts 1) Czech and Moravia, 2) Slovakia, 3) Subcarpathian Rus (Ruthenia). Czech lands were rich, with very advanced infrastrucute and strong industry, the rest lands were poor, Ruthenia was poorest territory in Europe at all. So from beginning of existence Czech government appropriated (financialy) those lands (foundation of industry, Czech teachers educated Slovaks and Rusyns, Czech army having an experience from legions WWI started defended borders and organized police units). Its mean the economical, educal, cultural situation in these parts of whole country were better then ever before. Naturally Rusyns until these days remember that period as one of the best in their history. So, when Czechoslovakia was under real fascist menace (1938) with enemies on all sides (west and south Germany, north Poland, on eastsouth Hungary, east faithless Slovaks and also 3,5 milions Germans lived in common state–the enemy inside), betrayed by France, Britain and USSR – Czechoslovak prezident decided to not fight. Hitler occupied sudet lands and within year assault (15.03.1939) Czech and Moravia (and declared protectorate Bohmen und Maren), Slovakia day before (14.03.1939) declared own clerico-fascist state (reportedly to save themselves before Hungarians) and Ruthenia as Slovakia declared independence with same aim, but in contrast of Slovakia Hitler allows Hungarians to occupied their territory (14.03.1939).

After occupation Czechoslovak units located in Ruthenia started defend territory (against Hungarians and also Ukrainian nacionalists, after some time nacionalists started fight against Hungarians too). Naturally Czechs even better organized, armored, experienced with high morale than Hungaries (which were weak during all WW2 among Axis alliance) though about how prepared own units for future fight (the Czechoslovakia did not exists anymore so where to go?). Some went 1) west to Slovakia (which was mistake, they were unarmed by treachery Slovaks and sent to protectorate), 2) some to allied Rumunia (and from here to Britain), 3) some to unfriendly Poland (and from here to USSR, when they started organized Czechoslovak corps).

And what Rusyns? They conceived that without Czechoslovakian protection had no chance to survive, and had 2 possibilities: A) stay home and wait for Hungarians (which never brough them rest), or B) exit fatherland – the questions is where, but it had a simply solution – of course to USSR „there are Russians the SLAVS as we are“. BUT!!! - Hungarian regent Horthy expressly said, that dispatched spies (spy) into USSR territory. So therefore directly after crossing USSR borders they were arrested and convicted by „brothers“ Russians for ilegal crossing border (from 3 to 7 years) and sent to Soviets concentration camps (gulags) into cold Siberia!!! According statistics 20 000 Rusyns crossed borders, and only 8 000 survived!!!

The ilegal Czechoslovak government in Great Britain started organize Czechoslovak landground military formation in USSR. In meantime Czechoslovak pilots already fought in the battle of Britain. The organization was very problematic cos Soviets (communists) did not trust Czechoslovak non-communist government, but finally in 12.02.1942 the 1th Czechoslovak battalion in USSR was officialy declared and started recruiting. First experience in battle action got battalions (974 soldiers) in march 1943 in city Sokolovo to stop several German units of 4th tank army, which broke through Voroniezh front and tried achieved city Charkov. The result was very succesfull, so the Soviets allowed the augment. But where get soldiers? More and more Slovaks (which fought with Germans from assault of Poland) soldiers deserted axis units and professed Czechoslovakia, but at large it was not enough.

And here comes the answer for your questions. Czechoslovak government in 1942 started negotiation with Soviets to discharge Rusyns as still Czechoslovak citizens from gulags. Unfortunately in meantime 12 000 of them died in those concentration camps and only 8 000 entered Czechoslovak unit. They had again two possibilities: A) definitely die in camps or fight and if god bless survive. Naturally they chose second way. So in march 1944 by now brigade (no more battalion) 4010 soldiers, in april 1944 not brigade bur corps with other thousands and thousand soldiers. Although first Rusyns were discharged before the end of 1942 and gradually added lately from april 1943 cos they were very impoverishment and nedeed food and training.

So finaly we can said that in 1th Czechoslovak army corp was more Rusyns, that Czechoslovaks (Jews, Czechs, Slovaks). Naturally after the end of war Rusyns with fresh remembrances of Soviets „brothers“ usage mostly decided to stay in Czechoslovakia, not to return to Ruthenia, which were annexed by Stalin.

Uff, I hope its enough for this moment. But my question remains. How many Rusyns fought in Hungarian armies. I tryed to find out some info but unfortunatelly I dont understand Hungarian. You say, that u saw some references…

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:49 pm

Hi Pretorian,

well, an amazing post of Yours... Amazing that You can still post stuff like this on a research forum, actually.
Czech lands were rich, with very advanced infrastrucute and strong industry, the rest lands were poor, Ruthenia was poorest territory in Europe at all.
I wouldn't think that the strong industrial infrastructure can be correlated fully with richness; several parts of the country, where agriculture was at its best, were quite wealthy (think Southern Slovakia, for example).
So, when Czechoslovakia was under real fascist menace (1938) with enemies on all sides (west and south Germany, north Poland, on eastsouth Hungary, east faithless Slovaks and also 3,5 milions Germans lived in common state-the enemy inside), betrayed by France, Britain and USSR - Czechoslovak prezident decided to not fight. Hitler occupied sudet lands and within year assault (15.03.1939) Czech and Moravia (and declared protectorate Bohmen und Maren), Slovakia day before (14.03.1939) declared own clerico-fascist state (reportedly to save themselves before Hungarians) and Ruthenia as Slovakia declared independence with same aim, but in contrast of Slovakia Hitler allows Hungarians to occupied their territory (14.03.1939).
This is pure crap.

Hungarians weren't enemies of Czechoslovakia - a small strip of land was all they (quite rightously in the sense of Hungarian revisionist mainstream politics) wanted from the country. But even if You say Hungary was "enemy" - why on Earth Poland???

"Faithless Slovaks" - errrm... You call them faithless because the Slovaks wanted a state of their own? How about the Czechs? Were they faithless to Austro-Hungary, wanting a state of their own? The "Czechoslovak" nation was/is a pure fantasy - You don't believe in that, do You?

I wouldn't even touch the topic of the inner enemy (t.i. the Germans), because this designation is not even worth arguing with.

Parts of Czechoslovakia were given to Hungary when the state ceased to exist. Quite normally, Hungarian territories in the south of the country and the non-Slovak Ruthenia were given to the Hungarians, who had a long tradition of a common state with these territories. The compact Slovak land was formed into a state of its own - of course, without the non-Slovak territories. I don't find any contrast in that.
After occupation Czechoslovak units located in Ruthenia started defend territory (against Hungarians and also Ukrainian nacionalists, after some time nacionalists started fight against Hungarians too). Naturally Czechs even better organized, armored, experienced with high morale than Hungaries (which were weak during all WW2 among Axis alliance)
Nice, nice. Let's bring in the myth of the weak, unorganized, inexperiences, moraleless Hungarian forces... Well done, my friend. Of course, I suppose You know the sources to support Your theories. Your own mind, that is. Pride is one thing, but aggressive nationalism is another. You're not supposed to generalize in terms of morale, experience, organization or even arnament of the two armies, as it was never proved in fighting what were the Czech troops worth of... Only thing we know is that the Hungarians made good progress against the Slovaks in their short armoured conflict, managed to push back the Romanian forces in Transylvania during 1944 and had some good periods of fighting against the Soviet. Nothing of this suggests of such a big gap between the Axis nations and Hungary in terms of military strength, or does it?
treachery Slovaks
Well done. Congratulations for the objective and thought-after comment of a whole nation. Of course, Czechs are always way better than the Slovaks, aren't they? Nationalism is the right word in this case, too.
And what Rusyns? They conceived that without Czechoslovakian protection had no chance to survive, and had 2 possibilities: A) stay home and wait for Hungarians (which never brough them rest), or B) exit fatherland – the questions is where, but it had a simply solution – of course to USSR „there are Russians the SLAVS as we are“. BUT!!! - Hungarian regent Horthy expressly said, that dispatched spies (spy) into USSR territory. So therefore directly after crossing USSR borders they were arrested and convicted by „brothers“ Russians for ilegal crossing border (from 3 to 7 years) and sent to Soviets concentration camps (gulags) into cold Siberia!!! According statistics 20 000 Rusyns crossed borders, and only 8 000 survived!!!
I have never heard of such big conflicts between the Hungarian and Rusyn population that I would say they "had no rest". Can You prove Your point here?

And I wouldn't blame Hungary for the extensive use of Soviet gulags. I find it quite normal that a country wants to cut down illegal emmigration. And can You prove that Horthy asked for the Rusyns to be sent to the gulags?
So finaly we can said that in 1th Czechoslovak army corp was more Rusyns, that Czechoslovaks (Jews, Czechs, Slovaks).
The Czechoslovak nation DOES NOT EXIST!!! And did not exist either. This is just a politically made-up designation. Rusyns, Sudeten Deutsche and Slovakian Magyars were none less Czechoslovak then Czehs and Slovaks. I wouldn't dare to present the Jews as a separate component within this fictional nation - as most of the Jewish population considered itself either Czech, Slovak, (and most of all) Hungarian or German.
Uff, I hope its enough for this moment.
More than enough, thank You. Please reconsider Your nationalist view of history and try to stick to the facts. Please avoid using crap such as the Czechoslovak nation and the "treacherous Slovaks" in order to keep the discussion civilized. If that's what You want, of course,

Best,

Abel

pretorian666
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Re Abel

Post by pretorian666 » Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:48 am

Hello Abel,

in introduction - what Czech nationalism you talking about? Czechs are not nationalistic nation, unfortunately I can say, that Czechs have no even healthy patriotism (by the way consequence of 300 years under Austro-Hungarian empire!). Nationalism is closer exactly to Slovaks and Hungarians. You should know it better.

1) During Austro-Hungarian empire (where Czech lands belonges from 1621 to 1918) the majority industrial part was situated in Bohemia. Firstly cos of Sudet Germans living along border lands (textile, glass industry), secondly thanks growing Czech financial independent: collection of money to organize „Zivnostenska banka“, and than investment to foundation of heavy industry (machinery, armament industry etc.) like Skoda, Kolben&Danek etc. In public statistics you can find that during 20th a 30th years Czechoslovakia became to 7 the most advanced countries in the world.

2) Im very sorry, but you have no any idea about politic situation in central Europe of 20th centuary. Hungarians weren’t enemies? So why Czechoslovak legions had to 2x displaced Hungarian units from Slovakia? First Hungarian intervention (15.11.1918), cos Hungarians did not agree with connection upper-hungarian lands to Czechoslovakia. In January 1919 Czechoslovak units (italian legionaries) captured this territory back to Czechoslovakia. Until June 1919 Czechoslovak units fought with Hungarians in Ruthenia (which became part of Czechoslovakia until Novemeber 1918). In meantime Hungarian started second intervention into Slovakia and were defeated again. I understand Hungarians after loss much of lands – but that´s just it why Hungary was for Czechoslovakia natural enemy.

Now about Poland. You know we had very complicated relationships with Polish in that period. The reasons are several: 1) Polish fought in WWI against Russians, but Czechs not, by contraries they fought in Eastern front with Russians against Austro-Hungarian units. Polish had two denouncements (one hidden in Germany, and second public in USSR - in addition it was demonstrated in 1939) 2) Czechslovakia and Poland has conflicts about north teritory Tesin (with branching point and coal mineral wealth) and some territory in Slovakia – so Czechoslovak units fought also with polish units on begining of Czechoslovakia history. 3) Czechoslovakia signed military pact with USSR (natural enemy of Polish). So when in september 1938 our prezident though about fight or not fight, Czechoslovak generaly stuff said: „we can fight on 2 sides (west with Germany, south with Germany), not on 3 sides. Hungary is weak they will not attack until Czechoslovaks will not be on knees“ - in addition Rumunia (ally of Czechoslovakia) wag Hungarians that will attack them if také part in German coalition. Czech generals also said to prezident: „We must agree with Polish about their neutrality – even at price we give them contentious Tesin territory“. But Polish (especialy their prime minister Beck who hated Czechs from legionary period) rejected and started arrangements for occupation (what really did) of Tesin territory and also some terrytories in north Slovakia. After it (enemies all around Czechoslovakia except southeastern borders with Rumunia) prezident decided to not fight (which was mistake – but it is my subject opinion).

For "Faithless Slovaks". The answer is again very simply. Slovaks and their lands (with never existing history – only beyond the princedom in early middle ages) were always component part of Hungary. And thanks negotiation of our foreign delegation: Masaryk (lately first Czechoslovak president), his advisor Benes (the second president) and general Stefanek (Slovak) they could obtain independent for Czechoslovakia + Ruthenia in one state. But what is inconceivable, that Slovaks from the beginning started intrigues how to become separated. Far more it seems in the end of 30th years, where they keep company with Sudetish Germans and also plans confederation with Poland. Thats all are long since known facts. So in depressed time 1938 Czechs lawfuly couldnot depended on Slovaks, except Czechoslovak army wich was under Czech control (in Ruthenia as well).

As for Sudet Germans. Czechoslovakia was not only Czech nation. In Czechoslovakia lived 13,5 million citizens (7 mil. Czechs, 3,5 mil. Germans, 0,5 mil. Hungaries, some houndred thousands Polish, also Ruthenes and only 2,5 mil. Slovaks). 3,5 mil. Germans - isnide enemy – what do you think, that Sudet Germans did during nacist period, of course they wanted back to „Reich“. Naturaly there were among them people who denied this ideologii (1%) and some of them also fought in 1th Czechoslovak army corps.

3) As Hungarian you should no more about hungarian army of that period. Before occupation of Ruthenia the Hungarian available military forces comprised one infantry regiment, two cavalry regiments, three independent battalions on bicycle, one motorized battalion, two border guard battalions, one artillery division, two armored train units, and one regiment of fighter planes!

Would you like to know what about Czechoslovak armies, which was one of the most organized in Europe?!! In september 1938 Czechoslovak army had: 1,28 million soldiers, 217000 horses, 26000 automobiles, 767000 modern rifles, 188000 modern pistols, 40000 modern machine-guns, 900 modern mortars, 780 anti-altirely canons (this is number without weapens in border fortes), 2270 field-pieces, 350 light tanks, 70 armoured automobiles, 70 small tanks, 17 armoured trains, 950 planes, 230 anti-air machine-guns, 250 anti-air canons.

There was existed fighting between Czech troops and Hungarian occupation units – in 1939. U dont know it? Well, than it has no sense to continue before you refill knowledges…

4) hmm… I can say you how many soldiers crossed Ruthenia-Slovaks borders and how the Slovaks regarded to him (disarmament, derision, were humiliated etc.). I have no problems with facts as you have.

5) Oh really? I think that the fact, that Ruthenia (under Hungarian control) was the most poorest territory in Europe say by itself how Ruthenes were „happy“ under Hungarian government. And what about WWI and Ruthenes in Hungarian units? No matter – Ruthenes, Czechs, Slovaks, Polish, Jews or others, all were arested for illegal cross of USSR borders and some of them also for espionage against USSR. Horthy by saying it, did not simplify it, naturally why should did it?

6) The Czechoslovak nation DOES NOT EXIST!!! Well it seems, that it will be only note where I agree with you. „Czechoslovaks“ was always used as TERM for all citizens living in one state Czechoslovakia! Czechoslovaks fought there, Czechoslovaks did something, Czechoslovaks decided this etc., but as you said - its not nation, its only term. Ambition to change term to nation had to be syntheticaly made, but did not happen (Hitler did not get chance to execute it).

Uff. Yes you said it correctly: „try to stick to the facts“. And you should keep it first of all.

I will more apreciate if you should help me to follow organization of Hungarian army - aimed at Rusyns unarmored units, Jewish worker units.

Abel Ravasz
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Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:44 am
Location: Hungary/Slovakia

Post by Abel Ravasz » Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:14 am

Hi,
in introduction - what Czech nationalism you talking about? Czechs are not nationalistic nation, unfortunately I can say, that Czechs have no even healthy patriotism (by the way consequence of 300 years under Austro-Hungarian empire!). Nationalism is closer exactly to Slovaks and Hungarians. You should know it better.
I was not talking about any Czech nationalism whatsoever; I was talking about You showing the sings of nationalism. I wouldn't dare to judge a nation as a whole - that be Czechs, Slovaks or Hungarians. I have nothing against patriotism - but it shouldn' be confused with nationalism.
1) During Austro-Hungarian empire (where Czech lands belonges from 1621 to 1918) the majority industrial part was situated in Bohemia. Firstly cos of Sudet Germans living along border lands (textile, glass industry), secondly thanks growing Czech financial independent: collection of money to organize „Zivnostenska banka“, and than investment to foundation of heavy industry (machinery, armament industry etc.) like Skoda, Kolben&Danek etc. In public statistics you can find that during 20th a 30th years Czechoslovakia became to 7 the most advanced countries in the world.
Nothing wrong with this; I only tried to emphasise that not only the industrially developed parts could have been wealthy.
2) Im very sorry, but you have no any idea about politic situation in central Europe of 20th centuary. Hungarians weren’t enemies? So why Czechoslovak legions had to 2x displaced Hungarian units from Slovakia? First Hungarian intervention (15.11.1918), cos Hungarians did not agree with connection upper-hungarian lands to Czechoslovakia. In January 1919 Czechoslovak units (italian legionaries) captured this territory back to Czechoslovakia. Until June 1919 Czechoslovak units fought with Hungarians in Ruthenia (which became part of Czechoslovakia until Novemeber 1918). In meantime Hungarian started second intervention into Slovakia and were defeated again. I understand Hungarians after loss much of lands – but that´s just it why Hungary was for Czechoslovakia natural enemy.
You're quick of the mark here judging my knowledge. Please keep from comments considering my abilities You just don't know. As for the nice background info You have given from the years 1918/19 - You are right, but then we weren't talking about that years - but some 20 years later. Considering another nation an enemy (arch enemy, that is), for events that occured 20 years before is not the topic of the actual politics, You know, and the only problem between the two countries was the strip of land on the south of the country. I wouldn't consider Hungary an enemy, unfriendly the worst I can say, but definitely not an enemy to such an extent as You have described. And Hungary didn't have problems with the loss of the land - but the loss of the Hungarian population of that land. And that's a huge difference.


Now about Poland. You know we had very complicated relationships with Polish in that period. The reasons are several: 1) Polish fought in WWI against Russians, but Czechs not, by contraries they fought in Eastern front with Russians against Austro-Hungarian units. Polish had two denouncements (one hidden in Germany, and second public in USSR - in addition it was demonstrated in 1939) 2) Czechslovakia and Poland has conflicts about north teritory Tesin (with branching point and coal mineral wealth) and some territory in Slovakia – so Czechoslovak units fought also with polish units on begining of Czechoslovakia history. 3) Czechoslovakia signed military pact with USSR (natural enemy of Polish). So when in september 1938 our prezident though about fight or not fight, Czechoslovak generaly stuff said: „we can fight on 2 sides (west with Germany, south with Germany), not on 3 sides. Hungary is weak they will not attack until Czechoslovaks will not be on knees“ - in addition Rumunia (ally of Czechoslovakia) wag Hungarians that will attack them if také part in German coalition. Czech generals also said to prezident: „We must agree with Polish about their neutrality – even at price we give them contentious Tesin territory“. But Polish (especialy their prime minister Beck who hated Czechs from legionary period) rejected and started arrangements for occupation (what really did) of Tesin territory and also some terrytories in north Slovakia. After it (enemies all around Czechoslovakia except southeastern borders with Rumunia) prezident decided to not fight (which was mistake – but it is my subject opinion).
Same stuff here. Poland and Czechoslovakia were natural allies against the Germans, not to be spoiled by bad relations from 20 years before. Blaming Poland for following the directive from Munich is not serious. And I wouldn't blame Poland for the Czechs not fighting it out with the Germans.
For "Faithless Slovaks". The answer is again very simply. Slovaks and their lands (with never existing history – only beyond the princedom in early middle ages) were always component part of Hungary. And thanks negotiation of our foreign delegation: Masaryk (lately first Czechoslovak president), his advisor Benes (the second president) and general Stefanek (Slovak) they could obtain independent for Czechoslovakia + Ruthenia in one state. But what is inconceivable, that Slovaks from the beginning started intrigues how to become separated. Far more it seems in the end of 30th years, where they keep company with Sudetish Germans and also plans confederation with Poland. Thats all are long since known facts. So in depressed time 1938 Czechs lawfuly couldnot depended on Slovaks, except Czechoslovak army wich was under Czech control (in Ruthenia as well).
You just don't get my point. Don't judge whole nations!!! The "long known facts" are all true - but still, how could the Slovaks have been unfaithfull to the Czechs for wanting a state of their own? Masaryk, Benes and the others exactly knew why were the two nations joined into one country - to make it last against the Hungarian demands. Of course, when the situation was stabilized, this alliance of two independent nations broke into two - I just wouldn't call this traison. Or do You consider the separation of Slovakia and the Czech Rep in 1993 a deed of the "faithless" Slovaks?
As for Sudet Germans. Czechoslovakia was not only Czech nation. In Czechoslovakia lived 13,5 million citizens (7 mil. Czechs, 3,5 mil. Germans, 0,5 mil. Hungaries, some houndred thousands Polish, also Ruthenes and only 2,5 mil. Slovaks). 3,5 mil. Germans - isnide enemy – what do you think, that Sudet Germans did during nacist period, of course they wanted back to „Reich“. Naturaly there were among them people who denied this ideologii (1%) and some of them also fought in 1th Czechoslovak army corps.
You can't blame the Sudeten Deutsche who were trying to rejoin their fatherland. During the times of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Czechs also wanted to have a country where they were in majority - but You wouldn't call the Czechs inner enemies, would You? Using this terminology, Austro-Hungary was a pack of inner enemies of Austria. Wanting to be with the main body of Your nation is not an ideology, but a hope. It's not that I don't understand what You say - but the terminology You use is just not proper for the situation.
3) As Hungarian you should no more about hungarian army of that period. Before occupation of Ruthenia the Hungarian available military forces comprised one infantry regiment, two cavalry regiments, three independent battalions on bicycle, one motorized battalion, two border guard battalions, one artillery division, two armored train units, and one regiment of fighter planes!
Yes, I do know a little more. From 1936 onwards, the main part of the Hungarian forces were organized into 7 mixed brigades, that were later reversed into army corps. One of the reasons of this designation was to confuse the "enemies" - seems that it worked quite well given some people are confused even now. One infantry regiment etc etc is pure crap, of course, but why would you care?
Would you like to know what about Czechoslovak armies, which was one of the most organized in Europe?!! In september 1938 Czechoslovak army had: 1,28 million soldiers, 217000 horses, 26000 automobiles, 767000 modern rifles, 188000 modern pistols, 40000 modern machine-guns, 900 modern mortars, 780 anti-altirely canons (this is number without weapens in border fortes), 2270 field-pieces, 350 light tanks, 70 armoured automobiles, 70 small tanks, 17 armoured trains, 950 planes, 230 anti-air machine-guns, 250 anti-air canons.

There was existed fighting between Czech troops and Hungarian occupation units – in 1939. U dont know it? Well, than it has no sense to continue before you refill knowledges…
Thanks for the small lesson of history. Believe me or not, I too have attended school in (Czecho)slovakia and know quite a lot about the Czech armies. What fighting are You talking about? The brief and unimportant contact fighting in Southern Slovakia or the Hungarian victory against Slovak troops in Ruthenia? Just in order I could refresh my shaby knowledge about how the weak Hungarian troops were defeated by the glorious Czech army...
4) hmm… I can say you how many soldiers crossed Ruthenia-Slovaks borders and how the Slovaks regarded to him (disarmament, derision, were humiliated etc.). I have no problems with facts as you have.

5) Oh really? I think that the fact, that Ruthenia (under Hungarian control) was the most poorest territory in Europe say by itself how Ruthenes were „happy“ under Hungarian government. And what about WWI and Ruthenes in Hungarian units? No matter – Ruthenes, Czechs, Slovaks, Polish, Jews or others, all were arested for illegal cross of USSR borders and some of them also for espionage against USSR. Horthy by saying it, did not simplify it, naturally why should did it?
I don't have problems with the facts. I just asked for any source to state that

1.) the Hungarians didn't give rest to the Ruthenes
2.) Horthy asked for the Ruthenes to be sent to the gulags.

But You just didn't answer. You recalled all of the stuff I didn't question, but didn't answer what I did.
6) The Czechoslovak nation DOES NOT EXIST!!! Well it seems, that it will be only note where I agree with you. „Czechoslovaks“ was always used as TERM for all citizens living in one state Czechoslovakia! Czechoslovaks fought there, Czechoslovaks did something, Czechoslovaks decided this etc., but as you said - its not nation, its only term. Ambition to change term to nation had to be syntheticaly made, but did not happen (Hitler did not get chance to execute it).
This is only partially true. The official language was "Czechoslovak" - nonexistent as it was. The people speaking minority languages were considered as a minority of the Czechoslovak nation - also nonexistent.
Uff. Yes you said it correctly: „try to stick to the facts“. And you should keep it first of all.

I will more apreciate if you should help me to follow organization of Hungarian army - aimed at Rusyns unarmored units, Jewish worker units.
I always try to stick to the facts. Supported facts, that is.

Best,

Abel

pretorian666
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Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:05 am

Re: Abel 2

Post by pretorian666 » Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:48 pm

Hi Abel,

look, I came here to discover someting about Rusyns in Hungarians army. I will apreciate to get some info about it, especially if it concerns of my grand-father who according Czechoslovak authorities served there (before he ran to USSR, where was as others convicted to gulag).

As for your text. I will not answer you as wide I would (cos of time), only in short notes:

1) unfriendly or enemy - it is only manner of diplomatic interpretation, but the force of word is same…
2) Hungarians did not problem with loss of territory – what absurdity you said? Show me some other nation which have a same point of view on it. Or only Hungarians are so peaceful and good-natured when somebody amputate them a territory? And we dont talk about unsubstantial state. We talk about Hungarian empire.
3) As for Czech-Polish relations you are not right. Polish make sense of German peaceful policy too late, when Czechoslovakia did not help them more. The Czechoslovak soldiers tried to organize battalion in Poland, but Polish rejected it and of course the number of Czechoslovaks troops was instead small. Do you know about military agreement between German nad Poland? And you should also know, that Polish diplomacy was ranged to cooperate with Hungary, not with Czechoslovakia.
4) Yes, the separation of Slovakia from Czechoslovakia (or Czech and Slovak federation) in 1993 was above all consequence of Slovak nationalism presented by HZDS party of Mr. Meciar.
5) Look, Sudet Germans were always (from 13 centruary where they were invited by Czech king Premysl Otakar II to settle and protect borders of Czech Kingdom). Sudet Germans were home in Czechoslovakia not in Reich, but they feel bad in state, were Czechs dominated – so this is why problems started and they were considered as inner enemy. The history of Czech nation is rich and long, longer than history of Austria which started consolidate only on 13th senctuary – from this period the Habsburgs got European acceptation). But the Czechs in Austro-Hungarian empire, it was involuntary situation – and as WWI showed. Czechs looked for first chance to fight with true enemy – Austria-Hungarian empire.
6) Yes, it was brief conflict in Ruthenia (several days), but they were not Slovak units, but Czech units. Tell me when you attended school in (Czecho)slovakia? Well I did wonder when I have found what Slovaks teach in school now. How proud and strong history…
7) Why the Slovaks declared their own states? Cos of Hungarians. Why the Ruthenia declared their own independent? Cos of Hungarians. Tell me why? As for Horthy words I will find the source.
8) You are wrong, the language was not called Czechoslovak (Czechs had own, Slovacs own), I told you Czechoslovak was used as a term for citizens.

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » Mon Feb 28, 2005 2:56 am

Hi,

don't get me wrong, my friend. I never meant to cause You problems in Your research; I am constantly involved in constructive research here for a few years now. The only thing why I joined this thread is that I felt personally insulted by the tone and nature of your posts, harming my sense of balanced history research. Usually, I don't join discussion in this kind of threads because it never ends with anything more than both sides repeating their own distorted view of history, supported by the manipluated background info that I, You, everyone gets - we are still yet to have objective research and education in our coutries. Just to make my positions clear.

As for the points.

1.) The difference is not between words but between the ideology standing behind them - I may be unfriendly to You (eventually, I don't want to be :D ), but as long as You don't consider me one, I will never become Your enemy. Enemies are constructed inside You, unfriendliness was the only objective word for the relations of the two coutries. And I feel this more than a pointless play with words.

2.) Look here. I am a Hungarian, who has been "lost" to Czechoslovakia. I never said that the Hungarians were contented with losing the territory, I just said that the loss of the people there was much more of a shock. I was trying to show the psychology behind the situation, as in this case, the problems cannot be measured economically only, but also -and most of all- culturally and sociologically.

3.) I have read several threads about the Polish - German relations, and they were far from friendly. Germans were the main point of worries for the Polish, and not the Czechs. Germans were the main point of worries for the Czechs, not the Polish.

4.) ... and Mr. Klaus, of course, apparently. You just cannot blame only Meciar (whom I deeply hate), and most of all not the Slovak nation. The Czech politics and the Slovak politics were at fault, and not only "the treacherous Slovaks". I reject this point of view.

5.) Sudeten Deutsche were also in an involuntary situation as the Czechs in the AHM. There is no reason to boast about who had the longer history in central Europe. I can still find no difference between any two minorities wanting to be in a state where they have majority. Still - I would never support my, purely Hungarian land in Slovakia, to join Hungary, though - but that's another story :D I find the terminology "inner enemy" a leftover from the communism and quite a disgusting term.

6.) I am just as sceptical about the proud and long Slovak history as You are :D But the good old Czechoslovak books were not better in any sense. But You avoided the topic that the Czech troops were pushed back by the Hungarian forces in Ruthenia and were only stopped by the intervention of the Germans. Nothing in support of the theory of the weak Hungarian army.

7.) Now this is completely and utterly disgusting. Why did the Czechs declare their state of their own? Because they wanted a state of their own. But when the same question is about the Slovaks, You just change views, and "blame it all" on the Hungarians. This is fully unsupported and subjective. Czechs, Slovaks, Rusyns - all wanted countries of their own. And it's not about hating the Hungarians, and not about Horthy (not that I adored him). You just shouldn't follow the good old ways of blaming everything on the Hungarians, IMHO.

8.) No, You are are wrong. There is the Czech language, and there is a Slovak language, I can speak both, You needn't explain clear things to me. :wink: But the official language of Czechoslovakia was the nonexistent Czechoslovak, believe me or not. And Czechoslovak was used for the people speaking this language. Read after the subject, as I have done, and You will see.

Best,

Abel

pretorian666
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Re:

Post by pretorian666 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:17 am

Hello Abel,

we stay on two different sides and will ever stay. I dont agree with your commentaries of historical facts, which are according my opinion unreal, or better say hungarian :D.

ad1) it is not view of ideology, but of historical experiences. Can you tell me some positive historical moments in relation a) Czechs x Hungarians, b) Slovaks x Hungarians, c) Ruthenes x Hungarians.

ad2) why it happened? The answer is hidden in point 1

ad3) its politicaly more complicated and come out from Europian politics. Czechoslovakia was oriented to France, USSR, Rumunia, Jugoslavia. Polish naturaly looking for partners afraid from USSR and they found them in Germany, even they knew that its not ideal variant. They wanted build up central european space with Hungary, but Czechoslovakia stay between them (in part politicaly, but more territorialy).

ad4) I dont think that Mr. Klaus wanted it, they had no chance to change cos Slovaks already decided what they want - and it was only own state. I understand why non Slovaks citizens wanted it. Slovakia is not whole Czechoslovakia and for Hungarians minority its bigger chance to demand something more (let say autonomy). No matter what relations were between Czechs and Slovaks, we considered them as brothers and we did not allow Hungarians to threaten them :D. Now its first of all Slovak problem.

ad5) the reason is be or not to be part of some state. Sudet Germans were citizens of Czech kingdom, where they came as volunteers. Czech kingdom became as involuntary part of Austro-Hungarian.

ad6) yes, Czech troops stooped after several days defend Ruthenia, cos they more concentrate how they can fought against Germans - in addition they were after Ruthenian declaration of independetnt in "foreign territory". Anyway there is no problem to find battle statistics of those days. I think will be differnet again :wink:.

ad7) Czech books will never good for Hungarians as Hungarian for Czechs. Our discussion confirming it too. Today we live in democracy and if I speak about historical facts, I speak about nowadays facts, which are more critical to former communist history.

ad8) I have never hear about term "Czechoslovak language"...

It was only appeal to got info about Rusyns in Hungarian army. No matter from whom...

sid guttridge
on "time out"
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Post by sid guttridge » Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:50 am

Hi Abel,

Hungary had wider ambitions than simply regaining ethnically Hungarian border areas of southern Slovakia and Ruthenia it gaine at the First Vienna Award. Hungary actually wanted to regain control of all of Slovakia and Ruthenia. It succeeded in getting the whole of Ruthenia and the eastern end of Slovakia in March 1939. Hungary was therefore a vey real threat to Czechoslovakia. If it had had its way, the latter country would only have consisted of the Czech lands.

When Czechoslovakia ceased to exist, parts of the country were, indeed, given to Hungary. However, not by the non-Hungarian inhabitants, but by Germany.

Hungary probably had most military potential amongst the minor Axis powers, as it had a long military tradition of conquest over its neighbours, an early general staff tradition, a generally well educated population and some useful heavy industry. However, it tended to underperform on the Eastern Front because it had no war aims in the USSR.

In Ruthenia in March 1939, the isolated Czechoslovak 12th Division (by now cut off from Prague by a newly independent Slovakia and surrounded by hostile Ruthenes it had been fighting only the previous day), successfully extricated itself from a very perilous situation under pressure from the best brigades in the re-expanding Hungarian Army (the Cavalry and Motorised Corps) and reached the Slovak border. The Hungarian brigades went on to form the two Hungarian armoured divisions and Hussar divisions later in the war, which were amongst the best divisions in the non-German Axis order of battle.

The Slovak Army was only a week old when it was attacked by surprise by the Hungarians. Almost all the Slovak prisoners taken were captured in their beds in the first hour! Most of the officers of Slovakia's units had been Czechs, who had been repatriated to Bohemia-Moravia and not yet replaced by the far smaller number of Slovak officers coming back from Bohemia-Moravia. If the Hungarian motorised and cavalry brigades had failed to make progress against the Slovaks in these circumstances, it would have been a miracle. As it was, they achieved their limited goals rapidly and easily saw off a single disorganised Slovak counter-attack.

The Hungarians made a little ground against the Romanians in Transilvania in 1944 because the entire Romanian field army was on the Eastern Front at the time. Not a single unit of the Romanian field army was facing the Hungarians and the Romanians initially opposed the Hungarians (and Germans) only with training formations. Despite this, the Hungarians and Germans failed to capture a single Carpathian pass before the Red Army joined the Romanian covering forces. The Hungarian-German failure to capture the Carpathian line off the Romanian training formations was a major failure, not success.

There was a major fight between about 600 Sich Guard and Hungarian forces outside Khost, during mid March 1939. It was very one-sided as the Sich Guard were heavily outumbered, had no heavy weapons and little training. A Canadian journalist with the Hungarians at the time reported the Hungarian commander remarking that the the Ruthenes were fighting bravely and that it was a pity to kill so many as they would make good troops for the Hungarian Army!

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. Whilst Ruthenes would mostly have prefered a Ukrainian state, absorption into Czechoslovakia was the best option available to them after WWI. The inter-war years inside Czechoslovakia were generally a period of material and educational progress in Ruthenia, whose Ruthene inhabitants were significantly better off than they had previously been under Hungarian rule, or their fellow Ruthenes were in Polish Galicia or Romanian Norther Bucovina.

Abel Ravasz
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Location: Hungary/Slovakia

Post by Abel Ravasz » Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:59 am

Hi Pretorian,

I don't want to continue "spoiling" Your thread but You just keep fueling my fire.

I don't think Hungarian is a synonime for unreal. Not even if You ment it by joke. If you cannot accept equality between nations - that is, both Hungarian and Czech history has its own sick twists and the truth lies in between, there is not much space for discussion. If one thinks of his/her own opinions as the "only truth", he should rather form a religion than post on a forum.

One cardinal difference between the two of us is that I have read both Czech/Slovak and Hungarian sources. I know what differences I am talking about, You only rely on Your seemingly vivid imagination.

1.) Well, several positive historical events join these central European nations; just to mention some the Treaty of Viseg(h)rad, the Slovak support of the Hungarian Revolution (1848/49) and others, but I am no historian to cover them all. I never said there were not conflicts between the nations but I regret this onesided view of arch-enemies.

2.) Don't twist the topic. I never asked why the Treaty of Trianon happened; I am already through a couple of similar topics and not really happy to have one more :wink: And I don't need the answer You would give from pt. 1. It was just that I emphasised the human loss factor of this event against the economical loss factor.

3.) Ask someone Polish about the positive history of Polish - German relations :D France was Poland's partner, as well as Czechoslovakia's. I see the both on the same side of the alliance systems. That doesn't mean that no conflicts could have existed.

4.) One sided and offensive view. Both the Czech and Slovak political forces were for the separation, but not their nations. And please, PLEASE!, don't even try to get the Hungarians (AKA "non Slovak citizens") into the mix as supporting the separation as this is just NOT TRUE! I was, and I am against the separation of the two coutries. Don't think that the only thing Slovakian Hungarians are thinking about is how to get back to the motherland. Czechoslovakia was not any less my country than Yours and I non less regretted it falling appart as You.

And the Czechs protecting Slovaks from the Hungarians harming them... lol! touching story, is it? :wink: :D

5.) Sudeten Deutsche never voluntarily entered the Czechoslovak republic but were "cut off" there. I don't see any difference in the Czech relations to AHM and the Sud.Deutsch relations to CSR - both were forces and really stupid solutions.

6.) The combat at Ruthenia started 15/3/39, one day after Slovakia announced independence, thus the Hungarians were fighting against Slovak troops (plus the Sych militia) and not Czechs as You would theoretize. And the idea that the soldiers were pulled back to fight the Germans is anacronistic, lacks support and is Your idea only.

7.) I can agree with in You in that.

8.) Access sources to see that this gnome really existed, it's not my idea. It seems stupid to me to, that was why I brought it up... But this is real data.

Hope someone can answer Your question about the Rusyn sub-units of the Hungarian army.

Best,

Abel

pretorian666
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Posts: 22
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Re again and again :)

Post by pretorian666 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:21 am

Hi Abel,

first of all Sid Guttridge wrote very interesting text, you should read it again. I swear that I will write here more about combat actions in Ruthenia, but later (Im not in Czech R. now and have no detailed info and statistics yet).

ad0) Which Czech/Slovak sources, when?
ad1) :D Slovaks maybe support, but I would see the Hungarians gratitude after :D
ad2) :wink:
ad3) And you answered. If Czechoslovaks and Polish suffered whole history from Germans - why they did not cooperate and ally against them? And this is why Im talking about all the time! Czechoslovakia and Poland had several reciprocal problems (I wrote in former topic), which did not chance to thinking together in unison. Czechoslovakia knew that on western can suppose enemy in fascist Germany (when Hitler got power). That was reason why small Czechoslovakia used own industrial potencial to a) start arm army, b) to build border fortification, c) to sign military ally with French and indirectly UK (called large agreement), then small agreement with Rumunia and Jugoslavia, and also agreement with USSR. So why not with Poland? - think about it. Finaly - to close this topic - unfortunately Polish were thouse, who did not simplify our already difficult situation on september 1938.
ad4) nice, really I cant judge all nation :D, Abel you save all
ad5) yes they did not voluntarily entered Czechoslovakia, but they lived from 13th centuary in lands, which are belongs historicaly to Czech territory.
ad6) Sid Guttridge confirmed that it were not Slovak troops, but Czechs. If we speak about Czechoslovak army, we spoke above all about Czechs. I can again tell you how many officers were Czechs, how many Slovaks etc, but later.
ad7) ok
ad8) ok, i try to find something about it

sid guttridge
on "time out"
Posts: 8055
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:54 am

Post by sid guttridge » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:53 am

Hi Abel,

It is unlikely that there was any large number of Slovaks or Ruthenes in 12th Infantry Division in Ruthenia on 15 March 1939.

It had been Czechoslovak Army practice to mix up its conscripts around the country. Thus Slovak and Ruthene conscripts tended to end up in active divisions in Bohemia-Moravia, while 12th Division in Ruthenia had a high proportion of Czech (and before October 1938 German) conscripts. Furthermore, Slovaks and particularly Ruthenes were poorly represented in the Czechoslovak officer corps anywhere. For example, no Ruthene had ever reached general rank.

Reservists called up usually went to locally based units, but the Czechoslovak Army did not call out Ruthene or Slovak reservists in March 1939.

Thus the Hungarians overwhelmingly faced Czech troops in 12th Infantry Division, not Ruthenes or Slovaks, on 15 March. Ruthene resistance, such as it was, was concentrated in the Sich Guard, which 12th Division had suppressed in Khost only the day before! Slovaks were only run into in numbers a week later when the Hungarian Army moved into eastern Slovakia.

Cheers,

Sid.

Abel Ravasz
Contributor
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:44 am
Location: Hungary/Slovakia

Post by Abel Ravasz » Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:30 pm

Hi,

seems that I have misinterpreted what Gosztonyi writes about the battles in Ruthenia and Eastern Slovakia. I well know of the forces present there (12. CS Div, Sych Guard, VI. Slovak AK), but thought that the both regular units had Slovak personnel. But I may want to believe the both of You in the ethnical composition of the 12. CS Div.

Still, the main question was if the Hungarians were worse by that large as as the Czech troops, and apparently they weren't.

As for the previous questions of Mr. Pret.: I just won't list all the books I have read in Slovak / Czech, for its of no point.

I have just read some "reliable" Czech internet sources, and seems that their ideas are very much the same as Yours. This still doesn't convince me against the data I have, but at least I can see that Your info is not a marginal theory but one of the mainstream Czech ways of seeing the things.

I find it quite unfortunate that also Your last posts have some preconceptional data about the Hungarian and German ethnicals in Czechoslovakia, but I can't change that. At least, I became familiar with such a way of thinking about these things.

But as I find that all the efforts I can make, You never allow any difference from what You have previously stated, and You just duck any inconvenient info and questions. There is no reason to continue in this -now fruitless- discussion.

Best,

Abel

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