Rusyns in Hungarian army

Foreign volunteers, collaboration and Axis Allies 1939-1945.

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pretorian666
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Re:

Post by pretorian666 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:55 pm

Hi Abel.

You impeached even some unassailable facts and data such as number and composition of Czechoslovak citizens! You have no assigned any scriptural facts or data. You arguments (that are not even arguments, only feelings) are empty. Even such logical things as that Hungarians did not fought in Ruthenia (from 14th March) with Slovak army - of course not - how, if Slovaks declared independent on 14th March 1939 as Ruthenia - so according your meaning Czechoslovak troops DURING THE SAME DAY changed their military statut to Slovak army??? As I said I will write more detailed with statistics about Ruthenia actions, no matter if you will be still here or not. Please attend more to Sid Guttridge topics.

Cus

pretorian666
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TO Sid Guttridge:

Post by pretorian666 » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:39 am

Hello Sid again,

I have found interesting web http://www.hrdinove.cz (only in Czech) were is list of Czechoslovak heroes from both WW - sometimes with texts or sound statements. Some of those soldiers with Ruthenes surnames confirmed participation in Hungarian army (unfortunately exactly those people did not afford detailed info).

According Czechoslovak authority (from 80th years) my grand-father was located in 42th infantry regiment in Nyíregyháza. But the question is if such regiment ever existed, I have found that in Nyíregyháza was organized infantry regiment (1939) but 22th. Dont you have information if this regiment was sent to Eastern front? Maybe was located as Occupied forcies (part of Light divisions) in Ukraina? The problem is that exists two theories: a) grand-father served but ran in 1940/41 to USSR where he was arrested and sent to gulag in Siberia (according family) - Im just auditing it in Russians archives, b) he run over to Red army on 25th March 1944 near vilage Gorodenka, arrested and sent to captive camp in Zaslav (maybe Zasllaw) and than sent to Kamenc Podolski (22.07.1944) when he entered 1th czechoslovak army corps (according CS authorities). I have also find that in these days (march 1944) 1th Ukrainian front (Zhukov) captured Gorodenka (March 27) and German forces in particular 1st Panzer Army (Hube). Can you tell me if German 1st Panzer army contained some Hungarian units?

Thanks a lot for any answer.

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Post by Abel Ravasz » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:45 am

OK, I can't stand my word here.

1.) Your "unassailable facts" are not that unassailable at all - You roughly underestimate the Hungarian population (0,5M vs 1M) as well as commiting other (probably nonconscious mistakes). I never try to impeach facts, but You just can't seem to handle a normal argumentation.

2.) Imagine or not, in my last post, I have clearly stated YOU WERE RIGHT in the case of the 12. CS Div being made up of Czechs. But still

a.) You didn't prove the fact that Hungarians were much weaker than the Czechs

b.) mentioned an underestimated strength of the Hungarian Army, and when I corrected You with supported data (from Szakály Sándor's book about the Hungarian Leadership during 39-45), You just didn't even bother to correct Yourself

c.) and imagine it or not, Col Malár took over the VI. CS AK on 15/3/39, and the unit became Slovak in one day...

d.) but still if weren't for all of these, You just don't take into consideration what we were arguing about here. It was not about the 12. CS Div - it makes things worse for You anyways because in fact this, almost purely Czech division was defeated by the Hungarians...

2.) My arguments are not feelings. I have used 3 sources for what I have mentioned.

a.) Gosztonyi P.: Hungarian Army in WW2
b.) Szakáky S.: Hungarian Leadership 39-45
c.) Kovács/Simon: Slovakian Hungarian History III.

And I have topped this with brief references from Ránky's WW2 ovierview book, as well as internet sources. Whereas I haven't seen any source mentioned in Your posts.

3.) Keep from personal insults. I have attended "Sid Guttridge topics" well before You have come here, and there is no reason for You to give me any advices about the use of this forum.

4.) I wanted to end a discussion that had turned to a flame war from Your side, and I even would have let You have the last post - but You just keep on being offensive and insulting me instead of answering questions. A list of questions You have left behind in this thread include

a.) proof of Hungary being the weekest axis military nation
b.) proof of very bad Hungarian/Ruthene relations
c.) proof that Horthy is to be blamed for the Soviet treatment of the Ruthenes
d.) why Sudeten Germans are to be considered more of an inner enemy than Czechs

But I don't expect any answer to those from You eventually.

To Sid:
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.
The Hungarian ambitions were increased with the decreasing capabilities of the Czech Army and Czech politics. Hungary wasn't a real threat to Czechoslovakia until the Germans gained the Munich victory. Hungary was not a real threat to a full Czechoslovakia, because there was no real way of thinking about such an action. Thus, I find the Hungarian invasion into the E Czechoslovakia an oportunistic advance rather than the goal of Hungarian politics.
When Czechoslovakia ceased to exist, parts of the country were, indeed, given to Hungary. However, not by the non-Hungarian inhabitants, but by Germany.
... which was none the worse than the Entente giving the same territories to Czechoslovakia. It's the same pattern - just the balance of the forces had changed in 20 years.
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.
Of course, there was no surprise in this turn of the events. I only pointed out that this had occured and was a victory for the Hungarians. All of this discussion has expanded from pretorian's words "Naturally Czechs even better organized, armored, experienced with high morale than Hungaries (which were weak during all WW2 among Axis alliance)" which both You and I eventually denied and proved wrong.
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.
The terminology Hungarian - German forces may give a wrong impression, as only parts of SS Div Florian Geyer (Gr. Siebenbürgen) and the StuG Abt 1179 (and later the Gr. Kessel) supported the attack. The forces were mainly Hungarian, freshly formed from replacement units and unsuitable for attack. They were not in a better situation as their Romanian counterparts (2. Army lost at the Don, 1. Army in the Carpathians, this army was far from posting the best troops), but managed to play a tactical "draw" here, and had some very good weeks of halting the joint Russian-Romanian attacks at Torda (this time around, supported by real German forces). I agree that the operation was not a success, but it wasn't a fiasco either as the later establishment of a defensive line in Siebenbürgen has its foundations in this battle.

Best,

Abel

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Post by sid guttridge » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:56 am

Hi Pretorian,

The answers to your questions probably lie in the the book "The Royal Hungarian Army" by Leo Niehorster (Axis Europa Books, New York). Unfortunately my copy is in storage.

However, Niehorster has his own web site and is also a contributor to Feldgrau, so you you should be able to find out directly from him.

Good Luck,

Sid.

pretorian666
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Re:

Post by pretorian666 » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:17 am

sid guttridge wrote:Hi Pretorian,

The answers to your questions probably lie in the the book "The Royal Hungarian Army" by Leo Niehorster (Axis Europa Books, New York). Unfortunately my copy is in storage.

However, Niehorster has his own web site and is also a contributor to Feldgrau, so you you should be able to find out directly from him.

Good Luck,

Sid.
Thank you for advice Sid. See you.

pretorian666
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Post by pretorian666 » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:32 am

Hello Abel,

what war from my side you are talking about? This is just another fallible imagination from you. Believe me, I realy have no ANY problem with you :D and your topics. I will answer you later, as I said I dont have necessary statistics here - im not walking encyclopedia, but I will not put anything that Hungarian army was stronger than Czechoslovak. Just search on internet sources (not Hungarian :D) about Hungarian army (what they write about technical facilities, basic skills, number ect.)...

See you, I will be back for sure :wink:

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Post by sid guttridge » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:46 am

Hi Abel,

Hungary was a real threat to Czechoslovakia even before Munich. Although the Conference of Bled had only recently allowed it to rearm openly and its forces were relatively weak, it had mobilised BEFORE Munich. The result of this was that the Czechoslovak 3rd Army based in Slovakia and Ruthenia had to be kept in those territories to watch the Hungarians and was not available to confront the Germans.

VI Corps did not become Slovak overnight. The vast majority of its officers and most of its men were Czechs who were repatriated. The mere fact that Malar was only a colonel but had to command a corps should indicate how difficult it was for the Slovaks to find officers appropriately qualified to command the units they inherited.

The Czechoslovak 12th Division was not defeated by the Hungarians. It was forced to withdraw because Germany had occupied Bohemia-Moravia, Slovakia and Ruthenia had declared independence and it had no country left to defend.

In its clashes with the Ragged Guard in 1938 and the regular Hungarian Army in March 1939 it seems to have acquitted itself well in an extremely difficult situation. If I remember rightly the Hungarians captured only some 200 Czechs and one or two of broken down tanks in Ruthenia in March 1939, despite having numbers, mobility and the strategic situation on their side. (They reported capturing some 200 Slovaks later in the month as well.) (Do you have more details on Hungarian losses and captures?)

In truth there was no decisive clash between the Czechoslovak Army and the Hungarian Army from which to draw any definite conclusions beyond that both seem to have been competent. (On the other hand, 12th Division seems to have dealt very effectively with the irregular Ragged Guard). However, it should be remembered that the Hungarians were using their very best mobile forces, while 12th Division was just a standard Czechoslovak active infantry division.

The fact that Hungarians and Germans had been reluctantly incorporated into Czechoslovakia had been redressed in October 1938. What Hungary (and Germany) did in March 1939 was naked aggression and must be judged on its own merits.

Hungary's success in eastern Slovakia in late March 1939 was by default. There were no organised Slovak forces to oppose them.

Generally speaking, in 1938-39 the Czechoslovak forces were better organised, trained and equipped than the Hungarians. Most of the Hungarian Army, still organised in infantry brigades, not divisions, under equipped and without trained reserves, was never hazarded against the Czechoslovaks. I would remind you that such clashes as occurred took place between an ordinary Czechoslovak infantry division and Hungary's elite units and the Hungarians achieved nothing that gives evidence of a noticeable superiority. They gained ground primarily for political, not military reasons.

In Transilvania in 1944 it should be remembered that, weak though it was, the Florian Geyer Division was a field unit and that amongst the Hungarian forces available there was an armoured division with several dozen (60-70?) tanks. (I have seen Romanian pictures of knocked out Toldi light tanks near Timosoara/Temesvar and a captured Zrinyi assault gun in Romanian service in Transilvania.) Futhermore, you omitted to mention the German forces intervening from Yugoslavia, which included much of the Brandenburg and 4th SS Polizei Divisions. The Romanians had nothing equivalent in quality to any of these formations, but still managed to frustrate them long enough in lower country to hold all the southern Carpathian mountain passes and be relieved by the Red Army. This fighting was a definite strategic success for the Romanians on behalf of the Allies, because it prevented the Axis gaining a very strong defensive line. Given the limited capacity of most the units they used, the Hungarans seemed to have performed creditably, but failed everywhere to reach their goal.

Cheers,

Sid.

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KlemenL
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Magyar Királyi Honvédség és Csendörség Névkönyvei

Post by KlemenL » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:49 pm

Pretorian: A couple of weeks ago the Hungarian War Archives & Museum in Budapest has decided to put online, in a digital form, the k.k. Honvéd Schematismus. You can find on their website direct links to nine different k.k. Honvéd Schematismus for nine different years: 1917, 1918, 1927, 1928, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1942 and 1944. For more details how to conduct a research through their online catalogue I strongly suggest you read this message of mine and follow the instructions:

Magyar Királyi Honvédség és Csendörség Névkönyvei

URL: http://p205.ezboard.com/faustrohungaria ... 1473.topic

(Un)fortunately you will find in these Honvéd Schematismus only the names of the officers, but there are some Ruthene sounding surnames, so I guess this could be a start.

I have read Leo Niehorster's book about Hungarian Army in WW2, but to be honest here I cannot remember any data about the percentage of Ruthenes in the Royal Hungarian Armed Forces in World War 2. i would surely memorize this kind of info. But then again I could be wrong, as it has been many, many, many years since I have last read it.

Also helpful website with some details is (can be) this one:

VITÉZSÉGI ÉREM
The Medals for Bravery

http://www.akm.externet.hu/rendjel/adatok/vitez.htm

Also thanks pretorian666 for this website http://www.hrdinove.cz. I wasn't aware of her until now. You mention "heroes from both wars". I couldn't find any link with WW1 heroes?! Where I am looking wrong?
US PGA Commentator - "One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them .... Oh my god!!!!! What have I just said?!!!"

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Post by dragos03 » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:03 pm

The Hungarian offensive in Transilvania was a clear failure. The only important succes was the capture of the city Arad. Maybe the Hungarian troops were not the best available but at least they were regular formations and not the territorial infantry without any heavy weapons deployed by the Romanians.
In the battle of Paulis, Romanian cadets supported by a few captured guns defeated elements from one Hungarian infantry division and one tank division.
When judging German participation in this battle you must remember that many German units were still in Romania, figthing behind the Romanian lines, trying to break through to the Hungarian front. These units also drained some of the strength of the Romanian forces.
I don't know why Hungarian history presents this battle as a victory.

pretorian666
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To KlemenL:

Post by pretorian666 » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:34 pm

Hello KlemenL,

thank you for effort to help me. Unfortunately I have not found grand-father's name in lists and its logic. As Rusyn (without some military experience) who was involuntary drafted to Hungarian army (between 1939-1940) - I dont suppose that he could reach officer rank.

As for site I have mentioned, you are right, there is list of veternas only from WW2. Not 1 as I said, sorry.

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Post by Victor Nitu » Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:15 am

dragos03 wrote:In the battle of Paulis, Romanian cadets supported by a few captured guns defeated elements from one Hungarian infantry division and one tank division.
They also benefitted from air support provided by Hs-129Bs of the 8th Assault Group and the Ju-87Ds of the 6/3rd Dive Bomber Group, that knocked out most the Hungarian AFVs at Paulis.

As for regular Romanian units in Southern Transylvania, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Mountain Divisions were under reorganization in their garrisons in the area and they did get to fight.

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Post by sid guttridge » Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:38 am

Hi Victor,

The three Romanian mountain divisions you mention were in reality in a similar condition to the training infantry "divisions" (actually mixed brigades), because their combatworthy elements were actually at the front in 101st, 102nd and 103rd Mountain Commands. Their only significant advantage over the training "divisions" was that they had experienced commanders and staffs.

The only Romanian division west of Bucharest that had both its field division and training bigade at the front was 19th Infantry Division, which was opposite the Germans in Serbia. It was not facing the Hungarians.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Norman aus Lemberg
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Post by Norman aus Lemberg » Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:25 pm

What kind of BS is this? Am surprised to see that when everyone accepted Rusyns to be part of Ukrainian nation, Czechs are still pursuing the old communist myths.
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 –
- To start off, Rusyns will be reffered as Ukrainians and the region according to the name it has chosen for ITSELF - Carpatho-Ukraine (this was the official title of the area, that you can find on any 1938 map).

Option C existed and this was protection of the homeland from Hungarian invaders. As Carpatho-Ukraine proclaimed its complete authonomy, a new guard called "Sitch" was formed (the name goes back to cossack stronghold in Central Ukraine, where cossack armies were assembled). About 15000 volunteered, however, there was only enough weapons for 2000. Although poorly armed, Sitch members still managed to dis-arm the local Czech units and lock them up in the army barracks (not bad for school kids, eh?). With the wepons taken from the Czech, Sitch members now had some light machine guns and even on tank. With that one tank, they actually managed to hold off Hungarian attack on Hust (the capital of the new republic) for a whole day.

P.S. Lets not speak about how "good" Czech authorities towards Ukrainians were. In fact, the actions of Czech gov. were quite shouvenistic towards Ukrainians and the Slovaks. The fact that Sitch members had to forcefully take the weapons from the Czechs, while in Czech republic such weapons were just as simply handed over to Germans, speaks well of the attituted between the two nations.

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Post by Norman aus Lemberg » Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:32 pm

The whole subject of Carpatho-Ukraine is very obscure, however I can recommend two books:

1. prof. Peter G. Stercho, "The Carpatho-Ukrainian Republic - a contribution to the history of the Carpatho-Ukrainian struggle for greedom, 1919-1939", Shevchenko Scientific Society, Toronto, 1965.

2. A small info on Sitch, can be found in Osprey's uniform Men-At-Arms series, called "Ukrainian Armies".

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Post by sid guttridge » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:42 am

Hi Norman,

Ruthenia/Carpatho-Ukraine became part of the Ukrainian SSR even before there was a Communist government in Czechoslovakia, so I fail to see where these "Communist myths" come in. Ruthenia/Carpatho-Ukraine rejoined the Ukraine under Communists, not in spite of them.

The Sich Guard completey failed to disarm any Czech Army units. On the contrary, the Czech Army suppressed the uprising in Khust within hours and the Sich in the capital had to surrender. The Sich Guard captured no Czech tanks, only the buildings of the autonomous government in Khust just long enough for a quorum of the Carpatho-Ukraine autonomous government to declare independence, appoint a government, declare the Sich the national army, adopt a flag and the trizul, sing the national anthem, and send a telegramme to Hitler asking for recognition. (He replied that the Carpatho-Ukraine should surrender itself to the Hungarians).

It is true that about 600 Sich Guards tried to halt the Hungarians outside Khust with small arms (and often dressed in conspicuous grey-blue uniforms), but they were overwhelmed in a couple of hours in a single afternoon. As I posted above, the Hungarian commander was recorded by a Canadian journalist as complimenting the Sich on their courage. However, they were not very effective.

There was no reason for the Czech authorities to hand over weapons to the Sich Guard as the Sich Guard was not a state institution. Indeed, it was opposed to Ruthenian membership of the Czechoslovak State. In late 1938 the Czechoslovak Army offered to give the Sich Guard weapons training under Ruthenian army officers, but the Sich Guard was too chauvinistic to accept. It preferred to steal weaponry from Czechoslovak depots. As a result, the Sich was both under-trained and under-equipped in March 1939 and was soundly and rapidly beaten by both Czechs and Hungarians. In reality, whatever its pretensions, the Sich Guard was more a paramilitary political organisation than an effective military force.

Sterchko's book is useful, considering that it emerged from an area notorious for extreme Ukrainian exiled nationalist sentiment. I shall look out the Osprey book.

Cheers,

Sid.

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