The policy of Admiral Horthy. Hungary in the war with the USSR

22 June 1941, the Hitlerite hordes invaded the Soviet Union, the regent of the Hungarian kingdom, Admiral Miklos Horthy, reported to Berlin: “I have been waiting for this day for 22. I'm happy!". To understand where such hatred for Russia comes from, it is necessary to trace its way of life.

Miklos Horthy


The fate of this man is quite interesting - M. Horthy 18 was born on June 1868 of the year in the estate of the father (middle landowner) in Kenderesche of the Szolnok Committee, in the very center of the Great Hungarian Lowland, there were eight other children in his family. He was educated in strictness, in 8 years he was transferred to the Reformed College of the city of Debrecen, from 10 years he was transferred to the German men's gymnasium in the city of Sopron. The boy dreamed of a maritime academy to become a sailor, but his father was against it - Miklos, his elder brother, Istvan chose this path and was seriously wounded at the exercises. Yet in 1882, he was among the 42 students (selected from 612 applicants) enrolled in the naval school of the city of Fiume. 1886 year he received the title of sea cadet.

Over the years of study and further service, Horthy has mastered the Italian and Serbian languages. In 18 years began service in the fleet of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1894, Miklósh was tasked with testing the steam-powered 1, in 1897, he became a lieutenant of the 2 rank, and in January 1900, in 32, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant 1 rank, he commanded the ship . In the 1909 year, after successfully passing the exams, he was promoted to captain of the 3 rank. In the same year, he received an offer to take the post of senior officer - one of the four aide-de-camps of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary Franz Joseph; previously, only an Austrian could receive such a post. Up to 1914, Horthy served in the Vienna Hofburg, under the emperor. He was required a little - punctuality, discipline, good knowledge of German, ability to ride, to accompany the king-emperor of Austria-Hungary was at the same time the king of Hungary on the hunt. Subsequently, M. Horthy recalled these years as the most beautiful and carefree in his busy life. He sincerely respected the emperor, took an example from him, having learned a lot during this time, mastered court etiquette and demeanor. He joined the art, visited museums and art galleries - even he himself took up the brush, wrote portraits and landscapes.

During the second Balkan War (June-August 1913), Horthy was given command of the Coast Guard on the Budapest patrol ship. After its completion, in 43, he received the rank of captain of the 1 rank and returned to the imperial court. With the beginning of World War I, the commander of the Habsburg ship, and since December 1914, became the commander of the new high-speed armored cruiser Novara, which performed special tasks. In 1915, he was awarded the Iron Cross, participated in the battles on the Adriatic Sea against the Italian and French Navy. In May, 1917, in the Otranto area, commanding the Novara cruiser, participated in a successful battle with the Entente ships, was wounded, partially deaf. After this battle, he gained fame throughout Austria-Hungary.

In February, 1918, after recovery, M. Horthy was appointed commander of another high-class warship "Prince Eugen." During this period, there was already a problem of the fall of discipline and the demoralization of soldiers and sailors. With energetic measures, Horthy restored order to the ship. King-Emperor Karl (Franz Joseph died as early as 1916), dissatisfied with the decomposition processes in the fleet, appointed him 27 in February 1918 as commander of the fleet, Horthy was promoted to Rear Admiral. But the monarchy was already doomed and the measures of Horthy could not straighten the general deplorable situation - October 28 1918 of Horthy, as a sign of the cessation of the imperial-royal Navy, lowered the flag of the monarchy from the flagboard of the ship of the commander-in-chief and gave the fleet to representatives of the newly formed South Slavic state - the Kingdom of Serbs and Croats Slovenes. After this act, Horthy returned to his native land, becoming a private individual.

The policy of Admiral Horthy. Hungary in the war with the USSR

Horthy enters Budapest in 1919 year.

The dictator Horthy is the ruler of the Hungarian kingdom (1920 — 1944). Attempt to avoid participation in the war

But he did not live peacefully for a long time. Already at the beginning of the summer of 1919, he accepted the offer to become the Minister of War in the counter-revolutionary government headed by Count Dula Karoya, who opposed the Hungarian Soviet Republic. During this period, Horthy established contacts with representatives of the Entente. Soon his army grew to 50 thousand people, on November 16 the “national army” —the only then real and domineering Hungarian nationwide force — solemnly entered Budapest. She was led by Horthy on a white horse in dress uniform of the admiral. Horthy harshly criticized the citizens for “treason over the millennial stories»Monarchy. He did not associate himself with any political force, focusing on order, the accession of stability, patriotism.

The National Assembly announced the restoration of royal power, but since the Entente countries were opposed to the restoration of the power of the Habsburgs, in any form, the post of regent or ruler of the country was established. 1 March 1920 of the Year The National Assembly of Hungary elected Horthy (131 of the 141 MP voted in favor) as the ruler of the state; he was then 52 of the year. Hungary became a kingdom without a king. Horthy received great powers - retaining the post of commander in chief of the army, the right to dissolve the National Assembly.

Hungary experienced a great shame after the war: in fact, one third of the total Hungarian population, i.e. over 3 million people remained outside the new state borders. Hungary lost about two thirds of its former territory - it was reduced from 283 to 93 thousand square meters. km - and a significant proportion of the population, which has decreased from 18,2 to 7,6 million. For the people, an image of an “external enemy” was needed, which could be blamed on all the evils of the nation. They became communism, anti-communism became one of the main ideological pillars of the system created under M. Horthy. Anti-communism supplemented the official Christian-national ideology, which focused on the creation of the middle class.

In the 20s, when the country's prime minister, Count Istvan Bethlen, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some industrialists, offered to establish trade relations with the USSR, but Horthy was against. He considered the Soviet Union a source of "eternal red danger" for all of humanity and opposed the establishment of any ties with it. Only in February of Hungary's 1934, and that is largely due to the economic crisis that forced new development directions to be sought, diplomatic and then trade relations with the USSR were established.


István Bötlen, Earl Bötlen - Hungarian politician, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary in the 1921-31 years.


Of the Western powers, the first countries to establish close contacts with Hungary were Italy in 1927 and in Germany in 1933. New Prime Minister of Hungary - Gyula Gömbös in June 1933 of the year met with A. Hitler. Hitler’s policy of rethinking the Versailles system met with the full support of Hungarian politicians. And the hostile attitude of the “small Entente” countries, the indifference of France and England made this choice inevitable. Hitler repeatedly invited Horthy to visit Germany and in the summer of 1936, he visited the Reich - the first meeting of the two leaders took place in Berchtesgaden near Salzburg. They found understanding in terms of bringing together and consolidating forces under the banner of anti-communism. But, despite the desire of Prime Minister Gömbös to build a system in the country modeled on Germany and Italy, Hungary retained the old political system built in 30 in 20, and in the fall of 1936, he died in the fall.

After Hitler seized Austria, Horthy announced a weapon program for Hungary (the army had only 1938 thousand people by the beginning of 85), calling defense strengthening the main task - Hungary refused the restrictions of the Trianon Treaty. After this, Horthy did not see any other choice how to go on a further rapprochement with the Reich. In August, 1938, M. Horthy and his wife Magda were invited by A. Hitler to Kiel, where he took part in the ceremonial launching of the ship Prince Eugen. Horthy refused to participate in the attack on Czechoslovakia. But Hungary’s claims were resolved through diplomacy: November 2 1938, in accordance with the decision of the Vienna International Arbitration 1, to Budapest 12 thousand square meters was transferred to Budapest. km of the territory of southern Slovakia and parts of Transcarpathia with a population of almost 1 million, of which 86,5% were Hungarians and 9,8% were Slovaks. The document was signed by the foreign ministers of the Third Reich, Italy, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, London and Paris took note of it. After the occupation of all of Czechoslovakia in 1939, Hungary received a number of other areas, including the Ruthenian-populated areas of Transcarpathia.


Hitler and Miklos Horthy, Regent of Hungary, make a walk on a pedestrian bridge during Horthy’s visit to Hamburg on Hitler’s 50 anniversary in 1939.

Horthy's visit to Germany in 1938 year, naval parade.

Horthy continued a very cautious policy, trying to maintain at least relative independence: he refused to take part in the war with Poland and to let German troops pass through the territory of Hungary. Hungary received tens of thousands of Polish refugees, Jews from Slovakia and Romania. After Moscow took Bessarabia and Bukovina from Romania, Budapest demanded that Transylvania be returned from Bucharest. The USSR supported the demand, Molotov informed the Hungarian ambassador in Moscow, J. Kristofffy: “The USSR has no claims to Hungary and seeks to establish good-neighborly relations with it, considers the Hungarian territorial claims to Romania to be reasonable, treat them kindly and will support them on Peace Conference. " In 1940, the northern part of Transylvania with a total area of ​​2 thousand square meters was returned to Hungary’s 43,5 by Vienna’s arbitration in Hungary. km with a population of 2,5 million, while the southern part of Transylvania remained part of Romania. This decision was unhappy with both Hungary and Romania. Hitler was now the complete master of Europe - in 1940, Hungary entered into the Tripartite Pact. Although Horthy was still trying to leave Hungary aside from the war, so 3 March 1941, the Hungarian diplomatic missions were sent instructions, which, inter alia, said: "The main task of the Hungarian government in the European war until its end is to save the military and material forces, human resources of Hungary. We at all costs should prevent our involvement in a military conflict ... We should not risk the country, youth and the army in anybody’s interests, we should proceed only from our own. ” Hungary was forced to participate in the aggression against Yugoslavia, although Horthy and the Premier Teleki were against, Teliki eventually shot himself off, writing Horthy a farewell letter, where we wrote “we became perjurers”, because they could not keep Hungary from “acting on the badass side” ".

War against the USSR

Berlin hid his plans for the USSR from Budapest to the last, even 24 on April 1941 of the year A. Hitler assured Horthy that German-Soviet ties were “very correct” and nothing threatened the German Empire from the east. German military plans did not provide for the participation of Hungary in the war, because they planned to win the "blitzkrieg", where the weak and poorly armed Hungarian army could not help. In addition, Hitler was not sure of the complete loyalty of Hungary, and did not want to promise new territorial concessions. But after the start of the war, Berlin was not averse, like part of the Hungarian elite (especially the military), for Hungary to take part in the war - in the spring of 1941, the head of the Hungarian General Staff, General Henrik Vert, demanded both M. Horthy and the head of the Hungarian government of Bardosi, so that they put the question before Berlin about the indispensable participation of the Hungarian troops in the "crusade" against the USSR. Horthy waited, the government was against it.

Therefore, a provocation was organized: 26 June 1941, the "bombardment" was allegedly organized by the Soviet aircraft of the city of Kosice - as a result, Hungary declared war on the USSR. There is an opinion that the provocation was organized by the Germans, or the Romanians, with the consent of the Hungarian military command. On the same day, from the highest German command, the General Staff of the Hungarian army received a proposal to join the campaign against the Soviet Union. The official report, published on 27 June, noted that as a result of the air raid "Hungary considers itself to be in a state of war with the Soviet Union. The Hungarian military was impressed by the military successes of the Wehrmacht in Europe, and therefore sought to take part in this war to participate in sharing the "bear skins".

In late June - early July, troops of the Carpathian Group were sent to the front, as part of the 8-th Kosice Corps (it included the 1-I Mountain and 8-I Border Brigade) under the leadership of Lieutenant-General Ferenc Szombathely, the mobile body (2-I motorized and 1-on cavalry brigade) under the command of General Bela Miklos. The Carpathian group was attached to the 17 of the German Army as part of Army Group South, and on July 1 it entered into battle with the 12 of the Soviet Army. She participated in the battle of Uman, in late July - early August 1941 of the year. Hungary also opened its territory for the transit of military goods from Germany and Italy. In addition, Hungary has become the "agricultural base" of the Reich.


Hungarian troops in the Don steppes, summer 1942 of the year.

In September, several more infantry divisions were redeployed to Russia to protect communications and fight against partisans in Ukraine, in the areas of Smolensk and Bryansk. In Russia and Yugoslavia, Hungarian soldiers were “marked” by a series of atrocities: in the Serbian Vojvodina, soldiers of the Szeged Corps of General Fekethalmi (the future head of the Hungarian General Staff) staged a real massacre, Serbs and Jews were not even shot, but chopped with axes and drowned in the Danube. In Chernihiv, Bryansk, near Voronezh, Hungarian fighters thanked the “god” for participating in the destruction of “Slavic and Jewish contagion”, destroying women, children and the elderly in the Soviet villages.



By the beginning of 1942, the number of Hungarians in the USSR had grown to 200 thousand people, the 2-I Hungarian army was created. She took part in the Battle of Stalingrad, in January-March 1943, she was almost completely destroyed - losing 80 thousand people killed and 65 thousand people captured, as well as up to 75% of the army’s weapons. After that, Hitler removed the function of military units from the Hungarians; they now performed only rear functions in Ukraine.


Hungarian soldiers killed at Stalingrad.

In the 1944 year, after the brutal defeats of the Wehrmacht and the Romanian army in the Southern strategic direction, including in the Jassy-Kishinev operation, A. Hitler demanded that Horthy carry out a total mobilization. The 3 army was created, but Horthy was still bending his line — he began separate negotiations with the Anglo-Saxons and Moscow. Hitler dismissed him, putting the right puppet - the leader of the local Nazis Ferenc Salash. Horthy and his family were taken to Germany, where they were kept under arrest. Part of the Hungarian military perturbed by such a rude intervention of the Reich, went over to the side of the USSR. But most continued to fight with the Red Army. Together with the Wehrmachts, they participated in desperate battles - Debrecen and then Budapest defended, in March 1945, they fought in the last German counteroffensive under Lake Balaton. The remnants of the Hungarian armies surrendered to the Red Army in early April 1945, on the outskirts of the capital of Austria - Vienna.


Ferenc Salash in Budapest. October 1944 of the year.

After the war, Horthy was not brought to justice, although the Yugoslav government insisted on it and ended its interesting life in 1957 at the age of 88 for years, living in Portugal. Hungary lost almost a million lives in this war, of which only a third is military. Salash, Bardos, Vert were executed as war criminals.


Miklos Horthy, Regent of Hungary in the 1920-1944 years.

Sources of:
Russia and the USSR in the wars of the XX century, ed. G. Krivosheev. M., 2001.
http://militera.lib.ru/h/sb_crusade_in_rossia/04.html
http://www.horthy.narod.ru/horthy3.html
http://www.ckofr.com/istoriya/165-vengriya-v-gody-vtoroj-mirovoj-vojny
http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Венгрия_во_Второй_мировой_войне
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