Author Topic: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army  (Read 3681 times)

Tamas

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January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« on: January 11, 2013, 09:47:18 am »
Tomorrow will be the 70th anniversary of the launch of the Soviet Ostrogozhsk–Rossosh offensive, which was mainly directed at the Hungarian 2nd Army (as well as partially against the Italian 8th)


"The Hungarian army is not capable to participate in such a remote operation, neither mentally, nor organizationally" wrote the Hungarian chief of staff, after meeting with Keitel, when the sending of the 2nd Army was planned.

Regardless, Horthy personally promised Hungarian participation in the planned 1942 spring offensive.
That was after Ribbentrop and Keitel applied big pressure in January '42. Ribbentrop threatened with resetting the border revisions we received, while Keitel assured the Hungarian generals that Romania would send more troops than them, so there would be no danger of a backstab. Which of course was true. Actually, Keitel used the "Hungarian army will be in Russia" argument to convince the Romanians on sending their guys.


It seems highly likely that the leadership was fully aware of the risks involved. They made sure that conscripts would arrive from all parts of the country (to balance the distribution of future losses). No district was to conscript more than 20% of it's eligible population, and they preferred the 30-45 age group. (My grandmother used to tell me that this was the local impression at the time as well - not the youngest and strongest was taken)

Even getting to the Don was very painful. They lacked heavy armaments and basic equipment. By the time the got dug in at the river (they failed to take 3 Soviet bridgeheads), their lost half their armor, all of their artillery. Local reports by officers complained about lack of basic equipment for defensive preparations, like shovels, barber wire, etc.

During the autumn some replacements were sent, but not nearly all of the new conscripts could receive rifles, had to be equipped with surplus and remnants at the front.

Food supply was under German authority, and it's hardly surprising it was lacking. Supply depots were 100 kilometers back, and not only abysmal road conditions delayed their delivery, but they tried to "save them for worse times".

With the onset of winter all that became worse. Supply got even harder to get to the troops, because horses were taken back from the first lines. Winter clothing was severely lacking.

When the Soviet attack came, a lot of the Hungarian rifles were simply frozen and unusable. There were very little anti-tank weaponry, and what they had was inefficient against the T34s.

The rout was complete, which was hardly surprising of course. Command tried to restore order with draconian measures. Military police was unleashed on the retreating Hungarians, with a few cases of mass executions of everyone who had no rifle on him.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

Valmy

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 09:51:17 am »
Regardless, Horthy personally promised Hungarian participation in the planned 1942 spring offensive.
That was after Ribbentrop and Keitel applied big pressure in January '42. Ribbentrop threatened with resetting the border revisions we received, while Keitel assured the Hungarian generals that Romania would send more troops than them, so there would be no danger of a backstab. Which of course was true. Actually, Keitel used the "Hungarian army will be in Russia" argument to convince the Romanians on sending their guys.

I am reminded of a Romanian Cartoon showing the Romanian Generals in Russia and there were all these maps labeled various places in the 1942 campaign being ignored and all the generals were crowded around the map labelled 'Budapest'
If we can hit that bull's-eye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate!

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derspiess

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 09:56:16 am »
:(
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DGuller

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 10:07:33 am »
 :yeah:

KRonn

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 10:16:44 am »
What a horror, but it was a horror for both sides, Soviets and Axis. Hungarian army seemed barely equipped, not even with nearly enough of the basic equipment.

Ed Anger

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 10:17:12 am »
The Russians more importantly captured the 2nd army's beet depot.
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jimmy olsen

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 10:18:33 am »
Even getting to the Don was very painful. They lacked heavy armaments and basic equipment. By the time the got dug in at the river (they failed to take 3 Soviet bridgeheads), their lost half their armor, all of their artillery. Local reports by officers complained about lack of basic equipment for defensive preparations, like shovels, barber wire, etc.

:hmm:

Not sure how that would have helped.
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The Minsky Moment

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 10:20:29 am »
Even getting to the Don was very painful. They lacked heavy armaments and basic equipment. By the time the got dug in at the river (they failed to take 3 Soviet bridgeheads), their lost half their armor, all of their artillery. Local reports by officers complained about lack of basic equipment for defensive preparations, like shovels, barber wire, etc.

:hmm:

Not sure how that would have helped.

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Valmy

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 10:20:59 am »
What a horror, but it was a horror for both sides, Soviets and Axis. Hungarian army seemed barely equipped, not even with nearly enough of the basic equipment.

That was a real problem with the Italians and Romanians as well.  It was just too far for those countries to supply their armies and they were dependent on the Germans who naturally did not make their supply a high priority.  And it is not like Romania, Hungary, and Italy had excellently equipped troops even in the best of circumstances.
If we can hit that bull's-eye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate!

Valmy is practically french. :frog:

derspiess

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 10:24:27 am »
Timmeyy busting on someone for a typo?  :yeahright:
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Grey Fox

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 10:31:13 am »
Timmeyy busting on someone for a typo?  :yeahright:

I always defend Tim but not this time. NOT THIS TIME, TIMSAN.
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Tamas

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 10:36:50 am »
What a horror, but it was a horror for both sides, Soviets and Axis. Hungarian army seemed barely equipped, not even with nearly enough of the basic equipment.

That was a real problem with the Italians and Romanians as well.  It was just too far for those countries to supply their armies and they were dependent on the Germans who naturally did not make their supply a high priority.  And it is not like Romania, Hungary, and Italy had excellently equipped troops even in the best of circumstances.

yeah. I remember a story, how Horthy was angered and embarassed when he was waiting the arrival of the Hungarian army together with a Transylvanian city shortly after we got some of them back, and the units arrived on horse carts.

Also as Hungarians in Czechslovakia told "one night we heard the trucks tacking the czechslovakian troops away, the next morning we heard the horses as the Hungarian army arrived". :P
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

FunkMonk

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 11:40:04 am »
My penis was the 2nd Hungarian Army last night.  :(
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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2013, 11:48:10 am »
My penis was the 2nd Hungarian Army last night.  :(
Underequiped for use against a drunken Russian? :unsure:
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derspiess

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Re: January 12, 1943 - RIP 2nd Hungarian Army
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2013, 11:56:46 am »
I guess mine was the First Belorussian Front of 1945-- though I guess with less rape.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 12:21:31 pm by derspiess »
"If you can play a guitar and harmonica at the same time, like Bob Dylan or Neil Young, you're a genius. But make that extra bit of effort and strap some cymbals to your knees, suddenly people want to get the hell away from you."  --Rich Hall