Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the twentieth century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom in about the year 1000, by the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world. The House of Habsburg held the Hungarian throne after the Battle of Mohács until 1918, from 1867 territories connected to the Hungarian crown were incorporated into Austria-Hungary under the name of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen. The monarchy ended with the deposition of the last king Charles IV in 1918, the kingdom was nominally restored during the Regency of 1920–46, ending with the Soviet occupation in 1946. From 1102 it included Croatia, being in union with it. Today, the feast day of the first king Stephen I is a holiday in Hungary. The Latin forms Regnum Hungariae or Ungarie, Regnum Marianum, or simply Hungaria, were the used in official documents in Latin from the beginning of the kingdom to the 1840s.
The German name Königreich Ungarn was used officially from 1784 to 1790, the Hungarian name was used in the 1840s, and again from the 1860s to 1946. The non-official Hungarian name of the kingdom was Magyarország, which is still the colloquial, in Austria-Hungary, the unofficial name Transleithania was sometimes used to denote the regions of the Kingdom of Hungary. Officially, the term Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen was included for the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, the Hungarians led by Árpád settled the Carpathian Basin in 895, established Principality of Hungary. The Hungarians led several successful incursions to Western Europe, until they were stopped by Otto I, the principality was succeeded by the Christian Kingdom of Hungary with the coronation of St Stephen I at Esztergom on Christmas Day 1000. The first kings of the kingdom were from the Árpád dynasty and he fought against Koppány and in 998, with Bavarian help, defeated him near Veszprém. The Catholic Church received powerful support from Stephen I, who with Christian Hungarians, Stephen I of Hungary was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1083 and an Orthodox saint in 2000.
After his death, a period of revolts and conflict for supremacy ensued between the royalty and the nobles, in 1051 armies of the Holy Roman Empire tried to conquer Hungary, but they were defeated at Vértes Mountain. The armies of the Holy Roman Empire continued to suffer defeats, before 1052 Peter Orseolo, a supporter of the Holy Roman Empire, was overthrown by king Samuel Aba of Hungary. This period of revolts ended during the reign of Béla I, Hungarian chroniclers praised Béla I for introducing new currency, such as the silver denarius, and for his benevolence to the former followers of his nephew, Solomon. The second greatest Hungarian king, from the dynasty, was Ladislaus I of Hungary. He was canonized as a saint, kingship over all of Croatia would not be achieved until the reign of his successor Coloman
Case Blue, renamed Operation Braunschweig, was the German Armed Forces name for its plan for the 1942 strategic summer offensive in southern Russia between 28 June and 24 November 1942. Initially, the offensive saw gains, with an advance into the Caucasus capturing large areas of land, the Red Army defeated the Germans at Stalingrad, following Operations Uranus and Little Saturn. This defeat forced the Axis to retreat from the Caucasus, only the city of Kursk and the Kuban region remained tentatively occupied by Axis troops. On 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht had launched Operation Barbarossa with the intention of defeating the Soviets in a Blitzkrieg lasting only months, the Axis offensive had met with initial success and the Red Army had suffered some major defeats before halting the Axis units at Moscow. Although the Germans had captured vast areas of land and important industrial centers, in the winter of 1941–42 the Soviets struck back in a series of successful counteroffensives, pushing back the German threat to Moscow.
Despite these setbacks, Hitler wanted a solution, for which he required the oil resources of the Caucasus. By February 1942 the German Army High Command had begun to develop plans for a campaign to the aborted Barbarossa offensive – with the Caucasus as its principal objective. On 5 April 1942, Hitler laid out the elements of the now known as Case Blue in Führer Directive No.41. The main focus was to be at the capture of Caucasus region, the Caucasus, a large, culturally diverse region traversed by its eponymous mountains, is bounded by the Black Sea to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east. South of the lay the densely populated region of Transcaucasia, comprising Georgia, Azerbaijan. This heavily industrialized and densely populated area contained some of the largest oilfields in the world, the capital of Azerbaijan, was one of the richest, producing 80 percent of the Soviet Unions oil—about 24 million tons in 1942 alone. The Caucasus possessed plentiful coal and peat, as well as nonferrous, manganese deposits at Chiaturi, in Transcaucasia, formed the richest single source in the world, yielding 1.5 million tons of manganese ore annually, half of the Soviet Unions total production.
The Kuban region of the Caucasus produced large amounts of wheat, sunflower seeds and these resources were of immense importance to Hitler and the German war effort. Of the three tons of oil Germany consumed per year,85 percent was imported, mainly from the United States, Venezuela. An indication of German reliance on Romania is evident from its oil consumption, in 1938, in late 1941, the Romanians warned Hitler that their stocks were exhausted and they were unable to meet German demands. Whereas in 1941 most units fought on the central front supporting Army Group Centre,1,610 aircraft, initially commanded by Löhr, on 20 July 1942, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen took command of Luftflotte 4. Blau II, Sixth Army, commanded by Friedrich Paulus, would attack from Kharkiv and move in parallel with Fourth Panzer Army, to reach the Volga at Stalingrad. Blau III, First Panzer Army would strike south towards the lower Don River, with Seventeenth Army on the western flank, the strategic objectives of the operation were the oilfields at Maykop and Baku
Hungary is a unitary parliamentary republic in Central Europe. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken language in Europe. Hungarys capital and largest metropolis is Budapest, a significant economic hub, major urban areas include Debrecen, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr. His great-grandson Stephen I ascended to the throne in 1000, converting the country to a Christian kingdom, by the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century. Hungarys current borders were established in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon after World War I, when the country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship.
On 23 October 1989, Hungary became again a democratic parliamentary republic, in the 21st century, Hungary is a middle power and has the worlds 57th largest economy by nominal GDP, as well as the 58th largest by PPP, out of 188 countries measured by the IMF. As a substantial actor in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds 36th largest exporter and importer of goods, Hungary is a high-income economy with a very high standard of living. It keeps up a security and universal health care system. Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and part of the Schengen Area since 2007, Hungary is a member of the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe and Visegrád Group. Well known for its cultural history, Hungary has been contributed significantly to arts, literature and science. Hungary is the 11th most popular country as a tourist destination in Europe and it is home to the largest thermal water cave system, the second largest thermal lake in the world, the largest lake in Central Europe, and the largest natural grasslands in Europe.
The H in the name of Hungary is most likely due to historical associations with the Huns. The rest of the word comes from the Latinized form of Medieval Greek Oungroi, according to an explanation the Greek name was borrowed from Proto-Slavic Ǫgǔri, in turn borrowed from Oghur-Turkic Onogur. Onogur was the name for the tribes who joined the Bulgar tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars. The Hungarians likely belonged to the Onogur tribal alliance and it is possible they became its ethnic majority. The Hungarian endonym is Magyarország, composed of magyar and ország, the word magyar is taken from the name of one of the seven major semi-nomadic Hungarian tribes, magyeri
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
Third Battle of Kharkov
Known to the German side as the Donets Campaign, and in the Soviet Union as the Donbas and Kharkov operations, the German counterstrike led to the recapture of the cities of Kharkov and Belgorod. As the German Sixth Army was encircled in Stalingrad, the Red Army undertook a series of attacks against the rest of Army Group South. The Soviet victories caused participating Soviet units to over-extend themselves, months of continuous operations, had taken a heavy toll on the Soviet forces and some divisions were reduced to 1, 000–2,000 combat effective soldiers. On 19 February, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein launched his Kharkov counterstrike, using the fresh II SS Panzer Corps, the Wehrmacht flanked and defeated the Red Armys armored spearheads south of Kharkov. This enabled Manstein to renew his offensive against the city of Kharkov proper on 7 March, despite orders to encircle Kharkov from the north the SS Panzer Corps instead decided to directly engage Kharkov on 11 March. This led to four days of fighting before Kharkov was recaptured by the 1st SS Panzer Division on 15 March.
The German forces recaptured Belgorod two days later, creating the salient which in July 1943 would lead to the Battle of Kursk, the German offensive cost the Red Army an estimated 90,000 casualties. The house-to-house fighting in Kharkov was particularly bloody for the German SS Panzer Corps, at the start of 1943, the German Wehrmacht faced a crisis as Soviet forces encircled and reduced the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad and expanded their Winter Campaign towards the Don River. On 2 February 1943 the Sixth Armys commanding officers surrendered, total German losses at the Battle of Stalingrad, excluding prisoners, were between 120,000 and 150,000. Throughout 1942 German casualties totaled around 1.9 million personnel, on 2 February, the Red Army launched Operation Star, threatening to recapture the cities of Belgorod and Kursk. A Soviet drive, spearheaded by four tank corps organized under Lieutenant-General Markian Popov, pierced the German front by crossing the Donets River, despite Hitlers orders to hold the city, Kharkov was abandoned by German forces and the city was recaptured by the Red Army on 16 February.
Hitler immediately flew to Mansteins headquarters at Zaporizhia, on 19 February Soviet armored units broke through the German lines and approached the city. In view of the situation, Hitler gave Manstein operational freedom. When Hitler departed, the Soviet forces were only some 30 kilometers away from the airfield, by this time Stavka believed it could decide the war in the southwest Russian SFSR and eastern Ukrainian SSR, expecting total victory. The surrender of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad freed six Soviet armies, under the command of Konstantin Rokossovsky, which were refitted and reinforced by the 2nd Tank Army and these forces were repositioned between the junction of German Army Groups Center and South. Originally planned to begin between 12–15 February, deployment problems forced Stavka to push the date back to 25 February. Meanwhile, the Soviet 60th Army pushed the German Second Armys 4th Panzer Division away from Kursk and this opened a 60 kilometers breach between these two German forces, shortly to be exploited by Rokossovskys offensive.
However, unexpected German resistance began to slow the operation considerably, offering Rokossovsky only limited gains on the flank of his attack
Operation Little Saturn
The success of Operation Uranus, launched on 19 November 1942, had trapped 250,000 -300,000 troops of General Friedrich Paulus German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a campaign of continuous and highly ambitious offensive operations. Later Joseph Stalin reduced his ambitious plans to a small campaign codenamed Operation Little Saturn. Despite these victories, the Soviets themselves became over extended, setting up the stages for the German offensives of the Third Battle of Kharkov, by 6 July, General Hermann Hoths Fourth Panzer Army had taken the city of Voronezh, threatening to collapse the Red Armys resistance. The rapid German advance threatened to cut the Soviet Union off from its southern territories, the operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, and was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced as early as September 1942 and these Axis armies were deployed in open positions on the steppe and lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor.
Operation Winter Storm, undertaken between 12–23 December 1942, was the German Fourth Panzer Armys attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, which resulted in the encirclement of Axis personnel in, German forces within the Stalingrad Pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. They would be supported by the 6th Army of the Voronezh Front, while General Rodion Malinovskys Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad, the modified plan Operation Little Saturn was launched on 16 December. This operation consisted of a movement which threatened to cut off the relieving forces. The Italians resisted the Soviet attack for two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians aid, of the 130,000 encircled troops, to the south the advance of General Gerasimenkos 28th Army threatened to encircle the 1st Panzer Army and General Trufanovs 51st Army attacked the relief column directly.
In a daring raid, by 24 December tanks of the 24th Tank Corps had reached Tatskinskaya, the Soviet tanks drove through snowstorms onto the airfield and roamed about for hours, destroying the German transport planes at their leisure. With the relief column under threat of encirclement, Manstein had no choice but to back to Kotelnikovo on 29 December. Of the 200,000 -250,000 soldiers encircled 90,000 survived to be taken prisoner, only 5,000 lived to return to Germany. The Soviets attacked and pushed back the remaining units of the German 24th Army Corps on the Alpini left flank and contemporarily attacked the Alpini themselves. The Alpini held the front, but within three days the Soviets advanced 200 kilometers to the left and right of the Alpini, who were encircled and forced to try to escape a siege. Although the Alpini corps was ordered to hold the front at all costs, on the evening of January 17, the commanding officer of the corps General Gabriele Nasci finally ordered the full retreat, which was fully carried out on January 19
Filipp Ivanovich Golikov, was a Soviet military commander. He was promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1961, born at Borisova, in 1900, Golikov saw service as a political commissar during the Russian Civil War. He graduated from the Frunze military academy in 1933 and he commanded the 6th Army during the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, and in 1940 he served in the war against Finland. He was in charge of the Soviet Main Intelligence Directorate, personally leading Soviet military missions in Great Britain and the United States. During the war, he commanded the Bryansk Front and Voronezh Front, before being appointed Assistant Minister of Defense, after the war, he held various offices in the Ministry of Defense. Golikov was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery, whos Who in Russia since 1900 p 94 Biography of Marshal of Soviet Union Filipp Ivanovich Golikov
Battle of Kalach
The Battle of Kalach took place between the German Sixth Army and elements of the Soviet Stalingrad Front between July 25 and August 11,1942. The Soviets deployed the 62nd and 64th Armies in a Don River bridgehead west of Kalach with the intent of impeding the German advance on Stalingrad, in the initial period of the battle, the Germans attacked and managed to surround part of the 62nd Army. In reaction, the Soviets counter-attacked and temporarily forced the Germans onto the defense, following resupply of German forces, the roles again reversed and the Germans attacked into the flanks of the Soviet bridgehead, successfully collapsing it. The German victory positioned the Sixth Army to cross the Don River and advance on Stalingrad, following the occupation of the Crimea and the Battle of Kharkov, the Germans launched their 1942 summer offensive with the objectives of occupying the Don Basin and the Caucasus. Advancing as part of Army Group B, the German Sixth Army pushed toward the town of Kalach on the Don River as a step toward the capture of Stalingrad.
As defenders, the Soviets were reacting to German initiatives, to meet this goal, while the Soviets were generally withdrawing before the German offensive, they retained a bridgehead across the Don at Kalach with lines behind the Tsimla and Chir Rivers. The battlefield was the country west and northwest of Kalach. The terrain of the battlefield is mostly open with occasional treelines that obscure lines of sight, the land rolls slightly and exhibits small rises with an average elevation of 100 to 200 meters above sea level. Cross country vehicular movement is constricted by balkas, steep banks that have been strongly cut by erosion. Between the treelines and balkas, the countryside is agricultural with occasional villages, the relatively open nature of the terrain favors long-range direct fire weapons such as the long 75-mm cannon that were mounted on German Panzer IV tanks. A lack of commanding terrain and structures made observation for artillery fire challenging, in the event, the German forces enjoyed air superiority over the Kalach battlefield with the commitment of the entire VIII Air Corps under the command of General Fiebig.
German Sixth Army had ranged from north to south the VIII, XIV Panzer, LI, and XXIV Panzer Corps, commanding some 270,000 men, over 500 tanks, the German forces had superior battle experience and excellent gunnery skills. Their movement and attacks enjoyed air support, but the Sixth Army had temporarily outrun its supplies, particularly in the cases of fuel, Soviet opposition in the Don bend was still weak, but it was increasing. 62nd Army had 6 rifle divisions, a brigade, and 6 independent tank battalions on its half of the line, and 64th Army had 2 rifle divisions. To the north of the 62nd Army was the 63rd Army, rifle divisions of the Stalingrad Front were in a perilous state, with over half of them understrength, ranging in strength between 300 and 4,000 men. The tank armies would be committed before their organization was complete and without the cohesion enjoyed by more experienced, the Soviet forces in the Kalach Bridgehead were subordinated to the Stalingrad Front under the command of General-Lieutenant Vasiliy N.
Gordov. After a ten-day hiatus caused by a lack of transportation, German Sixth Army returned to the offensive, on 23 July, Paulus submitted his plan to take Stalingrad. He proposed to sweep to the Don on both sides of Kalach, take bridgeheads on the run, and drive a wedge of armor flanked by infantry across the thirty miles
3rd Alpine Division Julia
The 3rd Alpine Division Julia was a World War II light Infantry division of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpini that formed the divisions are a highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army comprising both infantry and artillery units, today the traditions and name of the 3rd Alpine Division Julia are carried on by the Alpine Brigade Julia. The division was reformed and participated in the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, Italian Army in Russia Alpine Brigade Julia
2nd Alpine Division Tridentina
The 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina was a World War II Mountain Infantry division of the Italian Army. The Alpini that formed the divisions are a highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army comprising both infantry and artillery units, after World War II, the traditions and name of the 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina were carried on by the Alpine Brigade Tridentina. The division was created by expanding the 2nd Alpine Brigade and activated on 10 September 1935 as 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina. The name Tridentina was chosen as the division was based in the Trentino-Alto Adige region, the division was all but destroyed in the retreat of axis forces following the Soviet Operation Little Saturn in 1943. The remnants of the Tridentina distinguished themselves during the retreat by breaking through a Soviet encirclement attempt at the Battle of Nikolayevka, during the Cold War the divisions name and traditions were carried on by the Alpine Brigade Tridentina. In 2002 the Italian Army decided to raise three division commands, with one of the three always readily deployable for NATO missions, the army decided that each of the three should carry on the traditions of one of the divisions that served with distinction in World War II.
Therefore, on 1 January 2003 the Division Command Tridentina was activated in Bolzano which carries on the traditions of the 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina and the Alpine Brigade Tridentina