Category:Battles of World War II involving Hungary
Pages in category "Battles of World War II involving Hungary"
The following 15 pages are in this category, out of 15 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 15 pages are in this category, out of 15 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Siege of Budapest – The Siege of Budapest or the Battle of Budapest was the 50-day-long encirclement of the Hungarian capital of Budapest by Soviet forces near the end of World War II. Part of the broader Budapest Offensive, the siege began when Budapest, defended by Hungarian and German troops, was first encircled on 26 December 1944 by the Red Army, during the siege, about 38,000 civilians died from starvation and military action. The city unconditionally surrendered on 13 February 1945 and it was a strategic victory for the Allies in their push towards Berlin. Suffering from nearly 200,000 deaths in three years fighting the Soviet Union, and with the front lines approaching its own cities, as political forces within Hungary pushed for an end to the fighting, Germany preemptively launched Operation Margarethe 19 March 1944, and entered Hungary. Upon hearing of Horthys efforts, Hitler launched Operation Panzerfaust to keep Hungary on the Axis side, Horthy and his government were replaced by Hungarist Ferenc Szálasi, led by the far-right National Socialist Arrow Cross Party. The besieging Soviet forces were part of Rodion Malinovskys 2nd Ukrainian Front, arrayed against the Soviets was a collection of German Army, Waffen-SS, and Hungarian Army forces. The Siege of Budapest was one of the bloodiest sieges of World War II, the Red Army started its offensive against the city on 29 October 1944. More than 1,000,000 men, split into two operating maneuver groups, advanced, the plan was to isolate Budapest from the rest of the German and Hungarian forces. On 7 November 1944, Soviet and Romanian troops entered the suburbs,20 kilometers from the old town. The Red Army, after a pause in hostilities, resumed its offensive 19 December. On 26 December, a road linking Budapest to Vienna was seized by Soviet troops, the nazi Leader of the Nation, Ferenc Szálasi, had already fled 9 December. As a result of the Soviet link-up, nearly 33,000 German and 37,000 Hungarian soldiers, as well as over 800,000 civilians, became trapped within the city. Refusing to authorize a withdrawal, Adolf Hitler had declared Budapest a fortress city, Waffen SS General Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, the commander of the IX Waffen SS Alpine Corps, was put in charge of the citys defenses. Budapest was a target for Joseph Stalin. The Yalta Conference was approaching and Stalin wanted to display his strength to Churchill. He therefore ordered General Rodion Malinovsky to seize the city without delay, during the night of 28 December 1944, the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Front contacted the besieged Germans by radios and loudspeakers and told them about a negotiation for the citys capitulation. The Soviets promised to provide humane conditions and not to mistreat the German and Hungarian prisoners. They also promised that the groups would not bring weapons
2. Invasion of Yugoslavia – The invasion of Yugoslavia, also known as the April War or Operation 25, was a German-led attack on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers which began on 6 April 1941 during World War II. The order for the invasion was put forward in Führer Directive No,25, which Adolf Hitler issued on 27 March 1941, following the Yugoslav coup détat. The invasion commenced with an air attack on Belgrade and facilities of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force by the Luftwaffe. These attacks were followed by German thrusts from Romania, Hungary, Italian forces were limited to air and artillery attacks until 11 April, when the Italian army attacked towards Ljubljana and through Istria and Lika and down the Dalmatian coast. On the same day, Hungarian forces entered Yugoslav Bačka and Baranya, a Yugoslav attack into the northern parts of the Italian protectorate of Albania met with initial success, but was inconsequential due to the collapse of the rest of the Yugoslav forces. The invasion ended when an armistice was signed on 17 April 1941, based on the surrender of the Yugoslav army. Yugoslavia was then occupied and partitioned by the Axis powers, some areas of Yugoslavia were annexed by neighboring Axis countries, some areas remained occupied, and in other areas Axis puppet states such as the Independent State of Croatia were created. Along with Italys stalled invasion of Greece on 28 October 1940, and the German-led invasion of Greece and invasion of Crete, in October 1940, Fascist Italy had attacked the Kingdom of Greece only to be forced back into Albania. German dictator Adolf Hitler recognised the need to go to the aid of his ally, Hitler did this not only to restore diminished Axis prestige, but also to prevent Britain from bombing the Romanian oilfields from which Nazi Germany obtained most of its oil. In 1940 and early 1941, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria all agreed to adhere to the Tripartite Pact, Hitler then pressured Yugoslavia to join as well. The Regent, Prince Paul, yielded to pressure. This move was unpopular with the Serb-dominated officer corps of the military and some segments of the public. Military officers executed a coup détat on 27 March 1941, and forced the Regent to resign, while King Peter II, upon hearing news of the coup in Yugoslavia, Hitler called his military advisers to Berlin on 27 March. On the same day as the coup he issued Führer Directive 25 which called for Yugoslavia to be treated as a hostile state, Hungary had joined the Tripartite Pact on 20 November 1940. On 12 December it also concluded a treaty with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia calling for permanent peace, the Hungarian leadership was split after Germanys War Directive 25 was delivered on 27 March 1941. Regent Miklós Horthy and the military favoured taking part in the invasion of Yugoslavia, Prime Minister Pál Teleki sought to prevent German troops passing through Hungary and cited the peace treaty with Yugoslavia as an impediment to cooperation with the Germans. On 1 April Yugoslavia redesignated its Assault Command as the Chetnik Command, the command was intended to lead a guerrilla war should the country be occupied. Its headquarters was transferred from Novi Sad to Kraljevo in south-central Serbia on 1 April and this sent the unmistakable message that Yugoslavia was about to be invaded
3. Operation Spring Awakening – Operation Frühlingserwachen was the last major German offensive of World War II. The offensive was launched in Hungary on the Eastern Front and this offensive was also referred to in Germany as the Plattensee Offensive, in the Soviet Union as the Balaton Defensive Operation, and in English as the Lake Balaton Offensive. The offensive begun by the Germans in great secrecy on 6 March 1945 and they launched attacks in Hungary near the Lake Balaton area. This area included some of the last oil reserves available to the Axis. The operation involved many German units withdrawn from the failed Ardennes Offensive on the Western Front, almost inevitably, Operation Spring Awakening was a failure for the German Army. After the Ardennes offensive failed, in Hitler’s estimation, the Nagykanizsa oilfields southwest of Lake Balaton were the most strategically valuable reserves on the Eastern Front. Hitler ordered Sepp Dietrichs 6th SS Panzer Army to take the lead and move to Hungary in order to protect the oilfields, the Germans planned to attack against Soviet General Fyodor Tolbukhins 3rd Ukrainian Front. The 6th SS Panzer Army was responsible for the primary thrust of the German attack, the army was to advance from an area north of Lake Balaton on a wide front. They were to push east through the Soviet 27th Army and to the Danube River, after reaching the river, one part of the army would turn north creating a northern spearhead. The northern spearhead would advance through the Soviet 6th Guards Tank Army and move along the Danube River to retake Budapest, another part of 6th SS Panzer Army would then turn south and create a southern spearhead. The southern spearhead would move along the Sio Canal to link up with units from German Army Group E, if successful, the meeting of the southern spearhead and of Army Group E would encircle both the Soviet 26th Army and the Soviet 57th Army. German 6th Army would keep the Soviet 27th Army engaged while it was surrounded, likewise, the German 2nd Panzer Army would advance from an area south of Lake Balaton towards Kaposvár and keep the Soviet 57th Army engaged. The Hungarian Third Army was to hold the north of the attack. By the second half of February, Soviet intelligence identified large German tank formations in western Hungary, the depth of the defense zone reached up to 25–30 km. To ensure sufficient supply of war materials and fuel, additional temporary bridges, on 6 March 1945, the German 6th Army, joined by the 6th SS Panzer Army launched a pincer movement north and south of Lake Balaton. The attack was spearheaded by the 6th SS Panzer Army and included elite units such as the LSSAH division, Dietrichs army made good progress at first, but as they drew near the Danube, the combination of the muddy terrain and strong Soviet resistance ground them to a halt. By 14 March, Operation Spring Awakening was at risk of failure, the 6th SS Panzer Army was well short of its goals. The 2nd Panzer Army did not advance as far on the side of Lake Balaton as the 6th SS Panzer Army had on the northern side
4. Battle of Stalingrad – Marked by fierce close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians by air raids, it is often regarded as one of the single largest and bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to replace their losses, the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the German 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble, the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting, and both sides poured reinforcements into the city. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, the Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the stay in Stalingrad and make no attempt to break out, instead, attempts were made to supply the army by air. Heavy fighting continued for two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition, the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted five months, one week, and three days, elsewhere, the war had been progressing well, the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been very successful and Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilized their front in a running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not particularly threatening, neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been particularly hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again, with the initial operations being very successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union. The initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the capacity of the city. The river was a key route from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to central Russia and its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields when they captured Rostov on 23 July, the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler personally rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign, both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union. The expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germanys failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence, the Soviets realized that they were under tremendous constraints of time and resources and ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny then I must finish this war, Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there
5. Battle of Debrecen – The Battle of Debrecen, called by the Red Army the Debrecen Offensive Operation, was a battle taking place 6–29 October 1944 on the Eastern Front during World War II. The offensive was conducted by the 2nd Ukrainian Front under Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, on 23 August 1944, Germanys former ally, Romania had declared war on Germany and its ally Hungary. The subsequent drive of Soviet General Fedor Tolbukhins 3rd Ukrainian Front into Romania destroyed any semblance of a defensive line. On 8 September, Bulgaria, another former German ally, declared war on Germany, by this time, Tolbukhin, aided by the 2nd Ukrainian Front under Malinovsky had destroyed thirteen Axis divisions, taking over 100,000 prisoners. Both Malinovsky and Tolbukhin were promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union for this on 10 and 12 September respectively and these developments had opened up a 650 kilometer gap in Friessners Army Group. On 24 September 1944, Friessners Army Group South Ukraine was redesignated Army Group South, General Fretter-Picos Sixth Army formed the nucleus of Friessners force, along with the Hungarian Second Army. The German-Hungarian force was designated Armeegruppe Fretter-Pico, fearing encirclement, commander of Army Group South Ukraine Generaloberst Johannes Friessner requested Hitlers permission to withdraw. Hitler refused to authorize it but promised additional forces for Friessners army group, hitler ordered Friessner to start a new offensive with the goal of a destruction of two of Malinovskys Armies, the 27th Army and the 6th Guards Tank Army. In addition, he was ordered to retake two vital passes in the Southern Carpathians, on 14 September 1944, Malinovsky, in conjunction with the 3rd Ukrainian Front, launched the Belgrade Offensive. Friessner had been concentrating troops for his own planned offensive, by the end of September 1944, both Malinovsky and Friessner had received new orders. Malinovsky was now ordered to attack towards Budapest from the salient to the south around Arad and he was to use the 46th and 1st Romanian Armies with the Cavalry Mechanized Group Pliyev as the exploitation force in case of a successful breakthrough. The remainder of Malinovskys forces, including the 6th Guards Tank Army, 53rd Army, the plan was for the two spearheads to link up and encircle the German forces. Meanwhile, Friessners orders included an attack from Oradea with Armeegruppe Fretter-Pico, the 2nd Ukrainian Front operation began on 6 October 1944, with Malinovskys southern pincer attacking near Arad, and slicing through the Hungarian Third Army. The spearhead of the southern 2nd Ukrainian Front pincer, followed by the Cavalry Mechanized Group Pliyev, had advanced almost sixty kilometres within the first 24 hours. The attack by the northern 2nd Ukrainian Front pincer ran into difficulty quickly, by the end of the day, the northern pincer had advanced only ten kilometres. Reacting quickly, Fretter-Pico ordered the 76th Infantry Division into the line near Oradea. This freed up the 23rd Panzer Division to move south to counter the breakthrough near Arad, the German Panzer Division Feldherrnhalle 1, refitting at Mezőkövesd, was moved into action to guard potential crossing points on the Tisza River against the advancing 2nd Ukrainian Front units. By the evening of 7 October 1944, the 2nd Ukrainian Front southern pincer had advanced further towards the Tisza River, meanwhile, the northern pincer was still stalled near Oradea
6. Battle of Nikolayevka – The Battle of Nikolayevka refers to the breakout of the Italian forces in January 1943, as a small part of the larger Battle of Stalingrad. The breakout involved a corps of the Italian 8th Armys near the village of Nikolayevka, on December 16,1942, Soviet forces launched Operation Little Saturn aimed at the Italian 8th Army. The Soviet plan was to force the River Don, encircle and destroy the Italian 8th Army along the Don, then push towards Rostov-on-Don, the Soviet armored columns now rapidly advanced south towards the Black Sea. On January 13,1943, the Red Army launched the stage of Operation Saturn. On the evening of January 17, the officer of the corps General Gabriele Nasci ordered a full retreat. At this point only the Tridentina division was capable of conducting effective combat operations. On the morning of January 26, the spearheads of the Tridentina reached the hamlet of Nikolayevka, occupied by a Soviet division, General Luigi Reverberi, commander of the Tridentina division, led the final assault. As the 4,000 Alpini advanced, all remaining soldiers of the fell in. The Corps Chief of Staff General Giulio Martinat was killed at the head of his troops on 26 January, the retreat of the Alpini was no longer contested by Soviet forces and on February 1 the remnants of the Corps reached Axis lines. The Italians suffered heavy losses in the breakout, the Cuneense division had destroyed, one tenth of the Division Julia survived. The battle has become a point of reference for the Alpini. The Alpini Association also supports programs in the city. Italian Army in Russia Italian participation in the Eastern Front Hamilton, H
7. Battle of Voronezh (1942) – The German attack had two objectives. One was to seed confusion about the goals of the overall campaign. There was widespread feeling by almost all observers, especially Soviet high command, by strongly attacking toward Voronezh, near the site of the Germans deepest penetration the year before, it would hide the nature of the real action taking place far to the south. Soviet forces sent to the area to shore up the defenses would not be able to move with the speed as the Germans. The other purpose was to provide an easily defended front line along the river, the plan involved forces of Army Group South, at this time far north of their ultimate area of responsibility. The attack would be spearheaded by the 4th Panzer Army under the command of General Hermann Hoth, Hoths highly mobile forces would move rapidly eastward to Voronezh and then turn southeast to follow the Don to Stalingrad. As the 4th moved out of the city, the infantry forces of the Second Army following behind them would take up defensive positions along the river. The plan called for the 2nd to arrive just as the 4th had cleared the city, the city was defended by the troops of the 40th Army as part of the Valuiki-Rossosh Defensive Operation of General of Army Nikolai Fyodorovich Vatutins Southwestern Front. For reasons that are unclear, the bridge over the Devitsa was not destroyed, Soviet forces then mounted a successful counterattack that tied up Hoths forces. At this point they should have been relieved by the infantry forces, intense house-to-house fighting broke out, and Hoth continued to push forward while he waited. At one point the 3rd Motorized Division broke across the Don, the 2nd did not arrive for another two days, by which time the 4th was heavily engaged and took some time to remove from the line. The 2nd continued the battle until 24 July, when the final Soviet forces west of the Don were defeated, the Soviet forces recaptured the city in the Battle of Voronezh of 1943. Sources Glantz, David M. & House, Jonathan, When Titans Clashed, How the Red Army Stopped Hitler, Lawrence, Kansas, University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-0899-0
8. Battle of Uman – The Battle of Uman was the German and allied encirclement of the 6th and 12th Soviet Armies—under the command of Lieutenant General I. N. Muzyrchenko and Major General P. G. The Soviet forces were under command of the Southwestern Direction, commanded by Marshal Semyon Budyonny. This was among the large Axis encirclements that were executed against the Red Army, in mid July the Soviet 22nd and 15th Mechanized Corps engaged the German 3rd Motorized Corps near Kiev, and was decimated. The 1st Panzerarmee bypassed much of the forces, leaving the German 6th Armys 297th Infantry Division to defeat the remnants with anti-tank. On June 26th, the Soviets launched a second counter-attack on the 1st Panzerarmee from the north and south, the attack comprised elements of the Red 8th, 9th and 19th Mechanized Corps, altogether fielding about 1600 tanks. An intense battle took place four days, ending in a Soviet defeat. All action by Soviet forces failed as advance guard elements of the German 17th Field Army were reinforced by the 16th Panzer Division, in mid-July German troops cut the rail road at Talnoye and captured bridges over the Gorniy Tikich, and Sinucha rivers. As the Axis victory at Uman was secured, 1st Panzerarmee turned north to assist the 2nd Panzerarmee in operations at Kiev in September, Budyonny had 1.5 million troops under his command in two strategic sectors of the front to defend, at Kiev, and Vinnytsia-Uman. General Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel’s 17th Field Army advanced to the South of Uman, Budyonny was under strict orders from Joseph Stalin, who micromanaged the war early on, not to retreat under any circumstances. On 28 July, an order was given to the Southwestern and Southern Fronts to stop the Germans from crossing the Dnieper, as a result, an opportunity to avoid the danger of encirclement by retreating in the Southeastern direction was lost. The effect of the closing Axis forces was to force the concentration of the two Soviet Armies in an ever reduced area, with the combined HQs of the armies located in the town of Podvisokoye. On 2 August, the encirclement was closed by the meeting of Panzer Group 1 and this encirclement was reinforced the next day by a second joining formed when the German 16th Panzer Division met with the Hungarian Mechanized Corps. By 8 August, the Soviet resistance had generally stopped, remnants of 20 divisions from the 6th Army and the 12th Army were trapped. German sources after the war reported about 103,000 troops were taken prisoner, included among officers taken prisoner were commanders of both the 6th and 12th armies, four corps commanders, and 11 division commanders. As the pocket was eliminated, the tanks of 1st Panzerarmee turned north, the Crimean objective was for a time left to the field armies, the first of many times when Hitler would change his mind about strategic objectives of the Army Groups