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Hitler and Hungary


Sequoia
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Since there's a lot of knowledgeable people visiting this forum, I wonder if any one has any insight on Hitler's late war preoccupation with Hungary even when Soviet forces were deep into Poland and threatening Berlin? Had he become totally delusional by then?

Thanks

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Had he become totally delusional by then?

Well, yes. By this point in the war Hitler was completely delusional.

There were some reasons why holding on to Hungrary was desirable -- e.g., Lake Balaton area held some of the last oil reserves left to the Third Reich after Romania was lost. Also, theoretically if the Germans had been able to regain the line of the Danube they would be in a much better defensive position.

But Hitler's vision of a credible counterattack in this area was pure fantasy, especially after losing a large portion of Germany's remaining armor in the Battle of the Bulge.

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Since there's a lot of knowledgeable people visiting this forum, I wonder if any one has any insight on Hitler's late war preoccupation with Hungary even when Soviet forces were deep into Poland and threatening Berlin? Had he become totally delusional by then?

Thanks

You can't be serious. I see now, you aint a history buff, I am.

Hungary (as a coalition and with HRE/A-H etc) spent centuries fighting Mongolic hordes and then Turkic/Ottoman hordes. Hungarians lost half their country - Transylvania - that had been their territory since about 1000 AD - they lost it after WWI like Germany lost Prussia. Hitler promised it back.

Transylvania is where Schwab and Saxon immigrants moved to and lived, and also fought the hordes. In fact they were invited there to do this. Hungary is where many more Schwab and Saxons were invited to move when the Ottoman hordes were defeated, having denuded the place of people.

Vienna and Budapest are very much peas in the same pod despite the differences in 1848, compared to say Prague and Vienna, which would be equidistant, I imagine. Wildenbruch was given command of Budapest with Florian Grey, Maria Therese and his native Sicherung divisions (they were evaporated in the breakout from Buda), and Hitler said that it was his favorite city in Europe (refer to "Hitler's Table Talk".) Hungarians then and now preferred German influence to Russian/Soviet. Many Russians, then and now, prefer living in the former Holy Roman Empire/A-H countries and cities (Prague, Budapest, Vienna) for the lifestyle, not just because of Romanov to Hapsburg-Este connections)

3rd biggest/longest siege in Europe in WWII (after Leningrad, Stalingrad, in that order).

The biggest factor? WWI. Hungary again was part of the Germanosphere/German/Austrian effort.

Hungary had a lot in common with the Germans as it fought:

Mongol Hordes - 12-13th C

Ottoman Hordes 13-18th C

Russian/Serb Hordes - WWI

Three out of three - Hungary is on the preferred list.

The other biggest factor? Post WWI injustice. Hitler was born at Versaille, not in Austria. Hungarians shared his pain. He shared theirs. And A-H/Hungarian borders to the east were the bulwark of "German civilization" against the "hordes".

Also: Because? Because Prinz Eugen, thats why because ;P

Look down Gellert Hill to the main courtyard of the Hapsburg Palace - see the mighty PE statue astride his horse. You will then understand why.

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Also...

Why Budapest?

Because its the last hill before Vienna.

I'm not joking.

Buda is the last hill worthy of defense before you get your tanks all the way across flat flat flat! ground all the way to Vienna.

You don't see hills again until you hit Upper Austria/Bohemia. Vienna must be defended - so you do this at Buda if you can't stop them at the Carpathians.

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Think of it also this way:

Order of the Dragon, created by HR Emporer Sigismund - buried in important Hungarian town in Transylvania - awarded to those who fought Turkic hordes including Vlad Draculs father and Henry V.

Matyas Corvinus, - born in important Hungarian town in Transylvania - important Austrian/Hungarian general/king who fought Turkics when/as he could.

So many more important historical Germanic/Austrian kings/emperors were born or lived in Transylvania, which was really one of the most important areas of Hungary after the capital Budapest.

Hitler was in tune with all of this.

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There was also the issue of the Hungarian oilfields, the biggest remaining to Germany after the loss of the Romanian oilfields Without oil to top up Germany's dwindlig oil reserves it would run low sooner or laer. Ant then there would be no fuel o power German industry so war material would become sacarce. And there would be no fuel to run German panzers.

So, despite the direct threat to Germany itself the threat to Hungary was equally fatal. There were sound strategic reasons for defending Hungary. By September 1944 however Germany had lost the war. A sane German Government would have sued for peace.

Hitler could not, and would not do that

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The main reason why Hitler occupied Hungary in 1944 is to prevent the hungarian peace/surrender to Allies. Hitler was shocked by Romania's treachery, and German intelligence got info about Hungary's not-so-secret diplomatic effort to surrender to Allies. So he ordered to capture Hungary.

Hungary made the peace effort very screwed, because we want only surrender to USA - UK, but not USSR. The history proove our concern, but it was fool idea in that geopolitical situation.

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The main reason why Hitler occupied Hungary in 1944 is to prevent the hungarian peace/surrender to Allies. Hitler was shocked by Romania's treachery, and German intelligence got info about Hungary's not-so-secret diplomatic effort to surrender to Allies. So he ordered to capture Hungary.

Hungary made the peace effort very screwed, because we want only surrender to USA - UK, but not USSR. The history proove our concern, but it was fool idea in that geopolitical situation.

That also. But you gotta agree that Buda is the last hill before you get to Vienna. :D

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I'm not sure Buda is the last hill (I guess North of lake Balaton has higher hills - but at least good vinaries (grapes) grow there), but Budapest is bigger then Vienna. Budapest is a huge, dense urban area and Hitler tried to recreate a reverse-Stalingrad. It was his test, how Berlin will be a fortress.

And Stalin was a partner in this and Russians didn't left the defender alone and continue the assault to West, but they sieged it for hundred and few days. It was a very valuable delay for the Germans. And a very tragic time for Hungarians.

Budapest practically vanished during the siege and this is why Prague and Vienna are most beautiful now-days, because they was not sieged.

Above others told, Hungary was the last oilfield for the Germans. It's true. But Hungarians gave the oil friendly to the German ally during the war. The occupation was necessary because Hitler afraid an other treachery (and lost the last oilfields).

Oh, and a joke about the German occupation:

Hitler asks his chief of command how long to occupy Hungary.

- It depends on the resistance.

- How do you mean?

- If there is resistance, we need a day to occupy. But if there is no resistance we need a week, because our troops have to be stop in every city to wait until welcoming speeches.

:D

To defend the Hungarians, I have to say, the real threat was the Russians. The Germans didn't kill, rape so many civilians as the Russians. So the people didn't like the German occupation, but it was better than the Russian occupation.

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All correct, there are a few remotely located hills north of the lake (really not on the road from Budapest to Bratislava/Vienna) and there is also, more importantly because it is on the Danube, a hill in Bratislava...

But Fortress Budapest was all about Hitler defending his self-professed "most beautiful city in Europe" and keeping the "Greater Germanosphere" as far east as possible.

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You think way too highly of yourself.

Oh I'm sorry. But I cannot see your highly detailed reasoning there. So you must be right.

Oh, and I forgot, since you are obviously into pithy throwaway lines without any further obvious substance to them: England's friend Stalin Good. Hitler Bad!

Happy now?

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I made a few scenario (and map) form CMBB about Budapest. But all map was only a small part of the city. Probably, you cannot make a map with all city.

But, if you ever need authentic (not today) map of Budapest. I can give you a 1940 map. I upload it to somewhere in the CMBB-times.

In the linked book, I read a good story (maybe just an urban legend): when a Russian recon team climb up in a church tower and the officer scan the horizon of the city, one of the privates told him: "Don't believe it tovarish! It's just a German projections. They project this image to us for desinformation". :D

EDIT:

I found it. So this is a galery one of my CMBB mission about the Buda castle: http://lacko.pcdome.hu/CMBB/CMBB_Buda.html

And this four segment is the original 1941 Budapest map:

http://lacko.pcdome.hu/CMBB/Terkep/bpmap1_41.jpg

http://lacko.pcdome.hu/CMBB/Terkep/bpmap2_41.jpg

http://lacko.pcdome.hu/CMBB/Terkep/bpmap3_41.jpg

http://lacko.pcdome.hu/CMBB/Terkep/bpmap4_41.jpg

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