Home Page World War II Armed Forces — Orders of Battle and Organizations Last Updated 03.05.2011
The Royal Hungarian Army
1920 - 1945

by Leo W.G. Niehorster
Reviewed by Bill Stone at the Stone & Stone Second World War Books site
Reviewed by Marcus Wendel at the Axis History Factbook site
Reviewed by Andris J. Kursietis at the Europa Books site
Voted one of the top 10 books of 1999 at the Stone & Stone Second World War Books site
The first volume (of possibly two) which has been published by Europa Books (formerly Axis Europa - see details of the publisher at the bottom) deals with the organization and history of the Royal Hungarian Army 1920-1945. The book is divided into an introduction and three parts, plus the bibliography, glossary, and index.

The introduction, besides the usual components such as copyright, contents, foreword, etc., has a key showing the typical Hungarian organizational symbols used by the Royal Hungarian Army between 1920 and 1945, and as used throughout the book. It also has "A Short Review of Hungarian History" based on the continued research into the history and motivation of the Hungarians, and goes well beyond the main subject matter of this book. However, as all countries are the result of their history, I have included it as providing an interesting background about Hungary's situation in 1920 and the motives that drove Hungarians then and now. Besides covering the political and military events between 1918 and 1920, it also reveals many facets of Hungarian social development and political traditions as well as the background for much of their drive, which apply even today.

Part I deals with the period between the two world wars. The first chapter explains the military and political background between 1920 and 1941, including the short campaign against Chechoslovakia. It then tells the story of the rise of the new Hungarian armed forces, its trials and tribulations. It also provides an in depth background about the men and equipment that made up the army; manpower, mobilization, motorization, etc.. The command structure of the armed forces is clarified. In a separate chapter, the ground forces are detailed by combat arms, including organizational charts and orders of battle. A chapter about the air force follows the air arm's expansion, what equipment it had, and shows detailed orders of battle with equipment. A short chapter about the small river forces is also included.

Part II deals with the Hungarian Army in World War II. Starting with the 1941 Yugoslavian Campaign, it follows the Hungarian field forces -- from the first victories in 1941 through to the final defeat in 1945 -- at the East Front, in Hungary proper, and even into Germany. Separate chapters detail the reorganization and reconstruction at various periods through the war. Separate chapters deal with the security forces, the air force, and the river forces. A chapter about the Hungarians and the Waffen-SS is included.

Part III details the order of battle. It covers the Honvéd Ministry (Ministry of Defense), with a detailed chart depicting the internal organization, and has all leading personnel enumerated from 1920 to 1945. The same is done for the General Staff. The Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Brigades have an extensive order of battle with lineage, commanders, organization, administrative assignments, and tactical attachments.

Part IV has an extensive bibliography; a glossary with English, German, and Hungarian abbreviations and terms used in the text explained; and an exhaustive index for all persons, places, units, and major events mentioned in the text.

The hardcover book (with dust jacket) has 320 pages. Pages are "US letter" size (8.5" x 11" or 216mm x 279mm). It includes 30 maps and 45 charts. The text is typeset in 9 point font in three columns per page for easy reading. The text is not footnoted for the same reason. Instead, explanations and asides are given as boxes placed on the text pages themselves.

Sample 1  |  Sample 2  |  Sample 3  |  Sample 4  |  Sample 5
The Royal Hungarian Army 1920 - 1945
Volume I
Organization and History

Hungarian Military Organizational Symbols
A Short Review of Hungarian History up to 1920
Part I The Royal Hungarian Army 1920 1941
  Chapter 1 Hungary Between the Wars
  Chapter 2 Military Organization and the Armed Forces
  Chapter 3 The Ground Forces to 1941
  Chapter 4 The Air Force to 1941
  Chapter 5 The River Forces to 1941
Part II The Royal Hungarian Army 1941 1945
  Chapter 6 The 1941 Yugoslavian Campaign
  Chapter 7 The 1941 Soviet Campaign
  Chapter 8 The 1942/43 Soviet Campaign
  Chapter 9 Reconstruction and Reorganization
  Chapter 10 The 1944 Soviet Campaign
  Chapter 11 The Soviet Invasion
  Chapter 12 The Final Days of the Royal Hungarian Army
  Chapter 13 The Hungarian Occupation Forces
  Chapter 14 The Air Force from 1941
  Chapter 15 The River Forces from 1941
  Chapter 16 The Royal Hungarian Army and the Waffen-SS
Part III The Royal Hungarian Army Order of Battle
  Chapter 17 Army High Commands
  Chapter 18 Army Commands and Formations
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