Home Page World War II Armed Forces — Orders of Battle and Organizations Last Updated 12.09.2018
The Royal Hungarian Army
1920 - 1945

by Leo W.G. Niehorster

The book "The Royal Hungarian Army, 1920 – 1945", as published by Europa Books (formerly Axis Europa) in 1998, was based upon my thesis "The Hungarian Army in the Second World War" presented in 1981 to the Columbia-Pacific University at San Rafael, California, USA. The thesis was much shorter, had few maps or diagrams, and was heavily footnoted. The original title suggested for it was to have been "Germanyís Last Ally". But once the subject was examined in detail, I kept finding more material and deemed title as inappropriate. There was much more to Hungary than a mere listing as the final satellite of the ill-fated German Third Reich. My mentor agreed, and the title was changed.

After the granting of my Ph.D., more data appeared, and material was added to the manuscript. I originally wanted to present a completely impartial documentation of the organization and order of battle of the Royal Hungarian Army in World War II. (My interest in orders of battle and military organizations will be apparent throughout this book.) While doing further research, I became fascinated by the background of the Army before the war, which in turn lead to finding out why the Hungarians got involved in World War II in the first place. This in turn lead to World War I, from which Hungary emerged as by far the biggest loser of all the powers involved. The result was the book "The Royal Hungarian Army, 1920 – 1945", published in 1998.

Although I have attempted to keep this document impartial, it will be obvious to many readers that sympathy for the Hungarians and their plight in the wake of WWI has crept into this presentation. Even so, interestingly enough, some informed Hungarians who have read this manuscript find my presentation of Hungaryís motives and of the Royal Hungarian Army as not positive enough and my point of view as "too western", by which they usually mean German. (Which I am not). Knowing I will never satisfy all points of view, I have chosen to present the events as I see them.

A major problem is that I donít speak or read Hungarian, so I have relied on many Hungarians — both veterans of WWII and other persons — to provide information and translations.

The author apologizes for any mistakes that have crept in over the years, (they are only my own), and welcomes critical comments and suggestions. Should any reader possess more founded information, or the original documents thereto, I would appreciate hearing from them, so that in a future edition, the corresponding corrections can be inserted for the benefit of all.

For over forty years, many people have been of assistance to me, all contributing their part to the whole. Some were of such assistance, that without their intervention, this book would never have been written at all. In particular, I would like to gratefully mention Mr. Brün Meyer, formerly of the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg; Captain Pál Darnóy, formerly of the Royal Hungarian General Staff; and to Major Dr. Attila Bonhardt, of the Military History Archives in Budapest. To them, and those many others, my heartfelt thanks.

This internet document builds on the published book and will include additions, changes, amendments, etc. which have become available since then.

Please Note:
• Dates are indicated as follows: Day.Month.Year    (Thus 11.07.1941 is the 11th day of July, 1941).
• The order of battle and organizational diagrams are based on the original documents, and use the same Hungarian organizational symbols of the period as found on them.
• German units and ranks are indicated in italics.