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 Origins of the Hungarian People

Very little is known as to precisely where the Hungarians come from and there is a great deal of argument in this matter. Two facts are clear, however. First, the Hungarians speak a language classified as "Finno-Ugric". It is more related to Estonian than to Finnish, and distantly related to the Turkic languages. There are also loose ties with languages of the East, for instance, the Tamil language of India and some extinct languages, including Assyrian and Sumerian. These have not yet received sufficient study for any more to be said. Second, the Magyárs or Hungarian people came to their present homeland with a horse culture, the ancient culture of the steppe, or Puszta. This way of life was not "savage" or "barbaric", but a unique civilization that held sway over Central Asia from about 700 B.C. to about 1300 A.D. The culture included a highly-disciplined military organization based on clan ties. Much evidence indicates that the steppe people had a "decimal" system of military organization, still reflected in modern Hungarian ranks, which have no direct counterparts in the West.

The essence of this horse-culture was Turkic. So were many Old Magyár names. (Much research still has to be done in Transoxania, between the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers). Some cities have been excavated, and there are clear military ties with the Avars in Hungary. This Transoxanian military organization also had a strong influence on Eastern Persia, or Khordofan. Precisely how the Turkic aspect and the Finno-Ugric aspect come together is not yet known, but is the subject of spirited debate in Hungary.

A Chronology of Hungarian History

In the year 896 A.D., seven Magyár tribes, comprising 108 clans and numbering an estimated 500 000 people, came from the region of the Prut, Seret and Dnyester Rivers. They had diplomatic contacts with Byzantium, as well as with Arnulf, king of the East Franks. They defeated the Bulgars who ruled Transylvania and the rest of the Eastern Carpathian Basin. They further defeated the petty Avar, Hun and other local people, and proceeded to conquer and occupy the land. (Note, none of these were Slavic or Rumanian, with the exception of Zwentibold/Svatopluk I, a Moravian).

They initiated a policy of destabilization of the two Great Powers, the German-Roman Empire and Byzantium, which could threaten their conquest. Then, due to internal changes, in A.D. 970, (no doubt influenced by their defeat at the Lech), they changed their policy to one of integration with Western Christianity. The tribal alliance was in need of reform, and in this period, Géza Fejedelem chose Western Christianity. His son, who was baptized as Stephen (István) rebuilt the Seven Hungarian Lands into a strongly-centralized Christian Kingdom in A.D. 1000. (The administrative districts he set up lasted until the Treaty of Trianon smashed them).

Then began a long period of peace during which the laws (up till then, orally transmitted) were written down, more towns were founded, people with special skills (such as Germans and Cumanians) were settled and given land. Croatia, an ancient Christian Kingdom, asked King Kálmán to rule there, and after that Croatia formed part of the Hungarian Kingdom for many centuries. The two peoples respected each other from this time. Hungary was, for many centuries, the most advanced country in Europe in many respects. E.g., Hungarian King Kálmán banned the burning of witches in A.D. 1100. Also, the oral Hungarian Constitution (Blood Alliance) was written down and improved, (the Arany Bulla), around the same time as the English Magna Carta. Minority rights were protected. A special "Bulla" was issued for the protection of the Jews. (They were few, as most Hungarian moneylenders were at this time Muslim Bulgars from the Volga). They are referred to in Hungarian as Böszörmény, while the old name for the other Bulgars was Nándor.

The main army of the Tartars invaded Hungary in 1241, and killed an estimated one-third of the Hungarian population. However, by 1266, the Hungarians had defeated a Tartar army.

Around 1350, the Seljuk (and later Ottoman) Turks began harassing the eastern border region. (I.e., the Carpathians). At first, Hungary easily dealt with the Turkish threat, but it was a growing power, which Hungary kept at bay for 150 years.

A large Turkish army under the Sultan Murad I invaded the Balkans in the 1390's. After the Turks defeated a combined army of Balkan nations, King Zsigmond (Sigismund) of Hungary (who was also the Holy Roman Emperor) organized a crusade against the Turks. At the battle of Nikopolis in 1396, an army composed of Hungarian, French, German and Italian knights was defeated and destroyed, because of the Turk's superior tactical maneuverability. However the Turks were defeated by Timurlaine so Hungary was spared. The following year, the Hungarian Assembly, (more accurately, Parliament), which met at Temesvár, drew the logical conclusion and decided that for every 20 plots of land, each noble had to provide one mounted archer for the King's army. This later was revised to 30 plots, (but the original name, húsz: 20 and ár: price), became the standard Hungarian name for cavalry, huszár, "the price of twenty".

In 1456, the Hungarian Regent, János Hunyadi, defended the key frontier fortress of Nándorfehérvár (Bulgarian-White-Town: Belgrade). Europe was so happy that the Pope ordered the bells throughout all Christianity to be rung at noon to remember this great victory. (This is the Roman Catholic "Angelus").

King Mattias Corvinus, of the House of Hunyadi (1458-1490) was, after St. Stephen and Louis the Great, Hungary's greatest king. He was one of the first European rulers to have a standing army (The Black Army) and kept the Turks at bay. He was a great patron of the arts and introduced the Renaissance into Hungary. However, he had no heir so his achievements did not remain permanent.

In 1514 Gyúrgy Dózsa (a Székely huszár captain) lead a nationwide uprising of the serfs. The nobility crushed the peasants with excessive and unnecessary violence. And so, when a few years the Turks attacked, they found Hungary a divided nation augmented by the new doctrine of Protestantism. At Mohács, in 1526, the Hungarians were utterly defeated. The remaining leaders withdrew the government to Pozsony (Pressburg). (There were very few Slovaks (if any) there at the time, as they lived in the mountains). The Hungarian nobles split at this time. Those in the north and east voted for János Zápolyai, while those in the remaining western part of the country elected Ferdinand of Hapsburg. Hungary at this time fell prey to its own nobility's avarice and shortsightedness and the empire-building efforts of the Hapsburgs and those of the Turks.

However, this period was the Golden Age of Transylvania, which was autonomous under Turkish rule, and became a centre of religious freedom, art and trade under such, mainly Hungarian Protestant Dukes (Fejedelem) as the Bocskay, Bethlen and Báthori families.

The Kingdom of Hungary, as founded by St. Stephen, was divided up into three areas. The Hapsburg part in the north and west, the autonomous Turkish protectorate of Transylvania and the Turkish-occupied centre and south. During this period the origins of the "nationalities question" arose, as Serbs and Vlachs (Rumanians) fleeing the Turks entered Hungary in large numbers, while the Hungarian ethnic group was slowly decimated by the Turks. (Some descendants of these Hungarians who were sold into slavery live today in the Sudan). There were of course many examples of great heroism in this period. The Hungarians fought very hard for their country, unfortunately without proper leadership and equipment. Some of the most famous battles and sieges were: Kúszeg (1532), Visegrád (1544), Drégely (1552) Eger (1552) Szigetvár (1566), the siege where Sultan Süleiman died. Also, the Siege of Eger was a serious defeat for the Turks, who had three armies — about 150 000 men — trying to capture a castle held by 2000 Hungarians!

Hungary and the House of Hapsburg

In 1686, the Turks were driven out by a combined Christian army. Unfortunately, the Hapsburgs dealt with Hungary not as a country with a centuries-old history, but as a "newly-won territory". This aggravated the "nationalities question" because the Austrians (especially Leopold I) encouraged the Serbs, Slovaks, Walloons and other people to go to Hungary as "settlers". (At this time, the "Voijvodina", the Bánát of Temesvár and other territories became ethnically mixed. This would have serious consequences later, for instance, in the period between WWI and WWII).

The Hungarian nobility called on the Austrian Emperors to obey the Hungarian Constitution as they had sworn to do. The Austrian Emperors called on the Hungarians to acknowledge their Divine Right to rule, causing a rift that would never heal between Austria and Hungary that would cause many wars and uprisings.

In 1701, the Duke of Transylvania, Fransiscus Rákóczi II declared war on the Austrians, Pro Patria et Libertate. (For Nation and Liberty). He was ultimately defeated because the Hungarian nobility could not give up its privileges in favor of the serfs (peasants). Although tentative steps were taken to free them, and many of Rákóczi's leaders were in fact of peasant origins. - This period is therefore greatly romanticized in Hungary.

Maria Theresia of Austria was elected Queen of Hungary in 1741. She understood the Hungarian nobility and their constitution, and tried to rebuild Hungary. For this, the nobles helped her greatly in the War of the Austrian Succession. She also tried to improve the lot of the poor. (This war saw the first use of Hungarian huszárs in the West (against Prussia) and the uniform — if not the expertise and elan — of these cavalrymen spread throughout Europe. Unfortunately, after 1780, the rise of Absolutism brought back the rift between the King and the nobles, and all the while the poor classes became poorer and poorer.

In the 1830's, many Hungarian nobles, like János Bólyai, Count István Széchenyi, Miklós Wesselényi and others inaugurated the "Reform Age", where they tried to bring Hungary, which once was in the forefront of European development, but due to all the wars was now very backward in line with advanced European countries, especially England. (They especially liked the English Constitution, which they felt they could use as a model to help reform their own one.)

In 1848, mainly due to the impact of the Reform Age, the Hungarians — again calling for their ancient constitutional rights — rose up against Austrian Absolutism to regain national independence. They defeated the combined Austrian-Croat armies of Jellacic, the Austrian regular forces of Windisch-Graetz, but in 1849 were crushed by a huge Russian army. It was at this time that the "nationalities" began to want autonomy within the Hungarian kingdom. The Hungarians, meanwhile, were preoccupied with regaining their political freedom, and overlooked the important nationalities question.

The Ausgleich with Austria in 1867 created the Dual Monarchy. By this time, minorities had developed a new way of looking at the world, inherited from 1848, "nationalism", i.e., the idea that a nation must consist of people of the same ethnic group and speak the same language. The Historical Hungary was a political state, not an ethnic nation-state. After many provocative acts, the Serbs murdered the Austrian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand in 1914. At this time, the various ministers (Austrians, Czechs etc.), all demanded war. The only exception was the Hungarian Premier, Count Tisza. Nevertheless, he was blamed for the war by the Allied propaganda machine.

The Nationalities and the Hungarians

This is a set of Christopher A. Szabó's (a Hungarian journalist) impressions — from North to South — based on discussions with Hungarians from modern Hungary and the various states neighboring on Hungary. Kindy reproduced here with the Mr. Szabó's permission.

Traditional name: Tóth. Most Hungarians seem to have got along well with them, but there was little respect for them, which the Slovaks resent. The Slovaks were traditionally woodsmen or tinkers or miners, along with their Hungarian counterparts. The miners were well respected.

Traditional name: Rutén or Kisorosz. The real victims of Trianon, never receiving their own state. Stalin ethnically cleansed many of them and then imported large numbers of Ukrainians. (The ethnic situation in Ruthenia is today hopelessly confused). They were traditionally woodsmen.

Traditional name: Oláh. (From Vlach). Relations between the Hungarian and Rumanian people are strained. The Vlachs were herdsmen (usually shepherds). Their origins are a matter of debate. The first recorded instance of Rumanians in the Carpathian mountains is in the second half of the 12th Century. Their numbers in Transylvania increased with the Tatar and Turkish invasions. The Rumanians claim to have originated in Transylvania as descendants from the Romans. (Hence the country is sometimes called "Romania"). Another theory is that the Turks called them "Rum" because they lived in the Turkish Sultanate of Rumelia. Vlachs are well-documented as nomadic herdsmen on the Balkans and in Anatolia during the early middle ages. As used in this book, the name Rumanian is a shortened version of Roumanian, which in turn is a version of Roumelian, which was the original (written) name of their country.

Traditional name: Rác. (From "Rascia", the medieval name of Serbia). Their first state was founded in 1217. Their independence was crushed by the Turks at the battle of Kossovo (1389). As a result, the Serb people generally migrated towards the North and West to try to escape the harsh rule of the Turks. Many fled into Hungary, and founded towns there (Ráckeve, Rácalmás and Szentendre.) As mentioned earlier, large numbers of Serbs were settled in the late 1600's /early 1700's by Leopold I in what would become the Voivodina, (Vajdaság, also known as the Bácska). They were also settled in the Croat frontier area, or Krajina.

Traditional name: Horváth. (From Hrvat). The Croats elected to join the medieval Hungary, and remained under Austrian rule. The Croats had an advanced culture of their own, but are best known in their connection with the Hungarian kingdom as soldiers. And indeed, they produced some excellent ones, some even becoming Hungarian national heroes. The two nations generally respect each other, the only real clash being when the Croat "Bán" or leader, Jellacic, invaded Hungary in the service of the Austrian Emperor.

Traditional name: Sváb (Swabian) in Hungary, and Szász (Saxon) in Transylvania. The Germans came to Hungary upon the invitation of various Monarchs. They were valued as tradesmen, and soon formed their own guilds. They generally lived in the towns. Many Germans also came as farmers in the 1700's. Relations between the Magyár and German people was usually good, although the Germans tended to support the Austrian Emperor (or the Empress), whereas the Hungarians supported national independence, although this must be seen as an oversimplification of the matter. As a result of this immigration and the close relationship with the Empire, most Hungarian cities and regions also had German names. In German Pécs is "Fünfkirchen", Pozsony is "Pressburg, Kassa is Kassau, Transylvania is "Siebenbürgen", and so on.

Traditional name: Izraelita or Zsidó. Jews were already present in medieval Hungary and it is speculated that possibly one or two of the 108 Magyár clans were Jewish. During the 18th Century a large number of Jews emigrated to Hungary from Polish Galicia where they were being persecuted. They found a liberal reception in Hungary although they provoked some jealousy by their monopolizing of certain sectors of the economy. In 1919, Béla Kun's communist regime inspired anti-Semitic reactions, which played a large part in the racist Jewish Laws and the views of the Hungarian Fascists, such as the Nyilas Party.

Traditional name: Cigány. They were nomadic people, assumed to be from the Rajastan and Punjab regions of India. They are famous for their interpretations of Hungarian music, as well as fortune-telling and a strong clan-based culture. They prefer to be called "Roma" (Also from the Turkish name).

Traditional name: Székely. (In German, Székler). Traditionally (from the time of St. Stephen), they were soldiers, usually light cavalry. The present-time Rumanian government claims they don't exist as a separate ethnic group. They themselves have numerous legends about Attila the Hun (who is seen as a hero by both the Hungarians and Székely). They regard themselves as descendants of Prince Csaba, the youngest son of Attila. Historians say they are possibly descended from the Avars, (many of whom really were Huns), while others theorize that they are actually descendants of the Onogur people (ca. 670 A.D.). Whatever the case, they are recorded in Hungarian chronicles as being in Hungary before the Magyárs.

Extinct/Absorbed minorities:
These include the Petcheneg (Bessenyú) the Cumans, (Kun) the Blaks (Blak), the Khazars (Kazár) the Polovtsians (Palóc) and Avars. All these peoples settled in Hungary between 600 and 1300 A.D., and were of Turkic origins. They eventually were assimilated into the Hungarian people. When the Hungarians occupied Hungary, there were also some groups of Slav peoples, especially in the West, who also became assimilated. Another group who should be mentioned are the ancient Jazig people, who are mentioned by the Romans. They were part of the people the Greeks dubbed Sauromatae (cattle-herders) and called Sarmatians by modern historians. Their descendants live in north-central Hungary in the "jászság". Towns named after them include Jázsberény etc. The Rumanian town of Jassy bears their name as well. Also, during the medieval period, many Flemings fled to Hungary for protection from religious persecution and there were even some Italian immigrants.

Most of the above traditional names are no longer used as they are considered to be pejorative or in other ways unacceptable.

Overview of Hungarian Constitutional History

The Hungarian constitutional tradition is based on a tradition that reaches back to the cultural heritage of the Steppe, going back as far as the Scythians, of whom similar traditions are recorded by Herodotus c. 480 B.C. This was the so-called "Blood Treaty" (Vérszerzúdés), in which each of the seven leaders (vezér) of the "Hetumoger" (Hétmagyar, i.e. Seven-Magyár Alliance) cut himself and poured a few drops of blood into a bowl of wine. Then they all ceremonially drank from it. There were four "stations" (statio [1]) of the alliance. (There is no exact date for this event, but it is believed to be around 840 A.D.). This placed the Family of Arpád, son of Almos at the head of the alliance.

The Seven-Magyár tribal alliance proceeded to conquer Hungary in 896 AD.

When Géza Fejedelem (which is difficult to translate but means something like High King) ascended to the throne in 970 A.D., he moved towards the Holy Roman Empire politically and tried to minimize the cultural, religious and political power of the Byzantines. As part of this move, his son, Vajk, was sent to the West to be Christianized. Vajk, baptized Stephanus (István) would become known as the founder of the Hungarian state. He put great emphasis on centralization and broke the power of the traditional (pagan) nobles. He wrote "Admonitions" (Intelmek) to his son between 1001 and 1030 A.D., which would be a kind of "Bible" for all the Arpád House kings. They are remarkably enlightened.

An example, from the Fourth Admonition: " ... always keep in mind that every man is born to the same condition, and that nothing raises anyone, save humility, and nothing casts anyone down, save pride and hatred." (Free translation). The Arany Bulla was brought in 1222 A.D. to check the power of the king. The nobility wanted to limit the power of the king, at a time when the "Divine Right" of kings in the rest of Europe was being asserted, (excluding Poland and England).

The system had elements which are modern and democratic and were more advanced than in many parts of Europe. It had one fatal flaw: The masses of people were not given any political rights. As a result, only four "Estates" had political power, or rights. These were the Leading Nobility (Fúnemes); the Clergy; the Merchants and the "Common Nobility" (Köznemes).

Most clerical positions were appointed by the King, (not the Pope), so these already were nobles. (Although there are examples of commoners becoming bishops, etc.). The Kings would grant Royal Privileges to deserving towns, which then became known as Royal Free Towns, (szabad királyi városok), and were allowed to send representatives to the országglés, (the "assembling of the Nation" and is still the Hungarian name for Parliament), as well as write their own charters for the running of their own affairs. (Effectively local government). This was especially important as — unlike in Western Europe — the local baron could collect pay taxes. These Estates had a right and a duty to call on the King to convene the országglés in a particular place, and thus they are remembered as the Parliament of Rákos, or Onód, etc.

During the time of the Angevin Kings, (1300 — 1400 A.D.), the nobility was already defining the "political nation".

It should be noted here that most European countries were still inventing themselves, and therefore Hungary (and Poland) were often ahead of Europe politically, contrary to the "backwardness" one constantly hears about in the West. The nobility's definition of a "political nation" was surprisingly modern, but it was not destined to stand the tests of history and time.

It was this "political nation" for which the various Hungarian leaders would rise against Turkey and Austria, and it was this ancient definition of Hungary which was smashed at Trianon in 1920.

It is not hard to see why Hungarians are so against this Diktat! Also, while Hungary was de facto occupied by foreign powers, (Turks or Austrians), the nobility kept the idea of the nation alive through the concept of the "political nation". The definition of the "political nation" was as follows: The common law authority which belongs to the landed nobility, the Chief of the Army and the king is referred to as the "communitas". This community or common power is gained from the Blood Treaty. This means that the first Fejedelem got his power to rule the others from them. It follows that St. Stephen inherited this right from his fathers.

As a result, the king rules not by God's Favor, but by the assent of the communitas. The common-law practice placed the "Divine" element not in the king, but in the Holy Crown of St. Stephen. This is referred to as early as Stephen himself as the "Corona Sacra".

It is generally held by Hungarian historians that in Old Magyár society, one of the kings — there were two — was "persona sacra". It is quite probable that the idea of the "Holy King" was moved onto the Holy Crown in the Christian era. Hungary has a unique tradition of numerous kings who were made saints by the Catholic Church, and many place names reflect this ancient tradition. E.g. Szentkirály-szabadja, which means the Freedom [or Free Place] of the Holy King.) This common law concept of the rule of the "nation", (nemzet), was called the Doctrine of the Holy Crown. (Szentkorona Tan).

Another important aspect of the ongoing constitutional development was the concept that all those with political power (i.e., the nobles) were equal to each other. This is important because it tried to prevent the growth of a baronial class who would lord it over the other nobility. (Although this was not totally successful).

The concept of equality of the nobles was first made into law by Louis the Great in 1351 A.D. It should be noted that, at least on paper, this legislation succeeded. Theoretically, at least, only a few people were given the Hungarian title Fúnemes (High Noble), owing to their important position in the land. The other title carried had was that of "Zászlós ur", or Flag-holding Lord. This meant they were entitled to raise armies.

During the period of Austrian rule, the Hungarian nobility adopted foreign names and titles. Thus German titles like Baron (báró) Count (gróf). The continuing weakness of the system was the growth of the serf class, and political power remaining in the hands of a few. This power was often abused. (As elsewhere in Europe). By the time of Mattias Corvinus, (1458 — 1490), the nation was in a constitutional crisis in that the nobles (magnates) had taken so much power for themselves that they became "little kings". King Mattias tried to restore the balance and instituted a large number of reforms aimed at alleviating the lot of the peasants.

Matthias would often travel incognito and personally check how the reforms were progressing. A common saying in Hungary reflects the common man's view of him: "Meghalt Mátyás, meghalt az igazság". Or, "Matthias has died and so has justice". After his death, his reforms were, for the most part, reversed.

In 1504, the "Chief Justice" (országbíró) István Werbúczy, started writing the Tripartitum, or Triple Book, which he completed in 1514. This was the first compilation of all of Hungary's common laws. In this work, he states the concept of the "political nation" and restates the equality of all nobles, based on "membership in the Holy Crown". The "national idea" was that with equality of all nobles, the State and the Nation would coalesce. The fact that Werbúczy was asked to write the book in 1504 is no accident, as it was in this year that, to quote a Hungarian political observer, "the fully-developed right of the Nation to elect a king first found expression in the election of King Ulászló (Wladiszlaus) the First. His election to the throne ... was a victory for the ... concept of Idoneitas (suitability to rule) over legitimas, or hereditary, bloodline-related, or dynastic principle."

It is interesting to speculate that a logical development of "political nation" (the Body Politic) would have been to widen the scope of the law to give rights to other classes. This could have led to the modern "nation state" being a Hungarian idea. This was not to be, however, because of the enormous numbers of Turkish assaults and the ensuing disruption of life in Hungary, which prevented its development.

In 1514, the constitutional system suffered a spectacular failure when the Peasants' Revolt erupted. The nobles were too shortsighted to extend their political rights to the peasants, and Hungary was weakened at a crucial time. In 1526, the Hungarian Royal Army was crushed by Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent at Mohács (26 000 Hungarians vs 70-80 000 Turks). Unfortunately for Hungary, it was effectively "beheaded" in this battle, with the King and a large number of those with political power (The Body Politic) dying on the battlefield.

Austria and the German states were ever-ready to take advantage, and even invaded Hungary in 1541.

Under Turkish Rule

The Turks reacted, so Hungary was occupied by Turkey for 150 years. This period (excluding Transylvania) prevented any healthy development of the constitution (or anything else, such as art or industry or trade) as people were forced to try and survive the Turkish oppression, which occasionally was made worse by the Austrians. One of the few steps forward during this dark period was the introduction of the so-called "hajduszabadság". A "Hajdu" was a hired soldier (this being Hungary, they were mostly cavalry) and this concept meant that a man who had been a soldier for a certain time was accorded the title "vitéz" and was accepted as being a noble (i.e., was freed). Unlike the higher nobility, many hajdus received their coats-of-arms as a group, e.g., a coat-of-arms for a company, etc.

Transylvania, meanwhile, became the hold out for Hungarian national freedom, under the various "Fejedelem" or Dukes. The region became one of the (possibly the most) liberal in Europe. It was the first (together with Poland) to recognize freedom of conscience (In June, 1568) trade was carried out from Turkey to Belgium, literature flourished. The first Western laws to recognize religious liberty came at least a century later). Also, the nationalities were given equal treatment (there were three, the Hungarians, the Germans (Saxons) and the Székely. However, the Rumanians were not included. (There were too few of them to have any impact yet, much like the Gypsies. However, the first Rumanian books were printed here by German and Hungarian tradesmen.

Hungary and the House of Hapsburg

During 1686–1699, Hungary was freed from the Turks by a combined European army (including large numbers of Hungarians, of course) headed by Prince Eugene of Savoy. Unfortunately, the hope of the Hungarian nobles that their political powers (and lands) would be restored was in vain. Instead, the House of Hapsburg took control of Hungary and ruled it as if it was new territory, such as America or Africa.

The situation was made worse by the fact that the Hungarian Parliament in 1687 recognized the hereditary right of the Hapsburgs to the Hungarian throne. This, although done out of gratitude for the deliverance from the Turks, was a step backwards constitutionally, which would have serious negative consequences in future. The situation became consistently worse as new people, (Serbs, Rumanians, Slovaks, Germans and others), were brought in as "settlers" and took the lands that the "natives" had owned for centuries, which they could prove with documents (e.g. [Hungarian] Royal Grants, Coats-of-Arms etc.).

The "natives" were being abused like never before and something had to break. Conditions were so bad that peasants (and many nobles, too) began to flee to the mountains and forests and were called "bujdosó" or "hiders". Tragically, many of the Hungarian nobles were only interested in regaining lands lost to the Turks and neglected their responsibilities to their peasants. As a result, the split between the peasantry and nobility remained.

Francis Rákóczi II, one of the most romantic figures in Hungarian, history came to the rescue of the serfs. He was the grandson of Peter Zrínyi, (executed for Jacobite political activity in 1671), and the son of Ilona Zrínyi, (who led the defence of the castle of Munkács against the Austrians). He was an enlightened man who wanted, (like Miklós Zrínyi, the grandson of the hero of Szigetvár), to reform Hungary's constitution, to include more groups of people, and to reestablish the nation's independence. He lived in exile in Poland, but in 1701 — as the legitimate Duke of Transylvania — called on the nation to rise against the Austrian absolutist oppression. He raised Hungary's first regular infantry unit, led by a peasant, and many of his cavalry commanders, including General "Vak" (Blind) Bottyán, were noblemen. His soldiers called themselves "kuruc", a Hungarianized word for "crusader" (from the German "kreuz"). Rákóczi lost the war eventually because of international politics, which were not favorable to the return of independence for Hungary. However, he left behind a legacy of chivalry, honor and courage which lives on to this day. Rákóczi, despite his humanism and Transylvanian traditions of tolerance of differing religions and social classes, was unable to get most of the Hungarian nobility to accept that their peasants needed rights too.

The war ended — rather peacefully — in 1711, with some constitutional gains, (those peasants who had been officers in the kuruc army were allowed to keep their rights, etc.). It also showed the House of Austria that the Hungarian nobility, (and other classes), were prepared to fight for the rights asserted by their own laws. Also, the lot of the peasants was somewhat improved. Later, in the Parliament of 1722/3, the Pragmatic Sanction was accepted, again keeping Hungary in a constitutionally backward position.

Although Queen Maria Theresia was good for Hungary, the direction the constitution was going was backwards, towards Western — Austrian/Prussian Absolutism — and away from the traditional Hungarian principles of limited government. When Maria Theresia approached the Hungarian Parliament in Pozsony/Pressburg in 1741 to help her against Prussia, the Hungarians acclaimed her queen. She understood the importance of the Hungarian Parliament, and acknowledged many laws which had earlier been promulgated (especially concerning religious toleration). She also issued an edict to protect the peasants ("Urbarium").

Maria Theresia promised to return Transylvania to Hungary instead of administering it as a separate "new" territory. Sadly, her son, Joseph II did not comply, refused to recognize the constitution, or to have himself crowned as prescribed by the laws of Hungary. He is referred to disdainfully as the "kalapos király" (King in a hat). The negative impact of the Absolutist tendency in Hungarian life was showing itself.

The key person in the Reform Age was Count István Széchenyi. He had travelled widely and perceived that Hungary was very backward. His way of uplifting the country was not constitutional reform, but economic reform. It is worthwhile to mention a few people from this age. József Katona (playwright), Sándor Csoma-Kúrösi (explorer), János Bólyai (mathematician, incidentally the first to reject Euclidean geometry), Miklós Wesselényi (politician and publicist), Ferenc Kölcsey (politician and poet, who wrote Hungary's national anthem). It should be noted that all of them were nobles, and even aristocrats.

In 1848, Hungary was going through a reform age. By 1843, Hungary had demanded freedoms from the Viennese Court which were considered "revolutionary". Louis Kossuth championed the rights of the peasants to own land, and the European political climate brought matters to a head in 1848. By this time, the Hungarian constitution looked like this: The King had to be from the House of Austria. The Upper House comprised the "high nobility", including Catholic and Protestant clergy. (Later Jewish Chief Rabbis were included). The Lower House was made up of "common nobles" (whether with land or without), representatives of the Royal Free Cities, representatives from the Royal Counties, and members of the "kiváltságos nemzetek" or "privileged nations". These were the Jazigs and the Kumans. Also, the Hajdu were allowed to vote.

The key point on which 1848 turned in Hungary was the emancipation of the peasants. This was voted in by the Kossuth Government in April 1848 ("April Laws"). This was unacceptable to the Absolutist powers of the time, notably Austria, Prussia — who offered troops against Hungary — Russia, who sent 200 000. The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 never had a chance against the combined might of Austria and Russia. (The 1848 Revolution gave rise to the name Honvéd, which literally means Home Defender, or Home Guard). However, the constitution had done something very important. It had reformed itself from a feudal basis to one based on modern liberal concepts. This is interesting, in that the constitution — instead of having been thrown out — was extended to include everyone, not just the old "political nation". This meant, in effect, that everyone in Hungary became a member in equal standing of the Holy Crown. The continuity from St. Stephen remained. The Revolution's emancipation of the serfs was finally accepted throughout the Austrian Empire, and it achieved most of its goals in the Ausgleich of 1867, when the Empire became Austria-Hungary.

There was a problem, however:

The Kingdom of Hungary faced a great crisis when the new "nationalisms" based on the French model, hit Europe. Old Hungary was a kingdom based on a "body politic", or "political nation", that was not defined by race or language. The new 19th century idea of Nationalism entailed that people who spoke the same language should live in a "home of their own" i.e., the nation-state. People who had previously been defined by class, for instance, peasants in Transylvania, suddenly wanted to be called Slovaks, or Rumanians, etc. By the 1848 Revolution, the Croats wanted their independence back, later the Slovaks wanted to be recognized as a nation, as did the Ruthenes, the Rumanians and the Serbs. This led to the final crisis of the Historical Hungary, as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Before, all written correspondence, official documents, etc., were in Latin, and it did not matter who spoke what at home. This all changed when the various nationalities began developing their own languages. By 1866, Rumelia (Rumania) was independent, and the Rumanians in Transylvania wanted to join them.

In 1918 Austria-Hungary collapsed and the Western Allies aided the Czechs, Rumanians and Serbs in invading and ransacking Hungary. The way in which Historical Hungary was destroyed still angers many Hungarians today, not made any better by bad treatment the Hungarian "minorities" receive, especially in Serbia, Rumania and Slovakia.

In the Wake of World War I

Count Mihály Ádám György Miklós Károlyi de Nagykároly (04.03.1875 – 19.03.1955) Defeated along with the other Central Powers in the Autumn of 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire disintegrated. The collapse brought political chaos and economic breakdown to the Balkans. On 31.10.1918, with this collapse imminent, Count Mihály Károlyi [External link to WikiPedia] was appointed by the Austrian Emperor Charles IV as prime minister of Hungary at the head of an improvised administration based on a left-wing National Council, (progressive bourgeoisie and intelligentsia revolutionary bodies).

The Hungarian troops engaged on the Italian Front and in the Ukraine were ordered back to Hungary.

While withdrawing to Hungary, the Balkan Army of the Entente Powers, under the French General Franchet d'Esperay (also spelt as Esperey), reached the southern borders of Hungary.

The National Council General Diaz signed an armistice at Padua on 3.11.1918. This was signed by on the Italian side by General Diaz.

On 6.11.1918, Károlyi lead a delegation to Belgrade to meet the French Marshal General Franchet d'Esperay, commander of the Allied Balkan Army. The agreement laid down demarcation lines, but did entail the loss of Croatia, which even in dualist Hungary, had enjoyed a separate status. This demarcation line, however, was not to last long.

The events now occurring in Hungary would have a drastic effect on the country for the next twenty years.

The 6.11.1918 Agreement provisionally fixed the size of the Hungarian Army at six infantry and two cavalry divisions. Based on this armistice, all Hungarian units and troops arriving at the national borders were disarmed, demobilized, and sent home, the Károlyi government relying naively on the Allied Powers to defend Hungary's territorial integrity.

Although the victorious small allies of the Entente in the Danube region were assured of a sympathetic hearing and they knew that they would receive large territories at the expense of Hungary, they did not know to what extent their maximum demands would be met. To be on the safe side, all three neighbors (Czechoslovakia, the Yugoslavia, and Rumanian), initiated military actions against Hungary in order to be in possession of territories they desired by the time the peace conference began. It is hard to see what the Allied foreign ministries could have done to prevent these invasions, short of sending troops to protect the former enemy against their own allies.

On 16.11.1918 Count Károlyi dissolved Parliament and proclaimed Hungary as an independent republic.

On 8.11.1918, Czechoslovak troops advanced into Upper Hungary in order to claim "Slovakia" as its own. After a few minor battles, the Hungarians withdrew, whereupon General Ferdinand Foch assented to a further advance of the Czechoslovak troops in accordance with Czechoslovak territorial claims. In December 1918 Károlyi was informed of the Czechoslovak–Hungarian demarcation line, which largely coincided with the borders later dictated by the Peace Treaty of Trianon.

The Rumanian government was most unhappy with the demarcation line established by the November 1919 armistice agreement. Rumanian claims, based on secret agreements with the Entente made in 1916, were far more far-reaching. The border between the two countries would have been at the Tisza River, in the heart of Hungary. In addition to Entente promises, Rumania was also in possession of a "declaration of union" with Transylvania issued by self-appointed representatives of Transylvanian Rumanians in case territorial claims based on the secret wartime treaties were declared null and void.

Unfortunately, secret treaties signed during the war between the Entente and various representatives of ethnic groups and exile governments obliged the Allies (not unwillingly) to consent to the demands of the Rumanians, Serbians, Croats, and Czechs. Accordingly, Károlyi was instructed by the Allied Powers on 2.12.1918 to evacuate Transylvania, Slovakia and Ruthenia. Not having any significant military force at hand — because of their unilateral disarmament — the Károlyi government was unable to oppose these orders by force.

Following this instruction, the Rumanian forces, encouraged by General Franchet d'Esperay, crossed the demarcation line in December 1919 and by February 1920 had reached a line running through Máramarossziget (Sighet), Nagybanya (Bania Mare), Zilah (Zilau), and Csucsa, well beyond the historic boundaries of Transylvania. The Allies were finally forced to send French troops to Arád after bloody encounters took place there between Rumanians and Hungarians.

Yugoslavia was less aggressive. It had already been awarded Croatia, and neither the size nor the political weight of the other territories it desired were comparable to those of Transylvania or Upper Hungary. Yugoslavia's aspirations clashed with those of both Rumania and Italy, since the Bánát had earlier been promised to both Rumania and Serbia, so that both Yugoslavia and Rumania claimed the Bánát, resulting in a bloody armed confrontation between the two countries, only stopped by French troops. The Paris peacemakers eventually decided to partition the Bánát between Rumania and Yugoslavia.) Yugoslavia would have liked to obtain the city of Pécs and the valuable coal mines nearby from Hungary. Although not awarded to her, both remained under Yugoslavian occupation through the summer of 1921.

The Rumanian and Czechoslovak forces took over public administration and began to integrate the occupied areas into their respective countries despite the explicit stipulation of the armistice agreement that administration would remain in Hungarian hands until the final decisions over the fate of these territories were determined by the peace conference. Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians fled to Budapest from the occupied territories.

Count Károlyi's government found itself in a very difficult position and popular support for his administration was severely diminished. The occupation of the rich industrial and mineral-producing territories, as well as the southern grain producing districts of Hungary, furthered the existing economic crisis to great proportions and increased civil unrest. Further difficulties were based on Hungary's exclusion from the aid programs of the Supreme Economic Council and the American Relief Administration. All these factors, according even to Allied reports, tended to strengthen the extreme left. The Bolshevik opposition to the government engaged in fanning the flames of hatred against the rich and the victorious Western democracies.

The Entente's hostile actions against Hungary continued relentlessly. On 20.03.1919 General Vyx presented the Allied demands to Károlyi, indicating that the Allied troops occupy additional Hungarian territories "with a view to preventing the spread of Bolshevism, which was prevalent in Hungary". The Vyx note proved the failure of Károlyi's policies in preventing the Western powers from dismembering Hungary. It also ordered the formation of a Hungarian-Rumanian neutral zone whose western line bore a suspicious resemblance to the promised border of the 1916 secret agreement between Rumania and the Allies. Károlyi, supported unanimously by his government, was not prepared to concede further territories. On 21.03.1919, deciding that he was obviously not able to protect the country's borders or establish his government, Count Károlyi turned over control of the government to the Social-Democratic Party.

Béla Kun, born Béla Kohn (20.02.1886–29.08.1938) In a series of quick maneuvers, the Social-Democratic Party turned over the powers of government to the Bolshevik Party (organized on 2.11.1917). The Bolshevists, under the leadership of Béla Kun [External link to WikiPedia] proclaimed a "Soviet Republic of Hungary", imposed a reign of "red terror", (which succeeded in antagonizing almost the entire population), and immediately began to raise a "Red Army".

By this time, two-thirds of Hungary had been occupied by invading forces.

The Western powers, which had attempted to prevent the spread of Bolshevism by ordering the Allied occupation of Hungary, now changed their policy. On 4.04.1919, John Christian Smuts, representing the Allied Powers, arrived in Budapest and tried to explain to Béla Kun that the line of demarcation marked out in the Vyx note "was not intended to be a permanent political frontier" and the Allied occupation of Hungarian territories would "in no case prejudice the Hungarian case."

Meanwhile, under the premiership of Count Károlyi Huszár, a counter-government was formed at Arád on 29.04.1919.

See also the article Hungarian–Rumanian War [External link to WikiPedia]

Czech troops continued their advance from the north and Rumanian units from the southeast.

The Bolsheviks now appealed to the patriotism of the Hungarian masses. The appeal to patriotism worked. Workers and peasants volunteered for military units. The soldier councils were dissolved, the authority of political commissars curtailed, iron discipline restored, party politics forbidden. Many former K.u.K. and Honvéd army officers and soldiers enlisted voluntarily in the Hungarian "Red Army" patriotic reasons. They saw it as their patriotic duty to defend their country against foreign invaders, particularly as these invaders were obviously intent upon completely occupying the country and dissolving the new republic. Even the cadets of the Ludovica Military Academy petitioned the Minister of Defense to send their battalion to the front to defend Hungary.

The Hungarian Red Army was therefore commanded by highly capably and patriotic officers, who had recently gathered their experience as members of the Austrian-Hungarian Imperial Army, including its General Staff. They ably lead their meagre forces against the Czechs in northern Hungary and against the Rumanians in Transylvania.

Colonel Aurél Stromfeld [link to a an external Hungarian-language site] Colonel (GSC) Aurél Stromfeld  (19.09.1878–10.10.1927) was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Eastern Army. He was a good organizer, a good strategist, and was a commander who enjoyed the confidence and loyalty of his soldiers.

His plan was to defend in the south and southeast, generally along the Drava and Tisza Rivers, with inferior forces (one division and two mixed brigades), while the bulk of the army (one army corps and supporting artillery), was to attack along the Tisza River in a northerly direction to split the Czech and Rumanian forces. The attack started on 30.05.1919 and by 10.06.1919 the units of the Hungarian Army had reached border in the northeastern Carpathians. In the northwest, the campaign reoccupied important industrial regions around Miskolc, Salgotarjan and Selmecbanya. The Allied forces outnumbered the Hungarian troops three to one. In the south, there were 20,000–30,000 Yugoslavian troops. In the east, 20–30,000 Rumanians. (There were also 20–30,000 French in the east); in the north 20–25,000 Czechs. As long as supplies reached them, Hungarians were able to counter the advancing hostile invaders. But the Bolshevik government in Budapest continually sabotaged the logistic arrangements.

During this period, when the patriotism of the Hungarian officers and soldiers produced military victories, the communist dictatorship of the proletariat created more and more dissatisfaction in the different segments of the Hungarian population. In many places, civilians and soldiers in the countryside and in the army began to organize an uprising to overthrow the repressive government.

Georges Clemenceau sent two telegrams in the first half of June, demanding that the Bolshevik government withdraw its troops from the reoccupied territories. The government complied with Clemenceau's demand and ordered the army to withdraw to the line of demarcation. The retreat undermined the morale of the army and desertion began to decimate the troops. The Hungarian forces in Transylvania were forced to capitulate on 26.06.1919. The entire Székel Division went into Rumanian captivity around Brasso (Kronstadt) and were interned there.

Colonel Stromfeld, the organizer and leader of the successful military campaign, resigned on 1.07.1919 and was replaced by Ferenc Julier in the position of Chief of Staff. He launched an attack over the Tisza River against the Rumanian forces, but this attack had no chance. The patriotic officers and soldiers, who only a few weeks before had fought heroically for the reoccupation of the Hungarian territories, now turned against the purposeless bloodshed. In the absence of leadership, discipline broke down and the army rushed back toward Budapest without offering any resistance to the Rumanian troops. The patriotic soldiers of the Red Army also withdrew their loyalty from Béla Kun's regime. After hardly more than four months, the Bolshevik Party lost the support of the Hungarian people.

The Rumanians proceeded to occupy two-thirds of the country. It was only after the intervention of the Entente Powers that the Székels were released.

After the leaders of the Bolshevik government had escaped to Austria, the Workers' Council of Budapest elected a new government at its 31.07.1919 meeting, under the leadership of Gyula Peidl. He, as well as the members of his government, belonged to the Social Democratic Party and were stamped by the Bolsheviks as "right wing" socialists. On 1.08.1919, the Bolshevist government resigned. Béla Kun and several of leads of the Hungarian Soviet Republic and their families fled to Austria.

Peidl's government annulled many regulations of the Bolshevik dictatorship. Political prisoners were released, revolutionary tribunals dismissed, the Red Guard dissolved. The former police organizations were entrusted with the maintenance of law and order. Confiscated properties were given back to their rightful owners.

The Rumanian troops occupied Budapest on 3.08.1919. An Interallied Military Mission with British, French, American and Italian members arrived in the capital on 5.08.1919. The next day, a few anticommunist soldiers, under the leadership of István Friedrich, invaded the council of ministers and dismissed the social-democratic government, recognizing Joseph of Hapsburg as Regent of Hungary. He reigned from 7.08.1919 to 23.08.1919, when he abdicated after strong pressure from the Allies. (After all, they had just fought a major war to get rid of the Hapsburgs).

On 9.06.1919, a National Army was formed by Rear-Admiral Nicholas Horthy, who took charge as Commander-in-Chief of all Hungarian forces that remained intact. The core of this army were officer units. (Owing a great influx of officers, units were created that consisted mainly of junior officers.) These units were later joined by Székel Division troops after their release in July 1919.

These anti-Communist officer units had been created at Feldbach (Austria) and in the south and in the west of Hungary after the demise of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. They had little or no sympathy for those officers who had fought in the Hungarian Red Army. They could not understand that the great majority had seen it as their patriotic duty to save the nation, and not to engage in politics at a time of grave national emergency as had been a tradition in the Imperial Army, which was that officers did not interfere or even interest themselves in politics.

As indicated, many former K.u.K senior officers and General Staff members had joined the Hungarian Red Army out of patriotic duty, amongst them József Bajnóczy, Alajos Béldy, Károly Beregfy, Elemér Gorondy-Novák, Sándor György-Bengyel, Gusztáv Hennyey, Gusztáv Jány, Géza Lakatos, András Littay, Béla Mikós, Vilmos Nagy, Hugo Sónyi, Ferenc Szombathelyi, Hendrik Werth. The list is included, because a large part of postwar literature has indicated that these officers were persecuted for their joining the Red Army.

Shortly thereafter, the Rumanians advanced into Transdanubia and occupied Györ. They began to plunder the country, taking away every moveable piece of military equipment. The MARTA factory at Arád had been plundered in November 1918. In September 1919, the Rumanians dismantled and removed the entire armaments factory at Györ. The same fate befell most of the factories they encountered in Hungary.

Anticommunist forces were organizing also in other parts of the country. In April of 1919, Count Julius Károlyi attempted to reach Arád and from there Szeged, where the French commanders promised him support for the formation of an anticommunist government. However, because of the interference of Rumanian occupational troops, Károlyi arrived at Szeged only in June 1919. There he found — instead of support — opposition on the part of the French representatives. By 12.07.1919, Károlyi gave in to the French demands to form a coalition government with the participation of all political parties. He then resigned, surrendering his authority to a new government led by Dezsö Abraham-Pattantyus. Thus, when István Friedrich formed his government at Budapest on 6.08.1919, he created a second government for Hungary. After long negotiations, on 19.08.1919 the government lead by Abraham-Pattantyus resigned, thereby allowing to Hungary appear to be unified again.

It was unity only on paper. Besides the political interest groups within Hungary, political forces outside the country were to prevent its consolidation.

Britain and France were scheming to secure their political influence in postwar south and central Europe. Czech, Rumanian, as well as Serbian armies tried to establish their firm control over occupied territories and thus confront the upcoming peace negotiations with a fait accompli.

The Hungarian government, unified or not, had no control over military forces in the nation. There were the remnants of the Red Army, which withdrew to Pannonia and established its headquarters at Siofok, on the shores of Lake Balaton. Colonel Antal Lehar commanded in western Hungary an anticommunist army of about divisional strength. Former officers and soldiers of the dissolved K.u.K. Army, the Honvéd, as well as the disbanded Red Army, assembled at Szeged and were organized by Captain Julius Gömbös into officer battalions. Former K.u.K. Admiral Nicholas Horthy was appointed on 6.06.1919 by the Károlyi government at Szeged as Minister of War. On 12.07.1919, the Abraham government recognized him as Commander in Chief of the National Army. He moved swiftly and decisively to unite the three separate groups of anticommunist officers and soldiers and organize them into an effective military force.

The Allied Peace Commission ordered the Rumanians to leave Transdanubia by 11.10.1919 and was able to induce the Rumanians — with great difficulties — to withdraw from Budapest on 13.11.1919, (although only after thoroughly looting the capital), and to retire east behind the Tisza River by 14.11.1919.

The Allied Peace Commission allowed Horthy's National Army to enter Budapest on 16.11.1919. After long negotiations, a new coalition government was formed under the premiership of Károly Huszár. It was recognized by the Allied missions and prepared for parliamentary elections. The elections, held on 25–26.01.1920, produced victory for the Smallholder's Party and for the Christian National Union Party. Both parties were made up of a cross section of society; thus the parties did not represent the interest of any particular social class. On the basis of these elections, Hungary now had a responsible government, and the victorious Allied Powers began peace negotiations with Hungary.

The new government was designated as the "Provisional National Assembly" and voted into power on 1.03.1920. Hungary was once again a monarchy. The Assembly, desiring a monarchy, but wishing to avoid the embarrassing decision of who should be the monarch, turned over to Horthy, as Regent, all powers of Head-of-State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Admiral Horthy was accorded the right to appoint and remove the premier and all the individual ministers. Furthermore, he could convene or dissolve parliament, and to propose legislation. Declarations of war and conclusions of peace, however, needed the consent of parliament.

The new Hungarian government, having achieved independent and political stability for Hungary, now faced the task of righting the damage and destruction caused by the war, ensuing disorders, and invasions. It had to face up to the harsh fact that the Allied and Associated Powers considered the Hungary as one of the official successors of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, and that now-defunct empire had sued for peace. Hungary now had to accept a harsh peace treaty imposed by them.

The Rumanian forces gradually evacuated Hungary. The general looting and thieving of public and private property carried out by the Rumanians during the occupation of large parts of Hungary was on a monumental scale that was unprecedented in modern history. By the time the Rumanians finally quit Hungary in April 1920, they had stolen 1,292 locomotives with 54,130 railway wagons full of loot.

Owing to the disastrous military and the unstable political situation within Hungary, the presentation of a final draft treaty for Hungary by the Entente and Associated Powers to end World War I was delayed until 16.01.1920. Although Hungary protested many points, the treaty was eventually signed in the Grand Trianon at Versailles on 4.06.1920.

Signing of the peace treaty at the Trianon Treaty of Trianon in 1920 [External link to WikiSource]

The brutal treaty broke up a political and economic system, which had been based on logic, common sense and law, and created new states, which, in spite of Allied promises, were not nation-states. The Ruthenians never got their own country, the Slavs were pushed into "Yugoslavia", while the Slovaks, who wanted independence from the Hungarians, were placed under Czech rule. [2]

Transylvania and most of the Bánát were ceded to Rumania; the rest of the Bánát, the Bácska, Prekmurje (Prekomurje), and Croatia-Slovenia to the Kingdom of the Serbs, Coats, and Slovenes (the future Yugoslavia); Slovakia (including Split and Orawa) and Ruthenia to Czechoslovakia; part of western Hungary (Burgenland) to Austria; and Fiume (Rijeka) to the Allied and Associated Powers pending a decision on its fate.

The reparations amount was left pending.

The size of the army was limited to 35,000 professional volunteers. The infantry was to be a pre-world war type, without heavy equipment such as machine guns, grenade throwers, mortars or cannons. The artillery's heaviest pieces were 105 howitzers, with 105mm caliber and 70 light and medium mortars. The organization of tank, air force, and antiaircraft units was forbidden. To police the international traffic on the Danube River, a flotilla was organized, but restricted to a maximum of eight patrol boats and two heavy motorboats. The customs officer corps (Vámörség) numbering 7,000, was strictly separated from the armed forces. Its duty was to control traffic across the frontiers and preferably also prevent smuggling. The treaty emphasized that the primary duty of the army was the maintenance of internal order. Only in case of an open military invasion could the Hungarian army react, even in such case only defensively. To paralyze the army completely, the general staff, as an institution, was dissolved, the organization of strategic military units forbidden, organization and training of reserves was not permitted, and mobilization plans could not be drawn up. General military service was forbidden. The purpose of these limitations was also to prevent Hungary from trying to pursue the revision of the peace Diktat December 1919 with the use of arms.

The military limitations were imposed, as "part of the general disarmament program" of Europe and the observation of disarmament rules was supervised by an Allied military commission.

The Treaty of Trianon took away Hungary's principle natural resources, (iron and other ores, coal, lumber). It was made dependent upon imports to satisfy its industrial needs. The borders dictated by the Treaty of Trianon left a densely populated rural plain, with a predominantly agrarian economy. Unfortunately, remaining population was so dense that the national production of food was insufficient to meet the needs of the Hungarian people. The new government, although handicapped by this poor supply of natural resources and a dearth of financial means, was forced to adopt steps to push the country along the road to industrialization.

* * *

[1] The Statio of the Alliance
   1. The leader of the Tribes must always be a descendent of Almos. (House of Arpád.)
   2. Every member of the Alliance is to get a fair share of the land, cattle, and horses that are to be gained by common effort.
   3. The descendents of the Seven Leaders are to remain the heads of the Seven Tribes (or Seven Lands).
   4. Let anyone who breaks the Alliance pay with his blood and be forever cursed.

[2] Treaty of Trianon: Facts and Figures
Hungary lost 64% of its population, 70% of its land with 73% of its raw materials.

The Kingdom of Hungary (with 325,411 square kilometers) as part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, only had 92,963 square kilometers left, having lost Transylvania (103,093 square kilometers) to Rumania; Croatia and Bácska (63,093 square kilometers) to Yugoslavia; Slovakia and Ruthenia (61,633 square kilometers) to Czechoslovakia, and Burgenland (about 4,000 square kilometers) to Austria. Even Poland and Italy got fragments.

The population of Hungary had been 20,886,487 in 1910. After Trianon this was reduced to 7,615,117, (i.e. by 64%). Of the remaining population, (that which had not perished in World War I and the disorders following it), 5,257,467 went to Rumania; 3,517,568 to Czechoslovakia; 4,131,249 to Yugoslavia; and 291,168 to Austria.