The Let's Play Archive

No Retreat! The Russian Front

by Tevery Best

Part 36: Turn 6 - Axis Movement Phase: Hungarians Arrive

The Axis discard Production Problems and Elastic Defence to improve the 3rd Panzer army back to full strength.

The 3rd Panzer Army is returned to full strength following the months it had spent in the Kaluga-Mozhaysk pocket. Once the weather improves, it'll be ready to spearhead another push towards the Soviet capital.

Meanwhile, the Hungarians have sent enough units to the Eastern Front now that they can form their own Army. The 2nd Hungarian is released to German Army Group Centre Rear command - for now, this is enough for the Third Reich. Admiral Horthy keeps his remaining two armies back home to keep Hungary safe.

Miklos Horthy. Regent of a kingdom without a king or a successor to the throne. An admiral in a country without a fleet (or even sea access, for that matter). The first right-wing dictator in Eastern Europe after World War I. All in all, a quite fascinating person.

He started out as an admiral in the Austro-Hungarian navy, winning a few skilful victories on the Adriatic. After the central powers lost the war, Hungary was stripped of all regions without a Hungarian majority - overnight it turned from a multi-national kingdom into an ethnically homogeneous country in deep anarchy. The treaty of Trianon, which caused all of it, became the greatest Hungarian national trauma since the battle of Mohacs in 1526. It also caused a communist regime to rise under Bela Kun. The Hungarian Soviet Republic only lasted for 133 days. It took them a lot less than that to institute terror and start a brutal campaign against "class enemies".

Horthy was put at the head of the Hungarian National Army, formed in areas not under communist rule. Thanks to Rumanian and Czechoslovak intervention, he managed to defeat the reds. This, in turn, started a wave of white terror. Kun ran away to Soviet Russia, where he became a chekist and was killed in a purge.

The new Hungary could not be a republic, since the people had just overthrown one. It couldn't be a monarchy either, since the Habsburgs had already shown that was a bad idea. So Hungary became a kingdom, but without a king, with Horthy as regent and a working parliament. The admiral did not seek absolute power, but he cracked down on extremist leaders with too much popular support. However, after Trianon, revanchism was so prevalent amongst Hungarians that it was simply impossible to not see them seek redress - and that brought them closer and closer to fascism, as Hitler was the only European leader openly seeking to revise the Versailles treaty. Horthy was not happy about it and sought to befriend the West, but to little success, and the democratically elected governments were all too happy to ally with Germany. Hitler actually did give Hungarians some of their lost land as he partitioned Czechoslovakia and later Yugoslavia.

The admiral was less than thrilled to see Wehrmacht march over Poland, as that was the only state Hungary was friends with at that point. It also marked the last moment when the Hungarians outright refused to back the Germans, claiming that not going to war with Poland was a matter of national honour. They were also moderately enthusiastic about invading the USSR, but joined in under German pressure.

In 1944, Horthy tried to surrender to the Soviets, but the Germans learned about his plans. They entered Hungary, while Otto Skorzeny - the same guy who had saved Mussolini before - was dispatched with a special task force to capture Horthy and keep Hungary in the war. He succeeded, and the power was handed over to the Arrow Cross Party, which had an outright fascist ideology and did not shun from war crimes and ethnic purges.

Horthy died in exile in Portugal in 1957.

I need movement orders from Davin Valkri for Army Group Centre Forward, GenericRX for Army Group Centre and Logicone for Army Group Centre Rear. The deadline for them is Saturday, January 11th, 7 PM GMT.