Disaster at the Don

Deborah S. Cornelius

in Hungary in World War II

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233434
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241767 | DOI:

Series: World War II: The Global, Human, and Ethical Dimension

Disaster at the Don

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Just as enthusiasm for the war dissolved, Hitler sent Hungary a request demanding the participation of almost the total Hungarian armed forces. Unable to refuse, military leaders compromised by sending nine light brigades, 207,000 troops in all, making up one-third of Hungary's military strength. The Second Army, totally unprepared to fight a mobile war against modern heavy artillery and armored troops, took over the defense of the Don riverbank. Following the German defeat at Stalingrad, the powerful Soviet counterattack almost completely annihilated the Second Army. The defeat had a sobering effect on the Hungarian people. The newly elected vice-regent's son, had recently died on the front. Bitterness was especially strong toward the German high command, which had used the Hungarian soldiers as cannon fodder in order to cover the German retreat.

Keywords: light brigade; Second Army; Don river; Stalingrad; vice-regent

Chapter.  19585 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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