Chapter

Efforts to Exit the War

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233434.003.0008

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

Efforts to Exit the War

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Despite the catastrophic loss of the Second Army, 1943 became a year of cautious optimism for Hungarians; the German defeat at Stalingrad showed clearly that the war had reached a turning point. Prime Minister Kállay attempted to make contact with the Western Allies, evading detection by the Right which controlled Parliament; yet fear of German occupation affected every action. A secret verbal agreement was eventually reached with the British for Hungarian capitulation, but only to take place when Anglo-Saxon powers reached Hungary's borders. In the meantime, Hitler, distrusting the Kállay government, prepared for a possible occupation of Hungary. Spectacular Red Army victories increased Hungary's strategic importance, and Hitler decided to activate Operation Margarethe. Summoning Admiral Horthy to Klessheim Castle, he persuaded the indignant Horthy to remain at his post, promising a partial rather than full occupation.

Keywords: Western Allies; Stalingrad; capitulation; Kállay; Red Army; Operation Margarethe

Chapter.  21908 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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