Collapse of the Hungarian Soviet Republic
First Hungarian Republic
First Hungarian Republic (until 21 March 1919)
Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian Soviet Republic (from 21 March 1919)
Kingdom of Romania
Commanders and leaders
Casualties and losses
Hungarian–Romanian War was fought between the First Hungarian
Republic and the
Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian Soviet Republic and the Kingdom of Romania.
Hostilities began on 15 April 1919 and ended on 3 August 1919. The
Romanian army occupied eastern
Hungary until 28 March 1920.
2 November 1918 – March 1919
3 April 1919 – June 1919
3.1 Hostilities begin
3.2 The Romanian army reaches the Tisza river
3.3 The Hungarian attack on Czechoslovakia
3.4 Incursions by Bolshevik Soviet Russia
4 July 1919 – August 1919
4.1 Hungarian army July 1919
4.2 Romanian army July 1919
4.3 Hungarian offensive
4.4 Romanian counter attack
4.5 Romanian forces cross the Tisza river
4.6 Romanian forces occupy Budapest
5.1 Romanian occupation of Hungary
5.2 Romanian reparations
6 Order of battle
7 See also
Territorial changes in the War between
Hungary and Romania
In 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy politically collapsed and
disintegrated as a result of a defeat in the Italian Front (World War
I). On 31 October 1918, the
Aster Revolution in Budapest brought the
Hungarian aristocrat Count Mihály Károlyi, a supporter of the
Entente (Allied nations) to power. During the WW1, Károlyi led a
small but very active pacifist anti-war maverick fraction in the
Hungarian parliament. Károlyi even organized covered secret
contacts with British and French ENTENTE diplomats in Switzerland
during the war. After World War I, Károlyi yielded to Woodrow
Wilson's (US) demand for pacifism by ordering the disarmament of the
Hungarian Army. This happened under the direction of Béla Linder,
minister of war in the Károlyi government. Due to the full
disarmament of the former
Hungary remained without a
national defence at a time of particular vulnerability. After this,
the military and political events have accelerated: on 5 November
1918, the Serbian Army with the help of French army crossed southern
borders, on 8 November, the Czechoslovak Army crossed the northern
borders, and on 2 December, the Romanian Army crossed the eastern
borders of the Kingdom of Hungary.
On 13 November 1918, Károlyi signed an armistice with the Allied
nations in Belgrade. The armistice limited the size of the Hungarian
army to six infantry and two cavalry divisions. Demarcation lines
defining the territory to remain under Hungarian control were made.
The lines would apply until definitive borders could be established.
Under the terms of the armistice, Serbian and French troops advanced
from the south, taking control of the
Banat and Croatia.
Czechoslovakia took control of Upper
Hungary and Carpathian Ruthenia.
Romanian forces were permitted to advance to the Maros (Mureș) river.
However, on 14 November 1918,
Serbia occupied Pécs.
The Károlyi government failed to manage both domestic and military
issues and lost popular support. On 20 March 1919, Béla Kun, who had
been imprisoned in the Markó street prison, was released. On 21
March 1919, Kun led a successful communist coup d'état. Károlyi was
deposed and arrested. Kun formed a social democratic, communist
coalition government and proclaimed the Hungarian Soviet Republic.
Days later, the Communists purged the Social Democrats from the
The new government promised equality and social justice. It proposed
Hungary be restructured as a federation. The proposal was
designed to appeal to both domestic and foreign opinion. Domestic
considerations included maintaining the territorial integrity and
economic unity of former crown lands, and protecting the nation's
borders. The government had popular support and the support of the
army. Most of the officers in the Hungarian army came from regions
that had been forcibly occupied during World War I. This heightened
their patriotic mood.
Hungary as a federation would appeal to
President Wilson under his doctrine of self-determination of peoples
due to the nation's multi-ethnic composition. In addition,
self-governed and self-directed institutions for the non-Magyar
Hungary would lessen the dominance of the Magyar
Romania during World War I
World War I
World War I on the side of the Allies. In
doing so, Romania's goal was to unite all the territories with a
Romanian national majority into one state. In the
Treaty of Bucharest (1916), terms for Romania's acquisition of
territories within Austria-
Hungary were stipulated.
In 1918, after the October Revolution, the
Bolsheviks signed a
separate peace with the
Central Powers in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
Romania was alone on the Eastern Front, a situation that far surpassed
its military capabilities. Therefore, on 7 May 1918,
Romania sued for
peace. The prime minister of Romania,
Alexandru Marghiloman signed the
Treaty of Bucharest (1918)
Treaty of Bucharest (1918) with the Central Powers. However, this
treaty was never signed by King Ferdinand of Romania.
At the end of 1918, Romania's situation was dire. She was suffering
from the consequences of punitive war reparations.
under Bulgarian occupation. The German army under the command of Field
August von Mackensen
August von Mackensen was retreating through Romania. The bulk
of the Romanian army was demobilized, leaving only four full-strength
divisions. A further eight divisions were left in a reserve status.
The four battle-able divisions were used to keep the order and protect
Basarabia from possible hostile actions of the Soviet Union.[citation
On 10 November 1918, taking advantage of the Central Powers'
Romania reentered the war on the side of the
Allied forces with similar objectives to those of 1916. King Ferdinand
called for the mobilization of the Romanian Army and ordered it to
attack by crossing the
Carpathian Mountains into Transylvania. The end
World War I
World War I that soon followed, did not bring an end of fighting
for the Romanian Army. Its action continued into 1918 and 1919 in the
Hungarian - Romanian war.
November 1918 – March 1919
Main article: Union of
Transylvania with Romania
Romanian crossing at Prisăcani and Palanca
Part of Hungarian-Romanian War
13 November 1918
Transylvania, now part of Romania
Beginning of the Hungarian-Romanian War
Kingdom of Hungary
Following the Treaty of Bucharest (1918), the bulk of the Romanian
Army was demobilized. Only the 9th and 10th infantry divisions and the
1st and 2nd cavalry divisions were at full strength. However, those
units were engaged in the protection of
Bessarabia against the
Bolshevik Soviet Russians.
The 1st, 7th and 8th Vânători divisions, stationed in Moldavia, were
the first units to be mobilized. The 8th division was sent to Bukovina
and the other two divisions were sent to Transylvania. On 13 November
1918, the 7th division entered
Transylvania at the
Prisăcani River in
the Eastern Carpathians. The 1st division then entered
On 1 December 1918, the Union of
officiated by the elected representants of the Romanian people of
Transylvania who proclaimed a union with Romania. Later, the
Transylvanian Saxons and the
Banat Swabians also supported the
In December 1918, Romanian Army units reached the line of the Maros
(Mureş) river. This was a demarcation line agreed upon by the
representatives of the Allied powers and
Hungary at the
Belgrade. At the same time, units of the German Army, under the
command of Marshal
August von Mackensen
August von Mackensen retreated to the west.
Following a request from Romania, the Allied Command in the East under
the leadership of the French general
Louis Franchet d'Espèrey allowed
the Romanian Army to advance to the line of the Western Carpathians.
The 7th Vânători division advanced in the direction of Kolozsvár
(Cluj-Napoca). The 1st division advanced in the direction of
Gyulafehérvár (Alba-Iulia). On 24 December 1918, units of the
Romanian Army entered Kolozsvár. By the 22 January 1919, the Romanian
Army controlled all the territory to the Maros (Mureş) river.
The 7th and 1st divisions were spread thin and so the 2nd division was
sent to Nagyszeben (Sibiu) and the 6th division to Brassó (Braşov).
Two new infantry divisions, the 16th and the 18th, were formed from
Romanian soldiers previously mobilized in the Austro-Hungarian army. A
unified command of the Romanian army in
Transylvania was established.
Its headquarters were at Nagyszeben with General
Traian Moşoiu in
Romania controlled new territories, they did not
encompass all the ethnic Romanian population in the region.
On 28 February 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference, the council of the
Allied nations notified
Hungary of a new demarcation line to which the
Romanian Army would advance. This line coincided with railways
connecting Szatmátnémeti (Sătmar), Nagyvárad (Oradea) and Arad.
However, the Romanian army was not to enter these cities. A
demilitarized zone was to be created, extending from the new
demarcation line to 5 km beyond the line. The demilitarized zone
represented the extent of the Romanian territorial requests on
Hungary. The retreat of the Hungarian Army behind the western border
of the demilitarized zone was to begin on 22 March 1919.
On 19 March 1919,
Hungary received notification of the new demarcation
line and demilitarised zone from the French lieutenant-colonel,
Fernand Vix (the "Vix note"). The Károlyi government would not accept
the terms and this was a trigger for the coup d'état by
Béla Kun who
formed the Hungarian Soviet Republic.
Around this time, limited skirmishes took place between the Romanian
and Hungarian troops. Some Hungarian elements engaged in the
harassment of the Romanian population outside the area controlled by
the Romanian Army.
April 1919 – June 1919
After 21 March 1919,
Romania found herself between two nations with
Hungary to the west and the Russian Soviet
Federative Socialist Republic (Soviet Union) to the east. The Romanian
delegation at the Paris Peace Conference asked that the Romanian army
be allowed to oust Kun's communist government in Hungary.
The Allied council were aware of the communist danger to Romania.
However, there was a climate of dissension in the council between
Woodrow Wilson (US),
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George (UK) and Georges Clemenceau
(France) about guarantees required by
France on its borders with
Germany. In particular, the American delegation was convinced that
French hardliners around Marshal Foch were trying to initiate a new
Germany and the Soviet Union.
The Allied council did try to defuse the situation between
Hungary. On 4 April 1919, the South African General
Jan Smuts was sent
to Hungary. He carried the proposition that the Hungarian communist
government under Kun abide by the conditions previously presented to
Károlyi in the Vix note. Smuts' mission also represented official
recognition of the Kun communist government by the Allied council. He
may have asked if Kun would act as a conduit for communication between
the Allied council and the Boshevik Soviet Russians.
In exchange for Hungary's agreement to the conditions set out in the
Vix note, the Allied powers promised to lift the blockade of Hungary
and a take a benevolent attitude towards Hungary's loss of territory
Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Kun refused the terms,
demanding Romanian forces to return to the line of the Maros (Mureş)
river and hence, Smuts' negotiations ceased.
Kun stalled for time[how?] in order to build a military force capable
Romania and Czechoslovakia.
Hungary had 20,000 troops
facing the Romanian army and mobilised a further 60,000. There were
recruitment centers in towns such as Nagyvárad (Oradea), Gyula
Debrecen (Debrețin), and
There were some elite units and officers from the former
Austro-Hungarian Army but there were also volunteers with little
training. The Hungarian troops were equipped with 137 cannons and 5
armored trains. They were motived by nationalist sentiments rather
than communist ideals. Kun hoped that the
Soviet Union would attack
Romania from the east.
When Kun declined the terms of the Vix note,
Romania acted to enforce
the new railway demarcation line.:p. 550. The Romanian army in
Transylvania included 64 infantry battalions, 28 cavalry squadrons,
160 cannons, 32 howitzers, 1 armored train, 3 air squadrons, and 2
pioneer battalions, one north and one south. General George
Mărdărescu commanded the Romanian army in Transylvania. The
commander of the North battalion was General Moşoiu.
Romania planned to make an offensive action on 16 April 1919. The
north battalion was to take Nagykároly (Carei) and Nagyvárad
(Oradea). This would separate the elite Hungarian
from the rest of the Hungarian army. The north battalion would then
outflank the Hungarian army. Simultaneously, the south battalion would
advance to Máriaradna (Radna) and Belényes (Beiuş).
Operations of the Romanian army in April 1919. The demilitarized zone
proposed by the Allied council on 28 February 1919 is shown in gray.
When Kun became aware of Romanian preparations for an offensive, he
fortified mountain passes in Hungarian territory. Then, on the night
of 15 and 16 April 1919, the Hungarian army launched a preemptive
attack. The Romanian lines held.
On 16 April 1919, the Romanian army commenced its offensive. In heavy
fighting, it took the Hungarian mountain passes. On the front of the
2nd Vânători division, a battalion of Hungarian cadets offered
strong resistance against the Romanians. However, they were defeated
by the Romanian 9th regiment. By 18 April 1919, the first elements of
the Romanian offensive were completed and the Hungarian front was
On 19 April 1919, Romanian forces took Nagykároly (Carei) and on 20
April 1919, they took Nagyvárad (Oradea) and Nagyszalonta (Salonta).
Rather than following the instructions of the Vix note, the Romanian
army pressed on for the Tisza river, an easily defended natural
The Romanian army reaches the Tisza river
The frontline between the Hungarian and Romanian armies on 3 May 1919.
On 23 April 1919,
Debrecen was occupied by Romanian forces. The
Romanian army then began preparations for an assault on Békéscsaba.
On 25 and 26 April 1919, after some heavy fighting,
to Romanian forces. The Hungarian forces retreated to Szolnok
(Solnoca) and from there across the Tisza River. They established two
concentric defense lines extending from the Tisza River around Szolnok
(Solnoca). Between 29 April 1919 and 1 May 1919, the Romanian army
broke through these lines. On the evening of 1 May 1919 the entire
east bank of the Tisza River was under the control of the Romanian
On 30 April 1919, the French foreign minister, Stéphen Pichon
Ion I. C. Brătianu
Ion I. C. Brătianu the Romanian representative to the Paris
Romania was told to cease its advance at the Tisza
river and to retreat to the first demarcation line imposed by the
Allied council. Brătianu promised that the Romanian troops would not
cross the Tisza river.
On 2 May 1919,
Hungary sued for peace. Kun's request for peace was
delivered by his representative, Lieutenant Colonel Henrik Werth. Kun
was prepared to recognize all of Romania's territorial demands;
requested the cessation of hostilities; and asked for ongoing control
of Hungarian internal affairs.
Romania offered an armistice but this was given only under pressure
from the Allied council. General Moşoiu became the governor of the
military district between the Romanian border and the Tisza river.
General Mihăescu became commander of the north battalion. The 7th
division was moved to the Russian front in Moldavia.
The Hungarian attack on Czechoslovakia
See also: Hungarian–Czechoslovak War
Military operations in the Kingdom of Hungary, May to August 1919.
Territory occupied by
Romania in April 1919
Territory controlled by the Hungarian Soviet Republic
Territory recovered by the Hungarian Soviet Republic
Territory under French and Yugoslav control
WW1 borders of
World War I
World War I borders of
With cessation of hostilities, Kun worked to improve his battered
international position. He argued that the granting of territory,
where Hungarians were an ethnic majority, to
unjust. He also sought the support of the Bolshevik Soviet Russians.
Kun ordered the preparation of an offensive against Czechoslovakia
which would increase his domestic support by making good on his
promise to restore Hungary's borders. The Hungarian army recruited men
between 19 and 25 years of age. Industrial workers from Budapest
volunteered. Many former Austro-Hungarian officers re-enlisted for
patriotic reasons. The Hungarian army moved its 1st and 5th artillery
divisions (40 battalions) to Upper
Hungary (partially modern day
Slovakia). On 20 May 1919, a force under Colonel Aurél Stromfeld
attacked and routed Czechoslovak troops from Miskolc.
The Romanian army attacked the Hungarian flank with troops from the
16th infantry division and the 2nd Vânători division, aiming to
maintain contact with the Czechoslovak army. The Hungarian troops
prevailed and the Romanian army retreated to their bridgehead at
Tokaj. There, between 25 May 1919 and 30 May 1919, the Romanian forces
were required to defend their position against Hungarian attacks. On 3
Romania was forced into further retreat but extended their
line of defence along the Tisza river and reinforced their position
with the 8th division, which had been moving forward from Bukovina
since 22 May 1919.
Hungary then controlled the territory to its old borders; regained
control of industrial areas around Miskolc,
Selmecbánya; and gained influence in the government of the Slovak
Incursions by Bolshevik Soviet Russia
On the 9 of April 1918,
Bessarabia united with Romania. The
unification act that brought these old Romanian lands within the
modern Romanian state was not recognized by Bolshevik Soviet Russia.
However, Bolshevik Soviet Russia was occupied with fighting the White
movement, Poland, and Ukraine and resources were not available to
challenge Romania. The Bolshevik Soviet Russians might have used the
Ukrainian paramilitary leader,
Nikifor Grigoriev to challenge Romania
but circumstances for this plan did not prove favourable.
Prior to communist rule in Hungary, Bolshevik Soviet Russia had
Odessa Soviet Republic
Odessa Soviet Republic to invade Romania.
Odessa made sporadic
attacks across the
Dniester river in order to reclaim territory from
Bessarabia Governorate. The Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist
Republic was also used in this way.
Romania successfully repelled
these incursions. After the commencement of communist rule in Hungary,
Bolshevik Soviet Russia pressured
Romania with ultimatums and threats
of war. Although a Romanian army division and some other newly formed
units were moved from the Hungarian front to Bessarabia, these threats
did not deter Romania's actions in Hungary.
On 9 February 1918, the
Central Powers and Ukraine signed the Treaty
of Brest-Litovsk (Ukraine-Central Powers) which recognised Ukraine as
a neutral and independent state. Incursions into Romanian territory
From January to May 1919, there were some further limited actions by
the Bolshevik Soviet Russians against Romania. In late January 1919,
the Ukrainian army under Bolshevik Soviet Russian command, moved
towards Zbruch. The Ukrainian forces took Khotyn, a largely Ukrainian
town which had been occupied by
Romania since 10 November 1918. The
Ukrainian forces held
Khotyn for a few days before being routed by the
At the time, Bolshevik Soviet Russia was fending off attacks by the
Armed Forces of South Russia
Armed Forces of South Russia led by Anton Denikin. Three French and
two Greek army divisions under General d'Anselme (France), with
support from Polish, Ukrainian and Russian volunteers, attacked
Bolshevik Soviet Russia near Odessa. On 21 March 1919, in support of
the allied attack, Romanian troops of the 39th regiment occupied
In April 1919 at Berzov, the Bolshevik Soviet Russian 3rd army
defeated d'Anselme's forces who retreated towards Odessa. In late
April 1919, a change in government in
France led to withdrawal of the
Allied forces from Odessa. The troops left by ship, abandoning some
heavy equipment. Some troops, with Ukrainian and Russian volunteers,
retreated through southern Bessarabia. At the same time, the Romanian
army fortified its positions in Bessarabia.
On 1 May 1919, the Bolshevik Soviet Russian foreign minister, Georgy
Chicherin issued an ultimatum to the Romanian government.
ordered to leave Bessarabia. Under the command of Vladimir
Antonov-Ovseyenko, Bolshevik Soviet Russian troops gathered along the
Dniester river in preparation of a large attack on
Bessarabia on 10
May 1919. Bolshevik Soviet Russian attacks in
peaking on the 27 and 28 May 1919 with an action at Tighina. In
preparation of this attack, the Bolshevik Soviet Russians threw
manifestos from a plane, inviting the Allied troops to fraternize with
them. Sixty French soldiers crossed the
Dniester river to support the
Russians. The Bolshevik Soviet Russian forces entered
Tighina and held
the town for a number of hours.
The Romanian army 4th and 5th infantry divisions were moved to
Bessarabia. In southern Bessarabia, a territorial command unit formed
by the Romanian Army 15th infantry division was established. By the
end of June 1919, tensions in the area had eased.
July 1919 – August 1919
The Allied council was deeply displeased by the Romanian advance to
the Tisza river. Some[who?] blamed
Romania for the loss of
communist rule. The Allied council asked
Romania to retreat to the
first railway demarcation line and commence negotiations with the Kun
Romania persisted at the Tisza line.
The Allied council pressured
Hungary to stop her incursions into
Czechoslovakia, threatening a coordinated action against
French, Serb and Romanian forces from the south and the east. However,
the Allied council also promised favour to
Hungary in subsequent peace
negotiations in delineating Hungary's new borders. On 12 June 1919,
the Allied council discussed Hungary's proposed new borders with
Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
On 23 June 1919,
Hungary signed an armistice with Czechoslovakia. By 4
July 1919, the Hungarian army had retreated 15 km south of the
Hungarian-Czechoslovak demarcation line. The Allied council demanded
Tiszántúl and respect the new borders. Romania
said she would only do so after the Hungarian army demobilised. Kun
said he would continue to depend on the might of his army.
On 11 July 1919, the Allied council ordered Marshal
Ferdinand Foch to
prepare a coordinated attack against
Hungary using Serb, French and
Romanian forces. Hungary, in turn, prepared for action along the Tisza
The Romanian army faced the Hungarian army along the Tisza river front
line over a distance of 250 kilometres (160 mi). The front
extended from beyond
Szeged in the south (adjacent to French and Serb
Tokaj in the north (adjacent to Czechoslovak troops). On 17
Hungarian army July 1919
In comparison to April 1919, the Hungarian army in July 1919 was
better organized, better equipped, and highly motivated on patriotic
grounds. It was encouraged by recent successes against Czechoslovakia.
Kun's political commissaries directed the Hungarian army, supported by
experienced professional military officers. Commanders of small units
were experienced soldiers. The Hungarian army mustered 100 infantry
battalions (50,000 men), 10 cavalry squadrons (1365 men), 69 artillery
batteries of calibres up to 305 mm, and nine armored trains. The
troops were organized into three groups: north, central and south. The
central group was the strongest.
Hungary planned to cross the Tisza river with all three groups. The
north group would advance towards Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare); the
central group to Nagyvárad (Oradea); and the south group to Arad. The
aim was to ignite a communist uprising in
Romania and incite Bolshevik
Soviet Russia to attack Bessarabia.
Romanian army July 1919
The Romanian army was composed of 92 battalions (48,000 men), 58
cavalry squadrons (12,000 men), 80 artillery batteries of calibres up
to 155 mm, two armored trains and some support units. They were
positioned along three lines. The first line was manned by the 16th
division in the north and the 18th division in the south. More
powerful units manned the second line: the 2nd Vânători division in
the north, concentrated in and around
and the 1st Vânători division in the south, concentrated in and
Békéscsaba (Bichișciaba). The third line was manned by
Romania's strongest units: the 1st and 6th infantry divisions, the 1st
and 2nd cavalry divisions, and support units. The third line lay on
the railway from Nagykároly (Carei), through Nagyvárad (Oradea) and
north of Arad. The 20th and the 21st infantry divisions were tasked
with maintaining public order behind the third line.
The first line was thin, as it was supposed to fight delaying actions
until the true intentions of the attacking Hungarian army was
revealed. After that, together with troops in the second line, the
first line was to be held until troops in the third line could mount a
counterattack. The Romanian command planned to use the railways under
their control to move troops. The Romanians were highly motivated to
fight to unify all the lands of Romanian peoples into one nation. This
long yearned for goal was supported by Woodrow Wilson's principles of
self-determination and nation state. The Romanian soldier was usually
World War I
World War I veteran.
Operations of the Hungarian and Romanian armies during the battle of
the Tisza river in July 1919
From 17 July 1919 to 20 July 1919, the Hungarian army bombarded the
Romanian army positions and conducted reconnaissance operations. On 20
July 1919 at about 3:00 AM, after a violent bombardment, the Hungarian
infantry including all three groups crossed the Tisza river and
attacked Romanian army positions.
On 20 July 1919, in the northern arena, the Hungarian army took
Rakamaz and some nearby villages. Troops of the Romanian 16th and 2nd
Vânători divisions took back the villages directly and regained
Rakamaz the next day. The Hungarian army renewed its efforts and,
supported by artillery fire, retook
Rakamaz and two nearby villages
but could not break out of the
Rakamaz bridgehead. The Hungarian
forces attempted to outflank the Romanian army positions by crossing
the Tisza river at
Tiszafüred (Orveni) with troops of the 80th
international brigade. There, they were halted by troops of the
Romanian 16th division.
On 24 July 1919, the Romanian 20th infantry division, brought in as
reinforcements, cleared the bridgehead at Tiszafüred. Not being able
to break out of Rakamaz, the Hungarian troops fortified their
positions and redeployed some troops. There was a lull in fighting in
the north, as the Romanian troops did the same.
On 26 July 1919, the Romanian army attacked and by 10:00 PM had
Rakamaz bridgehead. This left the Romanian army in control
of the northern part of the Tisza's eastern bank.
In the southern area, during a two-day battle, the Hungarian 2nd
Szentes from the 89th and the 90th regiments of the
Romanian 18th division. On 21 and 22 July 1919, Hódmezővásárhely
changed hands several times between Hungarian troops and Romanian
troops of the 90th infantry regiment supported by the 1st Vânători
brigade. On 23 July 1919, the Romanian forces reoccupied
Szentes (Sântamăria) and Mindszent. The
Romanian army controlled the eastern bank of the Tisza river in this
sector which allowed the 1st Vânători brigade to move to the centre.
On 20 July 1919, Hungarian forces established a solid bridgehead on
the east bank of the Tisza at
Szolnok (Solnoca), opposed by the
Romanian 91st regiment of the 18th infantry division. The Hungarian
army moved the 6th and 7th divisions across the Tisza river, formed up
within the bridgehead, then attacked the Romanian troops in the first
line of defence.The Hungarian 6th infantry division took
Törökszentmiklós (Sânmiclăuș Turcesc); the 7th division advanced
Mezőtúr and the 5th division advanced towards Túrkeve
On 22 July 1919, Hungarian forces crossed the Tisza river at a point
20 kilometres (12 mi) north of
Szolnok (Solnoca) and took
Kunhegyes from the Romanian 18th Vânători regiment. The Romanian
18th division was reinforced with units from the second line,
including some troops from the 1st cavalry division, and the entire
2nd Vânători brigade. On 23 July 1919, Hungarian forces took
Túrkeve (Turchevia) and Mezőtúr. The Hungarian army controlled an
area 80 kilometres (50 mi) in length along the bank of the Tisza
river and 60 kilometres (37 mi) in depth to the east of the Tisza
The Romanian army undertook manoeuvres to the north of this Hungarian
territory. General Davidoglu commanding the 2nd cavalry division
formed closest to the river. General Obogeanu commanding the 1st
infantry division formed in the centre and General Olteanu commanding
the 6th infantry division formed furthest to the east.
Romanian counter attack
On 24 July 1919, the Romanian army northern manoeuvre group attacked.
Elements of the 2nd cavalry division, supported by troops of the 18th
infantry division took Kunhegyes. The Romanian 1st infantry division
attacked the Hungarian 6th infantry division and took Fegyvernek. The
Romanian 6th division was less successful, being counterattacked on
the left flank by the Hungarian reserve formations. Altogether, the
attack pushed back the Hungarian army 20 kilometres (12 mi). The
Romanian force was supported by the 2nd Vânători division and some
cavalry units when they became available.
On 25 July 1919, fighting continued. The Hungarian forces
counterattacked at Fegyvernek, engaging the Romanian 1st infantry
division. With their lines breaking, the Hungarian troops began a
retreat towards the Tisza river bridge at Szolnok. On 26 July 1919,
Hungarian troops destroyed the bridge. By the end of that day, the
east bank of the Tisza river was once again under Romanian control.
Romanian forces cross the Tisza river
Troops from the 2nd Vânători Division crossing the Tisza in the
presence of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie.
Romanian troops entering Budapest
After repelling the Hungarian attack, the Romanian army prepared to
cross the Tisza river. The 7th infantry division returned from
Bessarabia. The 2nd infantry division and some smaller infantry and
artillery units also returned. The Romanian army massed 119 battalions
(84,000 men), 99 artillery batteries with 392 guns and 60 cavalry
squadrons (12,000 men). The Hungarian forces continued an artillery
bombardment. From 27 to 29 July 1919, the Romanian army tested the
strength of the Hungarian defence with small attacks. A plan was made
to cross the Tisza river near Fegyvernek, where the river makes a
At night, on 29 and 30 July 1919, the Romanian army crossed the Tisza
river. Decoy operations were mounted at other points along the river
bringing intense artillery duels. The Romanian forces held the element
of surprise. On 31 July 1919, the Hungarian army retreated towards
Romanian forces occupy Budapest
Romanian army in front of the Hungarian Parliament, Budapest, 1919
Romanian troops in Budapest, 1919
The Romanian forces continued their advance towards Budapest. On 3
August 1919, under the command of General Rusescu, three squadrons of
the 6th cavalry regiment of the 4th brigade entered Budapest. Until
midday on 4 August 1919, 400 Romanian soldiers with two artillery
guns, held Budapest. Then, the bulk of the Romanian troops arrived in
the city and a parade was held through the city centre in front of the
commander, General Moşoiu. The Romanian forces continued their
Hungary and stopped at Győr.
The incursion of
Hungary caused the heaviest fighting of
the war. The Romanian army casualties were 123 officers and 6,434
soldiers. 39 officers and 1,730 soldiers died. 81 officers and 3,125
soldiers were wounded. Three officers and 1,579 soldiers became
missing in action.
To 8 August 1919, the Romanian army captured 1,235 Hungarian officers
and 40,000 soldiers, seized 350 guns, including two with a caliber of
305 mm, 332 machine guns, 52,000 rifles and 87 airplanes.
Romanian soldiers feeding the civilian population in Hungary
Romanian infantry patrol in Budapest.
On 2 August 1919, Kun fled
Hungary towards the Austrian border and
eventually reached the Soviet Union. A socialist government under the
Gyula Peidl was installed in Budapest with the
assistance of the Allied council but its tenure was short lived.
The counter-revolutionary White House Fraternal Association attempted
Archduke Joseph August of Austria
Archduke Joseph August of Austria as Hungary's head of
István Friedrich as prime minister. However, the Allied
council would not accept a Habsburg as head of state in
hence, a new government was needed.
Romanian occupation of Hungary
Romania occupied all of
Hungary with the exception of an area around
Lake Balaton. There, Admiral
Miklós Horthy formed a militia with arms
from Romania.:p. 612 Horthy was preparing to be Hungary's new
leader at the end of Romanian occupation. Horthy's supporters included
some far-right nationalists. Horthy's supporters also included
members of the White Guards who had persecuted
Bolsheviks and the
Hungarian Jewish peoples, whom they perceived as a communist group
given their disproportionate participation in Kun's government.:p.
616:p. 80–86 and 120. Horthy's nationalists and Romanian troops
took steps to protect Hungary's Jewish peoples. The Romanian occupying
force also took punitive actions against any revolutionary elements in
areas under their control.
Initially, Romanian troops provided policing and administrative
services in occupied Hungary. Later, under pressure from the Allied
council, these roles were returned to the Hungarian people.:p.
52However, in Budapest, only 600 carbines were provided to arm 3,700
The Allied council was discontented with Romania's conduct during much
of the Hungarian-Romanian war.
Romania did not follow the Allied
council's instructions, for example, by moving west of the Tisza river
and by demanding large reparations.:p. xxii and xxviii
The Allied council decided that
Hungary should pay war reparations in
common with the Central Powers. The council pressured
accept the supervision of an Inter-Allied Military Mission to
superintend the disarmament of the Hungarian army and to see the
Romanian troops withdraw.:p. xxviii:p. 614
The Inter-Allied Military Mission committee included General Harry
Hill Bandholtz (US) who wrote a detailed diary of the events
Reginald Gorton (Great Britain),
Jean César Graziani
Jean César Graziani (France), and
Ernesto Mombelli (Italy).:p. 32 Lieutenant Colonel Guido Romanelli
(Italy), Mombelli's secretary and former military representative of
the Supreme Council in Budapest was accused of being biased against
Romania and so was replaced.:p. 616
The relationship between the Inter-Allied Military Mission and Romania
was one of discord.:p. 45
The Allied council requested
Romania not make their own requisition
for reparations and to return any captured military assets.:p. 615
The Inter-Allied Military Mission requested
Romania return to Hungary
the largely Hungarian populated territiory between the Tisza river and
the first line of demarcation.
Romania, under the leadership of Prime Minister Ion Brătianu did not
comply with the requests of the Inter-Allied Military Mission. On 15
November 1919, the Allied council denied
Romania reparations from
The outcome of the negotiations was that Bratianu resigned his prime
Romania received one percent of the total reparations
Germany and limited amounts from
Bulgaria and Turkey; Romania
signed a peace treaty with Austria;
Romania kept reparations from
Hungary; and Romania's border with
Hungary was determined.:p. 646
Hungary saw the Romanian conditions of armistice as harsh. She saw the
requisitioning of quotas of goods as looting.:p. 614 She was also
required to pay the expenses of the occupying troops.
Romania sought to prevent
Hungary from re-arming, and sought
retribution for the plunder of her land by the
Central Powers during
World War I. Romania, having been denied by the Allied
council, also sought compensation for their entire war effort.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919)
concerning Austria and the
Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon concerning Hungary,
Romania had to pay a "liberation fee" of 230 millions gold francs to
Romania also had to assume a share of the public debt of
Hungary corresponding to the size of the former
Hungary territories it now held.:p. 646
In early 1920, Romanian troops departed Hungary. They took with them
resources including foodstuffs, mineral ores, and transportation and
Hungary ceded all war materials, except for the weapons necessary for
to arm the troops under Horthy's command.
Hungary handed to Romania
her entire armament industry as well as fifty percent of the railway
rolling stock (800 locomotives and 19,000 cars), thirty percent of all
livestock, thirty percent of all agricultural tools, and 35,000 wagons
of cereals and fodder.
The Allied council confiscated any goods taken by
Romania after the
Treaty of Bucharest (1918).
Controversy exists as to whether Romania's actions mounted to looting
in terms of the volume and indiscriminate nature of goods removed from
Hungary. Even private motor vehicles could be requisitioned.:p.
Although public entities in occupied
Hungary bore the brunt of the
Romanian-imposed reparation quotas, where these were not enough, the
Romanian occupation authorities requisitioned quotes from privately
entities, including cattle, horses and grain from farms.:p.
128:p. 612, and 615–616
Order of battle
1st Vânători division
2nd Vânători division
7th Vânători division
6th infantry division
16th infantry division
18th infantry division
Northern Group (gen. Mosoiu)
gen. Olteanu Group
two infantry battalions
one cavalry brigade
one artillery battery
2nd cavalry division (Baia Mare)
7th Vânători division (Zalău)
6th infantry division (Huedin)
16th infantry division (Dej)
Southern Group (gen. Mărdărescu)
2nd Vânători division (Roşia)
1st Vânători division (Deva)
18th infantry division
16th infantry division (first line)
2nd Vânători division
18th infantry division (first line)
1st Vânători division
1st infantry division
6th infantry division
20th infantry division
21st infantry division
1st cavalry division
2nd cavalry division
Northern Group (Tokaj)
39th infantry battalion
Group Reserve (Miskolc)
1st infantry division
Central Group (Szolnok)
5th infantry division
6th infantry division
7th infantry division
80th international inf. brigade
Group Reserve (Cegléd)
half of the 3rd infantry division
South Group (Csongrád)
2nd infantry division
Group Reserve (Kistelek)
4th infantry division
Army Reserve (Abony-Cegléd)
half of the 3rd infantry division
one cavalry regiment
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Hungarian-Romanian War of 1919.
Transylvania with Romania
Treaty of Trianon
^ Robert Paxton; Julie Hessler (2011). Europe in the Twentieth
Century. CEngage Learning. p. 129. ISBN 9780495913191.
^ Deborah S. Cornelius (2011).
Hungary in World War II: Caught in the
Cauldron. Fordham University Press. p. 9.
^ Dixon J. C. Defeat and Disarmament, Allied Diplomacy and Politics of
Military Affairs in Austria, 1918-1922. Associated University Presses
1986. p. 34.
^ Sharp A. The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking after the First
World War, 1919-1923. Palgrave Macmillan 2008. p. 156.
^ Krizman B. The
Armistice of 13 November 1918 in The
Slavonic and East European Review January 1970, 48:110.
^ Roberts P. M. World War I: a Student Encyclopedia.
^ Breit J. Hungarian Revolutionary Movements of 1918-19 and the
History of the Red War in Main Events of the Károlyi Era Budapest
1929 p. 115 - 116.
^ Sachar H. M. Dreamland: Europeans and Jews in the Aftermath of the
Great War. Knopf Doubleday 2007. p. 409. ISBN 9780307425676.
^ Tucker S. World War I: the Definitive Encyclopedia and Document
Collection ABC-CLIO 2014. p. 867. ISBN 9781851099658.
^ Dowling T. C. Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to
Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond. ABC-CLIO 2014 p. 447
^ Andelman D. A. A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We
Pay Today. John Wiley and Sons 2009. p. 193 ISBN 9780470564721.
^ a b Diner D. Cataclysms: a History of the Twentieth Century from
Europe's Edge University of Wisconsin Press 2008. p. 77.
^ a b Lojko M. Meddling in Middle Europe: Britain and the 'Lands
Central European University Press 2006.
^ Mardarescu G. D. Campania pentru desrobirea Ardealului si ocuparea
Budapestei (1918-1920) Cartea Romaneasca S. A., Bucuresti, 1922, p.12.
^ Treptow K. W. A History of
Romania fourth edition. Center for
Romanian Studies January 2003. ISBN 9789739432351.
^ Iancu G. and Wachter M. The Ruling Council: the Integration of
Romania (1918-1920) Center for Transylvanian Studies
1995. ISBN 9789739132787.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kiritescu C. Istoria războiului pentru
Romania Noua, 1923 volume 2.
^ Read A. The World on Fire
Random House 2009. p. 161
ISBN 1844138321, 9781844138326.
^ d'Esperey F. Archives diplomatiques. Europe Z, R 12 April 1919,
Volume 47 p.86
^ Clemenceau G. Archives diplomatiques. Europe Z, R 14 April 1919.
Volume 47 p. 83 - 84.
^ Köpeczi B. History of Transylvania: from 1830 to 1919 Social
Science Monographs 2001. p. 791.
^ World War I: A - D. ABC-CLIO 2005. Volume 1 p. 563.
^ Bodo B. Paramilitary Violence in
Hungary after the First World War,
East European Quarterly 22 June 2004.
^ a b c d e f g h i Bandholtz H. H. "An Undiplomatic Diary" AMS Press
1966 p. 80 - 86.
^ Sugar P. F. and Hanák P. A History of
Hungary Indiana University
Press 1994 p. 310.
^ Hoover H. The Ordeal of
Woodrow Wilson McGraw-Hill 1958 p.134 - 140.
^ Thomas R. The Land of Challenge, a profile of the Magyars Southwest
University Press 1998.
^ Pastor P. Revolutions and Interventions in
Hungary and its Neighbour
States, 1918-1919 Social Science Monographs 1988 p. 313.
^ a b A Country Study: Romania. Federal Research Division, Library of
^ Slavicek L. The Treaty of Versailles. Infobase Publishing 2010 p.
^ a b Eby C. D.
Hungary at War: Civilians and Soldiers in World War
II, Pennsylvania State University Press 2007. p. 4.
^ Barclay G. 20th Century Nationalism. Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1971.
^ MacMillan M. Paris 1919, Six Months that Changed the World Random
House, New York 2002. p. 268.
Kiriţescu C. (1923) Istoria războiului pentru întregirea României
Romania Noua, 1923 volume 2.
Bandholtz H. H. (1966) An Undiplomatic Diary AMS Press.
Mardarescu G. D. (2009) Campania pentru desrobirea Ardealului si
ocuparea Budapestei (1918–1920) Militara ISBN 978-973-32-0794-8
Moldova: A Romanian Province Under Russian Rule : Diplomatic
History (2002) in Archives of the Great Powers Algora Publishing
Breit J. (1929) Hungarian Revolutionary Movements of 1918-19 and the
History of the Red War. in Main Events of the Károlyi Era Budapest.
Lojko M. (2006) Meddling in Middle Europe: Britain and the 'Lands
Between', 1919–1925 Central European University Press.
Treptow K. W. (2003) A History of
Romania Center for Romanian Studies,
4th edition ISBN 978-973-9432-35-1
Iancu G. and Wachter M. (1995) The Ruling Council: The Integration of
Transylvania into Romania : 1918-1920 Center for Transylvanian
Studies ISBN 978-973-9132-78-7
Béla B. (2004) Paramilitary Violence in
Hungary After the First World
War East European Quarterly. June 2004.
Webb A. (2008) The
Routledge companion to Central and Eastern Europe
Routledge First edition.
Busky D. F. (2002)
Communism in History and Theory: The European
Eby C. D. (2007)
Hungary at war: civilians and soldiers in World War
II Penn State Press
Barclay G. (1971) 20th century nationalism Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
MacMillan M. (2002) Paris 1919, Six Months that Changed the World
Random House, New York.
Grecu D. (1995) The Romanian military occupation of Hungary, April
1919 – March 1920. in Romanian Postal History Bulletin vol 17.
Romania and the Occupation of Budapest. in A Country Study:
Romania Federal Research Division Library of Congress.
Ormos M. (2011) The
Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian Soviet Republic and Intervention by the
Entente. Hungarian History website February 2011.
Pygmy Wars: Soviet Hungarian War 1919 Pygmy Wars website.
World War I
Sinai and Palestine
Asian and Pacific
German New Guinea and Samoa
North Atlantic U-boat campaign
Indian, Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans
Más a Tierra
Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa (1880–1914)
Russo-Japanese War (1905)
First Moroccan (Tangier) Crisis (1905–06)
Agadir Crisis (1911)
Italo-Turkish War (1911–12)
French conquest of Morocco
French conquest of Morocco (1911–12)
First Balkan War
First Balkan War (1912–13)
Second Balkan War
Second Balkan War (1913)
Anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo
Battle of the Frontiers
Battle of Cer
First Battle of the Marne
Siege of Tsingtao
Battle of Tannenberg
Battle of Galicia
Battle of the Masurian Lakes
Battle of Kolubara
Battle of Sarikamish
Race to the Sea
First Battle of Ypres
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes
Second Battle of Ypres
Battle of Gallipoli
Second Battle of Artois
Battles of the Isonzo
Second Battle of Champagne
Siege of Kut
Battle of Loos
Battle of Verdun
Lake Naroch Offensive
Battle of Asiago
Battle of Jutland
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Romani
Battle of Transylvania
Capture of Baghdad
First Battle of Gaza
Second Battle of Arras
Second Battle of the Aisne
Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
Battle of Mărășești
Battle of Caporetto
Southern Palestine Offensive
Battle of Cambrai
Armistice of Erzincan
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Second Battle of the Marne
Battle of Baku
Hundred Days Offensive
Battle of Megiddo
Third Transjordan attack
Battle of Vittorio Veneto
Battle of Aleppo
Armistice of Salonica
Armistice of Mudros
Armistice of Villa Giusti
Armistice with Germany
Mexican Revolution (1910–20)
Somaliland Campaign (1910–20)
Libyan resistance movement (1911–43)
Maritz Rebellion (1914–15)
Zaian War (1914–21)
Indo-German Conspiracy (1914–19)
Senussi Campaign (1915–16)
Volta-Bani War (1915–17)
Easter Rising (1916)
Anglo-Egyptian Darfur Expedition
Anglo-Egyptian Darfur Expedition (1916)
Kaocen Revolt (1916–17)
Central Asian Revolt (1916-17)
Russian Revolution (1917)
Finnish Civil War
Finnish Civil War (1918)
Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War (1917–21)
Ukrainian–Soviet War (1917–21)
Armenian–Azerbaijani War (1918–20)
Georgian–Armenian War (1918)
German Revolution (1918–19)
Revolutions and interventions in
Hungarian–Romanian War (1918–19)
Poland Uprising (1918–19)
Estonian War of Independence
Estonian War of Independence (1918–20)
Latvian War of Independence
Latvian War of Independence (1918–20)
Lithuanian Wars of Independence
Lithuanian Wars of Independence (1918–20)
Third Anglo-Afghan War
Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919)
Egyptian Revolution (1919)
Polish–Ukrainian War (1918–19)
Polish–Soviet War (1919–21)
Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence (1919–21)
Turkish War of Independence
Greco-Turkish War (1919–22)
Turkish–Armenian War (1920)
Iraqi revolt (1920)
Polish–Lithuanian War (1920)
Vlora War (1920)
Franco-Syrian War (1920)
Soviet–Georgian War (1921)
Irish Civil War
Irish Civil War (1922–23)
Schlieffen Plan (German)
Plan XVII (French)
Last surviving veterans
1918 flu pandemic
Destruction of Kalisz
Rape of Belgium
German occupation of Belgium
German occupation of Luxembourg
German occupation of northeastern France
Pontic Greek genocide
Blockade of Germany
German prisoners of war in the United States
Partition of the Ottoman Empire
Agreement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
Paris Peace Conference
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of London
Treaty of Neuilly
Treaty of St. Germain
Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Versailles
League of Nations
World War I
World War I memorials