Budapest Offensive

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Budapest Offensive
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
BUDAPEST 45 II.jpg
Soviet tank JS II in action (battle of Budapest)
Date29 October 1944 – 13 February 1945
(108 days)
Location
Budapest and northwestern Hungary
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Soviet Union
Flag of Romania.svg Romania
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Germany
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Hungary
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Rodion Malinovsky
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Fyodor Tolbukhin
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Johannes Friessner
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Otto Wöhler
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Károly Beregfy
Units involved
Casualties and losses
Soviet:
80,026 dead and missing
240,056 wounded and sick
Total casualties:
320,082 men
1,766 tanks destroyed
4,127 guns and mortars
293 aircraft
135,100 small arms [1] [2] [3]
48,000 killed
26,000 wounded
51,000 captured
Total casualties:
125,000 men [1]
76,000 civilian dead [4]
38,000 civilians dead in the siege (7,000 executed)
38,000 died in labour or POW camps

The Budapest Offensive was the general attack by Soviet and Romanian armies against Nazi Germany and their Axis allies from Hungary. The offensive lasted from 29 October 1944 until the fall of Budapest on 13 February 1945. This was one of the most difficult and complicated offensives that the Soviet Army carried on in Central Europe. It resulted in a decisive victory for the USSR, as it disabled the last European political ally of Nazi Germany and greatly sped up the ending of World War II in Europe. [5]

Contents

Prelude

Having secured Romania in the summer Iasi–Kishinev Offensive, the Soviet forces continued their push in the Balkans. The Red Army occupied Bucharest on 31 August, then swept westward across the Carpathian Mountains into Hungary and southward into Bulgaria, with parts joining the Yugoslav Partisans in the Belgrade Offensive. In the process, the Red Army’s forces drew German reserves away from the Warsaw-Berlin central axis, encircled and destroyed the German 6. Armee (for the second time) and forced Army Group South Ukraine’s shattered 8. Armee to withdraw west into Hungary.

The offensive

From October 1944, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Ukrainian Fronts advanced into Hungary. After isolating the Hungarian capital city in late December, the Soviets besieged and assaulted Budapest. On 13 February 1945, the city fell.

According to the historical documents, the Budapest Offensive can be divided into five periods: [6]

After the Budapest offensive, the main forces of Army Group South virtually collapsed. The road to Vienna, Czechoslovakia and the southern border of Germany was widely open for the Soviets and their allies. [5]

According to Soviet claims, the Germans and Hungarians in Budapest lost 49,000 dead soldiers, with 110,000 captured and 269 tanks destroyed. [8]

Aftermath

As most of the German forces in the region were destroyed, troops were rushed in from the Western Front and, in March, the Germans launched the ill-fated Operation Spring Awakening (Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen) in the Lake Balaton area. The expansive goals of this operation were to protect one of the last oil producing regions available to the Axis and to retake Budapest. Neither goal was achieved.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Frieser et al. 2007, p. 922.
  2. Glantz, David M., and Jonathan House. When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1995. ISBN   0-7006-0899-0) p. 298
  3. Krivosheev, G. F. Soviet casualties and combat losses in the Twentieth Century. (London: Greenhill Books, 1997. ISBN   1-85367-280-7) p. 152
  4. Ungváry 2003, p. 330.
  5. 1 2 Самсонов, Александр Михайлович Крах фашистской агрессии 1939-1945. — М.: Наука, 1980. (in Russian)
  6. Минасян, М. M. Освобождение Юго-Восточной и Центральной Европы войсками 2-го и 3-го Украинских фронтов 1944-1945. Издательство "Наука", Москва, 1970. (in Russian)
  7. Frieser et al. 2007, p. 897.
  8. Наша Победа. День за днем - проект РИА Новости

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