Talk:Siege of Budapest

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Problems[edit]

In 1945, the Soviets were pushing back the Germans on the Eastern Front, so I don't understand why the outcome would be considered a "German Failure," which is why I've changed that field on the table to "Soviet victory." Unless the Germans were trying to attack and drive back the Soviets from Budapest, I wouldn't see why else it would be called anything but a "Soviet victory." On the contrary, I would assume the Soviets had driven the Germans back from Budapest. Also, most of the information here is assumed, so somebody PLEASE check for accuracy. In addition, the original date of the battle said October 1945 to February 1945. Obviously, the war ended in May 1945, so I take it that October 1945 was supposed to mean October 1944. Ctifumdope 03:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Re: Problems[edit]

Yes, you are right, it is 1944, of course. It was a typo. Anyway, I'm writing a longer article based on the book of Ungvary.

Damage to Budapest and the irony of the Combatants[edit]

I have come to this Battle from references in the novel "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova, and was struck by the scale of the battle, and the irony of the combatants and the outcome. The immediate outcome reflected in the novel (from a supposed perspective of 1954) was repeated mentions of the damage and ongoing re-building to the shattered city. I can now see why that would be so note-worthy to a visitor to Buda and Pest, given the length and severity of the battle.

The irony is of the Hungarian forces particpating in the destruction of their capital, trying to hold back an unstoppable tide of Soviet domination. I will follow up on this, and other aspects of recent Balkan history, but I can imagine there were many mixed feelings on the part of the Hungarian forces.

They were fighting the anti-communist fight that the German Army couldn't understand that the Western Allies didn't want to convert too, after the defeat of the Nazi's as the war was drawing to a close in Europe. They lost their fight for freedom, which would appear from a Western perspective to be fought against the wrong enemy, but from their perspective they were already committed to the Axis, and anyway their "Ally" was the best chance they had of securing a peace that would preserve something of the country the Nationalists desired.

As it turned out, they paid the price for their earlier choices, and for the dubious decision of Roosevelt's to consign Eastern Europe to the communist sphere. One of the very many complex, traumatic and heart-rending episodes in the tapestry of a Nation's History woven into the ebb and flow of History around the world. david_morris@hotmail.co.uk 24 March 2006

I'm taking this one (EDIT: done!)[edit]

I'm planning to rewrite this article quite completely (it's a stub anyway). Just plz leave me some time ^_^ grafikm_fr 18:33, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I finished rewriting the page... tell me what you think! ^_^ grafikm_fr 22:41, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Mass rapes, looting[edit]

Hi, User:Grafikm fr asked sources for the mass rapings. My source is the Hungarian edition of Ungváry's book that is already mentioned in the References section.

It's a very detailed reference on the siege, I highly recommend it.

Cheers, nyenyec  18:40, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Fine by me. Just for information in case you did not notice, I did not revert your edit - it was done by someone else :) grafikm_fr 13:18, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Heh. Looks like people systematically revert this one. I think this is understandable, since one reference is just not enough for such a controversial thing, especially that Ungvary is Hungarian and the book quite recent, so there might be some part of anti-Russian propaganda as well. I think one has to find another reference from another western source... grafikm_fr 08:16, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I doubt that it's anti-Russian propaganda, actually this is pretty common knowledge in Hungary. I added a proper reference. Rapes were very common in the parts of the country where the front stopped for longer periods. Other parts, where the Red Army just raced by were much more lucky. It's not a big surprise, though if you know what happened when the Russians entered Germany.
There is no thing such as "common knowledge". It can be misleading. While I agree that Soviet Army soldiers weren't exactly saints, one must use caution while talking about such things. Beevor's chapter in "Berlin the downfall" has like at least 30 different references on rapes and looting, both German AND Russian, so no one would possibly contest it. Here we have a single reference of doubtful origin (what is that "Swiss report"?). Show me some more references and it's OK... :) Grafikm_fr 16:37, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the part about the "beautiful bridges" needs a little rewording. The destruction of the bridges was in the interest of the Red Army, too, in the phase where th German-Hungarian forces from retreating to Buda. They tried their best with artillery fire so the bridges before the retreat were full large holes (big enough for a car to fall through). I'm writing this from memory, I'll look it up later.
Reconstructing a bridge is MUCH easier than building a new one. As long it is not entirely collapsed, the holes can be patched. Point is, they were finally scuttled by German forces. Grafikm_fr 16:37, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
It seems like a good article by the way and I'd like to help expanding it as time permits. Cheers, nyenyec  15:55, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I certainly have no problem if you want to expland it, just stick to using cross references and NPOV... :) Grafikm_fr 16:37, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and thanks for your kind words about the article :) Grafikm_fr 16:42, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

(decreasing indent) What I meant by "common knowledge in Hungary" is that it's kind of hard to keep it a secret when it happened to tens of thousands of women (e.g. I've first heard about them from my grandparents, before it was permitted to talk about it). Although it was officially a taboo during the communist era, a simple google query will turn up dozens of references. Ungváry's book also cites Hungarian and Russian accounts. If you are a registered Amazon user, you can search and browse a few pages of his book online here. I also added another reference from James Mark.

There's a lot that can be said about the suffering of civilians during and after the siege. Fear of being conscripted by the Arrow Cross militia, the lootings, executions (by both sides), the mass deportations to Siberia, etc. All this might deserve its own section, although unfortunately these kinds of attrocities were all too common on the Eastern Front.

-- nyenyec  18:07, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, this second reference is excellent indeed. Thank you very much :) .
As for the suffering of civilians during and after the siege, as I said, you're more than welcome to expand the article :) Grafikm_fr 18:36, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Relative Strengths[edit]

Before I make any changes, I'd like to ask for the sources for strength estimages used on the page. According to the source (defined below) these were (split between ration strengths, i.e. those reported for e.g. food, and combat, i.e. troops reported for fighting).

Date Defenders - Ration Defenders - Combat Attackers - Ration Attackers - Combat
24 December 1944 79,000 35,000 177,000 100,000
3 January 1945 70,000 30,000 145,000 80,000
20 January 1945 45,000 16,000 80,000 40,000
11 February 1945 32,000 11,000 75,000 36,000

Since the discrepancies seem to be huge, I'd like to have consensus before doing any changes.

Source: Ungvary, Krisztian, The Siege of Budapest: One Hundred Days in World War II, Yale University Press, 2005. Table 18, (respective strengths of defenders and attackers), page 325

--Jinxs 22:30, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it depends whether you consider the troops actually defending the city or city defenders + troops taking part in various offensives like Conrad and so on. Since it was essentially one and same action, that explains the figures.

As for your figures, I don't know where Ungvary got combat ones, but IMNSHO, he shouldn't drink so much (only kidding here :) His 'Ration' figures, however, make sense. Zwack puts the strength of Budapest garrison at 90,000 which is quite close to 79,000 reported by Ungvary. Attacker's "Ration" figures make sense too. BTW, you will notice that attacker figures for 11 feb 1945 look quite strange (175,000 vs 36,000 there seems to be a slight problem there :).

Hence, what one could do is to put two rows of numbers, such as: 180,000 (90,000 for city defense) 500,000+ (170,000 for city assault)

or something like that. What do you think? :) -- Grafikm_fr (AutoGRAF) 23:03, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Corrected 175,000 figure to 75,000 figure. Totally agree with the update of the table. Anywone else?
--Jinxs 09:49, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
I dont get it what does it mean what does Ration and Combat mean here in this post in this table what does those 2 words for stand for in this specific table? (Deng 10:22, 30 April 2006 (UTC))
"Combat" relates to strenght reported by the units to superiors for the purposes of planning military operations. "Ration" relates to strenght reported by the units to superiors for the purposes of administration. Two differs (ration greater than combat) because:
* one always have administrative troops, light casualties etc. which have to eat but don't fight (under normal circumstances);
* some units underestimate the battle strength, effectively hiding its true strength.
--Jinxs 11:10, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
OK for updating the table with figures I quoted or something similar. --Grafikm_fr (AutoGRAF) 18:58, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Hungarian units switching sides[edit]

I'm not sure if its currently mentioned in the article or not, but several Hungarian units switched sides during the Siege, especially in the later phases. -- nyenyec  17:45, 3 May 2006 (UTC).

Let's introduce those changes. PLUS, why Romania was excluded from the table, as one of the combatants. I mean, guys were fighting there, right? --Jinxs 10:42, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Errors[edit]

I have corrected a few but there still are some.

  • Gellert hill was only taken on the 11th of Feb.
  • The last major German offensive of the war was Operation Frühlingserwachen, after the fall of the city
  • There wasnt any significant Soviet bridgehead on the Castle hill. Ungvary speaks about one building a (school) taken on the 9th of Feb (not the 10th) on Attila Road which is not on the hill itself.

constant revisions of the rapes section[edit]

Re the constant revisions - I understand that some people might feel hurt that information about german rapes is not presented (to quote: Rollaround 'I do not see the same items on german victories but only on Soviet vicotories not one word can be found anywhere that the germans exterminated and raped soviets in any of the germn victory article). However, history is not democracy and does not yield to your whims. If it happened we have to put it. --Jinxs 12:36, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Jinxs. I think it's very important that this be included. My father and his family survived the Siege in the basement of their bombed-out apartment building. When the Soviet soldiers came to their place, my 17-year old aunt and the young cleaning lady (Jewish, incidentally) were made to hide between two mattresses, which were then piled with carpets and various other things. Young neighbor girls were not so lucky, and the family could hear the girls screaming as the drunken soldiers raped them. My father was very aware that this was happening constantly all over the city. Horrible times. --Yaocihuatl 06:24, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

"Puppet"[edit]

I personally do not agree with this. My view is that Hungary was still an independent country until Horthy lost his power on October 16, 1944. The country had a fully working parliament to that point. --Kurt Leyman 14:19, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, but your personal view needs to be backed up by authoritative research. Each reasonable (non-Arrow Cross) member of Parliament knew full well that if Hungary did not tread very carefully, Germany would move right in and take over, the way they did with Austria. They were "between a rock and a hard place," which is also why they passed the various Jewish laws during that period. It was not from anti-semitic zeal. (Not to say that there wasn't anti-semitism in Hungary, but it is well known that Jews in Hungary were among the most integrated and "assimilated" of any European society.) Have you read Montgomery's book, or know who he was? --Joybucket 14:54, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

"Revision mistake?"[edit]

"German and Hungarian troops along with several civilians used fog to their advantage and moved in three waves. The first wave managed to surprise the Soviet soldiers and artillery, and its sheer number allowed them to escape. The second and third waves were less fortunate, as Soviet artillery had time to bracket the area and shell the escaping troops. Despite Soviet fire and heavy losses, 10,000 men managed to reach the wooded hills north-west of Budapest and escape towards Vienna.

German and Hungarian troops along with several civilians used fog to their advantage and moved in three waves. The first wave managed to surprise the Soviet soldiers and artillery, and its sheer number allowed them to escape. The second and third waves were less fortunate, as Soviet artillery had time to bracket the area and shell the escaping troops. Decimated by Soviet arillery fire and hunted by infantry, only about 1000 men managed to reach the wooded hills north-west of Budapest and escape towards Vienna."

Which is correct?

Budapest Offensive[edit]

We need an article for the overall offensive of which Battle of Budapest was the high point. See ref for some background.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:44, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move. JPG-GR (talk) 18:42, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Battle of BudapestSiege of Budapest — Propose to move this to the Siege of Budapest title as several sources and most of the article already says —mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:52, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:26, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The airport[edit]

"Re-supply became a decisive factor because of the loss of the Ferihegy airport just before the start of the siege, on 27 December 1944."
This quote appears in the 'Combat intensification' section, para 1.
Is this the same airport as "Budapest Airport" that turns up elsewhere in the article? Because if it is not then it should be made clear in the text.
RASAM (talk) 20:07, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Weather only affects Axis troops?[edit]

The article states: "The extreme temperatures also affected German and Hungarian troops."—did it also not affect the Soviet troops? Were they better-equipped, or just more hardened to nature because they were "barbaric" and/or less "civilized"?Historian932 (talk) 04:48, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Better equipped and more hardened, since they came from a land where the temperature extremes were more common. It is not about barbarians and civilisation. (You implicitely call the Germans civilised. Both sides possessed high amount of "uncivilised" people, IMO.) --grin 08:14, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Romanian army and "victory"[edit]

An inexperienced anon tried to correct the part about "Soviet-Romanian victory" but failed to provide some explanation. He wrote me a few email and explained and provided sources. Unfortunately the article is written in a way that it concentrates only on German and Hungarian armies and very few data offred on the Soviets and Romanians.

Anyway. The source provides the following data (not direct quote, I am not paid for translation :)):

On the late night hours of 16th january Малиновский called Nicolae Sova lieutenant-general, the leader of the 7th Romanian and told him that the Romanians are not part of the siege any more , they are to be movd to North Hungary where they join the rest of the Romanian army. It was humiliating; since october 1944 the Romanians lost 23000 people, almost 60% of their manpower. At that moment they were in the middle of Pest and were expecting the final melee; Sova known well that the victory is just a few hours away. He realised that the point was to remove them from the winners. He complained and told Малиновский they have plans to advance and they know the terrain. Малиновский rejected and told him to leave the siege immediately. Nicolae Sova rejected.

According to captain Dascalescu Sova came back in the morning from Gödöllő to Pest and immediately commanded the attack, but the soviets already had a different command and did not intend to take part. It has been reported as well that the ammunition, fuel and food rations from the soviets they were expected to use were already distributed between the soviets and were not available. At 5:15 in the morning arrived the 66th soviet guards to replace the Romanians and they were out of options but to retreat from Pest. Sova even tried to get help from Bucarest but had to leave eventually.

Gasparovich, László (2005). A rettegés ötven napja. HAJJA BOOK KFT. p. 172-173 Extra |pages= or |at= (help). ISBN 9789639037755. 

Feel free to incorporate into the article somehow.

Anyway, it is clear that despite their great losses and efforts the Romanian army was not taking part in the last battles and were not present at the victory, so it has been a Soviet only victory, and it seems to be intentional on the Soviet part. It is improper, however, to call it anything else what it has been. --grin 08:05, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. CaptainFugu (talk) 12:35, 7 December 2011 (UTC)