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Hungarian Ground Forces

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Hungarian Ground Forces
Magyar Szárazföldi Haderő
Country Hungary
AllegianceHungarian Defence Forces
BranchGround Forces
Size31,900 active duty personnel
Part ofHungarian Defence Forces
Colors    Red, White and Green
Anniversaries29 September
Brig. Gen. Gábor Lőrincz[1]

The Hungarian Ground Forces (Hungarian: Magyar Szárazföldi Haderő, Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈmɒɟɒr ˈsaːrɒzføldi ˈhɒdɛrøː]) constitute the land branch of the Hungarian Defence Forces, responsible for ground activities and troops, including artillery, tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), and ground support. The ground forces have a history of service in Iraq and are currently engaged in the KFOR (Kosovo Force) operation.

The predecessors of the Hungarian ground forces include the Royal Hungarian Landwehr, the Royal Hungarian Army, and the ground force components of the Hungarian People's Army. During the Cold War, Hungary was aligned with the Soviet Union and was a member of the Warsaw Pact. However, following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Hungary significantly reduced the number of tanks and troops and closed several garrisons. The Hungarian Army now focuses on national security, peacekeeping, and international conflicts. Notably, Hungary became a member of NATO in 1999.


In 1963, the Ground Forces of Hungary comprised the 5th Army, established in 1961 at Székesfehérvár. This formation included the 7th Motor Rifle Division in Kiskunfélegyháza, the 8th Motor Rifle Division in Zalaegerszeg, the 9th Motor Rifle Division in Kaposvár, and the 11th Tank Division in Tata. Additionally, the 34th Special Reconnaissance Battalion in Székesfehérvár operated as a sub-unit of the 5th Army. Another significant combat formation was the 3rd Army Corps in Cegléd, which comprised the 4th Motor Rifle Division in Gyöngyös and the 15th Motor Rifle Division in Nyíregyháza.[2]

According to Michael Holm, the 3rd Army Corps stationed at Cegléd, designated as Military Unit Number 6639, was established on 1 November 1966. It maintained the same organizational structure in 1970 and 1980. However, by 1988, it underwent restructuring, now comprising four mechanized infantry brigades, one tank brigade, one artillery brigade, and three artillery regiments (AA Missile, Anti-Aircraft Artillery, and Anti-Tank Artillery), alongside other smaller units.[3]

Following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, both the 5th Army and the 3rd Mechanized Corps were disbanded. The Hungarian Defense Forces inherited the assets and personnel of the Hungarian People's Army. However, owing to the altered geopolitical landscape and economic constraints, the Army underwent substantial force reduction and asset adjustments.[4]

After Hungary's accession to NATO, the procurement of newer and more modern multi-purpose equipment began. This included various vehicles, communication equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles, and the modernization of existing assets such as radar locators and anti-aircraft missile complexes.[5] However, the lack of resources in the armed forces limited significant improvements until the mid-2010s.

In 2021, the Hungarian Ground Forces completed their mission in Afghanistan and announced the conclusion of evacuations on August 26, 2021. Airlift operations successfully evacuated 540 people, including Hungarian citizens, Afghans, and their families who had previously worked for Hungarian forces.[6] Before the withdrawal, the number of Hungarian troops present in Afghanistan had already been reduced to ten.[7]


As of 2020, the main combat formations of the HDF Land Command are as follows:

  • 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal and River Flotilla Regiment "Honvéd" at Újpest military port in Budapest,[8] consisting of:
    • 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company
    • Special Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company
    • River Flotilla
    • Explosive Ordnance Disposal K-9 Company
    • Logistics Company
    • Logistics Battalion
    • Training Company
  • 2nd Special Forces Brigade "vitéz Árpád Bertalan" at Szolnok Air Base,[9] including:
  • 5th Infantry Brigade "István Bocskai" in Debrecen,[10] consisting of:
    • Command Company in Debrecen
    • 3rd Infantry Battalion "Miklós Bercsényi" in Hódmezővásárhely, equipped with BTR-80 APCs
    • 39th Infantry Battalion in Debrecen, equipped with BTR-80 APCs
    • 62nd Infantry Battalion in Hódmezővásárhely, equipped with BTR-80 APCs
    • Operations Support Engineer Battalion in Debrecen
    • Logistics Battalion in Debrecen
    • Combat Engineer Company in Debrecen
    • Signal Company in Debrecen
  • 24th Reconnaissance Regiment "Gergely Bornemissza" in Debrecen,[11] comprising:
    • Command and Signal Company in Debrecen
    • Reconnaissance Company in Debrecen
    • Long-Range Reconnaissance Company in Debrecen
    • Tactical Intelligence (HUMINT) Company in Debrecen
    • Electronic Warfare Company in Debrecen
    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Company in Debrecen
    • Logistics Company
  • 25th Infantry Brigade "György Klapka" in Tata,[12] including:
  • 37th Engineer Regiment "Ferenc Rákóczi II" in Szentes,[14] consisting of:
    • Command Support Platoon in Szentes
    • Bridge Building Battalion in Szentes
    • Low Water Bridge Building Company in Szentes
    • Water Purification Company in Szentes
    • Construction Engineer Company in Szentes
    • Training Company in Szentes
  • 43rd Signal and Command Support Regiment "József Nagysándor" in Székesfehérvár,[15] including:
    • Command and Guard Company
    • Combat Command Main C4I Centre
    • Transdanubian Signal and C4I Centre
    • Lowland Signal and C4I Centre at Szolnok Air Base
    • Signal Battalion
    • Logistics Battalion
  • 93rd CBRN defense Battalion "Sándor Petőfi" in Székesfehérvár,[16] comprising:
    • Command Company
    • CBRN-decontaminating Company
    • CBRN-reconnaissance Company
    • CBRN-support Company
    • Support Company


Ranks and insignia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Magyar Honvédség Szárazföldi Parancsnokság - Honvédelem". 21 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Order of battle of the Hungarian People's Army, 1963". 2.bp.blogspot (in Hungarian).
  3. ^ Holm, Michael. "3rd Mechanised Corps (3. Gépesített Hadtest)". ww2.dk. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  4. ^ "A megújuló honvédség" [Renewal of the Army] (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  5. ^ "2K12 KUB in Service of 12th Air-defense Missile Regiment". 27 Nov 2012.
  6. ^ "Hungary ends evacuations in Afghanistan after airlifting 540 people". Reuters. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  7. ^ "As US gears up to withdraw from Afghanistan, Hungary only has a handful of troops left there". REMIX NEWS. 15 April 2021.
  8. ^ "MH 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal and River Flotilla Regiment". Honvédelem (in Hungarian).
  9. ^ "MH 2nd Special Forces Brigade". Honvédelem (in Hungarian).
  10. ^ "MH 5th Infantry Brigade". Honvédelem (in Hungarian).
  11. ^ "MH 24th Reconnaissance Regiment". Honvédelem (in Hungarian). 9 March 2018.
  12. ^ "MH 25th Infantry Brigade". Honvédelem (in Hungarian).
  13. ^ a b Adamowski, Jaroslaw (December 20, 2018). "Hungary signs deal to buy dozens of tanks, howitzers from Germany's KMW". Defense News. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  14. ^ "MH 37th Engineer Regiment". Honvédelem (in Hungarian).
  15. ^ "MH 43rd Signal and Command Support Regiment". Honvédelem (in Hungarian).
  16. ^ "MH 93. Petőfi Sándor Vegyivédelmi Zászlóalj". Honvédelem (in Hungarian).