Surrender at Világos

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Surrender at Világos (Hungarian painter, mid-19th century)
Surrender at Világos (István Szkicsák-Klinovszky)

The Surrender at Világos took place on August 13, 1849 at Világos, (now Şiria, Romania) and formally ended the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 (Hermann, 1996). The terms were signed by Hungarian General Artúr Görgey on the rebels' side and Count Theodor von Rüdiger of the Russian Imperial Army. Following the capitulation, General Julius Jacob von Haynau was appointed Imperial plenipotentiary in the country and brutally re-subjugated it.


Surrender at Világos (Vasárnapi Újság ("Sunday News"), 15 August 1869)
Lajos Kossuth's letter to Artúr Görgey resigning his command

After the Russians intervened in the conflict, it was only a matter of time before the Hungarians were defeated, as the Austro-Russians now had far greater military strength. The deciding point came at the Battle of Temesvár which ended in a decisive Austrian victory, which after there were two ways for the Hungarians: Surrender or be annihilated. Görgey received an offer from Russian General Chrurloff on 21 July. Cavalry Captain Katlaroff and Count Rüdiger delivered the offer to Görgey, who was at Rimaszombat (now Rimavská Sobota, Slovakia), giving the Hungarian officers and men total freedom.

László Batthyány and another officer delivered Görgey's response to Chrurloff, in which he demanded that all Hungarians would get freedom, not only those who had served in the conflict. He also demanded that he would accept one of the Russian princes to wear the Holy Crown of Hungary (Holy Crown of Saint Stephen).


The Hungarian Army surrendered to Russian General Rüdiger on August 13, 1849. At Bohus Castle they signed the document of surrender. Görgey tried to show by the terms of the surrender that Hungary had been defeated by Russia, and not by Austria.


After the surrender and despite the Russian Emperor's pleas for clemency, the Austrians engaged in harsh reprisals against Hungary. They sentenced hundreds of soldiers and civilians to death, and imprisoned even more. Prisoners were conscripted into the Austrian Army.

On 6 October 1849 at Arad (now Arad, Romania), the Austrians executed twelve Hungarian generals and one colonel, who are known as the 13 Martyrs of Arad. The same day they executed Lajos Batthyány, the first Hungarian Prime Minister, by firing squad.


  • Hermann, Róbert, ed. (1996), 1848-1849. A szabadságharc és forradalom története ("History of the Hungarian Revolution 1848-1849") (in Hungarian), Budapest: Videopont 
  • Hermann, Róbert (2001), 1848-1849. A szabadságharc hadtörténete ("Military History of the Hungarian Revolution 1848-1849") (in Hungarian), Budapest: Zrínyi