ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Blood and Armor on the Hungarian Plains, Oct. 1944

Updated on March 20, 2009

The Russian Army Comes Knocking

 

Friday, October 6, 1944, south of Debrecen, Hungary

 

October 6th began like many mornings for this time of year. There was the usual morning mist rising from the ground creating a fog. This would diminish early on. The Hungarian 3rd Army during the previous night had repulsed numerous small Russian reconnaissance attacks all across its front lines. The Hungarian 8thCorps at Mezokovac and Kunagotanal  seemed to bear the brunt of most of these attacks. Everyone was waiting for the opening salvoes.

 

At 0430, it began. Thunderous and massive Russian artillery fire saturated the area. Russian units invaded Ketegyhazat and Gyula supported by tanks. At Antnal and Gyula, the German 22ndSS Cavalry Division repulsed many of the initial attacks. However, Russian infantry and armor quickly busted through the thinly defended lines in a western direction near Nagyszalonta. Near Biharugrara, the German 6th Army’s right flank was pierced by the Russians.

 

First to attack were the 4th Guards Cavalry Corps of Pliyev’s massive cavalry-armor group comprising of the 4th and 6th Guards Cavalry Corps, 7th Mechanized Corps.The 7th Mechanized Corps and the 4thGuards Cavalry Corps struck towards to Vasar area. These forces sliced and diced the Axis front lines from Lökösháza –Breda-Elek- Kétegyhaza – Békéscsaba- Mezoberény, Körösladány advancing towards Püspökladány. The 6thGuards Cavalry Corps moved as quickly towards Siklo-Simand-Gyulavári-Doboz-Veszto-Darvas and Foldes. The Russian 53rd Army attacked around 0500, as did the 18thTank Corps, which had been subordinated to it. These forces advanced towards Orosháza, as one tank brigade and motorized infantry units struck further south from Kunágota—Magyarbánhegyes. A hurricane was blowing towards the Hungarian front lines.

 

Russian units by 0600 had hacked through many of the Hungarian positions stretching from Arad-Békéscsaba. The 20thHungarian Division offered little effective resistance and soon a 40 km gap appeared. The Russian offensive continued to rapidly unfold in the area Békéscsaba-Bekes.The 8th Hungarian Division, defending a 20 km front, followed suit, the 23rd Hungarian Division, covering a front of 20 km failed as well. Everything fell to the Red tsunami.

 

Lt. Gen Heszlenyi, commander of the Hungarian 3rd Army issued orders to fall back at 0700, but already the Russian spearheads had encircled some Hungarian units. The Hungarian 23rd Division, 1stHungarian Armor Division defended and counterattacked Red forces in the Szolnok area, but the soon sought refuge on the other side of the wide Tisza River.

 

The communications between the Germans and Hungarians had been totally ripped apart. The German 57th and 3rd Panzer Corps did not learn of the Hungarian retreat until Noon!  The 8th Hungarian Division in the Orosházá area dispersed into many splinter groups as they fell back to the city, by noon, the Russian 18thTank Corps had arrived. The division was surrounded by 2200. The bulk of the Russian divisions continued toward Orosházá, while Hungarian units sporadically attacked any gaps. Some of the gaps were breached by scattered and brave Hungarian forces, but the breaches did not last long.

 

Russian armor and mechanized infantry and cavalry fell upon numerous Hungarian groups and quickly devoured them. By the afternoon, one tank brigade (30-40 tanks) had already reached and taken Orosházát. The 7thMechanized Corps had reached Kondoroson by Noon, turning northwards. The German 57th Panzer Corps barely escaped. By 1700, the Russian advance had slowed and the Hungarian 3rdArmy was able to gather whatever remnants and form a weak defense line along the Sebes-Koros River.

For much of the day, the German High Command had been in the dark regarding the fast moving Russian offensive. At 2230, additional information had arrived indicating the Russians were moving northwest from Gyula towards numerous key crossing points along the Tisza River. What was left of the Hungarian 3rd Army immediately came under the 6th Army command. The 3rdPanzer Corps, General Beith, grappled with the fluidness of the battle attempting to key his 1st, 13th and 23rdPanzer Divisons intact and from being swept away. Breith had hoped to attack the Russian eastern flank, through Békéscsabán towards the north-west to reach Fehér-Körösön. Breith knew his three panzer divisions were threadbare, some divisions had only 30 tanks (when there was suppose to be 100)! The divisions were fatigued. No reinforcements were coming. The only thing going in the German favor were the numerous rivers the Russians had to cross and how clumsy they were in battle, relying on numbers to prevail rather than technique and skill.

The second portion of the Russian offensive was also launched, this codenamed, “Debrecen”. The Pliyev Group was ordered to seize the city. The Russian 53rd Army and the 18th Tank Corps had busted the German-Hungarian front wide open –over 40 km! The attack front alone was 100 km. During the first day, over 100 Hungarian villages and towns had been taken. There was a 150 km gap between the Hungarian 3rd Army and the German  6thArmy. One of the main objectives for the Russians was Sznolnok on the Tisza River. The river was a major barrier and few good bridges existed across it. It was critical to both sides. If the Russians were successful, their plan to trap the retreating German 8th Army and cut Hungary in half would spell doom to the German positions. They would have to fall back to Budapest.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      6 years ago

      It is a good thing they are now FREE!

    • profile image

      Kati 

      6 years ago

      I love learning about my peoples' history..they surely have suffered through out history and managed to survive , fighting for their God given freedom. God be with them !!(Isten aldjameg a Magyar Napet)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)