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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 25139 comments This is a thread devoted to the discussion of the Hungarian-Romanian War (1918 - 1919) - (people, locations, events, books and other publications, battles, historic sites, maps, research information, urls, etc.)

Please feel free to add any and all discussion information related to this topic area in this thread.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 25139 comments Phase I: November 1918 – March 1919

Following the Treaty of Bucharest, the bulk of the Romanian Army was demobilized. Only the 9th and the 10th infantry divisions and the 1st and the 2nd cavalry divisions were available at war-time strength, but they were used at the time to protect Bessarabia from the attacks of the Russian Reds. The 1st, 7th and 8th Vânători divisions, stationed in Moldavia, were the first units mobilized under these circumstances. The 8th was sent to Bukovina and the other two divisions were sent to Transylvania.

On December 1st, 1918, the Romanians of Transylvania proclaimed the union with Romania, being followed by the Transylvanian Saxons on January 8, 1919.

First, the units of the 1st and 7th divisions advanced in December 1918 up to the line of the Mureş river which was the demarcation line agreed upon by the representatives of the Entente and of Hungary in Belgrade on November 13, 1918. At the same time, units of the German Army, under the command of Marshal von Mackensen, retreated westward.

Following a Romanian request, the Allied Command in the East under the leadership of the French general Franchet d'Espèrey allowed the Romanian Army to advance up to the line of the Western Carpathians. The 7th Vânători division advanced in the direction of Cluj, and the 1st in the direction of Alba-Iulia. On December 24, units of the Romanian Army entered Cluj. By January 22, 1919, the Romanian Army controlled the entire territory up to this demarcation line.

At this point the Romanian Army in Transylvania was stretched thin, having to simultaneously deter the Hungarian Army and maintain order in the territories under its control. Hence, the Romanian High Command decided to send two more divisions into Transylvania: the 2nd Vânători division to Sibiu, and the 6th infantry division to Braşov. A unified command of the Romanian Army in Transylvania was also established, with the headquarters at Sibiu; General Traian Moşoiu was put in charge of this command.

Romania started organizing the territory it had taken, which at this point was far from encompassing the ethnic Romanian population in the region. Two new infantry divisions, the 16th and the 18th, were organized from Romanian soldiers previously mobilized in the Austro-Hungarian Army.

On February 28, the Allied council decided to notify Hungary of the new demarcation line to which the Romanian Army would advance. This line coincided with the railways connecting the cities of Satu Mare, Oradea and Arad. However, the Romanian Army was not allowed to enter these cities. A demilitarized zone was to be created, stretching from there up to 5 km beyond the border marking the extent of the Romanian territorial requests on Hungary. The retreat of the Hungarian Army behind the westward border of the demilitarized zone was to begin on March 22, 1919.
The notification reached Hungary on March 19 through French Lieutenant-Colonel Fernand Vix. The Károlyi government resigned rather than accepting the notification, and on March 21 gave control to Béla Kun, who instituted a Communist regime in Hungary.

Within this period of time, only limited skirmishes took place between the Romanian and Hungarian troops, and on one occasion between Romanian and Ukrainian troops. Some Hungarian elements engaged in the harassment of the Romanian population outside the area controlled by the Romanian Army.

Source for all of the above:

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 09, 2010 09:14PM) (new)

Bentley | 25139 comments Phase II: April 1919 – June 1919

After 21 March 1919, Romania faced two communist neighbors: Hungary and the Soviet Union. The Romanian delegation at the Peace Conference in Paris requested that the Romanian Army be allowed to oust the Hungarian communists from power. Although well aware of the communist danger, the Allied council was marked by dissension between the US president Woodrow Wilson, the British prime minister David Lloyd George, and the French prime minister Georges Clemenceau about the guarantees required by France for its borders with Germany. In particular, the American delegation was convinced that French hardliners around Marshal Foch were trying to initiate a new conflict that would eventually lead to a new war, this time against Germany and the Soviet Union. Acting on these premises, the participants at the conference tried to defuse the situation in Hungary. Hence, the South African General Smuts was sent to Budapest on April 4 with a proposition for the Kun government to abide by the conditions previously presented to Károlyi. This action of the Allies also amounted to recognizing Communist Hungary. In exchange for fulfilling the conditions in the Vix Note, the Allied powers would lift the blockade of Hungary and adopt a benevolent attitude towards it in the question of the territories it had to yield to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Kun however asked that the Romanian Army be ordered back to the line of the Mureş river, and the discussions stalled.

Meanwhile, Kun sought to gain time in order to be able to build up a military force able of waging war with Romania and Czechoslovakia. On the Romanian front, there were some 20 000 troops in the first line facing the Romanian Army. Kun managed to mobilize another 60 000 in the second line by the use of recruitment centers in Oradea, Gyula, Debrecen, and Szolnok, among others. This Hungarian Army was a mix of some elite units and officers from the former Austro-Hungarian Army, and poor-quality volunteers. They were equipped with some 137 cannons and 5 armored trains. Although a colorful mix, this army was held together by nationalist rather than communist ideals, and was therefore highly motivated. Kun hoped also that the Soviet Union would come to its help and attack Romania from the east.

Once the discussions with Kun stalled, the Romanian Army was ordered by the Romanian government to take action and force the Hungarian authorities to comply with the Allied council decision on February 28 concerning the new demarcation line.[4:] The Romanian Army in Transylvania comprised 64 infantry battalions, 28 cavalry squadrons, 160 cannons, 32 howitzers, 1 armored train, 3 air squadrons, 2 pioneer battalions, organized into two groups: North and South. The overall command of the Romanian Army in Transylvania was entrusted to General George Mărdărescu, while General Moşoiu was appointed commander of the Northern Group. The Romanian battle plan was to strike with the more powerful Northern Group and take Carei and Oradea, thus separating the elite Szekely division from the rest of the Hungarian Army, made primarily of volunteers. Then the Group should proceed with the flanking of the Hungarian Army.

At the same time, the Southern Group would advance only up to Radna and Beiuş, and then serve as pivot for the flanking maneuver of the Northern Group. The overall advance was to stop only at the Tisza river. The start of the offensive was planned for April 16.

Source for all of the above:

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 25139 comments Phase III: July 1919 – August 1919

The Allied council was deeply displeased by the Romanian advancing to the Tisza without their approval. There were even voices blaming the Romanians for the troubles in Hungary and asking for an immediate retreat to the original demarcation line, concomitantly with a downsize of the Romanian Army. The Council tried also to persuade the Romanians to start talks with the Kun government. However, the Romanian government stood by its decision and argued that the Tisza line was the sole military meaningful demarcation line until the final border line between Romania and Hungary was established and internationally recognized.

The Council put pressure on Kun to stop its advances into Czechoslovakia under the threat of a coordinated attack of the French, Serb and Romanian troops from the South and the East respectively. They also promised a favorable attitude towards Soviet Hungary in the peace talks to follow and in delineating Hungary's new borders. On the 12th of June, these borders were brought to the attention of the governments of Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Hungary.

Under these circumstances, Hungary signed an armistice with Czechoslovakia on the 23rd of June and by July 4, the Hungarian troops retreated 15 km south of the demarcation line. The Council demanded that the Romanians leave Tiszántúl and retreat also to their new borders, but the Romanians replied that they would comply only after the Hungarian Army would have demobilized.

Upon hearing the Romanian demands from the Council representatives, Kun answered that from now on he would rely solely on the might of his army.

This new turn of events swung the Council against Kun and on the 11th of July it decided to start a coordinated attack of the Serb, French and Romanian troops against Soviet Hungary. The planning for this attack was entrusted to Marshal Foch. However, immediately after the Czechoslovak armistice, Hungary started to mobilize its army against the Romanians along Tisza and on the 17th of July the Hungarians were the first to strike.

Source for all of the above:

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 25139 comments The seeds of the Hungarian–Romanian war of 1919[1:] were planted when Transylvania proclaimed union with Romania on December 1, 1918. In April 1919, the Bolsheviks came to power in Hungary, at which point its army attempted to retake Transylvania, commencing the war. By its final stage, more than 120 000 troops on both sides were involved. The destruction of the Hungarian Soviet Republic and the Romanian occupation of parts of Hungary proper, including its capital Budapest in August 1919, ended the war. Romanian troops withdrew from Hungary in March 1920

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Rodger (Rimager) | 1 comments For an interesting story from this period, see:

Best wishes,


message 8: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 10924 comments War And Revolution: The Hungarian Anarchist Movement In World War I And The Budapest Commune, 1919

War and Revolution  The Hungarian Anarchist Movement in World War I and the Budapest Commune, 1919 by Martyn EverettMartyn Everett


The Budapest Commune of 1919 has been neglected by the historians of anarchism, yet it provides An important and fascinating case study of the anarchist movement at a crucial historical moment. We can see how and why anarchist fortunes declined after the end of the First World War, as anarchist organizations fused with Marxist parties, or were crushed by proto-fascism.

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Books mentioned in this topic

War and Revolution: The Hungarian Anarchist Movement in World War I and the Budapest Commune, 1919 (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

John McBrewster (other topics)
Martyn Everett (other topics)