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

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
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 | 35741 comments Mod
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 | 35741 comments Mod
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 | 35741 comments Mod
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 | 35741 comments Mod
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)

message 7: by Rodger (new)

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

Best wishes,


message 8: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11685 comments Mod
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.

message 9: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The life of the man who instituted the first Communist regime in Hungary.

The Life of a Communist Revolutionary: Bela Kun

(no image) The Life of a Communist Revolutionary: Bela Kun by Gyorgy Borsanyi (no photo)


A biography of the leader of the 1919 Hungarian Soviet Republic, who was a leading Stalinist functionary until he fell victim to one of Stalin's purges in 1938.

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
Thank you Jill

message 11: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) In order to understand the Hungarian-Romanian war, it is necessary to understand where the citizens of Transylvania stood in the melee after WWI.

National Identity of Romanians in Transylvania

National Identity of Romanians in Transylvania by Sorin Mitu by Sorin Mitu (no photo)


This meticulously researched and elegantly written book is the most authoritative study of the emergence of modern Romanian identity in Transylvania during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Based upon a plethora of contemporary published sources, Mitu approaches national identity from a variety of perspectives—from within the Romanian community itself and their reaction to the image others had of them.

National Identity of Romanians in Transylvania will appeal to scholars of modern Romanian history, those focusing on the Habsburg Monarchy and the study of modern nationalism. The book is an important contribution to the expanding debate on nationalism and national identity from an East European perspective.

message 12: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond

Russia at War From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond 2 volumes  by Timothy Dowling by Timothy Dowling (no photo)


This easy-to-use reference explores the people and events that shaped Russian military history—and impacted Europe, Asia, and the world—over the past eight centuries.

• Helps readers understand the sociopolitical history of Russia and how it continues to exert a major influence in international affairs

• Showcases the complex role conflict has played in Russia throughout its history

• Includes an introductory essay that discusses how warfare in Russia has progressed over the centuries

• Offers entries on wars, battles, organizations, leaders, armies, weapons, and other aspects of war and military life

• Provides a ready reference for readers with little or no prior knowledge of Russian history

message 13: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The title is a mouthful but it approaches the Hungarian/Romanian War from a little different angle.

Fabricating Authenticity in Soviet Hungary: The Afterlife of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic in the Age of State Socialism

Fabricating Authenticity in Soviet Hungary The Afterlife of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic in the Age of State Socialism by Péter Apor by Péter Apor (no photo)


This book explores the memory of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, which proved crucial for communist Hungarian political culture in the twentieth century. Apor approaches the topic in an innovative way, focusing on the understudied aspects of European memory cultures. Offering great insights on how a dictatorship remembers and the concept of authenticity,

message 14: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Karolyi & Bethlen: Hungary

Karolyi & Bethlen Hungary by Bryan Cartledge by Bryan Cartledge (no photo)


White aster flowers, on sale on the streets of Budapest on the eve of All Souls' Day, are made the symbol of a revolution which brings Mihály Károlyi (1875-1955) to power at the head of a National Council. Károlyi concludes an armistice which leaves large areas of Hungarian territory under occupation by French, Romanian and Serbian forces. Following the King-Emperor's abdication in November 1918, Hungary is declared an independent republic with Károlyi as its President. He sets about meeting Hungary's most pressing social need, for land reform. But Károlyi's liberal regime is soon beset by strong opposition from the right and from the left. The Allies seal Károlyi's fate by refusing to end the economic blockade of Hungary and by imposing, even in advance of a peace settlement (Hungary is denied an invitation until the Conference is virtually over), even harsher armistice terms. Károlyi flinches from opposing these measures by force. The small socialist element in his government of well-meaning aristocrats defects and forms an alliance with Hungary's fledgling Communist Party. Károlyi resigns and chooses exile. The Communists, led by Bela Kun, take power. Kun raises a Red Army, which defeats a Czech invasion but fails to stem the Romanian advance, which enters Budapest in defiance of orders from Paris and engages in an orgy of pillage and destruction. The Peace Conference despatches a British diplomat, Sir George Clerk, to Budapest to broker a Romanian withdrawal. Clerk succeeds in forming a coalition government of right-wing parties, with token representation for the centre-left, which he recognises in the name of the Peace Conference and invites to send a delegation to Paris. It includes Counts István Bethlen (1874-1946) and Pál Teleki, both future prime ministers. The delegation is presented on arrival, on 6 January 1920, with the draft peace treaty for Hungary which the expert committees of the Conference have produced and which the Council has approved without amendment. The Hungarians are appalled to find that the treaty will deprive their country of two-thirds of her territory and over half of her population. The injustice of the Treaty will drive Hungary into the arms of Nazi Germany, a fatal alliance which will doom Hungary's Jews to annihilation and Hungary to defeat and destruction in the Second World War.

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