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Thread: The Budapest Siege

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    Default The Budapest Siege

    After Stalingrad,the Hungarian Capitol is the fourth biggest city siege under World War 2 and no one remember.
    This is a topic to informations and pictures from the fights in Budapest,around the city,or the Hungarian operations like Operation Konrad,Südwind etc.
    Last edited by imi; 09-25-2010 at 08:14 AM.

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Some info:
    Date:December 29, 1944 - February 13, 1945
    German commanders:Adolf Hitler,Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch,Gerhard Schmidhuber †
    Hungarian commanders: Iván Hindy
    Strength: 180,000 (90,000 for city defense)
    Enemy Strenght: 500.000+

    General situation
    By 1944, Hungary remained very much an unwilling satellite of Germany. In March 1944, Hungary was attempting to quit the war, and was seen by Nazi Germany as reluctant to take sufficient measures against the Jews. Germany needed Hungarian oil wells located around Lake Balaton. On 19 March, the Germans launched Operation Margarethe and the German armed forces (Wehrmacht) entered Hungary. The Hungarian Regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, put Hungary's attempts to quit the war on hold.
    In October 1944, Horthy was caught negotiating peace with the Allies. On 16 October, the Germans launched Operation Panzerfaust, and forced Horthy to abdicate. Horthy and his government were replaced by "Hungarist" Ferenc Szálasi, from the Arrow Cross Party.
    The Siege
    On 29 October 1944, the Red Army started its offensive against the city of Budapest. More than 1,000,000 men split into two operating maneuver groups rushed towards the city. The plan was to cut Budapest off from the rest of the German and Hungarian forces. On 7 November 1944, Soviet and Romanian troops entered the eastern suburbs of Budapest, 20 kilometers from the old town. On 19 December, after a necessary break, the Red Army resumed its offensive. On 26 December, a road linking Budapest to Vienna was seized by the Soviet troops, thereby encircling the city. "Leader of the Nation" (Nemzetvezető), Ferenc Szálasi, had already fled the city on 9 December.
    As a result of the Soviet link-up, nearly 33,000 German and 37,000 Hungarian soldiers, as well as over 800,000 civilians, became trapped within the city. Refusing to authorize a withdrawal, German dictator Adolf Hitler had declared Budapest a fortress city (Festung Budapest), which had to be defended to the last man. Waffen SS General Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, the commander of the IX Waffen SS Alpine Corps, was put in charge of the city's defenses.
    Budapest was a major target for Joseph Stalin. Indeed, the Yalta Conference was approaching and Stalin wanted to display his full strength to Churchill and Roosevelt. Therefore, he ordered General Rodion Malinovsky to seize the city as quickly as possible.
    On 29 December 1944, Malinovsky sent two emissaries to negotiate the city's capitulation. The emissaries never returned. This particular point is widely disputed by the Soviet Union, with some German and Hungarian historians arguing that the emissaries were deliberately shot by the Soviets. Others believe that they were in fact shot by mistake on their way back. In any case, Soviet commanders considered this act as a refusal and ordered the attack.
    The start of the siege and first German offensive
    The Soviet offensive started in the eastern suburbs, advancing through Pest, making good use of the large central avenues to speed up their progress. The German and Hungarian defenders, overwhelmed, tried to trade space for time to slow down the Soviet advance to a crawl. They ultimately withdrew to shorten their lines, hoping to take advantage of the hilly nature of Buda.
    In January 1945, the Germans launched a three part counter-offensive codenamed Operation Konrad. Operation Konrad was a joint German-Hungarian effort to relieve the encircled garrison of Budapest.
    On 1 January, Operation Konrad I was launched. The German IV.SS-Panzerkorps attacked from Tata through hilly terrain north of Budapest in an effort to break the Soviet siege. Simultaneously, Waffen-SS forces struck from the west of Budapest in an effort to gain tactical advantage. On 3 January, the Soviet command sent four more divisions to meet the threat. This Soviet action stopped the offensive near Bicske less than 20 kilometers west of Budapest. On 12 January, the German forces were forced to withdraw.
    On 7 January, the Germans launched Operation Konrad II. The German IV.SS-Panzerkorps attacked from Esztergom towards the Budapest Airport. They tried to capture the airport in order to improve air supply of the city. This offensive was halted near the airport.
    On 17 January, the last part of Operation Konrad was launched - Operation Konrad III. The German IV.SS-Panzerkorps and the III. Panzerkorps attacked from the south of Budapest and attempted to encircle ten Soviet divisions. This encirclement attempt failed.
    Combat intensification
    Meanwhile, urban warfare in Budapest increased in intensity. Supplies became a decisive factor because of the loss of the Ferihegy airport just before the start of the siege, on 27 December 1944. Until 9 January 1945, German troops were able to use some of the main avenues as well as the park next to Buda Castle as landing zones for planes and gliders, although they were under constant artillery fire from the Soviets. Before the Danube froze, some supplies could be passed on barges, under the cover of darkness and fog.
    Nevertheless, food shortages were more and more common and soldiers had to rely on finding their own sources of food, some even resorting to eating their own horses. Extreme temperatures also affected German and Hungarian troops.
    Quite quickly, the Soviet troops found themselves in the same situation as the Germans had in Stalingrad. Still, their troops were able to take advantage of the urban terrain by relying heavily on snipers and sappers to advance. Fights broke out even in the sewers, as both Axis and Soviet troops used them for troop movement. Six Soviet marines even managed to get to the Castle Hill and capture a German officer before returning to their own lines - still underground. But such feats were rare because of ambushes set up by the Axis troops using local inhabitants as guides in the sewers.
    In mid-January, Csepel Island was taken, along with its military factories, which were still producing Panzerfausts and shells, even under Soviet fire. Meanwhile in Pest, the situation deteriorated, with the garrison facing the risk of being cut in half by the advancing Soviet troops.
    On 17 January 1945, Hitler agreed to withdraw all the remaining troops from Pest to try to defend Buda. All of the five bridges spanning the Danube were clogged with traffic, evacuating troops and civilians. On 18 January 1945, German troops destroyed the five bridges, despite protests from Hungarian officers.
    The second German offensive
    On 20 January 1945, German troops launched their second major offensive, this time south of the city, blasting a 20 km hole in Soviet lines and advancing to the Danube, threatening Soviet supply lines.
    Stalin ordered his troops to hold their ground at all costs, and two Army Corps that were dispatched to assault Budapest were hastily moved south of the city to counter the German offensive. Nevertheless, German troops who got to less than 20 kilometres from the city were unable to maintain their offensive due to fatigue and supply issues. Budapest's defenders asked permission to leave the city and escape the encirclement. Hitler refused.
    On 28 January 1945, German troops could no longer hold their ground and were forced to withdraw.
    The fate of the defenders of Budapest was sealed.
    Last edited by imi; 09-25-2010 at 05:52 AM. Reason: repair post

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    The Battle for Buda
    Unlike Pest, which is built on flat terrain, the city of Buda is built on hills. This allowed the defenders to place artillery and fortifications above the attackers, greatly slowing Soviet advance. The main citadel, Gellért Hill was defended by elite Waffen-SS troops that successfully repelled several Soviet assaults. Nearby, Soviet and German forces were fighting for the city cemetery. Fights on the shell-opened tombs would last for several days.
    Fighting on Margaret Island, in the middle of the Danube, was particularly merciless. The island was still attached to the rest of the city by the remaining half of the Margaret Bridge and was used as parachuting area as well as for covering improvised airstrips set up in the downtown. From the Soviet side in fights on the island 25th Gds rifle division operated (losses see below).
    On 11 February 1945, the Gellért Hill finally fell after a vicious Soviet attack launched from three points of compass simultaneously, after six weeks of fighting. Soviet artillery was finally able to dominate the entire city and to shell the remaining Axis defenders, who were concentrated in less than two square kilometres and suffering from malnutrition and diseases.
    The experience of Joseph Szentkiralyi illustrates the privations experienced by many. Szentkiralyi had worked in the United States prior to World War II and had been deported back to Hungary. During the Siege of Budapest, he and his family endured constant artillery bombardment and street-by-street tank and infantry battles between the Germans, the remnants of the Royal Hungarian Army, and the attacking Ukrainian and Russian forces. Szentkiralyi, along with others, risked their lives by leaving the bomb shelters to butcher frozen horse carcasses in the streets to prevent starvation and help keep their families alive. At the end, daily rations consisted of melted snow, horse meat, and 150 grams of bread. Szentkiralyi narrowly escaped arrest and likely execution by the Soviets after the war's end, escaping to Switzerland.
    Despite the lack of supplies, the defenders refused to surrender and defended every street and house, fighting Soviet troops and tanks. By this time, some of the captured Hungarian soldiers defected and fought on the Soviet side. The Hungarians fighting for the Soviets were known collectively as the "Volunteer Regiment of Buda."
    After capturing the southern railway station during a two-day bloodbath, Soviet troops advanced to the Castle hill. On 10 February 1945, after a violent assault, Soviet marines established a bridgehead on the Castle hill, while almost cutting the remaining garrison in half.
    The third German breakout and surrender
    Hitler still forbade the German commander, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, to abandon Budapest or to attempt a breakout of the encirclement. But the glider flights (DFS 230) bringing in supplies had ended a few days earlier and the parachute drops had also been discontinued.
    In desperation, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch decided to lead the remnants of his troops out of Budapest. The German commander did not typically consult much with the Hungarian commander of the city. However, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch now uncharacteristically included the Hungarian commander, General Iván Hindy, in this last desperate breakout attempt.
    On the night of 11 February, twenty-eight thousand German and Hungarian troops began to stream down from Castle Hill. They moved in three waves. With each wave were thousands of civilians. Entire families, pushing prams, trod through the snow and ice. Unfortunately for the would-be escapees, the Soviets awaited them in prepared positions.
    The troops, along with the civilians, used fog to their advantage. The first wave managed to surprise the waiting Soviet soldiers and artillery, and its sheer numbers allowed many to escape. The second and third waves were less fortunate than the first. Soviet artillery and rocket batteries bracketed the escape area, with deadly results. But, despite heavy losses, five to ten thousand people managed to reach the wooded hills northwest of Budapest and escape towards Vienna. 600-700 German soldiers reached the main German lines from Budapest. Roughly a third of these soldiers belonged to the "Feldhernhalle" Panzergrenadier Division, and 170 to the Waffen-SS. The number of Hungarian escapees is around 80 (44 civilians, 25 Aross Cross Party militias and 11 man in military uniform (including 3 students and 1 policeman).
    The majority of the escapees were killed, wounded, or captured by the Soviet troops. Pfeffer-Wildenbruch and Hindy were among the captured.
    On 13 February 1945, the remaining defenders finally surrendered. Budapest lay in ruins, with more than 80 percent of its buildings destroyed or damaged, and historical buildings like the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Castle in ruins. All five bridges spanning the Danube were destroyed.
    Aftermath
    n the end, eighty percent of Budapest's buildings were destroyed or damaged during the siege. German and Hungarian military losses were high with entire divisions destroyed. The Germans lost all or most of the 13.Panzer-Division, the 60.Panzergrenadier-Division Feldherrnhalle, the 8.SS-Kavallerie-Division Florian Geyer, and the 22.SS-Kavallerie-Division Maria Theresa. The Hungarian I Corps was completely destroyed. Hungarian divisions destroyed included the 10th Infantry Division, the 12th Infantry Division, and the 1st Armored Division. In January 1945, 32,000 ethnic Germans from within Hungary were arrested and transported to the Soviet Union as forced laborers. In some villages, the entire adult population were taken to labor camps in the Donets Basin.Many died there as a result of hardships and ill-treatment. Overall, more than 500,000 Hungarians were transported to the Soviet Union (including between 100,000 and 170,000 Hungarian ethnic Germans)
    Civilian deaths and mass rape
    When the Soviets finally claimed victory, they initiated an orgy of violence, including wholesale theft of anything they could lay their hands on, random executions, and mass rape. Some 40,000 civilians were killed, with an unknown number dying from starvation and diseases. During the siege, an estimated 50,000 women and girls were raped,348-350 though estimates vary from 5,000 to 200,000.129 Hungarian girls were kidnapped and taken to Red Army quarters, where they were imprisoned, repeatedly raped, and sometimes murdered Even embassy staff from neutral countries were captured and raped, as documented when Soviet soldiers attacked the Swedish legation in Germany.

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Waffen SS "Totenkopf" tanks in Szomor around a church.(StugIII,Panzer IV,Panzer V) Operation Konrad I.
    http://crowland.uw.hu/images/haboru/konrad_1.jpg
    German Sdkfz convoy with Panthers moving trough in the passage of Agostyán.Operation Konrad I.
    http://crowland.uw.hu/images/haboru/konrad_3.jpg
    Waffen SS "Totenkopf" troops rest around Szomor. Operation Konrad
    http://crowland.uw.hu/images/haboru/konrad_2.jpg
    Waffen SS "Wiking" Kampfgruppe "Darges" with the commander of the hungarian forces at the entrance of the Mountain Castle 8th of january 1945
    http://crowland.uw.hu/images/haboru/konrad_4.jpg
    Last edited by imi; 09-25-2010 at 07:58 AM.

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    I may be wrong and I suppose it depends on how you judge the biggest city siege 'size of city, population, land area, economic value, capital, length of siege, troops involved, civilians involved, deaths, impact on the war'

    Leningrad siege (St Petersberg)

    It started on 8 September 1941, when the last land connection to the city was severed. Although the Soviets managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943, the total lifting took place on 27 January 1944, 872 days after it began.

    Sevastopol

    Took place from 30 October 1941 to 4 July 1942

    Stalingrad siege (Volgorad)

    Took place between 17 July 1942 and 2 February 1943

    Budapest siege

    City surrounded 29 December 1944 by the Red Army and the Romanian Army. The siege ended when the city was unconditionally surrendered on 13 February 1945.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    ok you're right,the fourth biggest haha anyway thanks for the info I solve.

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Troops from the Waffen SS "Maria Theresia" cavalry check the captured hungarian weapons
    http://img0.tar.hu/tiger205/size2/73180789.jpg
    Executed surrender Wehrmacht soldier
    http://www.ww2incolor.com/d/27051-5/Budapest
    Surrender German troops
    http://www.aviapress.com/book/mcs/mcs010_11.jpg
    Feldherrnhalle Kőnigtiger II in the Castle of Buda
    http://armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/WWII/PzVIB/PzVIB_26.jpg

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    Troops from the Waffen SS "Maria Theresia" cavalry check the captured hungarian weapons
    http://img0.tar.hu/tiger205/size2/73180789.jpg
    Executed surrender Wehrmacht soldier
    http://www.ww2incolor.com/d/27051-5/Budapest
    Surrender German troops
    http://www.aviapress.com/book/mcs/mcs010_11.jpg
    Feldherrnhalle Kőnigtiger II in the Castle of Buda
    http://armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/WWII/PzVIB/PzVIB_26.jpg
    First image does not appear.

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert the Bruce View Post
    First image does not appear.
    Sorry! Here is another link:

    Troops from the Waffen SS "Maria Theresia" cavalry check the captured hungarian weapons
    http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/7...heresaimf2.gif
    Last edited by imi; 10-29-2013 at 12:48 PM.
    "The consciousness that I am alive, makes me wild dreams every day"
    (Helmut Wolff lieutenant colonel, one who survived the breakout of Budapest)

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Soviet troops after the city siege
    http://www.osaarchivum.org/galeria/s...tablo1kep2.jpg
    Soviets at the downtown of Budapest near a AA gun
    http://www.international.ucla.edu/me...etBudapest.jpg
    A Soviet soldier writing "Budapest" in Russian on a signpost after the siege.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...r_Budapest.JPG

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Waffen SS "Wiking" Stug moving to Budapest
    http://oi52.tinypic.com/2qxaiae.jpg
    Fallen Waffen SS "Wiking" troops around the mountains of Budapest after the breakout
    http://oi54.tinypic.com/30vk8q8.jpg
    Abandoned Ferdenhalle Panther Ausf G and Zrinyi 2 105 mm howizter Knocked Out in Budapest suburbs january of 1945
    http://oi54.tinypic.com/20f7p15.jpg

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    Waffen SS "Wiking" Stug moving to Budapest
    http://oi52.tinypic.com/2qxaiae.jpg
    Fallen Waffen SS "Wiking" troops around the mountains of Budapest after the breakout
    http://oi54.tinypic.com/30vk8q8.jpg
    Abandoned Ferdenhalle Panther Ausf G and Zrinyi 2 105 mm howizter Knocked Out in Budapest suburbs january of 1945
    http://oi54.tinypic.com/20f7p15.jpg
    The vehicle looks more like a stug and the caption reads StuH 42
    Last edited by leccy; 09-25-2010 at 03:30 PM. Reason: highlighting
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    Ernst Keller’s Christmas letter to his parents from Budapest. Due to censorship, the writer attempted to express and communicate the dreams and wishes of the ordinary soldier by using drawings. The author became a prisoner of war after the siege and he was freed at the end of 1948.
    http://oi56.tinypic.com/1zoxn9w.jpg
    1. What can a foot soldier dream about? – rest
    http://oi51.tinypic.com/2iuqp05.jpg
    2. Delicious food and women
    http://oi54.tinypic.com/2ytpa9t.jpg
    3.A leave pass: Lance corporal Stove-pipe, between December 17, 1944 and March 25, 1945…
    A Wehrmacht ticket issued in Budapest
    http://oi53.tinypic.com/30cu2df.jpg
    4. And the big question: the discharge command: Sub-officer Stove-pipe was discharged from active duty on December 2, 1948. Publisher: Bureau of Mass Information, December 16, 1944. Magyarcsók (probably Mogyoród)

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    Default Re: The Budapest Siege

    I'm not sure about that the stug wasn't a howitzer and the tube is so short,but maybe you're right

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