Magyar Warriors Vol 2...

...the History of the Royal Hungarian Armed Forces 1919-1945, from Helion Books via Casemate

Title:  Magyar Warriors Vol 2

Author: Denes Bernad  & Charles K. Kliment

Publisher:  Helion and Company

ISBN:  978-1-910777-92-3

This is the second volume in a planned series of three to cover the story of Hungarian Armed Forces and the result of some 20 years of research by the authors.   Volume 1 (released in 2015) covered the early history of what happened to the Hungarian armed forces after the end of WW1, along with the details of the Hungarian armoured units and their equipment.  This one moves on to give us a detailed history of the Hungarian Air Force, along with the River Flotilla and seagoing ships and the Operational History of the Hungarian Army between 1938 and 1945.

As for the Hungarian air force, this includes the secret development of the air arm, which had been prohibited by the treaties at the end WW1 and which even restricted civil and sports flying.  Like Germany, there was covert development of a new air force and it wasn't until 1938 that new agreements led to the official re-establishment of a Hungarian air force.  It goes on then to detail the development, equipment and operational history of the air force through to the end of the war.  How it was sucked into the war on the Eastern Front,  on through bloody fighting and the subsequent re-organisation and re-equipment of the air force, leading finally to the last battles of the Hungarian air arm at the end of the war.  It even includes details of 4 Hungarian Aces.

The second section covers the Royal Hungarian River Flotilla as well as their various seagoing ships.  The armed and often armoured patrol vessels were an important force on the Danube in particular.  Again we get details of actions they were involved in, and the importance of their role. 

The third section of this volume covers the Operational history of the Royal Hungarian Army between 1938 and the end of the war.  Hungary was an ally to Germany and part of the 'Axis', right up to the end of the war. From involvement in the Yugoslav campaign of 1941 and on into the attack on the Soviet Union, defence of the Carpathians and the final stages of defending their own homeland as they were pushed back out of Russian territory.

To accompany the stories there are numerous maps and data tables, while a significant element of the book is made up from the inclusion of hundreds of photos, most of which have not been published before.  Much of the equipment, in both army and air force, was of German origin, while some of the river craft were from Russia.  Interestingly many of the aircraft, especially in the early period were Italian, though later replaced with German types.  The army had some Hungarian trucks and tanks but again we see mostly German vehicles and weapons.  I was particularly interested to see a couple of things which I hadn't known about before.  One was the Buzoganyveto anti-tank missile, which was deployed from the end of 1944 and the other was a command vehicle version of the Krupp Protze truck, where it has a field car style body.  While one photo shows one destroyed, fortunately there is another one with it intact.  The variety of both softskin and armoured vehicles illustrated within the book will please many modellers while the overall history provides a detailed and interesting picture of the armed forces of an important ally of Germany in the Axis powers, and one which perhaps we don't consider in the story of WW2 as they get overshadowed by Russian, German, British and American forces.  Volume 3 will be one to look forward to an order to complete the picture.

Robin