...Budapest's Cataclysmic Twelve Days, 1956, from Pen and Sword
Title: Hungarian Uprising
Author: Louis Archard
Publisher: Pen and Sword
A book in their Cold War series from Pen and Sword and another interesting one. Just 11 years after the end of WW2, the book provides the background of what happened in the country after the end of the war and what led up to the uprising in the autumn of 1956. Leaders who had come to power after the war, supported by Russia, created a nasty secret police, commanded a repressive regime that led to thousands being arrested and ruining the economy and all for the sake of personal power.
The book tells the story of not just the internal events of Hungary itself, but also within Russia during this period, which had also seen the death of Stalin. It was again a struggle for power, and concern for the maintenance of the Warsaw Pact. The uprising splits into two parts, which followed directly on from one another. With the Soviet military on their way out of Hungary, the way forward was changed overnight as rebels wanted even more than they had already achieved. It resulted in a change of heart in Moscow and Soviet troops making their way back into Budapest. The background to the struggle for power within the communist states makes for interesting reading, and it is illustrated by a good selection of archive photos sprinkled throughout the book. A useful addition to this series of books on the Cold War period.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.