Hungary found itself on the losing side of World War I and the Treaty of Trianon was similar to the Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany. As a result, Hungary was partitioned (see map on page 5) and reduced from 282,000 square kilometers to 93,000 square kilometers and its population from 18 million to 9.5 million people, absorbed by foreign countries hostile to Hungary; Hungary’s industrial base was reduced by almost 80%, and its military was limited in size and scope. Hungary’s involvement in World War II was seen through the lens of regaining their lost territories from Slovakia, Romania, Austria, and Yugoslavia. When political methods didn’t work, Hungary’s limited military did what it could, but soon found itself allied with Germany to achieve its aims.
This amazingly concise and detailed book covers the Hungarian Army, defence (Queen’s English as this is a Britain at War Magazine publication), industry, armoured fighting vehicles, artillery, infantry weapons, motor vehicles and a section on suggested further reading. As Hungary was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire since 1867 (part of the Austrian Empire since 1699) in World War I, then under the German sphere in World War II, a lot of its gear and weapons will look familiar to modelers. This book does an amazing job of highlighting uniquely Hungarian weapons.
The Hungarians had a pretty diverse armored vehicle program, while light and not ready for the unknown Russian Front thrust upon them, included the 38M Toldi light tank (built under license from the Swedish L60), 39M and 40M Csaba armored car, 40M Nimrod self-propelled automatic cannon, 40M/41M Turan medium tank, 41M Turan heavy tank, 40/43 ZrÍnyi assault howitzer (please see my History of the 40/43M ZrÍnyi Assault Howitzer book review published on 4 October 2021 for more information on this armored vehicle). These armored vehicles were augmented by Italian, then more increasingly German armored vehicles as the war ground on. The chapters on artillery, infantry weapons and motor vehicles are just as detailed.
This book fills a great niche for modelers who want great photos and color profiles of a smaller country’s military caught up in a bigger titanic struggle between Germany and Russia. With recent model companies releases of Hungarian armor (Bronco’s Turan I and II, two Zrinyi assault guns; Hobby Boss’ Toldi I, II and III and 44M Tass; and even Miniart’s Hungarian Tank Crew), this is a great compliment book for those projects. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Profuse thanks to Casemate and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.