Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő - Kozelfeleritoszazad

Photo: Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő

World War II

On 20 November 1940, under pressure from Germany, Hungarian prime Minister Pál Teleki signed the Tripartite Pact. In December 1940, Teleki also signed an ephemeral "Treaty of Eternal Friendship" with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. At that time, Yugoslavia was under a Regent, Prince Paul who was also under German pressure.

On 25 March 1941, Prince Paul signed the Tripartite Pact on behalf of Yugoslavia. Two days later, a Yugoslavian coup d'état removed Prince Paul, replaced him with pro-British King Peter, and threatened the success of the planned German invasion of Russia.

Hitler asked the Hungarians to support his invasion of Yugoslavia. He promised to return some territory to Hungary in exchange for military cooperation. On 3 April 1941, unable to prevent Hungary's participation in the war alongside Germany, Teleki committed suicide. The right-wing radical László Bárdossy succeeded him as Prime Minister.

Invasion of Yugoslavia

Three days after Teleki's death, the Luftwaffe bombed Belgrade without warning. The German Army invaded Yugoslavia and quickly crushed Yugoslavian armed resistance. Horthy dispatched the Hungarian Third Army to occupy Vojvodina. Later, Hungary forcibly annexed sections of Baranja, Bačka, Međimurje, and Prekmurje.

Forced labor service

The forced labor service system was introduced in Hungary in 1939. This affected primarily the Jewish population, but many people belonging to minorities, sectarians, leftists and Roma were also inducted.

35-40 thousand forced laborers, mostly Jews or of Jewish origin, served in the Hungarian Second Army which fought in the USSR. 80 percent of them - that is, 28-32 thousand people - never returned; they died either on the battle-field or in captivity.

Approximately half of the six thousand Jewish forced laborers working in the copper mines in Bor in Yugoslavia were executed during the German withdrawal from Yugoslavia (Cservenka, Abda).

The war in the east

Hungary did not immediately participate in the invasion of the Soviet Union. The invasion began on 22 June 1941, but Hitler did not directly ask for Hungarian assistance. Nonetheless, many Hungarian officials argued for participation in the war in order not to encourage Hitler into favouring Romania in the event of border revisions in Transylvania. On 26 June 1941, the Soviet air force bombed Košice (Kassa). Some speculation exists that this was a "false-flag" attack instigated by Germany (possibly in cooperation with Romania) to give Hungary a casus belli for joining Operation Barbarossa and the war. Hungary declared war against the Soviets on 27 June 1941.

On 1 July 1941, under German instruction, the Hungarian "Carpathian Group" (Karpat Group) attacked the 12th Soviet Army. Attached to the German 17th Army, the Karpat Group advanced far into southern Russia. At the Battle of Uman, fought between 3 and 8 August, the Karpat Group's mechanized corps acted as one half of a pincer that encircled the 6th Soviet Army and the 12th Soviet Army. Twenty Soviet divisions were captured or destroyed in this action.

In July 1941, the Hungarian government transferred responsibility for 18,000 Jews from Carpato-Ruthenian Hungary to the German armed forces. These Jews, without Hungarian citizenship, were sent to a location near Kamenets-Podolski, where in one of the first acts of mass killing of Jews during World War II, all but two thousand of these individuals were shot by Nazi mobile killing units. Bardossy then passed the "Third Jewish Law" in August 1941, prohibiting marriage and sexual intercourse of Hungarians with Jews.

Six months after the mass murder at Kamianets-Podilskyi, Hungarian troops killed 3,000 Serbian and Jewish hostages near Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, in reprisal for resistance activities.

Worried about Hungary's increasing reliance on Germany, Admiral Horthy forced Bárdossy to resign and replaced him with Miklós Kállay, a veteran conservative of Bethlen's government. Kállay continued Bárdossy's policy of supporting Germany against the Red Army while also initiating negotiations with the Western Allies. Hungarian participation in Operation Barbarossa during 1941 was limited in part because the country had no real army before 1939, and time to train and equip troops had been short. But by 1942, tens of thousands of Hungarians were fighting on the eastern front.

During the Battle of Stalingrad, the Hungarian Second Army suffered terrible losses. The Soviet breakthrough at the Don River sliced directly through the Hungarian units. Shortly after the fall of Stalingrad in January 1943, the Hungarian 2nd Army was crushed by the Soviets at the Battle of Voronezh. Ignoring German orders to stand and fight to the death, the bewildered Hungarian troops, most of whom had no clue what exactly they were fighting for, turned and fled. Harassed by partisan bands and Soviet air attacks, and having to endure the Russian winter weather, they tried in vain to retreat. Most of the survivors were taken prisoner by the Soviet army, and total casualties numbered more than 100,000 men. The Hungarian army ceased to exist as an effective fighting force, and the irate Germans pulled them from the front.

While Kállay was Prime Minister, the Jews endured increased economic and political repression, although many, particularly those in Budapest, were temporarily protected from the final solution. For most of the war, the Hungarian Jews lived an uneasy existence. They were deprived of most freedoms, but were not subjected to physical harm, and Horthy tried to contain anti-Semitic groups like the Arrow Cross.

Secret negotiations with the British and Americans continued. As per the request of the Western Allies, there were no connections made with the Soviets. Aware of Kállay's deceit and fearing that Hungary might conclude a separate peace, in March 1944, Hitler launched Operation Margarethe and ordered Nazi troops to occupy Hungary. Horthy was confined to a castle, in essence, placed under house arrest. Döme Sztójay, an avid supporter of the Nazis, became the new Prime Minister. Sztójay governed with the aid of a Nazi military governor, Edmund Veesenmayer. The Hungarian populace was not happy with their nation being reduced in effect to a German protectorate, but Berlin threatened to occupy Hungary with Slovak, Croat, and Romanian troops if they did not comply. The thought of these ancestral enemies on Hungarian soil was seen as far worse than German control. Ironically, Hungary still kept whole divisions on the border with Romania even as the troops of both nations were fighting and dying together in the Russian winter.

After German troops occupied Hungary, mass deportations of Jews to German death camps in occupied Poland began. SS Colonel Adolf Eichmann went to Hungary to oversee the large-scale deportations. Between 15 May and 9 July, Hungarian authorities deported 437,402 Jews. All but 15,000 of these Jews were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau[10], and 90% of those were immediately gassed to death. One in three of all Jews killed at Auschwitz were Hungarian citizens.[10] Sztojay, unlike previous prime ministers, answered mostly to Berlin and was thus able to act independently of Horthy. However, reports of the conditions in the concentration camps led the admiral to resist his policies.

As the Soviets pushed westward, Sztojay's government proceeded to muster new armies. The Hungarian troops again suffered terrible losses, but now had a motive to protect their homeland from Soviet occupation.

In August 1944, Horthy replaced Sztójay with the anti-Fascist General Géza Lakatos. Under the Lakatos regime, acting Interior Minister Béla Horváth ordered Hungarian gendarmes to prevent any Hungarian citizens from being deported. The Germans were unhappy with the situation, but could not do a great deal about it. Horthy's actions thus bought the Jews of Budapest a few months of time.

 Flight Simulators
IL-2 Sturmovik Cliffs of Dover - COD/CLOD skins
  Ákos Bohus AB COD Fiat BR.20M Royal Hungarian Air Force 1938
  Ákos Bohus AB COD Fiat BR.20M Royal Hungarian Air Force 1938 V0A

  Fiat BR.20M with the roundel of the Royal Hungarian Air Force between 1938 – 1941. Ákos Bohus AB 2012-02-23


   IL-2 Sturmovik 'Cliff's of Dover' Blitz

   IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad

   DCS World - has no 3D model


Regia Aeronautica Aces (World War II)
Ace No of Kills
Teresio Vittorio Martinoli22 kills
Franco Lucchini22 kills (1 in Spain)
Leonardo Ferrulli21 kills (1 in Spain)
Franco Bordoni-Bisleri19 kills
Luigi Gorrini19 kills
Mario Visintini17 kills
Ugo Drago17 kills
Mario Bellagambi14 kills
Luigi Baron14 kills
Luigi Gianella12 kills
Attilio Sanson12 kills
Willy Malagola11 Kills
Carlo Magnaghi11 kills
Angelo Mastroagostino11 kills
Giorgio Solaroli di Briona11 kills
Mario Veronesi11 kills
Fernando Malvezzi10 kills
Giulio Reiner10 kills
Giuseppe Robetto10 kills
Carlo Maurizio Ruspoli di Poggio Suasa10 kills
Massimo Salvatore10 kills
Claudio Solaro10 kills
Ennio Tarantola10 kills
Giulio Torresi10 kills
Adriano Visconti10 kills


 Italy Map


    Fiat BR.20 Cicogna Notes

  1. This was a mission flown against night-flying Superfortresses flown by a single Ki-100 piloted by Capt Masashi Sumita of the 18th Sentai.

    Fiat BR.20 Cicogna Citations

  1. Bignozzi, p. 10.
  2. Gunston 1994, p. 221.
  3. Ethell 1995, p. 66.
  4. Ethell 1995, p. 67.
  5. Matricardi 2006, p. 257.
  6. Lembo 2003, p. 8-26.
  7. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 291.
  8. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 292.
  9. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 307.
  10. Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) - General Aviation World Records: History of General Aviation World Records List of records
  11. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 293.
  12. a b c Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 294.
  13. Taylor 1980, p. 384.
  14. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 308.
  15. De Marchi 1976, p. 6.
  16. Angelucci and Matricardi 1978, p. 197.
  17. De Marchi 1976, p. 7.
  18. "David Scott Malden." Retrieved: 7 December 2007.
  19. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 310.
  20. De Marchi 1976, p. 10.
  21. De Marchi 1976, p. 8.
  22. De Marchi 1976, p. 9.
  23. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 311.
  24. De Marchi 1976, p. 12.
  25. Green and Swanborough 1982, p. 312.
  26. Donald 1997, p. 407-408.
  27. Andersson 2008, p. 266.
  28. "Fiat BR.20" (in Spanish). Retrieved: 8 December 2007
  29. Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1998. ISBN 0-7607-1022-8.

    Fiat BR.20 Cicogna Bibliography:

  • Andersson, Lennart.A History of Chinese Aviation: Encyclopedia of Aircraft and Aviation in China until 1949. AHS of ROC: Taipei, Taiwan, 2008. ISBN 978-957-28533-3-7.
  • Angelucci, Enzo and Paolo Matricardi. World Aircraft: World War II, Volume I (Sampson Low Guides). Maidenhead, UK: Sampson Low, 1978. ISBN 0-562-00096-8.
  • Bignozzi, Giorgio. Aerei d'Italia (dal 1923 al 1972). Edizioni "E.C.A. 2000" Milano.
  • De Marchi, Italo. Fiat BR.20 cicogna. Modena, Editore S.T.E.M. Mucchi, 1976.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Aerospace Publishing. 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  • Ethell, L. Jeffrey. Aircraft of World War II. Glasgow, HarperCollins Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-00-470849-0.
  • Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon, eds. "Fiat BR.20... Stork à la mode". Air International Volume 22, No. 6, June 1982, pp. 290–294, 307–312. ISSN 0306-5634.
  • Gunston, Bill. Aerei della Seconda Guerra Mondiale. Milano, Alberto Peruzzo Editore, 1984.
  • "Il CAI sul Mare del Nord" (in Italian). RID magazine October 1990.
  • Lembo, Daniele. "Fiat BR.20 una Cicogna per la Regia" (in Italian). Aerei nella Storia n. 29, April–May 2003, West-ward edictions.
  • Matricardi, Paolo. Aerei Mililtari: Bombardieri e da Trasporto 2.(in Italian) Milano, Electa Mondadori, 2006.
  • Massiniello, Giorgio. "Bombe sull'Inghilterra" (in Italian). Storia Militare magazine n.1/2005.
  • Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II. London: Bounty Books, 2006. ISBN 0-753714-60-4.
  • Sgarlato, Nico. "Il Disastro del CAI" (in Italian). Aerei nella Storia magazine, June 2007.
  • Taylor, M.J.H. (ed). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Jane's, 1980. ISBN 1-85170-324-1.

    Magazine References: +

  • Airfix Magazines (English) -
  • Avions (French) -
  • FlyPast (English) -
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) -
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) -
  • Klassiker (German) -
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) -
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) -
  • Osprey (English) -
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) -

    Web References: +

  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:


This webpage was updated 21st December 2021