Category Archives: Hungarian Army

Box 003 – Hungary, a Work in Progress

Enough of true scale modelling. I have managed to slap some more paint on my Hungarian troops, not because they have a battle coming up, but because they have been shamefully neglected since their last appearance in 2019 in the southern DNEPR. The following pictures show them before final inking and glossing (I refuse to call the process ‘contrast painting’).

Figures are Peter Pig WW1 and WW2 Germans, some with Zeltbahn.

Officers are a mix of Italian, Spanish civil war and Austrian. The armour is a QRF Nimrod, Toldi, and Butler’s Printed Models Csaba.

The  truck is a Syborg 3d Print and the gun a 1/76 Airfix 6pdr heavily camouflaged, pretending to be a beute 10.5cm gun of indeterminate description.

My sole foray to Hungary was a trip to Budapest with the lovely Mrs K. The Schizophrenic  Museum of Military History reflected Hungary’s troubled past in the  path of successive bigger neighbours’ military steamrollers. It was all there in the museum: The cannon balls half embedded in the walls marking the high tide of Ottoman expansion and recapture of Buda in 1686, The Danube Flotilla, the failed Hungarian war of Independence in 1848-49, The Soviet years and afterwards. But what mostly caught my eye was a series of exuberant oil paintings of the Hungarian Air Force fighting the Soviets during World War Two. No graphic details of Soviet pilots baling out with burning parachutes or exploding ammunition convoys were spared. Alas no pictures emerge online. The English translation read, “Fliers from the ultra far right period of Hungary’s history”, whereas the German translation was simply “Unsere heldenisch Flieger” (our heroic pilots).

To my knowledge Nierhorster’s PhD Thesis is still the gold standard for information on the Hungarian armed forces. See the reference sidebar for the link.

I was expecting to be called out for not mentioning Hadrian’s wall or the Berlin Wall in my last post, but seem to have got away with it. 🙂

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Hungarian Army

Review – Syborg Ford V3000 Ambulance

QRF Opel Blitz Office-body and Syborg Ford V3000 Ambulance

The Ford V3000 Ambulance from Syborg3dprinting.co.uk closes a gaping hole in the inventory of WWII trucks for the early to mid-war period.

QRF Opel Blitz Office Body Syborg Ford V3000 Ambulance and MMM Models Opel Blitz Office-body

Comparing this model to those of Skytrex and MMM Models, we see that it sits a little lower and wider in the cab, and has a well-modelled set of ladders on the back, which were one of the distinguishing features of the ambulance body. The biggest flaw in this print are the inevitable contour lines on the bonnet and mudguards . I may have to add cam nets or an air recognition flag to disguise them. This however is a minor criticism of a rather nice little model. The Jerrican on the passenger side mudguard is a nice touch too. The body actually modelled is the geschlossenem Einheits Aufbau (Kfz. 305) mit Laufgangdach (literally: standard closed construction with gallery roof)¹. It is even possible (just) to recognise the print as the Ford V8 G 198 TS  first series, by the beading on the bonnet, and to see a retaining chain holding the rear steps in place. (Although that might just be a bit of supporting tree that did not peel off! Either way, it is staying on now.)

The Wehrmacht used a vast number of requisitioned and captured trucks, so it is good to be able to reflect some of that variety, rather than just filling the ranks with an uneven mix of Opel blitzes from various manufacturers.

1. Looking at the second photo, I have just realised that the  Skytrex and MMM models have just used the left hand (Looking forward) pattern of doors and windows for both sides. Only Petrol Heads or Truckophyliacs will fret about that.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Hungarian Army, Modelling, Trucks, WWII

Review – Syborg Raba Botond 38M Truck + Stowage

Hungarian Rabat Botond 38M Truck

This interesting offering from Syborg3dprinting.co.uk is a little gem. I finally have a proper tow for my Hungarian artillery instead of 20mm SdKfz 10s! The only flaw to these excellent little prints, is that the print lines are very noticeable at close range, obscuring some of the detail to the extent that it either has to be painted over thickly, or filed smooth. The print comes with fixed stowage.

The Rabat Botond was designed as a 6×4 multi-role 1.5 tonne truck for towing artillery and carrying resupply or personnel cross-country.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Hungarian Army, Modelling, Trucks, WWII

Winter Offensive 1942 – Kharkov 4

Just when it seemed that the Soviet attack was losing momentum, this sight greeted General Kempf as he flew over his hard-pressed Panzers in his Fieseler Storch:

Kharkov_26

A hastily assembled Kamfgruppe was thrown into the path of the advancing Soviet breakthrough tank army in the hope that this would give the infantry divisions time to consolidate their positions in KHARKOV and DNEPROPETROVSK.

Kharkov_27The assault on KHARKOV was renewed by a regrouped 270 Guards Rifle Division, reinforced with breakthrough artillery. At this point, after five hours play, spread over two evenings, the game drew to a close. The Axis forces had hung on to the key cities of KHARKOV and DNEPROPETROVSK …. just! Soviet armour was about to burst through the insubstantial screen thrown into its path.

Readers will have noticed the heavy and erratic hand of Soviet photographic censors throughout the pictoral coverage of this report, so I leave you with evidence that the occupiers of DNEPROPETROVSK had stripped the countryside bare and were furiously laying in supplies for a winter siege as the evening drew to a close.

Kharkov_28

For the German view of the battle, see Phil’s excellent Festung KHARKOV report here. For a more idealogically correct official history of the Great Patriotic War, see Graham’s considered report here. Don’t worry if the two reports are incompatible; it’s why they’re fighting!

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Hungarian Army, Land Battles, Soviet Army, Wehrmacht, WWII

Winter Offensive 1942 – Kharkov 2

… This was not shaping up to be a good month to be Hungarian. Astute readers will have noticed the lack of snow on the ground – revealing these photographs as crude Soviet propaganda re-enacted after the event, probably in summer 1943!

Kharkov_07Götterdämmerung, complete with doom laden skies! Is that a space marine (notquitetrademarked) in the background? Probably not!

The four players for this game were Phil and Richard on the Axis side, with Graham and Will on the Soviet side. Richard is new to the group, but the others have history and have grown to know each other’s playing styles well over the last 25 years or so, and there is a ritual to parts of the evening as Players seek moral ascendency over their opponents and *gasp* even the impartial umpire.

Kharkov_0520 Guards Rifle Division storms into KHARKOV despite the best efforts of 16 Panzer Division driving into their flank. Reports of Breakthrough Artillery  massing to the east add to the pressure.

Consequently, cries of outrage, despondency and disbelief will punctuate the evening at carefully judged moments, if it means that an advantage can be had; (I do not exclude myself from this practice either when  it adds spice to the evening). With this in mind, I have a Grumpy Wargamer award available for minor tantrums and a Radio Berlin or Moscow award for what Phil calls sledging.

Kharkov_06The full weight of the southern part of the attack can be seen here, with DNEPROPETROVSK at top left and KHARKOV at top right of the picture.

The tension for the umpire comes when a part of the game is important for a campaign result, but does not necessarily result in a balanced game. On these occasions, I will try to solo game the fill-in parts, but over the years, Graham has had his fair share of desperate defensive battles. He may be cheering up nowadays, sensing a change in the wind.

Kharkov_08Signal Magazine : A closer look at the brave defenders of DNEPROPETROVSK.
Pravda : As our troops advance, evidence of the destruction wrought by the Fascists in DNEPROPETROVSK
is found.

It may be worth summarising that in the NQM campaign the Germans took and held MOSCOW at the expense of reaching the Caucasus oilfields and STALINGRAD. Guess where all the tanks are being built in the south?

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Hungarian Army, Land Battles, WWII

Battle for Girovka Bend

The toys got a rare outing to the Monday Night Group this week, (after many weeks of meeting on Wednesdays or Thursdays, the group is back to its eponymous night). I took the opportunity to game a particularly interesting part of the South Western Front around KHARKOV. XLIV and XXIV Korps were tasked with securing rail bridges against what was expected to be weak Soviet opposition. This was to be a prelude to 1 Pz Korps attacking South West to disrupt Southern Front‘s attack against the southern flank of Army Group South.

Our host was the Revd Ian Lowell, with Graham, Chris A.  and Richard rounding out the Soviets. Will and Ian took the German side, with Phil (yes, that Phil) bringing 1 Gebirgsjäger Division as late arriving reinforcements (not that late as it turned out). The start state looked something like this, representing the front and army group commanders’ plans. As we shall see, the situation on the ground was slightly different :

The Soviets realised early on that 3 German Divisions : 71, 262 and 101 light, were trapped in the fork  of the river bend and attacked north and south more or less simultaneously on the morning of the first day. At this stage, I thought that 12H were east of the river. It turned out that they were not, and the unit marked up as them was an extra division that no-one knew was there! I think that Will had enterprisingly found an extra Panzergrenadier division from the reserves.

For the avoidance of confusion, the picture below is of the Kessel on Day 3 when the German counterattacks have pushed 11Cav back over the bridge in the south, but are steadily losing ground to the Guards and tanks in the north. Richard’s well-tailored arms are putting pins onto 22GR.

By day 2 they had pushed 101 Light division back almost to their bridgehead and we can see 12H where they were supposed to be.

By Day 3, 22GR and 5Tk had succeeded in pushing 71 division south into what was fast becoming a Kessel. Richard discovered that T-60s are quite capable of inducing ‘tank terror’ in unsupported infantry. Even the camera lens is shaking in this shot!

Richard, in charge of the defence of KHARKOV and fired by the possession of 2 guards and one mechanised division threw off all attacks by XLIV Korps and then also attacked south into the area held by 10 Hungarian Division, making steady progress to the railway line.

XXIV Korps was not idle whilst this attack was developing. On day two it threw its weight against  GIROVKA and its bridge, but to less effect than might have been hoped. By day three, 1 Gibirgsjäger Division launched itself into the attack against GIROVKA. There was some Soviet confusion as to how far forward 227 Rifle Division was. It proved to be in GIROVKO, not STALINO as thought when the map was drawn.  This happens a lot in games with commanders losing track of units, sometimes for days at a time.

The Soviets also riposted on the third day with a fierce attack against STALINO that swayed back and forth several times until the Germans were finally ejected on the sixth day of the operation. The timely provision of a commisar detachment (one of Phil’s) may have helped! We allow the commisar to override a morale check by firing at his own unit and adding his score to the casualties. They are not popular chaps!

In the south of the German attack on day four the Luftwaffe made an appearance with two squadrons of He 111s attacking VOROSHEVGRAD to forestall any reinforcements that might be massing there. You can see them flying east in the corner of the picture below.

Whilst this was going on , 10 Hungarian division succeeded in establishing a pioneer bridge over the destroyed railway bridge on the western river fork. This was not to survive long though, as on day five, a VVS attack onto the newly established bridge destroyed it and sealed the fate of any forces trapped in the bend.

You can see the Zementer* squadron making its run-in with 3 squadrons of I-16 Ratas in support

A six on one black heavy die ensures that the bridge is closed for business!

One Stormovik and three 1-16 squadrons took part in the attack. It is worth noting that my ropey old Mustang conversion delivered the goods once more, but the photographers insisted that Phil’s better painted model be substituted for propoganda purposes. This is the shot below that you will see on more sophisticated blogs 🙂

Ian’s legendary reputation for rolling sixes deserted him as the Soviet jaws closed around his trapped forces in the Kessel. At this point, momentum was lost on both sides as the Soviets outran their immediate supply lines and the Germans began to pull back to their start lines, having lost two divisions (71 and 262) to the enemy. Many of the divisions on both sides in the south were at between 20% and 50% strength, although because of the plentiful rail network, most units could still trace supply lines at the end of the battle, as can be seen by the truck markers.

This setback to the Germans will have consequences for the forthcoming second stage of Fall Blau. The two Korps Commanders will be having interviews without coffee before their Army Chief of Staff. Losses were heavy on both sides around STALINO and GIROVKA.

The players all kindly professed to enjoy the game. Richard was introduced to the joys of being an NQM Corps commander in a fairly gentle fashion and will hopefully want to repeat the experience. General Vyler reinforced his reputation as a steady commander in defence, and Generals Evanski and Agerov added another medal to their already substantial rows. General Stahl added to his reputation as the Kleinfuehrer’s fireman, but not even he could put out a fire without buckets. The game started at about 8pm and finished at a little before 11pm with pauses for coffee and Welsh cakes.

  • The Germans called StormoviksZementers‘ (Concrete mixers) because of their toughness

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, Axis War Diary, Hungarian Army, Land Battles, Soviet War Diary, Trucks, Wargames, WWII