Dávid Ligeti of VERITAS will give a presentation titled The Hungarian Consequences of the Brusilov Offensive at an event organized by the Kovács Imre Association – PC Magiszter Foundation.
Location: Böszörményi út (Road) 34/A, Budapest
Date: 6 PM on (Friday) January 27th, 2017
In June and July 1916, when the Russian Empire initiated an attack across a 400-km wide stretch, one of the bloodiest campaigns of WWI took place on the Eastern Front of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The campaign was named after Cavalry General Aleksei Alekseevich Brusilov, the commander in charge of the Southwestern Front and Russia’s foremost war strategist over the course of the war.
The main objective of Dr. Ligeti’s presentation is to show what impact the offensive had on Hungary. Over the course of the Brusilov Offensive the Monarchy lost some 600 thousand soldiers, with the k. u. k. 4th and 7th Armies suffering especially catastrophic losses. Hungary’s casualties were estimated at 300–350 thousand men, an overrepresentation as proportionally more Hungarian corpsmen were found in both units than would have been expected based on the overall population of the Monarchy. That the corps made up of Slavic ethnics fought with less ferocity and put up less resistance only added to Hungarian losses, so much so that when compared to the Don Bend catastrophe of January 1943, Hungary suffered twice the number of casualties. However while the memory of the Don Bend endures among Hungarians, the Brusilov Offensive had already started to fade while the war was going on and regrettably is all but forgotten today.
In addition to the massive loss of life, the Russian general’s campaign had a major political impact, convincing Romania to enter the war on the side of the Entente, leading to the Romanian invasion of Transylvania in August. Although resulting in far fewer deaths, the Romanian offensive was the first significant fighting on the territory of the Hungarian Kingdom and led to a noteworthy number of civilians fleeing from the Szeklerland.
In the wake of the Brusilov Offensive, the Party of Independence and '48, a Hungarian opposition political party, split in two; in August the first signs of pro-Entente and pacifist feeling appeared – unfortunately assisting Entente expectations – that would help bring about the breakup of Greater Hungary two years later.