Budapest Offensive


Budapest Offensive

The Budapest Offensive was the general attack by Soviet forces to clear Germans and their allies from the territory of Hungary. The offensive lasted from 29 October 1944 until the fall of Budapest on 13 February 1945. The German forces that were ordered by German dictator Adolf Hitler to occupy Hungary (Operation Panzerfaust), prevent its defection from the Axis camp, and protect Germany's southern flank were defeated.

Prelude

Having secured Romania in the summer Iaşi-Chişinău Offensive, the Soviet forces continued their push in the Balkans. The Red Army occupied Bucharest on 31 August and then swept westward across the Carpathian Mountains into Hungary and southward into Bulgaria. In the process, the Red Army’s forces drew German reserves away from the Warsaw-Berlin central axis, encircled and destroyed the German Sixth Army (for the second time) and forced Army Group South Ukraine’s shattered Eighth Army to withdraw westward into Hungary.

The offensive

From October 1944, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Ukrainian Fronts advanced into Hungary. After isolating the Hungarian capital city in late December, the Soviets besieged and assaulted Budapest. On 13 February 1945, the city fell. While this destroyed most of the German forces in the region, troops were rushed from the Western Front and, in March, the Germans launched the ill fated Operation Spring Awakening ("Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen") in the Lake Balaton area. The expansive goals of this operation were to protect one of the last oil producing regions available to the Axis and to retake Budapest. Neither goal was achieved.

In that period in the nearby operations the Soviets also advanced into Yugoslavia and liberated Belgrade in cooperation with Tito’s partisan forces.

ee also

* Operation Spring Awakening ("Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen")
* Soviet occupation of Hungary

Recommended reading

*David M. Glantz, [http://www.strom.clemson.edu/publications/sg-war41-45.pdf The Soviet‐German War 1941–45] : Myths and Realities: A Survey Essay.


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