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The current time is: 12/14/2017 3:16:54 AM
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BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3525

Of Balkan warriors
Posted on: 1/15/2017 6:46:07 AM
 Researching (for a possible game) the Romanian and Bulgarian forces that fought alongside Soviet forces in 1945 led to some interesting insights.

 The Romanians fielded four corps and the Bulgarians only two (not counting the forces that fought in Yugoslavia in late 1944), but the Bulgarian corps were stronger in terms of armament. There appear to have been two primary reasons for this.

☆ First, the Romanians had years of warfare on the eastern front behind them. The Soviets were hugely angered that the Romanians had invaded Russia and took steps to ensure the Romanians fought for them under a difficult regime that ran the Romanian forces into the ground and schemed to ensure the Romanians would suffer heavy casualties. Much equipment was seized, in particular, anything that the Romanians had captured from Soviet forces. As an example of the "downsizing" that occurred, the motorized corps artillery regiments of the Romanian corps fought in 1945 with two 8-piece battalions vice the normal twelve pieces. Divisional artillery was so shrunken that mortars had to be used to provide an additional "artillery" battalion.

☆ By contrast, the Bulgarians had managed to not get drawn into Hitler's invasion of Russia. Bulgarian experience to that point was occupation duties in Yugoslavia and occasional combat with partisans, both Yugoslavian and Bulgarian communist. When the Soviet forces arrived, the communists took power in Sofia and greeted the Soviet troops with bread and salt. As fellow Slavs, and a former Axis power that had not invaded the USSR, the Bulgarians were treated much more generously by the Soviets. Thus, the Bulgarian forces were in overall better shape in terms of armament when their First Army took up position as the southernmost army under Soviet command.

☆ Interestingly, both forces were reasonably effective while fighting as client states of the Soviet Union. A final tidbit I picked up while looking at the May 1945 Soviet Order of Battle is the existence of a Hungarian "6th Infantry Division" that was subordinated either to the 1st Bulgarian Army or perhaps the 3rd Ukrainian Front. I had heard a Hungarian division was formed by war's end but its mention in the OOB had escaped me. Perhaps it was the first division of the postwar Hungarian Army (or perhaps not).

On edit. Found a bit on the 1945 division and the People's Army:


Quote:
The postwar Hungarian army developed out of divisions put together to fight Germany after Hungary had made peace with the Allies in December 1944. Under Soviet pressure, however, the army was quickly demobilized in 1946, and most officers were removed because of pro-Western or anticommunist sympathies. A new force was then created under an independent command controlled by the Hungarian Communist Party, and a new army -- the Hungarian People's Army - Magyar N├ęphadsereg -- officially emerged in 1948.
[Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3525

Re: Of Balkan warriors
Posted on: 1/15/2017 8:24:21 AM
 Found this in "The Organization and Order of Battle of Militaries in World War II Volume VII", by Charles D. Pettibone.

Infantry Divisions

1st Hungarian Infantry Division (12/22/44, Debrecen, Hungary; 75% of unit coming from Soviet held Hungarian prisoners of war; 02/45 assigned to 2nd Ukrainian Front; although it did not go the front until 05/01/45, and assigned to Soviet 26th Army).

3rd Hungarian Infantry Division (04/14/45, Debrecen, Hungary; barely started forming when the war in Europe ended in May).

5th Hungarian Infantry Division (02/45, Segede and Khaimash, Hungary; formed on a Hungarian "light division"; never completed forming before the war ended).

6th Hungarian Infantry Division (02/45, Debrecen, Hungary; 04/01/45, assigned to Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front; fought in the last three weeks of the war).

7th Hungarian Infantry Division (02/45, Mishkeltse, Hungary; no indication that this division was even partially formed before the war ended in Europe).

 There were also two railroad brigades formed to assist in transport of troops through Hungary.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

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