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Hungary in World War IICaught in the Cauldron$
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Deborah S. Cornelius

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233434

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233434.001.0001

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Efforts to Exit the War

Efforts to Exit the War

(p.226) 7 Efforts to Exit the War
Hungary in World War II

Deborah S. Cornelius

Fordham University Press

Despite the catastrophic loss of the Second Army, 1943 became a year of cautious optimism for Hungarians; the German defeat at Stalingrad showed clearly that the war had reached a turning point. Prime Minister Kállay attempted to make contact with the Western Allies, evading detection by the Right which controlled Parliament; yet fear of German occupation affected every action. A secret verbal agreement was eventually reached with the British for Hungarian capitulation, but only to take place when Anglo-Saxon powers reached Hungary's borders. In the meantime, Hitler, distrusting the Kállay government, prepared for a possible occupation of Hungary. Spectacular Red Army victories increased Hungary's strategic importance, and Hitler decided to activate Operation Margarethe. Summoning Admiral Horthy to Klessheim Castle, he persuaded the indignant Horthy to remain at his post, promising a partial rather than full occupation.

Keywords:   Western Allies, Stalingrad, capitulation, Kállay, Red Army, Operation Margarethe

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