In a recent purchase of various Hungarian military photos, I notices these three photographs among the many photographs that belonged together. No name or date could be found on the three photographs and the place could be anywhere in the Hungarian countryside more then 70 years ago. The unknown photographs of the Hungarian Honvéd soldier remain a nice time document.
Hungarian soldiers capture a relaxed moment somewhere in Russia. The temporarily dugout, covered with a makeshift leaf-branch cover tells about the conditions in the first line towards the enemy lines.
Öreg Katonák, Hungarian for "senior soldiers" was a term used for over aged conscripts/volunteers that were serving in the Hungarian army. To fill the ranks and for service at the home front these elderly soldiers filled an important role, many of the soldiers had served in WW1 and had previous military experience that came in a good time when the war effort needed more people.
The soldiers in the photograph are seen wearing the canvas replacement belt instead of the usual leather.
Studio photograph of a Hungarian artillery sergeant-major with a nice WW1 medal bar.
A veteran from the great war, he continued to serve in the, from the WW1 peace treaty reduced Hungarian army. The triangle on the left arm marks that he is a regular army employed, in contrast from reservists and part time NCO's. The buttons on the sergeant-major's tunic are silver coloured as well as the sabre knot, collar stars and stripe and triangle on the arm. The collar colour for the artillery was deep red and the shoulder-boards had the same branch colour.
Hungarian Hussar officers enjoys a game of cards somewhere on the Russian front. The uniforms and ranks are modified for front service with discreet collar ranks. This was made to be less distinctive from the rest of the soldiers and not to draw extra attention by the enemy.
A leader of the Tűzharcos Szövetség (National Front-Line Fighters’ Association) talks from his balcony to people gathered outside of his house. Nice early 1920th photograph from a series from a Tűzharcos Szövetség heritage.
Sergeant Oszkár Kléesz from the infantry regiment in Kecskemét enjoys a day on the horseback in the newly reclaimed Hungarian territories of Délvidék in April of 1941. Hungary annexed parts of the territories lost in 1920 at this time and Sergeant Kléesz took part with his regiment.
(The original photograph is in Black/White and is here digitally colourized.)
Hungarian Honvéd soldiers in an arranged photograph. The soldiers with the stripe marking on the lower part of the tunic´s arm were called "Karpaszományos honvéd", witch meant that the Honvéd conscript had obtained a higher education, degree or had graduated before the start of the service. Usually this meant a rapid advancement to Private1.class (Őrvezető), Corporal (Tizedes) and Lance corporal (Szakaszvezető) after the basic training. Some Karpaszományos honvéd were even eligible for reserve officers training.
Dear Friends, I have got some sad news from my friend Tamás Deák at our friend site the Royal Hungarian Army ww2 today. The Facebook page was hijacked and he has
no control over the content of the page at the moment. Unauthorised materials has been uploaded and distributed through the page. He
already contacted with Facebook but no action has been taken yet.
We hope that the situation will be solved and the page restored as soon as possible.
Hungarian soldiers enjoying a night-time card game at the barracks. The most common type of playing cards in Hungary as well as Austro-Hungary is the "German Playing cards" (Doppeldeutsche) or "The William Tell deck".
Hungarian Staff Sergeant with a nice WW1 medal bar with several silver and bronze bravery medals, the Karl I Troop cross for front service, the Hungarian WW1 commemorative medal and the NCO long service cross. The high collar tunic was the standard during the 1920th and 1930th.
A relaxed moment in the sun at the Russian front, the perfect moment to preserve for the future. The everyday life of the soldier are rarely documented by the professional army photographers assigned to every army. Their work is to document the most important moments of the units and happenings during a campaign and war. Everyday moments like the photo above shows the more personal side, made by friends, for friends.
Hungarian reserve platoon in mixed 1930-40 uniforms.
The 2nd Lieutenant hadnagy (right) uses the officers shoulder strap that where used by officers until 1941 when it was removed because the big difference between officers and regular troops. (witch were useful for enemy snipers). The warrant officerzászlós (left) are not using the officers shoulder strap and is also missing the left shoulder cord, witch where custom before 1940, when the shoulder cord where only used on the same side as the officers shoulder strap.
The soldiers in the platoon also uses different types of tunic collar. The older type, with the high collar were in use between 1926-40, and after 1940 the lower type became standard.
soldiers posing for a group photograph. Many older
reserve troops and soldiers were called in for shorter repetition service during the inter war period. Hungary had to keep a very restricted number of regular soldiers in the ranks according to the peace-treaty after WW1. Many of the older soldiers were veterans from the
The view from the pilots seat on a German built Junkers Ju 52. This transport air-plane was used by the Royal Hungarian Air-Force. This photo is from the photo-album of Air-Force lieutenant Géza Mészáros who's photographs I have published here some time ago.
Graduates at the Royal Hungarian Ludovika Military Academy. Many of these graduates played important roles during WW2. By then, the year of 1934 had risen to captains rank. Some of the officers went on to serve in the resurrected Hungarian army after the war, even as generals. The political climate that developed into a Stalinist dictatorship had no place for "old Ludovika officers" and gradually removed them from the ranks. Many of the former officers could only take low status jobs and were constantly harassed by the regime. A few even got executed after becoming targets in show-trials and political prosecutions.
Light summer dressed Hungarian soldiers captured on a moving train. The corporals in front of the photograph has got two white stars on their collar witch is always in the colour their military branch. Green is for the infantry, witch is the most likely on the soldiers in this photograph.