" Hegyivadász "
Hegyivadász (Mountain Hunter) is the Hungarian expression for Mountain/Alpine infantry. The troop colours are green just like the regular infantry with the distinction of the Edelweiss flower worn on the side of the field cap. This was the symbol for Mountain/Alpine infantry in the old Austro-Hungarian army as well as the German Mountain/Alpine infantry (Gebirgsjäger). It was also common to wear  a field cap with the visor because of the strong sunlight in the higher regions in the mountains. The Visor caps were introduced for the regular army by the end of WW2 as standard, while the Mountain/Alpine infantry had used it for several years.


"Machine Gunners"
Hungarian Air Force staff in light summer tunics demonstrates a Schwarzlose machine gun.
The round large sights are for air-defence and a quick aim at a possible fast moving target.


" Fratelli Italiano "
A Hungarian transport company together with Italian soldiers pose for a group photograph in the fall of 1941.  At the beginning of the Soviet campaign in 1941, Hungary participated with a smaller contingent at first and later escalated the participation with fighting troops as well.


" Happy Memories "
Hungarian army sergeants  share a moment of happiness and relaxation by singing together.


" Ilovskoje 1942 "
The Hungarian Air-Field at Ilovskoje was the main base for the Hungarian Air-Force at the Eastern Front. On the photo, the ground crew pose in front of an Italian made Reggiane Re 2000 Falco I fighter.


Photographs from the past !
After a longer brake www.tuzkereszt.com is back and active, ready with new (old) material. During the absences, a great amount of  Hungarian military photographs/albums/negatives has been added to the collection and is in the digitalization process. I will continue to publish highlights and interesting glimpse's of Hungarian military past here on the website, so keep an eye on the updates.


"Beautiful Horses"
Two Hungarian corporals on horseback while their corporal colleague holds the horses reins with a a steady grip.


" Smoke break "
Hungarian infantry sergeant relaxes after a day of activities at the barracks.


" Artillery Friends "
Hungarian Artillery artillery platoon posing for a group-photograph outside their barracks.
The reverse of the original photograph dates the moment to the winter of 1940.


" Смерть Гитлеру "
Hungarian soldiers pose for a photograph on-top a Kliment Voroshilov (KV) KV-1 tank, a series of Soviet heavy tanks named after the Soviet defence commissar and politician Kliment Voroshilov. The writing on the tank says " Смерть Гитлеру " (Death to Hitler) in Russian. The KV tanks were the most feared tanks at this time since their heavy armour had no real counterpart in the early stages of the invasion of the Soviet-union. The tanks were unfortunately too heavy for the simple roads on the front, and even a small river or stream could limit it's manoeuvrability since most bridges couldn't bear it's weight.

The photographs are from a photo-series from the 1942 summer offensive near the Russian town of Korotoyak, and is from the photo-album an unknown Hungarian 1/st Lieutenant.



" Welcome to Pécs! "
Military reception at the railway-station in the south Hungarian town of Pécs. 
Officers as well as nicely decorated veterans lining up for the reception.
Photograph from an original glass-negative, most likely from the early 1930-th.


" Yesterday's Heroes "
Hungarian 2/Lt with the bronze Signum Laudis Military Merit Medal, on the red war ribbon with crossed swords for exceptional merit, the 1938 Return of upper Hungary and the 1940 Return of Transylvania remembrance medals.


"Hospital Friends"
A great photograph of soldiers visiting their friends at a Hungarian military hospital. Looking at the uniforms and type of photograph, the photo might have been taken around the early 1930-th. Obviously a staged group picture, it gives a great glimpse of the humour and style of the military life.


" Bikes across the Border "
Hungarian bicycle-infantry crosses the Hungary - Romania border into Transylvania, during the 1940 Return of Transylvania (Erdély) campaign. The Hungarian population across the border cheers as the bicycle-infantry passes.


T-26 Tanks
Hungarian Air Force private takes some time to inspect captured Soviet T-26 light tanks.
The photograph is from a 1941 Air Force soldiers photo-album.


Hungarian Private
Portrait studio-photograph from an original glass-negative. The razor-shap image quality is really fun to work with, digitalizing historical images. The negative has not lost any of it's original finish and could easily preserve the photograph for many years on. Using digital scanning technology every part of the gray-scale can me enhanced for the best result, even better then originally intended working with darkroom equipment for paper-prints.


" Somewhere in Russia "
German and Hungarian soldiers gathered around a Red-Cross motorcycle for a quick photograph. The primitive houses and mud filled roads, is starting to make the fighting soldier's everyday life harder for every day. Heavy rain and freezing temperatures eventually turned the tide for the Germans and their Hungarian allies in the war when the supply lines broke down, due to the circumstances mentioned as well as the wast distances on the Russian front.


Lajos Gróf
Hungarian Artillery Sergeant
These are some of the photographs from the photo-heritage of artillery sergeant Lajos Gróf, taken between 1937-1941. The photographs gives a small glimpse of the everyday life, as well as the moments with friends and fellow Honvéd artillery soldiers.

The happy life during the summer-exercises.

 Everyday cleaning duty.

The Hungarian Artillery passes the border to Romania (Transylvania) during the 1940 return of Transylvania campaign.

Among friends by Artillery garden decor.

Posing for a group photograph in the regimental yard.

Lajos Gróf in 1941, in a trench field equipped.


" Finally some time to rest "
Everyone who has been in service knows that every little time of non activity is a great opportunity  to rest and relax. Even for a few minutes, every second counts for any tired soldier. To be able to push yourself beyond your limits, it takes energy!

This small photo-series of two unknown photographs, a snapshot from a Hungarian soldiers life, just says it all for us former soldiers, that summons this exact feeling. 


Honvéd Portrait
Hungarian Air-Force Honvéd (private)

I often get the question what kind of photographs I use for this blog. Do I use the best possible quality photos, what size images I use, how do I acquire the right contrast and do I fix the photographs by manipulation.

The photographs I use is normally the ones that is overlooked, but still contains very interesting details, and have potential if scanned and worked on. They might not be very expensive or sought after, but still a part of history. 
I scan the photographs in very high resolution and digitally remove damages and dust so the photograph get's it's original quality back, and then I work on the contrasts for the best finish. Sometimes this work (usually done in the darkroom by the paper developing) was never properly made, and left the original photo with poor contrast. This is easily fixed in Photoshop and brings out an image never seen before. 


" Preparing the meal "
Hungarian soldiers prepares some grilled meat as they recently arrived somewhere in Russia. 
Sticks and a fireplace is all that is needed for this improvised cooking.


" The Best Logistics "
Soldiers from the Hungarian army logistic branch in front of their vehicle, pauses for a moment to make a photograph.


" Farewell! "
Hungarian Soldiers pose for some last photographs before the departure to the front.



" Ready for Departure! "
A last photograph before the soldiers leave, sitting in the back on the transport lorry. No notice or text where ever made on the back of the printed copy, so the place and destination, place or names of the Hungarian soldiers will most likely remain in the secret vault of history. The photo itself is a great snapshot and a detailed documentation of everyday military life.


" Ready for inspection, Sir ! "
The gendarmerie (Csendőr) guard at the Galánta gendarmerie-regiment stands ready for the reception of the Inspector of Gendarmerie & Police, Colonel-General Gábor Faragho on October 3-rd 1943. 
The entire reception can be viewed here; https://filmhiradokonline.hu/watch.php?id=5187
(The original photograph here is digitally colourized)


" Three on a Gun "
Hungarian soldiers pose for a photograph on a anti-aircraft gun. This heavy ground mounted air-craft gun could be used both for air-defence as well as to destroy enemy tanks depending on use. 


" Őrmester Úr ! "
- Sergeant Sir! Hungarian sergeant with a proud expression for the perfect studio photograph. Regular sergeants uniform of the later type (past 1936) with folded collar and silver bullions, buttons and metal star.


" Air-Defence training"
Some images from the Hungarian Air-Defence training in 1942/43.
Photographs from Sándor Molnár, Air-Defence Warrant Officer's photo-heritage.



" While the train pauses.."
Some moments are not always special, and one does not realize any special importance to capture it, or make it last. Just like when the trains stops on the tracks and pauses for a while. One soldier though, grabbed his camera and took the opportunity to make some photos. 
I like these special moments of "non-importance" because this is what military and ordinary life contains, and it gives a special touch of regularity amongst more important moments in history.



"Time for music"
Group photograph in a boat with the guitar player in focus. 



" Honvéd Portrait "
Hungarian Honvéd Private in the high-collar 1930th type uniform.


" Guard Duty "
Hungarian infantry corporal dressed in the light summer tunic.



" Three Good Friends "
A Hungarian private (Honvéd) and two corporals, all three nicely decorated with the 1941- Return of Southern Hungary (Délvidék) remembrance medals. The corporal in the middle is also decorated with the green infantry marksman lanyard.


" Colours from the past "
Hungarian artillery sergeant pose with his loved one. The photograph is an original colour slide most likely form sometime after 1941/42. The three ribbon bars that the artillery sergeant wears, are the most common combination in this time.
From left; the 1938- Return of the northern territories (Felvidék) remembrance medal, the 1940- Return of Transylvania (Erdély) remembrance medal and the 1941- Return of Southern Hungary (Délvidék) remembrance medal.