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haku
22-10-2006, 15:48
Tomorrow (23 October) is the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian revolution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hungary#1956_Revolution).

In 1956, the Hungarian people tried to break free from the Soviet oppression, and they did manage to overthrow the communist regimeā€¦ for a time. Unfortunately, two weeks after the beginning of the events, the Soviet Union decided to invade Hungaria to crush the freedom movement, between 20,000 to 30,000 Hungarian people, mostly civilians, were massacred by the Red Army.

This is one of the darkest moments of the Cold War in Europe, one that should be remembered by everyone in Europe. Hungarian people must be praised for their courage in fighting an overwhelming power like the Soviet Union.


Institute for the history of the 1956 Hungarian revolution (http://www.rev.hu/index_en.html)

freddie
23-10-2006, 13:14
I think that was really unfortunate for Western European countries, who hid their heads in the sand, deseperately trying to remain in some sorts of inexistable state of status quo. They really should answer to this challenge from teh USSR and aid Hungary in it's plight. The same goes for the US, but Western Europe is the one to point fingers at here. It was one of THEIR countries... Hungary was always a big part of the western-central Europe establishment (Austro-Hungarian Empire). To me it's the same as if USSR attacked Austria while the rest of Europe woud just sit there and watch. Absurd.

haku
23-10-2006, 15:33
freddie, i agree with you from a moral standpoint, however i can see how difficult it was for Nato to do anything militarily at the time.

Here's a map of Nato vs Warsaw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NATO_vs_Warsaw_%281949-1990%29edit.png) at the time.

Hungary had no common border with Nato, contrary to Warsaw which had multiple points of entry. Austria was (and still is) neutral, so it was impossible for Nato to go through Austria, Yugoslavia was also neutral (but still much closer to Warsaw than Nato), so it was also impossible for Nato to go through Yugoslavia.

The only remaining option for Nato would have been to go through Czechoslovakia, an extremely difficult option for many reasons:
- It would have been a direct attack by Nato on Warsaw, a casus belli allowing all Warsaw countries to retaliate on all Nato countries, this could have easily led to a new continental war.
- Czechoslovakia is no easy terrain, going through the mountains of Bohemia and Moravia fighting Warsaw forces along the way would have taken weeks to Nato forces, plenty of time for the USSR to send more troups into Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
- East Germany was just north of Bohemia and Moravia, and at the time, East Germany was crawling with Soviet forces who had never left Germany since the end of WWII. Nato forces would have been quickly intercepted by Soviet forces coming from East Germany long before they were even close to the Hungarian border leading to a massive fight.
- Finally, in 1956, Warsaw forces were stronger than Nato forces, especially ground forces. We were only 10 years after the end of WWII, and during those 10 years, western European countries had dedicated most of their resources to rebuilding their cities, infrastructures, etc, but very little had been dedicated to the military, contrary to the USSR which had dedicated a large amout of its resources to its military. In 1956, the USSR ground forces were most probably capable of reaching the Atlantic in a matter of weeks (if i remember correctly my old cold war lessons, the ratio at the time was 10 Warsaw tanks against 1 Nato tank).

Now, if Austria had been part of Nato at the time, history could have followed a different path. Nato forces would have been stationed near Vienna close to the Austro-Hungarian border, they would not have needed to invade any other Warsaw countries and could have easily reached Budapest within a day (easy flat terrain, no resistance from Hungarian troups obviously). Once Nato troups would have been in Hungary that fast, the USSR may very well have let it go.

freddie
23-10-2006, 21:57
I don't know why you thinkYugoslavia was closer to the Warshaw pact (communism?), but it was completely the opposite (especially back then), since Tito had a fewd with Stalin and I bet he'd just cream his pants if there was a possibility to piss off the Russians. Infact no formal requests were ever made to Yugoslavia from NATO side. Imo they never had any intentions to intervent simply because they considered it too risky. But at the same time... wouldn't Warshaw pact members consider it too much of a risk to start a possible nuclear confict because of a (relatively) obscure country like Hungary? It was a matter of mutual respect and fear between the two sides and in this case the USSR ignored that respect.

marina
24-10-2006, 12:39
Soviet era tank used in Budapest protests 2006 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohz9NzpkrQ8&eurl=)

Well...after 50 years it's still in working order

haku
24-10-2006, 13:10
Simple and sturdy construction, a Soviet specialty.

That being said, it's really sad to see some extremists embarrassing the country worldwide during those important celebrations.

From the BBC:
Many of the protesters were from far right groups and some carried the red-and-white striped flag of the Arpad dynasty - a centuries-old symbol of Hungary that was also used by the nationalist pro-Nazi government during World War II.Enough said.

tanrah
30-10-2006, 13:33
That was a good time! While british and french agressors were treating Egypt Soviet army localised attempt of anti-revolution revolt in Budapesht. 16 soviet divisions under command of Marshal of the Soviet Union G. Jukov were involved in operation. By this way zones of Soviet and NATO influence wery esteblished and political situation in region stabilised.