Soviet Military Intervention in Hungary, 1956

ISBN: 
978-963-9116-36-8
cloth
$49.95 / €42.95 / £35.00
With a study by Alexandr Kirov, military historian
Publication date: 
1998
350 pages

This remarkable study reveals precious new material on the organization, command, strategy, and tactics of the Soviet armed forces which invaded Hungary in 1956. Particularly interesting is the precise documentation of the irrationally large size of the forces. The major contribution made by the book is its source material: it is based on research in Soviet archives, and this alone makes the volume of unique scholarly importance.

The book opens with a substantial introductory essay by the editors, and includes a major study by Alexandr Kirov, based on research in Soviet military archives. One of the real strengths of the book is that it also includes the memoirs of General Yevgeny Malashenko, in 1956 a colonel in the Soviet Army and acting Chief of Staff of the Special Corps in Budapest, who provided unparalleled insights into Soviet military procedures, politico-military co-operation, and the actual fighting strengths and weaknesses of the Red Army. Very few other high-ranking Soviet officers have ever published their memoirs in the West.

Questions are increasingly being raised

Hungarian Workers Party proves unable to lead society

The ‘wave’ plan for armed intervention

How it began

Plan is set in motion

Soviet troops in Budapest

A friendly message to the workers of the Hungarian People’s Republic

Re-evaluation of the situation

Command to cease fire, Refugees and hosts

Troop invasion continues

Preparations for a new military operation

Beginning of operation ‘Whirlwind’

UN general assembly decision

Who represents the will of the people?

Organization of the Soviet city command

End of the suppression of the uprising

Rearguard actions

Sepilov lied

There have been, and will be, arrests

And what happened afterwards

Hungarian October and the present

The old view is no longer valid

Soviet troop losses

Troops withdraw

the graves stay behind

After nearly 40 years

The price of the Khrushchev-Kádár agreement

Conclusion

Tables

“This unique collection of three essays on the 1956 Soviet military intervention in Hungary uses recently unclassified material from the Soviet archives. The essay by Russian military historian Alexander Kirov concludes that the major lesson of 1956 is that Russian military should not again oppose popular sentiment in a country. The two editors, Hungarian military historians, contribute an essay outlining their own view of events. In contrast Y. I. Malashenko offers his recollections of events in which he was a key participant. His observations are based on memories of oral communications of the invading military force rather than on written documents…the controversies generated are stimulating.”
“The main strength of this book is that it draws on a wide variety of documents and documentary collections from several Hungarian archives and one Soviet archive that were declassified after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Institute for the Study of 1956 Revolution in Budapest has published a plethora of books and documents, but unfortunately very few have been translated into English. Thus Györkei’s volume is a good start and it will serve as a helpful reference work, containing as it does tables, maps and bibliographic notes. Finally, I believe Malashenko is correct that this book helps to ‘contribute to the reconciliation of our peoples (Hungarian and Russian)’.”
“The two authors convincingly argue and document it was indeed a democratic revolution…it is a valuable contribution to Cold War History.”