The 1942-3 campaign (part 1)
By a mixture of discussions, arm twisting and blackmail the Germans got the Hungarians to agree to send an expeditionary force to the Eastern Front in 1942. This was to consist of an army of 3 corps and an armoured division. The 3 corps chosen were III, IV, and VII but equipment and personnel were drawn from othe rcorps tp spread the burden. Only V, VI and IX corps were left untouched as these faced the Rumanian border and hence the Hungarians main enemy in many peoples eyes.
Call up and training started in late March with first units to be dispatched in April.
Note 17/2/42 Hungary renamed infantry brigades light infantry divisions with no change to size or organisation.
First echelon: departed Hungary 11/4/42, detrained Kursk - Orel area, marched 60 - 100 km to the south to take position between German 2nd and 6 th Armies. The 6th light division was off loaded 260km west of Kursk for anti partisan duties
2nd Army HQ, part 2nd Army supply trains, III Corps of 6, 7 and 9 light divisions, IV Corps troops.
Second echelon: departed Hungary 30/5/42, detrained Gomel area, marched 1000 km to to take position on the R Don. The longer march was the result of supply trains being given priority.
IV Corps of 10, 12, and 13 light divisions
Third echelon: departed Hungary 19/6/42, detrained Kursk.
VII Corps of 19, 20 and 23 light divisions; 1st field armoured division, balance of 2nd army troops, plus the Air Force contingent.
A total of183,000 men + 32,000 in military labour battalions were sent between 11/4 and 27/7/42.
The vast majority of these troops were "green".
When the German offensive started on 28/6/42 the Hungarians had their III corps with 7 and 9 light divisions part of III Corps troops, and parts of 1st field armoured division. These were grouped with 2 German divisions in the German VII Korps. 6 light divison was added later.
The Hungarians advanced eastwards and managed with the German 16 (mot) I D to take Tim on 2/7/42 and Staryi Oskol on 4/7/42. The R Don was first reached on 7/7/42 As the bulk of 2nd army arrived it replaced the German 19th Panzer division.
In 10 days an advance of160km. had been achieved. At this point some equipment supplied by the Germans arrived. It included Pz IV with short 75mm guns, Pz 38(t) tanks, light anti tank guns of German, French and Belgian origin, light guns, and mortars.