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It may seem strange a bit, but it was the continuation of a discussion started before Marcus moved from ezboard to his own forum domain.
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This comes from:
Hungarian Ministry of Defense considered setting up a parachute unit in late 1936. They thought about creating a small but efficient group that could be first dropped during Hitler’s inevitable move against Czechoslovakia and fulfill subversive duties and sabotage in Slovakia.
The group was actually formed on 3MAY38 in Szentendre (sappers and bridge-builders had their HQ there). Captain Valér Stefán was in command. Having finished demolition training the 24 men moved to Pápa (military airfield there), and commenced parachute training. They were the “experimental” unit in formulating the “dos and don’ts” of parachute training, they were the first to test the H39M parachute (designed by engineer Captain Ákos Hehs) which was to become the standard parachute of the Army.
In July the Ministry issued a circular that they are expecting volunteers for a future paratroop unit. In August Captain Árpád Bertalan (picked as commander of the unit) and six young Lieutenants observed the training in Pápa. These officers became the core of the coming parachute battalion. On 25AUG38 they moved to Szombathely and on 2SEP38 they had their first jump. Their “mentor” was a pilot who had one jump under his belt (his plane caught fire and he had no other choice but to hit the silk). Only four officers remained by this time so the commander selected 20 more volunteers and on 11SEP38 the experimental parachute training unit of the Army was formed in Szombathely.
After one year of training and experiment, in September 1939 the unit was redesignated Parachute Company and transferred to Pápa. After one year, in August 1940 they had enough men to form two more companies and became the Royal Hungarian 1st Parachute Battalion
Hungarian Army was mobilized in March 1941 and on 11APR41 3rd Corps moved against Yugoslavia. 1ParBat got a task too (as far as I know Bertalan insisted on participating because he thought it would be the last chance for the unit to obtain some combat experience before the big war commences). A 104-strong unit was to be dropped near Szenttamás (I do not know its Serb name) and they were to take and hold the bridge over Ferenc/Franz-canal until Hungarian ground units get there. The unit moved to Veszprém Airfield on 12APR41. At 15:45 now-Major Bertalan got orders to go. Paratroopers boarded their five SM-75 aircraft and the planes began taxiing. The lead-Savoia with Betalan on board took off but lost her speed and fell from 50-80 meters. Bertalan and 19 others were killed in the crash while nine men could get out of the burning wreck. The mission was aborted.
Later that day the order came through to do the mission with fewer men (some say the Savoia crashed because it was overloaded). They took off at 19:00 but due to faulty navigation they were dropped early, some 20 kms from the target. Paratroopers joined the ground forces and fought as regular infantry. They lost one KIA.
Second mission was on 6JUL41. The 1st Reinforced Mountain Brigade launched its strike from Kõrösmezõ through the Tatár-pass toward Jablonice (current names unknown to me). As routes and bridges were demolished, supply could not keep pace with the brigade so airdrop was necessary. Ten volunteers of the ParBat were to accompany the supplies and guard it once on the ground. They moved to Debrecen Airfield and at 15:30 three SM-75s laden with supplies took off. The planes received fire from Hungarian units but they could successfully drop. Paratroopers suffered no casualties either.
As far as I know from 1943 the battalion trained for plan “R” in Mount Bakony. This was the plan to take Southern Transylvania. Parbat was to occupy passes of the Southern Carpathians. The plan was put into effect – at least partially – after Romania left the axis side in August 1944. But as orders came through rather slowly and when the Army got into motion in September it was too late. Paratroopers were incorporated into the “Szent László” Division instead.
As I heard the Division was picked to serve as some sort of an auxiliary unit to the British-American forces if the Transdanubia region of Hungary indeed fell under Anglo-Saxon occupation. But that never happened.
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