Hungarian military abbreviation

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Leo Niehorster
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Hungarian military abbreviation

Post by Leo Niehorster » 20 Feb 2016 13:23

Could someone please tell me what kind of school this is?
(Located on the 23.05.1945 garrison list at Lingen/Ems.)

4. karp. kik. kőzp. isk.

TIA
Leo
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GregSingh
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Re: Hungarian military abbreviation

Post by GregSingh » 21 Feb 2016 08:08

I've seen reference to IV.Karpaszományos Kiképzö Központ Iskola

Osprey's Man at Arms 449 translates Karpaszományos as reserve candidate, but that's not clear.
So it might be some kind of training center for reservists.
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Leo Niehorster
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Re: Hungarian military abbreviation

Post by Leo Niehorster » 21 Feb 2016 11:46

Hi Greg,

Many thanks.

Yes, the karp. has me wondering also, and I'm not sure what Karpaszományos means either.
The main part paszomány means reserve officer candidate,
but the kar bit has me baffled.

As you correctly indicate,
kik. (Kiképzö ) is Training
Közp. (Központ) is Center
isk. (iskola) is School

Might be the 4th Reserve Officer Candidate School Center . . .
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McGuba
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Re: Hungarian military abbreviation

Post by McGuba » 29 Feb 2016 18:36

The "karpaszomány" is an old Hungarian word which refers to a ribbon (paszomány) which should be worn on the sleeve of the uniform which covers the arm (kar) of a soldier. A few examples can be seen here:
http://www.roncskutatas.hu/node/10436

A tüzér (artillery) karpaszományos őrvezető uniform:
http://militiahungarorum.roncskutatas.h ... tes_07.jpg

Its colour refers to the type of the unit and not to the rank. The ribbon itself was used to distinguish those soldiers who had higher (civilian) education than the average Hungarian conscript prior to entering the army. All those men who had at least secondary level education (more or less today's GCSE) were entitled to wear the karpaszomány after enlisting to the army, which meant some priviliges. For example they did not have to do "dirty" jobs like cleaning the latrine, a karpaszományos katona (soldier with a karpaszomány) was superior to another soldier of the same rank, and they could be promoted faster.

The reason behind it was in those days the majority of the Hungarian population only spent 4 or 8 years in school at best and illiteracy was still relatively common, but those who also had secondary or even higher education were expected to have a higher level of literacy, higher knowledge of maths and spoke at least one foreign language (usually German) quite well. These skills made them more useful for the army and could be promoted faster. For example a karpaszományos honvéd (private) was promoted to a karpaszományos őrvezető (lance corporal) after only 3 months of entering the army - usually at the end of basic training. And after another 3-4 months was promoted to karpaszományos tizedes (corporal). During their training they were evaluated and according to their performance they could become NCOs or even officers, again usually faster than "normal" soldiers. Thus the reserve officer candidate translation for the karpaszományos is more or less acceptable. They were indeed only candidates for officer rank as not all of them became officers, but they had a good chance depending on their performance during the training.

The other reason for such distinction was that the Hungarian society was still a half-feudal segregated one in the mid-20th century with the leading aristocracy up high and the plebs down under. And the ruling class just did not really want see working class NCOs giving orders to aristocrats of lower military rank. And obviously the children of the higher class had better access to higher education, too, so when entering the army they became karpaszományos with the afformentioned priviliges. Also, karpaszományos soldiers had a uniform similar to officers, even though technically they were not neccessarily officers.

So, in a nutshell that training centre was one such school to provide faster military training for people with a higher civilian education.

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Leo Niehorster
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Re: Hungarian military abbreviation

Post by Leo Niehorster » 01 Mar 2016 09:08

Wow, that's a great explanation. Certainly more than I expected. Thank you.
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