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DOI:10.5593/sgemsocial2017/22/S08.043

SECRET ARMISTICE NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN HUNGARY AND THE WESTERN POWERS, 1942–1944

L. Olasz
Thursday 28 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-18-8 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 2, Vol 2, 323-330 pp, DOI:10.5593/sgemsocial2017/22/S08.043

ABSTRACT

At the beginning of World War II, Hungary was still keeping its neutrality. However, in June 1941, it entered the war against the Soviet Union as a result of urging by the Germans and pushing by the Hungarian military leadership. The government was afraid that Hitler would support the neighbouring states (Romania, Slovakia) in their territorial disputes against Hungary if Hungary did not take part in the war. Hungary did not have any conflict with the Western Powers. In December, 1941, however, Great-Britain proclaimed war upon Soviet request. Then the Hungarian prime minister – with an inconsiderate gesture – declared entering the war even against the United States. Partly, this was the reason why the head of state soon withdrew him. During 1942, the new Hungarian prime minister, Miklós Kállay took steps to contact the Western Powers in secret. He was trying to get in contact with the Western secret services operating in neutral states via the intermediation of journalists, government officials, and celebrities. Secret armistice negotiations had been started. Initially, the Western Powers were mistrustful towards the Hungarian government. By the beginning of 1943, however, they already regarded the advantages that could be gained from Hungary’s potential withdrawal more important. After longer negotiations, in September 1943, they specified the conditions for a temporary armistice. They comprised of the decrease of Germany’s military and economic support and upon the arrival of the allied troops, the military desertion. The Hungarian government agreed to these conditions but requested a guarantee that after the war the Western Powers would allocate the new borders rightfully and on ethnic basis and that the Soviet troops would not enter Hungarian territories. However, the allies did not give any security; they insisted on unconditional surrender. By the beginning of 1944, the Hungarian government determined to take steps in practice to withdraw from the war. For the allies, however, Normandy landing was the most substantial strategic target by that time already. From this point of view, they regarded it as a favourable turn for themselves if the Germans occupied Hungary because of the Hungarian withdrawal efforts, since it would take away German forces from the Western front. That was why they drove the Hungarian government towards more and more open action against the German, what in March 1944 evoked German occupation. With this, the possibility of entering into a separate peace treaty found out by Kállay had failed.

Keywords: armistice negotiation, entry into war, Hungary in WWII, temporary armistice

PAPER DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/22/S08.043 ; SECRET ARMISTICE NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN HUNGARY AND THE WESTERN POWERS, 1942–1944

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