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The siege of Budapest by Krisztian Ungvary
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The siege of Budapest

by Krisztian Ungvary

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I'd like to rate this book rather higher then I do, seeing as this is the first comprehensive study of the battle and its aftermath in English; excuse me if I have issues. On one hand, the portion dealing with the more stricty military elements of the story seems indifferently edited, which puts me off. On the other, the choice to largely separate the battle narrative from the experience of the civilian population gives the book an odd flavor. Though that choice does make clear one particular historical reality; that the battle was a mostly German affair conducted with supreme indifference to the fate of the Hungarian population, while the citizens of the city conducted a parallel battle for survival, or to finish off their domestic enemies.

If nothing else I will say that the author deserves points for not glossing over the crimes of the Hungarian fascist regime which enjoyed a brief, brutal spasm of license, and expresses regret over how the experience of victimhood at the hands of the Soviets is still used as an excuse to ignore the moral and ethical failings of Hungarian society during World War II. ( )
2 vote Shrike58 | Nov 5, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Krisztian Ungvaryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lukacs, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As a result of the successive defeats suffered by the Germans on the eastern front, Italy, Romania, and Hungary had become increasingly reluctant allies.
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"If I weren't obliged to account for your head in Moscow, I'd have you hanged in the main square of Buda." Soviet Marshal Rodion Malinovsky to Waffen-SS Oberguppenfuhrer Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch (German commander of the defense of Budapest).
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300119852, Paperback)

This definitive history of one of the fiercest battles of World War II describes the siege of Budapest in unprecedented detail. Both Stalin and Hitler demanded victory at all costs, and the cost was extreme: 80,000 Soviet troops, 38,000 German and Hungarian soldiers, and 38,000 Hungarian civilians perished. The book provides the first full account of this shocking battle.

“As a military history [The Siege of Budapest] is unrivaled. . . . Magisterial.”—John Lukacs, New York Review of Books

“An exceedingly dramatic book, filled with fascinating stories, some of them even humorous, and with heart-rending accounts of suffering, limitless cruelty, and amazing decency.”—István Deák, New Republic

"Ungváry has written a dramatic, gripping history of this siege, filling a gap in WWII history."—Choice

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Based on formerly inaccessible documents and several hundred interviews with Hungarian and German survivors, this is the first complete and unbiased account of the siege of Budapest. Street by street, day by day, Krisztian Ungvary describes the battle and its horrors in meticulous detail. One hundred and two days passed between the appearance of the first Soviet tank and the final capture of Buda Castle. More than 80,000 Soviet troops and 38,000 German and Hungarian soldiers were killed; about 38,000 Hungarian civilian lives were lost. Civilian casualties were extraordinarily high because the city's 800,000 noncombatant residents were never evacuated. This book represents a massive effort of historical reconstruction, and a major contribution to the history of World War II."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300104685, 0300119852

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