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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 50 : Hungarian Aces of World War 2

Like Germany, Hungary was forbidden from having an air force following the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War 1. However, again like Germany, the new state of Hungary created an air arm in secret during the 1930s. Hungarian fighter pilots first saw action against their Slovakian neighbours in early 1939, following the annexation of Czechoslovakia by Germany. In June 1941, Hungarian armed forces joined Germany in the invasion of Russia, and pilots from the I/I Fighter Group saw continuous action into 1942. Flying CR.42s, Re.2000s and Bf 109Es, pilots scored a modest number of kills. However, when the Bf 109G-equipped Hungarian 101 'Puma' Fighter Regiment was committed to action over Kharkov in April 1943, numerous aces started to rapidly build there scores. One year later the unit returned home in order to defend Hungarian cities from American heavy bombers, and pilots such as Dezsö Szentgyörgyi and György Debrödy scored the bulk of their kills in desperate battles against American fighters and bombers. Unlike most of Germany's Eastern European allies, Hungary did not capitulate during the Russian advances of 1944, and its fighter pilots fought on until May 1945. Bulgaria, on the other hand, never declared war on Russia, although it supported German efforts in Yugoslavia and Greece by declaring war on the Western Allies. First seeing action in August 1943 during the American raids on the Ploesti oilfields in neighbouring Romania, Bulgarian fighter pilots of the 6th Fighter Orliak (regiment) used their Bf 109Gs to good effect. For a number of months from late 1943 through to mid-1944, the Bulgarian pilots attempted to defend industrial and military sites within the country from American bombers, and Stoyan Stoyanov and Peta Bochev made ace during this period. By July 1944 the Bulgarian armed forces had surrendered to the Russians. Text by György Punka with illustrations by Stephan Boshniakov.

    Contents
  • The Eastern Front
  • The First Hungarian Bf 109s
  • The 'Pumas' Retreat
  • Home Defence
  • The Last Battles
  • Appendices
  • Colour Plates Commentary
  • Index

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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