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Obverse of the Royal Hungarian Honvéd's colours
Reverse of the Royal Hungarian Honvéd's colours
The Royal Hungarian Honvéd (Hungarian: Magyar Királyi Honvédség), Royal Hungarian Honved or Royal Hungarian Landwehr (German: königlich ungarische Landwehr), commonly known as the Honved, Honvéd or in Hungarian, Honvédség (a plural term designating the whole army including all the Honvéd units), was one of the four armed forces (Bewaffnete Macht or Wehrmacht) of Austria-Hungary from 1867 to 1918. The others were its counterpart the Austrian Landwehr, the Common Army and the Imperial and Royal Navy. The word "honvéd" means an enlisted private without a rank, literally "Defender of the Homeland". "Honvédség" is degree of the noun and refers to the community, institution of these soldiers.
The word honvéd in Hungarian (sometimes "honved" in English sources) means "defender of the homeland" and first appeared during the 1848 revolutions. At that time it was the name given to volunteers who were engaged for several weeks or a gyözelemig (i.e. "until victory") and sent to fight the Serbs and Croats. Subsequently, the bulk of the fighting was against the Empire of Austria, whereupon a number of regular imperial regiments went over to the Hungarian side. Some volunteers were attached to these existing regiments and some joined new regular regiments. Consequently, the term honvéd was used to refer to all members of the Hungarian land forces in 1848-49. The Honvéd was finally defeated by Austria with Russian assistance.
Usually the term Landwehr implies units of limited fighting power. This was not the case in the Hungarian Honvédség. Although weaker in numbers - there were only three battalions per infantryregiment insteald of the usual four in the Common Army - the troops were regular combat soldiers and were highly trained.
The Royal Hungarian Honvéd was divided into the Hungarian Honvédség and the Royal Croatian Home Guard (also called the Croatian-Slavonian Landwehr). The Croatian-Hungarian Settlement of 1868 granted the Croats the right to introduce Croatian as their working and command language within their units. In addition, the Croatian-Slavonian Honvéd units were subordinated to the Ban in Agram and not to the National Defence Minister in Budapest. However, both Ban and the Defence Minister were subordinated to the Prime Minister of Hungary .
In peacetime the officers of the Hungarian Honvédség either transferred from regular Hungarian regiments of the Common Army (K.u.K.) or graduated from the Ludovika Military Academy (a cadet school opened in 1872 specifically for the training of Honvéd officers) in Budapest. From 1869 onward the rank and file soldiers of the Honvédség were recruited as part of the general conscription process of the Common Army with individual Hungarian conscripts being allocated to specific K.u.K. or Honvéd regiments according to the numbers required. Entry to the Honvéd contingent or to the Common Army was decided by drawing lots. Enlisted at the age of 21 the Honvéd soldier usually undertook 24 months of active service before passing into the reserve. The commitment for compulsory service ended at the age of 36.
M.kir. VI zágrábi horvát-szlavon kerületi parancsnokság
Formations and units of the Royal Hungarian Honvéd
The Royal Hungarian Honvéd was the standing army of Hungary. A part of the Honvéd was the Royal Croatian Home Guard (Kraljevsko hrvatsko domobranstvo), which consisted of 1 infantry division (out of 7 in the Honvéd) and 1 cavalry regiment (out of 10 in the Honvéd). Its order of battle at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 was as follows:
In 1915, units of the whole Army that had nicknames or honorific titles lost them by order of the War Ministry. Thereafter units were designated only by their numerical designation, but the practice of honoric titles remained in the Honvéd.
3rd Regiment of Field Artillery - 3 honvéd tábori ágyúsezred
Garrison: Kassa - 39th Honvéd Infantry Division - III Landwehr District
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich Loidin - Loidin Henrik alezredes
4th Regiment of Field Artillery - 4 honvéd tábori ágyúsezred
Garrison: Nyitra - 37th Honvéd Infantry Division - IV Landwehr District
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Mattanovich - Mattanovich Sándor alezredes
5th Regiment of Field Artillery - 5 honvéd tábori ágyúsezred
Garrison: Maros-Vásarhely - 38th Honvéd Infantry Division - V Landwehr District
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Egon Stráner - Sztráner Jen? alezredes
6th Regiment of Field Artillery - 6 honvéd tábori ágyúsezred
Garrison: Agram - 42nd Honvéd Infantry Division - VI Landwehr District
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Rudolf Sekuli? - Sekuli? Rezs? alezredes
7th Regiment of Field Artillery - 7 honvéd tábori ágyúsezred
Garrison: Hajmaskér - 41st Honvéd Infantry Division - VII Landwehr District
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Gustav Kapp - Capp Gusztáv alzredes
8th Regiment of Field Artillery - 8th honvéd tábori ágyúsezred
Garrison: Hajmaskér - 20th Honvéd Infantry Division - II Landwehr District
Commanding Officer: Colonel Albert Pohl - Pohl Albert ezredes
1st Honvéd Horse Artillery Division - honvéd lovastüzér osztály
Garrison: Szeged - 11th Honvéd Cavalry Division - II Landwehr District
The history of Austro-Hungarian forces is documented in detail in the Military History Museum in Vienna, which was founded by Emperor Franz Joseph I as the Imperial-Royal Court Armaments Museum (k.k. Hofwaffenmuseum). In a special display cabinet in Hall V (the Franz Joseph Hall) of the museum, several uniforms of the Imperial Royal Landwehr are displayed, a relief on the rear of the cabinet shows the territories from which the Hungarian Landwehr and the Imperial Royal Landwehr recruited.
^Austro-Hungarian Infantry, Royal Hungarian Landwehr (Honvéd) section, at www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk. Accessed on 18 Jul 2013
^Steed, Henry Wickham; Phillips, Walter Alison and Hannay, David (1914). A Short History of Austria-Hungary and Poland, Encyclopædia Britannica Company.
^Ortner, M. C. and Artlieb, Erich (2003). With Drawn Sword: Austro-Hungarian Edged Weapons from 1848 to 1918. Verlag Militaria.
^Tucker, Spencer C. (2005). World War One, Volume 1, p. 1053.
^League of Nations (1938). Armaments yearbook; general and statistical information, League of Nations publications. p. 426.
^JPRS Report: East Europe, Issues 23-31, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1992, p. 18.
^Lucas, James. Fighting Troops of the Austro-Hungarian Army 1868-1914. p. 22. ISBN0-946771-04-9.
^Johann Christoph Allmayer-Beck: Das Heeresgeschichtliche Museum Wien. Saal VI - Die k.(u.)k. Armee von 1867-1914, Vienna, 1989, p. 25.
Literature and sources
Allmayer-Beck, Johann Christoph and Lessing, Erich (1974). Die K.u.k. Armee. 1848-1918 ("The Imperial and Royal Army 1848-1918"), Verlag Bertelsmann, Munich, 1974, ISBN3-570-07287-8.
k.u.k. KriegsministeriumDislokation und Einteilung des k.u.k Heeres, der k.u.k. Kriegsmarine, der k.k. Landwehr und der k.u. Landwehr ("Location and Organization of the k.u.k. Army, the k.u.k. Navy, the k.k. Landwehr and the k.u. Landwehr") in Seidel's kleines Armeeschema - published by Seidel & Sohn, Vienna, 1914
Rest, Stefan, Ortner, M. Christian and Ilmig, Thomas (2002). Des Kaisers Rock im 1. Weltkrieg ("The Emperor's Coat in the First World War"). Verlag Militaria, Vienna. ISBN978-3950164206
k.u.k. Kriegsministerium (1911/12). Adjustierungsvorschrift für das k.u.k. Heer, die k.k. Landwehr, die k.u. Landwehr, die verbundenen Einrichtungen und das Korps der Militärbeamten ("Dress Regulations for the k.u.k. Army, the k.k. Landwehr, the k.u. Landwehr, the Associated Organizations and the Corps of Military Officials"), Vienna.