Battle for Budapest: 100 Days in World War II

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9781850436676: Battle for Budapest: 100 Days in World War II

The battle of Budapest (December 1944 to February 1945) was one of the longest and bloodiest city sieges of the Second World War. From the appearance of the first Soviet tanks on the outskirts of the capital to the capture of Buda Castle, 102 days elapsed. In terms of human trauma, it comes second only to Stalingrad, comparisons to which were even being made by soldiers, both German and Soviet, fighting at the time. This definitive history covers their experiences, and those of the 800,000 non-combatants around whom the battle raged.

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About the Author:

Krisztian Ungvary, the distinguished Hungarian historian, has specialised in the history of World War I and World War II. He is the author of numerous articles and books, and in March 2000 was designated Military Historian of the Year by the Hungarian Institute of War Studies. Ladislaus Lob is Professor Emeritus of German, Sussex University.

Review:

'Excellent scholarship and gripping reading. It deserves to be widely read.' - Times Literary Supplement; "Ungvary's book will preserve for posterity the record of an epic yet futile struggle that will soon fade from living memory." - Srdja Trifkovic, Chronicles; "The Battle for Budapest is an important and exciting contribution to World War II history. The siege was a crucial event in the final year of the war. No other European capital - apart from Berlin and Warsaw - suffered a similar fate. It is a source of endless horror as well as fascination to read about how more than 800,000 civilians, including well over 100,000 Jews in a ghetto or in hiding, coped while German and Red Army soldiers engaged in hand to hand combat in the very buildings they inhabited." - Istvan Deak, Columbia University; "Ungvary has written a dramatic, gripping history of this siege, filling a gap in WWII history... This history is unique and ought to be in every WWII collection. Essential." - Choice; Ungvary's account of the 100-day siege of Budapest is a gripping story of horror and courage... Ungvary has based his extraordinary tale on archival resources and hundreds of survivor interviews. This is the finest account of this most dreadful incident in a world war filled with dreadful incidents. Recommended for all collections.A" - Library Journal; The Battle for Budapest is 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. It also contains detailed accounts of battle plans, logistics, troop movements, and casualty statistics. In his valuable foreword, John Lukacs rightly observes that 'as a military history [the book] is unrivaled.'A" - Istvan Deak, New Republic; As a military history [The Battle for Budapest] is unrivaled. None of the otherwise quite good military histories of the battles of Stalingrad or Warsaw or Berlin comes close to its minute details and to its vivid reconstruction of where and when and how troops moved and fought. Military historians ought to study The Siege of Budapest with jewelers' eyes. So must the people of Budapest, and the diminishing minority among them who experienced its siege sixty years ago (as did I, a historian, who found many details in this superb reconstruction that were new to me)... [Ungvary] has written not only a military history par excellence but a civil, political, sociographic reconstruction of a dreadful and sordid (and, on occasion, heroic) drama of a siege of a great capital city... Magisterial.A" - John Lukacs, The New York Review of Books; "A very detailed, well integrated account of the desperate fighting around and later in Budapest in the winter of 1944-1945...Military operations are told in considerable detail...and there is a great deal of material on the city's people...A very good book." - The NYMAS Review; "This book provides the first acceptable assessment and analysis of the siege of Budapest, a monumental confrontation during the Second World War. Krisztian Ungvary makes use of a wealth of fresh historical evidence locked until recently in the secret archives of Russian and Eastern Germany. He draws on the diaries and personal recollection of survivors, both civilian and soldiers ... most of whom have never got over their experience. The result is excellent scholarship and gripping reading... [It] deserves to be widely read." - Thomas Land, Times Literary Supplement; This is truly a missing chapter in our understanding of World War II, at last brilliantly filled in by Ungvary.A" - Wesley K. Clark, Washington Post Book World; "Ungvary's research is almost completely new, based heavily on testimony from Hungarian participants who could talk only after the fall of communism... [It] deserves the widest possible readership... The Battle for Budapest is an important book. It restores a forgotten but epic episode to its rightful place in the history of the war, and it does so without imparting any false sheen of heroism to anyone involved in it." - Robert Citino, HistoryNet.com; The Battle for Budapest offers a stellar historical account of this nightmarish time.A" - Andrew Ervin, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Krisztian Ungvary
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