Second Army (Hungary) - Attached To Armeegruppe Fretter-Pico - Success At The Battle of Debrecen and The End

Success At The Battle of Debrecen and The End

Late in 1944, a reformed Hungarian Second Army enjoyed a modest level of combat success as an integral part of German General Maximilian Fretter-Pico's Army Group Fretter-Pico. From September 16 to October 24, 1944, during the Battle of Debrecen, Army Group Fretter-Pico achieved a major success against the Debrecen Offensive Operation. While avoiding encirclement, Army Group Fretter-Pico managed to encircle and destroy three Soviet tank corps of Mobile Group Pliyev under the command of Issa Pliyev. The defeat of the Soviet mobile group by the combined German and Hungarian forces contrasted with Pliyev's earlier, easy victory over the untested Hungarian Third Army. The victory ultimately proved too costly to the Hungarians. Unable to replace equipment and personnel lost in the Battle of Debrecen, the Hungarian Second Army was disbanded on December 1, 1944. Surviving units of the Second Army were transferred to the Third Army.

Hungarian Units in Army Group Fretter-Pico (1944)
  • VIIth Field Corps (Hungarian)
    • 8th Reserve Field Division
    • 12th Reserve Field Division
  • Hungarian Second Army
    • 9th Light Field Division
    • IInd Field Corps (Hungarian)
    • Group Finita
      • 7th Replacement Field Division
      • 1st Replacement Mountain Brigade
      • 2nd Replacement Mountain Brigade

In 1944, the main battle tank of the Second Armored Field Division was the Hungarian Turan medium tank, a limited improvement over the Czech Panzer 38(t) and the Hungarian Toldi tanks used by the First Armored Field Division in 1942. However, the Turan I tank (with a 40 mm gun) and the Turan II tank (with a short 75 mm gun) were still no match for a standard Soviet T-34 tank, and, compared to the T-34/76, the Soviets had many much-improved T-34/85 tanks by 1944. Manufacture of the potentially more effective Turan III tank (with a long 75 mm gun) never developed beyond prototypes. Doubly unfortunate for the Hungarians, the few better German Panzer IV tanks, Panzer III tanks, and Sturmgesch├╝tz III assault guns were never made available to them in numbers that would have made a difference.

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