Hungarian Air Force (Aircraft Specials series 6069)
By George Punka
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1996 64 Pages
PDF 46 MB
Hungary is a small country located in the eastern portion of central Europe. Its history began with the Huns and the Magyars (Hungarians), who came from the steppes west of the Ural mountains. Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary, founded a Christian state in 1001 AD. and made the nomad Hungarians, who had kept the rest of Europe in fear, settle down.
The centuries that followed did not bring peace to the small nation. The Tartars devastated the country in the 1200s. and two centuries later, the Hungarians went to war with the Turks. Hungarians became tough fighters because of the constant warfare, but their numbers dwindled. Subsequent kings invited the peoples of other nations to settle the sparsely populated areas of Hungary in order to provide a protective bastion for Western Europe against attacks from the east. Today, the descendants of these early immigrants and the original Magyars call themselves Hungarians.
Both the First and Second World Wars devastated Hungary, and the peace treaties that followed each war. were harsh on the losing nation. Between the two world wars, the slogan, "We were a nation of horsemen, but we will become a nation of flyers," motivated Hungary's youth. They wanted to fly and to live. Instead they were sent to kill or be killed.
For almost fifty years, while Hungary followed the path of Soviet style socialism, researching the military history of the country was forbidden. Even the official historical documents could not present an objective picture, only that approved by the state.
As a result of the changes in the political climate during 1989. a group of former Hungarian Second World War fighter pilots invited their former allies and adversaries to gather together for a reunion in the Fall of 1992. Former Soviet, American, German, Rumanian. English and Hungarian pilots met with each other in Budapest, the city above which they had fought and where many of their friends had been laid to rest almost half-a-century ago.