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Battle of Bratislava (Fall Grün)

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Battle of Bratislava
DateOctober 25 - November 10, 1938
Result Decisive Hungarian victory
Belligerents
Flag of Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia

Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946; 3-2 aspect ratio) Hungary
Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Nazi Germany
Commanders
Flag of Czechoslovakia Brig. Gen. Bohuslav Všetička White flag Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946; 3-2 aspect ratio) Maj. Gen. Milán Temessy
Strength
Czechoslovakia:
• 15. divize “Jánošík”
Hungary:
• II Corps

Germany:
• 16. Infanterie-Division
• Panzer Regiment 3
Casualties and losses
1629 killed, 809 WIA, 1167 POWs
540 killed, 75 WIA

The Battle of Bratislava (sometimes called the Siege of Bratislava) was a military engagement between the Republic of Czechoslovakia and the Kingdom of Hungary fought between October 25 and November 10, 1938, over the control of the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. It was one of the few Hungarians victories in the first part of the campaign.

Background

While the Hungarians made the largest gains in the winter period, they were suffering from lack of ammunition and supplies, as well as winter clothing and heavy casualties, and the Hungarians suffered heavy casualties for each advance they made.

The Slovak capital had, to the Czechs' surprise, not yet been attacked by land forces, and only been targeted by a few Luftwaffe bombing missions at railway stations, government buildings and airports.

The battle

At 1000 on November 3, the 4th Infantry Brigade began their assault on Bratislava, while the 2nd Huszar Regiment advanced north of the city in order to prevent an escape by the 15. divize “Jánošík”. At noon the Hungarians received the report by the OKH that they had put the 16. Infanterie-Division and Panzer-Regiment 3 at the Hungarian's disposal. They were immediately dispated to secure the the encirclement of Bratislava and the assault itself. While the Panzer-Regiment 3 used their motorisation at their advantage, the support of the Germans were much welcomed by the Hungarians.

The same night Maj.Gen. Milán Temessy ordered the assault on Bratislava to be carried out at 0800 on November 6, 1938. In the meantime, Brig. Gen. Bohuslav Všetička, seeing he was encircled with no possibility to escape, decided to prepare for combat, mainly by putting up barricades and preparing gasoline bombs to be used against tanks.

At 0800 on November 6, 1938 The Hungarian-German assault was initiated, and by noon they had made several headways into the town. Meanwhile the Luftwaffe and artillery continued to bombard the defences in Bratislava and important facilities in the city itself. The Hungarians halted the offensive temporarily for around 10 hours in order to get the much needed ammunition supplies to the frontline infantry, which gave the Czechs an unexpected opportunity to reorganise the defences. The fighting continued into the night, without any real gains.

Heavy close combat fighting ensued for another 18 hours, until Brig. Gen. Všetička, with few reserves and little to no ammunition, and eager to avoid further civilian casualties, decided to capitulate to the Hungarians. At 07.30 on November 8 all Czech soldiers had laid down their arms.

Aftermath

The Czechs suffered 1629 killed, 809 wounded and the remaining 1167 were taken prisoner. The Hungarians and Germans suffered a total of 540 killed and 75 wounded.

See also

Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Battle of the Border
(Opava    Operation Freudenthal    Šatov    Znojmo   České Budějovice)

Bohemian front
(Plzeň    Prague)


Moravian front
(Olomouc    Brno)


Hungarian front
Komárno    Zvolen    Kosiče)

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