Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya
Miklos Horthy
Regent of Hungary
Term of Office: March 1, 1920 -
Date of birth: June 18, 1868
Place of birth: Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918) Kenderes, Austria-Hungary
Political Party: None
Spouse: Magdolna Purgly de Jószáshely

Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya (Hungarian: Vitéz nagybányai Horthy Miklós) (born in Kenderes, June 18, 1868) was the Regent of Hungary during the interwar years and throughout most of World War II, elected as Regent on March 1, 1920. Horthy was styled "His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary" (Ő Főméltósága a Magyar Királyság Kormányzója).


Horthy was born on June 18, 1868, on his family estate of Kenderes in central Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary). The son of well-to-do landowners, Horthy’s upbringing was highly disciplined, leading to his entry into the Austro-Hungarian Naval Academy in 1882 as a cadet. Graduating as a midshipman after four years, Horthy travelled the world extensively before being appointed Aide-de-Camp to Emperor Franz Josef I in Wien, in 1909. Horthy was to remain by the Emperor’s side until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, when as a Ccaptain he was briefly given command of a battleship before taking over the armoured cruiser “Novara“, which he was to command for the next three year of the war. Wounded at the naval battle of Otranto in 1917, Horthy went on convalescent leave before taking over command of the dreadnought “Prinz Eugen”. (In a strange twist of fate, Horthy’s wife Magda, while her husband was serving as Regent of Hungary, was asked by Hitler to christen Germany’s own battle cruiser “Prinz Eugen” in 1938).

In February 1918, Horthy was promoted to Rear-Admiral and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Fleet, a position he held until the end of the war. Upon the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Horthy retired to his estate at Kenderes. His respite was shortlived; with Béla Kun and his Red Terror running amok in Hungary Horthy was asked to form a national army on behalf of the opposition that was in the process of forming a counter-revolutionary government in Szeged. Horthy was appointed Minister of Defence in this Ggovernment, and in July 1919, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. The Communist Government was overthrown, and Admiral Horthy entered Budapest at the head of his troops, on a white horse, to the acclaim of the population.

On March 1, 1920, the Hungarian Parliament elected Horthy to the position of Regent of the Realm. As Regent, Horthy was the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Hungary’s Armed Forces as well as Head of State, and it was with Horthy’s authorization that Hungary entered the war on German side, as he supported any attack on Czechoslovakia to take back the areas lost to Slovakia and Ruthenia. Like Czechoslovakia, the generals in service in 1938 mainly served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War.

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