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Second Hungarian-Slovak War (Rising Nationalism)

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Second Hungarian-Slovak War (Rising Nationalism)
Date April 14 - May 29 1993
Location Central Europe
Result Ceasefire
Belligerents
Hungary Slovakia

Romania

Strength
Hungary
  • 62,000 Soldiers
Slovakia
  • 29,000 Soldiers

Romania

  • 130,000 Soldiers
Casualties and losses
Hungary
  • 13,500 Soldiers
  • 100+ Tanks
  • 130+ Aircraft
  • 900 Civilian
Slovakia
  • 17,000 Soldiers
  • 200+ Tanks
  • 200+ Aircraft
  • 1700 Civilian

Romania

  • 7500 Soldiers
  • 80+ Tanks
  • 90+ Aircraft
  • 200 Civilian
The Second Hungarian-Slovak War was an armed conflict between Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The war lasted between 14th April 1993 to 29th May 1993. The UN brokered a ceasefire forcing Slovakia and Romania to cede small portions of their land to Hungary. This war was thought to bring peace to the area but only set the stage for the 3rd Balkan War in 1997.

Background

In 1989 the Velvet Revolution took place resulting in the separation of Czechoslovakia. In July 1992 Slovakia, led by Prime Minister Vladimir Merciar, declared itself a sovereign state, meaning that its laws took precedence over those of the federal government. Throughout the autumn of 1992, Mečiar and Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus negotiated the details for disbanding the federation. In November the federal parliament voted to dissolve the country officially on 31 December 1992.

A month after the dissolution Hungarian ethnic groups began getting into the revolutionary vibe. they began demanding that several Hungarian
38957

Hungarian riots in Slovakia

communities near Slovakia's border be returned to Hungary. Very quickly these protests began to get violent. The Slovak military was sent in to quell these uprisings resulting in 12 civilian casualties. Among these 12, 9 were Hungarian. The Hungarian government became outraged. Relations between the two countries began to deteriorate rapidly. Far right Slovak nationalists began to threaten Hungarians. Then on April 12th more large protests in the south began. The Slovak nationalists illegal purchased weapons and went to confront them. This resulted in the deaths of unarmed civilians. Hundreds of Hungarians flee across the border and Slovak nationalists pursue. Hungarian soldiers were forced to open fire and kill four Slovak nationalists.

The media became began watching very closely. The next day the Hungarian military re-inforced its position on the border. Nearly 200 Hungarian tanks were stationed at the border along with nearly 10,000 troops. Hungarian protestors attacked the Slovakian embassy in Budapest. The personnel barely escape alive. The media begins to zero in on this conflict and ignore the Yugoslav Wars. The Slovakian government is infuriated. That night another large protest starts and Hungarians make Molotov cocktails and throw them at police. They open fire on civilians. By the end of the day 34 civilians in total had been killed that day.  

The War Begins

Battlethingyidk

Hungarian tank in a destroyed Slovak town

At 9:45 AM, 14 April 1993, The Hungarian army moves into southern Slovakia with the intent of keeping peace. At first they meet little resistance before the Slovakian Army ambushes them. The next week is filled with the Hungarians slowly advancing through Slovakia. The Hungarian Air Force begins bombing air fields and military bases. The fighting is brutal. The superior Hungarian military continues advancing through several weeks taking cities like Kosice on April 23rd and Nitra on April 29th.

Siege of Bratislava

Battle-la-610x236

Slovak soldiers during the Siege of Bratislava

On May 3rd 1993, Hungarian troops began to siege the Slovak capital of Bratislava. Hungarian tanks and heavy weapons began shelling the outside of the city. Bombers dropped dozens of bombs. The outskirts of the city were full of blood and fighting. Five days later Hungarian troops entered the city. Fighting continued for several days before the Slovakian military in the city surrendered on May 13th. The Slovakians lost upwards of 4,000 men and Hungary lost upwards of 3,500 men. Media outlets reported the bloody battle. Hungary continued to advance north hoping that a full capture of Slovakia would force them to surrender.

Romania allies with Slovakia

Soldiers

Hungarian platoon preparing to ambush a Romanian company

On May 16th, 1993 Romania announced it would join Slovakia in the war. Romania immediately flung a huge part of its army at Hungary and crossed the border and quickly advanced. Hungarian units had to be taken off of the Slovakian front and put on the Romanian front. Initially Hungary lost a lot of land to Romanian forces. After the fall of Debrecen Hungary launched a successful counterattack that significantly weakened the Romanian military. Within a few days Romania's military began retreating. Hungary pursued and crossed into Romania, gaining more land then Hungary had actually hoped to gain.

End of the War

Romanian military convoy in Afghanistan

Romanian military convoy

On May 29th 1993 the United Nations called for a ceasefire. The ceasefire then led to peace talks between the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Romania, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. Hungary would give back parts of Slovakia and Romania but demanded to keep some territory it gained. Eventually success was achieved and new borders were established with Romania and Slovakia losing parts of their land. Romanian politicians were unhappy with the way the war ended because it was unpopular and they had lost land to Hungary resulting in renewed tensions between Romania and Hungary. Slovakia was also unhappy but Hungary helped rebuild Slovakia's army and cities. Soon ethnic tensions began sparking up all over the area. Austria and Hungary soon became closer allies. The Yugoslav countries were still in chaos. Bulgaria began to illegally capture Romanian vessels on the Black Sea. The Third Balkan War was very imminent.

Losses and Gains

Hungary gained parts of southern Slovakia and western Romania. Each side lost many soldiers. Hungary lost around 13,500, Slovakia 17,000, and Romania 7500. The total civilian losses for all sides was about 2800. Most civilian deaths resulted from air strikes by the opposing army. Hungarian air strikes were brutal and very accurate resulting in an overwhelming number of Slovak deaths. All armies had to rebuild much of their main force.

Most Important Battles

  • Battle of Kosice- Hungary defeats Slovakia in their first major battle
  • Battle of Nitra- Hungary and Slovakia fight to a stand still until Hungarian re-inforcements arrive.
  • Siege of Bratislava- Hungary captures Slovakia's capital.
  • Battle of Trnava- Hungary crushes attempted Slovakian offensive.
  • Battle of Presolv- Hungarian offensive in Slovakia is stopped.
  • First Battle of Debrecen- Romania crosses into Hungary and defeats Hungarian Army.
  • Batte of Szolonk- Romanian Army crushed and forced into retreat.
  • Second Battle of Debrecen- Hungarian Army retakes Debrecen and crushes Romanian re-inforcements.
  • Battle of Oradea- Hungary crosses into Romania and crushes any resistance.
  • Battle of Zalau- Hungarian offensive in Romania is stopped. Ceasefire is called.

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