Slovak National Uprising – Information Post 2

Today I am going to be talking about the Slovak-Hungarian Little War. This was a conflict between the two nations, however it was severely influenced by Germany. The result of this caused unrest in the entirety of central Europe, and is a large part of Slovak history.

Never before in human history has so much been owed to so many by so few” – Winston Churchill

Last week I talked about the First Vienna Award, which is a contract that Germany forced Hungary and Slovakia to sign. The result of this contract, was that Hungary would gain parts of Slovakia’s southern borders, almost all the way up to Bratislava, the capital. Immediately after Hungary claimed the land that was agreed upon, Germany swiftly took advantage of the situation and invaded Bohemia and Moravia, under the excuse that it was solving the country’s unrest.

Czechoslovak Legions Uniform

On March 23, 1939 Hungary took advantage of Slovakia’s political unrest, and invaded in the eastern section of the state. The Slovak military was extremely unprepared for the attack, and suffered heavily in comparison to the Hungarian ground forces. The Slovak air forces were a little better off, being able to make bombing runs on the Hungarian cities of Roznava, Mukacheve, and Uzhorod. Until the Slovaks received much needed reinforcements on March 25, they had no other option but to retreat and give land to the Hungarians. The attack went on until April the 4th, when Germany forced a ceasefire and a peace treaty. The ceasefire was signed in Budapest, Hungary, and was moderated by Germany. Hungary was still thirsty for more land, so Slovakia was forced to sign away all the land that it had lost in the skirmishes between March 23-April 4, totaling in a sizable 1,697 square kilometers. This cease fire ended the conflicts between the Slovaks and the Hungarians for the time being, and thus ended the Slovak-Hungarian “Little War”

On September 1, 1939, the Slovak Republic join Germany in its fight against Poland. On June 22, 1941, they declared war on the Soviet Union, and in December of 1941 the Slovak Republic declared war against the United States and Great Britain. Once Poland had fallen, Slovakia regained some of the land that it had lost in prior years (I don’t think I wrote about it, but Czechoslovakia lost land to Poland in the years 1920 & 1938). The Slovak army also joined to support Germany in the invasion of the Soviet Union between 1941-1943. The Slovak 1st Infantry Division, also known as the Fast Division, fought side by side with the Germans on the eastern front, diving as far as Kiev, Rostov, Dnepropetrovsk, and even into the Caucasus mountains. However, over time many Slovak soldiers lost the will to fight the Soviet Union, which caused mass desertions, and many soldiers joining the Soviet sides. There are even cases of the Slovak Army voluntarily surrendering because of this lack of a reason to fight. This lack of a will to fight caused Germany to eventually influence all of The Slovak Republic’s resources to its military interests. 

After the fall of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1939, many Czechs and Slovaks went abroad. A large portion of these immigrants found their way to Poland, which formed the 1st Czechoslovak Unit. This unit fought with allied powers on all fronts during the second world war. The 1st Czechoslovak Unit fought in France, and eventually with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Great Britain. In 1942, the 1st Autonomous Field Corps formed in the Buzuluk, USSR. This unit did exceptionally well in the fights at Sokolovo in March 1943, and became the core unit in the 1st Czechoslovak Autonomous Brigade. 

That’s all for me today, if you missed the last post, you can check it out here. Thanks for reading!

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