Air Battles over Hungary 1944-45

Dmitriy Khazanov

The book tells the story of the air battles over Hungary that took place from October 1944 to March 1945 between the Red Army Air Force and the Luftwaffe, in which the Air Forces of Hungary and Romania also played a part.
Date Published :
February 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
277 b/w photos, 2 b/w maps, 48 color profiles, 11 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336202
Pages : 166
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Available


This work is dedicated for the most part to the fighting over Hungary during the course of the Debrecen (6 October – 27 October 1944) and Budapest (29 October 1944 – 13 February 1945) offensives, as well as the Balaton Defensive Operation (6 – 15 March 1945), which the Red Army carried out from autumn 1944 until the spring of 1945. The conduct of these operations preceded an attempt by the Regent of Budapest, Miklos Horthy, to pull his country out of the war. This attempt however was unsuccessful – Vice Admiral Horthy was replaced under Hitler's orders by the pro-Hitlerite henchman Szalasi, after which fierce and desperate battles broke out both on the ground and in the air. Moreover the Wehrmacht were constantly augmenting their forces, first and foremost their panzers.

These battles took place with the Red Army Air Force enjoying numerical superiority, the quality of Soviet aircraft at the end of the war had improved significantly, and even the level of training for air force personnel had been raised. It seemed that there were almost no air aces left in the ranks of the Luftwaffe by the end of the war, and Soviet airmen would have no problem securing a victory, however this was not the case. Erich Hartmann, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Gerhard Barkhorn, and many others fought here. Amongst the Hungarians their highest scoring ace Dezso Szentgyorgyi stood out, as did their outstanding Commander Aladar de Heppes. Their enemies were Kirill Yevstigneyev, Grigoriy Sivkov, Aleksandr Koldunov, Nikolai Skomorokhov, and Georgiy Beregovoy and their comrades.

The very fact that from time to time they took place directly over Budapest – one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, could be considered a distinguishing feature of these battles. This made the city into a battlefield, it was bristling with anti-aircraft artillery, was frequently subjected to bombing raids, and between the end of December – and the beginning of January many areas in the Hungarian capital had been turned into improvised airfields, and landing strips where transport aircraft and gliders would land with either German or Hungarian markings. Despite all the efforts to set up an air bridge, German command never succeeded in achieving this which forced those who found themselves besieged in the city to attempt a breakthrough, after which those remaining in the garrison surrendered. The long drawn out battle near Lake Balaton ended in defeat for the German forces, and their allies.

About The Author

Dmitriy Khazanov, who was born in 1954, is a military historian and a Russian aviation historian. He graduated from Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics in 1977, attaining his Candidate of Technical Sciences PhD qualification in 1989. He was born in Moscow, and still lives in the city. He has written about 60 books or monographs, and more than 200 articles, including those that have been translated into English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Polish, and Czech.

The principal subjects of his research are: aviation in the battle for Moscow, the battle of the Kursk Salient and the Air Force, German aces on the Eastern Front, the Air Force's air combat operations in the second half of 1941, and the story behind the development of Yakovlev and Lavochkin fighters and their performance in combat, as well as MiG-3 fighter, Su-2, Pe-2, and Er-2 bombers. He has also analysed air operations in the battle for Stalingrad, in the Spanish Civil War, and in Operation Bagration (the liberation of Belorussia in the summer of 1944). All these works are written on the basis of Soviet and German archive documents using the testimonies of those who actually participated in these events. Dmitriy Khazanov has prepared historical exhibits, as well as specifically themed exhibitions for museums, and has provided consultation services and given interviews for films on military history and the history of aviation, and has taken part in the screenwriting. He has worked for many years at the Russian State Military Archive (RGVA), and the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation (TsAMO RF).


"The high-quality paper shows the many photographs and color illustrations to good effect."

- Air Power History

"...should provide welcome balance for students of air power over the Eastern Front. And with its wealth of color profiles representing a cross section of all aircraft types involved in the campaign, it will also appeal to painters and modelers."

- Aviation History Magazine

"This book will be of great interest to aircraft modelers and military historians alike."

- AMPS Indianapolis

"Nearly every page comes packed with fascinating facts – and intriguing anecdotes."

- Cybermodeler

"The recap of the aerial portion of the siege of Budapest is particularly well done."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

"There is much to like in the book, excellent first hand combat reports from both sides and reports from unit combat diaries complementing descriptions of the overall operations. Photographic coverage is excellent as are the numerous colour aircraft profiles."

- Classic Wings

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