Budapest Offensive

Budapest Offensive
Part of Soviet-German Front of World War II
Date29 October 1944 – 13 February 1945
(108 days)
LocationBudapest and northwestern Hungary
Result Soviet-Romanian victory
 Soviet Union
Romania Romania
Nazi Germany Germany
Kingdom of Hungary (1920–46) Hungary
Commanders and leaders
Soviet Union Rodion Malinovsky
Soviet Union Fyodor Tolbukhin
Soviet Union Ivan Afonin
Soviet Union Ivan Managarov
Nazi Germany Johannes Friessner
Nazi Germany Otto Wöhler
Nazi Germany K. Pfeffer-Wildenbruch (POW)
Hungary Iván Hindy (POW)
Nazi Germany Gerhard Schmidhuber 
Units involved
Casualties and losses
80,026 dead and missing
240,056 wounded and sick
1766 tanks destroyed[1][2]
Axis: (Soviet claim)
49,000 dead
110,000 captured
269 tanks destroyed[3]
40,000 civilians dead

The Budapest Offensive was the general attack by Soviet and Romanian armies against Nazi Germany and their Axis allies from Hungary. The offensive lasted from 29 October 1944 until the fall of Budapest on 13 February 1945. This was one of the most difficult and complicated offensives that the Soviet Army carried on in Central Europe. It resulted in a decisive victory for the USSR, as it disabled the last European political ally of Nazi Germany and greatly sped up the ending of World War II in Europe.[4]


Having secured Romania in the summer Iasi–Kishinev Offensive, the Soviet forces continued their push in the Balkans. The Red Army occupied Bucharest on 31 August, then swept westward across the Carpathian Mountains into Hungary and southward into Bulgaria, with parts joining the Yugoslav Partisans in the Belgrade Offensive. In the process, the Red Army’s forces drew German reserves away from the Warsaw-Berlin central axis, encircled and destroyed the German 6. Armee (for the second time) and forced Army Group South Ukraine’s shattered 8. Armee to withdraw west into Hungary.

The offensive

From October 1944, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Ukrainian Fronts advanced into Hungary. After isolating the Hungarian capital city in late December, the Soviets besieged and assaulted Budapest. On 13 February 1945, the city fell.

According to the historical documents, the Budapest Offensive can be divided into five periods:[5]

After the Budapest offensive, the main forces of Army Group South virtually collapsed. The road to Vienna, Czechoslovakia and the southern border of Germany was widely open for the Soviets and their allies.[4]

According to Soviet claims, the Germans and Hungarians in Budapest lost 49,000 dead soldiers, with 110,000 captured and 269 tanks destroyed.[3]


As most of the German forces in the region were destroyed, troops were rushed in from the Western Front and, in March, the Germans launched the ill-fated Operation Spring Awakening (Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen) in the Lake Balaton area. The expansive goals of this operation were to protect one of the last oil producing regions available to the Axis and to retake Budapest. Neither goal was achieved.

See also


Recommended reading

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