Miklós Horthy

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Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya (Hungarian: Vitéz[1] nagybányai Horthy Miklós, Hungarian pronunciation: [viteːz nɒɟbaːɲɒi horti mikloːʃ], German: Nikolaus von Horthy und Nagybánya; Kenderes, 18 June 1868 – 9 February 1957, Estoril) was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary during the interwar years and throughout most of World War II, serving from 1 March 1920 to 15 October 1944. Horthy was styled "His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary" (Hungarian: Ő Főméltósága a Magyar Királyság Kormányzója).

Admiral Horthy was an officer of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. He served in the Otranto Raid and at the Battle of the Strait of Otranto (1917), and was its commander-in-chief in the last year of the First World War.

After Hungarian socialists and communists under Béla Kun seized power in Hungary in 1919 and proclaimed the Hungarian Soviet Republic, a counterrevolutionary government formed and asked Horthy to take command of its forces. With the consent of the Allied powers[citation needed], Romanian forces invaded Hungary and overthrew Kun's government.

When the Romanians evacuated Budapest in November, 1919, Horthy entered at the head of the National Army. The Hungarian Communist Party was banned, and in 1920 Horthy was declared Regent and Head of State, a position he held until his deposition in October 1944.

A conservative who was distinctly inclined toward the right of the political spectrum, he guided Hungary through the years between the two world wars, and into an alliance with Nazi Germany, in exchange for the restoration of some of the Hungarian territories lost by the Treaty of Trianon.

In April 1941, Hungary entered World War II as an ally of Germany. But Horthy's faltering allegiance to his German patron eventually led the Nazis to invade and take control of the country with Operation Margarethe in March 1944.

In October 1944, Horthy announced that Hungary would surrender and withdraw from the Axis. He was forced to resign, placed under arrest and taken to Bavaria; at war's end he came under the custody of U.S. troops.

After appearing as a witness at the Nuremberg war-crimes trials in 1948, Horthy settled and lived out his remaining years in Portugal. His memoirs, Ein Leben für Ungarn, were published in German in 1953, and an English translation appeared three years later.


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