Operation Sea Lion – The Hungarian 1st Army Part 4, The Final Part.

Hello All

Welcome to my final narrative piece about my Hungarian Army and my gaming groups story for WWPD’s Operation Sealion campaign. I just quickly want to say I have had a lot of fun being part of this campaign. The community has done a great job with AAR and the great spirit and effort you all they have put into this. But none of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for the guys from WWPD. You guys do so much for this great game and I truly want to thank you for all your hard work. Not just Operation Sealion, but also your blog, your pod cast and the great amount of time you put into helping others in the hobby. If I could have 10% of the impact on the hobby as you guys do I would be a happy man.

I also hope everyone has enjoyed my write ups. I don’t claim to be an expert writer but it’s add a lot to my games and my experience of the campaign as a whole and hopefully they haven’t been much work to read. So getting back onto the subject lets finish off the story of the Hungarian 1st Armies part in the Invasion of Britain….

The Hungarian 1st Army In Britain 1944 – June 19th to July 15th

A Tiger of the 509th Schwere during the failed
encirclement of Worcester

The 19th June saw the 1st Hungarian Army move back into the line as part of Operation Sabre; the continued attack on Worcestershire. They were placed in the second wave to combat any counter attacks the Allies might try. The first few days of the operation saw the German units in the front line finding the Allied defences hard to crack. The biggest gains were made around Worcester, were the 509th Schwere Panzer-Abteilung came within a mile of encircling the town; only to be blocked by a daring counter attack from the US 3rd Armoured Division. After this the offencive ran out of momentum and the Axis forces consolidated the small gains they had made and the orders came down to start moving units out of the front line to aid in the attack on London.

A Hungarian Panzerschreak gunner waits in ambush for
the Shermans of the 3rd US Armoured.

The line wasn’t quite for long. The 509th Schwere attack around Worcester had created a bulge in the line and on the 29th June the Allies launcher a counter offensive to try and cut off and encircle the troops in the bulge. Lead by the US 3rd Armoured Division the attack broke through the over stretched units on the front line. The Hungarian’s were then thrown into the attack to try and stop the Offensive and made contact with the force elements of the 3rd US Armoured later that afternoon. The Hungarian efforts to stop the attack were in vein, the US forces beat off the repeated counter attacks from the Hungarians and the Axis were pushed out of Worcestershire. Both sides were exhausted and the front once again settled down.

Burnt out Canadian Sherman in Essex on 7th July

At this point the Hungarians were pulled out of the line and sent to bolster the London offensive. The Invasion of Britain was entering a critical stage, the British Navy was starting to have a big impact on the Axis supply lines and the Axis forces were in need to make a final decisive stroke to finish off the British. Entering Essex on the 4th July the Axis forces were 30 miles away from the coast and cutting off the London. The Hungarians attacked on the 7th July and ran into the Canadian 4th Armoured Division. The Canadians blindly walked into a Hungarian ambush with all of their heavy Tiger and Panther tanks, the Shermans were caught in the open and 20 Shermans were left as burning wrecks in very short order. Routing the Canadians the Hungarians pushed on to the coast and by night fall were 15 miles away. The next day the 1st Army looked to push on and complete the encirclement of London, but any ideas of advancing were cut short. The US 4th Armoured Division lead by General Patton himself crashed into the forces protecting the flanks of the 1st Army causing them to fall back 20 miles. With their flank exposed and in danger of getting cut off and surround they had to fall back to.

Two Hungarians and a German Soldier surrender to British
troops during the Hungarian retreat to the coast.

With the failed encirclement of London General Jány and his army had to wait and see what happened in London; the results wouldn’t take long to become clear. The British in London would not budge, they fought for every street, every house, every room. With more and more Axis troops poring into the offensive cracks started appearing in the front line all the way across the country. The situation become critical on the 14th July, the Allies launcher an offensive to relieve London. The German High Command (OKW) was left with no option than to order the evacuation of Britain. The Kriegsmarines were holding on by their finger nails, the Allies were not only far from defeated but seemed to be getting stronger and the RAF and USAAF were starting to take control of the skies. The Hungarian forces, furthest from the evacuation zones, were in danger of having there lines of retreat cut off, to compound the problem they received their orders to fall back after all the German forces in the area. The situation become dire on the 15th July when the Hungarians found a combined forces of the British 11th Armoured Division and the US 2nd Armoured Division were between them and the evacuation zones. The Hungarians repeatedly attack but were unable to force a breakthrough. With time running out General Jány ordered the army to split into small units and ordered a general break out. This was mostly unsuccessful and out of the 80,000 men in the army less than 3,000 men were evacuated back to France.

The war in Britain was over, the Allied forces had won. The Hungarians had on the most part fought well, but in the end they lost most of their heavy equipment, all of their Tiger and Panther tanks along with almost all of their other AFV and of the forces committed to the battle over 95% of the men were either killed, wounded or captured; among the captured men was General Jány.

As always thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the write up.

Until next time Ben.

Category: Flames of WarHungariansLate WarOperation Sea Lion


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Article by: Mark Goddard