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Category: Hungary

In Pictures: Tiger I Tanks Operated By The Kingdom of Hungary

During the second World War approximately a dozen (ten to thirteen) Tiger tanks were provided to the Kingdom of Hungary. These tanks would be used in battle; including at least one operated by Hungarian Tank Ace Lt. Ervin Tarczay (credited with 10 kills during his career). These Tiger tanks were provided by the 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion along with other armour including Panzer IV and Panther tanks; they were provided to bolster the Hungarian unit(s).

44M Zrínyi I & 40/43M Zrínyi II Assualt Guns

The 44M Zrínyi I (foreground) & 40/43M Zrínyi II.

The 44M Zrínyi I (foreground) & 40/43M Zrínyi II.


The 44M Zrínyi I & 40/43M Zrínyi II were Hungarian assault guns based on the Turán tank. Although only the prototype of the 44M Zrínyi I was made, between 40 and 66 of the 40/43M Zrínyi II units would be produced between August 1943 and July 1944 (“43M Zrínyi”). The 44M Zrínyi I, was intended for an Anti-Tank role and incorporated a long 43M 75mm gun (“43M Zrínyi”). The 40/43M Zrínyi II was a traditional Infantry Support vehicle and was armed with a 40M 105mm L/20 howitzer (“43M Zrínyi”). Of the two, only a single remains 40/43M Zrínyi II and is at the Kubinka tank museum in Russia; this vehicle was captured by Romanian troops in Transylvania during September–October 1944 and pressed into service briefly before being seized by the Red Army (“43M Zrínyi”). These vehicle designs were born of the effectiveness of similar vehicles fighting on the Eastern Front; coupled with the inherent cost saving in building assault guns which are less expensive to build than a traditional tank (“A Zrínyi I rohamlöveg és a Zrínyi II rohamtarack.”).

The 44M Zrínyi I can be easily distinguished from the 40/43M Zrínyi II because of it’s longer barrel.

The shorter barreled 40/43M Zrínyi II.

More of the 40/43M Zrínyi II.

Works Cited:
1. “43M Zrínyi.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 10 Jun 2013. Web. 14 Jun 2013. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/43M_Zrínyi‎>.

2.”A magyar harckocsizó fegyvernem a háborúban.” ZMNE HADTÖRTÉNELEM TSZ. N.p.. Web. 6 Jul 2013. <http://www.zmne.hu/tanszekek/Hadtortenelem/tematika/hk/m9.htm>.

3. “A Zrínyi I rohamlöveg és a Zrínyi II rohamtarack.” Art of War. N.p., 11 Sep 2006. Web. 6 Jul 2013. <http://www.haborumuveszete.hu/rovatok/fegyverek/pancelosok/zrinyik/>.

4. “Zrínyi.” SZTE Egyetemi Könyvtár Hadtörténeti Gyűjtemény Military History Collection. N.p.. Web. 6 Jul 2013. <http://www.bibl.u-szeged.hu/bibl/mil/ww2/kepek/tanks/rlg/zrinyi.html>.

Doing Stupid Things With Tanks

What follows is a list of things people in power have chosen to use tanks to do that they should not have; this list is by no means exhaustive so let me know if you know of some good examples. Many of the examples below relate to the use of Tanks, which are a weapon of war, in civilian contexts.

Budapest 1956

During 1956 the Soviet Union violently put down a populist revolution in Hungary; the heavy handed use of force stunned the world and was best epitomized by pictures of Soviet tanks in Budapest.

Michael Dukakis in a Tank

Michael Dukakis in a Tank

Taking a cue from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, who successfully used a tank in a publicity photo; Michael Dukakis, the 1988 presidential nominee for the Democratic party posed with a tank in an effort to bolster his image. The efforts of Dukakis, who had served in the United States Army, backfired; with his rival successfully using the photo-op to ridicule him.

1989 Tiananmen Square Protests
1989 Tiananmen Square Protests

During the 1989 protest in Tiananmen Square, the Chinese military for some reason felt compelled to send in tanks to help clear the protesters; what followed was an iconic moment in 20th century politics as a single man frustrated the movement of a column of Chinese tanks sent in ironically to intimidate him and others.

During February and April of 1993, what has become known as the Branch Davidian Massacre occurred. During this event no less than  four ATF agents and 80 followers of David Koresh(Vernon Howell) would perish (“Branch Davidian Massacre Site”). There have been many criticisms of the events that unfolded; the use of heavy weapons was one.  The list of military equipment used at Waco included: nine Bradley fighting vehicles, five combat-engineer vehicles, one tank-retrieval vehicle and two M1A1 Abrams tanks (O’Meara).

On new years eve, 1994, Russian forces attempted to retake Chechnya with an assault on the city of Grozny; they did this with a force largely comprised of AFVs and little infantry support. The resulting debacle left 105 of 120 tanks knocked out and many Russian soldiers dead.

Works Cited:

1. Grau, Lester. “CHANGING RUSSIAN URBAN TACTICS: THE AFTERMATH OF THE BATTLE FOR GROZNY.” INSS Strategic Forum. Foreign Military Studies Office, n.d. Web. 6 May 2013. <http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/grozny.htm>.

2. “This Day In History Nov 4, 1956: Soviets put brutal end to Hungarian revolution.” History. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Web. 6 May 2013. <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/soviets-put-brutal-end-to-hungarian-revolution>.

3. “Michael Dukakis.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 8 May 2013. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Dukakis>.

4. “Branch Davidian Massacre Site.” Roadsideamerica.com. N.p.. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11910>.

5. O’Meara, Kelly . “CLARK TANKS USED IN WACO SIEGE.” WND. N.p., 16 Oct 2003. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.wnd.com/2003/10/21282/>.

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