WWII Hungarian AFVs

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WWII Hungarian AFVs

Postby moresby » Sun May 19, 2019 15:44

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Still waiting to complete my 2 collections (Italian WWII AFVs and vehicles and Tanks and Vehicles of the Great War), here is something already done: a small lineup of Hungarian WWII AFVs.


When Hungary joined Barbarossa the composition of her armored units was a mix of Italian L-35 tankettes, Swedish Light tanks (licence-produced in Hungary and named Toldy), and a locally designed armored car called Szaba.

Tankettes proved useless for first line duties, and both versions of the Toldi (the first one armed with a 20mm or a 37mm gun and the Toldi II, better armored and armed with a 40mm gun) were only able to fight Soviet lighter types like T-26 ot BT tanks. The 1942 campaigns saw the introduction of a fine SPAA based on Toldi chassis and called Nimrod plusa heavier type based on a Czech design, called Turan.
Both Turan and Nimrod were armed with a 40mm high velocity gun, unable to deal with Soviet T-34. Several German types were also received, never in large numbers (less than one hundred tanks including Pz.38Ts, Pz.IIIs and Pz. IVs 'short'). The Hungarian units on the Russian Front were almost annnihilated in the winter 1942/43 Soviet offensives, just as the Romanian and Italians armies. Meanwhile, a heavier tank type had been adopted (an uparmored Turan armed with a medium velocity 75mm gun, still unable to penetrate frontally a T-34). An assault gun (Zrinyi) was produced using the Turan chassis and, armed with a 105mm gun, proved to be a much better fighting machine. Total Turan ptoduction (including Zrinyi) was well below 500 units. After Kursk, with the Soviets on the offensive, a new effort was made by the Germans to provide Hungarian tankers with Pz.IVs, Marders and even a dozen of Tigers and a few Panthers. French tanks had also been received and used in anti-partisan duties: Renaults, SOMUAs, Hotchiss.
When the Red army proved unstoppable, Hungarians were going to ask for a separate peace ihoping to exit the war, just as Italians and Rumanians had just done, but this time the Germans were able to prevent their move and install a new puppet government: Hungarians fought against the Red army to the very end of the war and Budapest fell after a bitter and desperate battle by surrounded Hungarians, Wehrmacht and SS units; the last Zrinyis fought there.

Hungarian AFVs were camouflaged with brown and light tan splotches on a dark green base or were entirely dark green; national insigna were octagonal with a white-contoured green cross on a red base. Later in the war this was changed in a white cross on a black square.

And now, the models: you won't see German types here, mostly because these appear to have been used in German color and markings.


38M Toldi (20mm gun)
This is from Shapeways. A fine little model, just painting and decals are needed.

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38M Toldi II. (40mm gun)
This is from Fairy Kikaku: usual 'broken' tracks, heavy riveting, ugly and oversized gun. There's a Shapeways model, now (suggested choice: besides, Fairy Kikaku models are hard to get!)

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39M Czaba[/b]
This is from Panzer Depot but there is a Shapeways one too (identical). Oversized 20mm gun and terrible rail aerial.
A bit of work needed but this was a fine-looking armored car.

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As received from Panzer Depot
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40 Nimrod:
Shapeways only (at least until Panzer Depot copies it!). The 40mm gun is too thick. I've shaven off excess resin with a cutter.

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4om Turan (40mm gun):
Shapeways.
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41M Turan II (75mm gun):
I've got this from an E-Bay seller. Now there is also a Shapeways model (and a Panzer depot copy) without turret shuertzen.

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40/43 Zrinyi:
same e-bay seller, but now it is available from Shapeways, where you can also get it with Shuertzen.

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43M Turan III:
only one built: this was a Turan armed with the same 75mm gun mounted on late Pz.IV types. Shapeways again.

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44M TAS:
this was the Hungarian attempt to locally design an up-to-date tank. The chassis, still without turret, was destroyed in a bombardment in 1944. When I got this model from Kampfflieger I was surprised by its size: it is as big as a King Tiger, so I tough it had to be too big for 1/144. After checking dimensional data the model seems correctly sized: better armored and larger than a Panther yet lighter (I'm not an engineer but this doesn't sound right), according to what is reported on Wikipedia and few other sites: likely they all get info from one source (this is not a world known tank after all) that may be incorrect.
I've copied this non standard camouflage scheme from a 1/35 kit box cover because it just looks good

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More Hungarian AFVs in 1/144?

Shapeways also offers a Zrinyi II (armed with the same 75mm gun as Turan III, and a TAS Rohamloveg (if TAS looks like a Panther a Rohamloveg would have looked like a Jagdpanther), both remained on the drawing board.
Panzer depot also offers a 'Marder' Toldi (another project, this one did't go in production because it was too late but simply because it was not adopted).
Last edited by moresby on Mon May 20, 2019 4:04, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: WWII Hungarian AFVs

Postby bluedonkey99 » Sun May 19, 2019 22:28

Moresby
A great collection associated narrative, I've often had an eye on some of the later modrls and paper tanks from Hungary.

I'm glad you have listed the various supplier and what was required to normalise them. Do you have any of the KDK/Faiery Hungarian sets in your collection?

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Re: WWII Hungarian AFVs

Postby pbhawkin » Sun May 19, 2019 23:20

Very nice looking models, a great and unique collection.
Regards
Peter
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Re: WWII Hungarian AFVs

Postby smeg1959 » Mon May 20, 2019 23:54

Great collection, moresby! Inspiring thread and informative, too. The Hungarian Army had some quite distinctive AFVs and it's great to see several 3D-printed items filling the gaps.

Fairy have issued at least three Hungarian sets that I am aware of, a 1930 set and two WW2 sets. However, in typical Fairy fashion, they have also released individual vehicles from time to time. From a Hungarian perspective, I picked up a Rába Vp armoured car back in the dim and distant. And, of course, a bit of “rebadging” of certain German AFVs (e.g. PzKpfw 38(t), PzKpfw IV, Hetzer, etc.) in Hungarian livery expands the possibilities, too.

If you've got access to a profile showing a 38(t) in the multi-hued camo on your 38M Toldi and 39M Czaba, I'd love to see it as I have a Praga sitting primed on the Shelf of Shame! :oops:
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Re: WWII Hungarian AFVs

Postby moresby » Tue May 21, 2019 4:51

Thanks, Smeg. The only Fairy Kikaku model I've got is the 38m Toldi II from the'Axis Tanks' box. I know of a '1930 Hungarian Army' featuring inter-war types.
I suspect both my 40/43 Zrinyi and 41M Turan 2 come from a a copy of Fairy models but I'm not sure, not knowing what was in the other 2 (?!) boxes.
About foreign tanks in Hungarian service: my main source is the book you can see in the first picture of this post. There are several photos of German tanks in Hungarian service but they are in standard German colors and don't even show Hungarian national insignia but plain German crosses. Italian tankettes carried the octagonal red/white/green cross on Hungarian three colour camouflage, though. I failed to mention that when Polish units retreated in Hungary in 1939, their vehicles were incorporated in the Hungarian army (a few armored cars and TKS tankettes) but were used for evalutation and training only. No photo of French tanks in Hungarian service too, but I suspect they likewise must have been left in the original colours (likely German feldgrau).
Last edited by moresby on Wed May 22, 2019 4:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WWII Hungarian AFVs

Postby smeg1959 » Wed May 22, 2019 2:05

Yes, I suspected this. Reference to a couple of 1/35 scale decal sheets online has revealed Feldgrau Panzer IVs and 38(t)s. So it's either that for my Praga or, if I want a bit of colour, this Czech LT vz. 38.

Incidentally, saw this resin Toldi today on evilBay. Looks a bit coarse to me. There's also a 3D-printed version in various scales ... cheap until you factor in the postage. :roll:
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