January 1945: Forming at Neuhammer. Still training when Russians entered Silesia.
Due to the freezing conditions and with many of the ,,Hunyadi” troops still in civilian clothes a mixture of uniforms and clothing are issued.(17)
The 25 SS Waffen Pioneer Battalion are transferred for training to the Somme barracks in Passau (18), This ,,Hunyadi” formation is the only one to be properly equipped by the Germans.
Oberfuhrer Deak is named deputy divisional commander (he retains the command of 61 regiment).
During January and February 1945 20 men are charged with escape and insubordination.
January 1 1945: ,,Hungaria” is ordered to Sieradz in Poland thus leaving ,,Hunyadi” (with a few small parts of ,,Hungaria”) alone at Neuhammer camp.
January 2 1945: After travelling via Sumeg, Rigacs, Pozsonyligetfalu and Deutsche-Raterwitz the Hungarian 25. Attack artillery arrives in the area of Strans camp. They arrive without equipment at Neuhammer camp so it is decided that with their artillery experience to retrain them as tank hunter soldiers. The plan being that they will become 25. Waffen tank hunter section.
The planned order of battle is as follows:
3 platoons tank hunters company (each section having 3 jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer class tank hunters)
3 platoons air defence machine gun cannons company (each section having 2 40mm air defence machine cannons) (19)
3 platoons towed tank-breaking company (each section having 3 7.5cm tank piercing cannons)
The towed tank breaking company goes to Leer near the Dutch border for training.
The anti aircraft company is commanded to go to Muchen for training.
The SS 25.Waffen tank hunter class goes south to Beneschau in Czechoslovakia for training along with a artillery battalion.(20)
January 3 1945: The Attack artillery section leave Strans for retraining.
January 5 1945: 25 schi battalion is assigned to IV SS Panzer Corps (21) to assist the Corps efforts to relieve Budapest. Before leaving they are equipped with assault rifles. They travel by rail via Prague and Vienna to Gyroszentivan.
January 19 1945: Beregfy (Hungarian minister of defence) issues general order 97.305./eln.1.o. Due to this order volunteers not only take an oath to Adolf Hitler, but they also take an oath to Ferenc Szálasi
January 27 1945: Ferenc Szálasi sends a letter to Adolf Hitler, in which he wants to clear up problems regarding the Hungarian SS divisions.
January 31 1945: 500 SS Transport Security Company is absorbed into 25. SS Versorgungs Regiment
February 1945: In the first few days of February the ,,Hunyadi” division sort out from the enlisted men, those who’s qualification’s make them suitable to complete the officer course. After roll call one company of Hungarian officers is assembled, they are soon transported to Stettin.
Early February : Standartenfuhrer Jeno Galgoc takes over 61 regiment when Oberfuhrer Deak becomes chief of staff of XVII Hungarian Waffen Army Corps der SS.
February 1 1945: 25th SS divisions ,,Hunyadi” and 26th SS divisions ,,Hungaria” reunite. This situation remains unchanged for the rest of the war. By this date the Russians have already moved 50-60 kilometres closer to Neuhammer training camp. The number of volunteers does not decrease but the Germans have great difficulty in providing equipment for them and never reach the proper level required to equip the division.
February 4 1945: SS Obergruppenfuhrer Grassy order’s a defensive line around Neuhammer and place’s the most experienced troops (some equipped with panzerfaust’s) in a semi-circle between the Neuhammer camp and the Russians.
Beregfy and Veesenmayer add one extra Convention to the October agreement. This concerns the legal status of and correction to the rules of the registrations and conditions of those troops transported to Germany.
February 5 1945: SS Obergruppenfuhrer Grassy order’s that the two divisions (25th and 26th) should form one corps. “Hunyadi” first chief of staff officer Waffen – Standartenfuhrer Adam Podhradszky informs Waffen – Standartenfuhrer Bela Peinlich (previously with SS 63 Waffen-grenadier battalion) to organise it. Peinlich was doubtful if this was possible considering the shortage of equipment. Eventually the best units from 25 SS division ,,Hunyadi” and 26 SS division ,,Hungaria” (mainly the 61 & 64 regiments) forms the ,,Hungarian SS Alarm regiment”under the command of Standartenfuhrer Bela Peinlich. (22)
February 6 1945: The ,,Hunyadi” division make quarters in the area around Oldenburg and Kloppengurg. Standartenfuhrer Jeno Temesvary Galgoc takes over command of 61 regiment. The Hungarian divisions leave on time. Approximately 55 000 – 60 000 soldiers are to be evacuated from Neuhammer, Vlaszow and Osszesen camps.
February 7 1945: The remaining units of the ,,Hunyadi” divisionmove out of Neuhammer camp and move approximately 50 kilometres to the south to the Deutschgabel area in order to develop new barracks. It had been decided during the previous German-Hungarian meeting that 4 divisions were to be sent to the area so sufficient stores were brought in.
February 8 1945: (For details of the battle for Neuhammer please see the separate section).
105 men from ,,Hunyadi” leave Neuhammer camp to go to Waffen Junkerschule der SS in Prague
February 12 1945: The ,,Hunyadi” division reaches the Goritz-Radmeritz-Ostriz-Marienthal district.
February 14 1945: Units of the ,,Hunyadi” division have reached the Kiesdorf-Neudorf-Grosshennersdorfon district after crossing the Strahwalde region.
The 105 men going to the Junkerschule in Prague reach Dresden just before the bombing of the city and are killed in the air raid.
February 15 1945: 11 trucks from the .,,Hunyadi” supply regiment arrive to move the remnants of the Alarm regiment. 11 more trucks join in during the day moving the men.(23)
February 17 1945: The last of the Alarm regiment’s soldiers are relocated back to their original units.
By this time the Alarm regiment has suffered 57% losses. Out of approximately 2600 men, 544 men (including 17 officers (24)) have been killed and 955 men are listed as wounded or missing. Approximately 400 wounded are evacuated from Neuhammer but approximately 500 are left and they are captured by the Russians. 10 Hungarians are awarded the Iron Cross first class, 20 receive the Iron Cross second class, 1 Untersturmfuhrer is awarded the Hungarian Golden medal honour for officers and one Scharfuhrer is awarded the Hungarian Great Golden Honour medal for destroying 7 Russian tanks with panzerfaust’s. 3 Russian tanks are confirmed destroyed by the Alarm Battalion and 14 by the 1 SS Hungarian anti-tank platoon.
Early March 1945: ,,Hunyadi” and its main divisional command post is near Nurnberg in Holpolstein (25). Training continues. The ,,Hunyadi” artillery men experience live firing but ,,Hungaria” artillery men just walk around their accommodation and only infantry start their elementary training because of the large number of recruits. The unit training is based on individual initiative- using what resources they have – the division continues not to receive its specified armament.
Because of the military situation one-month after reaching Stettin it is necessary to transfer the Hungarian company and its Officer training course repeatedly, by rail at first to Rostock, later from there they are transported by ferry into Denmark. Their training and officer’s course (with SS Haupsturmfuhrer Himpel commanding) continues close to Copenhagen, in one local sports hall near Haslev.
March 23 1945: Minister of Defence Károly Beregfy visit’s the Hungarian SS divisions along with Obergruppenfuhrer Hans Juttner, Brigadefuhrer Heinz Fanslau and General of Artillery Keiner and makes a complaint to the Germans concerning the lack of equipment. During the visit awards are given to members of the Alarm Regiment which fought at Neuhammer.
April 1944: The flak detachment originally sent to Munchen rejoins the division.
100 Hungarian Officer Candidates after completing their training course at SS NCO School Radolfzell rejoin the 25th and 26th divisions
Men from the ,,Hunyadi” engineer battalion prepare anti tank traps and other obstacles on the Naab river, they are helped by 200 men from ,,Hungaria”
April 1 1945: Around this date men from the ,,Hunyadi” engineer battalion prepare anti tank traps and other obstacles on the Naab river, they are helped by 200 men from ,,Hungaria”
April 11 1945: At midnight with the Americans approaching the area that ,,Hunyadi” is stationed in, it is decided that once more that the division should move. The division is under German XIII army command (Wehrkreis XVII – Nurnberg command) and they insist on the division being deployed however the Hungarian formations refuse citing the agreement that they only fought on Hungarian soil. Jeno Ruszkay temporary commander of XVII Army corps contacts SS Command headquarters who order that the formation head to Steyr in Austria
April 12 1945: Written orders issued by Grassy announce that ,,Hunyadi” and ,,Hungaria” should share commander
April 13 1945: the SS 26 (2. Hungarian) ,,Hungaria” Waffen – grenadier divisions independent story comes to an end, however one part of the division is divided into companies for other corps. The SS 26 (2. Hungarian) Waffen – grenadier division – 107 days old from formation – is dissolved by the Germans. The German intention is to divide the division among other corps but the Hungarians want it to stop together so the German plan is not carried out so ,,Hungaria” is absorbed into ,,Hunyadi” and it is regarded as an existing division.
Mid April 1945: The Officer company training in Denmark receives orders to leave immediately for the front. Because of this the taking of blood samples and the tattooing of the blood group on the arms is cancelled. One Berlin survivor thinks that this decision saves their lives when captured. The company passes through Hamburg and goes to Berlin. Commander SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Himpel there joins the Hungarians. One member of the division remembers “Already the days of our Berlin wondering merge into my memories, aerial alerts, refuges, ruins, carcasses. In the beginning in the air raid shelters civilians talked, hoping Weng (actually Wenck) would liberate Berlin. I saw one newspaper with an article by Goebbels (maybe his last) saying that Berlin was German and German it will stay. We were strolling in the city centre already (…..) it would be necessary to get to the west, to fall into American captivity, we dreamed of this”.
Else where the Hungarian SS panzerhunter-formations (the re named attack artillery section) retraining slowly progresses. They have just one experience of live firing with the Jagdpanzer 38(t) tank hunter. The Officers from one company are taken to the Skoda factory, which is close to Beneschau to see Hetzers being made. A Hetzer turns up at the training camp. The mechanics struggle to get it into working order. Later with a German crew it is sent to fight in the defence of Berlin.
The Hungarian SS panzerhunter-formations still remains without vehicles, and so the company is supplied with personal infantryman weapons instead, later one Hetzer is hurriedly picked up, With a German officer in command it is assigned to a battalion.
April 16 1945: Remnants of ,,Hunyadi” and ,,Hungaria” start heading towards Steyr in Austria.
April 23 1945: Army group ‘Weichsel’ requests 1 100 replacements from ,,Hunyadi” (100 for III SS Germanic Panzer corps, 500 for 11 SS panzer grenadier division ,,Nordland” and 500 for 23 panzer grenadier division ,,Nederland” ) but this is ignored.
April 28 1945: Armaments and material for the ,,Hunyadi” division consist of: 3781 K98k (out of this 250 with telescopic sights), 250 rifles, 2800 pistols, 300 MP-40’s, 50 light and, 25 heavy machine guns, 10 Gr.W.34 8cm mortars, 10 Gr.W.42 12cm mortars, 20 Infantry cannons, 10 PAK 40 7.5cm anti tank guns, 1800 panzerfaust’s, 50 panzershreks,4 Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer class tank hunters, 25 motorcycles, 19 personal automobiles, 55 freight automobiles, 3 RSO tractors, 3 8 tonnes and 3 18 tonnes tractors, 2500 bicycles, 52 field kitchens, 3 ovens and 16 other field items.
The pioneer detachment besieged in Passau begins its attempt to break out of the encirclement.
On or around this date approximately 1 000 men from the ,,Hunyadi” artillery and 61 grenadier regiment are called upon to help fight the Americans near Neustadt but this falls through and they return to the division after leaving their weapons for the remaining German troops.
Around this date the Pioneers should have returned to SS 25 ,,Hunyadi” however American troops approach Regensburg and Passau. The German commander of Passau demands the blowing up of locks and the city bridges. The Americans threaten the city. The German commander (Brigadier General Hassenstein) wants the Hungarians Pioneers to stay in the city and help protect it. The Hungarian commander however wants the unit to leave the region. Hassenstein on hearing this uses field police to prevent the Hungarians from leaving and threatens court marshals. The SS 25 (1. Hungarian) Waffen-Alarm battalion stays in the city and blows up the main bridges in Passau. When the siege ends the battalion commander orders the equipment (pontoons, motor vehicles etc) to be destroyed. Later the formation flame-throwers are distributed
April 30 1945: the main part of ,,Hunyadi” is cut off from the control of SS Headquarters in Berlin and becomes under the Hungarian Ministry of Defense which is part of the exiled Hungarian Government.
Early May: The ,,Hunyadi” division battle group which has been travelling from Denmark is in Berlin near to the Brandenburg gate and the Spree. They move near the Reichstag to face more Russian divisions. Some men fall in the vicinity of the SS Headquarters at the corner of Berliner Strasse and the Kaiserallee. Some of the unit survives by getting out of the city by using the U-Bahn (Underground) but end up getting captured by the Russians. In the fighting 83 men (including 1 officer) die. 12 men (including 1 officer) are missing. (26)
May 2 1945: From Passau the Waffen Pioneer battalion break out towards Oberhausen. During the break out the 25th Waffen-Pioneer battalion suffers considerable losses. 350 men are killed and 71 are wounded.
According to one account the armament earmarked for the ,,Hunyadi” division was handed out, however the complete Hungarian volunteers store's had been allocated between the separate units so the divisions when drawn together never reached the combat readiness it may have attained. The XVII. Waffen-Armee-Korps der SS offers the surrender of the Hungarian Waffen-SS units under its command to the U.S. Forces.
May 4 1945: Before the surrender arrangements could be completed, a Kampfgruppe from the ,,Hunyadi” division engage an American armoured force of Patton's 3rd US Army (27) near Timelkam in Austria and manage to knock out 5 American tanks, the Americans decide to withdraw, having no interest in taking further losses at this stage of the war.
May 5 1945: After the surrender agreement is finalised about 1/3 of the 25th SS Division ,,Hunyadi” surrender to the US 80th Infantry division (under McBride) part of US XXth Corps (under Walker) north of Salzkammergut near Lake Attersee in Austria The remainder of the Hungarian soldiers have intermingled with the Hungarian refugees. Many are rounded up in the following days.
May 7 1945: 1 + 2 regiments batteries move from Strans camp
May 8 1945: After being transported to the Graz region (where on the first night the German troops left leaving the Hungarians on their own) the attack artillery men march north – north-east towards the towns of Leoben, Gresten and Gaming struggling to avoid capture by the Russians. The formation stop at Waidhoven on the Ybbs and hear of the truce and that the Enns river will be the American-Russia border zone. The remnants of the SS 25 Artillery battalion (the SS 25 Waffen - tank hunter battalion) cross the Enns River near Garsten to the western bank and surrender to the American troops.
May 11 1945: A number of ,,Hunyadi” troops along with the remnants of 1st Hungarian Schi Battalion surrender to the Americans in the Attersee area.
September 19 1945: Hungarian soldiers captured in the battle for Berlin are allowed to go home.
A mixture of standard German issue field grey tunics and trousers along with captured French uniforms and Belgium jackets were worn, due to the shortage of equipment some wore their original Hungarian army uniforms.
Standard SS collar tabs and also blank collar tabs were issued to the division. German ‘H’ collar tabs were produced at Dachau but were not issued. A limited number (approximately 600) of Hungarian produced ‘H’ collar tabs were issued to the Divisional staff and two honour guards. Homemade ‘H’ and ‘SS’ were worn.
An Hungarian produced arn shield of a Black raven holding a ring on national colours of red white and green was issued in very limited numbers.
Entitled to a cuff title under the Hungarian – German Agreement no German cuff title was issued but allegedly a Hungarian Defence Ministry approved cuff title was. It was issued in limited numbers to the division.
A arm band with the words 25. Panzer-Grenadier Division above the divisional shield (in colour) with Hunyadi underneath may also have been worn
17 The uniforms were a mixture of German, Hungarian, French and whatever else was available. One man who served in ,,Hunyadi” gave the following list of equipment that he had issued to him - German cap and German trousers, Belgian officer's jacket, French summer police coat, Yugoslav belt, German underwear and high Finnish boots.
19 A 40 mm Anti Aircraft gun was made at the Magyar Királyi Honvédség Bofors works. This may mean that the plan was for 25. ,,Hunyadi” to be issued with Hungarian made guns but this is unlikely and the German 2cm would have most likely been issued to the division.
20 The section was to be commanded by First Lieutenant Janos Horvath and the section leaders were to be First Lieutenant Sandor Zach, Lieutenant Gyorgy Nemeth and Ensign Laszlo Szabo
21 Please see separate section on 1st Hungarian Sturmjaeger Regiment
22 A Kampfgruppe ,,Hammerstein” is mentioned in 2 sources, The dates are the same as the Alarm Regiment at Neuhammer. Please see separate section on the Alarm Regiment
23 These lorries are commanded by Standaertenoberjunker Priedl
24 Two of these are battalion commanders. These are Solti and Duska.
25 ,,Hunyadi” is based in the towns of Allersberg, Georgengmund, Freystadt, Rednitz, Heimbach and Berching
26 One source states that on April 30 1945 a Hungarian company fighting in the Berlin pocket under the command of the ,,Nordland” division, was totally destroyed in a break out attempt at Chausse Allé.
27 This was most likely the 3rd Cavalry Squadron (mechanised). The men from ,,Hunyadi” destroyed the tanks because the armoured troops had opened fire on either a retreating or unarmed column,