The struggle for the Hungarian capital in 1944-45, like the battle fought in the bend of the River Don, left an indelible scar on the collective memory of the Hungarian people.
Although this topic has been discussed by several authors, using various approaches, no genuinely comprehensive account – based on a balanced study of relevant archival sources of the opposing sides – has been published on the military history of the battle fought within the territory of Budapest.
Bulgarian researcher Kamen Nevenkin’s Fortress Budapest covers the military history of Operation Budapest. By studying and analyzing massive amounts of important and/or intriguing details, and utilizing an unprecedented amount of archival sources and materials – most of which previously unaccessible – the author provides an in-depth coverage of the 108-day operation. Within that broader framework, the author focuses primarily on the siege of Budapest, that lasted more than 50 days, on the war that raged within the boudaries of the Hungarian capital. The reader will find all the relevant details about the strength, organization and combat value of the opposing forces. One can be a witness to the ongoing combat events in each successive stage of the siege most closely on a daily basis, and sometimes even on an hourly basis. Individual chapters deal with the defensive system of the town that had been turned into a fortress, the combat actions fought on the respective areas of Pest, Buda and Margit Island, the sorties flown by the Soviet air units against Budapest, the air-supply efforts to support the besieged troops, and of course the breakout attempt.
The wide range of illustrations, presented in this two-volume monograph proves itself more than coequal with the verbal contents of he book. Using reproductions of detailed contemporary map sketches, readers can easily explore the fortified sectors within the defensive system including their fire plans, and several combat actions. The edition contains several, hitherto unpublished, photographs from the period of the struggle for Budapest (many of them are also important for both history of urban development and architecture). It is therefore reasonable to say that this monoghraph is one of the standard reference works published over the past years.