Hungarian campaign. Russia in 1849 saved its mortal enemy. The Habsburg Empire was saved by Russian blood. It is obvious that St. Petersburg did not have to intervene in the completely natural collapse of the Austrian "patchwork" empire. On the contrary, it was necessary to derive political benefits from this event.
Defeat and surrender of the Hungarians
Görgei's main forces escaped again. The Hungarian commander-in-chief moved to Banat in rapid marches, reinforcing part of Bem's forces from Transylvania along the way. The Hungarians entered Oradea (Grosvardijn) on July 27 (August 8). Görgey planned to unite his troops with the army of Dembinsky, but he retreated to the north, instead of going to join the main army.
Meanwhile, after the departure of the main army of the Hungarians from the Comorne, the Austrians began to move and on July 12 (24) occupied Pest. The Hungarian government fled to Szegedin. The Austrian army of Gainau also moved south to free Temeshvar from the siege and join the forces of Jelacic. On July 23 (August 3), the Austrians occupied Segedin and on July 25 (August 5) defeated Dembinsky's southern army under it. The Hungarians retreated to Temesvar.
To replace Dembinsky, Bem was urgently summoned from Transylvania. Also, the Hungarian army was reinforced by Kmety's division, which approached from the south. The Hungarian army numbered about 50 thousand people with 120 guns, the Austrian - about 90 thousand people with 350 guns. However, a significant part of the Austrian army stood behind a barrier to Arad in order to prevent Bem from joining with the army of Görgey. Therefore, the Austrians did not have a numerical advantage, but their troops were better in quality than the Hungarians (mostly militias). On July 29 (August 9), Bem's army was defeated. Panyutin's division played a decisive role in this battle. The losses of the Austro-Russian troops - about 5 thousand people, the Hungarians - about 10, 5 thousand people and almost all the artillery. In the days that followed, thousands of Hungarian rebels from the scattered Southern Army surrendered. The remnants of the Hungarian army fled to Transylvania or to Turkish possessions.
Thus, the army of Görgey found itself in a desperate situation. The Hungarians were defeated at Debrichin, they were pursued by Russian troops. The enormous superiority of the Russians became clear, which caused the decomposition of the Hungarian troops. The militias began to flee to their homes. At Arad, where Görgei hoped to join forces with Boehm, Schlick's Austrian corps was stationed, blocking the road to Temeshvar. The southern army was defeated and scattered. Görgei decided that further resistance was pointless and decided to surrender to the Russians. The Hungarians despised the Austrians, moreover, they knew that they would be treated like traitors. On August 1 (13), at Vilagos, the Hungarian army - more than 30 thousand people with 60 banners and standards and 144 guns led by Görgey surrendered to General Ridiger.
Suppression of the uprising in Transylvania
The army of the Polish General Behm was located in Transylvania - 32 thousand people with 110 guns. These were mainly militias from the Hungarian Sekler (Szekei) tribe. The rebels controlled the whole country, only the Austrians settled in the Karlsburg fortress. Count Klam-Galas's weak Austrian corps retreated beyond the border into West Wallachia.
Transylvania was to be cleared of the rebels by the 5th corps of Leaders - 35 thousand people. The Russian troops were divided into groups. The northern group under the command of General Grotengelm - parts of the 10th and 13th infantry divisions (10, 5 thousand.people with 24 guns), was concentrated in Bukovina near Dorn-Vatra and was supposed to advance in a general direction from the north-east to the south-west. The southern group of Leaders himself - the 14th and 15th infantry divisions (25 thousand people, 56 guns), was located in Wallachia near Predeal and was supposed to strike from south to north, cross the main ridge of the Transylvanian Carpathians. Both Russian groups were to enter Transylvania, unite. The Klam-Galas Austrian corps (about 10 thousand people), which made up the left flank of the Southern Group, was subordinate to the leader.
On June 6 (18), 1849 Leaders' troops were concentrated on the border of Transylvania at Predeal. It was decided to deliver the main blow through the Temesh Gorge to Kronstadt (Brasov). On June 7 (19), Leders personally led the troops, shot down the enemy screen, on the 8th, he overcame the Temesh Gorge and took Kronstadt. The strong Hungarian position fell. The Hungarians lost 550 people killed and captured, 1 banner and 5 guns. Our losses are 126 people.
Having clarified the situation and given rest to the troops, Leaders continued the offensive and on June 23 (July 2) defeated the Hungarian corps of Gal Sandor and Georgi at Chik Sereda. On July 1 (13), Engelhardt's forward detachment with a surprise attack captured the citadel of Fogarash. Up to 800 prisoners and 4 guns were taken. Having defeated the opposing forces of the enemy, the Leaders corps took Sibiu (Germanstadt) on July 9 (21). Meanwhile, the Northern group of General Grotengelm on June 7 (19) began a slow movement from Dorno Vatra. On June 15 (27), Russian troops attacked Bem's corps, located in the Bukovinian direction. The Hungarian attack was repelled. Boehm did not dare to attack again and retreated. The northern group crossed Bystritsa, occupied Sas-Regen. The energetic Boehm, setting up barriers against the detachment of Grotengelm and Leaders, at this time made a raid on Moldavia in order to raise an uprising in the rear of the Russian army. However, his hopes were not justified, the locals did not even think to rebel. Bem had to return to Transylvania.
On July 14 (26), Leaders continued the offensive and set out from Sibiu (Germanstadt) to Segeshvar. In Sibiu, a detachment of General Gasford was left - 4 thousand people with 12 guns. On July 19 (31), the battle of Segeshvar took place. Boehm attacked Leaders' corps, but was defeated. Russian losses - 258 people, Hungarian - 1,700 people, 8 guns. On July 22 (August 3), Leaders' troops established contact with the Northern group of Grotengelm. Upon learning of the departure of Leaders with most of the forces, Stein's Hungarian corps (3,500 men) tried to recapture Sibiu. On July 20, the Hungarians were defeated by Gasford at Cologne. The Hungarians lost 1200 people, mostly prisoners, 2 banners and 2 guns. Our losses are 64 people.
Broken Boehm has not yet lost hope of success. He led another detachment and rushed to Sibiu (Hermannstadt) to defeat Gasford's detachment. Leaders, learning about Bem's march to Sibiu, rushed to the aid of his rear squad. Our troops marched 150 miles in a forced march in three days along mountain paths and in the conditions of scorching heat and made it on time. On July 25 (August 6), the last decisive battle took place near Sibiu. Gasford, constrained by the transports of the entire 5th corps, held out for the whole day - on July 24. On this day, our troops lost 351 people. The next day, July 25, Leaders' detachment entered the battle. The Hungarians were defeated, losing only 1,000 prisoners and 14 guns. July 30 (August 11) Leaders under Müllenbach scattered the last remaining 8 thousand people from the Hungarians. Stein's body. Losses of the Hungarians - over 2, 2 thousand people and 13 guns. Our losses are insignificant - 39 people.
Thus, Bem's Transylvanian army ceased to exist. Its remnants laid down their arms when they received news of the Vilagos surrender of Görgei's army. Boehm himself was summoned to Hungary to lead the Southern Army, was defeated again at Temeshvar and fled to the Ottoman Empire. In Turkey, Boehm converted to Islam and worked to modernize the Ottoman army. After the surrender of the rebels in Transylvania, the main forces of the Leaders corps returned to Wallachia.
After the news of the defeat and surrender of the Hungarian armies, the Comorne garrison under the command of Klapka, which very successfully held back the Austrians, surrendered on September 21-23 on honorable terms. This was the end of the Hungarian uprising.
The value of the hike
About 170 thousand Russian soldiers and officers took part in the Hungarian campaign. The combat losses were insignificant - over 3 thousand people, about 11 - 13 thousand people died from diseases (and the incidence rate was half of the army - 85 thousand people). Material costs amounted to 47.5 million rubles.
The Hungarians proved to be brave warriors, but in general they were militias, not regular troops. They were able to beat the confused Austrians, but they could not resist the Russian military machine. The Hungarian command made a number of mistakes, failing to establish communications between the northern and southern theaters, and to apply a maneuver along the internal lines of operations. The situation was worsened by the conflict between the Hungarian dictator Kossuth and the army commander Görgei. The problems were in the command of the Hungarian army. So, prominent positions were taken by former Polish generals, the leaders of the 1830 uprising. Boehm proved himself to be energetic generals in Transylvania. Gyorgei was also a talented commander. His flanking march from Weizen to Debrechin was a brilliant, exemplary way out of the trap.
Paskevich in this campaign showed himself not in the best way. In the wars with the Persians and Turks, he fought much better. The Hungarian campaign was carried out mediocre. At the head of the 100-thous. army, having a quantitative and qualitative superiority, the prince of Warsaw could not overtake and defeat the enemy. Paskevich overestimated the forces of the enemy, was late, did not use powerful cavalry. The Russian army was unable to give a single general battle. The best qualities of the Russian military leaders were shown by Ridiger, Leaders and Panyutin.
In general, the Hungarian campaign showed the beginning of decomposition, the lagging behind of the Russian army, which, by inertia, was the best in the world. With each new war - in the Crimea, in the Balkans, in Manchuria, these problems will manifest themselves more and more clearly. And everything will end with the catastrophe of the First World War. In particular, initiative, independence, and Suvorov's offensive spirit were expelled from the army. Among the generals, careerists and sycophants came to the fore. The real military commanders were ousted, they were not given a road. In the training of troops, there was a show that had nothing to do with real military operations. As a result, the army, which defeated the "invincible" Napoleon, gradually lost its ability to fight, and did not prepare for war, resting on its old laurels. The results will be sad - the Russians will wash themselves in blood in Sevastopol, during the liberation of Bulgaria, the Japanese campaign.
In general, the army fulfilled its task - Hungary was pacified in the shortest possible time. But they did not do the lessons from the campaign. And from the military-strategic point of view, the Hungarian campaign was not only useless, but erroneous. The Hungarians hated Russia and carried this hatred until the First World War, when the Magyar regiments again clashed with the Russians. Russia, even during the life of Nicholas I, experienced "Austrian gratitude." The hostile position of Vienna, which was ready to start a war with Russia, led to the defeat in the Crimean War. The position of Austria did not allow Russia to receive all the fruits of the victory over the Ottoman Empire in 1878. Austria-Hungary prevented Russia from occupying a dominant position in the Balkans and became our enemy in 1914.
Thus, Russia saved its mortal enemy in 1849. The Habsburg Empire was saved by Russian blood. It is obvious that St. Petersburg did not have to intervene in the completely natural collapse of the Austrian "patchwork" empire. On the contrary, it was necessary to derive political benefits from this event. So, it was possible to get neighboring friendly Hungary, the existence of which would depend on the goodwill of Russia. Establish control over the Slavic regions of the Habsburg Empire. To return the indigenous Russian lands - Galicia, Carpathian Rus (these tasks were set only in the First World War).