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On 13 December 1904, Hungarian Sándor Just and Croatian Franjo Hanaman were granted a Hungarian patent (No. 34541) for a tungsten filament lamp that lasted longer and gave brighter light than the carbon filament. Tungsten filament lamps were first marketed by the Hungarian company Tungsram in 1904. This type is often called Tungsram-bulbs in many European countries. Filling a bulb with an inert gas such as argon or nitrogen slows down the evaporation of the tungsten filament compared to operating it in a vacuum. This allows for greater temperatures and therefore greater efficacy with less reduction in filament life.
On 31 October 1918, the Aster Revolution in Budapest brought Hungarian liberal aristocrat Mihály Károlyi, a supporter of the Allied Powers, to power. The Hungarian Royal Honvéd army still had more than 1.400.000 soldiers when Mihály Károlyi was announced as prime minister of Hungary. Károlyi yielded to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's demand for pacifism by ordering the disarmament of the Hungarian army. This happened under the direction of Béla Linder, minister of war in the Károlyi government. Due to the full disarmament of its army, Hungary remained without a national defence at a time of particular vulnerability.
The lines would apply until definitive borders could be established. Under the terms of the armistice, Serbian and French troops advanced from the south, taking control of the Banat and Croatia. Czechoslovakia took control of Upper Hungary and Carpathian Ruthenia. Romanian forces were permitted to advance to the River Maros (Mureș) . However, on 14 November, Serbia occupied Pécs.
On 19 March, Hungary received notification of the new demarcation line and demilitarized zone from French Lieutenant Colonel Fernand Vix (the "Vix note"). The Károlyi government would not accept the terms and this was a trigger for the coup d'état by Béla Kun, who formed the Hungarian Soviet Republic.
On 21 March, Béla Kun led a successful communist coup d'état. Károlyi was deposed and arrested. Kun formed a social democratic, communist coalition government and proclaimed the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Days later the Communists purged the Social Democrats from the government.
A demilitarized zone was to be created, extending from the new demarcation line to 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) beyond the line. The demilitarized zone represented the extent of Romanian territorial requests on Hungary. The retreat of the Hungarian army behind the western border of the demilitarized zone was to begin on 22 March.
On 4 April, South African General Jan Smuts was sent to Hungary. He carried the proposition that the Hungarian communist government under Kun abide by the conditions previously presented to Károlyi in the Vix note. Smuts' mission also represented official recognition of the Kun communist government by the Allied council.
The Hungarians retreated to Szolnok and from there across the Tisza River. They established two concentric defense lines extending from the Tisza River around Szolnok. Between 29 April and 1 May, the Romanian Army broke through these lines.
On 2 May, Hungary sued for peace via a request delivered by his representative, Lieutenant Colonel Henrik Werth. Kun was prepared to recognize all of Romania's territorial demands; requested the cessation of hostilities; and asked for ongoing control of Hungarian internal affairs.
On 3 June, Romania was forced into further retreat but extended its line of defence along the Tisza River and reinforced its position with the 8th Division, which had been moving forward from Bukovina since 22 May.
The Allied council demanded that Romania leave Tiszántúl and respect the new borders. Romania said it would only do so after the Hungarian Army demobilized. Kun said he would continue to depend on the might of his army. On 11 July, the Allied council ordered Marshal Ferdinand Foch to prepare a coordinated attack against Hungary using Serb, French and Romanian forces. Hungary, in turn, prepared for action along the Tisza River.
On 20 July, in the northern arena, the Hungarians army took Rakamaz and some nearby villages. Troops of the Romanian 16th and 2nd Vânători divisions took back the villages shortly and regained Rakamaz the next day. The Hungarians renewed their efforts and, supported by artillery fire, retook Rakamaz and two nearby villages but could not break out of the Rakamaz bridgehead.
On 20 July, Hungarian forces established a solid bridgehead on the east bank of the Tisza at Szolnok, opposed by the Romanian 91st Regiment of the 18th Infantry Division. The Hungarian army moved the 6th and 7th divisions across the Tisza River, formed up within the bridgehead, then attacked the Romanians in the first line of defense. The Hungarian 6th Infantry Division took Törökszentmiklós; the 7th Division advanced towards Mezőtúr and the 5th Division advanced towards Túrkeve.
On 21–22 July, Hódmezővásárhely changed hands several times between Hungarian and Romanian troops of the 90th Infantry Regiment supported by the 1st Vânători Brigade. On 23 July, Romanian forces reoccupied Hódmezővásárhely, Szentes and Mindszent.
On 24 July, the Romanian 20th Infantry Division, brought in as reinforcements, cleared the bridgehead at Tiszafüred. Not being able to break out of Rakamaz, Hungarian forces fortified their positions and redeployed some troops. There was a lull in fighting in the north, as the Romanian troops did the same.
On 24 July, the Romanian Army's northern maneuver group attacked. Elements of the 2nd Cavalry Division, supported by troops of the 18th Infantry Division, took Kunhegyes. The Romanian 1st Infantry Division attacked the Hungarian 6th Infantry Division and took Fegyvernek. The Romanian 6th Ddivision was less successful, being counterattacked on the left flank by the Hungarian reserve formations. Altogether, the attack pushed back the Hungarian army 20 kilometres (12 mi). Romanian forces were supported by the 2nd Vânători Division and some cavalry units when they became available.
On 25 July, fighting continued. Hungarian forces counterattacked at Fegyvernek, engaging the Romanian 1st Infantry Division. With their lines breaking, Hungarian troops began a retreat towards the Tisza River bridge at Szolnok.
After repelling the Hungarian attack, the Romanian army prepared to cross the Tisza River. From 27–29 July, the Romanian Army tested the strength of the Hungarian defense with small attacks. A plan was made to cross the Tisza River near Fegyvernek, where it makes a turn.
On the night of 29–30 July, the Romanian Army crossed the Tisza River. Decoy operations were mounted at other points along the river, bringing intense artillery duels. Romanian forces held the element of surprise.
Until midday on 4 August, 400 Romanian soldiers with two artillery guns held Budapest. Then the bulk of the Romanian troops arrived in the city and a parade was held through the city center in front of the commander, General Moşoiu. Romanian forces continued their advance into Hungary and stopped at Győr. As of 8 August, the Romanians had captured 1,235 Hungarian officers and 40,000 soldiers, seized 350 guns—including two with a caliber of 305 mm—332 machine guns, 52,000 rifles and 87 airplanes.
The Siege of Budapest was the 50-day-long encirclement by Soviet and Romanian forces of the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The city unconditionally surrendered on 13 February 1945. It was a strategic victory for the Allies in their push towards Berlin.
In early March, in an attempt to protect its last oil reserves in Hungary and to retake Budapest, Germany launched its last major offensive against Soviet troops near Lake Balaton. In two weeks, the offensive had been repulsed. The operation lasted from 6 to 16 March, while the Soviet counter attack took place between 16 March to 15 April 1945.
Toward the end of World War II, the Soviet Army occupied Hungary, with the country coming under the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. Immediately after World War II, Hungary was a multiparty democracy, and elections in 1945 produced a coalition government under Prime Minister Zoltán Tildy.
After Khrushchev's "secret speech" of February 1956, which denounced Stalin and his protégés, Rákosi was deposed as General Secretary of the Party and replaced by Ernő Gerő on 18 July 1956.
During the night of 23 October, Hungarian Working People's Party Secretary Ernő Gerő requested Soviet military intervention "to suppress a demonstration that was reaching an ever greater and unprecedented scale". The Soviet leadership had formulated contingency plans for intervention in Hungary several months before.
A large crowd gathered at the Radio Budapest building, which was heavily guarded by the ÁVH. The flash point was reached as a delegation attempting to broadcast their demands was detained and the crowd grew increasingly unruly as rumours spread that the protesters had been shot. Tear gas was thrown from the upper windows and the ÁVH opened fire on the crowd, killing many. The ÁVH tried to re-supply itself by hiding arms inside an ambulance, but the crowd detected the ruse and intercepted it. Hungarian soldiers sent to relieve the ÁVH hesitated and then, tearing the red stars from their caps, sided with the crowd. Provoked by the ÁVH attack, protesters reacted violently. Police cars were set ablaze, guns were seized from military depots and distributed to the masses and symbols of the Communist regime were vandalised.
On 24 October, Imre Nagy replaced András Hegedüs as Prime Minister. On the radio, Nagy called for an end to violence and promised to initiate political reforms that had been shelved three years earlier. The population continued to arm itself as sporadic violence erupted.
By noon, on 24 October, Soviet tanks were stationed outside the Parliament, and Soviet soldiers guarded key bridges and crossroads. Armed revolutionaries quickly set up barricades to defend Budapest, and were reported to have already captured some Soviet tanks by mid-morning.
On 25 October, a mass of protesters gathered in front of the Parliament Building. ÁVH units began shooting into the crowd from the rooftops of neighbouring buildings. Some Soviet soldiers returned fire on the ÁVH, mistakenly believing that they were the targets of the shooting. Supplied by arms taken from the ÁVH or given by Hungarian soldiers who joined the uprising, some in the crowd started shooting back.
In the town of Kecskemét on 26 October, demonstrations in front of the office of State Security and the local jail led to military action by the Third Corps under the orders of Major General Lajos Gyurkó, in which seven protesters were shot and several of the organizers were arrested.
Hungarian general Béla Király, freed from a life sentence for political offences and acting with the support of the Nagy government, sought to restore order by unifying elements of the police, army and insurgent groups into a National Guard. A ceasefire was arranged on 28 October.