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Monday, November 12, 2007

Operation Panzerfaust
Operation Panzerfaust was a military operation in October 1944 by the German military. When Adolf Hitler received word that Hungary's Regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, was secretly negotiating his country's surrender to the looming Red Army, he sent commando leader Otto Skorzeny to Hungary. Hitler feared that Hungary's surrender would cut off a million German troops fighting the Soviet advance in the Balkan peninsula.
Otto Skorzeny, in a daring "snatch" codenamed Operation Panzerfaust, kidnapped Horthy's son Miklós Horthy, Jr.. His father was forced to abdicate as Regent. A pro-German government was installed in Hungary which fought along side Germany until April 1945 when German troops were driven out of Hungary by the Red Army.
A total of 35 King Tigers were used to augment the German troops in Operation Panzerfaust. They helped SS troops and elite paratroopers storm the mountain fortress (actually the Royal Castle on a hill) in which Horthy was holed up along with those loyal to him. This included the cabinet of the then current Hungarian government. Horthy's defenders held for 30 minutes before they were ordered to surrender. The Horthy government had signed an armistice with the Soviets during the German invasion. In order to keep Hungary in the war, the Horthy government was completely dismantled. It was replaced by the "Hitler-faithful" Ferenc Szálasi government.

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