Hungarian Revolution of 1848

Magyars and allies — versus — Austria, Russia, and allies

Hungarian Revolution of 1848
The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was part of a European wide revolution sparked by the flight of Louis Philippe in France and a movement in favor of nationalism among European liberals. The Napoleonic War had unleashed a torrent of liberal ideas among intellectuals throughout Europe, which conservatives blamed for the anarchy and mayhem of the French revolution. Most governments restricted political dissent and as a result, secret political societies sprang up all over Europe, plotting and scheming ways to overthrow the existing order. Many of the leaders of the Hungarian revolution were part of this network, and the rebellion was closely related to simultaneous revolutions in Vienna, Rome and Northern Italy against the Austrian empire.

At the time of the revolution, Hungary already had its own parliament and considerable autonomy, but European liberals of the 19th century sought after the idea of national sovereignty, and the Hapsburg empire, regardless of any compromise or reforms it could offer, stood in the way. The idea of nationalism for Hungary however, was especially complicated since the geographical area known as Hungary included many different ethnic groups with conflicting loyalties. In addition to Magyars, the region included Slavs, Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes, some of whom were loyal to Austria and opposed the Hungarian movement for independence. Soon after Louis Kossuth declared an independent Kingdom of Hungary, the Croats rebelled against the Hungarians and declared their loyalty to Austria. The first fighting in the Hungarian revolution was between the Croats and Magyars, and Austria's intervention on the part of their loyal Croatian subjects caused an upheaval in Vienna.

The rebellion in Hungary might have been easily put down if it was an isolated event. But because it was timed to coincide with revolutions in Vienna and Italy, the Austrian government was unable to respond effectively. Austria did not have the military resources to put down four simultaneous rebellions, so it made generous promises to the leader in Hungary in order to buy time. Even with Austria's concessions, however, the Hungarians opted for rebellion. They mustered a volunteer army and won several early victories. Most of the Slavs in the region, however, opposed Hungarian independence, so Austria called upon Russia to intervene. The ill-equipped Magyar patriots could not withstand the vastly superior Russian force, and the Hungarian revolution was quickly brought to an end.

DateBattle Summary
Battle of Veleneze   drawn victory
Fought September 29, 1848, between the Hungarians, under General Móga, and the Croats, under the Ban, Jellachich. The battle was indecisive, and was followed by a three days' armistice.
Battle of Schwechat   Austrians victory
Fought October 30, 1848, between the Austrians, under Prince Windischgratz, and the Hungarians, under General Moga. The Hungarian militia made a very feeble stand against the Austrian regulars, and were driven back all along the line with considerable loss.
Battle of Kapolna   Austrians victory
Fought February 26 and 27, 1849, between four Hungarian divisions, under Dembinski, and the Austrians, under Windischgratz, of whom only Schlick's corps, 15,000 strong, was seriously engaged. The Hungarians held their own on the 26th, but on the evening of the 27th Schlick captured the key of the position at Kapolna, whereupon the Hungarians retired, though unpursued.
Battle of Hatvan   Hungarians victory
Fought April 2, 1849, when the Austrians, 15,000 strong under Marshal Schlick, attacked the 7th Hungarian corps, of about equal strength, and after a severe engagement, were totally defeated.
Battle of Isaszcq   Hungarians victory
Fought April 6, 1849, between the Hungarians, 42,000 strong, under Gorgey, and the Croats, under Jellachich. The Hungarian First Corps, under Klapka, was put to flight, but the rest stood their ground, and repulsed the Croat attack. Both armies bivouacked for the night on the ground they held, but early on the following morning Jellachich retired, the Hungarians thus being entitled to claim a victory.
Battle of Waizan   Hungarians victory
Fought April 10, 1849, between the 3rd Hungarian corps, under Damjanics, about 7,000 strong, and two Austrian brigades, under Gotz and Jablonowski. Damjanics attacked the Austrians and drove them out of Waizan with heavy loss, among those who fell being General Götz.
Battle of Nagy-Sarló   Hungarians victory
Fought April 19, 1849, between the Hungarians, 25,000 strong, under Gorgey, and the Austrians, who endeavoured to prevent Gorgey constructing bridges over the Gran. The Austrians were signally defeated, and the river successfully bridged,
Siege of Komorn   Hungarians victory
An action fought by Gorgey, April 26, 1849, for the relief of Komorn, which was besieged by the Austrians. In the early morning two Hungarian corps, under Klapka and Damjanics, surprised the Austrian entrenched camp, taking 6 guns and 200 prisoners. The Austrians retired, though not energetically pursued, and the fortress was relieved.
Siege of Ofen   Hungarians victory
This fortress, held by an Austrian garrison, under General Hentzi, was besieged by the Hungarians, under Görgey, May 4, 1849. After an unsuccessful assault, a siege in due form was commenced, and several further assaults having also failed, the place was finally taken by storm on the 21st. General Hentzi was mortally wounded.
Battle of Pered   Russo-Austrians victory
Fought June 21, 1849, between the Hungarians, 16,000 strong, under Gorgey, and the Austrians and Russians, under Prince Windischgratz. The allies attacked the Hungarian position, and after severe fighting, drove them out, with a loss of about 3,000.
Battle of Acs   Russo-Austrians victory
Fought July 2, 1849, between 25,000 Hungarians, under Görgey, and the Russo-Austrian army, greatly superior in numbers, under Prince Windischgratz. The allies attacked the entrenched camp of the Hungarians, outside Komorn, while the Hungarians made an attempt to turn the allied left. Both attacks were repulsed, and the battle was undecided.
Battle of Segeswár   Hungarians victory
Fought July 31, 1849, between the Hungarians, under General Bern, and the Russians, under General Luders. The Russians, after a severe engagement, were totally defeated.
Battle of Temesvar   Austrians victory
Fought August 9, 1849, between the Austrians, under Haynau, and the Hungarians, under Dembinski. The latter was totally routed, and his army dispersed, this being the last stand made by the Hungarians in the war. On the 13th, Gorgey and his army surrendered to the Russians at Villagos.

Short Biography
Louis Kossuth Patriot hero of Hungary who nearly won independence before being crushed by Austria-Russia.

Story Links
Book Links
Louis Kossuth and Hungary  in  Growth of the British Empire  by  M. B. Synge