B bábi, Tibor

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Branyiszkó, Battle of (now Branisko, Slovakia) – This was one of the most brilliant victories of the War of Independence (1848-1849). Marching through the mining towns of Northern Hungary in 1849, the army of General Artur Görgey arrived in County Szepes (now Slovakia) on 1 February 1849. An Austrian Imperial Army unit, garrisoned in the district, tried to surprise the Hungarians at Igló (now Spisská Nová Ves, Slovakia), but they were repelled. After an unsuccessful skirmish, General Schlick sent a division from Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia) under Count Deym to link up with Major Kieswetter’s battalion to build defense trenches at the mountain pass of Branyiszkó to prevent the unification of Görgey’s army with the Hungarian army of the Upper Tisza River. Görgey remained in reserve at Igló and sent Count Richard Guyon, a Scot nobleman, who had joined the Hungarian cause, and a novice battalion to break through the well-fortified enemy line. Due to the icy road and the inexperience of the recruits, the attack ended in failure. Then Captain Cordinesz of the Tyrol Mountaineers, with some Hungarian volunteers carrying two disassembled canons on their backs, climbed the bare rock wall where the Austrians did not suspect any infiltration. On 6 February 1849 Guyon gave orders to renew the attack. The Imperial troops were dismayed to find themselves under canon fire from the so-called “Ördöglyuk” (Devil’s Hole) above them and the bugle call of the dreaded Sobri Hussars broke the Austrians’ nerves. Abandoning their trenches they fled pursued by the Hungarians with Guyon at their lead. They occupied 23 enemy strongholds by midnight. Thus the pass was secured and on 6 February Görgey’s army marched through it to Eperjes (now Preşov, Slovakia). This victory secured the unification of the two main Hungarian forces and made possible the execution of the glorious spring campaign in 1849. Years later, General Guyon was credited as one of the first military commanders to use the tactic of “vertical encirclement” that became a familiar tactic in World War II with the introduction of parachute regiments. – B: 0942, T: 3233.→ Guyon, Görgey, Artur; Count Richard; Hussars; Freedom Fight of 1848-1849-

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