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Old February 8th, 2021, 04:59 PM
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World Trudge for Turda: SPWW2 Operational Campaign Invitation

The battle for southern transilvania
September 1944
SPWW2 operational campaign
1:1 scale
Dedicated to the heroes of this forgotten front

Original invitation happened to have pictures. It seems however that Shrapnel Forums fail to properly support it, so we are staying with text :P


World War 2 was the bloodiest conflict of mankind.

Undoubtedly however, the Big War itself encompassed several smaller conflicts occurring to settle some scores. After all, not only the Germans were going for complete and deadly revision of the Treaty of Versailles. There was a nation undoubtedly humiliated much more than the Germans back in 1918.


The Hungarians were treated as co-belligerents, right beside Austria, as a second most influential territory of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Beaten first in World War One, then beaten again in 1919 and 1920 by their neighbors, Hungarians were forced to sign the treaty of Trianon. Under the conditions of said treaty, Hungary proper lost about 70% of their original territory. It was also turned to a landlocked country. Population dropped to about 7.5 million from about 20 million citizens and nearly 3.5 million Hungarians were left outside their country and forced to live as minority. They often suffered persecutions and attempts of dehungarianisation, particularly with their long-lasting enemy – Romania, that acquired entire Transylvania area (Siebenburgen), traditionally considered to be a Hungarian territory. Romanian also occupied Budapest for a time being back in early ‘20s and left with enormous amounts of war loot, stripping its neighbor from austrian-invested heavy industry.

But soon the winds of vengeance started to blow in Europe. German gear up caught Western Allies unprepared and reluctant to pursue another conflict since their victory came at cost. Italy was growing bolder and bolder, while Soviet Union executed a number of interventions in bordering states while modernizing its tank force with aim of destruction of Poland and Finland.
In these conditions, Hungary started to slowly rise. A number of military reforms were introduced and modern equipment procured from their allies. Hungary soon joined ways with the Nazi Germany, that promised considerable gains to their Magyar friends. These promises soon turned to be true.

Hungary first acquired parts of Czechoslovakia in its first partition – as a so called First Vienna Awards – in late 1938. This territory constituted so called Subcarpathia with the town of Kassa (today Kosice in Slovakia). It must be however noted here that this particular area was forcibly annexed by Czechoslovakia back in 1920. Half year later, when Czechoslovakia was disappearing from the map, Royal Hungarian Army marched into Transcarpathia that bordered Poland and moments later got itself into a small war with newly created Slovakia, which was forced to cede some more territory.

In 1940 – at the height of its power – Germany agreed to support Hungary in their claim for the main prize – the Transylvania, known as golden region of Hungary. Hard-pressed Romania, just two months after Soviets claimed Besarabia and Moldova regions, agreed to partition the Transylvania with Hungary, giving them roughly over the half of their gains from the Trianon Treaty. This territory also included the actual capital of Transylvania, the Kolozsvar – or modern Cluj-Napoca in Romania (the so called Second Vienna Award).

With the gains acquired on the Yugoslavia in late 1941, Hungary soon doubled their territory and rose into prominence again.

But soon, the war with Soviet Union started. Hungary promptly joined it in shady and even today disputed circumstances. Early victories in 1941 looked promising, but soon it was evident that even though Soviets cannot bear the mighty German war machine, it is not the case with worse equipped and trained minor axis states. The disastrous defeat of Hungarian 2nd Army at the Horn of Don during operation Little Saturn during winter 1942 caused nearly complete withdrawal of Hungary from any combat. Panicked Hungarian leadership attempted to rebuild own armed forces and develop lagging war industry while war was closing in on their fair territorial acquisitions.

This is how the mid-1944 came in.

Rough rebuild of Royal Hungarian Army – or Honvedseg – was surprised when Soviets first launched the mighty Operation Bagration that destroyed entire Heeresgruppe Mitte in the matter of weeks and then massive onslaught fell on neighboring Romania, in the Jassy and Kischinev area. Romanian and German armies broke within four days and on 23rd of August 1944 a coup d’etat in Bucharest put an end to Ion Antonescu regime. Romania switched sides. Or in other words – about-faced. On 25th August 1944 former ally declared war on both Germany and Hungary and allowed Soviet columns right into central Romania, thus exposing the entire Axis underbelly. In the meantime, German pockets of resistance fought in entire Romania with an attempt of escape to Transylvania.

Obviously, under these conditions, new government in Romania promptly questioned the legality of Second Vienna Award and quickly claimed back the Transylvania.

And this is the way the Romanian-Hungarian War of 1944 erupted, even though it quickly turned into four-nation debacle.
Hungarian Northern Transylvania was well manned with 1st Hungarian Army operating on so called Arpad Line, blocking the mountain passes. But that was not the case with southern Transylvania that remained in Romanian hands. Entire Arpad Line could be flanked from there and Soviets could easily pour into Hungarian plain destroying everything on their path.

Under these circumstances, the mauled 2nd Hungarian Army was activated again and reinforced with several seasoned units from other Hungarian operational formations. The command was given to general Lajos Veress von Dalnoki – old, austro-hungarian officer, himself a Szekely. Szekely is a Hungarian national living in the Transylvania region.

Head of Hungarian State, Admiral Miklos Horthy, gave General Veress a simple order: execute the best offensive Royal Hungarian Army has to offer given the complicated circumstances and secure southern Transylvania, pushing the Romanians away, in order to secure the flank of Arpad Line and protect the Greater Hungarian Plain from Soviet swarm by blocking the mountain passes – mainly the historical Vulkan Pass that served as battle location of several engagements between the Magyars and Ottomans.

In the meantime, Romanians attempted to stand again after complete destruction of half of their army and rapid Soviet takeover followed with rapes, pillages and apprehensions of officers considered to be pro-German. Frozen in despair, they waited for the horror to end. They attacked their ex-German allies with ferocity with an attempt to buy at least a bit of mercy from their occupiers.

But the Hungarian threat – that was a different story. It was about settling the score, an unfinished business to solve. In Transylvania the Romanians would stand and wait for the Reds to come join them, at least securing the favorable post-war settlement in the west with Moldova and Besarabia undoubtedly lost.

In early September 1944, 2nd Hungarian Army descended from the Greater Hungarian Plain into southern Transylvania. Their aim: the city of Turda and then the Vulcan and Turnu Rosu Passes. But the Romanian 4th Army stood and put up a fight, thus opening the battle of Turda, which would soon become one of the biggest battles Transylvania have seen.
Soviets did not plan to wait calmly as their offensive ability was about to be questioned by small Hungary. STAVKA directly ordered General Rodion Malinovsky’s 2nd Ukrainian Front to support the Romanians without delay: the underbelly of Hungary was open, but it could close at any moment.

Germans were aware – and acknowledging – of Hungarian attempts. Even though 6th and 8th Armies were destroyed in Romania, remnants of these dragged into Transylvania and soon joined their Magyar allies in efforts to stabilize the situation. Meanwhile, Oberkomando des Heeres activated scarce reserves in the area, with mighty and experienced 23rd Panzer Division directed in the area to provide a real punch.

Local conflict between the two nations, brewing for years, was turning into a nasty debacle with giants stepping into the old mountains, who are given no rest, when shells start falling…


- TfT or Trudge for Turda, is a SPWW2 campaign that brings the OPERATIONAL aspect of war into Steel Panthers by providing players the tools to plan and execute their moves on operational map. Engagements between the opposing forces are played in Steel Panthers, thus both sides happen to have (smaller or greater) influence of what forces shall take part in the upcoming battle
- The game is run by a Game Master – this will be me, who shall judge the player’s decisions and take care of the map and probable outcomes. Note that I totally want to play my own child, though I will be 9similarny to my earlier campaign) play as line player and I will not participate nor suggest anything to the main planners
- Campaign can theoretically fill any amount of players, but the numer of battles per in-game day is limited to the outcomes of operational map
- This campaign is expected to fare better with 5vs5 players. The less the player amount, the slower it will progress, obviously the opposite will speed things up
- Battle size depends on player decisions. However, given the fact this campaign is 1:1 in scale, most battles are expected to be regimental/brigade sized, what makes them quite big by SPWW2 standards. Several rules are however implemented to slightly help up with the might of this game. These rules – if combined with opponent’s fair play – should not turn this campaign weary
- ORBATs provided for this campaign include more than a dozen of divisions on both sides, each recreated with as great details as possible. There was about 200 work effort in recreation of the battle area and forces involded, often contradictory or non-detailed. The result is however a reconstruction rarely occuring in our community. Complete OOB encompasses about 100 pages of military structures converted into SPWW2 format as unit aquision instructions
- If conditions allow, campaign shall simulate operational combat of aircraft – that means aerial warfare will be present and will be played simultaniously to in-game actions. There is a dedicated system for aerial combat that was designed for a different WW2 play-by-forum (PBF) game I designed (When Diplomacy Fails: Winds of Time) and has been successfully tested there. It will be adapter as a rip-off. The condition is however to enjoy a decent and fluent communication with players
- Standard The Blitz victory calculation system will be used to calculate the outcome of in-game battles. Various results will produce different effects on the operational map
- The campaign shall run as long as one side emerges victorious or general weariness brings it up to the end. I trully hope the first of mentioned instances will be the one I will declare in some time
- Given the size of the project, we expect the campaign to run for several months at least
- We are looking for active and stable players, who could form up the core of the both sides’ commanders. If other player will fall in and out along the way – this is good, anyone is free to join, however I would prefer core players to execute the majority of planning
- A Discord server will be soon created, including voice channels, to perhaps speed up the communications. Particularly when we speak of aerial combat, dynamic voice really speeds things up and simplifies the matters. The use of Discord is however not obligatory
- With great doze of probability, the campaign will be hosted on The Blitz, just as the previous campaign was hosted six years prior. We are progressing there with negotiations



If you happen to have any questions or of course if you are interested to join, please list here on your PREFFERED side. Mind though that if sides will be heavily unequal in numbers swome shifting might take place. It i salso somewhat probable I will be switching between sides as ersatz-reserve-player should such need arise.

ALLIES (Soviet Union & Romania):
1. ...
2. ...
3. ...
4. ...

AXIS (Hungary & Nazi Germany):
1. ...
2. ...
3. ...
4. ...
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