H-Net Reviewsnot tell Kiraly? Many lives might have been saved.Nagy’s radio broadcast further misled Kiraly; Nagystated“our troops are ﬁghting...the government is atits post.”All three essays provide background information,at times overlapping, on the origins, personnel, andpositioning of the Soviet “Osobyi Korpus” (SpecialCorps) in Hungary. This small command center inHungary was named at Marshal Zhukov’s suggestion,in analogy to the Special Corps of Soviet troops inMongolia he had commanded in 1939. An agreementof the Allied Powers, and later the Paris Peace Treatylegitimated the stationing of the Special Corps inHungary after 1945. The Soviet Union used the Spe-cial Corps to back up Soviet troops stationed in Aus-tria, but after the Austrian State Treaty was signedin 1955 it was supposed to withdraw. To create aninternational legal basis for Soviet troops to remainin Hungary, the Soviet Union signed a new treaty,establishing the Warsaw Pact in 1955. The SpecialCorps Command was staﬀed by oﬃcers and service-men who had belonged to the Central Army Group inAustria. The head of the Corps was Lieutenant Gen-eral Pyotr Nikolayevich Lashchenko and the chief of staﬀ was Brigadier General G.A. Shchelbanyin. TheHungarian units were stationed in Gyor, Kormend,Szombathely, Papa, Szekesfehervar, Kecskemet, Szol-nok, Cegled, Debrecen, and other towns. No Soviettroops were stationed right in Budapest, but the mil-itary command, political section of the special units,commercial leadership, and hospital built their head-quarters in the capital.Although ordered to draw up a plan for the“Restoration of Order,” as early as July 1956, theSpecial Corps did not seriously expect violence in thecountry. General Malashenko, a colonel and actingchief of staﬀ of the Special Corps at the time, con-tends that relations were peaceful between the Corpsmembers and the local Hungarian population. Myown research in the Russian Archive of Foreign Pol-icy reveals, however, that a few minor episodes of violence occurred.Given his key role, Malashenko’s memoirs arevaluable. Some of his recollections have already beenpublished in the Russian journal
, but other material, such as the interviewswith Hungarian military leaders Maleter, Szucs, andKovacs after they were kidnapped, is new. The Spe-cial Corps was reluctant to“restore order.” When So-viet Ambassador Yuri Andropov called Lashchenkoon October 23 around 17:00 and asked him to sendhis troops to liquidate the disorder in Budapest,Malashenko heard Lashchenko reply that that wasa task only for the Hungarian police, state securityservices, and soldiers. For one thing, interventionwent beyond his authority, and for another “it wasnot desirable to bring Soviet troops into somethinglike this.” (p. 222) Lashchenko also told Andropov:“Our troops can only be ordered into action by theSoviet minister of defense and the chief of staﬀ, by adecree of the Soviet government.”Undergraduate students would ﬁnd this book dif-ﬁcult to read due to the abundant statistics and lackof analysis. Many parts, like the “Mosaic of Resis-tance,”pp 109-114, resemble chronologies and lists of statistics. Scholars familiar with the crisis will ﬁndthis useful, but even they will ﬁnd the lack of an in-dex rather frustrating.The main strength of this book is that it draws ona wide variety of documents and documentary collec-tions from several Hungarian archives and one Sovietarchive that were declassiﬁed after the collapse of theSoviet Union. The“1956-os Intezet”(Institute forthe Study of the 1956 Revolution) in Budapest haspublished a plethora of books and documents, butunfortunately very few have been translated into En-glish. Thus Gyorkei’s volume is a good start andwill serve as a helpful reference work, containing asit does tables, maps, and biographical notes. Onlytwo other books incorporating the new documentaryevidence on the 1956 crisis have been published inEnglish since the end of the Cold War. Finally, Ibelieve Malashenko is correct that this book helps to“contribute to the reconciliation of our peoples [Hun-garian and Russian].”Notes. See, for example, Gyorgy Csepeli,
National Identity in Contemporary Hungary
(NY: ColumbiaUniversity Press, Atlantic Studies on Society inChange, no. 91, 1997). My review of this appearsin
, vol. 27, no. 4 (December1999)..
Szovjet katonai intervencio 1956
(Budapest:Argumentum Kiado, 1996).. The Hungarian Parliament passed a resolu-tion on May 2, 1990 classifying the events of 1956 asa“revolution”and“war of independence.”. For more information on the Brioni meet-ing and Yugoslavia’s role, see my articles, “Hun-gary, 1956: the Yugoslav Connection,”