Author Topic: Hungary: The Three Faces of Admiral Horthy  (Read 1481 times)

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Offline <k>

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Hungary: The Three Faces of Admiral Horthy
« on: October 13, 2011, 01:45:49 PM »
Miklós Horthy ruled the Kingdom of Hungary as Regent from 1920 to 1944. He was deposed by the Nazi-backed Arrow Cross Movement after he put out peace feelers to the Allies. It is said that under him, Hungary was a kingdom without a king, ruled by a Admiral without a navy.

He is best described as an authoritarian conservative or reactionary, who was stuck between two large and dangerous neighbours: Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia. Circumstances led him to side with the Axis. However, in his post World War 2 memoirs, Horthy cited the Austro-Hungarian empire as his political ideal.

Amazingly, Stalin, who was not usually noted for his forgiving nature, told Hungarian prime-minister-to-be, Ferenc Nagy, during a diplomatic meeting in April 1945, "not to judge Horthy. After all, he is an old man now, and it should not be forgotten that he offered armistice in the autumn of 1944.” (From Wikipedia).

In December 1945, Horthy went to live in Germany, before moving to Portugal in 1949, where he died in 1957.

Hungary released a silver 5 pengő in 1930 to celebrate 10 years of his regency. Another 5 pengő, portraying him facing in the opposite direction, was released in 1939. Some 600 pieces dated 1938 are also known. Finally, another 5 pengő, this time in aluminium, was released in 1943 to celebrate his 75th birthday. The coin from my collection (illustrated below) is in fact a restrike. Curiously, the post-war communist government of Hungary authorised many such restrikes, perhaps to earn some Western currency.

The designer of the Horthy portraits was Lajos Beran. The Hungarian coat of arms appears on all the reverses.

The coins are all 36 millimetres in diameter.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:43:26 PM by <k> »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Hungary: The Three Faces of Admiral Horthy
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 07:45:55 PM »
There is little doubt that Horthy was the only admiral portrayed on the coins of a land-locked country. :) Naturally, he was the only admiral of the country. His uniform was designed especially for him.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.