Friday, July 22, 2022

Fullbore Friday

If you look around in certain corners of the world, you can find little things that make you give a double-take. 

For instance, why is there a statue of an American General in a WWI uniform in the same park as a monument to the Soviet Red Army?

Have you ever heard of Major General Harry Hill Bandholtz, USA?

Probably not. What did he do that would warrant such a statue in such a location?

On August 11, 1919, General Bandholtz arrived in Budapest as one of four generals (English, French, Italian, American) to become the Inter-Allied Control Commission for Hungary, primarily to supervise the disengagement of Romanian troops from Hungary.

He became famous when, on the night of October 5, 1919, as President of the Day of the Commission, mainly through bluff, armed only with a riding crop, he prevented a group of Romanian soldiers from removing Transylvanian treasures from the National Museum.

The statue was erected in 1936, and stood throughout World War II with the inscription, in English,

“I simply carried out the instructions of my Government, as I understood them, as an officer and a gentleman of the United States Army.

In the late 1940s the statue was removed “for repair.” It lay in a statue boneyard until the 1980s, at which time it was placed in the garden of the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, at the request of then-Ambassador Salgo. It was re-placed in Szabadság tér at its original location in July 1989, just a few days before the visit of President Bush.

Is there any better quote for an officer to be remembered by?

For you history buffs of the labor troubles of the 1920s or pre-WWI counterinsurgency efforts in The Philippines, he had a noteworthy record with interesting peers...but for the Hungarians ... fullbore.

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