|Senator Charles J. Hokky : Ruthenia|
THE MILITARY IMPORTANCE OF RUTHENIA
General Mészöly, an expert on Ruthenia, stated in an interview: "During World War II, the massive employment of airforce, and especially the airlift of airborne divisions, has diminished to a certain degree the strategic significance of geographic barriers. Nevertheless, it would be a great mistake to think that in confrontations no significance whatsoever should be imputed to rivers or mountains lying in the way of advancing armies.
"The immense military importance of Ruthenia is still at hand. Whoever possesses Ruthenia is master of the Hungarian Great Plain, and therefore master of the entire Danubian Basin. "
For more than a thousand years Ruthenia was the fortress of the Danubian Basin from the north. To acquire Ruthenia was a long-cherished aim of Russian foreign policy during the time of the Czars. Many Russian divisions perished on this natural fortress of the Carpathian Mountain ranges during World War I, in the many vain attempts to break through the Hungarian defenses and to occupy the Carpathian Basin. So Benes, as the Soviet Union, recognized the strategic significance of Ruthenia as a spearhead toward the West.
Benes asserted at the Peace Conference that Ruthenia constituted a bulwark against Communist aggression, therefore it was necessary to have it under Czech control and supervision. A few years later, however, in 1922, he made an agreement with the Soviet Union, according to which, the Communist Party gained free access to Ruthenia, while Masaryk had already voiced his views in 1920, that Ruthenia had to be regarded as a pawn, which would have to be handed over to Russia at the first opportunity. (Narodny Listy, July 1924. No. 11).
The same v i e w s were repeated again by Prof. Bydlo, during the celebration oft he tenth anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic. Similar slogans were voiced by every member of the Czech Administration in Ruthenia also. Ruthenia was regarded by the Czechs, not as a fortress but as a bridge toward the East. BENES wanted to hand Ruthenia over to the Soviet Union in 1932, but Stalin did not judge the time ripe for such a move. The transaction took place after World War II instead. With this move, the Soviet Union gained a legalized entrance into the Danubian Basin and a stra- tegically important spearhead toward the West.
The Daily Mail Chicago Press reported shortly after the annexation that Russia had begun intensive fortifications in Ruthenia. In an unusually short period of time, Ruthenia became one of the most fortified countries in E u r o p e. We can safely state today that through Ruthenia, the Panslavic movement has gained an open door into the heart of Europe.
In the fall of 1956, when the Russian occupation army was forced by the Hungarian people's uprising to leave Hungary, the Soviet Union was able to re-group her forces in Ruthenia and to launch an unexpected surprise attack. If Ruthenia had been still a part of Hungary, as it had been for a thousand years, the Russian Army would have been f o r c e d to retreat completely from the Carpathian Basin. In this case, a surprise attack with armored divisions would have been impossible, and perhaps the course of history would have been changed.
The Vienna Bureau of the periodical "Hungaria" had reported as early as May, 1951, that Ruthenia had been transformed by the Soviet Union into a massive Central European arsenal and fortress. Even today, there are about ten divisions continuously stationed in this once happy land of forests, pastures and vineyards. Russian strategists have fully grasped the immense significance of Ruthenia, from a viewpoint of controlling Budapest, Vienna and Belgrade.
The center of this strategic spearhead is the town of §eregszász. From here a modern highway capable of supporting the movements of armored vehicles has been built clear down to Debrecen, on the Hungarian Plain. A second road joins this main artery through Ungvár Csap, Záhony, Nyíregyháza. A sideline of this network of strategic roads leads from Munkács to Csap. A wide new highway from Miskolc to Debrecen, and from Debrecen to the Yugoslav frontier completes the web of this road system, which was drawn up by a special Russian army team. The work was also supervised by the Russian Army.
In the official Soviet Statistics, as far back as 1950, we can read of 545 km. new roads built in that year alone. 150 km. were built of asphalt, 120 km. of concrete and the rest of macadam. The strategic fountainhead of all these military roads, leading toward the West and toward Yugoslavia, is the new Russian mountain fortress and military arsenal which once was Ruthenia.
The importance of this geographical location was pointed out many times by such experts as the Generals Fuller and Wedemeyer, Colonel Claudius Meyer, General Kováts, and the author, Leland Stowe. All the experts seem to agree that the stronghold of the entire territory between the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, lies in the Carpathian Mountains. These circumstances, and the very fact that Ruthenia was handed over to the Russians by the Czech government, means the annulation of all military defenses in Central Europe.
|Senator Charles J. Hokky : Ruthenia|