Horthy de Nagybanya, Nicholas (hôrˈtĭ də nŏˈdyəbäˌnyŏ) [key], Hung. Nagybányai Horthy Miklós, 1868–1957, Hungarian admiral and regent. He commanded the Austro-Hungarian fleet in World War I. After Béla Kun seized (1919) power in Hungary, the counterrevolutionary government put Horthy in command of its forces. When the Romanian forces that had defeated Kun evacuated Budapest (Nov., 1919), Horthy entered it and in 1920 was made regent and head of the state. He checked two attempts (March and Oct., 1921) of former Emperor Charles I to regain his throne in Hungary—once by persuasion and once by armed force. Charles was then formally barred from the throne and exiled, and Horthy found himself regent of a kingless kingdom. A nationalist who was distinctly inclined toward the right, he guided Hungary through the years between the two world wars. After the suicide (1941) of the premier, Paul Teleki, Hungary entered World War II as an ally of Germany. Despite Horthy's opposition, German troops occupied Hungary in Mar., 1944. When Russian troops entered Hungary, Horthy sent an armistice commission to Moscow and announced (Oct., 1944) the surrender of Hungary. The Germans immediately forced Horthy to countermand his order and resign. He was taken to Bavaria and later was freed by U.S. troops. After appearing as a witness at the Nuremberg war-crimes trial (1946), he settled (1949) in Portugal, where he died. His memoirs appeared in English in 1956.
See his papers, ed. by M. Szinai and L. Szücs (1965).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.