Károly Bartha (Minister of Defence)

Vitéz Károly Bartha de Dálnokfalva (18 June 1884 – 22 November 1964) was a Hungarian military officer and politician, who served as Minister of Defence between 1938 and 1942. During World War I, he had several high commander offices in Budapest and Trieste. In 1919, he fought against the armies of Czechoslovakia and Romania. After the fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, Bartha joined the National Army led by Miklós Horthy. Béla Imrédy appointed him as Minister of Defence and Bartha kept his position in the ensuing governments until 1942.

Károly Bartha
Károly Bartha.jpg
Born18 June 1884 (1884-06-18)
Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary
Died22 November 1964 (1964-11-23) (aged 80)
Linz, Austria
Years of service1904-1945
RankColonel General
UnitHungarian Red Army, National Army

While he was in office, plenty of major events took place: the First and Second Vienna Awards, the occupation of Bácska and Muravidék, the bombing of Kassa whereafter Hungary entered the Second World War (1941). He had big role in the unfortunate occasions of Vojvodina massacres. Horthy fired the government because of their pro-German stance. As a result, Bartha had to retire.

Károly Bartha did undertake neither political nor military role after his retirement. After the war, he was considered responsible for entering the war by the People's Tribunal. The Military Court downgraded him and later fired from the Magyar Honvédség. After the communist takeover, he was harassed by the police services, so he chose to emigrate to Venezuela, where he worked as a railway constructing engineer. He died in 1964 during a visit to Linz, Austria.


Political offices
Preceded by
Jenő Rátz
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Vilmos Nagy