Erno Gergely
Fictional Character
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Hungary
Date of Birth: c. 1920
Occupation: Soldier
Military Branch: Royal Hungarian Army
(World War II),
Hungarian People's Army
(World War III)

Erno Gergely (b. c. 1920) was a sergeant in the Hungarian People's Army. He'd served during World War II, first under Miklos Horthy and then under the Arrow Cross, surviving the fight on the eastern front. Incredibly, rather than liquidate him after the war, the new communist government of Hungary allowed Gergely to remain in the army. He was still enlisted when World War III broke out in 1951.[1]

He was mobilized with the rest of the Hungarian People's Army after the United States and the Soviet Union traded atomic bomb attacks between 23 January and 1 February 1951.[2] Gergely impressed his unit with his brusque manner, his expertise with profanity, and his storied history.[3]

Gergely was aware of the strengths and weaknesses of his men. He was impressed with Tibor Nagy, and intended to recommend him for a promotion to lance corporal.[4] Unfortunately, Nagy was killed in April before he could be promoted.[5] So Gergely decided to give the promotion to Istvan Szolovits.[6] He also realized how little Szolovits actually cared for the Soviet cause, and suggested Szolovits not do anything stupid, like surrendering.[7]

In June 1951, Gergely and his unit were located in the destroyed town of Raesfeld, in the Dämmerwald, which itself had been ruined.[8] Raesfeld was held by the Russians. American troops were able to use the Dämmerwald, ruined though it was, to pick off Russian officers.[9]

By July, the Soviet's were moving west again, and their allies were moving with them.[10] After some forward movement, the Allies only sent out rear guards to meet the Soviet advance, leading Gergely to believe that the Allies were finally on the run.[11] That night, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Soviet positions in Wesel.[12], leaving both Gergely and Szolovits to wonder how many Russians had survived the attack.[13]

With the Soviet Bloc's forward positions destroyed, Gergely and his men were in retreat eastward from the Ruhr throughout September, 1951,[14] under almost perpetual bombardment.[15] Finally, Gergely was captured by the Americans, and sent back behind the lines[16] He learned Szolovits had also been captured when U.S. Captain Imre Kovacs approached Gergely on Szolovits indirect recommendation. The U.S. realized that a sergeant who'd fought in two world wars would be useful. Gergely, ever the opportunist, agreed to cooperate. He was sent to the U.S. where he underwent substantial debriefing, though he still found time to track down Szolovits. The two compared notes, and then Gergely went on his way.[17]


  1. Bombs Away, pgs. 66-67, ebook.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 67-70.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 124-125.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 228-229.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 252-255.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 394-397.
  8. Fallout, loc. 488.
  9. Ibid., loc. 503.
  10. Ibid, loc. 1062-1136.
  11. Ibid., loc. 1751-1765.
  12. Ibid., loc. 1765.
  13. Ibid, loc. 1765-1811.
  14. Ibid., loc. 2772-2829.
  15. Ibid., loc. 3446-3470.
  16. Armistice, pg. 299.
  17. Ibid., pg. 298-301.