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Klapka, Georg

KLAPKA, GEORG (1820-1892), Hungarian soldier, was born at Temesvar on the 7th of April 1820, and entered the Austrian army in 1838. He was still a subaltern when the Hungarian revolution of 1848 broke out, and he offered his services to the patriot party. He served in important staff appointments during the earlier part of the war which followed; then, early in 1849, he was ordered to replace General Meszaros, who had been defeated at Kaschau, and as general commanding an army corps he had a conspicuous share in the victories of Kapolna, Isaszeg, Waitzen, Nagy Sarlo and Komarom. Then, as the fortune of war turned against the Hungarians, Klapka, after serving for a short time as minister of war, took command at Komarom, from which fortress he conducted a number of successful expeditions until the capitulation of Vilagos in August put an end to the war in the open field. He then brilliantly defended Komarom for two months, and finally surrendered on honourable terms. Klapka left the country at once, and lived thenceforward for many years in exile, at first in England and afterwards chiefly in Switzerland. He continued by every means in his power to work for the independence of Hungary, especially at moments of European war, such as 1854, 1859 and 1866, at which an appeal to arms seemed to him to promise success. After the war of 1866 (in which as a Prussian major-general he organized a Hungarian corps in Silesia) Klapka was permitted by the Austrian government to return to his native country, and in 1867 was elected a member of the Hungarian Chamber of Deputies, in which he belonged to the Deak party. In 1877 he made an attempt to reorganize the Turkish army in view of the war with Russia. General Klapka died at Budapest on the 17th of May 1892. A memorial was erected to his memory at Komarom in 1896.

He wrote Memoiren (Leipzig, 1850); Der Nationalkrieg in Ungarn, etc. (Leipzig, 1851); a history of the Crimean War, Der Krieg im Orient . . . bis Ende Juli 1855 (Geneva, 1855); and Aus meinen Erinnerungen (translated from the Hungarian, Zurich, 1887).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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